Monday, June 29, 2009

An odd source of comfort and relief for the American left: Iran uprising might be over

[June 29: this post was edited after publication, including changing the headline from "Iraq" to "Iran"]

Or not. There was a demonstration yesterday, somewhere between 7,000 and 20,000 people.

Many on the left did not know how to process an uprising which could not happen, and therefore was not happening - because it could not - and yet, sort of was happening. The Iranian Revolution was very break-your-brain confusing for an American leftist. The left had adopted a set of beliefs and assertions which precluded the possibility of this Iranian revolution:
  1. since "food for the soul" is horse manure,
  2. since Iranians already had some freedoms and therefore could not have been risking life for a few more freedoms,
  3. since people are happy under all forms of government(including theocracy),
  4. since Cowboy Bush is gone,
  5. since Khamenei is a "relatively competent" Supreme Leader
therefore the Iranian revolution simply could not have been happening. Yet, there it was on You Tube. Impossible.

1. The protests were actually about freedom and self-determination. These are important to the soul. So, here is the first source of cognitive dissonance on the left: many on the left do not believe the soul exists. They believe: if the trains run on time, if everyone is fairly and equally miserable, it's all good. That food for the soul stuff is all hype.

2. Everyone has some types of freedoms. The left cannot process why people would risk their lives for a few additional freedoms. Doesn't make sense. If you have 20 freedoms, is it worth risking life for just a few additional freedoms? Where is Iranians' sense of proportion?

3. The condescension thing and the PC thing: precious exotic people are never unhappy due to factors of culture, religion, or type of government. All types of government are equally good (except for America's Democratic Republic, which is the suck). Problems occur only when a ruler or leader is inadequate to the task.

Question: Why has every communist government in history been horrible for the people?
Answer: Just an unlucky 80 year multiple nation, multiple culture streak of bad rulers.

The left is constantly on the search for that one person who will show how communism can succeed. The next communist ruler might be the guy. Hope springs eternal! This bad streak of inadequate rulers has to end sometime.

Side Prediction: we will soon see this "wrong ruler" dynamic played out inside the Obama Cabinet. I predict the first Cabinet level scapegoat/victim will be Larry Summers. It's not the $900B bailout which is bad(and is really a $3 Trillion bailout which the MSM refuses to report): it is, instead, and clearly, Larry Summers who is incompetent. And he won't be the only one. Barack will soon enough discover other members of his cabinet who are incompetent. Watch and see. Barack will be "Shocked, shocked".

4. As the left understands things: U.S. problems with Iran have nothing to do with Iran or with fundamentalist Islam. U.S. problems with Iran have to do with George W. Bush being an arrogant and rude cowboy who dismissed Iran and did not engage with it. How arrogant! Then there was the crudeness of "Axis of Evil". Iran is not part of an "Axis of Evil"! Such an uncouth, clumsy thing to spout! How embarrassing for America! Don't blame us leftists. We didn't vote for that chimp/chump/liar. Like you wise international persons, we were embarrassed by the uncouth cowboy President Bush.

5. Thus, from Day One of this Iranian revolution, because Khamenei could not be the problem, we have seen the left promote Khamenei as an effective ruler whom the Iranian people appreciate. An example from June 20:
[T]here is only a mass movement to strike Ahmadinejad from power, not Supreme Leader Khamenini.
And besides that, there’s the relatively competent administration of the [current Iranian government] to consider… For example, educational standards have improved, Khomeini brought electricity to Iran’s countryside, and Tehran no longer has peasant shantytowns.

So, (5) since Khamenei is a "relatively competent" Supreme Leader, (4) since Cowboy Bush is gone, (3) since people are happy under all forms of government(including theocracy), (2) since Iranians already had some freedoms and therefore could not have been risking life for a few more freedoms, (1) since "food for the soul" is horse manure: therefore the Iranian revolution simply could not have been happening.

Yet, there it was on You Tube. Obama almighty! What was it all about? The left was not quite sure, and is mightily relieved the revolution might be over.

Plus, many, MANY pugilistic voices on the left laughed at the ridiculous conservatives - Charles Krauthammer, et al - who harshly criticized Barack for siding with Khamenei and against the Iranian people. How incompetent of Krauthammer. How hilarious that the Krauthammer types didn't understand the strategic imperative for the U.S. to not say anything which would appear to support the protesters, as the Iranian people's hatred for the U.S. would then shift the Iranian people's sympathies to Khamenei's side. Barack could only support the protesters by failing to support the protesters. Don't you see how simple it is? The Krauthammer people are laughable buffoons!

After Barack's people promoted this "strategic thinking" during the first week of the Iranian revolution, Barack double crossed his defenders and began criticizing the Iranian government: kind of limply on Tuesday, more manfully* on Friday. At this point: if Krauthammer is a strategic idiot, Barack is within range of becoming his equal.

For the American left, the Iranian revolution cannot end quickly enough. It is confusing and embarrassing.

*Barack criticized Ahmadinejad more manfully on Friday. Why?

Answer: Because Ahmadinejad had criticized Barack in a very personal fashion. Barack is only moved to passion if and when the legendary narrative of "Barack!" is challenged.

We saw this when Barack refused to criticize Pastor Jeremiah Wright on principle, and only deigned to criticize after Pastor Wright implied Barack was a sleazy, conniving politician. THIS implication was personal! This implication was a threat to "Barack!" the narrative, and Barack the candidate struck back immediately and decisively.

Similarly, as POTUS, Barack is not roused to defend principles such as freedom, human rights, American ideals. Protecting and defending "Barack!" the narrative is more important than protecting and defending American ideals. Barack only progressed beyond limp when an Ahmadinejad statement threatened to make "Barack!" the very and specific and personal narrative look like an affectation. Sacre bleu! "Barack!" the very and specific and personal narrative is not affectation! Non! It is real! And Barack the President then roused himself to stand strong and spit back at Ahmadinejad - not to protect America, but rather to protect "Barack!"

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