Michael Jackson often times dressed like a 3rd world dictator, with golden uniforms and epaulets on his shoulders. But in death, is it possible that the King of Pop is actually helping to crush a popular revolution threatening the future of an actual despot? Maybe.
Politically, the situation in Iran is essentially solved. Ahmadinejad has been named the winner of the election, the nation’s Supreme Leader and other clerics have declared the results above board, and inaugural plans are already being made.Â Popular uprising is now the only alternative for Iranian citizens trying to force change in Tehran.
And while President Obama has said, rightly in my opinion, that there is no place for the USÂ or any otherÂ nation to step in a questionÂ the Iranian leadership’s validation of the election results, there is a place for international pressure.Â There is also a place for international support forÂ protestors and leadersÂ of the reform movement, though that can not come fromÂ the halls of international government.Â Instead, it will come from citizens of the world, following the struggle on cable news and the internet.
And there’s the rub.Â The world’s attention has been diverted at the exact worst moment for the Iranian protests. It is now, when the political solutions have dried up, that this movement can either grow beyond its borders or shrivel up and die.Â
And while reformersÂ continue to protest, and probably continue to die, the rest of the world turns on the tvÂ and sees… wall to wall Michael Jackson coverage.Â And so they turn to the internet to get updates directly from protestors. And Twitter, which has become the main form of communication for the movement, has crashed. Because its overloaded by messages about Michael Jackson. Google’s also been crippled by people seeking information about MJ.Â Pretty soon, people in the rest of the world will give up trying to find new information about Iran, they’ll move on with their lives, and the reformer movement may very well dry up.
And that, dear friends, is how Michael JacksonÂ may kill any chance of real change inside the Islamic Republic of Iran.