Demonstrators in Iran today continue to demand a recount of what they charge was a fixed vote that handed Iran’s election to Ahmadinejad. The mullahs have begun drastically restricting press coverage, but citizen journalists in Iran are doing their best to communicate with the outside world, mostly via Twitter.
It is inspiring to see so many pro-democracy demonstrators in Iran. In general, the people of Iran–many of whom are of proud Persian ancestry and culture–are among the most pro-American populations in the middle east. That is one of the many reasons that, contrary to ill informed slander, patriotic Americas who also support Israel would ardently prefer to see the West avoid a war with Iran if possible.
It is intriguing to speculate what the coming days will bring in terms of protest. Brave individuals who stand up for true democracy, human–including women’s and minorities’– rights, religious pluralism, and freedom from tyranny should know Americans are behind them 100 percent.
While it seems unlikely that a full-scale revolution will occur, and perhaps wise to keep in mind that the last time a revolution occurred in Iran it was no picnic (1979 Khomenist revolution apparently started as a pro-democracy movement, and was hijacked by extremists), it is also true that the West seems to be at a complete impasse in dealing with a regime in Iran that is utterly fanatical, has stated its genocidal intentions, and is committed to attaining nuclear capability. In other words, now is perhaps not the time for cynicism but to actively support any allies we have in that region in bringing down the mullahs.
The mad mullahs in charge in Iran are clamping down on media, so it’s hard to know exactly what is going on there. Interestingly, though, citizen journalists and bloggers among the demonstrators are doing their best to communicate with the free world. You can listen to an interesting, glamorous dissident voice here and Philip Klein at the American Spectator has posted this video of a huge crowd of demonstrators shouting, “Down With Dictator!”
In a superb article one of my favorite columnist, Brett Stephens, points out that Obama would much rather see “regime change” come to democratic Israel than to Theocratic Iran and, hence, can be expected to treat Netanyahu much more harshly than Ahmadinejad. Of course, nothing else can be expected from the man whose most beloved mentor is Jeremiah Wright. Unfortunately, Stephens goes on:
Yesterday’s interview with Joe Biden has led me to believe that David Gregory may just emerge as a worthy successor to Tim Russert. Here is his exchange on Israel. Do remember Joe Biden went to Israel and personally vouched for Barack Obama’s commitment to the Jewish state. Obama personally followed him and 72% of the Jews believed them and voted for Obama. Since then Obama visited the Middle East twice carefully avoiding Israel. Gregory’s questions also explains the reasons Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, admits that Jews are concerned:
Did the world finally get wind of its Nazi identity? Or of its glorification of war criminals? Perhaps word got out about the daily assassinations there? Or did U.S. media finally learn how deadly it is to be a female tourist in Croatia?
Here is why: In a well-orchestrated process which unfolds the ruling Mullahs’ scrutiny, four candidates have been selected by the Guardian Council — the supreme Islamist politbureau which sanctions all critical decisions in the country — to run for this election: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mohsen Rezai, and Mehdi Karoubi. The first is the current president, a previous member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC). The second was Iran’s prime minister during the war years of the 1980’s, under Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the leader who advocated the nuclear weapons program. The third is a former chief of the Pasdaran, wanted by the Interpol for alleged involvement in the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in Argentina. The fourth, a former speaker of the Parliament, was one of Khomeini’s activists who supported the fatwa to execute British novelist Salman Rushdie.
“Are you comfortably sitting? Then I’ll begin,” said British broadcaster Julia Lang, introducing a story. The story of baseball’s Artful Dodger shows why Winston Churchill termed English “bullets that become ammunition.” Since mid-century, Vin Scully has used words to scale a hill of syntax and vocabulary, a peak of place and mood.
Consider: ”U.S. analysts find it “not credible” that challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi would have lost the balloting in his hometown or that a third candidate, Mehdi Karoubi, would have received less than 1 percent of the total vote, a senior U.S. officials told FOX News.” American “experts” on Iran are shocked, shocked, shocked Karim Sadjapour, analyst at carnegie endowment for international peace:
There is no reason for the Democrats to allow themselves to be painted again as the party that is weak on defense, an image that will haunt them when the next terrorist attack hits. Nor is there a reason that security and the protection of rights cannot be squared. One should not take lightly the marker that Cheney put down, just because so many good people hold him in very low regard. Republicans, and many other voters and our allies overseas, will ask “Did the Democrats neglect security?” when we are attacked again.
Last week, President Obama visited the Middle East and issued an appeal to the Muslim world to moderate its fanatical elements and marginalize terrorist syndicates like al Qaeda. He also asked the Congress for billions of dollars more for Pakistan to help fight al Qaeda and the Taliban there.
Roula Khalaf of the Financial Times reports: ”Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has often backed Mr Ahmadi-Nejad’s approach, has taken notice. Last week he responded to the criticism by insisting the “honour of the nation” was “reflected in the world”.“I do not accept the sayings of those who imagine that our nation has become belittled in the world be-cause of its commitment to its principles,” he said. “This path will continue until final victory.”
An article in the June issue of Le Monde Diplomatique detailing Iran’s economic woes leads me to question whether the excitement surrounding the upcoming Iranian elections is not a rouse. Will the Mullahs follow in Mao’s footsteps and use this “let a thousand flowers bloom” as way to identify their enemies and, eventually, destroy them? A continued rise in the price of oil brought about at least in part by the collapse of the dollar would certainly enable them to do so.