I suspect quite a bit. I am amazed by the courage of these people to create Democracy for themselves.
We must also never forget it was the US (along with the British) who betrayed their original democracy, with the secret CIA coup that installed the Shah in 1953.
The brutal regime is slaying it’s citizens to hold on to power… and in the process destroying what fragile moral legitimacy they had with their public. The situation looks grim.
Al Jazeera (english) reports.
a 26-year-old student who was shot dead by a sniper in Tehran on Saturday.
Photograph: Till Budde/Getty Image.
Andrew Sullivan’s blog The Daily Dish has some of the best continuing coverage.
“Anyone expecting [or encouraging] another Prague Spring or Tiananmen Square severely misunderstands the situation here. Instead, the long-term solution to the predicament in Iran today is much more complex than any political reform could provide – Iranians have to solve an identity crisis generations in the making. From my estimation, the calming climate of the mass gatherings is the first indication that Iranians would rather tackle that challenge than return to the dark days of the early [1980s].”
Here’s a very very helpful assessment of how recent history built to this moment of truth. read the whole thing. Essentially, the attempt to slowly rest the regime’s authority on more transparent, rational and modern modes came into conflict with the religious, fundamentalist notion of authority dating from Khomeini. Khamenei saw that the organs of state that were being marginalized by reform were also the ones with the weapons. Hence his neoconservative putsch. Money quote:
Famous sociologist Max Weber, referencing the traditional Christian societies he studied, stated this process more clearly:
“Rationalization destroyed the authority of magical powers [religion], but it also brought into being the machine-like regulation of bureaucracy, which ultimately challenges all systems of belief” (Weber, 1991).
‘Belief’ which, to the neoconservative militant element, is the foundation of the rahbar’s power, and therefore the system of velayat-e faqih.
Now, with a war veteran in the second most powerful position in the Republic again, patronage re-institutionalized in ‘05 and continuing now with his reelection, and the Hezbollahi segment comfortable with Ahmadinejad’s activist continuation of the Islamic Revolution’s early ideals, Rafsanjani and his cohort realists are being pushed severely to the sidelines.
But what the regime didn’t expect was a reaction from the people.”
Read the whole post here.