September 14, 2011
COULD W HAVE MADE THE CONSPIRACY ANY CLEARER?:
Iranian Clerics About to Fall?: Abbas Milani reports that the coup is coming to Syria. Assad will go. Iran's clerics are about to go with him. (Abbas Milani, /12/11, Daily Beast)
[A]s Syrian democrats continue to surprise the world with their tenacity, the long-sustained unity between Syria and Iran is beginning to fray. The Iranian regime's public statements are discordant. And this is both tactical--intended to confuse the world, and existential, reflecting the massive fissures and warring factions in the power centers of Iran. Initially, Iran offered unmitigated support for Assad. Today they are pulling back. The Iranian clerics want to claim both that the Arab Spring was inspired by their own Islamic model and yet Syria is meant to be the exception--nothing but a conspiracy designed and acted out by Israel and the United States. When Turkey, increasingly a rival to Iran for influence in the Muslim world, sided with the Syrian democrats, when polls in countries such as Egypt show a sharp decline in the popularity of the Iranian clerical regime among Muslims, when there were increasing signs of Sunni concern about the possible existence of an Iranian conspiracy to reestablish a "Shiite empire"--a concern specifically voiced by some members of the Syrian opposition--the Iranian regime began to gingerly but discernibly distance itself from Assad. Iran's foreign minister declared that Syria must listen to the voice of its people, followed by another statement by Ahmadinejad reiterating much the same position. He even proposed hosting a meeting of Arab Muslim leaders to find a collective "Muslim solution" to the problem. Unless we do something now, he told them, the same thing will happen in all Arab states!
Except he's neither Arab nor Muslim. Posted by Orrin Judd at September 14, 2011 6:45 AM