Protests Are Not Enough To Topple the Islamic Republic

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Devin, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. Devin
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    Devin Feel the breeze

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    Protests Are Not Enough To Topple the Islamic Republic

    by Michael Rubin
    Los Angeles Times
    June 19, 2009

    Protests aren't enough to topple the Islamic Republic - Middle East Forum

    Michael Rubin, a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly,
    is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and
    a senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School.


    Street protests in Iran are important but are themselves not enough to
    force change. The supreme leader will not be swayed because he considers
    himself accountable to God, not to the people. Indeed, even the Islamic
    Republic's clerical establishment is irrelevant in this calculus. President
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad' s invocation of folk religion -- his appeals to the
    messianic Hidden Imam, for example -- is a way to bypass senior religious
    figures who, according to Shiite theology, will be among the greatest
    obstacles to the Hidden Imam's return. Nor does the supreme leader,
    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, pay too much heed to his fellow clerics in Qom.
    They have always refused to bestow on Khamenei a level of religious
    legitimacy to match his ambition. Today, the majority of Iran's grand
    ayatollahs oppose the concept of theological rule. Not by coincidence,
    the majority are now in prison or under house arrest.

    Khamenei can weather the public's disdain so long as the Revolutionary
    Guard serves as his Praetorian Guard. Khomeini, the Islamic Republic's
    founder, formed the Revolutionary Guard to defend his revolutionary vision.
    It is more powerful than the army and answers only to the supreme leader.
    That the Islamic Republic has lost legitimacy in the eyes of the Iranian
    public is now evident to the outside world, but it is not news to the regime.

    In September 2007, Mohammad Ali Jafari, the new Revolutionary Guard chief,
    reconfigured the force into 31 units -- one for each province and two for
    Tehran -- on the theory that a velvet revolution posed a greater threat to
    regime security than any external enemy. Guardsmen are not stationed in
    their home cities so that they do not hesitate to fire on crowds that might
    include family and friends.

    In the public mind, the Islamic revolution 30 years ago looms large.
    The regime is not aloof to this. It understands the shah's mistakes and is
    determined not to repeat them. Next month marks the 10th anniversary of
    the student uprising, which erupted after the security forces attacked a
    student dormitory. Their brutality shocked the Iranian public, and
    demonstrations spread throughout the country. For a few days, regime
    survival was also subject to speculation.

    In the aftermath of the protests, the Chinese government supplied security
    consultants to Tehran. Rather than bash heads and risk protests and endless
    cycles of mourning, Iranian security services began photographing
    demonstrations, after which they would arrest participants over the course
    of a month when they were alone and could not spark mob reaction.
    With the assistance of European businessmen, the Iranian government
    upgraded its surveillance of communication (and the Internet). >>>MORE>>>
     
  2. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    This remains to be seen, so far the regime is doing the exact wrong thing and speeding its demise.
     
  3. Devin
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    Devin Feel the breeze

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    I don't know Xenophon, that's would it would seem like but I've listened to a bunch of
    people from Iran who say that the current mullah regime is too powerful to "overthrow"
    by protests alone. They control the Revolutionary Guards. Also the 4 people who ran
    in the election were hand-picked by the mullahs. ..Plus Mousavi was a former radical
    himself, supporter of Hezbollah.
     
  4. oreo
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    oreo Gold Member Supporting Member

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    As long as the hard-liners are in charge of the military--police & security forces in Iran--these protestors do not have a snow-balls chance in hell of overthrowing this regime. (They're unarmed--all they have is rocks.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  5. rcajun90
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    I heard this all in 1979 with the Shah, 1989 in Eastern Europe and in 1991 in the Soviet Union. If enough Iranians want change it will happen. The Republican Guards can refuse orders to kill their countrymen. Perhaps that will be the next stage? Riots and protests and the Mullah's call out the Rep. Guards and they turn their guns on the Mullah's? Let's hope so. A free and responsible Iran sounds wonderful.:eusa_pray:
     
  6. Devin
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    Devin Feel the breeze

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    That's what I would think at this time. But I'm not an expert on Iran.
     
  7. oreo
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    oreo Gold Member Supporting Member

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    This is different than 1979. We stopped backing the Shaw of Iran--while Iranians were chanting in the streets--death to America. The radical Mullahs moved in--which are very unlike the Shaw. They aren't going to just give up their power without 3/4 of the country being destroyed. Their way is to oppress--& they know how to keep the republican guard in check along with the military & security forces.

    The Shaw was a cake-walk for them to get out of power.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  8. Devin
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    Devin Feel the breeze

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    It could happen I suppose, Rcajun. After all, the Iranians threw out a secular
    more Westernized government when the Shaw was disposed. They went by way of
    Shira and the backward mullahs. Why? --- Fast forward to now.....the percentage of
    youths in Iran far outnumber the 'adults' (old folk) who have been around awhile.
    They want change. They want their Twitter and their iPhones and all-access Internet.
    They want to hang with the opposite sex and drink coffee and date. And look at each
    other face to face. Right now that does not happen very often or in the open. Anything
    the kids do is in secret and they have their own 'back door ways' of getting around
    the strict mullahs. But this is now 2009 and they don't want to live in the 7th Century
    any longer. I can't blame them or the other protesters. They want more social freedoms
    and as a world citizen, they should get it.

    Of course I'd be shot for saying that in Iran today.
     
  9. Devin
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    Devin Feel the breeze

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    Oreo, I never understood why we stopped backing the Shaw. He was married to an
    American woman and he was westernized. Why would we want to overthrow a guy
    like that for the radical mullahs?
     
  10. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Jimmy Carter.
     

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