In response to all this Mark Shea points out the obvious:
Meanwhile, an opposition leader in Iran notes that Iranians, who are remarkably like human beings, have this bizarre tendency to solidify behind their leaders when foreigners start dropping bombs on them and that, because of this inexplicable patriotism and love of their homeland, an attack on Iran would be a “gift from God for the mullahs“. Me: I’d like to see the mullahs gone and their opposition, which seems to want out of the Bronze Age, take their place. Indeed, I even remember that, crazy as it sounds, something similar happened in our country after 9/11 with people like Rosie O’Donnell thanking God that George Bush and not Al Gore was president and getting in line to support their leadership in the face of huge violence done to their country.
Yup, Iranians are *gasp* human beings and, as such, fear the same things we fear, want the same things we want and generally behave much like we do. Out of the 73 million human beings living in Iran, turns out many of them want to be a part of the modern world and peacefully associate with other countries – yes, even America. Sure, their leadership is corrupt and responsible for human rights violations and political demagoguery but lets not shoot ourselves in the foot by herding the Iranian people to the wholehearted support of their tyrannical leaders, begging Ayatollah to defend them from the American military juggernaut. Short of Iran attacking us, we must restrain ourselves from using any kind of military intervention – either on our own initiative or in support of an Israeli strike. The answer is not sanctions, either, as this too breeds resentment among the common Iranian against the United States and leads private industries in Iran to fail, allowing the government to step in, take over, and further extend their power over the Iranian people. Instead, we must engage in free trade and cultural exchange to win over the populace and initiate genuine diplomacy.
Essentially, it comes down to upholding Just War Doctrine and treating people like people. Then maybe we’ll get somewhere. I’m not saying it’ll be easy but it sure beats Israel and Iran bombing each other to oblivion.