So let us reflect for a moment on the revolutionary era in Iran to remind us that the end of freedom there was not instantaneous, but insidious. Massive demonstrations broke out against the Shah of Iran in January 1978 — similarly characterized by the prominent role of the middle and upper urbanized and Westernized classes. He was forced to flee Iran almost a year later, on January 16, 1979. The Ayatollah Khomeini arrived in Tehran shortly afterward, on February 1, 1979, disavowing any political ambitions other than “spiritual guidance” — as he was showered with positive appraisals from academics and other “Middle East” experts.
About another year later, on January 25, 1980, Abulhassan Bani-Sadr was elected president of Iran by an overwhelming margin — to expressions of joy that a sort of European-like socialist republic had replaced the Shah’s crass cowboy westernization. He ruled for a little more than a year and a half, then fled for his life from Iran on July 28, 1981 — his reign characterized by pitiful demonstrations of anti-Americanism designed to curry favor with the murderous Islamists. The entire revolutionary period between January 1978 and July 1981 was characterized by two general developments: repeated assurances from the Ayatollah Khomeini that there would not be a theocratic government, and insidious, constant erosion of secular government by Khomeini’s clerical followers.
In other words, when the crowds go home and return to their jobs, the most zealous, organized, and ruthless will go to work to consolidate power.
We can hope for the best but as Mata said earlier, there are no “good” guys in this story:
The perpetrators of this “pro democracy” crap is a dewy eyed media who are clueless to Egyptian law, their electoral periods, their Constitution, and who some of these people are and what their agenda is. They just parrot off the latest soundbytes you dreamers like to hear, rich.
Fact is, there really isn’t any “good guy” side to this story. But only one side was a known long time US ally. That, apparently, no longer matters.
And now the region as a whole understands how we treat our allies under a Obama administration…when it gets rough they won’t support “the people,” rather they will support the military overthrow of their government. The influence we have in that region is now nil.
Way to go Obama!
It sounds so wonderful. The people demanding something be done to fix their way of life, but who is really behind all this? And who will take over in the resulting power vacuum? I fear the worst and one Iran after another…now Algeria:
Tensions erupted in another restive North African nation as security forces in Algeria on Saturday clashed with anti-government protesters chanting “change the power.”
Police detained about 100 protesters in the nation’s capital of Algiers, according to the Algerian League for Human Rights. The league is one of the main opposition groups that organized the rallies — unauthorized gatherings that came a day after embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.
The demonstrations were mostly peaceful, with police rounding up protesters in small groups to break up the crowds, and anti-riot police gathered at the scene.
Khalil AbdulMouminm, the general secretary for the Algerian league, called the situation “very tense on the ground” and said police were preventing protesters from assembling, with authorities blocking all entrances to the capital.
20 years ago the military seized power in Algeria, as it has done in Egypt, to prevent radical Islamists from taking power. If the protests there enable the military to fall does anyone really believe some kind of freedom loving politician will take over? Uh…no. It will be the fanatical Islamists….and bam, al-Qaeda has another feather in their cap and another base from which to wage war.
I want to be optimistic about all this so called freedom coming to Egypt and beyond but I’m not buying it. And with Obama in power, the same guy who did nothing to help force change in Iran not so long ago, I’m very pessimistic.
Exit question…if, as I suspect, radical Muslims do take over Egypt, Algeria and beyond, what will Obama’s reaction be?