Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Is It Possible? Stranger Things Have Happened!

A few days ago I expressed my views about the protest going on in Iran. I indicated at the time that I don’t think there is a dime’s worth of difference between the two rival candidates - Ahmadinejad and Moussavi - with respect to their attitude about Israel. My view on that has not changed. If the election is truly what this is all this is about – it is a tempest in a teapot as far as Israel is concerned.

But I also indicated that there is a chance that all this unrest could lead to the long awaited counter-revolution we’ve all been hoping for in Iran. I don’t think we’re anywhere near there yet. But it is getting interesting.

Thus far the government has been unsuccessful in quashing the protests. And with each passing day the protests become more significant. The government has forbidden foreign media access to those protests. But thankfully we live in an era where the mainstream media is not the only way for the world to see the images there. Twitter, and Facebook have become the sources for those images. Cell-phone cameras have been recording it all. It is not a pretty sight.

It is too early to tell if there will be any significant change - even if there is a successful protest leading to a new president.

The fact is that even though there was significant albeit unsucessful secular resistance in Iran at the time of the original Islamic revolution 30 years ago – that has long ago been replaced through intense indoctrination of a new generation of believers.

But it’s really hard to tell for sure. The will to be free and participate in modernity can be very strong even if one is religious. One can be modern and religious you know.

The protests are now ostensibly about supporting an opposition candidate. But I can’t help but believe – or at least hope - that the desire for freedom is what's really fueling these protests. It could very well be that this whole thing is just the pretext that young people are using to pursue their real goal – freedom from Islamic fundamentalist rule.

Like I said it is all too early to tell. This couild all be over tomorrow if the Ayatollas really want it to be. They have the power to do what’s necessary.

On the other hand it is also possible that the people of Iran will rise up and defeat the Mullahs and the Islamic Republic for which they stand.

We’ll have to wait and see what develops. But like I said... It’s getting interesting.