Where this will go is anyone's guess, but the government is showing signs of being desperate

Iran Erupts

By —— Bio and Archives--January 6, 2018

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Iran Erupts
Contrary to what many people think, Iran is not a stable Islamic state. The mullahs, like organized crime, have to hold their power over Iran with blood, the blood of their people. Yes, Iran, or Persia, as it was once called, has had their share of coups and revolutions, but for the most part, modern Iran’s problems began in 1950 when foreign influence began to change the nature of the country. For many older people in the East, Western culture is as foreign to them as Eastern culture is to us.

The religious makeup of Iran before the 1979 revolution was mainly Shia Muslims, but a significant number of Jews, Christians, and other faiths called Iran home as well, and they all lived together just fine.

For much of the 20th century, Iran was ruled by a monarchy. The late Shah, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, ruled Iran like most autocratic monarchs, by decree…sometimes dictatorial, but for the most part good. Much to the dismay of many Islamic clerics, the Shah wanted to nudge Iran into the 20th century. All fine and good, but like my grandmother always said…“everything in moderation.” For many Persians, the change was too much too soon for the sleepy state.

Iran was a reliable ally during WW2 with their famous Persian Corridor, allowing million of tons of supplies from Great Britain and America to flow to the Red Army as it fought Hitler’s troops. Cooperation between Iran and the United States continued until 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini declared America the “Great Satan.”

In the 1980s, 4,482 prisoners disappeared, according to Amnesty International, but testimony of Iranian defectors such as Hussein-Ali Montazeri, one time deputy to Supreme Leader Ayattollah Ruhollah Khomeini, says more than 30,000 were executed. It has been reported, from secret documents smuggled out of Iran, that because of the large amount of hangings, prisoners were loaded onto forklift trucks in groups of six and hanged from cranes in half hour intervals.

President Carter, and others in our government that backed the 1979 revolution, had no understanding of what was happening. They thought the Ayatollah was shocked at the way his people were being treated by the Shah. No, Khomeini was only dismayed that he wasn’t in the same position of power. With the Islamic Revolution, Iran simply exchanged one brand of dictatorial rule for another, albeit even more tyrannical rule, but with a ‘religious’ seasoning.

Now we have anti-government demonstrations spreading across Iran, creating a serious challenge to the theocracy in power. This challenge is determined and spreading.

To learn why this is happening, we can learn much from the chants of the demonstrators:

  • “Death to the dictator”
  • “We don’t want Islamic republic…we don’t want it, we don’t want it”
  • “Death to Hezbollah”
  • “No Gaza, No Lebanon, our lives are devoted to Iran”
  • “Khamenei and his regime are doomed to collapse soon”
  • “Khamemei shame on you, leave our country Iran and get lost”

The people of Iran are rejecting the Islamic state and its rule. Like so many other autocracies or near autocracies, the mistakes repeat themselves. The people are left out of the equation. There is no power sharing. The people have no skin in the game, hence they feel no loyalty to that government.

They are tired of the corruption, the loss of human rights, the funding of foreign wars in Syria, sending cash to the Palestinians and financing Hezbollah, all in the face of a poor economy. Unemployment for the young in Iran is at 40%, half of the population. They are demanding a say and a share in their government.

The most successful countries share power with different groups. The United States, for example, shares power among the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government. This gives us checks and balances. In Iran, there are no checks and balances. At present the religious elite hold about two-thirds of the power with the government holding the rest. The people represent no powerful entity.

Where this will go is anyone’s guess, but the government is showing signs of being desperate. The semi-official news agency, Tasnim, announced that the rioting can be termed ‘Moharebeh’ or waging war against God, a death penalty offense in Iran…an obvious ploy to liken themselves as God’s agents on earth. It will not go well.

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Ray DiLorenzo -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Ray DiLorenzo is a career pilot having retired after 22 years as a contract fire pilot with the California Department of Forestry (Cal-Fire).  He is presently affiliated with Stand Up America founded by Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely (Ret).

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