Has the Iranian regime lost its legitimacy with the people?

posted at 12:14 pm on June 17, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Amir Taheri writes that a turning point has been reached with the Iranian crisis, one that has large implications for the Guardian Council and its Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.  With his declaration that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory was “divine” and a “historic victory from Islam,” Khamenei’s status gave that more than just a political endorsement, Taheri explains, and his reversal undermines his claim to power:

On Saturday, Khamenei declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election to be “an historic triumph for Islam” and invited Iranians to celebrate. Just 48 hours later, the same Khamenei was promising a recount and “other measures” to correct “errors that might have occurred” in the election. …

In the Khomeinist system, Khamenei is supposed to represent divine power on earth, via the “Hidden Imam.” He is supposed to be the leader of all the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims, with the power to suspend the rules of Islam itself, if and when he so wishes.

His word is supposed to be final on all matters; when he speaks, Allah has spoken. Now he looks like just another politician engaged in a bitter power struggle for the control of the country. …

However the current struggle turns out, the regime has lost a good part of its legitimacy. It is also made clear that peaceful evolution within the regime is not possible. This makes the “regime change” option attractive for the first time since the mid-1990s.

The practical implications of the presumed infallibility of Khamenei are obvious.  He cannot abide a change in the election result that negates his previous statements about the divine nature of Ahmadinejad’s re-election.  The holy imprimatur would reveal him to be a fraud, or more to the point, the fraud of a divinely-appointed Supreme Leader with absolute power.  That undermines the entire basis of the Guardian Council and Khamenei’s office, and would indeed be revolutionary.  For if the Supreme Leader doesn’t get his direction from God, then why should people abide his dictatorship?

That makes it difficult to throw Ahmadinejad under the bus, no matter how tough the protests get.  Khamenei has painted himself into a corner, and his only option is to force Ahmadinejad onto Iranians for another term.  However, that undermines his credibility in another way.  Would God have told Khamenei to hold an election, just to throw it?

Taheri points out that the Revolutionary Guard has reason to be angry as well.  One of the men who lost the election was their former commander of 16 years, Mohsen Rezai Mir-Qaed, who wound up far behind in the polling.  If the election was legitimate, the Revolutionary Guard might be unhappy with the results but wouldn’t have a reason to complain about Khamenei and the Guardian Council.  If the election was rigged, as it obviously was, the main strut for the Guardian Council’s power will ask why Khamenei favored Ahmadinejad over their former general, and that could easily produce disaffection between the regime and its armed guards.

At the very least, the bumbling of Khamenei has destroyed the presumption of infallibility and divine imprimatur.  That is a healthy step in the right direction.


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Has the Iranian regime version of Islam lost its legitimacy with the people?

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 12:18 PM

as Obambi waits to see who will come out on top…….

ctmom on June 17, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Would it be too unsubtle to begin referring to President Obama’s czars as mullahs?

jeff_from_mpls on June 17, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Yes.
Now only if the Americans would wake up to this Obamanation.

bridgetown on June 17, 2009 at 12:20 PM

This is existential, really. No surprise it’s above Obama’s paygrade.

Mr. D on June 17, 2009 at 12:21 PM

A few interesting facts to consider:

The Jews and the Arabs

The Global Islamic population is approximately
(1,200,000,000) ONE-BILLION TWO-HUNDRED MILLION
or 20% of the world’s population.

They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

Literature:
1988 – Najib Mahfoo

Peace:
1978 – Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1994 – Yaser Arafat:
1990 – Elias James Corey
1999 – Ahmed Zewai

Economics: (zero)

Physics: (zero)

Medicine:
1960 – Peter Brian Medawar
1998 – Ferid Mourad

TOTAL: 7 SEVEN

____________________________________________________________________________

The Global Jewish population is approximately
(14,000,000) — Only FOURTEEN MILLION
Or about 0.02% of the world’s population.

They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

Literature:
1910 – Paul Heyse
1927 – Henri Bergson
1958 – Boris Pa sternak
1966 – Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 – Nelly Sachs
1976 – Saul Bellow
1978 – Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 – Elias Canetti
1987 – Joseph Brodsky
1991 – Nadine Gordimer World

Peace:
1911 – Alfred Fried
1911 – Tobias Michael Carel Asser
1968 – Rene Cassin
1973 – Henry Kissinger
1978 – Menachem Begin
1986 – Elie Wiesel
1994 – Shimon Peres
1994 – Yitzhak Rabin

Physics:
1905 – Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 – Henri Moissan
1907 – Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 – Gabriel Lippmann
1910 – Otto Wallach
1915 – Richard Willstaetter
1918 – Fritz Haber
1921 – Albert Einstein
1922 – Niels Bohr
1925 – James Franck
1925 – Gustav Hertz
1943 – Gustav Stern
1943 – George Charles de Hevesy
1944 – Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 – Felix Bloch
1954 – Max Born
1958 – Igor Tamm
1959 – Emilio Segre
1960 – Donald A. Glaser
1961 – Robert Hofstadter
1961 – Melvin Calvin
1962 – Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 – Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 – Richard Phil lips Feynman
1965 – Julian Schwinger
1969 – Murray Gell-Mann
1971 – Dennis Gabor
1972 – William Howard Stein
1973 – Brian David Joseph son
1975 – Benjamin Mottleson
1976 – Burton Richter
1977 – Ilya=2 0Prigogine
1978 – Arno Allan Penzias
1978 – Peter L Kapitza
1979 – Stephen Weinberg
1979 – Sheldon Glashow
1979 – Herbert Charles Brown
1980 – Paul Berg
1980 – Walter Gilbert
1981 – Roald Hoffmann
1982 – Aaron Klug
1985 – Albert A. Hauptman
1985 – Jerome Karle
1986 – Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 – Robert Huber
1988 – Leon Lederman
1988 – Melvin Schwartz
1988 – Jack Steinberger
1989 – Sidney Altman
1990 – Jerome Friedman
1992 – Rudolph Marcus
1995 – Martin Perl
2000 – Alan J. Heeger

Economics:
1970 – Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 – Simon Kuznets
1972 – Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1975 – Leonid Kantorovich
1976 – Mil ton Friedman
1978 – Herbert A. Simon
1980 – Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 – Franco Modigliani
1987 – Robert M. Solow
1990 – Harry Markowitz
1990 – Merton Miller
1992 – Gary Becker
1993 – Robert Fogel

Medicine:
1908 – Elie Metchnikoff
1908 – Paul Erlich
1914 – Robert Barany
1922 – Otto Meyerhof
1930 – Karl Landsteiner
1931 – Otto Warburg
1936 – Otto Loewi
1944 – Joseph Erlanger
1944 – Herb ert Spencer Gasser
1945 – Ernst Boris Chain
1946 – Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 – Tadeus Reichstein
1952 – Selman Abra ham Waksman
1953 – Hans Krebs
1953 – Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 – Joshua Lederberg
1959 – Arthur Kornberg
1964 – Konrad Bloch
1965 – Francois Jacob
1965 – Andre Lwoff
1967 – George Wald
1968 – Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 – Salvador Luria
1970 – Julius Axelrod
1970 – Sir Bernard Katz
1972 – Gerald Maurice Ed elman
1975 – Howard Martin Temin
1976 – Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 – Roselyn Sussman Yalow
1978 – Daniel Nathans
1980 – Baruj Benacerraf
1984 – Cesar Milstein
1985 – Michael Stuart Brown
1985 – Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 – Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 – Gertrude Elion
1989 – Harold Varmus
1991 – Erwin Neher
1991 – Bert Sakmann
1993 – Richard J. Roberts
1993 – Phillip Sharp
1994 – Alfred Gilman
1995 – Edward B. Lewis

TOTAL: 129 ONE HUNDRED TWENTY NINE!

The Jews are NOT promoting brain washing children in military training camps, teaching them how to blow themselves up and cause maximum deaths of Jews and other non Muslims!

The Jews don’t hijack planes, nor kill athletes at the Olympics, or blow themselves up in German restaurants. There is NOT one single Jew that has destroyed a church. There is NOT a single Jew that protests by killing people.

The Jews don’t traffic slaves, nor have leaders calling for Jihad and death to all the Infidels.

Perhaps the world’s Muslims should consider investing more in standard education and less in blaming the Jews for all their problems.

Muslims must ask ‘what can they do for humankind’ before they demand that humankind respects them.

‘If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel ‘
-Benjamin Netanyahu

Keemo on June 17, 2009 at 12:23 PM

What if the only way to quell this uprising without violence is to make Mossavi the President? I know everyone keeps saying this can’t happen, but the people have spoken with a loud voice, and I’m not sure there is another way to quell this without it becoming a Tienanmen square.

And with Obama watching, I don’t think they want to do that.

therightscoop on June 17, 2009 at 12:23 PM

The Iranian movement has adopted the GW Bush pro democracy stance. Iraq is the model for islamic democracy.

Bush was right all along.

portlandon on June 17, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Keemo on June 17, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Bravo, well done, great information…. I’d like to copy all that into an email and send it…. hope that’s OK…

HomeoftheBrave on June 17, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Obambi has already decided on what to give out as a present this year at Christmas. It’s a book entitled “How To Be Vague And Not Take A Position”, by B.H.O.

(Forward – On the importance of the media declaring you ‘wise’ for waiting, by Chris Matthews.)

Thunderstorm129 on June 17, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Irony if the mullaocrazy collapses before they eyes of an unwilling Obama.

the_nile on June 17, 2009 at 12:30 PM

At the very least, the bumbling of Khamenei has destroyed the presumption of infallibility and divine imprimatur. That is a healthy step in the right direction
By declaring the protesters as heretics, Khameni can execute the protesters and walk away with his omnipotence intact.

fourdeucer on June 17, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Who knew that blindly following a self-appointed spiritual leader could be so disastrous. One billion people and no one has the ability to think for themselves?

Bishop on June 17, 2009 at 12:31 PM

He [Khameini] cannot abide a change in the election result that negates his previous statements about the divine nature of Ahmadinejad’s re-election.

I don’t see how you reach this conclusion. You are basing this on the idea that Iran and its population are sensible, rational people, but they are not. If they were, the mullahs never would have been in power in the first place.

The holy imprimatur would reveal him to be a fraud, or more to the point, the fraud of a divinely-appointed Supreme Leader with absolute power.

Meh. You could say the same thing about B Hussein Obama and the stupidity that he exhibits every single day, but we still have a huge number of Americans who think he has a brain.

That undermines the entire basis of the Guardian Council and Khamenei’s office, and would indeed be revolutionary.

“basis”? LOL.

Sorry, Ed, but I find your analysis wanting. History is replete with examples that run counter to your claims, with Iran having served for more than a few examples all on their own. I would have liked to have seen what you wrote about the death of the mullahcracy as they sent unarmed waves of 14 year olds to go die fighting Iraq.

Don’t assume rationality, especially for people who have exhibited a love of irrationality for so long.

progressoverpeace on June 17, 2009 at 12:32 PM

If the mullahs make Mousavi president, the first thing that will happen is BO will fly into Tehran and give some speech in order to take credit. The protestors will rejoice. Our media will rejoice. Then for the next four, five years we won’t be doing a goddamn thing to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

year_of_the_dingo on June 17, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Obambi has already decided on what to give out as a present this year at Christmas. It’s a book entitled “How To Be Vague And Not Take A Position AND THEN TAKE ALL THE CREDIT FOR IT WHEN IT IS ALL OVER”, by B.H.O.

(Forward – On the importance of the media declaring you ‘wise’ for waiting, by Chris Matthews.)

Thunderstorm129 on June 17, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Added my two cents.

ctmom on June 17, 2009 at 12:33 PM

The practical implications of the presumed infallibility of Khamenei are obvious. He cannot abide a change in the election result that negates his previous statements about the divine nature of Ahmadinejad’s re-election. The holy imprimatur would reveal him to be a fraud, or more to the point, the fraud of a divinely-appointed Supreme Leader with absolute power.

Of course Khamenei was divinely inspired. Like for Mohammed before him, God changed His mind.

Khamenei and Ahmadinejad maybe didn’t realize they were sitting on a powder keg, and they just struck a match.

Steve Z on June 17, 2009 at 12:33 PM

You say Khameni and I say Khomeni.

Let’s call the whole thing off.

profitsbeard on June 17, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Screw Allah, they want ipods!

marklmail on June 17, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Has the Iranian regime lost its legitimacy with the people?

Yes.

Not only that, there is an organized alternative to the regime.

No time has been better to encourage reform and liberalization in Iran. The prospect is very real. Our president should be speaking up — now.

J.E. Dyer on June 17, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Keemo on June 17, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Zionist conspiracy…

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 12:34 PM

If only the North Koreans had similiar technology!

bridgetown on June 17, 2009 at 12:34 PM

At the very least, the bumbling of Khamenei has destroyed the presumption of infallibility and divine imprimatur. That is a healthy step in the right direction
By declaring the protesters as heretics, Khameni can execute the protesters and walk away with his omnipotence intact.

fourdeucer on June 17, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Which would mean killing millions of people, which some might consider ethnic cleansing or genocide.

Thunderstorm129 on June 17, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Muslims must ask ‘what can they do for humankind’ before they demand that humankind respects them.

Oh, exactly! EXACTLY.

Not the staus quo “What can we do to get mankind to kneel to us?”

tree hugging sister on June 17, 2009 at 12:35 PM

You can fool some of the people allah the time, allah the people some of the time, but you can fool allah the people allah the time, but then you can kill enough of the people that allah the rest sit down and shut up.

CMonster on June 17, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Screw Allah, they want ipods!

marklmail on June 17, 2009 at 12:33 PM

AP knows I have an iPhone 3G…and the 3.0 software is coming out today. Praise Allah!

Geministorm on June 17, 2009 at 12:36 PM

At the very least, the bumbling of Khamenei has destroyed the presumption of infallibility and divine imprimatur. That is a healthy step in the right direction
By declaring the protesters as heretics, Khameni can execute the protesters and walk away with his omnipotence intact.

fourdeucer on June 17, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Khamenei can’t personally execute the protesters. He can order them executed, but if the Army is split, and some of them side with the protesters, the result would be anarchy and revolution.

Steve Z on June 17, 2009 at 12:37 PM

A few interesting facts to consider:

The Jews and the Arabs

3% of Iran’s population are Arabs. What’s your point?

YYZ on June 17, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Obambi has already decided on what to give out as a present this year at Christmas. It’s a book entitled “How To Be Vague And Not Take A Position AND THEN TAKE ALL THE CREDIT FOR IT WHEN IT IS ALL OVER”, by B.H.O.

(Forward – On the importance of the media declaring you ‘wise’ for waiting, by Chris Matthews.)

Thunderstorm129 on June 17, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Added my two cents.

ctmom on June 17, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Yes, yes…much better.

Thunderstorm129 on June 17, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Obama is busy learning how to say “Present” in Farsi.

The nearest I can find is “Man gom shodam“, which means I’m lost.

profitsbeard on June 17, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Obama will ride in naked on his magic unicorn and bring hope and change to Iran when the time is right.

I guessing Harry Belafonte will be his minister of peace, to be left behind and Obaminate the Iranians?

Hening on June 17, 2009 at 12:38 PM

As I said the other day, divine dudes don’t blink.

JiangxiDad on June 17, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Obama is busy learning how to say “Present” in Farsi.

The nearest I can find is “Man gom shodam“, which means I’m lost.

profitsbeard on June 17, 2009 at 12:38 PM

What’s Farsi for:

“I present you with rainbow skittles from my butt. Problem solved.”

Thunderstorm129 on June 17, 2009 at 12:40 PM

3% of Iran’s population are Arabs. What’s your point?

YYZ on June 17, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Well, I think he was trying to be generous… How many Persians… Heck how many Iranians have gotten the prize? I can think of one.

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Taheri’s logic would seem to be unassailable, but I think that in the Rube Golbergesque paradigm that is Islam, Khameini will be able to make up any old loophole to get himself out of the corner he’s painted himself into. “Allah has lifted the veil he so judiciously put over my eyes in his (blessed be He) effort to expose the humility of the leader and provide the people with a greater understanding bla bla,…. puke…”

He is not unlike Obama in his ability to backtrack and cover his arse.

max1 on June 17, 2009 at 12:43 PM

3% of Iran’s population are Arabs. What’s your point?

YYZ on June 17, 2009 at 12:37 PM

About 50% of Iranians aren’t Persians I believe. The big minority is the Kurds–they can re-join their brethren in Iraq. The Iranian Arabs, concentrated in the oil-rich region along the Gulf, are also a restless minority. I think there are even Azeris in the far north. It’s not all that homogeneous a country.

JiangxiDad on June 17, 2009 at 12:44 PM

3% of Iran’s population are Arabs. What’s your point?

YYZ on June 17, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Well, I think he was trying to be generous… How many Persians… Heck how many Iranians have gotten the prize? I can think of one.

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Nope, nope… there were two “Iranians” if you count the brit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_country

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 12:44 PM

There was an article in my local paper that caught my attention. Erik Lacitis of The Seattle Times interviewed an Iranian American, Al Garman, who had taken part in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. What he said is very important and some astute blogger should pick up his admission and use it as a teaching moment.

He said he was part of those protests because he wanted democracy and for him, it had nothing to do with theocracy. In other words, he was young and he got caught up in the thrill of being part of something without understanding that the revolution would result in decades of rule by a dangerous theocracy that would destroy hope for Iran.

Whereas American youth have joined with the Iranians over the past few days (and that’s a good thing), they need to understand the lesson that Garman teaches. These same American youths joined the Obama campaign for the same reasons. It was cool to be part of something big. But America will pay dearly for what Obama is doing to this country.

Article:

Tweets keep coming despite outright ban

Connie on June 17, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Khamenei can’t personally execute the protesters. He can order them executed, but if the Army is split, and some of them side with the protesters, the result would be anarchy and revolution.

Steve Z on June 17, 2009 at 12:37 PM
If Obama would step up to the plate and just say he is in favor of free elections without the threat of reprisal the chance of large scale blood shed would be diminished.

fourdeucer on June 17, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Thunderstorm129 at 12:40 PM

I present you with rainbow skittles from my butt…”

LOL!

Maybe “Shoam mitooni ke komakam konid

(Literally: Can you help me?)

profitsbeard on June 17, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Keemo on June 17, 2009 at 12:23 PM

You just proved without a doubt that it is impossible to be polically correct and honest with yourself at the same time.

All cultures are NOT equal.

saiga on June 17, 2009 at 12:46 PM

The gov’t there lost legitimacy a long time ago. What’s happening now is that the people see an opening to press for a corrective move toward what they really want to see as their government. They aren’t going to get it, but they may inch closer than they were a month ago.

Democracy in the middle east has a speed limit, it’s something in the order of the speed a glacier moves as it grows southward.

Spiritk9 on June 17, 2009 at 12:48 PM

I blame Bush and Cheney

jp on June 17, 2009 at 12:50 PM

3% of Iran’s population are Arabs. What’s your point?

YYZ on June 17, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Well, I think he was trying to be generous… How many Persians… Heck how many Iranians have gotten the prize? I can think of one.

I just don’t see the relevance of that statistic here. The Iranian population, or what appears to be a sizable percentage of it, hate the regime and would much prefer a more Western-style democracy. We should be supporting these people, not dismissing with an irrelevant statistic.

When South African blacks were challenging Apartheid, were people faxing each other statistics about how few prizes black people had won?

YYZ on June 17, 2009 at 12:51 PM

3% of Iran’s population are Arabs. What’s your point?

YYZ on June 17, 2009 at 12:37 PM

98% are Muslim. I believe that was the point.

RedWinged Blackbird on June 17, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Keemo on June 17, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Interesting, and definitely indicates the incredible contributions of Jews to modern civilization.

However, if your intent is to compare Jews and Arabs you might note that Arab != Muslim.

DarkCurrent on June 17, 2009 at 12:52 PM

98% are Muslim. I believe that was the point.

RedWinged Blackbird on June 17, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Most of them have never used toilet paper, and thats a fact.

saiga on June 17, 2009 at 12:53 PM

In the Khomeinist system, Khamenei is supposed to represent divine power on earth, via the “Hidden Imam.” He is supposed to be the leader of all the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims, with the power to suspend the rules of Islam itself, if and when he so wishes.
His word is supposed to be final on all matters; when he speaks, Allah has spoken. Now he looks like just another politician engaged in a bitter power struggle for the control of the country. …

sounds familar – see Pope, one human standing between man and God, basically becoming a defacto dictator

jp on June 17, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Which would mean killing millions of people, which some might consider ethnic cleansing or genocide.

Thunderstorm129 on June 17, 2009 at 12:35 PM
And if they get a nuclear bomb and use it against the Jews in the name of Allah, what would some consider that?

fourdeucer on June 17, 2009 at 12:56 PM

The Iranian population, or what appears to be a sizable percentage of it, hate the regime and would much prefer a more Western-style democracy.

YYZ on June 17, 2009 at 12:51 PM

And you say this by way of what proof? Name one islamic society that has Western-style democracy. Just one.

progressoverpeace on June 17, 2009 at 12:58 PM

I just don’t see the relevance of that statistic here. The Iranian population, or what appears to be a sizable percentage of it, hate the regime and would much prefer a more Western-style democracy. We should be supporting these people, not dismissing with an irrelevant statistic.

When South African blacks were challenging Apartheid, were people faxing each other statistics about how few prizes black people had won?

YYZ on June 17, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Then come out and say it. Don’t cite your own little statistic to make you feel better. Further, unlike in Apartheid South Africa, the Persian population is not being discriminated against by the governing class. They’ve had how long to give back to society? The only “notable” thing they’ve given the world is the Mullahs.

I see this claim that they want a Western style democracy, yet what evidence is there for this? Even if they claim they do, I believe the French wanted a western style democracy… what did they give us? The French Revolution with spurts of terror. No, they’ll have to demonstrate that they want a liberalized society. In the meantime our leaders can encourage the people to liberalize and to respect individual liberties – that are currently non-existent.

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 12:59 PM

At the very least, the bumbling of Khamenei has destroyed the presumption of infallibility and divine imprimatur.

Who would’ve thought that a guy who is used to getting his way without any resistance whatsoever would royally screw the pooch when provided with an opportunity to implement a strategy? Or that his response to the backlash would be brutal and clumsy? As Kelly Bundy would say, the mind wobbles.

Tonus on June 17, 2009 at 1:00 PM

And you say this by way of what proof? Name one islamic society that has Western-style democracy. Just one.

progressoverpeace on June 17, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Two: Iraq and Afghanistan (kind of). Conicidentally both neighbors of Iran and host to US forces…

DarkCurrent on June 17, 2009 at 1:03 PM

You know you’re in trouble when you miss the Clinton years. Back then the idea of humanitarian intervention was still fashionable. While we should certainly think twice about any military involvement in the Middle East, merely raising the possibility might be enough to deter the mullahs from crushing the protestors with tanks.

year_of_the_dingo on June 17, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Which would mean killing millions of people, which some might consider ethnic cleansing or genocide.

Thunderstorm129 on June 17, 2009 at 12:35 PM
And if they get a nuclear bomb and use it against the Jews in the name of Allah, what would some consider that?

fourdeucer on June 17, 2009 at 12:56 PM

I was pointing out that it would be a legitimate opening to take action against Iran – something the entire UN might (might being the key word) go along with as opposed to Israel doing what others won’t. Your argument is one country vs another. My point was one country’s leaders vs it’s own people.

Thunderstorm129 on June 17, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Would it be too unsubtle to begin referring to President Obama’s czars as mullahs?

jeff_from_mpls on June 17, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Perfect

Jeff from WI on June 17, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Turkey.

either orr on June 17, 2009 at 1:07 PM

DarkCurrent on June 17, 2009 at 1:03 PM

They are only as they are because of the US and because of the presence of US forces. We’ll all get to see what happens once the US leaves.

And I don’t think anyone is proposing the US moving into Iran and forcing any sort of rational government on them. We’ve got enough problems getting people to realize that we need to take out Iran’s nuke industry and seize control of the oil fields (to defang that country, as it will always pose a threat to the civilized world if it is allowed to retain control of the oil fields – as is true for the rest of the gulf states).

progressoverpeace on June 17, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Two: Iraq and Afghanistan (kind of). Conicidentally both neighbors of Iran and host to US forces…

DarkCurrent on June 17, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Turkey.

either orr on June 17, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Freedom of Religion: Iffy…

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Turkey.

either orr on June 17, 2009 at 1:07 PM

There’s 3. All neighbors of Iran and host to US forces… coincidentally

DarkCurrent on June 17, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Turkey.

either orr on June 17, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Nope. In Turkey, the military was the supreme power (up until just a few years ago when the EU forced Turkey to change their Constitution and place civilian rule at the top). Ataturk understood that islam constantly reached for the powers of state and fashioned Turkey with a violently secular military that was to ride herd on the civilian government. There were 4 military takeovers of the government because of islamism encroaching on the civilian rule, and, interstingly, after the EU forced the Constitutional change, we see islamism creeping back in.

BTW, Turkey has very strict rules about women not wearing hijabs and all sorts of other restrictions on islamic expression – far more daconian than any Western country.

progressoverpeace on June 17, 2009 at 1:11 PM

They are only as they are because of the US and because of the presence of US forces. We’ll all get to see what happens once the US leaves.

progressoverpeace on June 17, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Yes, understood. I think maybe, perhaps, Bush’s strategy of planting an Arab-Muslim majority democratic republic in the center of the ME is starting to have some effect.

DarkCurrent on June 17, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Yes, understood. I think maybe, perhaps, Bush’s strategy of planting an Arab-Muslim majority democratic republic in the center of the ME is starting to have some effect.

DarkCurrent on June 17, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Perhaps, but it is altogether unclear if a liberal democracy can coexist with Islamic society…

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Perhaps, but it is altogether unclear if a liberal democracy can coexist with Islamic society…

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Granted. The experiments are underway though, and I think that’s a good thing. We’ll learn something either way.

DarkCurrent on June 17, 2009 at 1:19 PM

DarkCurrent on June 17, 2009 at 1:13 PM

It’s possible, though I am not optimistic about it. What is needed in islamic societies is reacculturation, and no one champions that (not even Bush). We can keep a lid on Iraq as long as we are there, but the minute we leave that nation will collapse. Aside from the general problem that muslims have with self-rule and individual liberty (along with the awful problems that arabs tend to have with cizilized societies) there is far too much wealth in Iraq for it to remain as it is.

Iraq had to be taken down, without any question, and it was important to have US forces in the area (next to Iran) but I don’t think it is realistic to hope that Iraq could ever end up being a civilized, free nation on its own.

I supported Bush’s moves because we had to be there, but I never held any illusions about the permanency of what we built there (without our presence). Hopefully I will be proven wrong, but … I wouldn’t bet on it.

progressoverpeace on June 17, 2009 at 1:19 PM

The point of my post is that if Khameini states that the protesters are heretics, he will have no problem ordering them to be executed. It is not a leap to assume that the country trying to build a nuclear bomb to use on Isreal would have no problem executing thousands of their own people to put down the protesters, and if Obama would just legitamize the protesters maybe the regime change would slow down or diminish the goal of a nuclear Iran. Mousavi, himself said he would negotiate nuclear weapons in a Time Magazine interview.

fourdeucer on June 17, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Hopefully I will be proven wrong, but … I wouldn’t bet on it.

progressoverpeace on June 17, 2009 at 1:19 PM

Agreed.

DarkCurrent on June 17, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Don’t miss Spengler’s analysis.

RushBaby on June 17, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Catholic faith states that the Pope is infallible in matters of religion only …

get your facts straight before you go on a relativist lib kick why doncha…

max1 on June 17, 2009 at 1:35 PM

And you say this by way of what proof? Name one islamic society that has Western-style democracy. Just one.

progressoverpeace on June 17, 2009 at 12:58 PM

I can think of a few. Tunisia, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Pakistan and Algeria come to mind. I think it’s a fallacy to believe that Western democracy and Islam are incompatable. Not all Muslims are crazed Salaf who want to revive the power Islam held during the Rashidun, Ummayad and Abbasid Caliphates. Muslims are not a homogenous entity who all believe Islam must govern the laws and people. However that being said, there are many psychotic Muslims who wish for nothing other than a revival of the “good old days” on a global level.

Shock the Monkey on June 17, 2009 at 1:37 PM

Would God have told Khamenei to hold an election, just to throw it?

The inconsistent moon god’s ways are ever unsearchable…so yeah, why not?

Grafted on June 17, 2009 at 1:37 PM

You say Khameni and I say Khomeni.

Let’s call the blow the whole thing up off.

profitsbeard on June 17, 2009 at 12:33 PM

fixed

max1 on June 17, 2009 at 1:37 PM

sounds familar – see Pope, one human standing between man and God, basically becoming a defacto dictator

jp on June 17, 2009 at 12:54 PM

above pope infallability message was directed here….

max1 on June 17, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Those in the Middle East are as they are because of:

Warlord religion
The fall of the Ottoman Empire
European intervention after WW1 — oil
American intervention after WW2 —oil
Population Explosion
Inferiority complex (thanks a lot keemo)
Sudden wealth with NO distribution
An assault on their morals by a morally corrupt west
No work
Inept leadership
Sudden lurch into the modern world

They never had a chance.

The response of the more militant segments of their society was to lash out. The US fights back, rightfully, and Bush, in a moment of clarity attempts to set things right. Could it be that what’s happening in Iran is in part, the result of young people looking west toward their neighbor, a newfound democracy? Just one of many things to consider.

dingbat on June 17, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Irony if the mullaocrazy collapses before they eyes of an unwilling Obama.

the_nile on June 17, 2009 at 12:30 PM

I think, by the definition of irony, that irony would be if Obama’s insistence on playing nice with Amadinajad prevented a change in government that would be more amiable to negotiating the end of their weapons program.
Or, maybe it would be ironic if the Iranians do have another revolution, but the new order refuses to give up the nukes because of P.BO’s implicit backing of Amadinajad.

But I would be much happier if the Iranians toss Amadinajad and give up the nukes on their own, without Barry’s “help”.

Count to 10 on June 17, 2009 at 1:54 PM

I can think of a few. Tunisia, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Pakistan and Algeria come to mind. I think it’s a fallacy to believe that Western democracy and Islam are incompatable.

Shock the Monkey on June 17, 2009 at 1:37 PM

Interesting list. I can’t say much about Bangladesh. As to the rest:

Lebanon – was a majority Christian nation (until muslims drove many out). I don’t know why you would have Lebanon as some sort of example of Western-style democracy, as they have Hezbollah as one of the major parliamentary players and the de-facto ruler of the south. When a country can’t even have its government enforce national law over all of its sovereign territory, I think it lacks what we consider to be a real government.

Pakistan – I’ll figure you are joking on this one. You are aware that they just emerged from a military dictatorship to slide into near-chaos, which is sort of a Pakistani pattern. Again, we have problems with the official government enforcing law on all of its sovereign territory, thereby falling short of what Westerners would consider a working government. Pakistan also poses a huge threat to the civilized world.

Algeria – Of course, this is a nation in which the islamists had won something like a 70% share of an earlier election, forcing a military takeover to keep the country from becoming a total basketcase. All Western powers endorsed the military coup, as the islamists and the country were all nuts. That wasn’t very long ago, so I’m not sure what you would point to Algeria for.

Tunisia – I don’t know much about Tunisia, except that it was the preferred destination for all hijacked airlines for many years, after which terrorists would disappear into the aether. I don’t know much else about the nation, but I don’t have good feelings about it.

Of course, islam is not monolithic (as many groups of muslims would like nothing better than killing many other groups of mulsims) but they all share some of the deep foundations of the culture that islam tends to foster. Islam is the formalization of 7th century desert arab culture and no one who espouses the ideology of islam can get away from that. It is very unforgiving and demands people to feel like dirt and realize their total insignificance. This is why muslims being forced to kiss the ground 5 times a day, every single day, should be taken seriously by people as an indication of the ideology and what it tries to do to its adherents. And islam does demand the power of state. Muslims know this. It’s only Westerners who refuse to accept this fact, even though presented with proof of it all over the place and throughout the history of islam.

progressoverpeace on June 17, 2009 at 2:39 PM

progressoverpeace on June 17, 2009 at 2:39 PM

I think you may like this recent Spengler piece about Islam, and how it’s fundamentally incompatible with the “west.”

Here’s a little taste:

“Islam departs from the mainstream of modern constructs of the individual and the group,” Allawi observes. The notion of a human individual is absent from Islamic thinking and impossible to describe in the Arabic language, he argues. Only God has individuality and uniqueness; the individual is merely an instrument, as it were. Many Western readers will skim uncomprehending over this material, and thus miss the radical thrust of Allawi’s argument. Western political scientists do not learn theology, whereas Allawi argues that in the Islamic world, politics is theology.

JiangxiDad on June 17, 2009 at 2:55 PM

JiangxiDad on June 17, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Thanks, Dad. I read the earlier Spengler link above, by RushBaby. Very interesting. I’m going to look at your link (which was referenced in the other article) and more of his stuff.

progressoverpeace on June 17, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Catholic faith states that the Pope is infallible in matters of religion only …

get your facts straight before you go on a relativist lib kick why doncha…

max1 on June 17, 2009 at 1:35 PM

yes, but not always in practice was this the case. See the Catholic church that basically controlled Christendom and its Kings for the most part, till Henry VIII broke from Rome of course

jp on June 17, 2009 at 3:10 PM

JiangxiDad on June 17, 2009 at 2:55 PM

I would also point out that islam, while it stole and twisted much from Christianity and Judaism, did that only to grab some legitimacy by insinuating itself into the Jewish line of descent. Judaism first defined true individualism as the core of a culture in the declaration of Genesis 1:27, “And G-d created man in His own image, in the image of G-d created He him;” and islam totally undid this.

I like to point out 5 simple facets of islam that say all one really needs to know about it and the cultures it generates:

1) islam means ‘submission’
2) muslims must kiss the ground 5 times a day
3) there are no days of rest in islam
4) islam went backwards and adopted a totally lunar calendar (putting it at odds with all modern society) along with a death sentence for inserting intercalaries to solarize it
5) Apostacy is punishable by death

To me, all one really needs to know about islam is summarized in those 5 simple facets of the ideology.

progressoverpeace on June 17, 2009 at 3:10 PM

Those in the Middle East are as they are because of:

Warlord religion
The fall of the Ottoman Empire
European intervention after WW1 — oil

I believe the Europeans intervened in Hong Kong too…

American intervention after WW2 —oil

America intervened in Europe as well… Eastern Europe might finally have a shot. What about South Korea, Japan, Germany?

Population Explosion

Think China… Even with their population explosion, they’ve managed to grasp onto some version of Capitalism and I don’t think they are decapitating people. Yeah, you can say the gov’t itself is ruthless, but the average Chinese man doesn’t believe he’ll get 70 virgins in the afterlife for blowing some stuff up. Oh, and if you don’t like the China example, think India… They just had an election… hmm…

Inferiority complex (thanks a lot keemo)

I’d say most of the world has this. Just blame it on the Juice!

Sudden wealth with NO distribution

Hmmm… who’s fault is that?

An assault on their morals by a morally corrupt west

Morals such as don’t beat your wife to a pulp for showing her wrists…

No work

Same goes in many other parts of the world – including Africa.

Inept leadership

Something we have in common.

Sudden lurch into the modern world

No comment.

They never had a chance.

dingbat on June 17, 2009 at 1:39 PM

On the contrary. Everyone has a chance.

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 3:18 PM

yes, but not always in practice was this the case. See the Catholic church that basically controlled Christendom and its Kings for the most part, till Henry VIII broke from Rome of course

jp on June 17, 2009 at 3:10 PM

i always get a kick out of cultural relativists that cherry pick history to make excuses for Islam’s current moral paucity … ok not really, i don’t get a kick out of it. it’s actually quite infuriating and a childish refuge of the liberal mindset, stoked of course by the Peter Pan Profs populating today’s institutions of “higher learning.”

max1 on June 17, 2009 at 3:30 PM

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 3:18 PM

awesome post Upstater!

max1 on June 17, 2009 at 3:31 PM

progressoverpeace on June 17, 2009 at 3:10 PM

I hope Spengler’s piece is correct, and the Muslim rebirth is merely a hiccup on the way to annihilation.

Re. “submission.” I find that a perfect one word synonym for totalitarianism. Islam means totalitarianism.

JiangxiDad on June 17, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Progressoverpeace,

Well said sir. However I do have a few things to say in my defense. If you define a western style democracy as a democratically elected government that is able to “enforce national law over all of its sovereign territory”, I agree with you about Lebanon and Pakistan. However there is hope since Musharaf stepped down and Zardari was overwhelmingly elected to the presidency of Pakistan. Moreover the fact that Pakistan is starting to fight the Taliban in the Swat Valley and Southern Waziristan is promising. Moreover it’s promising in Lebanon that Hezbollah does no longer represents the majority coalition in Lebanon…however that’s immaterial given the definition.

I wholeheartedly disagree with you about Algeria and Tunisia. In regard to Tunisia, a country that “was the preferred destination for all hijacked airlines for many years” has nothing to do with democracy. Moreover that occurred before I was born. Tunisia has democratically elected leaders since the death of Habib Bourguiba. The election you are referring to in regard to Algeria took place in 1991 when the Islamic Salvation Front (ISF) promised to be a dominant force. After the coup and the ensuing civil which ended in 2002, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) were finished and a democratically elected government continued. I think those two examples should suffice. While I agree that a western style democracy must be democratically elected and must have full control of its terroritory, I will not concede that Abe Lincoln was not a legitimate president and did not preside over a legitimate United States of America.

Shock the Monkey on June 17, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Look. All I’m saying is that the listed items add up to one big heaping pile of disaster. You can cherry pick the list all day and in the micro, on many of these points there is room for debate. But in the macro, it sucks to be Middle Eastern these days.

Anyway, in response.

The Europeans created most of the failed states of the region that exist today with no rhyme or reason. Read “A Peace To End All Peace” by David Fromkin.

Gaza has one of the highest birth rates in the world, maybe even the highest. China has that “Brave New World” single child policy and 24 million extra males.

I don’t understand what “the juice” implies but me and my fellow Texans are inferior to no man!

Distribution of wealth: For this argument does it matter whose fault it is? It just is. And it’s a big problem.

They have their own moral issues to be sure, but do they really need to buy into western pop culture?

No work? The Hutu and Tutsi genocide of 1994. You have to keep your young men gainfully employed is all I’m saying.

No matter how bad leadership is in most parts of the world it seldom reaches the abject failure that exists in the Middle East.

Surely you recognize a cr*p sandwich when you see one?

dingbat on June 17, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Oh, and American intervention in South Korea, Japan and Germany? American involvement was a sum gain for those nations. Think Marshall Plan.

We took cheap oil from the Middle East for years and when they tried to jack up the price we did a little regime changing. Think Shah of Iran.

dingbat on June 17, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Look. All I’m saying is that the listed items add up to one big heaping pile of disaster. You can cherry pick the list all day and in the micro, on many of these points there is room for debate. But in the macro, it sucks to be Middle Eastern these days.

Yeah, I agree it living IN the Middle East these days… I don’t think I’d say it sucks to be Middle Eastern. Cherry Picking? Aren’t you the one that Cherry Picked a region of the world. The truth is that at least at the moment, much of the Middle East has a lot of money (that you point out they haven’t distributed). The culture has become more repressive in many aspects. Sure, they have cell phones… but they’ve incorporated their “morals” into their modernization. In other words, it’s fine for a housewife to have a mobile, but to show a lock of hair… well, she better hope her husband doesn’t mind.

Was Europe to blame? Yeah. Are they? I find it hard. Arab Nationalism has died out and been replaced by Islamofascism… No longer are Europeans or Americans for that matter, the soul reapers in the Middle East. No, now China and other developing countries are taking advantage of certain things… Actually, come to think of it, even many in the Gulf States are taking advantage of the less fortunate… Sri Lankan laborers come to mind…

Gaza has one of the highest birth rates in the world, maybe even the highest. China has that “Brave New World” single child policy and 24 million extra males.

And like I said, if you don’t like the Chinese birth rate, check out India. I don’t see how birth rate is the DIRECT cause for any problems.

I don’t understand what “the juice” implies but me and my fellow Texans are inferior to no man!

Just say it out loud several times…

They have their own moral issues to be sure, but do they really need to buy into western pop culture?

Not exactly, although they seem more comfortable buying into materialism than say liberalism…

No work? The Hutu and Tutsi genocide of 1994. You have to keep your young men gainfully employed is all I’m saying.

Yeah, and you yourself admit that many other parts of the world have high unemployment… Yet, they aren’t chopping heads off in the name of Allah.

No matter how bad leadership is in most parts of the world it seldom reaches the abject failure that exists in the Middle East.

Surely you recognize a cr*p sandwich when you see one?

dingbat on June 17, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Again, Cherry Picking… Most of the world suffers from abject leadership…

Oh, and American intervention in South Korea, Japan and Germany? American involvement was a sum gain for those nations. Think Marshall Plan.

We took cheap oil from the Middle East for years and when they tried to jack up the price we did a little regime changing. Think Shah of Iran.

dingbat on June 17, 2009 at 4:30 PM

OR maybe some people were playing nice with socialism… Turkey seems to be doing just fine and they stuck with the US most of the time. Other states made lots of money… and as you’d say, they failed to distribute this. But then again, these states had Kings, Princes, and Supreme Leaders…

Upstater85 on June 17, 2009 at 8:17 PM

Irony if the mullaocrazy collapses before they eyes of an unwilling Obama.

the_nile on June 17, 2009 at 12:30 PM

If so, it would no doubt be brought about via the “Obama Effect” — which roughly equates to the shock wave of self-motivation brought on by the transformative reality of the leader of the world’s most powerful nation doing *absolutely nothing* to help anyone, anywhere. The message the world has received so far is loud & clear: If you wanna get it done from now on, you’ll have to do it yourself.

The wave of self-help that the Obama Effect has ignited, and may yet ignite, across the world will indeed be transformative, changing our world for the better.

/sarc

RD on June 17, 2009 at 11:36 PM

I wholeheartedly disagree with you about Algeria and Tunisia. In regard to Tunisia, a country that “was the preferred destination for all hijacked airlines for many years” has nothing to do with democracy. Moreover that occurred before I was born. Tunisia has democratically elected leaders since the death of Habib Bourguiba.

Point taken. I really don’t know much about Tunisia (I need to take a good look at it). I’ll take your word for the modern state. I was just telling you the major impression that I had about it. It did serve as an escape route for many of the Paletinian terrorists (noting that they were generally secular arab) and others.

The election you are referring to in regard to Algeria took place in 1991 when the Islamic Salvation Front (ISF) promised to be a dominant force. After the coup and the ensuing civil which ended in 2002, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) were finished and a democratically elected government continued.

Yes, I was aware of this. And the polling for the islamists were running around 70%, if I recall correctly. I don’t consider this much time to evaluate the stability of government. You could put it on a “hopeful” list, but that’s as far as I would go.

I think those two examples should suffice.

Well …

While I agree that a western style democracy must be democratically elected

Actually, I’m not into democratic mechanisms, very much. I much prefer a governmental structure in which power is limited and compartmentalized in such a way that no matter how insanely stupid the people are who end up in those positions, they will not be able to organize and concentrate that governmental power in a way to abuse the citizenry and deprive us of our natural rights, as spelled out in the founding document. Democratic processes insure that morons will be placed into the positions of power in the government, so its construction must be strong enough and built in a smart enough way to be able to withstand such idiots. You cannot use democratic processes for a government that is esentially unlimited and able to concentrate governmental power and aim it. This was Adams’ essential attitude, and he was absolutely correct.

The Founders built a wonderfully strong such governmental structure, but we have reached the limits of their design, as we are being quickly drowned by a tsunami of idiocy in government. I still think that the Founders would be impressed that their design withstood as much as it did. Their basic design of the US government was pure genius.

The US is the only country in the world with such a governmental design. The Euro-style party-oriented parliamentary systems are inherently unstable and tribal. Countries would have a much better chance building stable governments if they adopted the US Constitution and adopted private property oriented, individual liberty-oriented local governments with the same sort of basic structure as spelled out in the federal Constitution, but taking off on their own futures from there. But no nation ever thought to copy the design of the most successful nation in all of history. I never understood this, and still don’t.

and must have full control of its terroritory, I will not concede that Abe Lincoln was not a legitimate president and did not preside over a legitimate United States of America.

Shock the Monkey on June 17, 2009 at 3:51 PM

He’s only legitimate because he won. That wasn’t a foregone conclusion for most of the time.

progressoverpeace on June 18, 2009 at 12:33 AM

Hope and change: New WSJ poll shows America souring on Obamanomics?

The oppressive Ayatollahs have pushed the Iranian people to the point of revolution. When it does happens, it’s going to be a blood bath.

byteshredder on June 18, 2009 at 10:59 AM