It’s impossible to overestimate the power of the president’s words.
The current round of demonstrations erupted all over the country after the destruction of the Ukrainian commercial airplane taking off from Tehran. The security forces are reacting with even greater than usual violence, shooting the protesters with live ammunition. At the same time, supporters of deceased General Qassem Soleimani within the Revolutionary Guards are being rounded up in significant numbers, suggesting that there was a power struggle underway within his Quds Force for the succession after the death of the supreme leader—Ali Khamenei—who is now eighty years old.
According to the Free Iran Herald, published in the Gateway Pundit blog,
This news is increasing the speculation that Soleimani, who was known to act on his own initiatives, and who was being seen as a possible future dictator-in-waiting for Tehran, was betrayed to American intelligence by his own colleagues within the regime, who feared that he would deprive them of their power and privileges.
Additionally, information has surfaced that Soleimani, who had been personally leading the repression against the popular uprising in Iraq since October, had been planning a coup d’état in Baghdad that would have resulted in the assassination of the Iraqi president, and the seizing of the American embassy there.
Most of the passengers on the Ukrainian aircraft were Iranians, and speculation abounds that the flight was brought down in order to kill the “disloyal” ones. Although the question remains: disloyal to whom?
The Tehran regime organized big crowds to say goodbye to Soleimani, but the current demonstrations are explicitly against Khamenei and his cohorts, from calls for the resignation of the supreme leader to students on campus in Tehran refusing to walk on big painted images of the American and Israeli flags. The regime was shutting down Internet communications as rapidly as possible, attempting to divide the Iranian people from one another, a tactic that has proven effective in the past, while the leaders of the demonstrations used couriers to carry messages from city to city.
But perhaps the biggest news came from the White House, where President Trump spoke directly to the Iranian people in English and Farsi. He rehearsed the violence of the regime against the people, and said that he had supported the people from the outset, and would continue to do so. That was Saturday. Sunday he did it again. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has been at it for some time, stressed the same themes: the regime is the source of the violence, and the people deserve the active support of the free nations of the world.
I don’t believe it is possible to overestimate the power of the president’s words on both the regime and the seventy-or-so million Iranians who oppose it. This is the first such event in forty years, and it comes from an American leader who has tried very hard to make a deal with the regime of the Islamic Republic.
He gave it his all, and satisfied himself that the regime was not interested in a deal with the United States. Accordingly, he rejected the advice of the likes of Rand Paul, and ordered the troops to eliminate the regime’s prime killer Soleimani and the band of Mafiosi around him, in the event mostly from Iraq. Now Trump is talking directly to the Iranian people, and the demonstrations are bigger and more widespread than any earlier ones.
I don’t think that the Khamenei regime is long for this world, now that the American president has spoken directly to the masses of Iranians who had waited for the United States to do their dirty work for them. No American president — not Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush fils, or Obama — had understood the key to the Middle East: bring down the Islamic Republic. That, rather than the conquest of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam, should have been our goal in 2003, but we chose the wrong target.
Now, of all the unlikely people, Donald Trump figured it out and is pursuing it. Like his predecessors, Trump does not wish to invade Iran; unlike them, he has found that the regime is ready to fall, that America can inspire and lead a revolution against the world’s leading terror country.
Just look at the scenes coming out of Iran today.