Crowley points to an overly optimistic statement I made in 2003 with regard to uprisings in Iran. He then writes:
I definitely don't write this to take the p*ss out of Andrew, a friend whose optimism and idealism I really admire (and who turned out to be far more right about Obama, for instance, than I thought he would be). The current Iranian protests, moreover, are exponentially larger and broader than were the 2003 student efforts. Still, I can't quite shake the sense that we've seen this movie before, and that we know how it ends. I hope I'm wrong.
What strikes me reading that post is that I sound exactly the same, except then I was railing at the clueless left (in Salon, no less) and recently I've been railing at the cynical right. You can see this as my own inconsistency, or simply the same position reacting to different circumstances and a different array of forces. In my own defense, my sense of a new opposition movement emerging in Iran in 2003 might have gotten the moment of "critical mass" wrong - but not the underlying idea. That now looks prescient, although, of course, I was far from the only one seeing it.