OK, so the protests in Iran are continuing and becoming more violent. Reports are now that at least one person has been killed by pro-Ahmadinejad paramilitary groups. The opposition leader who supposedly lost the last election is using words like "pay any cost" to contest the election. There are reports of hundreds of students disappearing from the dormitories of closed universities but, of course, given the chaos in the streets it's hard to say if they've been arrested or are simply out in the streets.
Monday, June 15, 2009
This rapidly getting to the point where this will either lead to an attempted revolution or to a Tianiman square style crack down. I don't know anything like enough about Iranian politics to make a prediction about the short term outcome of these unfolding events.
I will say this though. I don't think this could have happened so long as Bush was President. Bush was so confrontation with Iran (calling them "evil" etc) that it served to rally people around Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader, Khameni. Bush all to often made the US, its policies and relations with it, the central focus of political debate. By adopting a more open minded approach, Obama made the issue Ahmadinejad and Khameni and their rule of the country.
Today, Obama spoke at a press conference with Silvio Berlusconi about Iran. Obama said that he did not want to make the United States the issue inside of Iran. But he said he was "deeply troubled" at the scenes of violence and hoped that the "people of Iran" would be allowed to determine their political future. I think this is a dicey situation for the US. On the one hand, the US has done good by encouraging pro-democracy movements in places like Poland. On the other hand, the Middle East is famous for support from the US becoming political poison.
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 3:37 PM