Good Company

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

More on the War with Iran (and an aside on Saudi Arabia)

Roger L. Simon calls for Referendum in Iran - A Proposal for Bloggers:
I think the blogosphere should devote itself to this, make the call for a democratic referendum in Iran one of our top priorities. We have been accused of late (falsely, I believe) of being a destructive force, of tearing things down like a mob. Surely, the call for a referendum in Iran is not that. It is the promotion of democracy at its purest. Bloggers on all sides of our political spectrum should be able to get behind that. I'm in.

However much I might support the idea of a referendum, I'm afraid my thoughts remain below like those of a commentor at Mr. Simon's blog:
More seriously, I cannot imagine mullahs ever agreeing to such referendum – why should they? What is in it for them? Tyrants are not interested in hearing the voice of the people. In any case, since they control the ballot box they also control the outcome of the referendum, presence of Havel and Walesa notwithstanding. Also, there are ways to make sure that people will vote the way you want them to vote: international monitors will be gone in short time, but people who go to the voting booths have to continue with their lives: jobs, health, future of children may be at stake. I think that a lot of good people in the West underestimate the power of “persuasion” that tyrants hold over the civilian populations: unless driven to utter desperation people just want to live, so they can go a long way submitting to the will of the tyrants. No matter how much they may yearn for freedom in their hearts.
I'm afraid the freedom seeking people of Iran will not overthrow their tyrants with any more ease than any peoples have ever done. It's not a referendum that will be needed, but that other "r" word - revolution. In the meantime, War with Iran continues in Iraq, Afghanistan and ---Syria.

(an aside on Saudi Arabia - I wonder if those princes are smarter than we know when they let their young purist firebrands rush off to be killed by the Americans in places like Fallujah? Who will be left in Saudi Arabia to lead the assault on the princes themselves- if it comes to that?)

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