The rarest of admissions from a pundit: he doesn’t know what the hell is going on. Justin Raimondo does so in a noteworthy article on the latest from Iran. From Raimondo at antiwar.com:
Let’s get it clear right from the beginning: we don’t know what’s happening in Iran. We don’t know who’s leading the demonstrations, which are turning into riots in some parts of the country. We don’t know who, if anyone, is directing them.
Yes, yes, I know: you want me to explain what’s happening, and if it’s a Good Thing or a Bad Thing. But I’m not going to lie to you: I don’t know – and neither, at this point, does anyone else.
Here in the West, three views have taken root among the commentariat (and, of course, among US government officials: 1) This is a heroic attempt by the freedom-starved people of Iran to – finally! – overthrow the theocracy that has fastened itself on to the nation like a giant parasite. Purveyors of this view cite (sketchy) reports of Iranian demonstrators chanting “Death to Khamenei!”, “We don’t want a theocracy!,” and other anti-clerical slogans. This is the approach taken by the neoconservatives, such as Bill Kristol, shown here on MSNBC declaring that “The Iranian people want freedom” and that’s all there is to it.
On the other hand we have a different view, 2) which we can see given expression on the same video, showing Iranian lobbyist Trita Parsi blaming – wait for it! – Donald Trump. Really? Oh yes, he really means it: it’s all because of economic uncertainty due to Trump’s threats to cancel the Iran deal. This, we are told, caused Iranian banks to refrain from investing in vast new projects, and so the standard of living hasn’t met rising expectations. There may be some truth to this, but not a whole lot: Europe has invested in Iran since the Iran deal was signed: China is also a big player, and this will no doubt increase in the future.
Then there is the third view, which simply ascribes the rebellion to “US imperialism,” and the regime-change apparatus Washington has put into place in order to pull off incidents such as these. This explanation – that the US, the Saudis, and the Israelis are solely responsible for the anti-government protests – lacks the one feature all such propositions require: evidence.
To continue reading: The Iranian Rebellion: Everybody’s Wrong