At this point it’s hard to tell whether the brutal repression of dissent will succeed, or not. This morning I listened to a tearful woman, apparently a witness to a massacre, pleading that “you people need to help us.” In another report 70 college professors were detained, but no reason was given. It’s reported that “Iranian state run media” is currently broadcasting in a way that’s “critical of ‘the west’.”
All heart-breaking, to be sure, but also entirely predictable. Revolution is messy, often deadly.
As one who said, in the run-up to the Iraq war, that we can’t force democracy at the point of a gun I remain convinced that’s correct. I can’t help but make the comparison. If the Iraqis had risen up against Hussein, would I have been in favor of “sending in the (American) troops” to help?
I’m left to wonder; who are the “you people” the woman was talking to?
And to observe that if she is waiting for “you people” to win her war, she has already lost.
I’m not sure what I would do if we faced such a government, here. I suspect I would (eventually and willingly) give up my comfortable life and home, if there was a groundswell of effort to overthrow our government and that was the side I chose to be on. I also suspect this would be tempered by the actions, opinions, attitudes, and perhaps most importantly unity of purpose of my neighbors.
The Iranian theocracy is predictably brutal and oppressive, as all theocracies are (sooner or later). It’s up to the Iranian opposition to sustain their effort. If they don’t want it badly enough to pay for it, some of them with their lives, they will not win. They will only change masters.
As a human being, I wish them luck and deplore the violence. As a third-party observer I understand that violence may be an unavoidable reality when the goal is radical change. But as a strict pragmatist I do not believe that this is “our” fight.
We have far too many problems of our own to solve.