I guess I am. And as much as I hate to admit it, by my count, Iran is leading in this race of international perception and the all too weasely ways of the western world.
Iran 1: USA 0
Iran attacked the US arguably unfairly after the revolution (or equally arguably the mere abandonment of Iran by the Shah), by taking the embassy hostages in 1979. OK, so it was a backhanded cowardly and totally unorthodox move. The US response? A badly planned and disastrous rescue attempt in the desert, followed in desperation by the sleaziest of deals, namely to negotiate with Iran and get them to release the hostages only after Ronald Reagan’s win over Jimmy Carter was solid. To be followed by even more sleaze, the Iran-Contra affair (look it up, this is a blog not real journalism). Finally economic sanctions were imposed on Iran and a mere $1B in Shah-era Iranian assets were frozen. Big deal.
Iran 2: USA 0
Iran somehow outlasted the repeated attempts by the US to unseat it by taking the Iraqi side of the Iran-Iraq war. Iran emerged tattered and torn, but still kicking, barely, and over the 1990-2000 period managed to rebuild itself, trading oil for alliances with new world powers such as China, India, and Russia (to name just a few, it’s more countries than you want to know!). Bill Clinton being “thoughtful” (but stereotypical nonetheless) tossed out what he thought would be an olive branch by lifting the sanctions just a symbolic nudge, on Iran to allow Iran to export Pistachios and Carpets to the US. But what slick Willy did not know was in doing this, he only made Rafsanjani, whose family controlled the multi-billion dollar international pistachio industry in Iran, a billionaire overnight. In dollars.
Iran 3: USA 0
In the recent meeting of Caspian countries, Iran has in what you have to admit is a deft move, namely tying a mutual protection anti-attack alliance with Russia, re-awakened the Cold War. Even causing GW to desperately dust off one of Ronald Reagan’s favorite lines (and it turns out bankrupt threat), “World War III”. Iran now knows that it can easily continue to stall UN nuclear investigators, and outlast the mere 15 months left in this most pathetic of administrations, and when it is finally over and done with and when Georgie, Cheney, Condi, and the clan (Klan?) they have created in Washington are neutered once and for all, this version of Iran will still be around. And they’ll be sipping sweet tea and smiling and winking at one another.