After reading Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline, I've been taken with the idea of causality with long lags. The question is whether you can see the relationship between cause and effect in prospect. Note that this is hard enough in retrospect and because of the lags many people miss the root cause of things. So, stirred by the recent events in Iran, as so many others have been, I'm going to take it as an affirmation of a prediction made by Stanley Fish last September - George Bush: The Comeback Kid.
I should note that I'm neither a fan of Bush nor of Fish. I voted for Bush neither in 2000 nor in 2004 and I've stopped reading Fish's blog, because most of the columns I found frustrating, too much argument for arguments sake. But this particular prediction resonates with me just now, so I want to give it its due.
The reasons seem to be clear enough. First, if you look at the heroes in Iran, one of them surely is the new social networking technology, notably Facebook and Twitter. When did those come to the fore? Under W., that's when. Second, look at what the war in Iraq did for the mindset in the rest of the region. It showed an alternative to the status quo is possible. The elections in Lebanon are a prime example. The war in Iraq may have done many other bad things, and certainly it was started under false pretenses, but it did plant this notion of an alternative to the status quo. Those are biggies. The rest is just connecting the dots.
If the Moussavi followers do indeed prevail, seemingly against all odds but now apparently a distinct possibility since the protests continue unabated, Bush's redemption will be secure. Amazing.