A cynic says, expect the worst. That way you're never disappointed. Okay, but you'll never be truly happy either.
An optimist says, expect the best. It's bound to happen if only you work for it. While more to my liking, this philosophy sets you up for disappointment.
This is not, however, an either/or proposition. Somewhere in the middle lies what I call pragmatic optimism. I say, work for the best but be prepared for the worst. That way you're never disappointed and are often pleasantly surprised.
If you don't like questions though, pragmatic optimism may not be for you. In that light, consider the presidential "election" in Iran. The optimist in me says that young people taking to the streets to protest this fraud of an election might be able to affect real change. My pessimistic self says that the theocracy, i.e. Ayatollah Khameini and the other conservative mullahs, who have a firm grip on power in Iran, will never give up that power.
Sadly, this all puts me in mind of Tianamen Square in China. While China's Communist party is not a theocracy, I believe that Iran has learned a lesson from China. If Iran can give its people a measure of economic freedom it can get away with brutal suppression of democratic rights.
Now for my pragmatic side. If they are to succeed, pro democracy forces must wage a long struggle. Ironically, they may have to wage a Palestinian like Intafada. Our penchant for instant gratification will not be satisfied. If the movement is not suppressed it will take years.
Which brings me to my questions. Unlike China, Iran is not a nuclear power, yet. They obviously want to be a regional power like Saudi Arabia and Israel and I would say the dominant regional power. The odds of Israel putting up with that? I would say none.
The more hopeful if sad question is whether the pro democracy movement in Iran can maintain their momentum. That is the biggest question of all.
For now good night.
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