Notorious Iran-defending foreign policy columnist Roger Cohen was shaken up after the rigged balloting in Iran, actually apologizing in print for having underestimated the brutality of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs in previous naïve columns.
But he's on the road to recovery, and in his Saturday column, "Iran's Second Sex," Cohen half-heartedly claimed that the massive protests againstthe country'srigged election prove that he had been right all along about the people of Iran, as opposed to those unidentified (but probably conservative) opinionizers who reduced the country to "a bunch of zealous clerics posing a nuclear problem."
Yes, it's simple. From the outset, the regime targeted women, calculating that the patriarchal culture of the country would embrace the idea of an Islamic diktat that "put women in their place."
But then again nothing in Iran is simple. One benefit of the massive show of resistance to a stolen vote, and future, has been to awaken Americans to the civic vitality of Iranian society - a real country with real people rather than a bunch of zealous clerics posing a nuclear problem.
Yet Cohen not only defended the people of Iran, he stood up for the authoritarian regime against critics, as in this excerpt from his April 9 column from Istanbul praising the regime's durability:
It's also the same "messianic apocalyptic cult" that has survived 30 years, ushered the country from the penury of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, shrewdly extended its power and influence, cooperated with America on Afghanistan before being consigned to "the axis of evil," and kept its country at peace in the 21st century while bloody mayhem engulfed neighbors to east and west and Israel fought two wars.