Iran's Ironic Situation: Power to the People
Back in the early 70s, John Lennon released a post-Beatle single called, Power to the People, by the Plastic Ono Band. At the time, it was a revolutionary type overthrow type rock song with a throbbing bass and drum beat. It was about in many ways, how power is in numbers that demonstrate about whatever, but in its time, it was about the Vietnam War.
Iran is experiencing that now. It is sooo ironic that the generation that overthrew the Shah of Iran in the 70s for being too close to Western culture and which was not a democracy in the true sense of the word, is now in power and using identical, ruthless, tactics to control the thousands that oppose the ruling clergy and seek more democratic freedoms. The Iranian pendulum as swung a full 360 degrees since 1979.
Mir Hussein Mousavi remains President Admadinehad's adversary and the "Green" revolutions leader. Mousavi has now dared the current regime to kill him by stating he welcomes martyrdom, such as if a terrorist bomber does. Killing Mousavi would not destroy the revolution that slowly simmers and grows. Since the faked elections in the Summer of 2009, where Ahmadinejad claimed a false and fraudulent victory, thousands of Iranians have empowered themselves by taking demonstrations to the street on many occasions. Obviously, the most recent ones where at least 10 demonstrators were killed by the secret police and others, deep divisions in the government now exist about what to do.
They know their own history, about how the mass of demonstrators continued to grow just prior to the overthrow of the Shah. They know all too well about tactics and the fact that use of force to suppress the "people's will" will eventually only cause more unrest and division despite stupid claims that the UK and America is causing it. Iranian youth are smart and connected to sources outside of Iran that tell the truth. Yet, despite knowing how the situation will unfold is of no help to them, they cannot resist the temptation of power to use the same ruthless force and secret police (as the Shah did) to maintain their government. The more force used to maintain it, the more the country is divided and the more discontent simmers.
The Ahmadinejad cronies are now looked upon as a illegitimate government of sorts, ignoring what the people want-more democratic freedoms that Iranians lost back in 1979. The elections were fraudulent in many ways and no recount occurred. So, the dilemma is what does the current leadership in Iran do? Use of force is so easy and is a good deterrent in the short term, but it does quell the simmering revolt seeking more democratic lifestyles. Killing Mousavi or other former members of the clergy is a real gamble. If done, the demonstrations may turn to ugly riots as it emboldens the opposition. It would smear the current government even worse.
A smart Admadinejad and clergy would gain more by allowing more democratic reforms the people seek (freedom of expression, assembly and press), address some reform in the current government. Ah...but this will never happen. They fear it will actually further weaken their grip on the Iranian people, and of course, it could.
Remember, it only took a few internal members of the Shah's government and the power of the people to overthrow that regime in 1979. It could happen again. Don't underestimate the power of the people or of the few.
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