The demonstrations in Tehran are petering out without having ever really spread to other cities. Two reasons. First, people have to sleep, in the end. The most active activists, the ones who spent the most time in the street the first few days, are the first to become exhausted. Second reason, our lazy media and well-meaning young people have ignored from day one: Repression usually works.
Beating some people in the street discourages others from coming back. I don’t believe the Iranian regime ever gave the order to shoot at demonstrators. The death of a young woman was the result of a a pro-government hoodlum panicking or worse. I know this is very cynical but no one really knows who shot her and the leader of the revolt has blood on his hands from way back. The regime did not have to order shooting; it was never threatened. As I write (06/24/09), the government has not even sent its own SS into the streets, the Revolutionary Guard. All it had to do was to unleash civilian thugs on motorcycles and armed with sticks. This is normal fascist practice. (See my essay, “Fascism Explained.”)
Peaceful protest works well if you are facing a British Empire bled white by four years of war and sick of ruling India anyway. Incidentally, Gandhi was not only facing a tired Empire, he was confronting a British political class with a conscience and well-rooted habits of rationality. No such things in Iran today.
Heartbreaking call from Tehran aired by CNN today. A young woman is crying out on the phone that people’s bones are being broken by the fascist militia. “You people have to help,” she screams. That’s what happens when you present yourself as the Messiah; naïve young people come to believe you are King of the World. Of course, they expect you to save them. President Obama can’t have it both ways. He can’t claim credit for the good election in Lebanon less than two weeks ago and keep neutral on the blood-letting in Iran. If you have influence, it can’t be that country-specific.
The President’s condemnation of the Iranian government’s repression in his pretend-press conference yesterday was not much, and too late even to have a moral effect. As I have said before, there was not much he could have done. Whatever he did, he could have done earlier rather than standing at the end of the line, behind the French President, the Brit. Prime Minister, and the German Chancellor.
The President persists in treating the Iranian regime as if it were an errant democratic government instead of the totalitarian, fanatical supporter of terrorism it has always been. He fails the small tests as well as the big ones.
Intelligent in-depth article about Iran in the Weekly Standard dated 6/20 and 7/6.by R. M. Gerecht. He disagrees with me on two major points. First, he argues that “Supreme Leader” Khamenei is scared. It also asserts that the struggle in Iran is about democracy. I think he is right on the later but only as far as what’s on the minds of the protesters. Musavi is not an apostle of democracy. What’s going on in Iran more like the struggle to the death between the SS and the SA in the early years of Nazism, since, inexperienced young people playing movie extras.
Gerecht agrees with me that Ahmad the Camel would probably win if a second election were held today.
The nightmare in Iran is why we, the US, have to strangle monsters in the cradle, my isolationist Libertarian friends. There is no other decent option.
I hope some attentive Muslims somewhere are making a note that once more, Muslims are beating and killing Muslims. Muslims have hurt Muslims hundreds of times more than Israel ever has. I guess that’s OK because it’s Muslims doing it. Same logic as for domestic violence: He is beating his wife and his children to a pulp but that’s nobody’s business.
Of course, the mullahs have started claiming it’s all the CIA’s fault. If wish it were true. I have trouble believing its Director my near- neighbor, nice guy Panetta has the brass to do anything of the kind.
Tomorrow, Cap and Trade is taking a giant step. If it passes, it will be the biggest, permanent regressive tax ever. * I am not saying anything because I am demoralized. See the link on my blog face Facts Matter only) to the website of a well-credentialed meteorologist who is keeping cool tab on the global warming religious extremism. (Watts Up With That?)
* A regressive tax is one that affects the poor more than it affects the rich. That’s true of most consumption taxes. Income taxes, by contrast, are all progressive in this country. They hit the rich harder than the poor.