A couple days ago, Daniel Larison asserted that "the Green movement is best understood as an Iranian civil rights movement rather than a revolutionary one" and that "it does not even have the same political goal that opponents of Ben Ali and Mubarak had." I retorted: "I wonder what part of 'Death To Khamenei!' Daniel doesn’t understand?" Larison says he comprehends the phrase:
The slogan is very straightforward, and I don’t doubt that there are many people in the Green movement (and perhaps some not directly involved in it) who loathe Khamenei that much. It is harder to argue that the Green movement is unified around the goal of regime change that the slogan implies, which is what distinguishes its demands from the demands of the protesters in Egypt. More radical elements within any political movement are going to take maximalist positions, but it doesn’t mean that the rest of the movement will go along with them. If some Iranian protesters are calling for Khamenei’s head, they are probably not speaking for most of the Green movement, much less the rest of Iran.
Does Daniel recall the scale and longevity of the protests in Iran? Does he really think the next generation wants theocracy? The revolt was more widespread than in Egypt, the numbers on the streets much larger. Yes, the goal was to return to the democratic ideals of the 1979 Revolution. But it was clearly becoming and has become more than that. The difference with Egypt is simply that the Khamenei coup regime had no compunction in gunning down, torturing, imprisoning and murdering their opponents with a ferocity that exposes just how vile Tehran's dictators are.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.