Image via WikipediaWhen the Soviet Union was around it felt like it was going to stick around forever. Compared to what the Soviet Union was, Iran is nothing, Saudi Arabia is nothing. When the Soviet Union finally collapsed, it collapsed like a house of cards. It felt so easy and inevitable.
At some level it feels to me like if the democracy movement is done right in Iran, we could see a 1989 repeat. The War On Terror does not have to stick around for half a century. We can conclude this one fast. But the democracy movement has to be done right.
So far it has been crowds of people hooting and hollering in a soccer stadium to make a cup of coffee. The people of Iran have done what they were asked to do. But they have been failed by the leaders and the organizations and the diaspora and the global netroots/grassroots.
We have to remobilize. We have to do it all over again. We have to do it right.
I envision a resource rich movement. We have to raise money. Lots of it. There are enormous logistics involved in a democracy movement done right.
Iraq and Afghanistan have been progressive failures. The progressives in America did not think the cause of democracy in far away countries like Iraq and Afghanistan were their business. So the neocons stepped in and waged war and spent trillions of dollars. The progressives still don't have billion dollar ideas to take democracy to the other Arab countries. I say let's start with Iran.
The global netroots/grassroots has to mobilize, it has to raise money. It has to help the Iranian diaspora organize and coordinate.
Mousavi's leadership role is not certain. He could see personal growth and agree to a change of goal for the movement, or he has to step aside. For now I am for sticking with Mousavi as the mascot of the movement and trying our best to get him to see that the goal has to be changed. Mousavi as mascot allows us to take advantage of the fissures in the Iranian state structure. We have to exploit those to the max.
But the goal no longer is holding elections all over again. The goal is regime change. The goal is ending the theocracy. The goal is a new democratic constitution.
A democratic Iran is going to be a proud Iran. A democratic Iran is going to speak vociferously for its interests in the global arena, as it should. A democratic Iran is going to talk in terms of nuclear energy. A democratic Iran is going to talk for justice for Palestine. Sure. Why not?
But the bet is that democracies don't go to war with each other. And so a democratic Iran and Israel will be able to live in peace. That part is science. Turn the Arab neighborhood into one of democracies, and the war clouds depart.