The irrational faith in reason of the liberal intellectual

One of that deal’s most enthusiastic political architects told me that reports of the Iranian regime’s repression of its people were baloney because he’d seen no sign of it on a recent visit to Tehran, where he’d been impressed by the politeness of the Iranian police. When I pointed out that in Iran dissidents were jailed, women violently oppressed and gay people hung from cranes, he simply waved all this away. When I observed that the regime was run by genocidal fanatics, he told me sternly that they were in fact highly rational individuals as evidenced by the way they negotiated. The idea that unhinged fanatics can also exercise strategic cunning was simply not on his radar.