Sunday | June 22, 2003
What to do about Iran?
The recent protests against the mullahs of Iran have been coming for years. Reports from visitors to Iran have shown an increasing irritation with the pervasive control of the mullahs.
The religious police, the hypocrisy in the rules on sex and marriage and the growth of aysmetric media including everything from sattelite TV to the Internet has loosened the hold of the theocracy running Iran.
The Iranians, according to some reports, await American assistance in overthrowing their government, on the mistaken belief that their government, yet again, is lying to them.
Most Iranians are tired of the extremes of their clerics, but there is nothing like a serious mass movement which could overthrow the government, at this point.
The US approach, which is to encourage the protests, of course, fails, not only in that it gives the government more ammunition, but that it undermines the activists. This is a situation where NGO's, now the target of the neocons, could play a very important role. Encouraging democratic systems in Iran could lead to the kind of fall which occured in Eastern Europe and minimize bloodshed. But with the kind of aggressive "they better not get nukes" talk, you would think that the Bush Administration wanted to keep the mullahs in power. Obviously, there is a resevoir of good will for Americans in Iran. The question is how do we mobilize it without playing into the hands of the religious fanatics seeking to blame their ineptitude to US Policy.
David Frum's "Axis of Evil" speech may send more Americans to their early graves than anything said since the Civil War.
Steve GilliardPosted June 22, 2003 09:27 PM | Comments (17)