A footnote to the developments in Iran:
After the events following last week’s election, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen has changed his tone on the Islamic Republic, whose praises he had been singing almost incessantly (while bashing Israel) since a visit to Iran in February. Then, he marveled at the "relative tranquility" enjoyed by the country’s Jews, and in numerous columns following slammed Israel and others for demonizing the Iranian regime. He called for immediate rapprochement between Iran and Washington.
Now Cohen may be realizing the error of his ways: "I erred in underestimating the brutality and cynicism of a regime that understands the uses of ruthlessness," Cohen wrote two days after the apparent sham election.
I’ve argued for engagement with Iran and I still believe in it, although, in the name of the millions defrauded, President Obama’s outreach must now await a decent interval.
I’ve also argued that, although repressive, the Islamic Republic offers significant margins of freedom by regional standards. I erred in underestimating the brutality and cynicism of a regime that understands the uses of ruthlessness.
No word from Cohen on Israel.