Babylon & Beyond

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IRAN: A regime's fate and its 'foreign interventionist Kool-Aid'

June 20, 2009 |  7:25 pm

Lots of observers are weighing in today on this week’s dramatic protests in Iran.

Fareed Zakaria, an author and foreign affairs analyst who hosts a news show on CNN,  says a “fatal wound” has been delivered to the Iranian regime’s ideology.  “Something very important has been laid bare in Iran today — legitimacy does not flow from divine authority but from popular support.” 

At Huffington Post, Marc Ginsberg, former US Ambassador to Morocco, writes: “The titanic struggle of wills between the Supreme Leader (how Orwellian a title) and Mousavi that is so riveting that it may very well seal the fate of any durable prospect of a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran. Why so? Because Khamenei and Ahmadenijad are drinking their own foreign interventionist Kool-Aid.”

Noted Iran analyst Juan Cole writes on his blog that “The real question is whether this is 1963, when the shah managed to put down a rebellion led by Ruhollah Khomeini, or whether it is 1978-79, when he failed to do so. The answer lies in the depth of support for the protests among the population, and in the stance of the various armed forces toward the latter. In 1963 the military was willing to crack down hard on the protesters. In 1978, they started refusing to fire on them.” 

Jack DuVall, founding director of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, writes today for The New Republic about the “power of plenty.”  “Regardless of whether or not the Green Revolution in Iran succeeds in the coming days, the collective recognition by ordinary Iranians that it is, after all, their country — that its guidance and direction are not the property of one ideological faction or certain privileged clerics — is unlikely to fade.”  

— Alexandra Zavis in Los Angeles