Everyone is talking about Iran right now and a few precious souls are predicting that the power of the Ayatollah might be shaken and regime change could be on the way to the Islamic Republic. Hope springs eternal I guess. The problem, as I see it, is that not only are there relatively few major differences between the two feuding claimants to the presidency; that presidency holds only nominal power anyway and I don't see the "change" crowd advocating the right kind of change. Where are the brave soulds standing up to defend the monarchy of the late Shah? They are out there of course but are given virtually zero face time by the mainstream media. Everyone is talking about the smell of revolution being in the air but what should be talked about is how all of this proves what a disastrous mistake the Islamic revolution was and illustrates the need for a good ol'fashioned counterrevolution.
The son of the late Shah has long been working for "regime change" in Iran though unfortunately he has stopped short of advocating restoration of the monarchy. He has been beating the democracy drum for a while and when pressed on the issue of the monarchy inevitably claims humbly that he would be willing to serve in whatever capacity the Iranian people choose for him once they have a true democracy in Iran. I have the utmost respect for the Crown Prince and at this point almost any change in Iran would bound to be an improvement. However, my fear is that, even if democracy takes root, it will not lead to the restoration of the monarchy and we will see the Islamic revolution portrayed in official histories in the same way that the French Revolution is today.
Consider how often you have read or heard about the French Revolution and the horrific bloodbath that followed. Almost without exception the liberal elites will half-heartedly confess that the Reign of Terror was "unfortunate" but that it was a necessary evil to destroy the monarchy of the ancien regime that is, to them, the ultimate bogey man. My fear for Iran is that, if there is regime change and by some wildly implausible series of events Iran becomes an actual democracy their own revolution will be glossed over in this way as well. Liberal elites will shrug off the horrors and crimes of the theocratic republicans and say that the Islamic Revolution was a sad but essential step in getting rid of the autocratic monarchy to continue down the path to a secular, democratic republic. If anything the people should look at Iran, wake up, and realize that republicanism is not a guarantee of prosperity and democracy is a fickle and fragile thing that can be easily manipulated, suppressed or steered in a chosen direction. All that has happened in Iran in the last few decades should prove that republicanism is a failure and that the Shah had been right all along. His son should be restored asap with the mullah's sincerest apologies. Sounds unreasonable I know, but I am...The Mad Monarchist.
What, if any, were the 'crimes' of the late Shah? Why were so many people angry at him? In what little I know....he seemed to try to help his people.....the whole thing is so confusing....ReplyDelete
Well, the Shah was an autocrat -no doubt about it. Personally, I have no problem with that, and there are also those who point to signs that he was preparing to introduce more political freedom. However, he did go after opposition groups, had secret police and all that. What is worth remembering is that the people he was "oppressing" are the people in power today -radicals, fundamentalists and terrorists. He was an autocrat but, unlike today, Iran had real freedom of religion, women could wear skirts, uncovered heads, go out in public without an escort, get educated and teenagers could go to the see the latest Hollywood movie or dance at a disco. People had way more freedom in their everyday lives under the Shah than they do today. If he had to crack a few skulls of religious fanatics who wanted Iran to be the horrific, terrorist-sponsoring theocracy that it is today; I say more power to him and may he rest in peace.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your response! I appreciate it!ReplyDelete
I have met so many Iranians who had an active part in the revolution that toppled the Iranian monarchy, and who today are so remorseful! I met one the other day, in a shop here in Stockholm. I didn't know that he was a monarchist, and rather thought for various reasons that he was a socialist or communist. When I referred to the Shah as a "dictator" this man became leaned forward at me and with very angrily asked me "The Shah was a dictator??", when I said well yes..., he interrupted me and firmly said "No, he wasn't!" And then he said, even if he was a dictator, he was a good and just leader who loved and served his country. This man told me that he had been one of the diehard revolutionaries who had set cars, shops and buses on fire during the revolution, and even torn down the statues of the Shah. Now, he said, he was ashamed in front of his children everyday of his life, and he said he would be so for the rest of his life. I looked at his chubby fingers and noticed a gold ring with the Pahlavi crown emblem. Most people in Iran, everywhere in Iran, say these words: "Khodah biamorzatesh!" It means "May God bless him", and they're referring to Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.ReplyDelete
The Shah may have been a dictator in some ways - But he was a benevolent and good dictator who only wanted the best for his people and country. A million lies have been told about him and his family - No leader and dynastic rule in modern times have had so many and such vicious and malicious enemies as he and the Pahlavi monarchy had! Radical Arab states such as Libya, Syria, Iraq and once also Egypt. And then so called "moderate" Arab states such as Saudi Arabia. Oil companies and certain western powerful politicians. The Soviet Union, and so on. All of them spit out lie after lie, and then spread them through the western media and tea houses, taxi cabs, universities and public bath houses throughout Iran. The few things that were said about the Shah and his rule that were not lies were extremely exaggerated - such as the role of SAVAK and torture. All too often history is not just towards its subjects - I hope that history will reflect the truth about the Shah and his rule. He, his wife the empress, and his father, really loved Iran, and they worked so hard for Iran and the Iranian nation. Modern Iran has the Pahlavi monarchy to thank for its existence.ReplyDelete