We like to assume as we idealize democracy that common sense and officially accepted wisdom interrelate. Alas, this relationship can frequently be a negative one. What is generally accepted can and will often make no sense. To some this might suggest that the common man using common sense is unfit to partake in politics.
The cases when a contradiction exists between these terms do not necessarily negate the intelligence of the common man. It follows that therefore a crucial premise of democracy is not negated. It is rather so that what the divergence unmasks is the accepted wisdom of our time. What is meant here by accepted wisdom? It is the gamut of assumptions made into commands by a largely self-appointed élite – celebrities, professors, reporters and the “beautiful people” – self-authorized to think in our behalf. In the debate about public affairs, common sense equals the child’s cry, “The emperor has no clothes”. In the fable, accepted wisdom is represented by the crowd that saw what it saw but still pretended to believe what it was told.
Too many of the big issues we face are successfully defined by those who are licensed to proclaim what we must believe and in which direction we are to kowtow before their “Meccas”. The record suggests that these gods are more than dead; they never even existed. Their servants served not truth but were the priesthood of an idol invented by them.
Those who consult this publication will know from their personal experience that challenging this type of accepted, and therefore “correct” wisdom, is hard and, depending on your job, risky. Nonconforming makes one an eccentric, since those who are proclaimed by the mainstream media to “count” and to be respectable say otherwise. Going along makes you “in”, protects from disapproval and earns polite nods. Meanwhile, the insolent doubters of the writ-of-the moment are branded as quarrelsome troublemakers. After all, the mental spam regurgitated by the elect – frequently accepted by majorities that succumbed to bread and circuses – serves as a palliative that justifies comfy inaction. When ultimately still menacingly confronted by the object of earlier denials, the recipe is immediate withdrawal (as advocated in the case of Iraq) from the problem. As though this would be a sounder option as is declaring oneself out of bounds during a California quake! Therefore, until the trouble is upon us, the mantra dispersed is that all is well. Besides, in any event, it will not get too bad “here” while, anyhow, things are not as bad as they will become if the given order of things is upset by confronting what some extremists call the challenges-in-the-making.
Let us apply the above to the case of a nuke-enhanced Iran with Koran. The correct and sedating wisdom of the tone-setting liberal circles is that that nothing needs to be done and if there is, nothing can be accomplished by any conceivable measure. So let us continue to slumber in our armchairs – preferably watching their approved pundits spin the news while Tehran creates the facts. The more so, since Iran “does not need” the WMDs she also claims not to seek. What would Tehran do with A-Bombs? Anyhow, even if they are building the bomb, it will take them years and it will be acquired only to bolster Persia’s national pride. Furthermore, the UN watches thus providing security. Additionally, war being unthinkable – the in-crowd knows that violence “does not solve problems” – we are left with sanctions. Contrary to yesterday’s plea by the same folks regarding Apartheid, sanctions do not work and “punish the people” only. Furthermore, pilloried leaders lose face, feel insulted and become isolated. All of this undermines mutual trust and stands in the way of a civilized dialogue that could clear up misunderstandings.
This is the juncture to move beyond what the arbiters of PC-commanded correctness tell us. Let us approach the Iran theme by applying some common sense to some information we all can have.
Menacingly, Iran’s nuclear project became the centerpiece of her foreign policy. This policy accepts a potentially high price that ranges from sanctions to devastating military blows. Meanwhile, the Mullahs could acquire politically risk-free Uranium enriched sufficiently for the alleged generation of electricity. Therefore, the widely criticized acquisition of their surging enrichment capacity is, if ultimately peaceful purposes are to be served, is as dispensable as it is unnecessary. Nevertheless, “suspension is out of the question” claims Larijani. (June 20th.) Given the international reaction, the pursuit of the nuclear project in its present mode that arouses the suspicion of being weapons-oriented, could prove to be horrendous. Consequently, considering the gains and the risks, Tehran’s nuclear-tinted foreign policy makes no sense. This is the case unless Iran’s real goal is not to generate electric power but the possession of nuclear arms. Once the Bomb is ascertained as the real target, the advantage to be gained and the hazard accepted are in balance.
The clerics’ priorities are betrayed by the dangers they accept. This is confirmed by their treatment of the UN’s IAEA. Handled differently that institution’s findings (assuming there is nothing to discover) would disarm the critics. Concerning this aspect, the IAEA report of June 11 is revealing. After a standard warning inspired by accepted wisdom to avoid an escalation, the Agency admits that it is unable to clear the mystery shrouding the nuclear program. More: the hindrances blocking inspections are growing and the information gained is becoming increasingly fuzzy.
Meanwhile, due to fading control, confirmed information as a source of security is substituted for by Iran’s assurances. Taking these seriously depends on her record. That being miserable, a question arises. If there is nothing to hide, it makes no sense for Iran to act as though a skeleton is concealed in a concealed unlit underground bunker’s secret closet.
Quite relevant for the reasonable man’s concerns is the mind-set of Iran’s rulers. It is an indicator of a worldview and of a corresponding intention that is now seeking the matching means. Regarding this, we get to hear much that is hard to overhear unless the ear-plugs PC supplies are worn. To our shame, in this respect history is allowed to repeat itself. Hitler for one was quite candid about his goals. Not many cared to pay attention. That was before millions who thought they can not be effected had to die because of shortsightedness. Today, Ahmadinejad – might he be the ultimate suicide bomber? – reveals his intentions loudly, clearly and frequently. Much of it is dismissed as insane or, apologetically, as mere ranting. (Why are such classifications supposed to lessen the implied threat when the opposite is the case?) Nevertheless, the promised elimination of the “Jewish Entity” requires the “Bomb” to extort Europe and the US while crushing Israel.
As a rule, whatever succeeds is repeated, while what failed will be avoided. The folks who live by accepted wisdom respond to Iran’s belligerence with a studied under-reaction as they hope for a “dialogue” with her “moderates”. If, however, the principle about what we do or let be is correct, then failing to “ping” when they “pong” is a mistake. It creates the impression of success against an enemy that is meek and weak. If anything, this is the kind of notion that will egg on the extremists already made contemptuous by what they judge to be a sign of decadence. In such a situation it is crucial to send the right high-decibels signal at maximal clarity. This criterion is fulfilled when the US’ government – but not Congress – tells that no reaction to Iran’s nuclear armament is “off the table.” Ultimately, not those are “insane” that make it plain what will not be endured and that everything will be done to prevent the intolerable from materializing. “Crazy” is in this context the adjective left for a policy of fudging coupled to hints that the response to the ultimate challenge will be limited to ways that do not hurt too much.