Beuel Marc Gerecht remains one of the few credible foreign intelligence officers the CIA had throughout the Near East. He resides as a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and is often on CNN. His oeuvre remains outstanding in its depth and breadth of applied regional Islam. The term is mine, if only to distinguish a known fact that Islam isn’t monolithic and often precludes neat categorization. East African Swahili and Central Asian Islam embody remnants of successor states that preexist modernity and often western attempts to frame into neat categories.
Gerecht’s latest column in the Wall St. Journal reveals a startling summary of Iranian history currently playing out on the streets throughout Iran. For Gerecht and other notables like Bernard Lewis, the Iranian regime used Islam to coalesce its power internally, even with brutal repression domestically the regime always sought to address its fragile sovereignty. The contradictory ambitions of democracy cannot be reconciled to theocracy. How else does one reconcile the ethics of individualism to the ethos of a divine command? Islam’s very definition of a theology of revelation precludes democracy. Clerical oversight was to force what couldn’t be joined.
What hails the protesters throughout Iran is simple: Persian’s have no love for the regime. Iran today resembles the Soviet Union in 1989.
The Persian Spring is nothing less than a protest acknowledging the limits of state autarky. With empty seminaries in Qom, and vacant mosques throughout Iran, the clerical regimes days are numbered.
Because their is nothing in the nuclear accord that can sustain the frayed, exhausted and demoralized bond of fraternity that characterized the Iranian revolution.
My monies on the Persian street.