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June 17, 2009

More Iran Round-Up

Note: Had to delete the old post. It got balky when I was editing it and adding new stuff. A few comments were lost, unfortunately.

Another Update: Robert Fisk -- yeah, I know -- reports that the security forces seem to be siding with the resisters, or at least aren't willing to go full-on bullyboy for the mullahs.

It was interesting that the special forces - who normally take the side of Ahmadinejad's Basij militia - were there with clubs and sticks in their camouflage trousers and their purity white shirts and on this occasion the Iranian military kept [the Basij milita thugs] away from Mousavi's men and women.

In fact at one point, Mousavi's supporters were shouting 'thank you, thank you' to the soldiers.

One woman went up to the special forces men, who normally are very brutal with Mr Mousavi's supporters, and said 'can you protect us from the Basij?' He said 'with God's help'.

It was quite extraordinary because it looked as if the military authorities in Tehran have either taken a decision not to go on supporting the very brutal militia - which is always associated with the presidency here - or individual soldiers have made up their own mind that they're tired of being associated with the kind of brutality that left seven dead yesterday - buried, by the way secretly by the police - and indeed the seven or eight students who were killed on the university campus 24 hours earlier.

People don't want to be "on the wrong side" of this, perhaps. Which is greatly encouraging. The moment people doubt a tyrant has the power to control them, he stops controlling them.

Update: Great post by Allah; video of a Basij headquarters being stormed by unarmed resisters braving gunfire; suggestions that the Revolutionary Guard might just decide it's time for an autogulpe and formally put the country under martial law, like Pakistan.

Still More: Drew already linked this, but worth another mention: the regime is engaging in fautxtography, cloning segments of their own crowds to make them appear bigger.


That picture is from today (Wednesday). The resistance isn't backing down yet. And now the state is threatening executions of dissenters.

In a message on a Web site associated with him, Mr. Moussavi called on his supporters to rally again on Thursday, and to go to their local mosques to mourn protesters killed in the demonstrations, officially numbering seven. His call directly challenged Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who had urged Mr. Moussavi to work through the country’s electoral system in contesting the election results.

Iranians using the Internet messaging service Twitter had already spread the word about the silent demonstration Wednesday.

The sense of threat against the opposition was growing. Reuters reported that Mohammadreza Habibi, the senior prosecutor in the central province of Isfahan, had warned demonstrators that they could be executed under Islamic law.

“We warn the few elements controlled by foreigners who try to disrupt domestic security by inciting individuals to destroy and to commit arson that the Islamic penal code for such individuals waging war against God is execution,” Mr. Habibi said, according to the Fars news agency. It was not clear if his warning applied only to Isfahan, where there have been violent clashes, or the country as a whole, Reuters said.

As many have said, because it seems pretty obvious: Both sides now seem locked into direct, violent confrontation, as it appears impossible for either side to agree to some kind of negotiated solution that wouldn't be a complete capitulation. Either the mullahs get their way and force Ahmadinejad on the public for another term, or the resisters get their way and force the mullahs to back down and admit Ayatollah Khameini's will is not in fact "God's will" at all.

In the Khomeinist system, Khamenei is supposed to represent divine power on earth, via the “Hidden Imam.” He is supposed to be the leader of all the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims, with the power to suspend the rules of Islam itself, if and when he so wishes.

His word is supposed to be final on all matters; when he speaks, Allah has spoken. Now he looks like just another politician engaged in a bitter power struggle for the control of the country. …

However the current struggle turns out, the regime has lost a good part of its legitimacy. It is also made clear that peaceful evolution within the regime is not possible. This makes the “regime change” option attractive for the first time since the mid-1990s.

Obama meanwhile continues babbling that there's no big difference between Mousavi and Ahmadinejad.

Of course that is absurd. For one thing, should Mousavi prevail, the mullahs would have lost an incredible amount of authority and credibility -- and this in turn would open up the possibility of actual democracy down the road, a democracy in which the mullahs do not control the candidates and the outcomes of elections.

For another thing, even if Mousavi wasn't that much different than Ahmadinejad before, he'd be greatly different after this. The President of Iran answers to the mullahs, the Guardian Council; effectively, he has only 12 constituents in the whole nation, those 12 members of the council. He can ignore everyone else because only those 12 count.

If Mousavi prevails, it would be in direct defiance of that council. There would be little advantage in doing much to appease them, having so thoroughly repudiated them and angered them.

His constituents would be the actual populace of Iran, more specifically, the reformist/liberal segment of the population. Obama more than anyone should know that one's politics can change dramatically depending on what audience one is seeking to please.

It's insulting this shape-shifting two-faced double-talking cryptosocialist Alinskyite douchebag needs that fact pointed out to him.

Plus, whatever Mousavi's impulses may be, he might wind up having to support a full-blown revolution if he wants to remain the resisters' leader. Amir Taheri's column is must-read. It's partly quoted above, but read all the way through: not only is there a third faction posing a more radical threat to the mullahs than Mousavi -- they want the old regime ended -- but the rigged election has also angered the military, because a well-liked military leader was also stiffed by the rigging.

Tyrants cannot afford to anger their military. Even if you start importing foreign thugs from your toady terrorist organization Hamas to do your beat-downs and shootings for you.

A good cheat-sheet for the players in Iran. Explains what the Guardian Council is, and what the Council of Experts is, for example, as well as the individuals involved.

The Daily Show sends Jason Jones to Iran for its "Access of Evil" reportage. The segments begin airing tonight.

Segments of the left seem to think this is a big deal, even if Bammy would prefer to nap through it.

Mossad: Iran will have the bomb by 2014.

Even El Baradei, useful idiot head of the IAEA, says he has a "gut feeling" that Iran wants the bomb. Nothing escapes this guy.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency, said it was his “gut feeling” that Iran’s leaders wanted the technology to build nuclear weapons “to send a message to their neighbors, to the rest of the world: don’t mess with us.”


Dr. ElBaradei has made similar points in the past, officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday, but his latest remarks were more dramatic and less hedged with diplomatic caveats than previously.

That's dramatic? That's less hedged? That tells you how much he's been spinning for Iran in the past.

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posted by Ace at 04:10 PM

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