June 19, 2009
Then, after treating this popular revolution as an inconvenience to the real business of Obama-Khamenei negotiations, the president speaks favorably of "some initial reaction from the Supreme Leader that indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns about the election."
Where to begin? "Supreme Leader"? Note the abject solicitousness with which the American president confers this honorific on a clerical dictator who, even as his minions attack demonstrators, offers to examine some returns in some electoral districts -- a farcical fix that will do nothing to alter the fraudulence of the election.
Moreover, this incipient revolution is no longer about the election. Obama totally misses the point. The election allowed the political space and provided the spark for the eruption of anti-regime fervor that has been simmering for years and awaiting its moment. But people aren't dying in the street because they want a recount of hanging chads in suburban Isfahan. They want to bring down the tyrannical, misogynist, corrupt theocracy that has imposed itself with the very baton-wielding goons that today attack the demonstrators.
This started out about election fraud. But like all revolutions, it has far outgrown its origins. What's at stake now is the very legitimacy of this regime -- and the future of the entire Middle East.
This revolution will end either as a Tiananmen (a hot Tiananmen with massive and bloody repression or a cold Tiananmen with a finer mix of brutality and co-optation) or as a true revolution that brings down the Islamic Republic.
Posted by: Amritas at June 20, 2009 09:25 PM (/IwHi)
"But for a few nettlesome differences (like equality for women and hostility to homosexuals), the Islamic political program — especially the totalitarian version regnant in the Islamic Republic of Iran — is something the American Left would be very comfortable with. Obama understands this, and I think it is a better explanation for his solicitude toward Khamenei than any hope of reversing Iran's nuclear ambitions."
I'd like to see him expand on that point, as it's too easy to associate our enemies (the Iranian regime) with whatever angers us (Obama) even if there is no real connection.
Posted by: Amritas at June 20, 2009 09:56 PM (/IwHi)
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