Since the beginning of his presidency, Barack Obama has expressed his wish for Iran to join the community of nations. Taken in the abstract, this is not objectionable. If Iran changes its behavior, Western countries should try to meet it half way, so the theory goes. But when understood in the particular, it is dangerous statecraft. Consider the recent fate of Mehdi Khosravi, an Iranian opposition figure who received refugee status in 2009 from the U.K. On Saturday, Khosravi was arrested by Italian police in Lecco at the request of a court in Tehran.
Without a strong army, the Turkish republic would not exist. At the end of the First World War, the victorious allies were planning to carve up the territory among themselves, with Russia taking the east and Istanbul, and the French and the Italians taking the south, leaving only a rump Turkish state. These plans were scotched by an officer named Mustafa Kemal who, in 1919, patched together an army and drove the colonial powers away. He is known to history as Ataturk, the founder of the republic.