Iranian Protests Signal Sea Change And Hope For The Middle East
Still seemingly under the control of Obama’s echo chamber in the coverage of Iranian policy, it took days for the mainstream media to catch up to the tenor of the protests. While initial reporting cited economics and unemployment as the main factor driving the discontent, anyone with a twitter account could see clearly this was an ideological protest with revolutionary undertones. As traditional liberals would jump to support an oppressed people under a totalitarian regime, Obama’s alliance with the Iranian government causes a sense of dissonance from common sense reality. Iran is viewed as a friendly sophisticated nation with people who win Oscars and criticize Trump’s inhumane travel ban in the acceptance speech. All the while, Iran’s government is funding extremist Shia terrorist armies and executing homosexuals. Those who live in Iran are not at all influenced by the Obama public-relations campaign and have begun to fight back at the oppressive regimes ruining their lives.
Something has changed. As Lee Smith noted in Tablet Magazine, the implication of those who stand in the streets regularly shouting “Death to Israel and Death to America,” shouting “Death to Ayatollah,” taking off burkas at risk of their welfare and lives means something is shifting fundamentally. Iran is an odd country. A lot of wealthy, highly educated (including women) people live there. In the 70s, Tehran looked like a modern secular city, but today their Supreme leader is the Ayatollah Khomeini who introduced Sharia-lite after overthrowing the Shah of Iran. Iran is a place with a lot of potential for reform, but the Iran deal shored up the power of the fundamentalist leader who already according to Reuters controls about 90 billion dollars in assets mostly from property seizures.
The response to the protests is largely what you would expect from a totalitarian regime: social media blackouts, hundreds of arrests, and twelve murdered protestors. Interestingly, it hasn’t made anyone back down. The protests are spreading all around the country and have been supported by the US government. Trump’s allegiance with the oppressed protestors is a brilliant move. Obama, against the grain of the liberal MO of protecting oppressed peoples, failed to help Iranian people, just as he failed to help other innocents fighting oppressive regimes during the Arab Spring.
Similar Green protests against the election of famous Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad occurred in 2009, while Obama began his strategy of strengthening Iran in the Middle East with the Iran Deal. A weakened power with strict sanctions on the verge of the type of revolution liberals are supposed to champion, for some reason that I can’t wrap my head around, Obama wanted to shift power in the Middle East to Iran. Him and national security adviser Ben Rhodes were literally feeding understaffed newspapers with no foreign correspondent’s stories false narratives about Iran, such as the negotiations did not begin with Ahmadinejad in 2008, before Obama was president, to push his deal through. It was revealed in 2016, Rhodes sold Obama’s false narratives easily, since, “Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”
As anyone with any knowledge of the Iranian government (or basically anyone over the age of 27) could have told you, the deal has not been very good for the Middle East or the Iranian people. The $150 billion that Iran is receiving from Obama’s historic deal has not trickled down to its oppressed people. Iran has huge economic problems, including 40 percent unemployment for young people. Instead, the Iran deal money has been spent on proxy armies, a nice word for terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas, fighting Saudi forces in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and elsewhere. This purportedly peacemaking Iran Deal, basically ensured the Shia states of Syria and Iran would be fighting Sunni powers like Saudi Arabia (third largest military budget in the world) until the oil money ran out or one of them obtained a nuclear weapon, which under the current structure of the deal is all but guaranteed to happen the day the deal runs out in seven years.
Trump’s support of the protesters looks to be more than just a few words.
As he’s looking to back out of the Iran Deal, as anyone with a shred of human dignity would want, we might see a president who seems to be keeping his promise of wiping Isis off the map, pushing for real reform in the Middle East. Trump’s threat of keeping a watchful eye on Iran, and his threats to throw out the Iran deal, seems to me like a much better reason to deserve a Nobel Peace Prize than Obama’s 2008 election, as it will severely weaken Hezbollah and Hamas and enrich the lives of millions of oppressed peoples who are hamstrung by similarly bad fundamentalist religious leaders (often much worse) who care for their nation’s military aims and hatred of their enemies more than the rights and welfare of their own people. As a boon for the Jewish people and democracy, it is likely to take Iran’s aims off of Israel for a while.
Jesse Bogner is a screenwriter and a journalist. His memoir and social critique, “The Egotist,” has been translated into four languages.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.