One Letter

July 13th, 2014

Inspired by Our common cause with Iran (Ryan Crocker et. al., Washington Post 7/13/14 page A17).


Remember the Shah? Iran was our friend back then.

Why can’t they be our friend again?

“But they took our people hostage, you know.”

Yeah, but that was 35 years ago.

The Brits burned the White House to the ground,

And now they’re our strongest ally around.

Remember, it’s easier to be friends when one a common enemy  shares.

Why should we be their enemy when we’re no longer theirs?

We wanted Iraq to be our strong, stable ally, but that fell apart.

So why not Iran? After all, it’s just one letter apart.


The Neocon wet dream was an at least nominally democratic Iraq, united and stable, allied to the United States and representing our interests in the region, or at least not opposed to them. Ironically, one aspect of that dream may be about to come true, in a strange sort of way. But what if it’s not Iraq who heads that alliance, but Iran. After all, it’s just one little letter.

Iran is strong and stable, with a lot of interests in the region that are not necessarily opposed to ours. We view them as our enemy because they have declared that we are their enemy, and acted accordingly. But what if they no longer view us as an enemy? Must we continue to view them as ours?

Britain has been one of our best allies, if not our best ally, for the past 100 years, but a mere 100 years earlier, that selfsame ally had invaded our homeland, sacked our capital, and burned the White House. We made up with them, so why can’t we make up with Iran? After all, all Iran did was take over our embassy and take our people hostage for 14 months. (They did later release them unharmed.)

A stronger relationship with Iran could have many advantages. We could jointly oppose the ISIS (the “Islamic State”) and other terror organizations. They could use their influence with Hamas to stop attacks on Israel. Not to mention that alliance with the United States would eliminate most of their desire to have a nuclear weapon, and form a much stronger basis for their agreement to dismantle their nuclear weapons program than the threat of more sanctions. America (and Iran) would also benefit from trade, investment, and oil industry cooperation. We could even sell them weapons systems!

If the Necons had had their way and had successfully convinced America to let them invade Iran, this is the precise outcome they would have hoped for. It never could have been obtained by the war they lobbied so hard to start, but it can be attained by diplomacy. Now is the time, and perhaps the only time. Iran was once our ally in the Middle East; indeed, one of our anchors their. Why can’t they be again? It’s worth a try.


Here‘s your theme music, Why Can’t We Be Friends, by War.

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