To understate, the recent diplomatic victory of Western negotiators does not inspire confidence. To a moderate mind, the sedition of ideologues is astonishing. Partisanship beclouds the straightforward threat of an emboldened totalitarian regime such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, though there is nothing tenebrous about its track record or future intentions.Having truck with genocidal fanatics legitimates their lifeway, making it a tactical mistake from the outset. Iran under its turbaned ayatollahs, and with its satraps in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen, walks a head taller as a result of the West's stooping to accommodate Persian impertinence. Western Civilization's capitulation merely confirms for Iran the shallowness of its foes.What is true for individuals is true for nations: the more private restraint, the less public constraint. The world has not been censuring the Iranian theocracy because it plays nicely with others, and should not reward them with engagement or dealings until a regime change transpires. Ideologues ignore such common sense because it conflicts with cherished beliefs guarding against contradiction.This is how we got here. The stronger party surrendered because beliefs have unseated facts, and ideology has usurped objective truth.To ideologues, unrelenting malice is incomprehensible. An ideologue does not take threatening entities at their word. The tyrants or terrorists have to be understood and put into context. But this act absolves evil-doers of the consequences of their choices, and turns them from predatory villains into provoked victims lashing out.Nor can any reasonable reassessment be expected. Ideologues rarely roam the pastures of experience or wander through the labyrinth of reflection. Why stray from the perquisites of one's impervious comfort zone?Western Civilization's prevalent ideologies - radical liberalism, moral relativism, political correctness - have engendered acedia and atrophy, and these corrosive agents attenuate it from within while facilitating its destruction from without. Encroaching brutes need only administer the coup de grâce to assume their triumphant stance upon civilization's smoldering embers.Thus, while the ayatollahs and Revolutionary Guards work overtime to welcome the Mahdi amid mushroom clouds, we the people are left to puzzle at the treason of delusional politicians, diplomats, academics, and intellectuals who paved the way for WMDs to be handled by diabolical hands.Ideologues - too far-gone to be reached by sober second thoughts, too insulated by echo chambers and groupthink - evidence the voguish string/membrane theory of the multiverse: perhaps there really are parallel dimensions of time and space, more closely interconnected than we realize. When beliefs contravene facts, everyone loses.