Iran

I’ve held off on blogging about it. There’s not much I could add that others haven’t said, and said better.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t think about it a great deal. For 30 years, the people of Iran have chafed under a regime that did nothing to fulfill the promises of the ‘79 revolution. That’s a very common problem with revolutions. Most fail, not in overthrowing the regime, but in establishing the institutions needed to form a stable government.

Our own revolution is a poor template to use for most nation states. We threw off the yoke of a distant power. Those that sided with the British were for the most part, somewhat tepid in their support. And they had a safe haven to move to, Canada, when the revolution succeeded. And most of the institutions of a successful government were in place here. We already had a tradition of several hundred years of common law to build upon.

But in any event, it is clear that a huge swath of the population of Iran has felt betrayed by their government. This started as a protest over the rigged elections. And why? Because the Iranian people just may have noticed that their neighbors, Iraq and Afghanistan, after being invaded by the Great Satan, suddenly got to have free and open elections. But Bush was Evil.

Where this will go, no one can say. Should the protesters succeed, they will still have to deal with a huge chunk of the population that has just seen its rice bowl knocked over. Remember, there are many thousands of folks who either made their living via the regime, or were granted some level of power or prestige by it. They will not be very happy in whatever replaces it. That’s a big part of why revolutions so often go awry when trying to establish order. They must use repressive measures just to stay afloat, and in the process, risk becoming the very things they sought to damn.

In any event, I am concerned that our government has taken such a weak position, instead of reminding the whole world that we stand for freedom, and stand with any and all who seek to popularly depose an illegitimate regime.

I don’t know how things will turn out. No one does. But I can certainly pray that freedom and liberty just may gain another toehold in the Middle East.

23 thoughts on “Iran”

  1. The problem is that the US and Israel remain a good bogeyman for the tyrants and religious fanatics. Anything we do might give the old guard the ability to say “told ya so.” But we still need to do something.

  2. Our False Prophet appears to have no idea what a golden opportunity he’s passing up… overthrow this evil regime without firing a single shot… get their Armageddon-inspired nuke program off the world stage… and free 30 million people all at one time. But the boy wonder is too stupid to see it… or somehow just doesn’t care?

    And isn’t this what George W Bush told you was going to happen in the Middle East in the wake of Iraq’s liberation?
    Maybe that’s why Barack Obama has so little apparent interest in finishing the job in Iran… no matter how much it benefits the US and free world.

    That, and the fact that he’s already piled all his chips on legitimizing this vile regime- a democratic revolution at this point would be embarrassing.

    http://reaganiterepublicanresistance.blogspot.com/

  3. I think XbradTC makes a good point. The US is currently receiving blame anyway. OTOH I don’t think the Iranians are actually buying it.

    I hope they can get there too.

  4. The trouble is that both the “winner” and the opposition hate the US. The young people know better, and the sham election has laid bare the farce that is the mullahoracy.

    Any help we give has to be careful, because both sides would close ranks over the US. There are things we can do, many ways to show our support for democracy without being seen as the invaders, but the Mullah-huggers in this administration want us to sit on our hands. The opposition leader may have sent foreign press a letter that condemns this administration for doing nothing.

    Funny that the left is silent on this issue. They probably want it to go away ASAP.

  5. Personally, I think any help we give should be limited to moral support and further diplomatic efforts to isolate the regime. We should work to build consensus with their European trading partners make life more difficult for them.

    In the end, it will turn upon the Iranian people to force the outcome. Either they will succeed, or they won’t.

    Mousavi is by no means a tan George Washington, but if there is a revolution, he can hardly go back to doing business the same old way. And even if he tries, discord and confusion would work somewhat to our benefit, lessening Iran’s ability to forment trouble elsewhere.

  6. The American revolution was successful because a government based on reason and individual rights was formed. Iran’s revolution will not be successful if a faith-based(the Koran) government is formed around “democracy.”

    Iran needs a John Adams in order to achieve liberty.

  7. Rick, as important as reason and individual rights were to the success of our revolution, they were not sufficient in an of themselves.

    Humans are not creatures of reason. The decision to revolt against the crown was not a reasonable one, but an emotional one.

    The Constitution is not a paragon of reason,but rather cynicism. It’s authors knew that people in a position of power tend to try accumulate more power, often for benevolent reasons, but with despotic results. They specifically tried to minimize that power.

    As to whether or not a faith based government can stand the test of time, the jury is still out. In the case of any Islamic government, I’m cynical, as there is no central authority to Islam, but any government formed upon it would tend to claim such ultimate authority. If men were perfect creatures, that wouldn’t be much of an issue, but we aren’t. We, all of us, have failings, and some people will always try to exploit a government or any other situation for their own gain.

  8. Interesting, in my readings of John Adam’s writings not once did I encounter such a view.
    Adams did reference Tillotson and agreed that ignorance and inconsideration were the cause of man’s failures.

  9. The US has fallen so far from being a beacon of light, that we are now a beacon of false hope.
    Carter is the first President that I can remember touting ‘one man, one vote’ as part of the American ideal. It should be remembered that this formula is not a properly a goal but a method.
    The goal is ‘the just consent of the governed’.

    As our new leader is demonstrating, democracy can all too easily become a system of merely “one man, one vote”, which is what our founders had warned it must not be: five wolves and four sheep debating a menu. While after a few days of elections this procedure will become ever agreeable to ever more of the majority, it can never become more just.
    When the US government is busily advocating the use of “majoritarain” rule to allow the unprincipled taking from one to give to others at home, any claim to support justice abroad would ring absolutely hollow.

    As long as no US leader is willing to articulate a framework for justice beyond allowing the will of the people to rule completely, tyranny will reign everywhere, and the people of Iran will face the same choice they had in 1979- which form of tyranny is prettiest.

  10. Rick, you’ve done well here so far. Let’s keep it that way. PJ is well aware that we live in a representative republic. But you and I both know we often refer to our way of government as democratic or as a democracy. One imprecision in language shouldn’t derail what has been an interesting conversation, of which you have, to date, been a welcome part.

  11. I never refer to our government as a democracy. So when I decide to discuss the Founding of our government one of the first things I make sure is understood is that ‘democracy’ in essence is the majority decides (right or wrong). In otherwords, the essence of ‘democracy’ is mob rule. John Adams understood this and was explicit in his writings about how governments degenerate into three forms, ‘democracy’ being one of those degenerate forms.

  12. Rick,
    Is America x ?
    It depends on what you mean by ‘is’, of course. Is by definition? Is by observed function? Is by agreement of experts?
    Instead of asking questions where the short answers are dependent on the assumptions inhering in the question itself, or in the functional definition of a technical term in sometimes general use, you might save a step by essaying for or against the substance of your issue.

    For readability, I have written several times the word “you”. It should not be taken to mean the reader himself, but merely a person in general, man or woman, or intelligent agent of any kind, really.

    Jay, Madison, and Hamilton founded a republic.
    Most people believe we live in a democracy, some a democratic republic, and some actually know the Constitution guarantees each state a republican government.

    Democracy needn’t be mob rule. I think Madison is correct in asserting the formation of non-permanent factions which must ally to achieve a majority with differing other-factions on different issues is crucial to our governments’s functioning without encroaching on liberty.

    America increasingly functions as if it were a Democratic tyranny.
    “Identity politics” which establishes a permanent factional identity, and establishes a permanent alliance with other identity factions makes democracy a mob.
    Fiscal domination of one level of government over the other makes republican government a charade. As long as the Congress can dictate local law at the barrel of cash spewing gun, the states are fictions.

    In the end it doesn’t matter to me whether our US, state, or local government is a democracy, a republic, a hereditary parliament, a constitutional monarchy, or a prize from the Illinois pick 5 lotto.

    What matters is that it must rule justly, and that it must rule with the just consent of the governed. What matters is that there is currently no interest in justice, just law or votes, as if justice could be counted by noses.

    It doesn’t matter if fifty-one senators, five justices, one president, and thirty-seven states agree on anything. They, like Kings and Parliaments who reigned over free men in England in the past, have not the power to make just what is in truth unjust.

    How many men would it take to make a valid law that your life and those of your heirs in blood and law are forfeit to Congress?

    You will rightly point out the Constitution forbids attainder. Yet, the Constitution contains two procedures for amendment, and several more are in more or less common practice.
    If fifty legislatures pass “Amend Art1, Sec9. Strike “No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed” and replace with “No ex post facto law shall be passed without three fifths majority of both houses concurring”.” If sixty senators and four hundred representatives and nine justices and one president agree that your life, property and prosperity should be offered up to save the poor or the powerful, would that be just?

    It would certainly appear to be legal, republican, and democratic.

  13. What is the proper role of government?

    To rule justly?

    To protect individual rights and property?

  14. What is the proper role of government?

    Obviously:
    To enforce rigid standards of grammatical uniformity.

  15. xbradtc,

    I was prepared to get into a discussion about John Adams, ‘A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law’ and how of was important to our revolution and how it could also be important to Iran. However, based on the two comments above, I think I will pass. It does not look like ideas are taken seriously so I will move on and good luck with your blog.

    Also don’t get to caught up in my incoherence over at Cdr. Sal’s you would me hard pressed to find that anywhere else in my writings.

    Thanks for the time it was informative.

  16. RickWilmes Says:
    I was prepared to get into a discussion about John Adams, ‘A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law’ and how of was important to our revolution and how it could also be important to Iran. However, based on the two comments above, I think I will pass. It does not look like ideas are taken seriously so I will move on and good luck with your blog.

    What’s your definition of seriously?

    So maybe I’m out of line, ’cause it isn’t my blog.
    But even though nobody asked me there are a couple of things.

    1. When you are the guest, you don’t ask short questions. The host gets to ask the short direct questions because that lets the guests control the agenda. If the questions are short and boring, the guests have room to expand and entertain: good guest.

    2. When another guest expands upon a question, if another guest disagrees, he should really frame his response in terms of an alternate response instead of a serious of probing questions. The goal should not be to determine some obscure, other-guest’s quaint opinions, but to bring forth a discussion by presenting an alternate response in approximate proportion to the previous response or in proportion to your disagreement.

    At the risk of sinking to the stereotypical “read my previous answers” I will just post it again.

    Instead of asking questions where the short answers are dependent on the assumptions inhering in the question itself, or in the functional definition of a technical term in sometimes general use, you might save a step by essaying for or against the substance of your issue.

    If instead of asking me or xbradtc the purpose of government, you’d have started off a discussion of John Adams writings and philosophy, you’d have had a much better chance to be taken seriously.

    Like I said, not my blog, not really my place to say this, but as long as we’re messing up the front room already…..

  17. Gentlemen,

    I am here to speak my mind as I see fit and also identify your contradictions and BS when it comes to a proper moral defense of capitalism.

    We can keep the discussion civil or I can turn the discussion into another ‘Rack’s Luau’ except I will not be tirading into episodes of incoherence and irrationality. YOU WILL.

    Rack Out!

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