Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Excellency Khamenei, you and I know that no tyranny has ever succeeded in creating a political system that lasts. Your advisors have been misinforming you these past years. They have made you deaf and blind to what is really happening. The truth is that the ruling elite is despised by the people. Your puppet Ahmadinejad, who likes to appeal to Iranians in populist terms, is reviled. If you continue to use violence against your people, then you have obviously learned nothing from the tragic fate of the last shah of Persia.The mothers of the members of my family who were executed will not forgive you. But they will let you withdraw peacefully, for the sake of freedom and the peace of their grandchildren. Time is pressing for the Iranian people, and for the international community. I wish you wisdom and peace. . .
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
. . .The regime has the guns, and the opposition has the numbers. The question is whether the numbers can be successfully organized into a disciplined force that demands the downfall of the regime. Yes, I know that there have been calls for a new election, or a runoff between Mousavi and Ahmadinezhad. But I don’t think that’s very likely now. The tens of millions of Iranians whose pent-up rage has driven them to risk life and limb against their oppressors are not likely to settle for a mere change in personnel at this point. And the mullahs surely know that if they lose, many of them will face a very nasty and very brief future.If the disciplined force comes into being, the regime will fall. If not, the regime will survive. . .
Dr. Ledeen's most interesting comments concern the state of morale in the regime's security services. The Iranians have a National Police (under the Ministry of Interior and Justice) but the true prop of the Islamic Republic, and its most important guarantee, is the Sepáh e Pásdárán e Enqeláb e Eslámi ("Army of Guardians of the Islamic Revolution") or, more frequently the "Revolutionary Guard" and its associated militia the "Basij" ("Mobilization"). Dr. Ledeen seems to think that the senior Iranian leadership somewhat distrusts the Revolutionary Guard's bosses, who have perhaps gone soft. Read the whole thing.
Robert F. Worth and Nazila Fathi write in the New York Times this morning about the demonstrations in Tehran. Worth and Fathi report that some of the demonstrators:
. . .were especially outraged that Mr. Ahmadinejad on Sunday dismissed them as nothing more than soccer fans who had just lost a game and as "dust." One demonstrator fired off a Twitter message. . .proclaiming: "Ahmadinejad called us Dust, we showed him a sandstorm."
The Times piece said that on Monday, the police stood "on the sidelines" at least during daylight, but that violence erupted after sunset, when the "Basij militia opened fire, leaving one dead and several others injured." It is not clear from the Times piece exactly where this shooting took place. On this subject, Dr. Ledeen says that the regime ordered the Basij and "imported Hezbollah thugs" to open fire on the crowds, and that the UK Guardian (which Ledeen considers very reliable on Iran) had reported "a dozen or so" killed Monday. Haaretz's round-up of wire-service reports comes up with a total of twenty killed today around the country.
Given the size of the crowds shown in the photographs and on You Tube, the numbers of dead reported indictes to me that the crowds, for the moment, are mostly peaceful. Despite the thousands in the streets, and the great degree of provocation necessary to produce demonstrations of this size, the Times article quotes an actor as saying that people ". . .are not seeking a revolution." For the moment, this appears to be correct.
The Guardian is live-blogging events in Tehran. Today's Guardian online has a story about the decision by the Iranian "Council of Guardians" (senior clerics that operate as sort of a Board of Directors of the Islamic Republic) to recount the election ballots. I question, from the point of view of the mullahs, the wisdom of this move -- it is seldom wise for rulers to make concessions in the face of mobs on the streets. On the other hand, it gives the government time to indoctrinate the riot police, bring up reinforcements, kick out the foreign journalists (they are already officially barred from street reporting, God protect those disobeying) -- shut down Twitter access, put down the crowds when ready, and spin a good story.
Twitter, by the way, is an important part of how things have developed. The demonstrators have been using Twitter to coordinate their efforts, and the government has been unable, at least partially, to close down access to it. Twitter is helping -- the service has delayed scheduled downtime maintenance to help the demonstrators. Good for them.
ADDENDUM: Michael Rubin, writing in National Review Online's "Corner" speaking to the question of whether the Mullah regime could actually fall, gives us a useful list of points to ponder. See also, Richard Fernandez's "The Moving Finger Writes" -- at his Belmont Club site on Pajamas Media). Mr. Fernandez, also known as "Wretchard" includes a great link to an AEI article on the organizational evolution of the Revolutionary Guard, driven in part by that organization's concern with countering and crushing popular movements.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Like many Americans last November, I voted for change. I had hope. I no longer have hope since the president I voted for never mentioned a fraction of the agenda he now espouses. I did not vote to lower my standard of living, humble as it may be. Nor did I ask to jump into the economic abyss in order to “save” the planet.
When the economic chickens of this agenda do come home to roost, many people will change their perception of the whole quasi-religious scam known as “climate change.” Once you view the fall you’re about to take, it’s natural to turn around and take a good look at who is pushing you.
I voted for change, not economic suicide.
All is not lost: this is a rich, big nation, full of people who don't want socialism. Perhaps someday, the largely self-inflicted damage the country is about to sustain can be undone. It will be for our children to resurrect the concept of capitalism and to redeem the promise of American nationality once our wanna-be Euro socialists are through. But that's all for later. Elections have consequences, and the Left is well and truly in the saddle, and gets its chance to take us for a ride.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
(Source: Library of Congress G5701.S7 svar .A4, via Wikipedia).
In this column, I want to tell you what the opening of the second front entailed, so that you can know and appreciate and forever be humbly grateful to those both dead and alive who did it for you.Ernie Pyle, 12 June 1944 (as quoted in Stephen Ambrose, D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II (Simon & Schuster, 1994).