If Kleiman dedicated half as much energy to working to publicize the abuses of the regime in Iran as he does to shilling on behalf of Barack Obama, Iran may well be a model of Jeffersonian democracy by the end of the month. Incidentally, does anyone else find it strange that Kleiman approves of having his political golden calf to Mousavi, when . . . well . . . read:
. . . In opposition to Ahmadinejad, Mir Hossein Mousavi is not exactly a child of the Enlightenment. He presided as Prime Minister over an eight year grudge match with Iraq over a patchwork of berms, mud brick villages and oil slicked waterways that ruined both Iran and Iraq and killed approximately a million people ending in a macabre stalemate. Twenty years on, he has reconfigured his public platform as that of a Khatami-allied reformist.
And more from Michael Totten:
I do not trust Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. He is part of the Khomeinist establishment, although a crudely sidelined one at the moment. His record as former prime minister isn’t much more attractive than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s record as president.
The democracy movement is rallying around him, but the activists should be careful. Ruhollah Khomeini managed to convince Iranian liberals and leftists to forge an alliance with him to topple the Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979, but he brutally smashed them once the revolution swept the old regime out of power. Alliances between liberals and Islamists is extraordinarily dangerous – for liberals.
Totten believes that it is possible that Mousavi has grown into less of a Khomeini-ist than he was in the past. One certainly hopes so, and I would pick him over Ahmadinejad as the lesser of two evils any day. But that is because Ahmadinejad is truly vile, while Mousavi’s past-at-least-semi-vileness may have been put in abeyance by events. Mousavi’s problem is that he remains wedded to a brutal and vicious regime. The protests he leads only have value and relevance insofar as they demonstrate that at long last, the regime must be swept aside. It’s nice if Mousavi wants to act as one of many vehicles and vessels for the revolutionary change that is so needed in Iran, and Obama was dead wrong to suggest that there is no real difference between him and Ahmadinejad. At the same time, however, it is equally ridiculous to think that Mousavi is the transformational figure that Kleiman thinks Obama is. Indeed, if Mousavi is Iran’s version of HopeAndChange, then the country of my ancestors is in more trouble than I thought.