June 19, 2009

Who Is Mir Hossein Mousavi?

CBS News offers the following information about Mousavi.

(CBS) His supporters may have taken to the streets - even died for his cause. But Mir Hossein Mousavi is neither a champion of democracy as we know it, nor an advocate of great change within Iran's Mullah-dominated government.

"He's not a secular intellectual in the molds of Western intellectuals," said Baqer Moin, an Iranian commentator. "No, he's coming from within the revolution."

In fact he was part of the revolution, a supporter of the Ayatollah Khomeini when he came to power in 1979 - a government minister during the Revolution's turbulent early years.

"Then he became prime minister and was prime minister for nearly eight years," Moin said.

"Very much an establishment figure," asked CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips.

"Absolutely," Moin said.

Even if Mousavi came to power, the change he represents is more of tone than policy.

He may not deny the Holocaust, but he has made no promise to end Iran's support for the militants in Hezbollah or Hamas on Israel's borders.

And while he might be prepared to talk about it, he too is committed to Iran's nuclear program.

"He's a moderate, he's a pragmatist moderate," Moin said.
I don't know. Is he really any better than Ahmadinejad . I am not convinced and not sure what to think. You'll forgive me for being a skeptic, but history has taught that sometimes caution is warranted.

Ahmadinejad is the devil we know. We know where he stands and what he wants. There is something to be said for that. That is not to say that it is impossible that Mousavi is better or that real reform isn't on the horizon, but I wonder.


Tzipporah said...

He is "better" than Ahmedinajad in a few ways - as a pragmatist, he is unlikely to wage a psychotic holy war that drains his people's resources.

If he comes to power following the protests, he will actually owe his *election* to the Iranian public, and not to Khameini's power elite. Since his voters are more likely to be well-educated and liberal (liberal for Iran, that is), he must remember the interests of this powerbase when making governing decisions.

More than whether he wins, though, is the issue of actual Iranians banding together to stand up against their repressive government. Their perspective CANNOT now be "us" (Iran) vs. "them" (the west, israel, etc.), but "us" (the people) vs. "them" (the repressive gov't and clerics"). THAT is monumental change.

Jack said...

Here is Yaccov Lozowick's response to my question,
Well, there's the fact that Moussavi has vastly more blood on his hands, from his period as prime minister back in the 1980s. Ahmedinejad has despicable opinions, but hasn't killed masses of people.