For a long time I have believed people make poor decisions unless there is an answer that is “good.” We seem incapable of deciding between adverse situations. It is a fundamental emotional problem in divorce and business breakups. There is a money cost and some transition problem, or there is an emotional cost to continue as before.
Choose your poison as the saying goes.
The United States maximally demoted senior Iranian General Soleimani this week. He was arguably the mastermind behind the Iranian terror structure and a very highly placed member in the Iranian political hierarchy. It is not easy to determine who was the bigger winner by his demise. The Americans who have confused their enemy’s terror structure, or the leaders in Iran who likely saw the general as a political rival rather than a staff person.
Iran has at least five paths they can follow. None are attractive to the leadership.
The eighth option is to run out the clock. Play the time game and hope President Trump is defeated in November. I don’t know the future, but I would want high odds to bet against him in the next election. It seems likely he will continue to the end of 2024.
All the while the clock is ticking in Iran.
I know too little about internal affairs in Iran, but what I do know from talking to people who have family there, is it would not take a lot to begin a new revolution. Given the economy there, a new revolution is fast becoming necessary. Would the Ayatollah and his helpers be able to survive for five years given their choices above. Not a chance.
Given every outcome is bad for the leadership in Iran, what can happen? Possibly some other option, or possibly a combination of things. I expect they will try, in order:
Step 4 is essentially to commit suicide.
When none of your choices seem feasible, seek external help. The Iranians seem stuck in the condition that says, “If you continue to do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.”
It is like asking what your customers want (citizens in this case) and then setting out to provide it. If you decide your own values must supersede the customer’s values, you cannot succeed for long.
Maybe the goal for Shia hegemony in the middle east is not an achievable goal. When an unachievable goal becomes your only goal, you will need external help to see other possibilities. Who could influence the Iranian leaders to think and act differently?
Examine your own life for unsolvable problems using current methods. Usually the way out of a problem with only bad outcomes, is to redefine the problem and its purpose. As the Turkish proverb says, “When you find yourself on the wrong road, turn back.”
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