Monday, May 05, 2008

Ajami is right

This just in, Fouad Ajami is right!

Then again, this is not uncommon.

And here's the subject:

As Tehran has wreaked havoc on regional order and peace over the last three decades, the world has indulged it. To be sure, Saddam Hussein launched a brutal war in 1980 against his nemesis, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. That cruel conflict, which sought to quarantine the revolution, ended in a terrible stalemate; and it never posed an existential threat to the clerical state that Khomeini had built. Quite to the contrary, that war enabled the new rulers to consolidate their hold.

Over the course of its three decades in power, this revolutionary regime has made its way in the world with relative ease. No "White Army" gathered to restore the lost dominion of the Pahlavis; the privileged classes and the beneficiaries of the old order made their way to Los Angeles and Paris, and infidel armies never showed up. Even in the face of great violation – the holding of American hostages for more than 400 days – the indulgence of outside powers held.

Compare the path of the Iranian revolutionaries with the obstacles faced by earlier revolutions, and their luck is easy to see. Three years into their tumult, the tribunes of the French Revolution of 1789 were at war with the powers of Europe. The wars of the French Revolution would last for well over two decades. The Bolsheviks, too, had to fight their way into the world of states. The civil war between the White and Red Armies pulled the Allies into the struggle. A war raged in Russia and in Siberia. It was only in 1921 that Britain granted the Soviet regime de facto recognition.

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