Iran's Green Revolution Continues

Andrew Sullivan has been covering the rapidly moving events in Iran for the past week. It is amazing stuff, but you won't see this kind of video on CNN or MSNBC, even though you might think that their cable news channels would be optimally designed for this kind of event. No, let's obsess over the failure of an amateur terrorist-wanna-bee instead.

There will be, no doubt, calls by some politicians that the United States ought to "do something." And in fact, the White House did release a statement condemning the violence by the Iranian government against its own people. If we're lucky, that's all that the US government will do at this time. It's foolish to suggest overt (or covert) support for the Iranian Green Revolution, as the regime in power will use that against them. Similarly, idiots on the right may call for military muscle to be flexed, which would be similarly harmful. The Iranian public is going to have to work this out for themselves, and I hope that they'll be successful in resolving this crisis. This is not a call for inaction, but as Prof Walt observes, it is time to think about a) what we do if the Green Movement succeeds, b) what we do if it fails, and c) how to keep hawks in the United States and Israel from making things worse.

I can't stop from observing a bit of irony here. Bush 43 invades Iraq to create a "keystone democracy" for the rest of the Middle East to emulate, and instead creates a government that leans more toward the practices of the current Iranian government. Now, with this revolution in Iran, there may be a fundamental shift of power to a more Western-friendly government than the one that the US government emplaced in Iraq. You couldn't have made up a story like this that anyone would have believed ten years ago.

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