Some recent events occurring in Iran show alarming changes. This morning's WSJ online had this story that caught my eye and tweaked my memory of other similar stories.
WSJ: Revolutionary Guard Tightens Security Grip
BRUSSELS -- Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard has sidelined the country's intelligence ministry, forming a new organization that reports directly to the Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Interviews with Iranian analysts and opposition figures, along with recent government announcements, depict a shift under way since Iran's clerical regime was shaken by the massive street protests that followed disputed presidential elections in June. ...
"Khamenei wants to have absolute control," said Ms. Rajavi, saying that the NCRI's network of supporters in Iran has established that Mr. Taeb [head of new Revolutionary Guard unit] reports directly to Mr. Khamenei's chief of staff, Ali Asghar Hejazi. That would consolidate power in the hands of Mr. Khamenei and his loyalists at a time when deep fissures have emerged within the regime over his handling of the elections. ...
"The Revolutionary Guard is already a military, economic and political powerhouse in Iran. It controls the country's long-range missile program, as well as multiple business enterprises, including lucrative oil and gas projects. ...
""The Guards are in complete control of the country, they are running the show," said Iranian dissident journalist Roozbeh MirEbrahimi. "
Here is the point: This is exactly how the Nazi and Stalinist totalitarian regimes operated. They created a totally loyal party organization with offices parallel to the government, completely unaccountable to anyone BUT the supreme leader - der Führer - the General Secretary. This structure makes reforms will-nigh impossible. The Revolutionary Guards are Iran's SS and its KGB. The Iranian government itself is now secondary and is almost a Potemkin village - a fiction for show to delude the West and Iran's own people with a phony elections.
Unless bigger cracks appear in Iran's now totalitarian government somehow, prospects for long term peace in the Middle east are becoming very, very bad. The Soviet Union was worn down in a cold war of attrition and pressure for 45 years.
The recent demonstrations in Iran show that many of its people want freedom and a modern life. It's a great evil that the Iranian theocracy wants to subjugate them for its own power.
I am doing nothing, but thinking, looking and waiting for some good speculations. To borrow from that great old TV series, Paladin,
"Have Capital, Will Speculate"
Word of the Day
"Seriatim" - adverb [$10]; a very old one from the card file
Seriatim ans in a series.
Sentence: Many recent events in Iran, taken seriatim and not individually, are very alarming and show very great risks to regional peace.