Regime change in Iran

Yesterday in Washington DC, the Committee on the Present Danger  and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies organized an outstanding conference on the subject of  World War IV.  When Cliff May, President of FDD, presented Paul Wolfowitz to the audience, he inadvertently called him the "most famous Deputy Secretary Of State" before rectifying to "Deputy Secretary of Defense". In fact, Mr Wolfowitz would probably not mind being at State. And what if he was? What would it change, especially regarding Iran?

The current Deputy Secretary Of State, Richard Armitage, has called Iran 'a democracy.' This is not very helpful or encouraging for the oppressed Iranian people. I am very much convinced that Mr Wolfowitz would never include Iran on a list of democracies, and would be much more supportive of the rebellion under way against the mullahs. When asked about Iran today, Mr Wolfowitz did not even mention the nuclear issue, but instead forcefully focused on Iran's interference in Iraq, which has been at the root of or assisted in the generation of many of our serious problems there. Mr Wolfowitz's constant clarity would help in dealing with that region of the world.

On the same day Mr. Wolfowitz spoke, demonstrations and riots sprang up all over Iran. The people of Iran are speaking up against that tyrannical regime; maybe we ought to give them our support at least verbally. It does not cost much.

We should not underestimate the impact, influence and even popularity of the US among the Iranian people, especially the younger half of the population. A little help from Washington —— the power of words in this era of internet and satellite broadcasting is in some cases almost limitless —— would go a long way in promoting a peaceful and much—needed regime change in Iran.

The mullahcracy of Iran is ready to topple. Its failure to purify Iranian society of corruption is obvious to everyone there. Families close to the rulers once again grab wealth for themselves at the expense of the rest of society. The  brutality of the regime still rankles, and no longer can be excused as necessary to overcome the legacy of the Shah. The majority of Iranians have no memory of the notorious Savak secret police of the Shah. They have no fondness for jackbooted thugs, though, and today some of those jackboots are hidden under religious robes. 

If a popular uprising could bring down the mullahs, the positive consequences of this event would be enormous.

One of our major enemies in WWIV, the global war against Islamism, would be gone. An enemy which could go nuclear all too soon, and which has openly threatened to launch its weapons to wipe out Israel, is a clear and present danger to the entire world. The possibility of triggering a massive Israeli nuclear response to an Iranian nuclear attack is not to be dismissed out of hand.

The largest supporter of terrorism in the world would be out of business. The Shia insurgency in Iraq, especially Moqtada al Sadr's nefarious activity, would wither on the vine, if denied the constant inflow of money, people, energy, and support from Iran.

Islamists would witness the end of their second regime, after the Taliban. 'The Big Mo,' as we familiarly call momentum in American culture, is at least as important to our foes. The vision of Islamists sweeping away the infidels is extremely important in recruiting support from among the world's billion—plus Muslims. When the regimes which have sponsored and sheltered them and their jihad fall like dominoes, they have a much harder sell. Many Muslims will turn away from them if their claim to be leading a movement whose success is guaranteed looks like a hollow joke.

Neighboring countries such as Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, will experience further pressure to cave into a more democratic process. The sight of your neighbors celebrating their freedom is intoxicating to peoples still oppressed by Twentieth century regimes rooted in totalitarianism and fascism. Al Jazeera and the other satellite broadcasters have undermined the former strict press and information controls which sustained the undemocratic regimes. We often think of the Arab satellite broadcasters as a negative development, but the ease with which they ignore borders in transmitting their pictures and commentary is actually harmful to the tyrannies of the Middle East. More than ever, democracy is contagious.

Hizbullah and Hamas would be left penniless and irrelevant. They have long been given critical support by the oil—rich mullahs. They are the major instigators of terror in Israel, and keep the confrontation stance going, despite the fervent desire for peace among most Israelis and Palestinians.

Peace in the Middle East could be then envisioned. Momentum removed from confrontation would migrate in the opposite direction.

A friendly regime in Iran, open to cooperation with America's oil giants, and unencumbered by sanctions, could better develop its formidable oil reserves, and begin pumping more supply into the thirsty oil markets. The wealth generated would benefit the Iranian people, who would return to their historic role as a great nation among nations.

Regime change in Iran could be even bigger positive news for the whole region than the liberation of Iraq. Accustomed though we are to hearing relentless negative news from our press, the fact is that events could move very positively in our direction. Iran is a key.

Olivier Guitta is a freelance writer specializing in the Middle East and Europe.

Yesterday in Washington DC, the Committee on the Present Danger  and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies organized an outstanding conference on the subject of  World War IV.  When Cliff May, President of FDD, presented Paul Wolfowitz to the audience, he inadvertently called him the "most famous Deputy Secretary Of State" before rectifying to "Deputy Secretary of Defense". In fact, Mr Wolfowitz would probably not mind being at State. And what if he was? What would it change, especially regarding Iran?

The current Deputy Secretary Of State, Richard Armitage, has called Iran 'a democracy.' This is not very helpful or encouraging for the oppressed Iranian people. I am very much convinced that Mr Wolfowitz would never include Iran on a list of democracies, and would be much more supportive of the rebellion under way against the mullahs. When asked about Iran today, Mr Wolfowitz did not even mention the nuclear issue, but instead forcefully focused on Iran's interference in Iraq, which has been at the root of or assisted in the generation of many of our serious problems there. Mr Wolfowitz's constant clarity would help in dealing with that region of the world.

On the same day Mr. Wolfowitz spoke, demonstrations and riots sprang up all over Iran. The people of Iran are speaking up against that tyrannical regime; maybe we ought to give them our support at least verbally. It does not cost much.

We should not underestimate the impact, influence and even popularity of the US among the Iranian people, especially the younger half of the population. A little help from Washington —— the power of words in this era of internet and satellite broadcasting is in some cases almost limitless —— would go a long way in promoting a peaceful and much—needed regime change in Iran.

The mullahcracy of Iran is ready to topple. Its failure to purify Iranian society of corruption is obvious to everyone there. Families close to the rulers once again grab wealth for themselves at the expense of the rest of society. The  brutality of the regime still rankles, and no longer can be excused as necessary to overcome the legacy of the Shah. The majority of Iranians have no memory of the notorious Savak secret police of the Shah. They have no fondness for jackbooted thugs, though, and today some of those jackboots are hidden under religious robes. 

If a popular uprising could bring down the mullahs, the positive consequences of this event would be enormous.

One of our major enemies in WWIV, the global war against Islamism, would be gone. An enemy which could go nuclear all too soon, and which has openly threatened to launch its weapons to wipe out Israel, is a clear and present danger to the entire world. The possibility of triggering a massive Israeli nuclear response to an Iranian nuclear attack is not to be dismissed out of hand.

The largest supporter of terrorism in the world would be out of business. The Shia insurgency in Iraq, especially Moqtada al Sadr's nefarious activity, would wither on the vine, if denied the constant inflow of money, people, energy, and support from Iran.

Islamists would witness the end of their second regime, after the Taliban. 'The Big Mo,' as we familiarly call momentum in American culture, is at least as important to our foes. The vision of Islamists sweeping away the infidels is extremely important in recruiting support from among the world's billion—plus Muslims. When the regimes which have sponsored and sheltered them and their jihad fall like dominoes, they have a much harder sell. Many Muslims will turn away from them if their claim to be leading a movement whose success is guaranteed looks like a hollow joke.

Neighboring countries such as Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, will experience further pressure to cave into a more democratic process. The sight of your neighbors celebrating their freedom is intoxicating to peoples still oppressed by Twentieth century regimes rooted in totalitarianism and fascism. Al Jazeera and the other satellite broadcasters have undermined the former strict press and information controls which sustained the undemocratic regimes. We often think of the Arab satellite broadcasters as a negative development, but the ease with which they ignore borders in transmitting their pictures and commentary is actually harmful to the tyrannies of the Middle East. More than ever, democracy is contagious.

Hizbullah and Hamas would be left penniless and irrelevant. They have long been given critical support by the oil—rich mullahs. They are the major instigators of terror in Israel, and keep the confrontation stance going, despite the fervent desire for peace among most Israelis and Palestinians.

Peace in the Middle East could be then envisioned. Momentum removed from confrontation would migrate in the opposite direction.

A friendly regime in Iran, open to cooperation with America's oil giants, and unencumbered by sanctions, could better develop its formidable oil reserves, and begin pumping more supply into the thirsty oil markets. The wealth generated would benefit the Iranian people, who would return to their historic role as a great nation among nations.

Regime change in Iran could be even bigger positive news for the whole region than the liberation of Iraq. Accustomed though we are to hearing relentless negative news from our press, the fact is that events could move very positively in our direction. Iran is a key.

Olivier Guitta is a freelance writer specializing in the Middle East and Europe.