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Contentions

Tehran Tienanmen 2

Michael Ledeen writes, apropos my earlier posting:

John says, inter alia, “this is a time of testing for the idea that the mullahcracy can be shaken to its foundations by an aggrieved populace. If it can’t, then the regime will prove itself stronger than some of its most heated critics say it is, and the world will have to adjust accordingly.”

I suppose this means that we should abandon the Iranian dissidents—who seem to constitute a majority of the “electorate”—if the current wave of demonstrations fails to overthrow the mullahs. I don’t think much of that as a policy.  John ought to try that general theory out on, say, Bukovsky and Sharansky.  He’d get some strong words on the subject of why America should always support freedom-fighting dissidents. To be sure, there were gaggles of deep thinkers back in the eighties, and long before, who lectured some of the Kremlin’s “most heated critics” on the folly of supporting Soviet dissidents.

Without question, we should support dissidents in Iran. That’s not the issue here. The issue here is whether a popular uprising can up-end the regime in Iran or shake it to its foundations, which is what Michael has claimed. And the model of regime change Michael has suggested, emanating from disaffected Westernized youth, bears no relation whatever to the intellectual and philosophical revolt engaged in by the Soviet dissidents—and no relation to the method by which the Soviet Union fell when it fell.


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