So much for my modest hopes from yesterday.
Well, it's actually doubtful that the people of Iran laid an egg themselves. I feel badly for these frustrated young people in Tehran. It appears that the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has allowed that beady-eyed, snaggle-toothed cretin Ahmadinejad, that anti-semitic crackpot messianic fool who believes he has a direct line of communication with the Hidden 12th Imam, to steal the presidential election. Try reigning in his nuclear ambitions now.
To their credit, the young people of Tehran are not taking this lying down. Watch the video of the ensuing demonstrations and street-fighting on the BBC.
A week or two ago the credential-less pundit Fareed Zakaria wrote an article in Newsweek called Everything You Think You Know About Iran is Wrong.
Is that so, Fareed? Really now?
You may be right about that. It's probably worse than what I thought.
Iran isn't a dictatorship. It is certainly not a democracy. The regime jails opponents, closes down magazines and tolerates few challenges to its authority. But neither is it a monolithic dictatorship. It might be best described as an oligarchy, with considerable debate and dissent within the elites. Even the so-called Supreme Leader has a constituency, the Assembly of Experts, who selected him and whom he has to keep happy. Ahmadinejad is widely seen as the "mad mullah" who runs the country, but he is not the unquestioned chief executive and is actually a thorn in the side of the clerical establishment. He is a layman with no family connections to major ayatollahs—which makes him a rare figure in the ruling class. He was not initially the favored candidate of the Supreme Leader in the 2005 election. Even now the mullahs clearly dislike him, and he, in turn, does things deliberately designed to undermine their authority.Whoops. Whenever I hear Fareed Zakaria speaking, I'm always reminded of that line by King Edward Longshanks in the movie Braveheart, "Who is this person who speaks to me as though I needed his advice?"
How does a guy like Zakaria gain gravitas and any credibility with an outfit like Newsweek to begin with? Because he's smart, young, Ivy-league, Indian, pro-business and hip?
Yes, Fareed. We know that students in Tehran like hip-hop and texting their girlfriends just as much as kids everywhere else... That's not the point. It doesn't mean that we are wrong in thinking that this "regime that jails opponents, closes down magazines and tolerates few challenges to its authority" is going to be incredibly difficult for us to work with, and that it should be difficult.
The real meaning of this outcome is that a new and horrible war is virtually inevitable, especially with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power. And this new horrible war may just be an amateur opening act for the real problem from hell which is Pakistan.
Meanwhile, keep worrying America, about Tila Tequila, Miley Cyrus, and us tearing each other apart over really important issues like gay marriage. Keep worrying about all that while we continue to ignore the two wars we're already fighting with the same small set of beleaguered and worn-out volunteers, with a couple of new ones on the horizon.