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fiendishrabbit t1_j1mphiq wrote

It's a bit more complicated, and Khomeini was more the "last man standing" after the Shah had used support from the US and British foreign intelligence services to de-organize and effectively weaken the democratic/liberal rebels (which were city based).

The religiously motivated rebels, who had the majority of their support in the countryside, were not as vulnerable to such tactics and ended up being the strongest rebel group. As such Khomeini gradually managed to sweep up more and more rebel groups under his banner.


BrazilianMerkin t1_j1n7r1u wrote

Isn’t that one of the most important and destructive aspects for why so many countries are in perpetual sociopolitical turmoil? In the Middle East/N Africa, the West used preexisting cultural/religious differences when creating the new nations after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Next they created governments who would be subservient to the West. Enthnic/religious minorities of those countries in many instances, willing to do whatever needed for the outside assistance to stay in power.

Then during the Cold War, certain Western nations (we all know who) would systematically assassinate, imprison, and destroy the intellectual class (not correct term I know… basically the smart political liberals) justified by preventing communism. There was very little communism, just people wanting democratic governance, and wanting democratic governance apparently reeks of socialism.

By the time actual political upheaval happened, there were no sensible leaders/proto-parties remaining to fill the void, so the religious zealots and/or military assumed control.

All that outside interference and destruction of democratic movements out of fear of communism really stunted ability for huge swaths of the world to grow.

See it lingering today in most of South America, Egypt, etc.


Tyg13 t1_j1ngmgy wrote

I'd even go so far as to say that the inadvertent suppression of democracy due to "fear of communism" wasn't inadvertent at all. As much as the West loves democracy, they really only seem to want it when it's to their benefit. A democratic resource-rich nation might have a bunch of annoying citizens that vote not to allow the systematic exploitation of their country. Dictatorships and juntas are much more reliable to control.


Josquius t1_j1px21y wrote

The fundamental framing of the cold War as democracy or communism that is so common in the west annoys me so much. Its comparing a system of government and an economic system (or rather an economically focussed ideology).

Capitalism vs Marxism is a much better framing for what the cold War was about. That the USSR was a dictatorship and US a democracy is completely incidental to their economic systems.