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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stepped up his rhetoric since the onset of the current financial crisis, predicting “an end to capitalism” and declaring that “the bullying powers are on the verge of collapse.”
Though Iran is not without its own economic troubles, its financial sector has been largely unaffected by the crisis gripping the West. This fact has led to a greater-than-usual amount of smugness from the Iranian firebrand, who honestly seems to believe the Western economic and political systems are on the verge of destruction.
To me, these outlandish declarations from Tehran are a symptom of a much larger problem, which is not only confined to Iran, but which some in Washington suffer from as well…

Obviously, the chances that the Western capitalist system are crumbling into nothingness are pretty slim.  But the critical thing to note here is that it’s naive–and hugely unproductive–of Ahmadinejad to claim otherwise.  What is there to gain from predicting the destruction of an enemy?  Surely even Ahmadinejad doesn’t believe that he could hasten this “imminent collapse” simply by issuing a Presidential proclamation….right?
And in much the same way Ahmadinejad’s notorious pronouncements about the destruction of the state of Israel have done nothing to weaken the Jewish state, (and have done everything to weaken Iran’s position in the world), the same is true of his attacks against the West.
But Ahmadinejad is not the only one guilty of this error.
All too often in Washington, one hears talk of the Iranian people’s festering resentment against the regime which, given the right assistance, could lead to a full-on revolution and produce regime change in Tehran.  To some, the clerical government seems on the verge of collapse and it is in America’s best interest to help it along a bit.  Forgive me, but–yeah right.
This is the same ignorant short-sightedness that Ahmadinejad proudly puts on display whenever he’s behind a microphone.  In international relations as in our own personal lives, you can’t just wish your problems away.  If the US and Iran each thinks the other will disappear from the global landscape in a matter of days, what incentive is there to compromise? The Iranian people have not so quickly forgotten the murderous chaos, the torture, societal ruin, and disapperances of loved ones that followed the 1979 revolution.  Believe me: they are not anxious to repeat their revolutionary past.
Nor should the US wish for another Iranian revolution.  To do so is to take the easy way out (with no way of accounting for Murphy’s Law).
Both Washington and Tehran should take a step back, breathe deeply, and finally wash their minds of the notion that the other will soon fade into oblivion.
Maybe then they could get down to solving the enormous problems between these two key countries.

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