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That Splintering Sound You Hear…


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that-splintering-sound-you-hearVia Meadia:




is coming from the distinegrating reputations of Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett, commentators who at one time were taken seriously by some serious people, but whose most recent book will find a comfortable home on the shelves next to the finest works of regime apologists and hacks. It often seems in these pages that Flynt and Hillary Leverett have drunk the Islamic Republics Kool-Aid to the last drop, Roger Cohen (anything but a knee jerk hawk) writes for the New York Review of Books. Their book is a disservice to truth and a betrayal of all the brave Iranians who, for more than a century now, have been seeking a political order that provides a genuine reconciliation of freedom, representative government, and faith.




People who critique accepted narratives play an important role in American political and intellectual life, but theres a difference between explainers and apologists. The Leveretts might have offered a counterbalancing account [to the widespread portrayal of Iran as the incarnation of evil], writes Cohen. Instead they have fallen prey to their own dangerous mythology of a benign Iranian order loved by its citizens.


The Leveretts now appear to be settling in on the political fringe with Ron Paul and Noam Chomsky. The United States badly needs people who understand Iran, can sympathize with the aspirations (if not always the means) that drive its government, and can think creatively about how the two countries can find ways to work together. The Leveretts could have done that; sadly, they seem to have chosen another path.

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