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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obama, in his eternally narcissistic way ...

Everything is always about HIM. America before HIM was deeply flawed, requiring worldwide apologies to everyone who will listen. Given the hatred that failure has for success, that is always a way to draw crowds and admiration.

With he possibility of a second Iranian revolution, Obama can't help but make it about HIM, HIS speech, HIS Hamlet act with regard to Iranian leadership.

Who should HE anoint; who should he hallow with his words?

Outside of HIS narcissistic orbit, Michael Ledeen notes ...

He probably thinks he’s in a bind (he isn’t, actually). He probably thinks that if he condemns the violence, and the regime wins, that will lessen his chances to strike the Grand Bargain he so avidly desires. Somebody might remind him that Ronald Reagan was unstinting in his criticism of the Soviet Union (”The Evil Empire”), but negotiated no end of bargains with them, including quite dramatic arms reductions.

It’s always better to assert American values, both because he’s our president and he should be speaking for all of us, and because catering to the tender sensibilities of the murders in Iran won’t gain anything. It will only increase their contempt.

So what how? What's going on? Who are the actors?

What’s going to happen, you ask. Nobody knows, even the major actors. The regime has the guns, and the opposition has the numbers. The question is whether the numbers can be successfully organized into a disciplined force that demands the downfall of the regime. Yes, I know that there have been calls for a new election, or a runoff between Mousavi and Ahmadinezhad. But I don’t think that’s very likely now. The tens of millions of Iranians whose pent-up rage has driven them to risk life and limb against their oppressors are not likely to settle for a mere change in personnel at this point. And the mullahs surely know that if they lose, many of them will face a very nasty and very brief future.

If the disciplined force comes into being, the regime will fall. If not, the regime will survive. Can Mousavi lead such a force? If anyone had said, even a few days ago, that Mousavi would lead a nation-wide insurrection, he’d have been laughed out of the room. Very few foresaw anything like the current situation, although I will claim credit for predicting that neither side in the electoral circus would accept the official verdict.

Does Mousavi even want to change the system? I think he does, and in any event, I think that’s the wrong question. He is not a revolutionary leader, he is a leader who has been made into a revolutionary by a movement that grew up around him. The real revolutionary is his wife, Zahra Rahnavard. And the real question, the key question in all of this, is: why did Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei permit her to become such a charismatic figure? How could he have made such a colossal blunder? It should have been obvious that the very existence of such a woman threatened the dark heart of the Islamic Republic, based as it is on the disgusting misogyny of its founder, the Ayatollah Khomeini.

Was this whole farce a deal gone wrong?

I was told months ago that Khamenei and Mousavi had made a deal. Mousavi would run, and win, and then slowly introduce greater freedom. I didn’t believe it at the time, but it has seemed more and more plausible. When somebody at the Interior Ministry called Mousavi on election night to tell him to prepare a victory statement, that was part of the deal. But by then, the mullahs had seen their doom, and used the only weapons at their disposal: lies and violence. Some have asked why Khamenei used such grossly implausible numbers to “reelect” Ahmadinezhad, but that bespeaks ignorance of the mullahs: there is no lie that will shame them. No, the real question is why Zahra Rahnavard was given a free hand, and the real answer is that the mullahs, with Khamenei in the lead, made a blunder.

With HIS instinct for exactly the wrong thing, perhaps it's best that THE ONE is in the fence. As long as he's on the fence he can't screw it up.

The Iranian people know that they’re on their own; they aren’t going to get any help from us, or the United Nations, or the Europeans. But paradoxically, this lack of support may strengthen their will. There is no cavalry on the horizon. If they are going to prevail, they and their unlikely leaders will have to gut it out by themselves. God be with them.

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