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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 11/7/2001 12:51:01 AM EDT
http://[url]http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=95001416[/url] [b]The ayatollahs' fall may be the first victory in the war on terror. BY MICHAEL LEDEEN[/b] Saturday, November 3, 2001 12:01 a.m. EST An event of world-historical potential is under way in one of the largest and most powerful countries of the Middle East, yet almost no one seems to have noticed. Ever since the night of Oct. 12, the citizens of Iran have repeatedly demonstrated against the murderous Shiite theocracy that has oppressed them for the past 22 years. The most recent demonstrations started Oct. 24 and ran for four successive nights in Tehran and other major cities. These events are unprecedented in the history of the Islamic Republic. They involved hundreds of thousands of people at a minimum. One secondhand account I received spoke of more than a million antigovernment demonstrators in Tehran alone. The first "victory" in our war on terror could be the fall of the regime in Iran. Unlike previous demonstrations, which were largely limited to students at major universities, the latest round involved young people from all walks of life and of both sexes. And while all the riots started following soccer matches involving the national team, they were clearly political. Demonstrators carried slogans attacking the Islamic regime and its leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. They chanted nationalist anthems, demanded political freedom, and hurled stones at the dreaded security forces. In an outright show of contempt for the guardians of the revolution, boys and girls danced in the streets, taunting the Islamic authorities. Thousands of young people have been arrested (the regime admitted to more than 2,000 as of Oct. 25), and countless others hospitalized. Detainees under 18 were herded into special detention centers, while older ones face judgment at the hands of the Islamic revolutionary courts. The country's leaders are visibly shaken, to the point where the minister of the interior was allegedly told to "fill all the hospital beds in the country." The mullahs may well be entering their final days in power. They have become objects of ridicule because of their panicky reaction to the demonstrations, which first erupted following Iran's 1-0 defeat of Iraq on Oct. 12. On Oct. 21, fearing new outbursts, the government apparently ordered the national team to throw its match against Bahrain, a no-account team. But when Iran lost 3-1, new riots ensued. Then, on Oct. 25, the latest demonstrations started after Iran beat the United Arab Emirates 1-0. The government has responded by confiscating all the satellite dishes in the country, a confession that nobody believes the official "news," and a ham-handed move likely to provoke a new round of street confrontations. (cont'd)
Link Posted: 11/7/2001 12:52:03 AM EDT
It has long been clear that the Islamic regime has lost any semblance of popular support, and has maintained power only through the systematic use of terror against its people. But the population of Iran is very young--well over half is under 25--and Iranians listen to international radio (including our own Radio Freedom, in Farsi) and watch satellite television. Many are wildly pro-American and want to live in a free society. Tellingly, Islamic radicalism flourishes in corrupt, pro-American countries in the Middle East, but is hated in an anti-American, fundamentalist country like Iran. The Iranian people have been vaccinated against radical Islam; if they succeed in freeing themselves from its evil oppression, they will send a message of hope throughout the region. It is hard to imagine a greater triumph for our war against Islamic terrorism. The lesson to our policy makers could hardly be clearer: The future of freedom lies with the Iranian people, not with the Islamic regime in Tehran, just as it lies with the Syrian, Palestinian and Iraqi people, not their ruling tyrants. Sad to say, many of our most influential diplomats have been arguing for an alliance with the mullahs, which would represent a betrayal of brave people fighting for democracy in the streets of every major Iranian city, not to mention a betrayal of our own values. The president should instruct the secretary of state and the director of central intelligence to terminate any and all contacts with the mullahs, lest the freedom fighters interpret American demarches as an embrace of the regime itself. He should increase our broadcasting to Iran, and express our concern at the feverish repression now under way. With a little luck, we will soon see the defeat of an Islamic terrorist state at the hands of its own people. The lesson of Iran is equally valid for our other terror-supporting enemies in the region. Behind the anti-American venom from the secular radicals in Baghdad, the minority tribe in Damascus, and the kleptomaniacs in the Palestinian Authority is the knowledge that they are hated by their own people. Their power rests on terror directed against their citizens. Given the chance to express themselves freely, the Iraqi, Syrian and Palestinian people would oust their current oppressors. That's why our war is not, as so many have insisted, a new form of warfare. It is actually a very old kind of war, the kind of war at which we have long excelled: a revolutionary war against tyrannical regimes. The entire 20th century stands as tribute to the enormous power of our revolutionary energies. Again and again we were dragged into war, and we have tossed an impressive number of enemies onto history's trash heap of failed lies. (cont'd)
Link Posted: 11/7/2001 12:53:05 AM EDT
We even destroy despots when it is not part of our formal policy, because the rest of the world assumes it is. In the 1980s, President Reagan instructed the CIA to organize some Nicaraguans to disrupt the flow of weapons from Nicaragua to the communist guerrillas in El Salvador. The operation envisaged at most a few hundred people, but once American officials went into the field to recruit, thousands of Nicaraguans, assuming this was the beginning of the end for the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, raced to sign up. A few years later, the Sandinistas fell. The manhunt for Osama bin Laden and his network must be merely one salvo of a great revolutionary war that will transform the Middle East. Yet, in one of those little paradoxes that make the study of history so intriguing, the potentially earth-shaking events in Iran have escaped the notice of our top policy makers and our media. I could not find any decent discussion of it in the newspapers as of Monday--two full weeks after the initial demonstrations--and when I spoke to one of our top foreign policy officials last Saturday afternoon, he angrily asked, "Why have I heard nothing about this?" The Middle East's freedom lovers and tyrants, however, have been watching carefully and acting clearly. On Sept. 11 tens of thousands of young Iranians lit candles in the streets to mourn the innocent Americans murdered by Islamic terrorists. The tyrants, meanwhile, show in their panicked behavior and mounting repression that they fully understand their survival is now at risk. [i]Mr. Ledeen is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. His latest book, "Tocqueville on American Character," has just been published in paperback by St. Martin's Press.[/i]
Link Posted: 11/7/2001 1:07:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/7/2001 1:13:13 AM EDT
Probably. [:D] What gets me the most, though, is that these Iranians are quite literally risking their lives to demonstrate support for the U.S. in [i]our[/i] time of crisis, and half the thugs who post on this board write about nuking Iran as payback for the 1979 revolution and embassy hostage crisis -- sort of an afterthought after blowing up Afghanistan and Iraq.
Link Posted: 11/7/2001 6:59:58 AM EDT
I think the military in Iran is not directly controlled by the top Mullah. And the Military leaders are evil individuals. It has been known for quite sometime that the PEOPLE of Iran want change. They thirst for it. But it appears more than one head needs to be removed. A difficult task, but not impossible.
Link Posted: 11/7/2001 7:16:07 AM EDT
I knew someone from Iran. On the outside was the strict religious cult-like government. In reality there's lots of underground discrete parties. Good for them. "Allhitola is an assahola"
Link Posted: 11/7/2001 10:11:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/7/2001 10:06:04 AM EDT by Alacrity]
Id like this to be more than wishful thinking. Good luck and God bless them. Hope they fare better than the Czechs, Hungarians, Chinese, and so on. Revolutions are tough things to pull off, especially without arms and backing. But hey they got some practical experience with the Shah, so perhaps they'll pull it off. Iranian opposition will be on its own though. Doubt US will risk backing a possible failure. Luck to Democratic Iran Alac
Link Posted: 11/7/2001 12:33:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/7/2001 12:27:13 PM EDT by goneshootin]
From Stratfor [url]http://www.stratfor.com/home/0111062220.htm[/url]
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