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Zakaria, Voice Of Insight Missing In Most Americans

June 22, 2009

Excerpt from a CNN interview with Fareed Zakaria:   ‘Fatal wound’ inflicted on Iranian regime’s ideology

  • “We are watching the fall of Islamic theocracy” in Iran, Fareed Zakaria tells CNN
  • Zakaria: “Street and state are at odds again, but this time the clerics are divided”
  • Obama’s overtures make it hard for regime to demonize U.S., Zakaria says

Zakaria: … I don’t mean the Iranian regime will fall soon. It may — I certainly hope it will — but repressive regimes can stick around for a long time. I mean that this is the end of the ideology that lay at the basis of the Iranian regime.

The regime’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, laid out his special interpretation of political Islam in a series of lectures in 1970. In this interpretation of Shia Islam, Islamic jurists had divinely ordained powers to rule as guardians of the society, supreme arbiters not only on matters of morality but politics as well. When Khomeini established the Islamic Republic of Iran, this idea was at its heart. Last week, that ideology suffered a fatal wound.

CNN: How so?

Zakaria: When the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a “divine assessment,” he was indicating it was divinely sanctioned. But no one bought it. He was forced to accept the need for an inquiry into the election. The Guardian Council, Iran’s supreme constitutional body, met with the candidates and promised to investigate and perhaps recount some votes. Khamenei has subsequently hardened his position but that is now irrelevant. Something very important has been laid bare in Iran today — legitimacy does not flow from divine authority but from popular support.

“God’s Will”, “Inshallah”, variations: If Allah (God) wills; When Allah (God) wills; If Allah (God) wishes.  If it really is ‘Inshallah’, why does the Ayatollah use violence to get his way?  The Ayatollah has put himself between Allah’s people and Allah himself and learned the wrath of intervention by a mere mortal. Mashallah, protesters!


  1. June 23, 2009 8:24 pm

    I agree Wil, Zakaria chooses his words so carefully that both sides of an argument can grasp the essence of what he’s saying. I may be reading more into him than there really is, but I see he offers palatable grains of insight that could nudge radicals closer to the middle of the international debate. As long as he portrays sterile diagnostics, he appears sincerely non-partisan. He is not a knee jerk, that’s why I appreciate his views.

  2. June 23, 2009 8:06 pm

    I’m torn on Zakaria – sometimes he seems very astute, and other times he sounds very neo-conesque. Still, his views can’t help but stimulate good debate.

    I think the idea of “rigged” elections is now moot. Which means Obama can now come out more forcefully in support of freedom of speech, expression, since he’s not saying “hold new elections,” but “stop violating human rights.”

    If the US goes around (a week ago) and publicly supports the protesters (as many republicans wanted us to do), we would appear to be “interfering.”

    But now, Obama can come out and condemn the crackdown purely on a human rights platform – the stolen/rigged/whatever election doesn’t matter anymore.

    The regime is shooting itself in the foot.

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