Saturday, 18 July 2009

Iran had a democracy before we took it away... Read here

7 comments:

sparkle said...

The Hedges commentary is the most pointed and concise summary of the coup against Mossadegh and other Western crimes in Iran I have read, perfect for sending to those people who think Obama needs to put a heavy foot down in Iran, or that the West has some right/responsibility to "teach" the land of Cyrus about human rights and democracy. Some Americans think history began in 1776. (Most don't though, thank God.)

Don Cox said...

I am not convinced that Mossadeq was a democrat. He seems to have been more a Marxist.

But there does now appear to be a majority of Iranians who understand democracy. However, there is also a large minority who regard it as a "Western" invention which is hostile to Islam and should be suppressed.
The basic argument is between top-down government and bottom-up government. In some top-dpwn states, the leader claims to be a God or god-like (Roman Empire, North Korea), and in others he claims to be under direct instructions from God himself.

The key difference between the two is whether there are term limits or rule-for-life.

sparkle said...

Don, Mossadegh was no Marxist. He wasn't even a socialist, and expressed disdain for both philosophies in their pure forms. Mossadegh was a pragmatist and independent who endured more than any leader should bear because he wanted to help his country. He had a strikingly anti-Soviet record znd was no friend of the Tudeh party. The western charge that he was a Marxist was pure propaganda to justify overhtrowing him and keeping the oil cheap and under Anglo-American control, plain and simple. All he wanted from Anglo-Iranian oil was the same deal Aramco gave the Saudis, a 50-50 split. West refused, imposed crippling and humiliating sanctions so he and the Majlis nationalized, leading to the coup. That is just one way we messed around with Iran, to no good end.

Good point about bottom-up rule versus top down. If you've followed the reform movement for a while, it's clear this is a ground-up movement, led by the people. Iranians have long understood democracy and their understanding of human rights goes back at least to the Cyrus Cylinder of Cyrus the Great. Right now, they are teaching the rest of the world about democracy and how painful it is to get, and why it is worth it.

Don Cox said...

"Right now, they are teaching the rest of the world about democracy and how painful it is to get"

You think people in other countries, such as France, Germany, Russia, Zimbabwe, etc etc don't know this?

sparkle said...

Don, some people know, some don't. Even among those who know how painful it is to secure democracy, and Zimbabwe is a good example, there is a lot to be learned from Iranian persistence, creativity and innovation. The outcome in other beleaguered nations is intimately invested in the outcome in Iran.

Don Cox said...

"The outcome in other beleaguered nations is intimately invested in the outcome in Iran."

I agree with that. Unfortunately the people in North Korea and Burma will never hear about what happens in Iran. Libyans may.

sparkle said...

Yeah, totally agree, North Koreans won't. It will be a long time for them and the Burmese, though news will get there, eventually. But at least those of us in relatively safe places have learned a lot more about both situations and about protests on our end that can be put to work for the Burmese and North Koreans. That's something.
-- and ourselves when our own governments try to scam us.

Libyans are well on their way.