Saturday, May 26, 2012

Why Wasn't Iran's Revolution Considered Democratic Too? - Video

Iran nothing but a foil to divert attention from Obama's destruction of the economy, theft of U.S. Treasury to fund illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, line own pockets

World News
By Dallas Darling

The United States has not always supported popular and democratic uprisings around the world. As in Vietnam, Guatemala, Chile, Haiti, and dozens of other nations, it has resisted and sabotaged, even militarily intervened in the name of national and corporate security, to prevent democracies from spreading. Regarding the various Arab Springs that have recently occurred in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Jordan, and Syria, ones that have been welcomed and supported by American political and economic interests, why wasn't Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution considered democratic too?

CIA appointed Shah of Iran's hated SAVAK sparked revolution
After World War II, the U.S. militarily occupied Iran and militarized a regime, a regime that granted allowed U.S. corporations to exploit resources like petroleum and forestry. It was also used as leverage against Russia and China, two Communist nations. The super-militarization and exploitation of Iran, along with enforcing a modernization program and secular market-oriented economy, angered Iran's Muslim majority. It also caused mass poverty and unemployment. Many Iranians lived in hideously unlivable urban settlements and shanty dwellings that lacked sewage and water and other basic necessities.

By the mid 1970's, it was clear that the U.S.-backed and corrupt regime in Iran was in trouble. Not only had the CIA assisted in arresting and torturing and murdering thousands of political activists and reformists, both Islamic and Communist, but it prevented free and fair elections. At one point, the U.S. even toppled a democratically elected leader. By 1978, U.S.-trained Iranian Guards were beating and machine-gunning protesters and striking workers (Jaleh Square). With Washington's approval, the SAVAK, Iran's secret police, were seizing people from homes to be tortured and killed.

The 1979 revolution began when the now ex-Shah was admitted into the United States for medical treatment

It should have been no surprise, then, when Iran's Supreme Religious Leader returned and was overwhelmingly welcomed by Iran's predominantly Islamic nation. Neither should U.S. leaders have been caught-off guard when Iran's new republic wanted the U.S.-backed Shah, who by now had fled to the U.S., to be returned in order to try him for crimes against his people. For the 20,000 Iranians that were tortured and killed under the brutal Shah's and CIA's regime, it was justifiable that Islamic students took 52 Americans hostage, holding them in exchange for the Shah.

But few in the U.S. recognized Iran's new democratic movement and its new republican government. Extremely censored, even fewer Americans found the U.S. morally responsible for the Shah's tortured and murdered subjects. Neither were there offers to make amends for U.S. involvement in overthrowing Iran's popularly elected leader in 1953. Instead, the U.S. and its political leaders and pundits labeled Iran's protesters and striking workers mobs of frenzied zealots. Iran's democratic revolution was nothing more than a circus manipulated by mad religious dictators.

U.S. Embassy in Tehran overrun, hostages spend 444 days in captivity
But in reality, perhaps the U.S. had grown anti-democratic, even dictatorial. Since supreme power is held by the people and exercised either directly or through elected representatives, it was evident that the U.S. had lost its democratic compass. Not only had U.S. leaders imposed on Americans extremely unpopular wars, but there was an ever increasing economically wealthy and politically powerful minority ruling and legislating laws. Still, minority and individual rights were quickly eroding, as were equal opportunities in regards to education, employment, and health care needs.

As constitutional rights and laws succumbed to corporate elites and their abusive institutions, most Americans were led to believe that only their "brand" of limited democracy was absolute. Again, Christian, Consociational, Industrial, Liberal, Popular, Pluralistic, Islamic, Social, Jewish, and yet Direct Democracies and their systems were often denounced, even crushed by America's Military-Industrial-Corporate Republic. Anti-democratic wars have mentally, emotionally, psychologically, morally, and civically bankrupted America's limited democracy and its once vibrant popular organizations.

Khomeini was swept into power, to the detriment of the People of Iran, who have endured repression since by nutcase mullahs, fundamentalists

Like many wonderful ideas, democracy has to travel through a nation's collective mindset and emotional psyche. Sadly, it is often shadowed by its doubles-bad ideas that are close enough to be easily mistaken for the real thing. At the same time, it is sometimes wrongly associated with undemocratic regimes, as in the case of the U.S.-backed regime that ruled Iran. Democracy is extremely hard and takes a tremendous amount of work and effort by citizens. It must always be tempered with toleration, engagement, education, and trust, all of which have been neglected in the U.S. This is the reason for a disastrous democracy.

America's "disaster democracy" is now incapable of militarily intervening and occupying or dominating Arab Springs that are occurring throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. As the U.S.'s Military-Industrial-Corporate Republic's global power rapidly declines even more, alternative and different democracies, some initially much more bloodier and deadlier than Iran's Islamic Revolution turned Republic, will continue to happen. One thing is certain, though, various forms of democracies and popular ideas will evolve, challenging U.S. hegemony that is often confused with democracy.

Perhaps if the U.S. would have been open and accepting to Iran's democratic evolution in 1979, or Iran's own Islamic Spring, it could have at least started to prevent its own demise, its own road to a disastrous democracy. And if the same political and corporate elites in America would have supported Iran's theo-democracy back then, not to mention other diverse popular movements throughout the world, maybe they would not have fought against democratic ideas and movements that troubled them back home. They might even be able to recognize democratic movements today, like Occupy Wall Street.

Dallas Darling (

Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John's Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for You can read more of Dallas' writings at and

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