Watching the Inevitable in Iran
There remains a lot of confusion and still unanswered questions about what is happening in Iran. An interesting debate is emerging, from what I can tell, over what exactly happened. I can't confirm whether or not opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi is under house arrest.
Some are arguing that the electoral outcome may well be what it appears: an Ahmadinejad landslide. I think these analysts make some valid points, but to me the crime is in the cover up. Consider me in the Sick-Sullivan-Cole camp until proven otherwise.
Even setting aside this election, anyone who pays close attention to Iran could see the writing on the proverbial wall: Ahmadinejad's "privatization" scheme, the IRGC's heavy influence in the economy, the populist condemnation of "corrupt" clerics from Ahmadinejad's camp, and so on.
I stick to my point from yesterday: Iran is no longer a theocracy. To blame this on "The Mullahs," or worse, Iran's "Right-Wing" is to fundamentally misunderstand what is taking place there. This is a secular power grab done under the guise of Islam and revolution. The perpetrators are the enemies of western rapprochement, and the proponents of economic isolation. The Revolutionary Guards benefit from Iran's economic isolation, much like the mafia benefited from prohibition and other criminalized behavior. As any stereotypical movie gangster might say, "why ruin a good thing?"
I believe we are witnessing the disposal of Islamic pretense, and in fact a more honest and apparent Iranian police state. How that affects their place in the region and the world is still to be determined.
This story is moving far too fast for the press to keep up with. For those of you interested in keeping tabs, I highly recommend Andrew Sullivan, Nader Uskowi, NIAC Insight, our friend Michael Totten and the folks over at Tehran Bureau. Don't forget Twitter, either. Iran is among the "emerging trends," and the social media giant offers us interesting, real-time news from inside the country.
And of course, keep refreshing RealClearWorld throughout the day, as we keep you updated and informed on the election's aftermath.
Remain critical of everything you read at this point, as everyone has their own agenda - including myself. Full disclosure, I hoped for a Mousavi win not because I thought it would have dramatic impact on U.S. interests in the region, but because I felt he would help liberalize and enhance what is a truly wonderful country and a wonderful people.
Apparently, the IRGC agreed.
All photos credit: AP Photos