Monday, March 21, 2016

The Boogeyman in Persia

Why is the possibility of a nuclear Iran so terrifying?  What is it about this particular country that strikes such fear in the heart of people and governments worldwide? 

Well, there is all of that “Death to America,” “Death to Israel,” and “Down with the Great Satan” rhetoric that we read in newspapers all the time.  The presidency of hard-line conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad didn’t help anything.  And for those who remember or study history, the 444 day hostage crisis beginning in November 1979 still rings like a death knell. 

Let’s set Iran to the side for a moment and think about the boogeyman in the attic.  He’s lived up there for as long as we can remember, and he scares the living daylights out of us, but have we ever stopped to think what it is that he wants?

Has he ever tried to take over the rest of the house?  No, but he sure does take a lot of time up there banging around and howling, and that freaks us out.  When does he make the most noise?  Well, mostly it’s when someone gets to close to his door or after mom goes to store something in his attic.  So, what can we take from this?  He doesn’t have any designs on the rest of the house, instead he just wants to keep other people out of his space.  He wants the people in the rest of the house to respect that the attic is his territory.  He wants them to not use his space, his only resource, and tell him that it’ll work out best for him in the long run.  He wants them to acknowledge that he is a powerful member of the household and should be listened to.

Now, say that all of us who live in the downstairs of the house have special weapons that could completely destroy the boogeyman’s attic.  Nobody has to talk about it, but that threat is always hanging over his head.  Wouldn’t it make sense for the boogeyman to want to have the same kind of weapon?  Not necessarily so he could use it, but definitely so that he could hang that same threat over the heads of the rest of the household.  So that he could be just as powerful as the rest of the household, instead of constantly being seen as a second-tier member of the household.  Because, if he had that same weapon, the other people in the house might listen to what he’s saying instead of dismissing it as banging and howling.

Of course, Iran is not the boogeyman living in anybody’s attic.  But take a few minutes to think about the metaphor.  Is there a possibility that Iran is the boogeyman living in Persia?

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