And Breaking Backs
In international news, weird stuff continues to happen regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. Just weeks after their stunning capture of British Royal Marines on the high seas, the incomprehensible dog and pony show that followed, and the eventual release of those folks, for no visible or logical strategic or psychological gain, The President goes and orders this sort of thing.
They're shaking down women for dressing too liberally.
(Now, while right-wing-faerie-dust-sniffing punditry may yammer about how awful this is, and how it proves how crazy Iran is, I would just like to offer this reminder that Saudi Arabia remains -at this time- our 'ally' in the GWOT, and they are far, far, far worse to their women over there in that wealthy little piece of real estate.)
But here's what this tells me: Ahmedinejad the Beard is grasping at straws to stay in power. His statments about the US & Israel? Provocative. Encouraging an us vs them mentality already acutely felt in the Islamic Republic due to the fact that they are surrounded by Sunni-run nations. This also plays to his base, the hard line folks. The capture of the Royal Marines (which SAWB and I spoke of not making any real sense) was an attempt to keep the nation unified against outside enemies, and keep minds off the fact that a nation so rich in resources is going through economic problems. Now this, the re-introduction of codes of behavior that were relaxed under his predecessor. Another play, strictly to his base, and one that will piss off the most dynamic demographic in Iran: those young folks whose support allowed his predecessor's reforms to take shape.
The bullies may yet be at the helm if the Islamic Republic, but as the Iranian people have proven several times in the second half of the 20th Century, they ain't a population afraid to rise up and get rid of a government that's pissing them off.
Even if they have to do it at the ballot box.