Bush is Alienating the Population in Iran


by nmilaninia

The New York Times articulated the following statement upon news that the Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran may be designated as a terrorist organization:

Labeling Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization — as the State Department now proposes — is another distraction when what the Bush administration needs to be doing is opening comprehensive negotiations with Tehran, backed by increasing international economic pressure...Designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a foreign terrorist group would trigger automatic American economic penalties against the guard leaders and companies dealing with them. But Iran does little direct business with the United States, so those penalties would cause minimal pain. That suggests that the State Department’s real audience isn’t Tehran, but conflict-obsessed administration hawks, who are lobbying for military strikes, and conflict-averse European allies, who have resisted more far-reaching multilateral economic sanctions.

Let me add something else though. There's one other issue with this designation that just makes it stupid. Iran's success and ability to defend against Iraqi forces during the Iran-Iraq war was primarily a result of of the IRGC. In fact, one of the turning points in the war was when a large Iraqi contingent was repelled by a small IRGC force in Abadan, a city located on the Iran-Iraq border. As noted by the the Global Security Organization:

Iran may have prevented a quick Iraqi victory by a rapid mobilization of volunteers and deployment of loyal Pasdaran forces to the front.

While many Iranians in the Diaspora and elite despite the IRGC because of their relationship with the clerical regime in Iran and the basij (a organization of Iranians who enforce strict social and moral codes in Iran), the IRGC is still a very popular and potent force in Iran. For example, both the parliamentary and municipal council elections, in 2003 and 2004 respectively, were dominated by the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran, a conservative party which dominated the recent parliamentarian elections by winning almost all of Tehran’s seats and whose candidates almost all hail from the IRGC. Similarly, in the recent presidential elections, this organization favored Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who ended up becoming President, despite the fact that Western journalists believed that Iranians favored Reformist candidates. As a result, the Bush administration is once again doing more to alienate the US from the Iranian population, then doing anything to ferment democratic change in Iran. By targeting a popular force in Iran, the Bush administration once again has stifled its own policy objectives.


Recently by nmilaniniaCommentsDate
July 1st "Hands-Free" Cell phone requirements
Jun 24, 2008
Candidate Positions on Iran
Jan 18, 2008
More Pressure against Debra Cagan Needed
Oct 19, 2007
more from nmilaninia

Internal Reform...

by jamshid on

The arabs who attacked Iran eventually "reformed" by becoming more civilized though interaction with the Persians. So did the Mongols, heck, Iranians reformed the mongols to the extent that they even became moslem. But....


But in case of the arabs, it took about a century for the arabs to somewhat "reform". In case of mongols somewhat shorter. I am sure the IRI can reform too. But it will probably be in the early next century before we see any meaningful progress.


Pro-internal reformists are either genuinely naive, or are IRI lackeys. Sorry, there is not a third alternative.


idiotic comments

by pivotoftheuniverse on

Cyclicforward offers a typically dumb comment for us, using the old hyperbole of "fascism" (even if he can't spell the word) to imply that war is the only solution in trying to effect change in Iran. Iran isn't a fascist state (not the in the political definition of the term), it's much more complex. However it is a totalitarian and dictatorial state (esp under Ahmadinejad). But if we want to look to the example of fascism to find answers, for an excellent example of a peaceful democratic transition from an explicitly fascist regime to an open democracy, one only need look at the example of Spain. General Franco ruled Spain for many years under a fascist dictatorship but Spain was able to transition to an open democratic system eventually. Entering a long but dedicated peaceful struggle for democracy in Iran would be much much better than supporting a war designed to meet the agenda of American neocons and pro-Israeli hawks. 


You are correct that the

by cyclicforward on

You are correct that the internal pressure worked in the case of India and South Africa but I have serious doubt that it can work in the case of Iran. The brutality of this regime is such that even if all the population is annihilated, no one in the upper echelon of the regime cares. So, I am not so sure it will happen that way. I am however, would love to see a peaceful transition to democracy and the rule of law and most importantly a secular government that works for the good of the country and people.




Democratic Change

by nmilaninia on

The same way you had democratic change in South Africa, through internal pressure and reconciliation.


Democratic Change?!

by cyclicforward on

I am really interested in the last part of your article about democratic change in Iran. Could you elaborate how one can bring a democratic change to a facist regime?