Sunday, July 25, 2010

Israeli Strike on Iran Could Shake Up Regime

From NewsMax.Com

Many pundits and observers have argued that an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities could actually play into the hands of the hardcore Iranian regime by destroying the pro-democracy movement that threatens it.
That’s one of the possible negative repercussions of an Israeli strike on the autocratic regime led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Those observers believe an Israeli strike “could fatally compromise the pro-democracy Green Movement in Iran, which is the only hope the West has for an end to the nuclear menace by means of regime change,” former CIA agent Reuel Marc Gerecht writes in The Weekly Standard.
“This concern was expressed halfheartedly before the tumultuous Iranian elections of June 12, 2009, but it is now voiced with urgency by those who truly care about the Green Movement spawned by those elections and don’t want any American or Israeli action to harm it.”
Gerecht for one does not agree with that view, writing that an Israeli strike is more likely to “shake” the regime. “If anything can jolt the pro-democracy movement forward, contrary to the now passionately accepted conventional wisdom, an Israeli strike against the nuclear sites is it.”
Gerecht does acknowledge, however, that the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad regime is becoming increasingly fragile, facing opposition not only from the democracy movement but also from senior members of Iran’s clergy who are appalled by Khamenei’s abuses — including the use of rape to “pacify the political opposition.”
The regime “lives in fear of a ‘velvet revolution,’” according to Gerecht, and Khamenei’s decision to throw the disputed June 2009 election to Ahmadinejad has “compromised all future elections. He has permanently destabilized the country . . . We have a supreme leader whom millions loathe and even more distrust.”
So those who maintain that a strike by Israel would strengthen the regime’s grip on power, Gerecht states, believe that “America’s pre-eminent job should therefore be to calm the Israelis down — or, failing that, arm-twist them into inaction.”
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