April 21, 2006


As Iran Presses Its Ambitions, Its Young See Theirs Denied: Lack of Economic Opportunity Leads Many to Drugs (Karl Vick, 4/21/06, Washington Post)

"You people, you have got a very good life in the U.S. What is this place?" He glanced down the main street of a town called Shaft, where young men with gelled hair and no jobs sauntered at aimless angles. "Everything is miserable."

While the world focuses on Iran's nuclear ambitions, Iranians focus on the unmet aspirations of the two-thirds of the population that is younger than 30. Nearly three decades after a revolution that swept aside a monarchist system grounded in privilege, the typical Iranian has seen average income shrink under a religious government that has cultivated an elite of its own atop a profoundly dysfunctional economy.

The 80 percent of the population working in the private sector struggles mightily to make a living in the 20 percent of the economy that is not controlled by the government. The end product is a frustration edging into resentment that informs every private conversation with ordinary Iranians and frames every public issue.

Which is why Islamicism isn't a long term threat--it doesn't work.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 21, 2006 9:49 AM

"Which is why Islamicism isn't a long term threat--it doesn't work." Like communism. In the mean time, millions would be enslaved under another "ism" for another half of a century.

Posted by: ic at April 21, 2006 10:53 AM

Communism wouldn't have made it that long without our help.

Posted by: oj at April 21, 2006 10:59 AM

Sure, if we let them. The point is that we're banging on the foundations of Islamicism now like we should have done to the Soviet Union 50 years ago.

Posted by: Bryan at April 21, 2006 11:00 AM

If by long term, you mean at least a century, I'll agree. It's own internal contradictions will doom it. It's just in dying it may wreak terrible destruction all about it. So yes, I do consider that a threat, and not one to take lightly.

Posted by: Mikey at April 21, 2006 11:08 AM

No, I mean it's already spit the bit.

Posted by: oj at April 21, 2006 11:13 AM

If it's spit the bit, it's out of control and needs to be dealt with. The issue seems to one of proportionate response.

Posted by: jdkelly at April 21, 2006 6:32 PM

things generally sort themselves out.

Posted by: oj at April 21, 2006 6:36 PM

Yeah, but as Burke said, evil will triumph if good men do nothing, or something like that. Don't exactly know what the "good men" are supposed to do ,though. That's always the problem. Pray?

Posted by: jdkelly at April 21, 2006 7:52 PM

Why did communism last as long and do as much damage as it did? 'Islamicism' has been around for a thousand years and folks are still confused about it's origin. Equivocation kept the soviets in business and will do the same for literalist Islam.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford,Ct. at April 22, 2006 10:42 AM

Because we gave it an enemy to rally against and saved it from Hitler.

Posted by: oj at April 22, 2006 11:00 AM

Leftists didn't rationalize the Hitler/Stalin alliance? They morphed into anti-fascists AFTER the invasion. Bolshevism was the future.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford,Ct. at April 22, 2006 11:10 AM

Sweetie, we gave it an enemy to rally against simply by walking around and breathing. Much the same as we do with Islam. The cartoon fiasco proved that. Short of wholesale surrender there's no way for us to be so inoffensive that we can't be put to such use. Try again.

Posted by: joe shropshire at April 22, 2006 3:16 PM

What did the cartoon fiasco do but force introspection in the Islamic world?

Posted by: oj at April 22, 2006 4:24 PM

My money is on this working in the long term instead:


oj: could you post an opinion on this Crescent and Cross icon movement?

Posted by: Hope at April 22, 2006 8:31 PM


If you see any mdia coverage of the movement please send a link. Google doesn't turn up anything yet.

Posted by: oj at April 22, 2006 10:08 PM

Haven't they forgotten something

Posted by: erp at April 23, 2006 4:44 PM