This is the final installment of my reply to STRATOR’s Geopolitical Weekly report, entitled “The Iranian Election and the Revolution Test” by George Friedman. Do check out STRATFOR at www.strafor.com.
We will now look farther ahead to see if STRATFOR’s extrapolations match my oracle’s intuition. The future is where STRATFOR and I stray.
A lot of time has passed, about six weeks or so, since the Iranian presidential elections. The victorious Ahmadinejad administration prepares for its official inauguration for a second-term. I expect there will be protests that Western press outlets will magnify out of proportion, just as they recently did framing the public criticisms of Ayatollahs in the Theocracy decrying the crackdown of Mousavi voters as some rebellion of clerics in the revolutionary councils against Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Ayatollah Khamenei. These are the same critical liberal voices in high power circles who vent against the right wing majority of clerics. The media only magnify their statements because it suits their bias to make the Green Revolution appear more widespread than it currently is. The West through a biased media telescope is at least getting some taste of the hurly-burly of Iranian politics. This ain’t North Korea, folks. Never has been a monolithic political state where everyone is suppressed to follow the leader’s tune
The country has settled in a new routine six weeks after the elections, a new undercurrent of minority discord in a majority Islamist state.
This failed rebellion will have historic consequences for the future of Iran. Long after CNN finds another news cycle to keep its ratings high — for instance the death of Michael Jackson all but blacked out reports of the crackdown in the streets of Teheran better than Basijis on motorbikes brandishing riot sticks could ever do — the Green Revolution will move off the streets of Teheran and behind locked doors within mosques in Qom. It will be a three-way struggle for the future of the Iranian people pitting the moderate clerics against their Grand Ayatollah Khamenei and both will be put under the pressure of a “people power” movement the Mousavi supporters are loath to recognize and the Western media simply passes over, clueless of its power.
It is the people power movement that brought Ahmadinejad his first term in office in 2005 when the polls by phone said he would lose. It also is a youth movement of the pious, of the religiously militant who await the advent of the mystical Mahdi, the 12th Imam, and the Shia Islamic version of the end times. Islamic Armageddon is wrapped in black flags of holy Jihad charging west out of Iran, marching all the way to Jerusalem. This latter-day Jihad will take it back for Islam. Ahmadinejad is their leader.
I described this subplot to future Middle Eastern catastrophe at length in Nostradamus: the War with Iran (See Nostradamus Iran prediction). Not even STRATFOR’s Friedman in the close of his article illuminates the religious fervor that guides a majority of this youthful country, where the medium average age of 70 million Iranians is 27 and two thirds of the country are under the age of 30. The majority of the youth in Iran are with Ahmadinejad, for now.
Let us turn to Friedman’s closing statement:
Tensions Among the Political Elite
All of this not to say there are not tremendous tensions within the Iranian political elite. That no revolution broke out does not mean there isn’t a crisis in the political elite, particularly among the clerics. But that crisis does not cut the way Western common sense would have it. Many of Iran’s religious leaders see Ahmadinejad as hostile to their interests, as threatening their financial prerogatives, and as taking international risks they don’t want to take. Ahmadinejad’s political popularity in fact rests on his populist hostility to what he sees as the corruption of the clerics and their families and his strong stand on Iranian national security issues.
The clerics are divided among themselves, but many wanted to see Ahmadinejad lose to protect their own interests. Khamenei, the supreme leader, faced a difficult choice last Friday. He could demand a major recount or even new elections, or he could validate what happened. Khamenei speaks for a sizable chunk of the ruling elite, but also has had to rule by consensus among both clerical and non-clerical forces. Many powerful clerics like Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani wanted Khamenei to reverse the election, and we suspect Khamenei wished he could have found a way to do it. But as the defender of the regime, he was afraid to. Mousavi supporters’ demonstrations would have been nothing compared to the firestorm among Ahmadinejad supporters — both voters and the security forces — had their candidate been denied. Khamenei wasn’t going to flirt with disaster, so he endorsed the outcome.
The Western media misunderstood because they didn’t understand that Ahmadinejad does not speak for the clerics, but against them, that many of the clerics were working for his defeat, and that Ahmadinejad has enormous pull in the country’s security apparatus. The reason Western media missed this is because they bought into the concept of the stolen election, therefore failing to see Ahmadinejad’s support and the widespread dissatisfaction with the old clerical elite. The Western media simply didn’t understand that the most traditional and pious segments of Iranian society support Ahmadinejad because he opposes the old ruling elite. Instead, they assumed this was like Prague or Budapest in 1989, with a broad-based uprising in favor of liberalism against an unpopular regime.
Tehran in 2009, however, was a struggle between two main factions, both of which supported the Islamic republic as it was. There were the clerics, who have dominated the regime since 1979 and had grown wealthy in the process. And there was Ahmadinejad, who felt the ruling clerical elite had betrayed the revolution with their personal excesses. And there also was the small faction the BBC and CNN kept focusing on — the demonstrators in the streets who want to dramatically liberalize the Islamic republic. This faction never stood a chance of taking power, whether by election or revolution. The two main factions used the third smaller faction in various ways, however. Ahmadinejad used it to make his case that the clerics who supported them, like Rafsanjani, would risk the revolution and play into the hands of the Americans and British to protect their own wealth. Meanwhile, Rafsanjani argued behind the scenes that the unrest was the tip of the iceberg, and that Ahmadinejad had to be replaced. Khamenei, an astute politician, examined the data and supported Ahmadinejad.
Now, as we saw after Tiananmen Square, we will see a reshuffling among the elite. Those who backed Mousavi will be on the defensive. By contrast, those who supported Ahmadinejad are in a powerful position. There is a massive crisis in the elite, but this crisis has nothing to do with liberalization: It has to do with power and prerogatives among the elite. Having been forced by the election and Khamenei to live with Ahmadinejad, some will make deals while some will fight — but Ahmadinejad is well-positioned to win this battle.
He is well positioned to do more than that: let power reveal the inner corruption of religious extremism and will-to-apocalyptic brinksmanship already lurking in his little mind perhaps to catastrophic consequences for his regime and for the ruling Theocracy. President Obama has his challenges cut out for him to bring a diplomatic solution and prevent the war with Iran that the Bush administration and Zionists in Israel have worked and planned so patiently to unleash.
Pro war hawks hypnotize Israeli government thinking and they are thinking “Amalek” — the biblical annihilation of ancient Israel’s most implacable foe. Iranians are the new Amalekites who the Lord of Hosts in the Book of Samuel commanded Saul to obliterate: every man, woman, child, sheep, cow, house and piece of property.
It isn’t just Ahmadinejad talking apocalyptic. The man who infamously said he also wanted to wipe Israel off the map of history has more power and influence than before, just as Iran becomes more isolated from the community of nations. His outrageous statements in a climate of suppression at home and new pariah status abroad will only become more extreme. Now economic reform is farther from his grasp if sanctions should be coming. What his supporters forgave in his first term will not be forgiven in the second: economic recovery.
Hey, Ahmadinejad, it is not the 12th Imam, it is the Iranian Economy, stupid! That will take him and the theocracy down or greatly moderate its behavior by 2013.
Here’s the worst case scenario: Ahmadinejad will keep the country united and more militant than before the Green Revolution with fear of outside forces trying to undermine Iran’s revolution he will use his Bashiri vigilantes to suppress descent further.
He is right, by the way, outside forces are trying to influence Iranian life and politics, big and often bloody time.
Seymour Hersh, an investigative reporter for the New Yorker, has reported that non-Persia Iranian terrorists trained and supplied by the CIA and US special forces have waged terror bombings throughout Iran killing hundreds of civilians since 2005.
Iran, of course has waged and will now wage again its own clandestine conflicts in Iraq against US troops. Did you notice how the bombings in Iraq increased after the Iranian Election rebellion? Iran will use Hezbullah in Lebanon to fight Israel again. The suppression of the moderates in Iran, the empowerment of Netanyahu in Israel, the post-Bush spillover into the Obama era of neo-Conservative-supported insurrections by US sources in Iran, all position Ahmadinejad to be more dangerous and make Obama’s diplomatic mission more untenable this late summer into autumn.
Iran will have its revolution and the theocracy will be greatly moderated in the near future, perhaps in a year or so, because of the adventures of Ahmadinejad will bring to the Iranian people “apocalypse fatigue” and economic ruin. He will derail his presidency chasing after a 12th Imam who is more than invisible, it is illusion.
Ahmadinejad blindly following a dream of Islamic eschatology will severely crack the political stability of theocracy in Iran.
(26 July 2009)
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