Thursday, March 09, 2006

Democratic revolution: Iran

Michael Ledeen, perhaps our most impressive Western expert on Iran (H/T: RegimeChangeIran):

Why regime change is the only choice:On Monday, ABC News broadcast a story about the discovery of very powerful bombs--the so-called IEDs--sent from Iran into Iraq.

"I think the evidence is strong that the Iranian government is making these IEDs, and the Iranian government is sending them across the border and they are killing U.S. troops once they get there," said Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism chief and an ABC News consultant. "I think it's very hard to escape the conclusion that, in all probability, the Iranian government is knowingly killing U.S. troops."

Inevitably, there are still those who believe that somehow our differences can be reconciled, and we can yet reach a modus vivendi with the Islamic Republic. I wish they were right, but the Iranians' behavior proves otherwise. Religious fanatics of the sort that rule Iran do not want a deal with the devil. They want us dominated or dead. There is no escape from their hatred, or from the war they have waged against us. We can either win or lose, but no combination of diplomatic demarches, economic sanctions, and earnest negotiations, can change that fatal equation. They will either defeat us, or perish. And that is their decision, not ours. We have yet to engage.

Why it can work: The demographics certainly seem to favor radical change: roughly 70% of Iranians are twenty-nine years old or less. We know from the regime's own public opinion surveys that upwards of 73% of the people would like a freer society and a more democratic government, and they constantly demonstrate their hatred of the regime in public protests, in the blogosphere in both Farsi (the internet's fourth most popular language) and English, in strikes (the most recent of which is the ongoing action by the Tehran bus drivers' union), and from time to time in violent acts against officials on the ground. The regime's reaction is violent and ruthless, but the protests continue, and there is good reason to believe that the mullahs are extremely worried.

Read the whole thing!


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