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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Iranian Election Fallout Bush's Fault?

The other day I wrote a piece pointing to how when one country in the Middle East, Iraq, trots down the road of democracy, others start wanting it as well. You see a neighbor who has what you don't, you might just start wanting it.

The Domino effect was discussed when we took on Iraq and how other countries in the Middle East might soon start following the path to Democracy.

From that previous Wake up America piece:
In the meantime, in a blatant attempt to spin after Obama got slammed, left and right, for his weak, pathetic response to the atrocities being committed against the Iranian people by their government, the Washington Post reports the White House is trying to credit Obama's Cairo speech with the Iranian uprising.

Excuse me for a second while I laugh hard enough to fall off my chair.

Try this on for size.

The Iranian people look to their neighbors, Iraqi's, who have obtained freedom, liberty and Democracy, hold fair elections where their votes DO count and they see what they want for themselves.

Maybe more people should point out that the Iranian people would not have had that type of example from a Muslim country in the Middle East, if not for...yes, I do dare say it.... GEORGE BUSH.

Today, I open Memeorandum and what do I see?

This Slate piece, titled "Did the Toppling of Saddam Hussein Lead to Recent Events in Iran?"

After the lead in, we get to the paragraph of choice, asking the question:

Which brings me to a question that I think deserves to be asked: Did the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime, and the subsequent holding of competitive elections in which many rival Iraqi Shiite parties took part, have any germinal influence on the astonishing events in Iran? Certainly when I interviewed Sayeed Khomeini in Qum some years ago, where he spoke openly about "the liberation of Iraq," he seemed to hope and believe that the example would spread. One swallow does not make a summer. But consider this: Many Iranians go as religious pilgrims to the holy sites of Najaf and Kerbala in southern Iraq. They have seen the way in which national and local elections have been held, more or less fairly and openly, with different Iraqi Shiite parties having to bid for votes (and with those parties aligned with Iran's regime doing less and less well). They have seen an often turbulent Iraqi Parliament holding genuine debates that are reported with reasonable fairness in the Iraqi media. Meanwhile, an Iranian mullah caste that classifies its own people as children who are mere wards of the state puts on a "let's pretend" election and even then tries to fix the outcome. Iranians by no means like to take their tune from Arabs—perhaps least of all from Iraqis—but watching something like the real thing next door may well have increased the appetite for the genuine article in Iran itself.

To me that is not even a question, it is simple common sense. When you have been beaten, ruled, and controlled for long enough and you see the example of others that rose above it, managed to get out from underneath a tyrant and doctator, it gives you hope, it gives you courage and it shows you it can be done.

Iranians have seen it, they want it and while this is just the beginning, I do not think they are going to give up wanting their freedom, demanding their votes be counted and fighting for their own rights.