Monday, June 29, 2009

Hiring a leader

Charles Krauthammer gets it right on:
    "As Mousavi hovers between Gorbachev and Yeltsin, between reformer and revolutionary, between figurehead and leader, the revolution hangs in the balance. The regime may neutralize him by arrest or even murder. It may buy him off with offers of safety and a sinecure. He may well prefer to let this cup pass from his lips. But choose he must, and choose quickly. This is his moment, and it is fading rapidly. Unless Mousavi rises to it, or another rises in his place, Iran's democratic uprising will end not as Russia 1991, but as China 1989."
And today I heard his spokesman in Europe, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, asking Mousavi on behalf of millions of Iranians to lead people in doing what they should be doing these days: CHANGE, RESISTANCE, MASS STRIKES...etc But I guess Mousavi does not want or can not cross the line. Time will tell but the fading democracy movement in Iran is now hiring a capable leader. Any one?

Updated: As I was going to bed, I received some messages from a friend in Tehran asking me to mention these four points. 1- The SMS service is still shut off and internet access is not available in most parts. 2- Uniformed police presence in Tehran has been less visible these days but plain clothed agents and Basijis keep a close eye on every one. 3- Basijis run check points every night at major intersections or streets of Tehran. 4- People still chant anti-regime slogans on their rooftops every night.


Anonymous said...

The current civil uprising in Iran reflects not just a protest against a rigged election. Nor is it primarily a symptom of contentions for power or clashes between opposing perspectives on the nature of the Islamic regime. It is, rather, resistance against a political coup, whose engineers plan to impose a Taliban-style Islamic government on Iran. The coup has been organized by an alliance between the supreme leader and the most militant and fundamentalist faction within the ruling establishment, backed by the Revolutionary Guard.

The political attitudes of one of its most notorious ideologues, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, demonstrates the danger Iranians and the world would be facing should this militant faction get its way. Mesbah Yazdi does not believe in the republican aspects of the Islamic regime, but rather views Islamic law as supreme and must be unquestionably followed. The supreme leader, he says, is not elected but rather discovered by the clerics. For him, Ayatollah Khamenei is the exemplar of such a leader. He has characterized the ideas of representative government and legislative functions as belong to the decadent system of Western liberalism. He has likened reformist ideas to the AIDS virus. He has publically endorsed the construction of a nuclear bomb.

These ideas have much appeal for Ahmadinejad, who claims that the past governments were corrupt and deviated from the Islamic path. Some of the former leaders, people like Rafsanjani and Natiq Nouri, have abandoned the ideals of the revolution. Ahmadinejad argues that for the sake of Islam, such individuals must be sacrificed and the society must be restored to the principles of the Islamic revolution. Under his presidency, be claims, this restoration has been launched, ushering a new beginning for a truly Islamic state in Iran.

Ahmadinejad’s deeds are Islamic extremism in action. He has already restricted the freedom of Iranian citizens, expanded men’s authority over women, increased political persecution, undermined the rights of religious and ethnic minorities, and supported terrorism and political adventurism abroad. He has also recruited members of the Revolutionary Guard to fill key governmental positions and awarded them lucrative government-sponsored projects. These actions, and his administration’s economic mismanagement, promoted the formation of a broad coalition in Iran comprised of reformist politicians, conservative pragmatists, and ordinary citizens representing the majority of the Iranian public.

Realizing the growing strength of this coalition in the run up to the election, the Revolutionary Guard acted to stifle the movement and the ruling party awarded itself a landslide victory – an uncontestable mandate for four more years of growing religious extremism and global isolationism.

The outcome of the current civil uprising is certainly consequential for the development of democracy in Iran. It has also far reaching implications for regional stability, international peace efforts, and the security of the United States. At this point, the regime cannot secure its rule without unleashing a reign of terror. And if this coup succeeds, the regime will forge ahead with its expressed plans for nuclear development and support for religious extremism abroad.
It would be a mistake to think that people like Ahmadinejad are reasonable. It is counter productive to base policy on the untenable premise that he would be amenable to a cost-benefit analysis on the nuclear issue. Time and again he has announced that the nuclear issue is off the table. To believe or hope otherwise would be a profound and resonant error.

The option that is left for the United States is either to effectively support Mousavi’s camp today or risk a military confrontation with Ahmadinejad tomorrow.

Mansoor Moaddel, Professor of Sociology, Eastern Michigan University
Research Affiliate, Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan

Anonymous said...

Michael Jackson's death has wiped any news of Iran off the US news media. Yet the importance of Iran far exceeds Jackson. The news media / US news tastes have no worldwide, importance ranked perspective.

FearlessDream said...

@Anonymous, I agree with you. As Spencer Ackerman put it: "I think we can agree that the Iranian regime benefits from the media rush to memorialize, explore, and reflect upon Michael Jackson and his legacy [....] anything that takes Twitter bandwidth away from [the Iran election] is bad for the opposition, and anything that distracts the cable networks from showing images of the crackdown is similarly bad [.... leaving] more room [for the regime] to violently suppress its opposition during a critical phase."

And another Op-Ed article written by Tim Rutten, who gives a pretty good analysis regarding this travesty of the American media, states, "America's serious news media -- whether print, broadcast or cable -- are in the grip of a collective nervous breakdown," which appears to be remedied by the addictive narcotic drug, Pop Culture Americana.

This senseless decline in American values within the media is apalling and embarrassing at best.

PĂ©ricles Carvalho said...

well, I'm brazilian, and I'm seeing all the injuries against iranian people.

but in our time, with the power of the internet, people like you can show to all the world what is really happening with the people in this part of the world!

I cried seeing Neda, and know, I'm praying and wait for a solution. we cannot accept dictators, we need freedom!

peace for us! peace in all the world!