David, as someone who has previously written “the worse the better” for our enemies, I want to make clear that, while still holding to that position, I completely agree with your arguments in favor of supporting the “Green Revolution” (If that’s not a premature label).
I still believe that the Moussavi who ran in the election would have been a terrible leader from our perspective (and from the perspective of ordinary Iranians) — someone who would not, could not, have made real changes in the nature of Iran’s regime but would have camouflaged its true nature to the West. I still believe that the ham-handed repression and vote stealing of recent days have been a positive development insofar as they have opened the eyes of the Roger Cohens and Fred Kaplans of this world to what the mullahs are all about.
But I also believe that it is imperative to support the protesters even though Moussavi is their head. The protesters’ demands, after all, have escalated: They are now calling for not just Ahmadinejad’s dismissal but also for Ayatollah Khamenei’s. In addition, they want to revise the constitution, release all political prisoners, and dissolve “all organs of repression.” That’s a revolutionary agenda and if Moussavi is cool with that, then he is moving, Gorbachev-like, to become much more of a challenge to the regime than he had been before the vote.
This is a situation in which we should all “think green.” Wasn’t green Obama’s favorite color before this weekend?