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The 'Perversity' of Realism

Reader comment on item: Rooting for Ahmadinejad

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Jun 13, 2009 at 21:20

Although it seems a harsh attitude toward the Iranian people, who seem to deserve more sympathy in their travails under an unreformable theocratic dictatorship than most Arab populations, I agree with Pipes' view that one should reluctantly hope for Ahmadinejad's win.

Actually with the very latest news, it is perhaps even better that he appears to have 'won', but only by means of a stolen election. This result may lead to more and protracted domestic instability, a result, again however seemingly perversely or uncomfortably, to be wished for.

The choice between Ahmadinejad and the 'reform' candidate is analogous to that between Hamas and Fatah. If Hamas should be suddenly marginalized or rendered impotent, an immediate (conventional) military threat to Israel would be eased, but a longer-term political threat would be sharply increased. This political threat would arise because large swaths of opinion in the US and Europe would immediately conclude, even more strongly than they already have, that peace would be far easier and simpler to negotiate on the unacceptable and unwise basis that all that's needed is for Israel to accept and retreat to essentially the 1967 borders.

Hence, as in Iran, it seems best for the immediately worse threat to remain strong in lieu of the more subtle but even more dangerous long term threat to gain in strength and credibility.

Ron Thompson

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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