The "revolutionary change" that US is seeking has already happened – it is called the Islamic Revolution (in Iran).
Khomeini’s amalgamation of the principles of Islam and those of Republicanism has outlined the contours of the future evolution of Muslim polities – in my opinion. Just like the French Revolution in Europe.
What USG is trying to do is "hyper-revolutionary" – it is akin to injecting a heart-attack patient with stimulants in the hope of regenerating the heart muscle.
This is profound. If Babak’s words were taken seriously by Bush/Vader/Blair, etc., they would constitute the basis for a real discussion with the Iranians of a possible future of shared interests and perhaps even shared values. We have to look "past" Ahmedinejad and his Basij obsessions. Think of him as a PTSD case. That’s popular these days.
In the world of the Imami (12er) Shia, there are many religious scholars of various kinds. Many are experts in jurisprudence or theology but the Ayatollah Khomeini was not that. His basic discipline was that of philosophy (falsafa). He was in many ways a more advanced and radical thinker than many of his Iranian countrymen. His writings on reform in Islam, the status of women and governance are little understood in the West. They should be studied so as to understand the world of his ideas. pl