January 1, 2010

WESTMINSTER RIGHTLY UNDERSTOOD:

In protesters' fight for justice in Iran, U.S. stands on the sidelines (William Kristol, January 1, 2010, Washington Post)

[T]he Islamic Republic also claims to be, well, a republic. It has elections (most recently on June 12, 2009, and most memorably because of the regime's fraud followed by the use of force). The regime claims to rule in accord with both the principle of democratic legitimacy and a certain interpretation of Islam.

Given the latter, it's fitting that it was the recent death of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri -- who broke with his teacher, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and challenged the doctrine of velayat-e faqih on Islamic grounds -- that triggered this latest and perhaps the decisive crisis of the regime. As Montazeri's argument has gained ground among clerics, the regime seems to have lost the legitimacy of divine as well as popular sanction.

Still, the mullahs and the Republican Guards aren't giving up easily. The people of Iran need help. [...]

The United States has not even begun to do what it could -- rhetorically and concretely, diplomatically and economically, publicly and covertly, multilaterally and unilaterally -- to try to help the Iranian people change the regime of fear and tyranny that denies them justice.

Regime change in Iran in 2010 -- now that would be change to believe in.


It is the regime's failure to live up to its own ideals that makes the crisis in Iran such a golden opportunity Recall that what made President Reagan's indictment of the USSR at Westminster in 1982 so devastating was that he faulted them for failing to deliver on the promises of Marxism and the Revolution, their own ideals.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 1, 2010 6:19 PM
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