Monday, December 21, 2009
"Reform" Wasn't Happening Anyway
The AFTP's Hussein Ibish has a good post up on how the death of Grand Ayatollah Hosein Ali Montazeri will affect the burgeoning opposition movement to Iran's increasingly dictatorial regime. The short version is: less than you think. Montazeri was by far the most prominent and credible voice amongst the dissident clerics who believed that the Islamic Revolution had lost its way. Consequently, his death makes it that much harder to usher in a so-called velvet revolution which seeks to reform rather than revolutionize the system by casting it as a return to its roots, rather than a wholesale change. However, the steps taken by the ruling forces -- increasing reliance on outright dictatorship and brute authority -- were hastily closing the window on that option anyway. They were designed to give the populace a stark choice: either revolt outright, or accept the new order of things, with barely even a gesture anymore at showings of democracy or freedom.