Monday night in the city of Karaj, a car blew up. It was carrying several members of the Revolutionary Guards’ “foreign legion,” non-Iranian Arabs being trained for operations against Americans and our friends and allies in the region. The explosion was enormous. “They used too much explosives,” an Iranian friend commented. Neither he nor I knows who carried out the attack, but it is only one of many. I haven’t seen a report about it in the press, but then there is no press these days in Iran; the papers — those that hadn’t already been shut down by the censors — have been silenced during the Norooz holiday.
But the Iranian people have not been silenced. In addition to assassinations such as the spectacular explosion in Karaj, there have been more joyful confrontations with security forces across the country. There may not be newspapers, but there are videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxlaH9wDMPY&feature=channel (from Kermanshah)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohv8GhrEbNw&feature=channel (from Khoram Abad)
http://homylafayette.blogspot.com/2010/03/tears-determination-and-joy-greet-new.html (from Shiraz and Tehran)
There are others, but you get the picture. It’s an ongoing revolt.
I’m often asked whether the Iranian people can actually defeat the evil regime that has oppressed them for more than three decades. When I say “hell yes,” they usually act surprised. Which, in turn, surprises me, until I remember that hardly any of our institutions of higher (or lower) learning study such things seriously any more. Along with military history, it’s pretty much vanished from university curricula. There are political reasons for this lack of understanding.
Even though we are living through one of the most revolutionary periods in human history, one is hard pressed to find thoughtful analyses of the explosive events in Iran coming from the misnamed “progressives.” This is doubly scandalous, both because they should have more sensitive antennae for such things, and because nobody should be surprised to find Iranians rebelling against their rulers; there were three revolutions there in the twentieth century alone. Iranians can rightly claim to be revolutionaries par excellence.
What’s wrong with these people?
The Left lost its revolutionary vocation when it became the blind supporter of Communism. The Leftists were unwilling to acknowledge that others had taken up the revolutionary cause. To admit that was to confess that they were no longer a vanguard movement, that they no longer fought for the freedoms that had defined them for two hundred years, and that they in practice had become defenders of the status quo. Unable to admit the truth, they set about distorting the language lest the truth become obvious.