Posted on 01-10-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs, Foreign Policy, Politics) by Rashtrakut

The regime change debacle in Iraq has not chastened the neo-cons. First they foolishly called for Obama to grant Messers. Khamenei, Ahmedinejad and the ruling clique in Iran a gift by intervening in the protests this summer. Now the public disclosure of the new secret reactor near Qom is bringing the predictable calls for regime change from Republican Senators to armchair hawks.

Just how this miracle is to be achieved is not clear. Then there is the amnesia of America’s regime change history in Iran, notably the toppling of Mohammed Mosaddeq in 1953 which the Iranians have not forgotten. While the right-wing gets caught up in the rhetoric of the President being “the leader of the free world” there is a general lack of appreciation that most of the free world is generally looking for America to lead by inspirational example rather than diktat.

The naiveté about the willingness of proud historical cultures to accept American sponsored puppets led to the ill advised attempt to install (convicted bank fraudster) Ahmad Chalabi in Iraq. Even when he was replaced by the more acceptable Ayad Allawi, neo-cons seem to have forgotten that he was swept out of office the moment a free election was held.

The prescription of sanctions toppling governments is also flawed. South Africa is the only country in recent memory where they worked, and they worked because the apartheid regime needed the white minority to stand solidly behind it. In other countries like North Korea, Zimbabwe and Burma the ruling clique has continued to feather its nest, passed on the suffering to the population and blamed foreigners for the economic mess. There is also the question of whether China which will do business with any autocrat who turns on the oil spigot will comply with any sanctions regime.

Iran is in the middle of revolutionary ferment that threatens the regime. However, as Joe Klein notes the reason there is such a broad coalition in place is because they speak of reforming the regime rather than eviscerating the structure established in the revolution. With a mass of people stewing in discontent and the ideological underpinnings of the regime revealed to be a sham Iran does not need the intervention prescribed by the neo-cons.  Clumsy American meddling may give the beleaguered Supreme Leader the means he needs to get the disaffected theocracy to rally around the flag. The bayonets of the revolutionary guard and the batons of the Basij hold the regime in place for now. As Serbia’s Milosevic discovered, they find it hard to keep the pot from boiling over indefinitely.

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