After three months of protests that swept all Iranian cities against the regime’s repressive and discriminatory policies against women in the wake of the killing of young woman Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by members of the “moral police”, the beleaguered regime begins to make concessions to ease popular tension and contain the protest movement, such as announcing the decision to dismantle the “moral police”.
The initial reactions of Iranian activists are that the decision is “too little, too late”. Any follower of the Iranian protest movement realizes that its demands went far beyond the dismantling of the moral police or the punishment of the killers of Amini and other dozens of young men and women who fell on the streets of Iranian cities or died in its prisons have after being tortured or raped. , to include fundamental political and reform demands, which reached the demand to get rid of the regime.Islam itself, which is expressed in the cry of “Death to the dictator.”
After weeks of protests that swept Chinese cities, some of them violent, in protest against the central government’s so-called “Zero Covid” policy, central authorities began to ease their strict restrictions after revealing violent clashes between police and citizens, which led to violence. not seen in China since the protests that led to the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
In contrast to the Tiananmen protests, which the world discovered, young Chinese protesters used social media to broadcast tapes of confrontations between protesters and police or health workers arresting, carrying and in some cases dragging those suspected of have symptoms of the Covid virus. to quarantine centers or hospitals. They also revealed photos of the barriers that the authorities placed in front of the buildings to prevent the residents from leaving them, just because some cases of Covid were discovered in these buildings. The strict measures included “locking down” entire cities and towns, which meant disrupting normal life and the economic process, and disrupting schools and universities.
As in Iran, so in China. The initial demands of the protesters (they are usually limited and reformative in nature, not essential) are no longer sufficient, and political demands leading to a fundamental modification or change in the nature of the ruling regime have been added. For the first time, Chinese protesters in more than one city demanded the resignation of Chinese President Shi Jingping, who succeeded in securing a third extension of his term, unprecedented in the history of communist China, to end his monopoly to demonstrate power.
During this year, the three most authoritarian regimes in the world: China, Iran and Russia faced internal political and social challenges that increased their isolation and imposed an embarrassment on them, and raised worrying questions about their future that were not even in the thoughts of the biggest opponents of these regimes, which in recent years seemed strong and stable, and some of them Like attractive China with its strongly centralized system as a role model for other countries. The disastrous Russian invasion of Ukraine, which President Vladimir Putin wanted to be the culmination of his nationalist, chauvinist, expansionist policies, led to popular opposition expressed in anti-invasion and anti-Putin demonstrations that were severely suppressed by the authorities and led to the arrest and imprisonment of thousands of young Russians. After the disastrous failure of the Russian forces in Ukraine and their retreat before the Ukrainian forces in the north and south of the country, in recent months and weeks, President Putin ordered a general mobilization with the aim of 300,000 soldiers recruit to participate in the invasion. Again, tens of thousands of Russian youth responded with a different kind of protest, voting with their feet against Putin’s decision to expand the war, leaving the country by car and plane, and by walking to border posts to cross into neighboring countries.
In the past two years since the election of President Biden, American democracy, which is supposed to be the healthiest and ablest to continue and develop in the world, has been internally besieged by a reactionary political movement that looks to racism and chauvinism reeks and is led by former President Donald Trump. This movement created myths and lies that questioned the credibility and usefulness of the American democratic system and its political and philosophical foundations, including questioning the essential texts of this system such as the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and other documents that are at the heart of the American political experience. This skepticism, which caused the bloody storming of the Capitol building about two years ago, reached the point a few days ago of former President Trump’s demand to overturn laws, customs and political clauses, including those contained in the Constitution , to “repeal”, and repeats his big lie that the Democrats stole the presidency from him in the 2020 election. This has not happened in the history of the country. Trump, who ran for the presidency, is calling for the abolition of the constitution, which, if he wins the upcoming elections, is supposed to take an oath to protect and defend the constitution itself.
President Biden believes that the current global political conflict is between the democratic regimes led by Washington, and the autocratic-authoritarian regimes led by the Sino-Russian duo. Many saw this calendar as a simplification of a more complex situation. But the developments of the past two years have largely proven the correctness of Biden’s assessment of what is happening in the world.
Two years ago, the American right admired the “strong” President Putin and compared him to the “weak” President Biden. The hard-line Republicans celebrated Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the right-wing autocrat and anti-immigrant, and looked sympathetically at the leaders of the right-wing and hard-line Christian parties and movements in Europe, who have anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim policies that threaten cultural and rejected ethnic pluralism.
When the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, China stood by Russia, and countries with democratic institutions and led by leaders with autocratic ambitions or calling for chauvinistic nationalities such as India took the suspicious position of “neutrality” and other authoritarian countries joined the camp of Russia, which included other countries such as Belarus and North Korea. Later, Iran became an important source of weapons, especially missiles and drones to Russia, which Russian forces use to bomb and terrorize Ukrainian civilians and to destroy Ukrainian infrastructure.
This autocratic camp, which supports Russia in its aggression, is matched by the camp of the democratic countries under the banner of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which if it were not for its military and economic support to Ukraine , it would have fallen under Moscow’s control within months. The courage of the Ukrainians and their determination to defend their homeland would not have been able to defeat the Russian forces had it not been for American and Western weapons.
The protests in China are not expected to change the communist regime, but they have so far succeeded in forcing it to reconsider some of its repressive policies. But the protests have given the Chinese a sense of empowerment that may encourage them to make additional demands for reform. It is true that China has enormous capabilities to monitor and monitor the movements of its citizens, but the demonstrations also revealed that the presence of millions of young Chinese university graduates capable of using modern communication technology is not something which the government can ignore or underestimate.
In Iran, many activists, and with them a growing number of analysts abroad, are beginning to ask questions such as: Is this the beginning of the end for the Islamic regime? Or explain what in these demonstrations is qualitatively different from previous protests. The decision to dismantle the “moral police” is limited and does not change the repressive nature of the regime. What is clear, however, is that the regime, despite its brutality and murder of more than 400 protesters, is unable to stop the protests. Theoretically, the regime is capable of using more brutal violence, but it realizes that this could lead to other social segments joining the protesters, such as workers in some important economic sectors such as oil. General violence can also lead to splits within the ruling apparatus.
The results of the mid-term elections, which led, among other things, to the defeat of most of the candidates chosen or supported by Trump who believed in his lies, also showed that the American democratic system, despite the challenges and setbacks which it faced. in recent years, is still able to defend himself against his enemies inside and outside.
The confrontation between democrats and autocrats at home and abroad is still long, and it is a confrontation that rages on many fronts or perhaps one big front across the continents from America to Ukraine to Iran and even China. This is the true diagnosis of what is happening in the world today.
The experience of Iran, China and Russia in recent months confirms a truism that international support for the demands of these people to live in freedom and dignity is essential to their continued struggle. These people are the ones who have the ability to decide their own destiny, but we live in a globalized economy, and we have communication technologies that were not available to many 10 or 15 years ago, and the United States and other democratic countries can provide these peoples – as Washington is now doing to support the Iranian protesters – Secure communication technologies and beyond the control of states and their repressive apparatus so that the opposing forces can coordinate among themselves and communicate with the outside world. This is what Washington has not provided the Iranian, Chinese or Russian protesters in the past.
Mao Zedong, the founder of communist China, is quoted as saying, “Political power flows from the barrel of a gun.” The young protesters in China, using their smartphones with their advanced memory and lenses, act as if they are refuting Mao Zedong and practically saying: political power derives from the smartphone lens.
If the people wanted life