SAUDIS TO HELP IRANIAN OPPOSITION?
Good news. If Washington Institute's David Pollockreport on the Middle Eastern/Muslim reaction to events in Iran is to be trusted, Iranian opposition forces can expect some serious help. It is Saudi support, rather than Obama's Cairo speech, that was behind the recent electoral victory of the anti-Syrian, anti-Hezbollah forces. The Saudis, unlike the Americans, have money, are willing to spend it and need to answer to no one.
Remembering that Saudi media is carefully controlled, Pollack's conclusion that the administration will find Riyadh a most willing anti Tehran ally seems warranted and important. If the Saudis have, indeed, decided that" change" in Iran is in their national interest, even Obama appeasers are unlikely to change their minds. I am no fan of the Saudis. But at the moment they seem the lesser of the two evils. More significantly, the unmasking of the brutality of the Iranian regime may lead many young Muslims, who may have fond Ahmadinejad's bravado attractive, to a similar conclusion.
But isn't it too late, one might wonder. Not necessarily. Pepe Escobra may be right in arguing that Iran's streets are lost, but hope returns.
And people power may have lost the street - facing a massive repression machine; but people are not afraid anymore. They believe another Iran is possible. All hopes lie on a protracted, creative, subversive, underground and parallel movement of civil disobedience, with strikes and mourning ceremonies, up and down, with lulls and crescendos.
The 1978/1979 Iranian revolution lasted, back to back, roughly one year. The seeds of the next one have already been planted. The angel of history silently surveys it all.
If so, Saudi money may be just the thing especially when combined with the pressures of the global recession.
- Historian Michael Ignatieff writes a memoir explaining why he failed in politics
- Olivia Remie Constable, director of the Medieval Institute at Notre Dame since 2009, passes away
- Arizona Historical Society soon could be history
- Yale's Donald Kagan says students need to study Western civilization
- Ken Burns on Colbert to promote his new documentary, "The Address"