Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The dangers of monolithic thinking

It is quite possible to avert war in the Persian Gulf region if we play smart. President Bush's latest round of "Robust Diplomacy" isn't fantasy land thinking. Consider the clip below from the Arab News. 25 percent of the Iranian population alone are an ethnic minority.

Iran's president (as dangerous as he seems) has his own yard to tend. Here's hoping that there is a diplomatic angle to take with this mess.

TEHRAN, 29 May 2006 — Four people have been killed and 43 others injured in northwest Iran during protests over a cartoon in a government newspaper deemed insulting to ethnic Azeris, a police official was quoted as saying yesterday.

The report came as Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accused his country’s “enemies” of trying to provoke ethnic unrest while asserting the alleged conspiracy would be defeated...

and continues

...There have been a number of reports of rioting by ethnic Azeris in the northwest after a government-run newspaper published the offensive cartoon, which depicted an Azeri as a cockroach.

Ethnic Azeris, concentrated in northwestern Iran, account for some 25 percent of Iran’s population. The judiciary has shut the paper and arrested the artist and editor responsible.
Full Article.

This also shows that overplaying some things (remember the cartoon riots last year?) can come back to haunt the ones that play the game hardest. Tolerance is the key, and if you don't extend it to others, the beast you create may bite you.

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