Is the Iranian Revolution Dead? Have the Mullahs Won?

Michael Ledeen stellt sich die oben genannte Frage und weist auf etwas hin, was eigentlich selbstverständlich ist, aber bisweilen ignoriert wird – dass ihre Beantwortung nicht nur offen ist, sondern vom konkreten Handeln abhängig ist:

There has been a lot of ‘expert analysis’ in the past ten days saying that the Green Movement in Iran is all washed up, and that the regime is firmly in control of events there.  This follows two earlier periods of ‘consensus,’ the first claiming that there was no chance of a revolution in Iran—this was the conventional wisdom even after the explosion of anti-regime passion following the fraudulent election results announced on June 12, 2009—and then a shorter, more recent, period when the success of the revolution was taken to be inevitable.

The first was decisively shattered by the eight months of ongoing fighting against the regime;  the second is as much the reflection of a touching faith in vast impersonal historical forces as of empirical data. Iran is in a revolutionary crisis, and has been for many years, but the outcome will be determined by human decisions, many of which are unpredictable.

Meanwhile, as we’ve seen so often, there’s a lot going on that we don’t hear about. The events of February 11th—the massive repression in the streets, the bloody violence directed at Green leaders and their families—have been described as a serious setback for the opposition and a triumph for the regime.  Thomas Erdbrink, the Washington Post’s man in Tehran, provides a textbook example. Yet the supreme leader did not see it that way, and he probably knew more about the events of that day than foreign correspondents—who, by the way, were contained in a small part of Tehran and wereinvariably in the presence of regime watchers. On the 12th, Khamenei spoke to several hundred of his aides and followers, and he chewed them out for what he saw as the great failure of the previous day.  Why?  Because Khamenei had called for a massive display of support for the regime, and it did not happen. [Weiterlesen…]

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