When will they ever learn?
Though the recently departed Mary Travers didn't mean it this way, the song still applies.
Consider the current hoopla about Persia's nuclear ambitions. We're doing exactly the same thing to Persia that we did to Germany in the '20s, though the circumstances are different in many ways.
By imposing unpayable reparations and demands on Germany, we made it possible for Hitler to cultivate the sense of persecution and the need for revenge.
Now we have a Hitler-like personality at the head of Persia. He's not an absolute dictator; just as in Hitler's early years, the government still has a parallel line of parliamentary power. But our continued push will make it possible for him to take absolute power.
Our Wilsonian maternal arrogance is infuriating. "Now, now, little foreign children. You don't really mean that, do you? Mama America knows what's best for you. You need to adopt feminism, consumerism, feminism, secularism, feminism, debt, feminism, outsourcing, feminism, and Free And Fair Elections Supervised By Jimmy Carter."
Well now, in the first place this "American Dream" has been a suicidal nightmare for America, so realistic foreigners are fully justified in rejecting it. In the second place, those quaint little foreigners happen to have their own cultures that have worked comfortably for thousands of years.
We need to stop acting like Mamas and start acting like Papas. Let Persia alone. Remove the sanctions and limitations. Stop the lectures. Use our bases in Iraq to mount a massive non-nuclear retaliatory force. Tell Ahmadinejad that he's free to behave like any other country: develop whatever weapons he wants, treat his own people in any way he wants. But any sign of a weapon actually leaving the boundaries of Persia (except in obvious self-defense) will lead to instant and total annihilation of Tehran.