Monday, June 16, 2003

Reacting to the current student unrest and hunted by the fears of a possible popular uprising, Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei last week asked his loyal forces to confront the 'traitors' with sheer 'mercilessness'. Using a cruel word such as 'mercilessness' was new of him. He didn't use to be so cruel in his language before. Is that a signal? I guess the first thing we can understand from his last speech is how scared he is from the present situation. Besides, he knows that oppressive regimes do not fall while they hold the society under strong pressure but often when they start loosening up. Usually these kind of regimes accept changes when it is too late and even then they allow so little of it. When the public asks for gradual reforms they they show iron fist. Finally, when the public thinks of nothing less than subversion they decide to allow some reforms. Consequently, the society which is then like a huge volume of water behind a dam finds a small hole and breaks through a destroys the whole dam. Shah's regime and the former Soviet Union are examples of this phenomenon. Khamenei realizes this and he knows Iran is probably in such an stage right now. He and all people behind him know that allowing reforms at this time means loosing their ass. They know it for sure, the only way to rule for some more time is to oppress. And oppress they do.


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