WORDS, BUT NO STRATEGY FOR IRANIAN DISSIDENTS - AT 7:33 A.M. ET: We'll soon know whether this phase of Iranian resistance can be sustained, or will peter out. From AP:
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and a popular reformist former president are boldly defying the country's supreme leader by supporting continued protests of a disputed presidential election, but it was unclear Monday whether protesters would dare to continue massive demonstrations after a bloody crackdown.
"The country belongs to you ... protesting lies and fraud is your right," Mousavi, who claims hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won re-election through fraud, said in a statement on his Web site.
The statement flies in the face of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power in Iran and who last week said the claimed landslide victory of Ahmadinejad was valid.
But aside from the bold words, the opposition on Monday appeared to be scrambling for a strategy to continue the momentum of the protests that have riveted world attention without putting its supporters in peril. At least 10 people were killed in clashes Saturday between demonstrators and police and the feared Basij militia. Police said Monday that 457 people were arrested that day alone, without saying how many have been arrested throughout the week of turmoil.
COMMENT: Most analysts I've read believe that the protests will falter. The issue will involve the stability and character of the regime after that. The irony is that the Obama administration's obsession - and that's what it is - with "engaging" Iran may give credibility to a dying, unstable regime, while getting nothing in return.
President Obama has clearly disappointed many in this crisis, and even his supporters are lukewarm in their support for his lukewarminess. He may be called "no drama Obama," but great leaders know the value of drama, and the value of the great moment. The president, I fear, is still in the classroom.
And, by the way, speaking of the classroom, please note the enormity of support for the freedom fighters of Iran by the "intellectual" communities of the United States. They show their true character once again.
June 22, 2009