To understand those in power in Iran, the closest parallel would be to imagine the United States run by a theocratic cabal of the Reverends Robertson, Hagee and Dobson who keep the people in line, enforcing moral strictures via vigilante militias composed of young rural "Christian soldiers" who purify society by rounding up immodest women and killing abortion doctors.
As Iranian "secular humanists" are beaten up by the regime's religious thugs, those calling for President Obama to grandstand represent what's left of the Republican Party, ironically now dominated by the religious right. Meanwhile amid the din of war drums from Fox News, the Republican echo chamber, Obama has resisted giving aid and comfort to Iran's Supreme Leader. Apparently Senators McCain and Graham missed Khamenei telling his shock troops on State media that "The Great Satan" America, Britain and of course the Zionists, are behind the street protests, not the Iranian people.
Since when did a partisan politician resist attacking the national security credentials of a sitting Commander-in-Chief? General MacArthur tried and failed, although recently Dick Cheney broke new ground by undermining the incumbent from the position of a former Vice President or co-President as many have concluded. I guess after the reckless endangerment of U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security, you have to give Cheney points for being brazen. He who bogged us down in three wars, one endless, another needless, and the third botched. With the only winner so far in all three wars is his former company Halliburton. And he brought us to the brink of financial ruin, squandered our moral standing and exposed us to international shame.
But witnessing the life ebb from a young Iranian woman shot down on the street with impunity by a Basij zealot, demands that someone speak out against a coup that ratified a religious nutcase, Ahmadinejad, as the front man for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Watching the Supreme Leader calling the tearful Basiji to arms, it struck me that the worst thing Bush/Cheney and the neocons did was to trivialize what is evil about our enemies as they devalued what is good about us.
Having thrown around labels like "evil" and "Islamo-fascist", we are paying for the schoolyard bluster of the neocon's name-calling and grandstanding. Especially now that there has been a coup in Iran by real certifiable "Islamo-fascists" against the hopes of the Iranian people, but what do we as a nation have to say?
The extent of this tragedy will become more apparent as we soon hand over Iraq to Iran, the consequence of another reckless Utopian neocon fantasy. To get rid of a minor thug, you empower a really nasty regime? And although the IRGC has been behaving in Iraq, not wanting to kick the American gift-horse in the teeth, wait until we leave and the real power in Iraq emerges.
To get a whiff of what is in store you only have to look where Ahmadinejad was when the hard-line clerics and IRGC stole the election. He was in Yekaterinburg, Russia, forming a counter-alliance against the United States with Russia and China's presidents who are leery of Democracy and afraid of transparency.
Now that the world's dictators are forming a club of mutual support, fueled by resources from unsavory regimes as they compete in our "free" market, who will join us in outrage? Sad to say, after Wall Street led us to the cliff, only to have the taxpayer save the nation from foreclosure, with bailouts borrowed from the grand kids, we are not a good model for economic values or even viability. Indeed the Nobel Economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz, who expects the dollar to be soon replaced by a new global currency, recently noted that the biggest loser from our economic meltdown is support for American-style capitalism itself.
But there is good news! For every counter-alliance there is a counter-counter-alliance and the U.S. might soon find itself leading an unlikely alliance of Sunni Arabs and Israel. The same "Arab street" that championed Hezbollah in its recent war with Israel is now alarmed by the Shiite moment and the true face of the Iranian regime's appropriation of Palestine. But clearly Israel has to take the Palestinian issue away from Ahmadinejad before this happens. Meanwhile Mubarak and King Abdullah will have to weather the storm.
The axis of dictators recently met where the Bolsheviks shot the Czar's family, and later on Mayday 1960 Francis Gary Powers' U2 spy plane descended to torpedo an early end to the Cold War. Yekaterinburg (formerly Sverdlovsk), is also where Boris Yeltsin was the Communist Party leader when a WMD, weaponized Anthrax, was accidentally released on a civilian population. Given its history, it looks like the perfect place to host the beginning of a new world war.
Ian Masters is the host of "Background Briefing" and "Live From The Left Coast" on KPFK radio Los Angeles and at ianmasters.org