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Cracks in the Iranian Monolith--Opposition is spreading in the streets, prisons, and the military.
Wall Street Journal ^ | AUGUST 24, 2010 | Michael Ledeen

Posted on 08/23/2010 8:34:14 PM PDT by Ooh-Ah

The Iranian regime loves to boast of its military strength, international clout and hold on domestic power. Much of this is accepted by outside experts, but in fact the regime is in trouble. Iran's leaders have lost legitimacy in the eyes of the people, are unable to manage the country's many problems, face a growing opposition, ....

A few weeks ago, according to official and private reports, the Iranian air force shot down three drones near the southwestern city of Bushehr, where a Russian-supplied nuclear reactor has just started up. When the Revolutionary Guards inspected the debris, they expected to find proof of high-altitude spying. Instead, the Guards had to report to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei that the air force had blasted Iran's own unmanned aircraft out of the sky.

...

That opposition is fed by enduring social and economic crises. Unemployment last month reached 15% and is as high as 45% in some regions. In Tehran, health officials warned pregnant women and mothers of young children not to drink the water. Electrical failures are widespread. Taxi drivers have been striking around the country this summer, some because of the long lines at gas stations and others because of a shortage of compressed natural gas. The sanctions seem to be having an effect.

...

Challenges to the regime now come even from prisoners. When Mr. Ahmadinejad challenged Barack Obama to a debate this month, a Green Movement website reported with grim admiration that five journalists in Tehran's infamous Evin Prison had invited Mr. Ahmadinejad to come to jail and debate them.

Very little of this news reaches a mass Western audience, and one wonders to what extent Western governments understand what's going on. If they do, their failure to support the democratic revolutionaries is all the more lamentable.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: ahmadinejad; bushehr; debates; drones; iran; ledeen; michaelledeen; uavs

1 posted on 08/23/2010 8:34:17 PM PDT by Ooh-Ah
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To: Ooh-Ah

It’s true the Lord works in mysterious ways... but we’ve heard predictions of Iranian populists overthrowing the mullahcracy for SO long, and it just never seems to jell...


2 posted on 08/23/2010 8:36:46 PM PDT by Nervous Tick (Eat more spinach! Make Green Jobs for America!)
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To: Ooh-Ah

“Unemployment last month reached 15%.”

Sounds a lot better than California, Nevada and Michigan. I like Michael Leden but he has been saying this since we invaded Iraq. THe Iran leadership has the country totally controlled in the same way the TV networks in America control the drooling masses for liberals and Islam.


3 posted on 08/23/2010 8:38:07 PM PDT by Frantzie (Imam Ob*m* & Democrats support the VICTORY MOSQUE & TV supports Imam)
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To: Ooh-Ah
A few weeks ago, according to official and private reports, the Iranian air force shot down three drones near the southwestern city of Bushehr, where a Russian-supplied nuclear reactor has just started up. When the Revolutionary Guards inspected the debris, they expected to find proof of high-altitude spying. Instead, the Guards had to report to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei that the air force had blasted Iran's own unmanned aircraft out of the sky.

Kudos to the Iranian Air Force... and a big HaHa! to the Iranian Air Force.


4 posted on 08/23/2010 8:38:59 PM PDT by OCC
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To: Nervous Tick

Yep. IIRC, it has been nearly 9 years of these stories.


5 posted on 08/23/2010 8:39:49 PM PDT by PghBaldy (Like the Ft Hood Killer, James Earl Ray was just stressed when he killed MLK Jr.)
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To: nuconvert

Ping.


6 posted on 08/23/2010 8:40:10 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: PghBaldy

IIRC, it has been nearly 9 years of these stories
Sure . . . a report here and there of this kind, then of "willingness to talk" on nukes, the usual blather. Ahmadinejad's usual talk is the only indication of their true agenda, especially relating to "hasten(ing) the return of the Mahdi". Iran won't re-revolutionize back to a peaceful country; it'll have to be done from the outside, and this time with people that are actually committed to achieving peace by destroying such warmongers as these and others.
7 posted on 08/23/2010 8:43:57 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Ooh-Ah

**Forever mired in islam Alert**


8 posted on 08/23/2010 8:45:45 PM PDT by samadams2000 (Someone important make......The Call!)
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To: Ooh-Ah

This is “wishful thinking”. Trying to take the heat off of the headmuzzi in WH.


9 posted on 08/23/2010 8:47:29 PM PDT by Pit1 (Conservatives talk should be JOBS JOBS JOB. Mosque is a diversion by dems.)
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To: Ooh-Ah
Has Barry pledged unlimited military support to the mullahs yet?


Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

10 posted on 08/23/2010 9:00:34 PM PDT by The Comedian (Evil can only succeed if good men don't point at it and laugh.)
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To: Ooh-Ah

Mossad??


11 posted on 08/23/2010 9:19:31 PM PDT by cruise_missile
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To: Ooh-Ah

Once Iran gets the bomb, there will be little to no hope for anyone wishing to overthrow the mullahs and their crazy president.


12 posted on 08/23/2010 9:25:07 PM PDT by TheThinker (Communists: taking over the world one kooky doomsday scenario at a time.)
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To: Ooh-Ah

Is this a reprint from 5 years ago or 15 years ago?


13 posted on 08/23/2010 9:26:12 PM PDT by cookcounty ("I can see November from my house!" ---Sarah Palin)
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To: Ooh-Ah

>>>>”one wonders to what extent Western governments understand what’s going on.”

I’d say Western govts understand far more than less.

However, the foundation has to be set in Iran. And, the Will for change has to be initiated from within Iran & by Iranians abroad alike, and then supported by W. govts, imo.

It seems there is not a firm consensus among (esp. politically active) Iranian population as yet, whether the Islamic govt should reform itself or be replaced in its entirety, along with its largely Islamic constitution & mandate.

It also seems that Western govts simply accept/accepted that an Islamic govt in Iran is what many Iranians want. So, at best, W. govts support “reform” of Islamic govt, as a viable alternative. Imo, it is a false alternative. Iran needs a “Regime Change”.

The other crippling issue is lack of strong & secular *leadership*.

Apart from airy fairy jibes & speeches of a few prominent Iranian (leaders) about a need for a secular govt in Iran, most of these people are either unwilling and/or unable to put the proverbial money where their mouth is.

So, the remaining so-called *leaders* continue to be drawn from different factions of the same Islamic Regime/govt in Iran. Hence, business as usual will continue..


14 posted on 08/23/2010 10:09:23 PM PDT by odds
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To: Ooh-Ah

The Green Movement begged for just a nod from Obama, this was before Iran had a nuke, which is a game changer. The Green Movement correctly sees their future as living in squalor behind the outward threat of their own glorious nuke for the next generation or two. I’d imagine that thought is emboldening -for them.


15 posted on 08/23/2010 10:15:59 PM PDT by Fitzy_888 ("ownership society")
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To: FARS; SunkenCiv; AdmSmith

In case you haven’t read already!


16 posted on 08/23/2010 10:39:11 PM PDT by odds
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To: odds; nuconvert
Iranian President's New ‘Religious-Nationalism’ Alienates Hard-Line Constituency

Amid a deepening split within the Islamic system's “principlist” conservative faction, the combative president has begun stressing nationalistic Iranian themes in what some observers characterize as an attempt to carve out a new political constituency amongst nonpolitical types who neither identify with religion nor the pro-reform Green Movement.
http://www.rferl.org/content/Iranian_Presidents_New_ReligiousNationalism_Alienates_HardLine_Constituency/2131415.html

17 posted on 08/24/2010 12:23:28 AM PDT by AdmSmith (GCTGATATGTCTATGATTACTCAT)
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To: Nervous Tick

I know what you mean.


18 posted on 08/24/2010 12:41:08 AM PDT by Ronin (If it werenÂ’t so gruesomely malevolent, Islam would just be silly.)
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To: AdmSmith

Just last week, pro-Ahmadinejad lawmakers asked the justice authority to investigate remarks by two leading conservative members of parliament from the so-called pro-justice faction headed by Ahmad Tavakkoli. The deputies reportedly sharply criticized Ahmadinejad and his supporters for “distancing themselves from the clerics” and acting like “a terrorist group.”

http://www.rferl.org/content/After_Green_Movement_Irans_Conservative_Factions_Turn_On_Each_Other/2130118.html


19 posted on 08/24/2010 12:50:14 AM PDT by AdmSmith (GCTGATATGTCTATGATTACTCAT)
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To: AdmSmith

Thanks Admsmith for the links.

Just wanna say that “religious-nationalism” is not a “new” concept in Iran (pre & post Islamic regime) by any means.

The 3 pillars of consequence for Iran, for a long time, are/have been: Monarchy, Religion & Trade/Business (Merchants i.e. Bazzaris).

The ‘Supreme Leader’ position of IRI today took over from an absolute ‘Monarch’ of yesterday, in a sense, while promoting an air of democracy & peoples’ participation in the political process. The intentions & in comparison were, however, distinct & different.

Actually, during latter yrs when Khomeini was still alive, and thereafter during Rafsanjani & Khatami, “religious-nationalism” was often injected into Iranian society (whether mostly Islamic, Shia Islam, and/or a hybrid of Zoroastrianism & Islam).

Because, in Iran, Islam or Shia Islam on its own simply can not survive.

See some links & some comments on Islam & preceding religions, from one perspective:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2548900/posts?page=10#10

As a summary, my assessment is/has been that whenever, specifically in last 31 yrs, IRI sees a threat of a *secular* revolt in Iran, it falls back on further reinforcing Islam (esp. Shia Islam), AND, combines it with Iranian long ingrained pride in nationalism - nothing new.

IRI continues in the tradition of initial Muslim-Arab invaders of Iran, later those of Safavids (15 to 17 century), who forced their version of Shia Islam on Iran & made it the official State religion, and now we have IRI, who Perfectly knows how to deal with Iranian tradition & religious psyche.

IRI, thru history, knows how to combine religion with Iranian non-religious nationalism. They do it by force, or thru some type of pressure. Examples can be numerous. It is very clever & goes to show they aren’t as stupid as many in the West would like to portray them.

I do wish that we didn’t So Much focus on Ahmadi-Nejad alone. He is only a small portion of the Overall Iranian problem.

But, the more we focus on Ahmadi-Nejad, the more IRI is able to distract us from the Real issue, which is the IRI regime itself & in its entirety, incl. its *other leaders & reformists*. That’s what IRI wants, imo.


20 posted on 08/24/2010 1:19:41 AM PDT by odds
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To: Ooh-Ah

Same old story, never comes to anything, keep moving folks nothing to see here, safe home and good night.


21 posted on 08/24/2010 4:03:49 AM PDT by jmaroneps37 (Conservatism is truth. Liberalism is lies.)
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To: odds; AdmSmith; Arthur Wildfire! March; Berosus; bigheadfred; blueyon; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks odds!


22 posted on 08/24/2010 4:18:06 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Democratic Underground... matters are worse, as their latest fund drive has come up short...)
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To: odds
IRI continues in the tradition of initial Muslim-Arab invaders of Iran, later those of Safavids (15 to 17 century), who forced their version of Shia Islam on Iran.

I think this needs to be explored and exploited further. Iranian nationalism is a strong current historically.

There is no other way to get around it, Iran has been occupied by a foreign Arab religion for over 5 centuries. Their forefathers did not convert willingly, they fought and died in an attempt to keep this insipid foreign totalitarian religion from their land and their people. They fought gallantly but ultimately failed and those that remained had the choice to convert or to die.

The forefathers of the Great Persian Empire have wept for centuries as their offspring have been occupied, terrorized and forced into submission of the invader Arab Islam. They cry for those in despair and curse those who embrace the very evil they fought and died to defend against. Perhaps the time is near when the people of Iran will cast off the alien evil once and for all and rebuild what once was and could be again. An enlightened society of great governance, laws, and works.

There is no compulsion to embrace a religion that was forced upon your forbearers at the point of a sward.

No Iranian can deny that the only reason Islam is in Iran today is because it was brought by the sward and they were too weak at the time to stop it.

23 posted on 08/24/2010 10:55:49 AM PDT by usurper (Liberals GET OFF MY LAWN)
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To: The Comedian

Publicly, not that I’m aware of; privately, “probably”.


24 posted on 08/25/2010 4:40:26 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: usurper

I’m unsure of the exact meaning of your post.

Two points:

>>>”I think this needs to be explored and exploited further. Iranian nationalism is a strong current historically.”

I think *secular-nationalism* in Iran can work now & in the future. But, that is not what the Islamic regime is pushing in Iran.

If we, by “religious-nationalism” mean “Islamic-Nationalism”, then personally I am totally against it. Because, “religious-nationalism” will push many Iranians towards how the Islamic regime in Iran wants to shape Iran & Iranians.

As I said in previous post, “religious-nationalism” is often fed in favor of Islam in Iran by All Factions of the current Islmic Regime, Not just Admadi-Nejad.

Surprisingly or not, and based on the feedback I’ve, there are many more Iranians in the U.S. who have, over the yrs, become much more religious & “practicing” Muslims, often in favor of the Islamic regime in Iran!

>>>”There is no compulsion to embrace a religion that was forced upon your forbearers at the point of a sward.”

Many Iranians, in Iran, nowadays are increasingly aware of this fact.

However, many more have been indoctrinated by Islamic teachings, throughout centuries since the Arab-Muslim invasion of Iran starting in 7th century. The same Islamic indoctrination is continuing to date.

Generally speaking, most Iranians are not even aware of the difference between Islam, Shia Islam, Zoroastrianism, and simply non-religious Iranian culture & traditions.

The entire thing has become very convoluted. The Islamic regime/mullahs knows it & takes advantage of the general confusion among the populace.


25 posted on 08/26/2010 9:02:35 AM PDT by odds
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