Roger Cohen, the born again Ayatollah-basher, who not so long ago (six months? three?) was telling us the Islamic Republic was not such a bad thing, is at again in the NYT, informing us of something most sentient beings knew a decade ago – that Supreme Leader Khamenei is a tyrannical religious nut case or, in Cohen’s words, a “flip-flopper”. (Hello, John Kerry!) Mr. Cohen’s predictable conclusion, however, is that we should leave well enough alone: “Since June 12, the Islamic Republic has become a far more pressing threat to itself than to others. It is inwardly consumed. For the United States and its allies to threaten it – through sanctions or otherwise – would be worse than foolish. It would be pointless.”
Is “pointless” worse than “foolish”? Well, never mind. I leave that one to the NYT’s perspicacious editors. But I do question Cohen’s logic and morality – morality because, as per usual, he ignores that what has occurred recently is merely pro-forma for the Islamic Regime (in 1999 they murdered students too), logic because this Supreme Leader Cohen accuses of dangerous “flip-flopping” will soon have nuclear weapons to flip-flop about. To ignore this would indeed be worse than foolish. It would be insane
Thankfully, Angela Merkel is in a position of power and not Cohen. As reported in the same edition of the NYT, Germany’s chancellor has made a serious shift and seems to be backing stiff sanctions for Iran. This takes some courage since Germany has close business dealings with the IRI and we are in the middle of a recession. Nevertheless, Merkel, unlike Cohen, thinks this has some point. The irony of Cohen’s self-serving blathering is that without sanctions we have only one other way with dealing with a nuclear-armed Iran – and that he would like even less.