Power struggle in Iran


The best description of what is happening in Iran and why the Mullahs so fear the "democracy bomb":

[quote]One of my favorite reporters called late last week, saying he had learned that Coalition forces in Iraq had captured an Iranian vehicle entering Iraq with large quantities of shaped explosives, obviously headed for the terrorists. "So what?" was my reply. It happens most every day. But he was baffled. Why would the Iranians be supporting terrorist actions against Shiites? After all, didn't they want the Shiites to prevail in Iraq, so that there could be an Islamic republic there?

His question — and he's a good reporter — shows once again how totally false stereotypes distort our ability to see what is in front of our noses, and the presumed unavoidable conflict between Sunnis and Shiites is one of the worst. After all, the courageous dissident Akbar Ganji and scores of other Shiites are under torture in Iranian prisons and hospitals, and thousands of Iranian Shiites have been murdered by their very own Islamic republic in recent years. The mullahs and their prize thugs love to smash and kill Shiites. Last week in Basra, according to the brave blogger "Iraq the Model," (Shiite) students at the major universities were badly beaten, two of them killed, by "Sadrists and Mahdi Army militiamen" (that is to say, radical Shiites). Their crime was to hold a picnic for both boys and girls.

On the other side of the presumed great religious divide, Sunni terrorists — above all, those who work with the Iranians — love to kill their fellow Sunnis. Just a few days ago "al Qaeda in Iraq," which is commanded by the (Jordanian) Sunni Abu Musab al—Zarqawi, murdered two Algerian (Sunni) diplomats in Iraq, calling them "apostates and allies of Jews and Christians." (Please notice that the terrorists did not refer to "allies of America and other crusaders." It was "Jews and Christians"). So Zarqawi unhesitatingly slaughters Sunnis when the opportunity arises.

One grows tired of learned disquisitions about the inner workings of various Muslim subgroups, as one tires of the false generalizations — "Islam is a religion of peace" or "Islam is a religion of war." (Both are true) — rather than seeing the region plain. The (Shiite) Iranians, in league with the (Sunni) Saudis and Syrians employ thousands of terrorists, suicide and other, from all over the Middle East, of various religious "conviction." It all has a religious/ideological overlay — as did fascism and Communism — but this is an old—fashioned war (spare me from "struggles against extremism"). The terror masters and their foot soldiers are trying to kill us and our allies, in order to remove us from the region, thereby extending the lifespan of their tyrannical regimes. The Koran, whatever the particular exegesis employed, is no obstacle to tactical alliances, any more than Mein Kampf prevented the Fuhrer from surrounding himself with a variety of distinctly non—Aryan thugs (not many blue—eyed blondes in the bunker), or Hitler, Mussolini, or Stalin from changing strategy, or even making alliances with their presumed mortal enemies (remember the Nazi—Soviet pact?), when circumstances warranted.

Just as the fascist leaders fought vicious battles against their own people and even against their own comrades—in—arms, so Iran today is in the grip of a very nasty struggle for power within the theocratic elite and against the broader society. Neither is well noted in the popular press, or, alas, among the policymakers in Western capitals.

The surest sign of internal tension is the purge.

Clarice Feldman    8 1 05