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Geopolitics

Europe On Iran: Why The Appeasement?

The European Union should explain why it is doggedly conciliatory with a regime in Iran that represents everything opposed to Europe's liberal democratic values,

Commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Hossein Salami in Iran on July 29
Commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Hossein Salami in Iran on July 29
Elahe Boghrat
-OpEd-

LONDON — Are we repeating a mid-20th century moment? We may indeed be in a state of war, though one that is undeclared and lasting considerably longer than World War II. Like any such sprawling conflict, it has left nations damaged and forced millions of people to face violent death or life as a refugee. Yet it is not considered a "great" or a "world" war, because it is not happening in Europe but in distant lands. Are conditions in our time not like the years in which Western democracies and the communist Soviet Union sought to "appease" Hitler's Germany, while remaining indifferent to its countless victims?

Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran, nothing it has done over four decades could seem to alarm the Europeans to its inherent danger. Not the killings perpetrated since 1979 nor the callous shooting of protesters on the streets, nor senior officials brazenly threatening Europe or its long-range missiles or steady emission of refugees, drugs and terrorists ... Perhaps Europeans do not want to see a threat that is surely a greater menace to the EU than to Iran's more vociferous enemy, the United States.

Are conditions not like when Western democracies and the Soviet Union sought to "appease" Hitler's Germany?

One reflects in order to understand why: Why has the West been appeasing a monstrosity? Many might describe Iran's post-revolutionary leaders as terrorists. They have shown they would stop at nothing — and I stress, nothing — to retain power. That includes killing Iranians and turning the country into a nuclear and ballistic storehouse whose dangerous components are hidden away inside cities, where people live!

Iranian President Rouhani welcoming High Representative of the EU Josep Borrell in Tehran on Feb. 3 — Photo: Iranian Presidency/ZUMA

The only plausible explanation for European appeasement may be the promise of economic gains. There might also be an insidious element of envy toward the United States. EU leaders have themselves given few, clear arguments for their posture other than a stated preference for diplomacy (read: appeasement) over confrontation. This must be the same "diplomacy" that allowed Hitler to march into central and eastern Europe! Is Israel a kind of Middle Eastern Poland? Who knows ...

The Enemy is right here — not in America like they say!

What we do know, on the basis of intermittent comments by Iranian officials or polls associated with the regime itself, is that its domestic supporters have been reduced in past years to six or seven million at most, out of 70 million or so Iranians. Ordinary Iranians have been stating their views with increasing clarity since late 2017. On one occasion, members of the congregation attending Isfahan's Friday prayers turned their back to the pulpit and to pictures of Iran's leaders, whom they denounced as "the Enemy."

In protests, people shout: "The Enemy is right here — not in America like they say!" How could the European powers and Democrats in the U.S. possibly doubt that Iranians — not to mention everyone else in the Middle East — want "regime change," a transition from a terroristic dictatorship to parliamentary democracy? Have they missed the popular protests in Lebanon and Iraq against sectarian governments? Or do they want to pursue their appeasement-minded, collaborationist diplomacy to the point of provoking an attack on the regional "Poland," so they wind up with a proper war on their hands?

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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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