Iranian Sex and Circuses
Sure, it's a young population, and Mr. Shahi reminds us, as David Goldman pointed out years ago as part of his analysis of the death of Muslim societies, that Iran has undergone the greatest drop in birth rates in human history. And there are other data showing that traditional relationships are crashing and burning: marriage ages are rising, divorce rates are up, abortions are increasing. Males tell pollsters they are having more premarital sex (Unreliable IMHO, since males always claim that, don't they?). Let's assume the numbers are accurate. Do they add up to a revolution? Revolutions are acts of hope, they are carried out by people--invariably young people--who think they can change the world. Does the unprecedented crash in birth rates sound like a characteristic of a society full of hope? Isn't it rather the opposite, evidence of despair?
Of all the times to talk about sexual revolution, and credit a large part of it to an emerging, educated class of Iranian women, this would seem one of the least suitable. Iranian society--most definitely including the women--is suffering under greatly increased repression. Any sign of independent thinking, writing, movie-making or counter-cultural artistic endeavor is ruthlessly crushed, its practitioners imprisoned in record numbers, the Internet strangled by the regime. And we're supposed to believe that the Islamic Republic is being sabotaged by free love? Not even the Woodstock crowd would believe it.
By the way, the unhappy fate of Iranian women, well known to all who follow Persian events, caused an extremely embarrassing moment for our diplomats, when a State Department spokesthing wouldn't denounce the exclusion of all females from the OK List of presidential candidates. Just thought I'd mention it.
The Real Story
It isn't hard to understand Iran, or what we should do about it. It's just that hardly anyone wants to get it straight. To its credit, the State Department still knows that the Iranian regime is the world's greatest sponsor of terrorism. The Iranian who wanted to blow up a restaurant in downtown Washington, D.C., just got 25 years, for example, and you can ask the Syrians and Lebanese about Iranian terror. Iran is our mortal enemy, sworn to destroy us, and working to do just that. It's a religious tyranny, a theocratic fascism that oppresses its citizens and doesn't dream of giving them a say in what happens to them. We should do everything we can to bring down that regime, support the opposition, and denounce the evil Khamenei and his henchmen every single day.
Forget about these fairy tales about sex, elections, and miracle software. Get to work. If we could bring down the Soviet Empire without waging open war, we can certainly bring the Islamic Republic to a well deserved end.