August 3, 2005


The fatal flaw in Iran's regime (Ray Takeyh, AUGUST 3, 2005, International Herald Tribune)

As Iran's hard-line president-elect, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, prepares to assume office this week, there is a pervasive perception that the country's conservatives will finally be consolidating their power after eight years of struggle against the reformers. But rather than unifying Iran's right wing, Ahmadinejad is likely to fracture it if he acts on his pledges to bolster economic equality and end corruption.

For the reality remains that Iran's current corrupt economic system is sustained by the conservative establishment, which has always been uneasy about Ahmadinejad's egalitarian economic pledges. The contradictions that have always plagued the conservative movement are now likely to surface, making stalemate and deadlock once more the currency of Iranian politics.

Iran's most recent election was notable in that it reflected the revolt of the younger generation of conservatives who are offended by the corruption of their elders, and a hard-pressed working class who have suffered continuous economic strain. Ahmadinejad managed to adroitly mobilize these constituencies, which historically had served as the backbone of the conservative bloc.

There is no Islamicist way to grow an economy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 3, 2005 12:00 AM

Sure there is— kill unbelievers and distribute the wealth you've just stolen. You may think that such growth isn't sustainable, but you forget that when everyone is a believer, when Dar-al-Islam encompasses the entire world, Allah will create Paradise on Earth, and it won't matter any more.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 3, 2005 2:43 PM


The USSR used that system and was rather short-lived.

Posted by: oj at August 3, 2005 2:52 PM

True, but you can make people look awfully busy with all those "Mag bar America" protests. Kind of like what happens on the West Bank and Gaza.

The press will never show lengthy, unedited video of the camps. People would start to look down on those 'dirty' Palestinians.

Posted by: ratbert at August 3, 2005 4:20 PM

some people already do

Posted by: cjm at August 3, 2005 6:30 PM