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Several thoughtful people have commented on an unusual element in the Iranian revolutionary movement, aka “The Green Path of Hope.” Although there is a troika (Mousavi, Karroubi and Khatami) that inspires many of the movement’s participants, there seems to be a lack of top-down leadership. Indeed, Mousavi has been at pains to say that the people are the true leaders, that he is not creating a political movement but a “social network,” and that the strength of the Green Path derives from the spontaneous and creative actions of millions of Iranians.
It sounds a lot like the thesis put forward in the recent book, The Starfish and the Spider, which argues that top-down organizations are less successful than those that give maximum freedom to their people. If you decapitate a spider, it dies, but if you lop off an arm of a starfish, it regenerates. In like manner, despite a massive crackdown from the Iranian regime–thousands of arrests (now termed “kidnappings” by Iranian Tweeters), scores of executions, mass rape and other forms of torture, show trials and stern intimidation from political and military leaders, judges and clerics, the Green Path moves on, with its next publicly announced challenge to the regime set for December 7th. Meanwhile, demonstrations and strikes continue across the country.
An unsettled political situation in Iran may be complicating efforts to seal a nuclear fuel deal between Tehran and major world powers, President Barack Obama said on Monday.
Obama told Reuters in an interview that the United States had made more progress toward global nuclear non-proliferation in the last several months than in the past several years.
“But it is going to take time, and part of the challenge that we face is that neither North Korea nor Iran seem to be settled enough politically to make quick decisions on these issues,” he said at the White House.
Blast those annoying Iranian revolutionaries! How dare they screw up our negotiations?
Funny world, isn’t it? The Islamic Republic teeters on the edge of history’s garbage dump, a fascinating revolutionary movement bids to change the world, and peace prizes are given to an accomplice to evil–Mohammed al Baradei–and an American president who won’t throw his moral weight behind tens of millions of Iranians who are risking their lives to be able to have a government like ours.