Fareed Zakaria (whose Future of Freedom is a must read) has this to say about the possibility of revolution in Iran:

It's possible but unlikely. While the regime's legitimacy has cracked -- a fatal wound in the long run -- for now it will probably be able to use its guns and money to consolidate power.

I don't know why anyone thinks they need money. Regimes from Cuba to Burma to Cambodia to North Korea stay comfortably esconced with only the power that flows from the cracked barrel of a rusty gun, proving again what can be observed since the dawn of human history: leaders need neither legitimacy nor coin to quell internal uprisings, they need only force of arms and the will to use them.

Soon after the revolution, Iraq attacked Iran, and the mullahs again wrapped themselves in the flag. The United States supported Iraq in that war, ignoring Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons against Iranians -- something Iranians have never forgotten.

You know what's odd? Every time I hear this assertion, propagated by the mullah tyrants and treated as gospel by American leftists, that Iranians are holding a grudge over American "support" for the Hussein regime during the Iran-Iraq war -- which support amounted to a handshake and a smile, during a period when Iraq was the world's largest importer of arms -- I never hear any mention of the possibility they might be grateful we spent much more time and effort containing and ultimately removing Saddam. Shouldn't this net out to a giant positive in their attitude toward the U.S.?

And wouldn't it make more sense for them to resent the French, Germans, and Russians who were arming Iraq (at considerable profit) and who opposed Saddam's removal?

The situation under Saddam is a bigger deal than many people realize. For decades, Iranians were cut off from Najaf. Since Saddam's fall, millions of them visit Iraq on holy pilgrimage every year -- where they now see real democracy, which is probably a large part of why they're now taking to the streets and demanding their own.

But while we'd all like to see the mullahs overthrown and a liberal democracy in Persia, the truth is there's very little chance of that happening as long as the regime believes it has the moral right to brutally suppress dissent -- and with the current U.S. administration's avowed strategy of enabling and apologizing, there's little chance of that changing.

posted by Dave on 06.30.09 at 11:15 PM


The only move that could wind up changing the regime is a national strike. I don't think the unions are up for that.
I don't say that accusing them of being cowards. It's an almost impossible situation for them to be in. If, on the other hand, everyone was armed....

Elroy Jetson   ·  July 1, 2009 1:13 AM

We supported Iraq? Wasn't Ronnie Rayg.... errr.... Ollie Nor...errrr.. somebody, I forget who, selling weapons to the Iranians?
Or is our help to Iran contra the truth anymore?

Veeshir   ·  July 1, 2009 9:52 AM

Conventional wisdom seems to hold that the French, Germans and Russians were sending Saddam humanitarian aid, while we (unspeakable horrors that we are) were sending him nail bombs, poison gases, the addresses of the hiding places of all of the Iranian mullahs, oil-tankers full of small arms, oodles of big arms, and math teachers.

And if you try to point out the disparity about the weapons we didn't send, you just get laughed at.

bobby b   ·  July 1, 2009 1:44 PM

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