Here's one way to look at the series of governmental shakeups in the Middle East—a scarier way than "people power" and all that good democratic stuff.


MANAMA, Bahrain — The popular revolts shaking the Arab world have begun to shift the balance of power in the region, bolstering Iran’s position while weakening and unnerving its rival, Saudi Arabia, regional experts said.

While it is far too soon to write the final chapter on the uprisings’ impact, Iran has already benefited from the ouster or undermining of Arab leaders who were its strong adversaries and has begun to project its growing influence, the analysts said. This week Iran sent two warships through the Suez Canal for the first time since its revolution in 1979, and Egypt’s new military leaders allowed them to pass.

That could be true—or perhaps these "regional experts" are trying to demonize the protesters in Bahrain and reformers in Saudi Arabia by giving them a false allegiance to and closeness with Iran. I'm sure a political science professor or five could be bribed to say things like that, which would create a tactical pressure on Obama and the rest of us to be measured in our support of the revolutions.

Either way, analysis like this makes the Iranian uprising even more urgent.

Says Darya in Tehran:

Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us. But within that inch we are free.