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Death Comes For The Grand Ayatollah

Much is being made, apparently, of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, because he had a falling-out with Khomeini (whose intended successor many say he was), and continued to look with dismay at some of the acts of Khomeini's successors. But was the real Montazeri, as opposed to the creature of hopeful fiction,  the rose and expectancy of the fair (future) iranian state, or was it simply a case of "he may not be the best in town, but he's the best till the best comes round"? Was Montazeri Sakharov, or was he simply Lenin, following Khomeini and Ahmadinejad's Stalin? 

There are simiilarities between those in the Soviet Union and its satellite countries that became disenchanted with Communist rule, but who could not bring themselves to admit the whole thing was awful, had always been awful, and instead manufactured and then clung   to a myth of the Good Lenin, Ilyich the Good, and those Iranian dissidents who looked up to Montazeri, and now honor him, as part of their need to ask themselves the wrong question -- "where did the Islamic Revolution go wrong?" rather than insist on a forthright and grim recognition that "the Islamic Revolution was always wrong" because Islam itself needs to be checked, Islam itself is not an answer to anything in Iran. What is an answer is the secularizing spirit of those behind the 1906 Revolution, the first sign of liberalization and getting away from Islam in Iran, a country whose people, with their fierce pride in all the non-Arab (and non-Islamic) aspects of their history provides an alternative identity to that which Islam offers, and may yet save them.

Way back in 1919, Mark Aldanov wrote the first book-length study of Lenin, that monster, in French. See if you can find a copy of "Lenine," for if you do, you will discover that "wise, prim, charming Aldanov" had Lenin's number, and so did any number of other Russians in exile, way back when. And no doubt, aming the Iranians in exile, even those cheering the use of Montazeri by today's young and hopeful oppositionits, some of whom need  to remember the "good Revolution" before it "went bad," while others, more cunning, merely pretend to think that, as they become ever more intelligently secular, ever more disgusted not merely with the Islamic Republic of Iran but, as they in the end must, with Islam itself and all the ways that, in encouraging the habit of mental submission, and in inculcating the idea that all loyalty must be owed to Islam itself (the object of worship in Islam is Islam), it is responsible for the despotism that naturally is to be seen wherever Islam dominates, and  is taken most to heart.