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June 15, 2009

Serious Non-Civil Disobedience? Plus Video of the Massive Demonstration at Mousavi Rally
Update: Vid of Regime's Basij Thugs Beating a Protester to Death

The size of this is pretty impressive. Definitely watch to get a sense of how emboldened the resisters are.

Even a BBC reporter is impressed:

I just came away from the protest. It was an incredible sight. A huge crowd, hundreds of thousands of people maybe even millions of people there in defiance of open threats from the government that they should not assemble.

They have opened fire, that is going to really ratchet up this, it could be frankly a huge political mistake for those running this country.

--Jon Leyne of the BBC Reporting from Tehran

There are reports of the resisters doing more than civil disobedience. Which is awesome. This regime isn't going to back down due to mere protests.

I'm bolding the parts that suggest the the resisters are growing in courage and power, and the tyrants are diminishing in the same.

Shots have been fired during a massive rally in Iran against last week's presidential election results, with reports saying one person was killed. Hundreds of thousands rallied to support candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, but a group of them was fired on from a militia base they had surrounded.


He says the vote was fixed - a claim President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies.

He dropped the f-bomb. Seems significant in its boldness.

The BBC's Jon Leyne, in Tehran, says Monday's rally was the biggest demonstration in the Islamic republic's 30-year history and described it as a "political earthquake".

It was an incredible sight. A huge crowd, hundreds of thousands of people maybe even millions of people there in defiance of open threats from the government that they should not assemble.

The security forces were staying well away< - we were even able to film and usually the secret police come in straight away and stop you. But the crowds were so enormous they were stepping back. As we drove out we saw rows of riot police stationed on the highway.

If they have opened fire, that is going to really ratchet up this, it could be frankly a huge political mistake for those running this country.

The government had outlawed any protest following two days of unrest, with the interior ministry warning that "any disrupter of public security would be dealt with according to the law".

Which means the resisters are currently breaking the tyrant's law without consequence, which only can serve to encourage them.

It's not only tyrants who find weakness provocative -- democrats and liberals (classical senses) find them provocative too.

Despite this, correspondents said riot police had been watching the rally during the afternoon and had seemed to be taking no action.


A photographer at the scene told news agencies that security forces had killed one protester and seriously wounded several others. A man is said to have been arrested over the shooting.

Why was he arrested (assuming he was arrested)? Arrested for carrying out the will of the state? If this is true it suggests the mad mullahs are afraid to retaliate.

This is big:


He said the shooting began when the crowd attacked a compound used by a religious militia linked to the country's powerful Revolutionary Guard.

North of Tehran, in an area better controlled by the mad mullahs, they're actively hunting down protesters, the article reports. (Or rather reports that there are reports of such.) Even so: That is control of certain areas, and apparent loss of control over others. Not a good sign for a regime that relies upon terror to maintain its power.

Thanks to DanF.

Just as personal point, when I started this blog I linked a lot of protests in Iran. I read a lot into the Zorasterian fire-celebrations (outlawed by the government0 as indicating some loss of control of the mullahs.

Obviously those hopes were unfounded. I gave up on Iran after a while believing the mullahs would never be forced out of power by popular pressure.

In this case... well, this seems like a very serious threat to the mullah's power indeed.

"That File is Shut Forever:" Why should Obama even hedge his bets? Achmadinejad just declared he has no interest at all in negotiating away his precious nukes:

Confrontation of some kind, though, is looking more likely no matter what the administration may wish. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared in his “victory” speech over the weekend that he will never negotiate with anyone over his regime’s nuclear weapons. “That file is shut forever,” he said.

Poll: Most Americans Think Obama's a Mewling Sissyboy: "Not tough enough" on Iran and North Korea, at least.

Most Americans -- including majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents -- say President Obama has not been tough enough on North Korea and Iran.

A FOX News poll released Monday finds more than two-thirds of Americans say Obama has not been tough enough on North Korea (69 percent), while some 15 percent think his actions have been "about right" and 3 percent think he has been too tough.

Sizable majorities of Democrats (65 percent), Republicans (78 percent) and independents (61 percent) agree Obama should be tougher on North Korea. Among those voters who backed Obama in the 2008 presidential election, 59 percent say he has not been tough enough.

Thanks to DrewM.

Counter-Evidence: The tyrants are going down with at least some fight. Although they may have ceded some thuggish sovereignty against huge masses of people, they're still wiling to beat the hell out of -- and the life out of -- protesters who don't have sufficient numbers on their side.

This may not really be counter-evidence of general weakening of the regime. As the BBC report pointed out, in some areas the government is "hunting down" protesters.

14 clips compiled by Breitbart of the spiraling violence.

Question: Will NBC call upon its experts to declare Iran in a state of "civil war"?

Allah writes:

Mousavi hasn’t been seen since the election, by the way. Is he dead? In prison? Or, as another hot rumor has it, is he meeting with Khatami and Rafsanjani to form a united “reformist” front? Khatami was president for eight years before Ahmadinejad; Rafsanjani is currently head of the Assembly of Experts, Iran’s equivalent of the College of Cardinals. If they align with Mousavi and recruit some of the country’s other leading ayatollahs to their cause, government officials will be forced to take sides and the regime will crack wide open. No wonder they’re in such a hurry to arrest opposition leaders.

He also floated this interesting idea: Achmadinjed's "election" is a real coup against the (formerly) actual power center of Iran, the mullahs.

Why is Khamenei so invested in an Ahmadinejad victory, especially if, as we’re forever being told, he holds the ultimate power to set policy in Iran? Mousavi’s no secularist or squish; he’s basically Ahmadinejad lite, duly vetted and approved by Iran’s Guardian Council as Islamic enough to lead the country. The New Yorker theorizes that Khamenei got nervous about how much youth support Mousavi was getting and decided to torpedo him lest he bring some fundie version of Hopenchange to the presidency. But why would Khamenei worry about that when the regime did such an effective job of containing Khatami’s reformist agenda 10 years ago? The safe play would have been to appease the kids by crowning Mousavi the winner, enacting a few token reforms, and then muddling along with the nuke kabuki until they have the bomb. Instead, he validated an electoral sham so brazen that it has the country inching towards revolution. Why? Occam’s Razor suggests that this is a true coup, with Ahmadinejad rigging the results himself and then somehow forcing Khamenei to bless them. But how could he manage that? What’s really going on here?

Either the mullahs saw Mousavi as a genuine threat, or Ahmadinejad turned out to be the real threat, and seized power by coercing them. Either way it suggests that it's vital that Ahmadinejad fail: Either Mousavi is someone the mullahs can't control, in which case he represents a positive change from the current regime, or the frankly insane Ahmadinejad has taken power and can himself no longer be controlled by the mullahs. And, as odd as it is to write, the mullahs are, it is often suggested, much more sane and cautious than the Ahmadinejad.

It should be noted that Ahmadinejad belongs to is suspected of belonging to a sub-cult of Islam which preaches the virtues of the cleansing fires of Apocalypse. This sub-cult was found to be dangerously insane -- (Link to Democratic Underground.)

Hojjatieh is a semi-clandestine Iranian organization which is radically anti-Bahá'í and anti-Sunni. The group flourished during the 1979 revolution that ousted the Shah and installed an Islamic government in his place. However it was banned in 1983 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of the revolution. They believe that chaos must be created to hasten the coming of the Mahdi, the 12th Shi'ite imam. Only then, they argue, can a genuine Islamic republic be established. The Hojjatieh is more of an anarchic-Islamic group than your typical Islamic fundamentalist group.

The current president of Iran Mahmud Ahmadinejad is rumored to be an advocate of this group, though this has not been confirmed anywhere.

If the Ayatollah Kholmeinhi thinks you're crazy, you've got problems.

BTW: The Wikipedia entry the Democratic Underground post cites has been changed. The current Wikipedia entry is more anodyne, soft-pedaling the Apocalyptic millennialist nature of the cult.

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posted by Ace at 04:11 PM

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