"Oppress This!"

It seems that the mullahs of Iran are beginning to lose control over their own people, according to an interesting article by Michael Ledeen. Recent riots in the area have led to several conflicts between demonstrators and the Revolutionary Guard in cities like Tehran. The Islamic rules of Iran have tried to confiscate satellite dishes, display more and more anti-Western propaganda, and generally try suppress the rioting.

It isn’t working.

Unlike previous demonstrations, which were largely limited to students at major universities, the latest round involved young people from all walks of life and of both sexes. And while all the riots started following soccer matches involving the national team, they were clearly political. Demonstrators carried slogans attacking the Islamic regime and its leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. They chanted nationalist anthems, demanded political freedom, and hurled stones at the dreaded security forces.

In an outright show of contempt for the guardians of the revolution, boys and girls danced in the streets, taunting the Islamic authorities. Thousands of young people have been arrested (the regime admitted to more than 2,000 as of Oct. 25), and countless others hospitalized. Detainees under 18 were herded into special detention centers, while older ones face judgment at the hands of the Islamic revolutionary courts.

The country’s leaders are visibly shaken, to the point where the minister of the interior was allegedly told to "fill all the hospital beds in the country." The mullahs may well be entering their final days in power. They have become objects of ridicule because of their panicky reaction to the demonstrations, which first erupted following Iran’s 1-0 defeat of Iraq on Oct. 12.

On Oct. 21, fearing new outbursts, the government apparently ordered the national team to throw its match against Bahrain, a no-account team. But when Iran lost 3-1, new riots ensued. Then, on Oct.25, the latest demonstrations started after Iran beat the United Arab Emirates 1-0. The government has responded by confiscating all the satellite dishes in the country, a confession that nobody believes the official "news," and a ham-handed move likely to provoke a new round of street confrontations.

What’s going on in Iran needs to be broadcasted to every Islamic state in the Middle East – this is what your future will be like. The theocracies and totalitarian governments of this region need to remember what happened in Berlin in 1989. There is no greater need than the need for freedom, and no government can expect to stand long if they try to block it from their people.

To the Iranian demostrators – hold strong. Don’t back down, no matter how hard they hit you. Hit back harder. The future of your nation is at stake, and you can leave a legacy of peace and freedom that will change the world.