The media is currently having a feeding frenzy reporting about the post-election demonstrations in Iran. There is talk about the fall of the Iranian regime in favor of a western-style secular political system. This is the same media that gives us two hours of live helicopter videos whenever some idiot in Los Angeles evades police with his automobile. It is also the same media that spends night after night speculating about missing baby Cayley.
Since the fall of the shah thirty years ago, the American media has given life to the myth that the majority of people in Iran want liberalization of the country and a western-style democracy. It is true that there are many people in Tehran who speak English, have higher incomes, and have a genuine desire for such liberalization, but the vast majority of the people who reelected Ahmadinejad last week share no such sentiments. While there may have been isolated incidents of election fraud, there is little doubt among experts that Ahmadinejad’s re-election was the will of the majority of the Iranian people.
Unlike students and the professional classes in Tehran, the majority of the electorate in Iran live in rural regions, don’t “tweet”, don’t have computers, firmly believe in the virtues of Islam, and want Iran to be an Islamic state. In a country where the telephone system is archaic and most rural residents don’t own a phone, is it any wonder that telephone polls showed Mousavi ahead of Ahmedinejad? Even if Mousavi had been elected, the “reforms” possible under his administration would have been modest.
Ahmedinejad is well liked in Iran. His national security posturing, complete with his insistence that Iran become a nuclear power and that Israel be wiped off the map, has accelerated his popularity among rank and file Iranians. By the beginning of July any minor demonstrations still existing in Iran will no longer draw the attention of even the “car chase” media.
Turn off Fox news and MSNBC. Watch golf or soap operas instead. Nothing will change in this Iranian stalemate. Obama wants to negotiate with the Iranians with the goal to get them to abandon their nuclear ambitions. That will never happen. The Iranians have learned one important lesson from Kim Jung Il; the key to international legitimacy is an A-bomb complete with a missile to deliver it. All of the talk and negotiations in the world won’t change this situation. Either the Iranians will join the nuclear club or the Israelis (with or without Obama’s permission) will forcibly prevent that from happening. No matter how many sugar plum fairies dance in the White House or in the hallways of the United Nations, it is my unfortunate conclusion that this conflict will not end well.