Austin Bay

In a recent propaganda rant, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed to deal "a telling blow against global arrogance" on Feb. 11, the day Tehran's malignant mullahs celebrate the 31st anniversary of their Ayatollah Khomeini-led Islamic revolution, which toppled Iran's Shah.

In the lingo of Iran's dictators, "global arrogance" describes the behavior of many enemies, including Western Europeans and the U.N. Security Council (when it employs sanctions to curb Iran's nuke quest). As for "a telling blow," given Ahmadinejad's penchant for exaggeration, a blow could mean another televised diatribe (bombast) or the terrifying revelation that mullahs possess a nuclear weapon.

We can, of course, ultimately count on Ahmadinejad or another mouthy despot to specify America as a source of truly world-girdling arrogance. Khomeini dubbed America "The Great Satan," and damning America remains essential Khomeinist liturgy. It definitely troubles Tehran's wicked turbans that 31 years after Khomeini's condemnation America still exists and even occasionally defies them. Last month, Ahmadinejad yet again prophesied an "end to American civilization" and the American "system."

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Events in Iran, however, strongly indicate Iran's repugnant regime is far more fragile than America.

"Green Movement" opponents of the dictatorship intend to stage mass demonstrations on Feb. 11 throughout Iran. The Green Movement anti-regime campaign sprang to life in the wake of Iran's disputed June 2009 elections.

The regime's Revolutionary Guard militia has threatened to stop the protestors, whom the mullahs call "foreign agents." The activists demand fair elections, a tyranny-shattering concept the clerics claim must be inspired by America.

In a column published in late June 2009, as the post-election demonstrations began to wane, I wrote that Iran had entered "Limbo, an uncertain yet perilous period of time separating anger-driven demonstrations from either bloody tyrannical repression or sustained popular struggle producing a liberalizing revolution."

Austin Bay

Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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