Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Algeria, Yemen, Bahrain, and now widespread protests are breaking out all over Iran where the people are in a state of siege over the 32 year theocratic dictatorship under the Mullahs. The Iranian people have renewed their rage against the current despotic leadership, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who brutally crushed the 2009 Iranian uprising after America’s response was first met with silence, then tepid indifference.
The pivotal question is will Iran be the next domino to fall in the Muslim world? If so, what are the implications for the entire Middle East, for America …for the world?
Timing is everything. History rarely gives you multiple chances to seize a singular moment. At the height of the Egyptian insurrection, V.P. Biden said, “I don’t want to get ahead of him. That’s not a good thing to do. (laughter) But all kidding aside, this is a pivotal moment in history. It’s a pivotal moment in not only Middle East history but in history, I would argue. We have said from the beginning as an administration that this unrest, that the future of Egypt will be determined by the Egyptian people.”
Last week Rush Limbaugh responded to Biden’s comments, “I just want to remind you, folks, we have a story from the New York Times today: “Iran Presses Opposition to Refrain From Rally.” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/11/world/middleeast/11iran.html The mullahs and Ahmadinejad are telling anti-government, pro-democratic protesters, “You better not show up. You better not do what they’re doing in Egypt.” “Iran’s authorities have increased pressure on the country’s political opposition days before a rally proposed by opposition leaders in support of the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.”
Continuing his monologue on Iran and the threats of physical violence to the protesters from the Iranian government, Rush said, “And Ahmadinejad said, ‘You better not do it.’ Now, where will we come down? Where will our country be? Where will our media be? Will our media and our administration support an uprising in Iran against the mullahs there? …What will Obama say to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s opposition in Iran who want to hold a similar rally? Will there be a speech? If not, why not? I’m just asking the questions. Here’s Biden saying, “I don’t want to get ahead here of this Egypt. I really don’t want to say much about it.” Here he is continuing to talk about it.
Iran is hypocritical.
Remember how in the midst of the Egyptian revolution for freedom, Ahmadinejad and the Iranian government repeatedly encouraged it. Now they are trying to crush a nationwide uprising by their own people in Iran for the second time in two years. Will they be successful in killing democracy in Iran yet again?
Taking the theme of Iranian hypocrisy, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke of the unrest in Iran’s government “over the last three weeks has constantly hailed what went on in Egypt, and now, when given the opportunity to afford their people the same rights…once again illustrate their true nature,” Mrs. Clinton told reporters in Washington. “We wish the opposition and the brave people in the streets across cities in Iran the same opportunity that they saw their Egyptian counterparts seize in the last week.”
Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan interviewed earlier this week (2/15) by radio host Laura Ingraham advises the Obama administration that the egalitarian liberal ideal of multiculturalism enacted over the past 25 years has been a total catastrophe in Europe and in the Middle East.
In his article “Will Multiculturalism kill Europe?” Buchanan cites the litany of policy failures sparked by multiculturalism: large scale Muslim open immigration in the 1980s, leading to cultural isolationism, tribalism and endemic societal angst.
Buchanan writes on the failure of multiculturalism in Europe, and implicitly on the incompatibility of Islam with democracy: “What is the menace of multiculturalism these people see?
From Moscow to Marseilles, from Stockholm to Sicily, they see the Muslims pouring in and creating tiny nations within the nation, and being unwilling to embrace a new identity as Englishmen, French or German.
And their fears are not unjustified.
For just as the populist parties are deeply ethnonational, proud of their identity as Swiss, Austrian, German, English, Dutch or Flemish, the newcomers, too, are deeply ethnonational: Turkish, Arab and African.
And Islam is a faith that is itself anti-multicultural.”
It’s all connected—the failure of Muslim multiculturalism in Western Europe, the collapse of 60 years of American Middle Eastern policy where we pick the devil you know over the devil you don’t know leading to the establishment of dictatorships all over the Middle East who feign friendly relations with the U.S. and Israel while America turns a blind eye towards tyrannical rule.
“It’s very clear that we are now way beyond a post-election crisis,” said Hamid Dabashi, professor of Iranian studies at Columbia University. “People are going after the regime.” Analysts are convinced that the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia have emboldened Iranian protesters around the objective of forcing the mullahs from power.
Farnaz Fassihi, writing for the Wall Street Journal on the emergent Iranian protests wrote, “The Monday’s protests come as calls for regime change have led to the popular ousters of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. They mark a broadening from Iranian rallies that drew hundreds of thousands through 2009 and early 2010.”
Fassihi continues, “Those rallies targeted what opposition leaders said was a flawed presidential election that they say unfairly returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power. Monday’s protests, by comparison, demanded that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the core of power in the Islamic Republic, step down.”
“Mubarak! Ben Ali! It’s now the turn for Seyed Ali!” was the universal chant from the Iranian people referring to the country’s spiritual head which demonstrates to the world that indeed the Iranian people view their uprising to overthrow a dictatorial government in the same terms as Egypt did in deposing Mubarak and Tunisia did in forcing Ben Ali to flee the country for Saudi Arabia.
Secretary Clinton puts an even finer point on the brewing insurrection in Iran: “That is not where anybody wants to end up, where you are basically in a military dictatorship with a kind of theocratic overlay which doesn’t respond to the universal human rights of the Iranian people,” Clinton said. “So I don’t think there’s much to be learned or really in any way followed coming out of Iran when it comes to democracy,” Clinton continues.
My friend, Egyptian-American and conservative Christian commentator, Nonie Darwish, addresses the leitmotiv behind all 44 Muslim nations which determines their relationship with America, the West and Israel through the paradigm of Sharia law, writing—“Perhaps the most dangerous law in Sharia that stands in the way of democracy is the one that states that “A Muslim head of State can hold office through seizure of power, meaning through force.” That law is the reason every Muslim leader must turn into a despotic tyrant to survive, literally.”
Will Iran be the next domino to fall? We shall soon see. But an even more important question is if Iran falls, if Egypt and the Middle East falls …what will take its place?