Hello Iran, Goodbye Syria

Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom seems to have lost The New Republic over Iran. Or at least lost TNR’s Leon Wieseltier. Read:

This is the day of the extended hand, which Obama promised in his first inaugural address. The American government is no longer disgusted by the Iranian government, if ever it really was: in 2009, during the democratic rebellion in Iran, we certainly kept to ourselves, to use Kennan’s words, our views about its domestic political institutions and practices; or rather, 
we uttered hollow phrases of routine condemnation and moved on. But we are partners now, Washington and Tehran, and not only in the negotiations over 
the Iranian nuclear program. The administration hopes for an Iranian contribution also to a diplomatic solution to the Syrian excruciation. (There is no such solution. It is now a war to the death between secular tyranny and religious terrorism—the predictable, and often-predicted, consequence of leaving Syria alone.) There is wariness on both sides, of course; but generally there is a bizarre warmth between the governments, a climate of practicality and cordiality, as if a new page has been turned in a history of ugly relations, as if the ugliness of those relations were based only in illusion and misunderstanding. There is a new government in Tehran, isn’t there?

No, there isn’t. There is only a new president.


It’s a devastating piece, and one I’ve filed under “Stuff I Wish I’d Written.”


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