Tuesday, February 16, 2010

JMO - 1979 Revisited

Reading today's (2/16/10) news about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton view of Iran becoming a military dictatorship using the Islamic Revolutionary Guard under the religious leadership. It seems all you have to do is replace the religious leaders with the Shah of Iran and you have 1978 revisited. History repeated but will it repeat 1979?

It's obvious there are differences between then and now. The Shah was supported by the US in exchange for oil. He had a secret police and army, trained and equiped by the US, and we had secret stations for watching and listening to the then Soviet Union. The times have changed but instead of a autocratic secular leader, Iran now has an autocratic religious leader, under the guise of democracy.

The the leader, not the President, has the Revolutionary Guard, just like the Shah had his own forces. In that, nothing has changed. But the recent protests over the election was evident the people, like in 1978, aren't happy. Those people are the same, young, angry and demanding fairness, openness and a real democracy, not the appearance of one.

This time, however, the protesters are also the older generation who were there in 1978-79, under the oppresson and through the revolution which was supposed to end the tyranny of an autocratic government. They've lived under the guise of democracy hoping for real changes, for a real economy in the international market, for real futures for their children. And then it all went south in the last fraudulent election.

In 1978, there wasn't the appearance of democracy, there was none at all. The Shah ruled, always secretly and sometimes ruthlessly, and not unlike Saddham Hussein, the people enjoyed a moderate standard of living in safety and security and some measure of personal freedom, albeit done by force and not friendly with anyone considered their enemy.

Now, however, the ecomony is failing, despite sitting on vast resources of oil to generate revenue. And the leadership is curtailing rights and protections without ensuring safety and security, and a better future. In 1979, the revolution for democracy and freedom. What will the next one will for?

It's not hard to imagine it could happen again but this time with far more violence. Then the protesters overwhelmed the secret police and army. Now it will be hard and the leadership has clamped down more on the rights of people to protest, as seen in those after the recent elections, as well as mass arrests and detainment for protesters and opposition leaders.

The only question to me, isn't if a revolution will occur again in Iran, but when. This time they don't have the American to blame and attack. We're not there. This time it will be their own unelected religious leaders and fraudulently elected President. It will be interesting. Again.

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