Beyond the Cusp

January 1, 2018

Is It Time for the Iranian Mullahs to Go?

 

President Trump has finished one job in the Middle East which has been on the “to-do list” for over twenty years. That, of course, was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and setting in motion moving the United States embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. One can only hope and pray that he remains in office and on-top of this momentous project assuring that it is accomplished. Should President Trump not complete the embassy move within his remaining three years and not be reelected, then the next President could simply return to signing the six-month waiver provided in the 1995 Legislation calling for this relocation and place it back in limbo. That would be sad indeed. There was a threat which came from the various leaders of the Middle East about how this move would cause the entirety of the area to erupt into uncontrolled violence. Fortunately, the only real violence was contained to Gaza and selected locations for maximum effect in the Palestinian Authority areas. Sure there were demonstrations held for a day or two, three at the most around the Middle East, but these were obviously planned and though appearing violent and potentially destructive for the camera crews, they were likely more like the riot scene on a movie set with the action peaking when the cameras went on and some coaching and practice between shots for the noon and evening news shots in the capitals of the world. Watching these in person one would likely have seen them preparing for each live broadcast, “from the Middle East where rioting is ongoing,” But have we been shown the full extent of the demonstrations in the Middle East? The answer to that is a definitive no.

 

The media alluded to demonstrations in Iran after President Trump announced the embassy move and recognition of Jerusalem and a few had scenes of demonstrators protesting against Israel and the United States. In Iran this is a normal scene as this specific set of demonstrators are well trained and ordered in their mayhem and are employed ever Friday after prayers to whip up the crowd before the government official, occasionally the Supreme Leader himself, where, “Death to America,” “Death to Israel” and “Death to the Jews,” are chanted often rhythmically almost as if there were a conductor leading the chant. Even sports stadium chants which are often put to music are less synchronized. Such demonstrations from Iran are almost professionally conducted where a core leads a large gathering of extras in that evening’s routine. What is interesting is that there are protests still ongoing throughout much of Iran despite the camera crews ignoring them and the reporters seemingly having gone home. One has to wonder why these protests are not being covered. They have their own, “Death to (the person of their choice),” being chanted so we have to assume that these protests are not news worthy because they are not targeting the correct people to support the media happy story that Trump is a tyrant who won through Russian collusion and actually Hillary should be in the White House theme. That leaves one to wonder exactly are what the Iranians are protesting, why are they protesting, and what if anything should be done about these protests.

 

Below we have included an insider’s video placed on YouTube showing the demonstrations unedited and commentary free. For those desiring commentary beyond here, below the first video we include CNN coverage followed by Al-Jazeera English. After that we will give our hopes for Iran and the world, particularly the Middle East as Iran was placed into a beneficial position with numerous options other than placing everything into military conquest across the Middle East and could have assisted the people and made life more comfortable and, in too many cases, made basic survival and life easier for the working classes.

 

And

And

 

The Iranian people rose up against the government and the stolen election in 2009 in the Green Revolution, probably with hopes that United States President Obama, who had shown some interest in assisting Iran, would take their side allowing for a reformation of power structures and the people given their freedom and the nations permitted to engage in economic reform. When the Iranian Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad and the others in power decided that the protests had to end, they called out their special forces known as the Basij. These Basij are a volunteer paramilitary force who operates under the command of the IRGC* and are often dressed as civilians without any identifiable uniforms. The Basij are an internal security, law enforcement and special religious or political force and morals policing which use shaming and often severe physical violence and torture as they are given great amounts of latitude with minimal oversight. This was greatly evident when they were turned loose on the 2009 Green Revolution protesters. President Obama took a strong stand on the Green Revolution, unfortunately backing the government crushing of the protests with heavy tactics resulting in the deaths of numerous protesters. The Basij came riding motorcycles initially using clubs and eventually using rifles. The visual which portrayed the violence with the most emotion grabbing heartbreak was the needless shooting death of Neda Agha-Soltan who became the image of that failed reaching of hope. We are approaching a point where we may suffer 2009 Green Revolution redux. That will be the point where the world will need to answer the same questions again, intervene and support the demonstrators or simply sit back and cry over the violence and deaths.

 

Neda Agha-Soltan Shot by Basij Militias in 2009 Green Revolution in Iran

Neda Agha-Soltan Shot by Basij Militias in 2009 Green Revolution in Iran

 

The coming days and weeks may be the first true test of President Trump and his foreign policies. Thusfar President Trump has been a mixed bag on foreign policy sometimes appearing to simply repeat the last item any of his advisors had whispered in his ear. That leaves for a mixture of views so disjointed that finding a common strand becomes challenging. His most steady positions have been his support of Israel and meeting his promise to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, demanding that the Europeans actually carry their weight and meet their obligations to NATO and other treaties, and that the United Nations actually commit to the functions it was intended to attend and perform functions beyond, or preferably instead, sanctioning Israel as if they were the world’s sole problem. President Trump has shown Tweet-support for the Iranian demonstrators. We have included his #IranProtests Tweet (see image below). Of course, pressing the little bird on your phone posting #IranProtests is great but is not actual foreign policy. Fortunately, the State Department has also come out in support of the Iranian protesters. That is also a huge turnaround from their 2009 position when they were in lockstep with President Obama and selling out the farm to please the Iranian Mullahs. The problem comes when we look at what the Iranian power structure will most likely do when they grow tired and have had enough of these demonstrations. Their track record makes guessing their next move unfortunately all too easy.

 

President Trump’s #IranProtests Tweets

President Trump’s #IranProtests Tweets

 

If only the world were so easy that a simple tweet including any # with name of problem would solve things. The news panned President Trump’s #IranProtests tweet as minimal and next to useless, a long call different than they reacted over an earlier White House Tweet. Anyone remember the drooling over the sentiment and great power of a tweet back a few years. You remember the Tweet of the century, or so one would have thought. We will include a picture to help you below. That’s right, we are talking about the picture of Michelle Obama with the seriously forlorn look holding her #BringBackOurGirls little sign when Boko Haram kidnapped an entire school of young Nigerian girls. That tweet sign was supposed to force the return of the girls because how could the terrorists resist such pressure. We claimed that tweet was worthless and we feel that President Trump’s #IranProtests might be a nice soft way of stating where he stands, but Tweets are not solutions, not when Michelle Obama did one and not now with Trump doing one. Perhaps a short, prime time speech on the Iran protests and the United States support of people seeking freedom and a governance which addresses their needs first rather than waging wars across the Middle East from Syria to Yemen.

 

Michelle Obama holds a sign with the #BringBackOurGirls hash tag

 

The Iranian regime will, at some point in the not too distant future, turn on the protesters with ever-increasing violence. When this begins, President Trump will need to take a stand and do so with something a whole lot of a bit stronger than another #IranProtests sent from the Presidential I-phone. That is when Donald Trump will need to call up that Presidential Donald he boasted we would see once he was in the White House. He has made some impressive and very poignant speeches when abroad but this time he is going to need to make one of those style speeches from the White House quite possibly with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Norman Mattis (former four-star Marine General), Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff Joseph Dunford (an active four-star Marine General) and the White House Chief of Staff John Francis Kelly (former four-star Marine General) with the retired Generals wearing their dress uniforms just for effect and to make the statement in a manner which the Mullahs, even Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Khamenei will understand. The Middle East is where the strong horse is respected and all others eat sand, some literally. Many Americans will protest making such a gaudy show of the President surrounded by so many men of military bearing, but sometimes one must speak in the language your target audience, in this case, the Iranian leadership all religious, political and military will fully understand. Targeting the speech and framing the message, as seriously as intended is what matters. Would it help the President if the media were to take him seriously and not instead find every nit-picky thing to berate and weaken the speech and its effect as they have done in the past would be working against the demonstrators and their hopes as well as the President. We would hope that the media would take the speech and its intent and enhance its seriousness and weight as backing for the Iranian people, but perhaps we hope for too much.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

* IRGC = Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

 

1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

    Comment by OyiaBrown — February 24, 2018 @ 6:49 AM | Reply


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