John Limbert

  • The Iron and Depressing Laws of US-Iran Relations

    Among the unalterable “laws of the Medes and the Persians” that have ruled US-Iran relations for decades are the following:

    • Everything takes longer than you think.
    • Everything is harder than you think.
    • Whenever you begin to make progress, some bad fortune or stupidity will screw up everything.

    The first two are obvious. In the last two years, with a new American administration, we have seen the third operating at full force.  

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  • Trump and Iran: Nostalgia for Better Bumblers

    It’s a truism that every president makes us nostalgic for his predecessor. In the case of Iran, US President Donald Trump and his men are outdoing the bumbles and fumbles of Reagan, the two Bushes, Clinton, and Obama, while making those earlier presidents appear as far-seeing statesmen.

    Earlier presidents at least knew Iran was a trap. They saw how Iran had destroyed Jimmy Carter’s presidency and almost did the same to Ronald Reagan’s. Although it proved impossible, their preference—at least until Barack Obama—was to ignore Iran.

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