On a Wing and a Prayer

We have reached a point where it may well be possible for the Iranians to pull off a miracle. I wouldn't have fallen for the carrot on the end of a stick a month ago. The whole dictatorship was just a complete sham.

However, for whatever reason, the Iranians have managed to gather in large enough numbers that they may have what is required to pull this off themselves.

When Napolean returned from exile, the king sent out forces to annihilate him. Those forces chose to change sides. Russian tanks similarly turned around and joined Yeltsin. Didn't happen in China, but could well have.

We really don't have any idea how it will go down in Iran. But I will say this - Iran is the most important country in the world today. More important even than the liberation of China. Because the toppling of Iran will help undermine an ideology opposed to liberal democracy. The Chinese only pay lip service to the communist ideology. Everyone in China is just playing along. In Iran, you have real money being used to promote Islamic theocracy, and it is being used as a reference point for morons in places like Egypt. In the same way that the Iraqis were the only ones who could truly erase the image of Saddam the hero, and only the Eastern Europeans could truly explain the reality of communism, only the Iranians can explain the reality of an Islamic state.

Obama completely misses the point when he says "there might not be much difference between the policies of President Ahmadinejad and rival Mir Hossein Mousavi". Yeah. Right. It's not about the sham candidates for a sham ceremonial post in a sham election.

If I were an Iranian, I would be barracking for Mousavi too. An ardent support. I mean, ARDENT. Because I like a goon like Mousavi, selected by the Ayatollah? Not on your life. It's because it's a way of LOWERING CULPABILITY.

Right now, as an Iranian, even though I can see a bloodbath about to happen (but the percentage chance of me actually dying is still lower than say dying in a car crash), the fact is I now have plausible denyability. I can say I went onto the street not because I'm against the Ayatollah (I love the guy!), but because I'm really really supportive of Mousavi, who is part of the wonderful Islamic state I live in, and has already been vetted by the Ayatollah (who, did I mention, I love?).

Yes, it's all about Mousavi!!! Let's get on the street and show our support for Mousavi, who is the TRUE champion of Islam!

Of course, reality, which I will only reveal AFTER liberation, is that I wanted to choke off the streets of Tehran so that the security forces can't bring in heavy equipment quickly, and give opportunities for the security forces to side with the people, also with some plausible deniability if it all goes badly wrong. I hate to seem to be a pessimist, but I haven't seen any sign of security forces changing sides yet, which is the absolutely vital ingredient. If those security forces stand their ground and use their automatic weapons, my money is on the security forces winning hands down. It is essential that they start breaking ranks and start greeting the people like Napolean was greeted by the French forces sent to kill him.

Mousavi is part of the problem, not the solution. He needs to be sent packing as soon as the security forces have sided with the people. We don't need another damn cleric hand-picked by the Ayatollah. We need FREEDOM. Some sort of military coup could bring this about, but it's unclear who actually has access to the required weaponry. Dictators are smart enough to keep that sort of stuff locked away from regular soldiers. But, no system is foolproof like that. The dictators have no idea which soldiers are loyal. There's no honesty of opinion under a dictatorship. Opinions are all secretly locked up.

It will be truly wonderful if the Iranians pull off a glorious revolution. That is SO much better than external invasion if the cost is low (ala Eastern Europe) rather than 100k Iraqi corpses in 1991.

What would be ideal is if the dictators aren't confident and could just be bought off. If Obama (or Rudd) could give say the top 100 dictators $10 million each and safety in some other country (and - let's be clear - they will escape justice, which is tragic, but sometimes in life it is necessary to choose between two very unpleasant choices). That would be a bargain in so many ways.

If we can get freedom for Iran - that is basically priceless.

If we can avoid a high Iranian death toll - that would be wonderful.

If we can avoid the cost of war - that would be a huge economic boon.

If we can avoid the political fallout - and danger (of escalation) - of war - another wonderful thing.

If we can avoid setting precedents of invading countries - that would help deter Russia from invading Georgia (the Russians can't tell the difference).

If we can avoid dead US soldiers - wonderful.

$1 billion is such a bargain. Hell, spread $100 billion around. Whatever it takes to get the regime toppled.

And as I said, even after the dirty laundry of the dictatorship is aired, and as much as I hate the dictators for crimes against humanity - there must be no prosecution of them if they play ball. We need to be a reliable player. Same as when Gaddafi rolled over. And in fact, the same as when any other dictator plays ball. We can't afford a witchhunt any more than we could look Russia-the-gift-horse in the mouth in WWII. That's a LUXURY that is NOT AFFORDABLE. Make the deal, any way you can.

I don't expect the Islamic nutcases to trade power for money, when they can have both already, but if they are feeling insecure (and if I was relying on security forces with family in the streets, I'd be feeling insecure too), they may take the offer and run - literally.

Note that harrassing Charles Taylor of Liberia was a Really Bad Idea for this reason too. We need to be able to make distasteful deal with these dictators. It is vitally important to secure the ideology and the territory - as part of the free world. Individuals come and go and if a few more escape their just deserts, well, too damn bad. Kim Il Sung etc etc got away too. We don't live in a perfect world, but we can make the perfect choice given the available information and actual circumstances. The prize of a free Iran is far far more important than quibbling about how it was ultimately achieved.

I wonder if the Ayatollah is brushing up on his line about all the Iranians on the streets being tools/spies of America, and anti-Islam and anti-freedom and infidels and anti-God. It'll be so much harder for him to trot out that line when the Iranians are obstensibly asking for an Islamic cleric hand-picked by the Ayatollah, but you can be sure he'll trot it out at the appropriate time.

Let's hope for the best, and send the damn troops in if it fails. You don't need 100,000 troops to baby-sit Iraqis. There's a real job that may need doing. Time to grow balls and brains, Obama. You can spin it any way you want, I simply don't care. Trot out any damn excuse you can think of. E.g. "the attempted revolution shows the danger of unstable political regimes having nukes" or "putting down the revolution shows the danger ..." or "countries with 4 characters in their name have a right to be free". I simply don't care. Just get the damned result that is so badly needed.

This is reality. Tough times. Tough choices. This is war, not tiddlywinks. An ideological war. 9/11 was an ideological clash. Iran is, or at least, can play, a vital role in that war.

Note that there are plenty of other countries who could make this happen too. Like France. So if it isn't done, it's not just down to Obama or America. Everyone is guilty. Guilty of being schmucks when the call went out for free men everywhere to stand and be counted.


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