Wednesday, May 28, 2003
All commentary on the Iran question today states that it is in a totally different category from Iraq. And while military, economic and geostrategic stats are brushed over, the argument ultimately rests on the character of the Iranian nation, and all its constituent ethnicities.
Iran has had pro-democratic propensities since the end of the 19th century. Unfortunately, each time a movement gained momemtum, external threats would actuate themselves, moving in at a time of domestic weakness. Generally, the Iranian people reacted by suspending any such movement and banding together. The Qajars were forced to convert to a constitutional monarchy. But a little later Iran was occupied during the WWs, and then the Pahlavis took over. Again a movement for greater freedom under "Arya Mihir" Reza Shah, which he crushed using the SAVAK and with American connivance. Then the Islamic Revolution, immediately after which, as usual, external enemies moved in. An 8 year war with Iraq, supported -- again -- by the West.
Now once again there is a movement for freedom from the suffocating grip of the mullahs. One also wonders if the over-emotional Iranians seem incapable of effecting social transformation peacefully and by evolving, instead of constant upheaval.
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