Magazine September 21, 2020, Issue

Demonstration Nation

Flames engulf an American flag, Kenosha, Wis., August 24, 2020. (Stephen Maturen/Reuters)

‘Death to America”: the standard Iranian rally cry. We were always told they didn’t mean it literally. It was a ritual expression of geopolitical and cultural conflict. What they probably meant was “Steady, incremental decline to America, which, combined with an atrophied economy and manufacturing base, will, over time, lead to a reduced ability to project power in the Middle East.” But you can’t chant that! You’d get winded after a while. So they settled on “Death to America” as a shorthand. They didn’t really mean it.

Death to Israel, though, abso-rootin’-tootin’-lutely.

Well. The other night a large group of masked miscreants, …

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