Tuesday, September 12, 2006


This picture of the Prime Minister and President of Iraq and Iran(via Yglesias) doesn't resolve any of the dilemmas America finds itself in. But what it should do, at minimum, is put an end to this stupid conception of a monolithic "Islamofascism" that is just like the Comintern in 1936.

The dilemma in the Middle East is that the opposition to the old tyrannies (and reasonable monarchies like Jordan) is not led by Bohemian playwrights and trade union leaders like Havel or Walesa, but by totalitarian religious fanatics. Basically, you have two options: you can back the status quo come hell or high water, or you can back off and see what happens if more popular regimes come to power. Neither is without pain or risk.

What you can't do is proclaim, "Long live democracy! But no Islamists!" Because democracy means Islamists.

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