Iran's theocracy terrified of democracy... again

Hillary Clinton has called Iran's Mullahs for what they are – hypocrites, as their faux support of the Egyptian revolutionaries has been unmasked for the forked tongued, self-serving garbage that is is

Now here is a big surprise… the Iranian Mullocracy has been dabbling in hypocrisy. It rhymes, but not for good reason.

Throughout the Egyptian revolution the Islamists across the region were quick to try and brand events as an Islamic awakening. It was not. There was a distinct lack of religious slogans, chants or demands, despite Egypt being a seriously religious country. It was a social uprising against social problems including unemployment, brutality and systemic government corruption.

Egyptians, including their own domestically grown Muslim Brotherhood, were quick to distance themselves from any foreign Islamist kinship, wisely as it turns out.

While Iran’s Mullahs applauded the brave Egyptian people for taking their “legitimate” protests to the street, they spoke with forked tongues.

Having had a taste of a people’s revolt in 2009 after fraudulent elections reinstated Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the theocratic old men could not risk a repeat ignited by Tunisia and then Egypt. Their (not so) cunning plan was to brand the revolutions as fighting ‘evil’ secularism and Zionism, and constituting pleas for installation of fully Islamic government. If they thought they were oh-so-clever, they have been supping their own Kool Aid, however oh-so-halal it may be.

But just to make sure the world wasn’t sucked in and scared by the Islamists’ offers of blood and support for the Egyptian resistance cause, it was up to Hillary Clinton to call it for what it was… the ‘H’ word.

Never mind of course that liberal lashings of hypocrisy on America’s part were down-trou’d for the world to see as it cut adrift its old mate Hosni. Let’s not be caught in the past – for the moment anyway.

As Iran’s beaten and bloodied Green Movement of 2009 took to the streets over the past couple of days, inspired by the revolution rippling across their region of the world, the Mullahs did what they usually do in the face of insurgents. They cracked down – hard.

Thousands of Iranians braved tear gas and the riot gear and batons of the Basiji militia, to once again call for their own political freedoms and an overthrow of the autocratic regime. So far the reports are of one death. The mobile phone connections were pulled but the chants of ‘death to the dictator’ continued regardless.

That is how Iran supports the resistance movement of the Egyptians – by cracking heads.

That got Mrs. Clinton’s blood boiling, and she accused the Iranian government of showing hypocrisy… which it is.

Some of her anger may however be making up for the just-short-of-the-mark demands the US displayed when the Mullahs turned on their own people in 2009. Sure the White House was irritated then as it is now. However in a bid to be very much on the right side of history while reeling from accusations that it didn’t get its act together quickly enough with Egypt, it has now placed on record its strongest ever criticism of Iran with respect to human rights. Day one of the Tehran demo and Clinton was unequivocal in stating the administration’s clear and direct support of the aspirations of the Iranian protesters.

Obama & Co. wants the same political change in Iran as it applauds in Egypt. After all, that was supposedly what was going to happen when Iranians chucked out the corrupt, USpuppet Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1979.

The Shah had not tolerated any political opposition under his reign, and, as seems to follow in such situations, political oppression is to Islamic fundamentalists what dark, warmth, moisture and manure are to mushrooms. Sound a familiar scenario at all? Only thirty years ago in Iran the Islamists outsmarted everyone and succeeded in not only toppling the Shah, but the rather moderate government of Prime Minister Bazargan was also shown the door. 

Those who wanted Mubarak to stay in control of Egypt were busy resurrecting the hijacking of the Iranian revolution as proof of the doomsday ‘aprés-moi-le-dèluge’ scenario when stability in the form of an autocrat, gives way to rampant Islamism and all its stoning and hand-chopping, burqas and beards… and autocrats.

So, Clinton has put the US situation clearly on the line. While official policy is to try and engage Iran to prevent it developing nuclear arms, this time there is to be no mistake about the line between human rights and foreign policy.

Iran is obviously a little easier for the Americans to take the stick to, but it is not without the sorts of risks that reared their inconvenient little heads during the Egyptian conundrum. The Mullahs are not really as silly as their rhetoric towards the Egyptian protesters would indicate. They won’t be very happy about engaging diplomatically with the world’s nuclear armed policeman over their own nuclear ambitions, when that nuked-up cop is calling them hypocrites for how they treat their own citizens. They are after all as much a sovereign nation as any other.

That said, there is a glimmer of hope coming from what is going on in Iran. While news sources and social media are jammed, protesters are being brutally dealt with and key opposition figures are either under house arrest or in jail, the opposition movement lives.

The Green Movement has not been heard of much outside the Middle East since it twice tried bravely but unsuccessfully to re-ignite the sort of opposition it mustered on the streets in mid 2009.

Demonstrators are not yet back in those numbers, but Iranians have once again shown their willingness to endure hardship if it leads to an ousting of the regime. There is no doubt Iranians are busy unraveling the legitimacy of their theocracy.

It is telling how rattled those powerful, wealthy, comfortable, bearded old men can become so very quickly and there’s a big difference between 2009 and today. The difference is Mubarak. Egypt is not Persian Iran, but autocrats share amazing similarities regardless of their language or real estate.

Young Egyptians who took part in the revolution say they were inspired by Iran's Green Movement, and are now in turn inspiring others in the Middle East and North Africa. Kings and presidents are feeling the heat.

Theocracy may well rhyme with democracy, but Iranians know the two just don’t gel. For both it must only be a matter of time.