Christmas Day 2017 was the 26th Anniversary of the end of the Soviet Union.

In 2016 I wrote about that last day, 25 Years Ago – The last day of the Soviet Union (December 25, 1991):

On December 25, 1991, Mikhail Gorbachov resigned as President of the Soviet Union.

The red flag was lowered at the Kremlin, and the next day, the Soviet Union ceased to exist….

That victory, of course, was several decades in the making, at the cost of tens of thousands of American lives fighting global communist expansionism. It also was a victory born of strength, not submission.

It was a victory opposed by Western leftists who sought to undermine the will to fight at every turn and in every place they could.

Leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were denigrated and mocked as warmongers and fools. Thankfully, they and other stood strong when weakness was the politically easier position.

There’s a lesson there, as we move forward to confront and defend against new and old foes.

The end of the Soviet Union was of particular interest to me given that Russian Studies (including Soviet politics) was my college major, and I traveled extensively in the Soviet Union three times (1979, 1980, and 1984).

That 1980 stint included studying Russian language at an institute in Moscow to train foreigners to become Russian language teachers. As Americans, we were not permitted to leave the ring road without a tour guide, but on multiple occasions a Soviet refusenik friend took me out of the city on the sly.

Moscow was 20th century, the countryside, being charitable, was 19th century (I wouldn’t fight you too hard if you said it was early 19th century).

I remember commenting upon my return to the U.S. that I didn’t see how the Soviet Union could survive, that it’s first-world facade seemed like a Potemkin Village in light of what I saw in the countryside.

But I never imagined it actually could happen. It just seemed so impossible in the present I was in.

There was no singular dictator to overthrow. It was a system of repression deeply entrenched over decades, with many domestic supporters who benefitted from that system, a loyal military, and an even more loyal secret police apparatus to handle any insurrection by the population or military.

I think about the end to Soviet communist rule when I see the current and past news of Iranians rioting against the Mullah regime. That Mullah regime has become entrenched for decades, and is ruthless. When you see reports of hundreds or thousands of protesters detained, understand that many of them will never be heard from again, and those that are heard from again will have been shattered in prison.

Soviet communism was a desecration and perversion of the glorious Russian culture, much as Khomeinism is a desecration and perversion of the glorious Persian culture. There seems no way out in present time.

Is Iran ripe for the people to dispose of the Mullah regime? Yes, but that doesn’t mean it will happen.

Internally, Iran today is somewhere on the timeline between the Soviet Union under Stalin and the Soviet Union under Gorbachev. It’s not clear how far along that process is.

It would have been much farther along that timeline to collapse if not for the rescue effort of the Obama administration and its domestic and European echo chambers.

I hope the Mullah regime falls, and soon. It’s just hard for me to imagine how it will actually happen.

So how will the Mullah regime fall? In some way that seems inconceivable in the present.