On November 29, the disputed President of Iran announced plans to build ten new nuclear enrichment facilities throughout the country. Everyone’s mind immediately turned to military action, and many assume that Israel will bomb Iran sooner than later. It’s my hope no one attacks Iran.
I’m not sympathetic to the current regime or the theological fascism it employs to keep control. But bombing Iran now would be the worst thing that could happen for the region and for the West’s declared values of peace and democracy.
The nascent democratic revolution emerging in Iran would be crushed under a resurgence of Persian nationalism if Iran were bombed. Eric Hoffer said, “Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.” The U.S. was the 1979 Islamic Revolution’s devil. Israel has long been a pet devil of Iran, and particularly of President Ahmadinejad. But this hatred of the West and Israel has been distracted by the internal strife in the country since the disputed election this summer that kept Ahmadinejad in power.
The Iranian regime knows the power of a devil to galvanize and unify a group and to promote sacrifice for a cause. And if they can provoke the U.S. or Israel to bomb them, sure there will be casualties, but the rift in the 3000 year old Persian nation will quickly close, and the emerging democratic movement will be destroyed. For those who don’t believe this, see the comments of Charles Rangell and Hillary Clinton closing ranks with George W. Bush after Hugo Chavez of Venezuela bashed Bush at the U.N. in 2006.
Surprisingly the regime doesn’t see the devil it’s making of itself in the eyes of the democratic movement in the country. With truncheons and torture, the Iranian regime is tempering and galvanizing the revolution.
So even though the militaries of the U.S., Israel, and Iran all want the same thing—for Iran to be bombed—if we want peace in the region (delayed though it may be), Iran should not be attacked. It would set back peace by decades.
Every revolution before it happens seems impossible and after it happens seems inevitable. Let’s not inadvertently scuttle the first great and significant revolution of the 21st century.