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Flashback: The Iranian Revolution That Wasn't

Andrew Sullivan:

Something truly extraordinary has been going on in Iran these past few months and especially in the past couple of weeks. A grass-roots, student-run, anti-theocracy movement has reached some sort of critical mass. The enemy is the religious right of Iran, the group of murderous mullahs who have run their country into the ground and now have to answer for their godly tyranny to a new and populous generation of under-30s. Suddenly, we have the possibility of regime change in a critical country without war and without the intervention of the United States. 

That was written not in the past few days, but in June of 2003, during a student uprising that was quickly squelched.

I definitely don't write this to take the p*ss out of Andrew, a friend whose optimism and idealism I really admire (and who turned out to be far more right about Obama, for instance, than I thought he would be). The current Iranian protests, moreover, are exponentially larger and broader than were the 2003 student efforts. Still, I can't quite shake the sense that we've seen this movie before, and that we know how it ends. I hope I'm wrong.

--Michael Crowley