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The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
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Wednesday, July 17, 2002
 
Music is the latest challenge to the dictatorship in Iran. Michael Ledeen thinks the end is near (link fron Glenn Frazier), and he's probably right.

The real proof the Iranian dictatorship is falling is that there are increasing cracks in what should be its base constituency of Shia clerics. Clerics who are serious about the future of Islam in Iran are increasingly recognizing that the Islamic Republic has been a disaster. A generation of young Iranians associate Islam with repression and mullahs with greed and corruption. A significant number of clerics realize that continuing misgovernment by mullahs could endanger the Islamic identity of the nation.

This is a development with profound significance. Iran had three major revolutionary movements in the 20th century (The Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1911, the Mossadegh movement of 1950-1953, and the Islamic Revolution of 1979). Although only the last succeeded in gaining and holding state power, all three were echoed outside its borders in other Moslem countries. Iran has a well-educated populace (thanks in part to the Shah) and substantial economic resources. A real democracy could succeed in Iran, and would certainly be allied with the US and probably, whether openly or informally, with Israel. Especially if it took place in conjunction with the establishment of a new democracy in Iraq, which will be harder to carry out successfully, the example would carry powerfully to other nations.



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