When simplicity goes bad

February 11, 2002

After Dubya declares Iran part of the "axis of Evil", Chants of 'Death to America!' Mark March by Millions in Iran. HThis is what happens when ideas are over-simplified, they lack nuance and are easily misinterpreted. Iran does belong as a part of the Axis of Evil (tm). The Ayatollah and religous leaders are supporting terrorist groups. "Death to Israel" is still the official line of the government. But, when the President of the US states that Iran is evil, that made the average Iranian unhappy and anti-Americanism returns and support for the hardline clerics increases, rather than decreases. The question is: how do we win the "hearts and minds" of the Iranian people, while maintaining pressure on the hardliners supporting, encourgaging and exporting terror? The ousting of the hardline religous leadership will not come from Washington, but from withing Tehran itself, so Washington needs to do whatever it can to bring about that result.

Posted by Andrew Raff at February 11, 2002 04:33 PM