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crackerjack
12-06-2009, 10:36 AM
Much talk of possible vote-rigging, even suggestions from Moussavi camp that people should avoid casting their ballots in mosques, which sounds almost suicidally brave on his part.

Ahmadinejad may lose (good!), but western media badly underestimated his appeal last time...

Moussavi has promised an end to the religious police and jaw jaw with the great satan. He sounds too good to win. But the enthusiasm for the process in Iran is palapable. Even if their boy wins, can the Mullahs keep a lid on it?

josef k.
12-06-2009, 10:44 AM
It would be really a positive step if Ahmad was unseated.

josef k.
12-06-2009, 10:46 AM
Venezuela's socialist leader, Hugo Chávez, is backing Ahmadinejad, AP reports.

Chávez described him as "a courageous fighter for the Islamic Revolution" and praised his "defence of the Third World, and struggle against imperialism"

crackerjack
12-06-2009, 10:47 AM
Venezuela's socialist leader, Hugo Chávez, is backing Ahmadinejad, AP reports.

Chávez described him as "a courageous fighter for the Islamic Revolution" and praised his "defence of the Third World, and struggle against imperialism"

Chavez is a fucking knob. That's my considered opinion.

vimothy
12-06-2009, 10:54 AM
Mousavi Supporters, Isfahan:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_qu97vVnoSKc/SjAUlwVHgUI/AAAAAAAADI4/OQulYYkhbWU/s400/Musavi+supporters+in+Isfahan.jpg

scottdisco
12-06-2009, 10:54 AM
But the enthusiasm for the process in Iran is palapable. Even if their boy wins, can the Mullahs keep a lid on it?

if you've not checked them out Cracker the two opinion pieces from Yank broadsheets i've put on the 'Bama goes Cairo thread are worth a min of yer.

i am hopeful that the best candidate gets in and ultimately optimistic in general for Iran (of course) but guardedly cautious about what this Event means for the people of Iran - short to medium term anyroad - for all the obvious reasons to do with the Khomeinist dictatorship that we know and wuv.

josef k.
12-06-2009, 10:57 AM
I think the Mullahs are ultimately pragmatists, and may consider massive electoral fraud unwise. The election is really for the Iranian government's press spokesman - why not elect someone who is likely to improve relations with the US? Iran has been willing to deal with the US before.

crackerjack
12-06-2009, 10:57 AM
if you've not checked them out Cracker the two opinion pieces from Yank broadsheets i've put on the 'Bama goes Cairo thread are worth a min of yer.



Ta Scott - will do this pm

crackerjack
12-06-2009, 11:02 AM
I think the Mullahs are ultimately pragmatists, and may consider massive electoral fraud unwise. The election is really for the Iranian government's press spokesman - why not elect someone who is likely to improve relations with the US? Iran has been willing to deal with the US before.

Sure, under Khatami, Moussavi's mentor.

The Mullahs are obviously more pragmatic than some of their rhetoric - and Obama wwill make a much worse demon than his predecessor - but ultimately they want to retain control, and the lesson of the Gorbachev era is that small steps of liberalisation have a way of getting out of hand.

scottdisco
12-06-2009, 11:04 AM
The election is really for the Iranian government's press spokesman - why not elect someone who is likely to improve relations with the US? Iran has been willing to deal with the US before.

good comments Josef.

the Boston Globe piece i refer to in your Obama Does Cairo thread has some reasons to fear an uptick in persecution of really vocal domestic activists if the nice guy gets in (as Iran is competent enough to send their agents throughout Caucasian states to her north bumping off dissidents when they feel like it, i am sure if they need to re-up internal repression*, then that is a very small thing for the state apparatus)

what Hugo C is reported to have said does not surprise me, he is just another caudillo who views foreign policy through a particularly stupid prism

* not including that against religious and other minorities which continues as a matter of course

vimothy
12-06-2009, 11:07 AM
I think the Mullahs are ultimately pragmatists

Yes, but their calculus is one of survuival: its the people vs. the IRGC vs. the IRGC... watch Rezaee?

josef k.
12-06-2009, 11:08 AM
...lesson of the Gorbachev era is that small steps of liberalisation have a way of getting out of hand.

But the lesson of Khatami was that Mullahs were able to keep a lid on reform - in fact, they consolidated their power during his Presidency. I don't know what Ahmadinejad is still doing for the Mullahs, really... why they would think that they needed him. That said, I'm not really an expert in Iranian internal politics, and the factions involved there.

crackerjack
12-06-2009, 11:14 AM
But the lesson of Khatami was that Mullahs were able to keep a lid on reform - in fact, they consolidated their power during his Presidency.

I agree that better relations with the US won't do the Mullahs any harm. But I'm intrigued by Mousavi's pledge to dismantle the religious police - can he do it? Would they let him?

vimothy
12-06-2009, 11:16 AM
why not elect someone who is likely to improve relations with the US? Iran has been willing to deal with the US before.

I think that they want to. But the internal pressures are preeminent. The Mullahs will pick a compromise candidate who is least worst for all their constituent groups. If they pick Moussavi, Ahmedinejad's supporters in the IRGC will be alienated. If they pick Ahmedinejad, Moussavi's supporters will be alienated. And Ahmedinejad doesn't even carry all of the IRGC any more. Complicated.

vimothy
12-06-2009, 11:19 AM
Polling data: http://www.irantracker.org/analysis/iranian-presidential-election-polling-data

crackerjack
12-06-2009, 11:25 AM
Is it assumed Karrubi and Rezai's votes will mostly go to Mousavi in the event of a run-off?

josef k.
12-06-2009, 11:28 AM
Presumably, the conservative Rezai's will go to Ahmad.


This is cool:

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/publications/2008/Mapping_Irans_Online_Public/interactive_blogosphere_map

vimothy
12-06-2009, 11:30 AM
I'm not sure -- I've heard that the split within the IRGC is rather severe, though.

vimothy
12-06-2009, 11:51 AM
As in, Rezai is very critical of Ahmedinejad. He's standing against him.

The way I see it, Iran is not a democracy (no free press, no independent vote countering, no freedom to stand, etc). The vote just measures popular sentiment. The Mullahs have to factor that sentiment in, because they don't want to be deposed or cause any instability that could lead to them being deposed. But equally, they have to factor in the sentiment of the people who underwrite their control of the state. Ceteris paribus, why not have a president/spokes person who doesn't alienate most of the rest of the world (thought there are certainly benefits to this approach from the perspective of the Iranian leadership). But all things are not equal. They need a compromise candidate, one who doesn't provoke the people, but also one who the Pasdaran can accept.

scottdisco
12-06-2009, 12:24 PM
let's bring in an on-song Craner (http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=2598)

padraig (u.s.)
12-06-2009, 01:19 PM
let's bring in an on-song Craner (http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=2598)

fookin' hell he just utterly crushed K-Punk. who would've thought?

oh wait, they made up on Page 2.

now Droid lands some solid shots (tho cripes, also an unspeakably terrible pun referring to "Ersatz Israel"). then Craner with the most epic Dissensus post I've ever seen (31 talking points! like 20 links! including Michael Ledeen!).

dominic makes the totally crazy-juice suggestion (which Droid then endorses?) that Israel should've been carved out of Poland & Germany after WWII? WTF? I'm sure Stalin would've been enthused.

the joys of reading thru 4 yr old Dissensus threads.

vimothy
12-06-2009, 01:29 PM
Could be Craner's best ever post on that thread.

Also, some crazy talk regarding election fraud and the Council of Guardians... Actually, there is a lot of crazy talk in that thread. Crazy time, I guess.

padraig (u.s.)
12-06-2009, 02:17 PM
Actually, there is a lot of crazy talk in that thread. Crazy time, I guess.

from K-Punk:


World without America.... good

World without Israel... good

World without Zionism....good

That of course doesn't mean that these countries are to be removed by force... but in an ideal world, yeh, let's see the back of them...

I don't think it ever stopped being a crazy time for him.

vimothy
12-06-2009, 03:19 PM
Hahaha -- brilliant: "That of course doesn't mean that these countries are to be removed by force... but in an ideal world, yeh, let's see the back of them..."

crackerjack
12-06-2009, 03:23 PM
Nor is it easy to predict where Iran goes from here. The election has split the ruling Establishment as never before, with its leading members openly trading accusations and insults. It has laid bare the great chasms in Iranian society - traditionalists against modernists, rural against urban, devout against secular. After the insurrection of the past two weeks, after such extraordinary manifestations of popular discontent, it is hard to see how the fractured regime can put the genie back in the bottle.

It is possible that violence will erupt if Mr Ahmadinejad is declared the victor and Mr Mousavi's supporters cry foul. It is likely that Mr Mousavi will fail to meet his supporters' sky-high expectations, partly because the Supreme Leader remains the real power in the land and partly because he is, in truth, a flawed vehicle for their hopes and aspirations.

Only one thing is certain. Iran will never be quite the same again. “We are in a new phase in this country and civilisation,” Saeed Laylaz, a respected political consultant, said as his compatriots prepared to vote.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6480970.ece

polystyle desu
12-06-2009, 03:41 PM
“We are in a new phase in this country and civilisation,” Saeed Laylaz, a respected political consultant, said as his compatriots prepared to vote.
- that's the spirit !

scottdisco
12-06-2009, 04:06 PM
Whatever it is, this election is not about nuclear power. It may be about presidential arrogance and stupidity and fear, or about responsible government or unemployment or the economy.

Fisk in the Indie. (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-irans-old-guard-are-poised-to-crush-any-hope-of-revolution-1703225.html)

certainly the economics are woeful.

josef k.
12-06-2009, 04:19 PM
World without Bad.... good.

Mr. Tea
12-06-2009, 04:32 PM
World without Bad.... good.

But without Bad, how would we know Good?

josef k.
12-06-2009, 04:58 PM
K-punk will tell us.

polystyle desu
12-06-2009, 04:58 PM
Heavy voter turnout
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/06/12/world/AP-ML-Iran-Election.html

and -
In a possible complication for Mousavi's backers, Iran's mobile phone text messaging system was down.

More
http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/12/updates-on-irans-presidential-election/

Mr. Tea
12-06-2009, 05:28 PM
K-punk will tell us.

There is a spectre haunting Dissensus - the spectre of k-punk.










(Sorry, I've wanted to say that for ages.)

massrock
12-06-2009, 05:32 PM
It's funny you should say that though, if you have a look at his Custom User Title.

Mr. Tea
12-06-2009, 05:35 PM
It's funny you should say that though, if you have a look at his Custom User Title.

Hahaha, shoulda known. Will Birkbeck be hosting Markism conferences in a hundred years' time, I wonder?

nomadthethird
12-06-2009, 05:59 PM
Hahaha, shoulda known. Will Birkbeck be hosting Markism conferences in a hundred years' time, I wonder?

Do you have to ask?

All over the world right now, there are still people holding conferences and ex-spending precious natural resources over things as important and pressing as the legacy of Democritus.

Marx is good for at least another few thousand years.

josef k.
12-06-2009, 06:12 PM
Hahaha, shoulda known. Will Birkbeck be hosting Markism conferences in a hundred years' time, I wonder?

Will there even be a Birkbeck?

scottdisco
12-06-2009, 06:13 PM
there will be an Esfahan.

Mr. Tea
12-06-2009, 06:37 PM
Do you have to ask?

All over the world right now, there are still people holding conferences and ex-spending precious natural resources over things as important and pressing as the legacy of Democritus.

Marx is good for at least another few thousand years.

N.B. MarKism, as in Mark K-punk - not MarXism.

nomadthethird
12-06-2009, 06:39 PM
N.B. MarKism, as in Mark K-punk - not MarXism.

O I See I thought that was a typo.

crackerjack
13-06-2009, 09:40 AM
Oh well (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8098305.stm)

.

vimothy
13-06-2009, 01:08 PM
Damn, my money was on Rezai. I guess Ahmedinejad serves a purpose.


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is being declared the winner of Iran’s presidential election with nearly 35% margin over nearest competitor Mir Hossein Mousavi, with Karrubi and Rezaie receiving only 2% of the vote. The numbers do not add up. All the indications pointed to a very tight race between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. Winning with 35% margin over Mousavi was unimaginable.

The questions is, if the government wanted to rig the votes in favor of Ahmadinejad, why did it need to show a margin of 35%. It would have been more believable if the margin was fixed at 1 or 2%. Here we might be witnessing not only an act of fraud on the part of the government, but a deliberate move to openly challenge and agitate the political opponents and the millions of ordinary young people who came out in droves on the city streets of Iran to register their unhappiness with the current situation.

The government seems to be challenging the opponents to come out again in anger in order to clamp down hard on them. The danger is for the IRGC and the Basij to raise their arms against the people in the coming hours and days.

To this analyst, the government’s move has all the hallmarks of a coup. The ruling group was loosing its control and has gone out in force to suppress the people’s aspirations. The opponents, especially Mousavi, Karrubi and Rezaie, need to find ways to register their refusal of the results of the election without risking a bloodbath on the streets of Iran.

A massive strike in the coming days might be a prudent approach. Such strike will have solid international support.

http://uskowioniran.blogspot.com/2009/06/massive-fraud-suspected-in-iran.html

crackerjack
13-06-2009, 01:30 PM
Obviously mass gerrymandering isn't beyond the ethics of the Mullahs.

but would the huge turnout, which everyone said would favour Mousavi, actually have helped Ahamdinejad? Some liberals who abstained when it was Ahmad. v Rafsanjani now came out for Mousavi, But traditionally big turnouts means more poor people voting, and more poor people voting was supposedly gonna be good for the midget in the cheap jacket, non?

That's just me thinking aloud, btw - no doubt fraud was an issue. The passage quoted above sounds a bit conspiratorial to me - maybe they just took fright and overcompensated.

vimothy
13-06-2009, 01:47 PM
Could be, I suppose, but I don't really see the popular vote as a major issue. That's asking too much of Iranian democracy. I think that Ukowski (normally quite a "pro-Iranian" -- as in, not at all a neocon -- military analyst) is reading the situation in the right way, in that the president is a strategic choice by the Council of Guardians. Now, maybe Ukowski is not calling that strategy entirely correctly, perhaps too conspiratorially, as you suggest, but surely Ahmedinejad would not have won had the Council of Guardians not wanted him to win. The key question, then, is why.

3 Body No Problem
13-06-2009, 02:28 PM
The key question, then, is why.

Wishful thinking? (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/13/iranian-election) Because A. is fairly popular (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article6458557.ece) with the lower classes?

vimothy
13-06-2009, 02:40 PM
Wishful thinking?

Could be, but as I wasn't expecting Mousavi to win.


Because A. is fairly popular with the lower classes?

Could be again, but as I said, I don't think that the popular vote is decisive in Iran.

Anyway, can we also call this "the Obama effect"?

3 Body No Problem
13-06-2009, 02:45 PM
Could be, but as I wasn't expecting Mousavi to win.

I didn't mean to say you did, sorry that I expressed myself ambiguously.


Anyway, can we also call this "the Obama effect"?

Why?


Could be again, but as I said, I don't think that the popular vote is decisive in Iran.

As far as I can see the popular vote is decicive (but can be overruled by the supreme leader, which hasn't happened so far; in addition, candidates have to be approved by the Guardian Council to be able to stand in the election).

scottdisco
13-06-2009, 03:47 PM
candidates have to be approved by the Guardian Council to be able to stand in the election).

this is a crucial observation.

this time round, three male candidates were selected to oppose the incumbent, whilst 470 others (including 42 women) were rejected.

Craner owns that old thread i linked to earlier, BTW.

scottdisco
13-06-2009, 04:06 PM
i suppose all that remains to be said is platitudes about let us hope the rural poor and pious Iranians who look toward the nattily dressed anti-semite fellow are better served by him economically this time around and that it does not go badly in the streets

vimothy
13-06-2009, 05:26 PM
Why?

Just being ironic, re Polystyle's comments in the thread discussing the outcome of the Lebanese election.

3 Body No Problem
13-06-2009, 05:39 PM
Just being ironic, re Polystyle's comments in the thread discussing the outcomes of the Lebanese election.
OK, I though you might have been referring to something like the Obama effect being described here (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/dd1049be-55e8-11de-ab7e-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1).

Anyway, the pro-war right in the west will be happy! If A. had lost, the Obama government could have simply said, "look, the main problem is gone" and proceeded to engage more with Iran.

3 Body No Problem
13-06-2009, 05:48 PM
this is a crucial observation.

this time round, three male candidates were selected to oppose the incumbent, whilst 470 others (including 42 women) were rejected.

Sure, but the competition between these three seems genuine, so Iran is a lot more democratic than all the neighbouring Oil states. Irak has changed only recently, let's see what form of government will stabilise there in the medium term.

vimothy
13-06-2009, 05:50 PM
OK, I though you might have been referring to something like the Obama effect being described here (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/dd1049be-55e8-11de-ab7e-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1).

Well, I kind of was. If you can put the fact that M14 won in Lebanon down to Obama's speech in Cairo, why not the fact that reformists lost in Iran?


Anyway, the pro-war right in the west will be happy! If A. had lost, the Obama government could have simply said, "look, the main problem is gone" and proceeded to engage more with Iran.

Is anyone really pro-war with Iran? That seems insane. Also, I'm not sure that the election of Mousavi have changed much. Iran would still have a nuclear programme, would still give aid to Hezb, etc. And the president is hardly the most powerful person in the country. Surely western policy makers aren't operating according to the belief that he is.

3 Body No Problem
13-06-2009, 06:00 PM
Is anyone really pro-war with Iran? That seems insane.

I do feel that the same crowd that talked the west into a war with Irak is now trying the same with Iran. Having a clearcut enemy is politically very potent.


Also, I'm not sure that the election of Mousavi have changed much. Iran would still have a nuclear programme, would still give aid to Hezb, etc. And the president is hardly the most powerful person in the country. Surely western policy makers aren't operating according to the belief that he is.

I agree with this, in fact Mussawi may well be more conservative than Ahmadinedschad, my point was from a western point of view: the forces in the west that want to engage with Iran, e.g. the Obama administration, will find it more difficult now, because Ahmadinedschad has been constructed so carefully as evil in (parts of) the mainstream western media.

Mr. Tea
13-06-2009, 06:15 PM
'Guardian Council'? What is this, fucking Star Wars?

scottdisco
13-06-2009, 06:16 PM
i am pleased it has taken a relatively mere four pages for this thread to start living up to board precedent.

Mr. Tea
13-06-2009, 06:23 PM
Sorry, I'll let the grown-ups carry on with their conversation now.

craner
13-06-2009, 06:36 PM
Ah, now, this is getting interesting (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8098896.stm)...

vimothy
13-06-2009, 07:00 PM
A rigged vote is as old as democracy.

Further reading: analysts react (http://www.reuters.com/article/newsMaps/idUSTRE55C0W620090613), and Foreign Affairs (http://www.foreignaffairs.com/) has good coverage (especially here (http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/65130/mohsen-m-milani/tehrans-take) and here (http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/64606/akbar-ganji/the-latter-day-sultan)).

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/files/images/homepage/MilaniHomepage.gif

scottdisco
13-06-2009, 07:05 PM
'Guardian Council'? What is this, fucking Star Wars?

Palpatine presided over a theocratic dictatorship too, Tea, so your analogy is spot on.

scottdisco
13-06-2009, 08:57 PM
obviously, may be a nonsense rumour (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1092304.html)


Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi was arrested Saturday shortly after he was defeated at the polls by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an unofficial source reported.

According to the source, the presidential hopeful was arrested en route to the home of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that were a number of contradictory reports from Iran on Saturday, in a large part due to the heavy restrictions imposed on the media in the Islamic Republic, in particular on foreign reporters.

3 Body No Problem
14-06-2009, 01:50 PM
'Guardian Council'? What is this, fucking Star Wars?

Here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/iran_power/html/guardian_council.stm) is an overview, commented upon here (http://mideastreality.blogspot.com/2009/06/irans-unelected-rulers.html).

scottdisco
14-06-2009, 02:31 PM
thanks for that Auntie link, 3 Body No Problem, very nice.

from the same page (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/iran_power/html/supreme_leader.stm)

Mr. Tea
14-06-2009, 06:51 PM
Here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/iran_power/html/guardian_council.stm) is an overview, commented upon here (http://mideastreality.blogspot.com/2009/06/irans-unelected-rulers.html).

Cool, thanks for that.

vimothy
14-06-2009, 09:24 PM
http://trunc.it/egni/nrm

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3619/3623295077_7b036f9cb0.jpg?v=0

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3645/3624113552_fefdd50399.jpg?v=0

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3341/3624204820_58d94c151f.jpg?v=0

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3313/3624204664_b048beb228.jpg?v=0

scottdisco
14-06-2009, 09:25 PM
few comment pieces

Fisk (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-iran-erupts-as-voters-back-the-democrator-1704810.html) (check out the description of the meal he takes :D )

Cole (http://www.juancole.com/2009/06/stealing-iranian-election.html)

Gary Sick (http://garysick.tumblr.com/post/123070238/irans-political-coup)

vimothy
14-06-2009, 09:34 PM
Iranian democracy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSECAvBTanQ&eurl=http://uskowioniran.blogspot.com/&feature=player_embedded).

vimothy
14-06-2009, 09:53 PM
Live-blogging the protests (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/13/iran-demonstrations-viole_n_215189.html).

padraig (u.s.)
14-06-2009, 10:13 PM
christ it's really kicking off huh? sounds like the Iranian riot cops (no idea who that is - regular police, Revolutionary Guards???) are really catching it too.

I'm out the door (gotta hit the gym before it closes), but real quick - this seems like the key question in the near future *EDIT - IR-wise, obv Iranians on the street have more pressing concerns*, from one of the linked articles:


...I argue that the outcome of the presidential elections does not and should not affect Obama's policies toward that country-- they are the right policies and should be followed through on regardless.

padraig (u.s.)
14-06-2009, 11:54 PM
(check out the description of the meal he takes :D )

yeh but then did you see the bit where a cop offered to share his lunch & Fisk turned him down? Robert Fisk doesn't break bread with baton-wielders, you see. also, this;


Palestine Street, it was called, only fitting since the Iranian police were behaving in exactly the same way as the Israeli army when they turn into a rabble to confront Palestinian protesters

way to work in an awkward potshot at the Israelis.

speaking of which, I'll bet Israeli hawks are positively giddy.

padraig (u.s.)
14-06-2009, 11:55 PM
speaking of which, Netanyahu's big speech* from Bar-Ilan (location says everything). the rundown; "support" for a Palestinian state but no right of return (which, let's admit, will never happen in a way that matters), a united Jerusalem, it has to be totally demilitarized. so, nothing. oh, & a demand that they recognize Israel as "the state of the Jewish people". sure, that's forthcoming. plus some stuff about Israel's economy.

*I know, wrong thread, but he mentioned Iran 5 times.

re: Iran - "the greatest danger confronting Israel, the Middle East, the entire world and human race, is the nexus between radical Islam and nuclear weapons."

transcript (http://enduringamerica.com/2009/06/14/transcript-netanyahu-speech-on-israel-palestine-14-june/)

live-blogging from Ha'aretz (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1092709.html)
this sums it up nicely:

The speech was like a nod to the old pre-intifada way of looking at the Palestinians, but at the same time mentioning two states.

the White House's ambiguous reaction (http://briefingroom.thehill.com/2009/06/14/white-house-hails-netanyahu-speech-as-important-step-forward/)

padraig (u.s.)
15-06-2009, 12:04 AM
you have to give it to Netanyahu tho - sure, he's a bit (well, quite) a blunderer but he's got that stall & evade, offer up just enough to appease the Americans shit down pat.

scottdisco
15-06-2009, 08:43 AM
way to work in an awkward potshot at the Israelis.

what else do you expect from Robert Fisk?
;)

the points Cole and Sick raised were interesting.

scottdisco
15-06-2009, 09:04 AM
yesterday the BBC editors wrote

BBC audiences in Iran, the Middle East and Europe may be experiencing disruption to their BBC TV or radio services today. That is because there is heavy electronic jamming of one of the satellites the BBC uses in the Middle East to broadcast the BBC Persian TV signal to Iran.

Satellite technicians have traced that interference and it is coming from Iran. There has been intermittent interference from Iran since Friday, but this is the heaviest yet.

yup. and

It is important that what is happening in Iran is reported to the world, but it is even more vital that citizens in Iran know what is happening. That is the role of the recently-launched BBC Persian TV which is fulfilling a crucial role in being a free and impartial source of information for many Iranians.

still, i'm sure their final call will be heeded

Any attempt to block this channel is wrong and against international treaties on satellite communication. Whoever is attempting the blocking should stop it now.

Cole has a couple (http://www.juancole.com/2009/06/class-v-culture-wars-in-iranian.html) up here (http://www.juancole.com/2009/06/terror-free-tomorro-poll-did-not.html), respectively entitled Class v. Culture Wars in Iranian Elections: Rejecting Charges of a North Tehran Fallacy and Terror Free Tomorrow Poll Did not Predict Ahmadinejad Win.

elsewhere, Jeff Weintraub has been keeping abreast of reflections on topic, including hipping former British ambassador to Iran ('03-'06), Richard Dalton, and some of his take (http://jeffweintraub.blogspot.com/2009/06/richard-dalton-who-was-british.html).

droid
15-06-2009, 09:59 AM
so, nothing. oh, & a demand that they recognize Israel as "the state of the Jewish people".

And sorry to further derail things, but talk about raising the bar! This first surfaced a few months back. Israel must now be recognised as a 'Jewish' state, not just a state. :mad:

crackerjack
15-06-2009, 11:21 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/15/iran-opposition-rally-banned-mousavi

No doubt they'll conduct a rigorous inquiry into just how Mousavi managed as much as 34%.

crackerjack
15-06-2009, 12:06 PM
Guardian reporting that pissed off officials in the Interior Ministry have been leaking the real results - which show Ahmad. below 30%. Meanwhile, there are some pretty shocking scenes here (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/15/iran-opposition-rally-banned-mousavi) and the Pres re-elect has cancelled his Russian trip. This isn't over yet.

vimothy
15-06-2009, 12:13 PM
Michael Totten (http://www.michaeltotten.com/) and Andrew Sullivan (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/) have good coverage.

vimothy
15-06-2009, 12:17 PM
Lots of shocking scenes. I'm watching insane stuff on YouTube, and looking at pictures of bullet riddled dorms on Flickr.

vimothy
15-06-2009, 12:24 PM
E.g. http://25khordad.wordpress.com/

crackerjack
15-06-2009, 12:30 PM
ahmad came 3rd, say the torygraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/5540211/Iran-protest-cancelled-as-leaked-election-results-show-Mahmoud-Amadinejad-came-third.html

polystyle desu
15-06-2009, 02:25 PM
Updates continue from the Lede ...
http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/mondays-updates-on-irans-disputed-election/

crackerjack
15-06-2009, 02:40 PM
Updates continue from the Lede ...
http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/mondays-updates-on-irans-disputed-election/

It would make sense if Rafsanjani's mixing it - Mousavi must be well protected to be going quite so public with his complaints.

polystyle desu
15-06-2009, 02:43 PM
Yes, seems there's a story in there ...
shadow boxing behind the scenes

WSJ ...
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124505670198214769.html

josef k.
15-06-2009, 08:46 PM
What happens next?

josef k.
15-06-2009, 08:49 PM
Moussavi looks like he means it. Also, like Rowan Williams. So the Mullahs might have to arrest and/or kill him. Probably the smartest thing to do would be to put him under house arrest, as you wouldn't want to go creating a martyr.

Then again, can the Iranian government really contain this?

Maybe there will be a brutal crackdown, the Americans will wander in from Iraq, and there will be World War Four.

It seems like there was perhaps a miscalculation here somewhere... Did nobody think about what electoral fraud on this scale was likely to trigger?

Finally, let's all remember: In Iran, they may rig their elections. But at least they have elections. In the UK, on the other hand...

crackerjack
15-06-2009, 08:53 PM
Then again, can the Iranian government really contain this?
.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mousavi1388/3628897177/#iranelection

crackerjack
15-06-2009, 08:56 PM
Maybe there will be a brutal crackdown, the Americans will wander in from Iraq, and there will be World War Four.


Ha ha :eek::eek:

Could be there's a "get 'em now while they've got no nukes" school gearing up a campaign :eek:

josef k.
15-06-2009, 09:06 PM
How can this end? There has to be a question now as to whether direct force would work - but the government cannot capitulate without risking more. Maybe they will scapegoat Ahmadi himself.

crackerjack
15-06-2009, 09:11 PM
How can this end? There has to be a question now as to whether direct force would work - but the government cannot capitulate without risking more. Maybe they will scapegoat Ahmadi himself.

It's all still in the balance - at the moment, they'll be thinking if they can sweat out the next few days, then things will die down.

josef k.
15-06-2009, 09:20 PM
So the strategy has to be: intimidate Moussavi, rough a few people up, and hope for dispersal...

An outstanding question concerns the role the new media is playing in this. Could this be the first Twitter revolution?

four_five_one
15-06-2009, 09:25 PM
I'm not quite sure why everyone thinks it was a fix...

josef k.
15-06-2009, 09:28 PM
Moussavi is now calling for a general strike.

josef k.
15-06-2009, 09:34 PM
Go to:

http://twitterfall.com/

Select #iranelection

Select speed as two tweets per second.

vimothy
15-06-2009, 09:40 PM
Already on it, my man!

http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23mousavi

Is also good.

Apparently the Basij killed a protester in Tehran last night.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_qu97vVnoSKc/SjZ3g6ZrFkI/AAAAAAAADMY/vSDJyw59Ais/s400/tehran.jpg

josef k.
15-06-2009, 09:48 PM
Twitter is threatening to perform maintenance... are they mad?

vimothy
15-06-2009, 09:53 PM
http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0eZd1bEa9P3Sl/610x.jpg

vimothy
15-06-2009, 09:57 PM
FiveThirtyEight (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/) have been doing some early statistical analyses of available polling data.

vimothy
15-06-2009, 10:02 PM
Some amazing pictures here: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/06/irans_disputed_election.html

four_five_one
15-06-2009, 10:05 PM
How many of the Iranian rural/urban poor have access to Twitter? They were supposedly Ahmadinejad's power base, it seems unlikely that the internet would've influenced them to vote otherwise this time.

Obviously, I've no idea if the election was corrupt or not. But in some ways it reminds me of the coup in Thailand (where I was living at the time) and what came after - specifically, the recent bourgeois revolution - the urban elites and middle classes forced out a democratically elected government, accusing them of corruption, electoral fraud and so on. These things were true to some extent, but the majority of the rural poor voted for them because they brought in universal health care, rural development funds, and generally were effective in reducing poverty. The middle class urban 'yellow shirts' depicted the rural poor as stupid and ignorant, claiming that they "didn't understand democracy".

I actually believed them at the time. Most of my friends were yellow shirts, the press supported them, the western media were sympathetic, and the other party - the PPP (formerly TRT) - were responsible for extra-judicial killings, massive fraud etc. What democrat wouldn't support the 'yellow revolution'? However, the PPP were elected democratically... The poor knew exactly what they were getting from the PPP, they knew that the opposition party, the Democrats, were an establishment party and would only impose neo-liberal policies on the country, which would benefit no one except the already rich and well-off. As has now become clear.

Isn't it possible that Iranians voted for Ahmadinejad because of his redistributive policies and against his opponent's commitment to a neo-liberal project?

craner
15-06-2009, 10:05 PM
I'm sorry, but it's fantastic. May it grow.

Mr. Tea
15-06-2009, 10:15 PM
Obviously the US military is huge, but on a purely practical point: could the US even afford an invasion of Iran, now or any time in the foreseeable future (in terms of men, money, materiel) given its commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Or is that looking at it the wrong way, since 'military action' would mean airstrikes on the weapons facilities, rather than an invasion?

Or might the US give the green light to Israel to have a go...well, let's hope not. :eek:

vimothy
15-06-2009, 10:15 PM
sn't it possible that Iranians voted for Ahmadinejad because of his redistributive policies against his opponent's commitment to a neo-liberal project?

That's a mis-characterisation of Mousawi. So no, since Mousawi isn't committed to neo-liberalism. It is possible that Ahmedinejad won the election fairly. But that doesn't seem to be very likely. You can look at the irregularities. For instance, Ahmedinejad is supposed to have taken Tehran, the cosmopolitan city mush headed liberals were mistaking for the rest of the country. Or the fact that Mahdi Karroubi polled almost 0% of the vote in his native province of Lorestan, which he won with 55% of the vote in 2005.

vimothy
15-06-2009, 10:18 PM
There's a video of that on this thread somewhere, Craner.

four_five_one
15-06-2009, 10:19 PM
It is possible that Ahmedinejad won the election fairly. But that doesn't seem to be very likely. You can look at the irregularities. For instance, Ahmedinejad is supposed to have taken Tehran, the cosmopolitan city mush headed liberals were mistaking for the rest of the country. Or the fact that Mahdi Karroubi polled almost 0% of the vote in his native province of Lorestan, which he won with 55% of the vote in 2005.

You're probably right, but I'd just read this before I wrote that: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/14/AR2009061401757.html

vimothy
15-06-2009, 10:22 PM
Check out Nate Silver's analysis of that article here: http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/06/did-polling-predict-ahmadinejad-victory.html

PeteUM
15-06-2009, 10:22 PM
Twitter streams break news dam (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jmitq_4hijgd7L7Bb1Q4Jk6LSfeg). "CNNfail" Staggering amount of tweeting going on...

vimothy
15-06-2009, 10:23 PM
Nate Silver questions that interpretation here (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/06/did-polling-predict-ahmadinejad-victory.html)

Jinx!

josef k.
15-06-2009, 10:24 PM
This thread moves fast!

craner
15-06-2009, 10:26 PM
It's safe to say that Mousavi, no instinctive reformer, has become a default figurehead for something far larger, and fundamental. This is already bigger than 1999, and when it dies down, the aftershocks will be profound. I am indecently excited. It's overdue.

josef k.
15-06-2009, 10:27 PM
The protesters are up against the best armed and most repressive sector of the Iranian government. This could end in a slaughter.

scottdisco
15-06-2009, 10:32 PM
the problem with Ahmadinejad as scourge of neo-liberalism (the line i note LENIN'S TOMB has settled into - along with a universally agreeable lauding of the protests which is fair enough - following a guest contributor's somewhat, er, relaxed initial analysis of the early outcome results) is that all the admirable state programmes in the world (and a lot of his state programmes have been very regressive, not progressive) don't disguise that, Ahmadinejad, in recent years, has come in for heavy criticism for his handling of the economy, criticism that notes he has not been too successful in ameliorating the condition of working Iranian people AFAICT.

all the Juan Cole, Jeff Weintraub-channeling-the-Brit-ambassador and Gary Sick pieces i linked to up-thread are more than worth a look in their own right, but a money quote from one of the Cole bits (without context you'd want to go back and read, of course, for the meat)


And just because Ahmadinejad poses as a champion of the little people does not mean that his policies are actually good for workers or farmers or for working class women (they are not, and many people in that social class know that they are not).

@four_five_one, nice to see someone correctly call a spade a spade re PAD-aligned thugs in Thailand and their appalling assault on the democratic process! (though you are, of course, also right to say Thaksin ran death squads etc.
as a matter of fact i mean to put up a fair-sized piece on some of Thaksin's crimes and excesses on one of my blogs soon.)

if you would care to start a thread about that, riffing on your reflections and such, please do, Thai politics is one of my main areas of interest. (though i have never even been to the country :o )

:cool:

incidentally, one of the Cole pieces i link to a few pages ago - much like the piece Josef/Vimothy has linked to just now - takes aim at that Washington Post piece regarding the Terror Free Tomorrow polling and does so, for my money, quite fairly and persuasively.

vimothy
15-06-2009, 10:33 PM
Looks like quite a few deaths from the YouTube channels.

vimothy
15-06-2009, 10:34 PM
Welcome to asymmetric warfare you theo-fascist fucks!

josef k.
15-06-2009, 10:36 PM
the problem with Ahmadinejad as scourge of neo-liberalism (the line i note LENIN'S TOMB has settled into...

I always read Lenin's Tomb when I am looking for something really stupid. I don't really know why...

You're quite excitable this evening Vimothy...

vimothy
15-06-2009, 10:39 PM
Globalisation is fundamentally altering the power of the state. Every fule kno this. And sometimes, it is a good thing.

josef k.
15-06-2009, 10:41 PM
How secure really is the Iranian government's power base? How tough really are they?

josef k.
15-06-2009, 10:42 PM
Clearly, the Iranian middle class is against them.

scottdisco
15-06-2009, 10:43 PM
I always read Lenin's Tomb when I am looking for something really stupid. I don't really know why...

yes Craner and i want to take him and Seumas Milne for a drink, we can chat about Oscar Wilde and the miner's strike; if on nothing else, we can agree totally on these topics.

(up pops Craner to tell me, er, no, he's a GB Shaw man.)

vimothy
15-06-2009, 10:44 PM
I wanna see the Iranian vote according to age -- can anyone help?

vimothy
15-06-2009, 10:47 PM
The Iranian leadership cannot escalate too much, I think.

vimothy
15-06-2009, 10:58 PM
http://niacblog.wordpress.com/

josef k.
15-06-2009, 11:00 PM
Many pictures here:

http://picfog.com/search/iranelection

vimothy
15-06-2009, 11:24 PM
About three hours ago I was interviewing people on the street in downtown Tehran with my translator, not far from the Ministry of Interior building.

There were some riot police about 100 meters away at the other end of the street. A couple people spoke to the camera – one young woman was saying that “The riot police are beating people like animals. The situation here is very bad; we need the UN to come and help with a recount of the votes!”

At about that time a plain-clothes security guy started grabbing my arm, and together with several uniformed police they dragged me and my translator off to the Ministry of Interior building.

I fared much better than my translator, whom they punched and kicked in the groin. They ripped off his ID and snatched away both our cameras. A passing police officer sprayed my translator in the face with pepper spray, although he was already being marched along the pavement by three policemen.

Unfortunately my camera was still recording and the battery was dislodged in the hubbub, destroying the video file of the interview.

As we reached the Ministry of Interior building they separated us and dragged my translator by his arms across the floor and down a flight of stairs; he eventually regained his footing on the second two flights of stairs leading downward to the holding cell, where about twenty people who had already been grabbed off the streets were kneeling on the floor in the darkened room with their hands tied behind their backs.

All during this process my translator was being kicked and sworn at. The police told him how they “would put their dicks in his ass” and how “your mother/sister is a whore” and so on. At one point he was beaten with a belt buckle. At another moment, they beat him with a police truncheon across his back, leaving a nasty welt.

My translator kept on insisting that he was an officially authorized translator working with an American journalist—which is perfectly true.

At this time I was above ground, in the entrance to the ministry, yelling over and over at the police to “Bring me my translator!” It was clear that they didn’t intend to beat me—although they may have wanted to—because I was a foreigner.

After a few minutes they relented and sent someone off to retrieve my translator from their holding cell, three floors down in the Ministry of Interior building. They came into the holding cell and shouted “Where is the translator?!” and then, when he identified himself, they beat him again for “not telling them he was a translator.”

An English-speaking riot policeman tried to sweet-talk me, saying that in a riot situation anything can happen. I might have taken him more seriously had a riot actually been taking place when we were arrested. He also asked my translator to convince me not to report what had happened.

Eyewitnesses are reporting that fully-credentialed foreign journalists are similarly being detained all over Tehran today. The deputy head of the Ministry of Guidance just told me on the phone that other journalists have also been beaten, and that the official permissions no longer work. Also, foreign journalist visas are not being extended, so all of those people who were allowed in to cover the elections are now being forced out in the messy aftermath.

http://www.takepart.com/blog/2009/06/15/inside-tehran-an-eye-witness-account-from-james-longley/

vimothy
15-06-2009, 11:27 PM
http://twitter.com/#search?q=@StopAhmadi

padraig (u.s.)
15-06-2009, 11:39 PM
Welcome to asymmetric warfare you theo-fascist fucks!

yeah you sure showed them Vimothy.

padraig (u.s.)
15-06-2009, 11:40 PM
I just mean, let's be realistic here.

students & kids & whoever else getting knocked around by the Basij & whoever else isn't "asymmetric warfare".

I also find the vague talk of a U.S. military intervention to be highly dubious. where's the calls for invasion or even bombing? nowhere in mainstream debate so far as I can see. logistical questions aside. the possibility of the Israelis going for a rogue (or semi-rogue, unofficially U.S. endorsed) surgical strike of some kind is higher but still, I think, very unlikely.

padraig (u.s.)
15-06-2009, 11:50 PM
How secure really is the Iranian government's power base? How tough really are they?

is it a question of toughness? I don't think so. anyway they seem plenty tough to me.

as to how secure their power base is, well I dunno really but they have their own militia, their military branch, their own secret police, right? as well as the support of, presumably, at least a sizable minority of Iranians (even assuming the elections were indeed rigged).


Globalisation is fundamentally altering the power of the state. Every fule kno this. And sometimes, it is a good thing.

so let me get this straight. you're saying that this is one of those cases - of globalization fundamentally altering the power of the Iranian state - & that furthermore it is altering it in a good way?

sorry to go in on you but perhaps you'd care to expand on this? or clarify it?

padraig (u.s.)
15-06-2009, 11:53 PM
one last - informal poll while out & about today, mostly of people at school & at the gym.

13 people asked. 7 knew there had been elections in Iran. 2 or 3 knew that a bunch of really serious business had kicked off tho not how serious.

that is, I'd guess, a higher % than at-large America, given that I live in a big city & most of the people I asked were college students.

also one dude thought we (the U.S.) had already invaded Iran.

Mr. Tea
15-06-2009, 11:55 PM
I also find the vague talk of a U.S. military intervention to be highly dubious. where's the calls for invasion or even bombing? nowhere in mainstream debate so far as I can see. logistical questions aside. the possibility of the Israelis going for a rogue (or semi-rogue, unofficially U.S. endorsed) surgical strike of some kind is higher but still, I think, very unlikely.

Yes, that's certainly what I was thinking, to say nothing of hoping.



one last - informal poll while out & about today, mostly of people at school & at the gym.

13 people asked. 7 knew there had been elections in Iran. 2 or 3 knew that a bunch of really serious business had kicked off tho not how serious.

that is, I'd guess, a higher % than at-large America, given that I live in a big city & most of the people I asked were college students.

also one dude thought we (the U.S.) had already invaded Iran.

Fuck me, really? Is just not being reported much over there? Been all over the news here. Probably the second-biggest story at the moment after something about that frumpy Scottish woman who sings hits from musicals.

vimothy
15-06-2009, 11:57 PM
Proliferation of digital media is a fundamental fact of modern life. Iran's leadership can't control the flow of information any better than the US government. But please, let's all be literalists about the whole thing. Metaphors = bad.

Although actually, students fighting armed militia is asymmetric warfare, an asymmetric confrontation, at any rate, which is at times shading into asymmetric conflicts.

vimothy
16-06-2009, 12:00 AM
yeah you sure showed them Vimothy.

No, you're right. Why celebrate the continued flow of information from Iran to the rest of the world?

craner
16-06-2009, 12:06 AM
I also find the vague talk of a U.S. military intervention to be highly dubious.

Um, I'm afraid that's par for the course around here, but you do learn to ignore it.

There's been about three theads started because of some Seymour Hersh-style prediction of immanent US-carpet bombing of Iran. Some wit always sees fit to re-boot the thread when the predicted date of Armageddon passes. What fun we've had over the years.

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 12:08 AM
Fuck me, really? Are people not watching/reading the news over there, or is just not being reported much? Been all over the news here. Probably the second-biggest story at the moment after something about that frumpy Scottish woman who sings hits from musicals.

The former, I think. It's all over CNN/MSNBC/Fox etc., newspapers, the Internet. here it's probably the second-biggest story after health care reform (Obama gave a big speech to the American Medical Association on that today).

A lot of people don't follow the news - really I can't imagine this is so different from the U.K.

vimothy
16-06-2009, 12:10 AM
Apparently, Twitter are postponing maintenance...

scottdisco
16-06-2009, 12:13 AM
Um, I'm afraid that's par for the course around here, but you do learn to ignore it.

There's been about three theads started because of some Seymour Hersh-style prediction of immanent US-carpet bombing of Iran. Some wit always sees fit to re-boot the thread when the predicted date of Armageddon passes. What fun we've had over the years.

yes we keep re-setting the date don't we.

Mr. Tea
16-06-2009, 12:15 AM
The former, I think. It's all over CNN/MSNBC/Fox etc., newspapers, the Internet. here it's probably the second-biggest story after health care reform (Obama gave a big speech to the American Medical Association on that today).

A lot of people don't follow the news - really I can't imagine this is so different from the U.K.

Oh right - I actually edited my post because I thought it looked like I was just making bad assumptions about the American public.

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 12:19 AM
Proliferation of digital media is a fundamental fact of modern life. Iran's leadership can't control the flow of information any better than the US government. But please, let's all be literalists about the whole thing. Metaphors = bad.

I'm just saying, it's easy to get carried away in the heat of the Internet moment.

also, clearly, the flow of information is crucial & unstoppable. On the other hand it it does not, so far, seem to be doing the Iranians a terrible amount of good. That is, everyone's so up to date on the minute-to-minute happenings but this all translates into what, exactly? & I'm not saying that flow of information for its own sake is w/out merit.


Although actually, students fighting armed militia is asymmetric warfare, an asymmetric confrontation, at any rate, which is at times shading into asymmetric conflicts.

sure, it's an asymmetric conflict of sorts. but clearly your comments were referencing the Iranian govt's support of Hezballah/Hamas/etc, no? just trying to say, it treads perilously close to to romanticizing what's going on. like "a taste of their own medicine!" kind of thing. only it's not really. if that's not what you meant at all, then apologies.

craner
16-06-2009, 12:26 AM
I think a touch of romance is valid here.

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 12:27 AM
Oh right - I actually edited my post because I thought it looked like I was just making bad assumptions about the American public.

I don't think they're necessarily bad assumptions. bit exaggerated, perhaps - there are a sizable minority of informed people. again, I assume, like Britain. anyway, I do think this has relevance given that U.S. public opinion

let me also add that the CNN etc. coverage has been, unsurprisingly, uniformly terrible. caught a blackly humorous moment w/Joe Lieberman on MSNBC where he referenced the "Iranian people rising up for freedom in 1979" w/o mentioning that it was against a U.S.-backed dictator.

vimothy
16-06-2009, 12:27 AM
Consider the constraint that democratisation (or digitisation, if you prefer) of mass media imposes on the Iranian regime. And so Iran wants to keep information from leaving the country, and from moving around inside it freely, for obvious reasons. Twitter et al makes it that much harder. That is a good thing.

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 12:28 AM
I think a touch of romance is valid here.

at yer own peril.

not to be a jerk about it, but it's easier to romanticize from afar. it's also easier to do it to a noble (& likely doomed) resistance.

vimothy
16-06-2009, 12:31 AM
like "a taste of their own medicine!" kind of thing. only it's not really. if that's not what you meant at all, then apologies.

More like a welcome to the 21st century kind of thing.

scottdisco
16-06-2009, 12:36 AM
this is from the 3rd of February, 2007, BTW


[
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men: -Plato




Perhaps many imagine that the widespread public passivity and indifference to the long-planned invasion of Iran might have something to do with its semblematic cry-wolf "announcement" repeated every few months over the past five years (indeed, in 2002, after the failure to catch Bin Laden in Afghanistan and the subsequent decision to continue with the bloody mayhem in that country, a number of us were convinced that the next target would be Iran, not Iraq, until we realised that the latter was such a soft, easy target, not requiring the use of nuclear weapons).

People couldn't get their "head round Bush actually trying to pull" off the invasion of Iraq in 2003, but unlike THEN (Feb 2003), there's no millions this time out protesting on the streets, no shock or surprise, just a perfectly predictable fatalistic impotence ...

But what's happening right now is much more ominous.

Now. Let's see, then:


Iran: The War Begins (http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2007-02/03pilger.cfm)

By John Pilger

As opposition grows in America to the failed Iraq adventure, the Bush administration is preparing public opinion for an attack on Iran, its latest target, by the spring.

The United States is planning what will be a catastrophic attack on Iran.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

'US poised to attack,' claims Bulgarian agency: (http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=65023)

The United States "could be using its two air force bases in Bulgaria and one at Romania's Black Sea coast to launch an attack on Iran in April," the Bulgarian news agency Novinite claimed.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The War on Iran (http://www.ichblog.eu/content/view/261/52/)

By Stephen Gowans

The war has already begun and it has nothing to do with nuclear weapons and threats against Israel and everything to do with who rules America.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Delays Report on Iranian Role in Iraq (http://www.ichblog.eu/content/view/265/52/)

By Paul Richter

The Bush administration has postponed plans to offer public details of its charges of Iranian meddling inside Iraq amid internal divisions over the strength of the evidence, U.S. officials said.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Report: US plans strike against Iran: (http://tinyurl.com/2zponk)

The Pentagon was reported to be considering ways for the US to destroy nuclear facilities such as Iran's main centrifuge plant at Natanz, despite the fact that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney hoped that diplomatic efforts to restrain Iran would succeed.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Francis Fukuyama: The neocons have learned nothing from five years of catastrophe : (http://www.ichblog.eu/content/view/263/52/)

Their zealous advocacy of the invasion of Iraq may have been a disaster, but now they want to do it all over again - in Iran
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dave Lindorff: This is like Hitler's Suicide Order from the Bunker: (http://www.ichblog.eu/content/view/259/52/)

I wrote last September that Bush was gearing up for war with Iran, as evidenced by the moving up of the deployment date of the carrier group headed by the recently re-fueled and re-armed USS Eisenhower, some of whose crewmembers had leaked that its mission was to attack Iran.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bush's Trash Talk About Iran (http://www.ichblog.eu/content/view/257/52/)
By Robert Dreyfuss

The Bush administration's charges against Iran are, for the most part, scare talk and nothing more. Iran has virtually nothing to do with the Iraqi resistance movement, which is commanded and staffed by Sunni Arab military officers and Baathists.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Manufacturing consent for war with Iran: (http://tinyurl.com/yr6se4)

Raid In Iraq Found Evidence Of Iranian Aid To Militias-TV : During a recent raid in the Iraqi city of Irbil in which Iranians were detained, the U.S. found what some officials claim is evidence Iran is providing aid to insurgents and militias, NBC News reported Tuesday.

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Bush 'spoiling for a fight' with Iran: (http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldbriefing/story/0,,2002232,00.html)

US officials in Baghdad and Washington are expected to unveil a secret intelligence "dossier" this week detailing evidence of Iran's alleged complicity in attacks on American troops in Iraq. The move, uncomfortably echoing Downing Street's dossier debacle in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, is one more sign that the Bush administration is building a case for war.

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A Powerful Iran not Tolerated by US : (http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8511100173)

Tehran's Ambassador to Damascus Mohammad Hassan Akhtari said that Americans have now resorted to a plot which has long been used by the British, and that is none but sowing discord among Muslim Shiites and Sunnites to divide them and to discredit the Shiite Iran.

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Sen. Robert Byrd: Bush Wants War with Iran: (http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2007/1/30/110352.shtml?s=ic)

Top Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd is warning that the Bush administration is preparing to go to war with Iran.

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The Danger of Bush's Anti-Iran Fatwa (http://www.ichblog.eu/content/view/207/52/)

By Juan Cole

The president's decision to use force against Iranian "agents" inside Iraq could snare innocent pilgrims, and raises the risk of open warfare.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Iran, Israel, The Big Lie and The Real Threat (http://www.ichblog.eu/content/view/206/52/)

By Frank Scott

"Attempting to portray Iran as a nuclear menace to Israel and the world, in that order, even though it has no nuclear weapons and Israel has hundreds, is not merely a sign of dementia. It is indication of near idiocy in a society that can be repeatedly manipulated into believing such totally crackpot notions that have no foundation in the material world but exist only in a world of superstitious psycho-fantasy."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hillary Clinton calls Iran a threat to U.S., Israel: (http://snipurl.com/1971j)

Calling Iran a danger to the U.S. and one of Israel's greatest threats, U.S. senator and presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said "no option can be taken off the table" when dealing with that nation
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

US strike group transits Suez Canal: (http://snipurl.com/18x8r)

A US Navy strike group led by the assault ship USS Bataan steamed through the Suez Canal on Tuesday on its way to join the buildup of American forces in the Middle East.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Europeans fear US attack on Iran as nuclear row intensifies: (http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,2002319,00.html)

Senior European policy-makers are increasingly worried that the US administration will resort to air strikes against Iran to try to destroy its suspect nuclear programme.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

the only surprise is i can't see any Hersh reference who - Ollie is right - on this sort of issue can often let himself down very, very badly.
Pilger!

quelle surprise.

craner
16-06-2009, 12:40 AM
but it's easier to romanticize from afar. it's also easier to do it to a noble (& likely doomed) resistance.

Well, it's not exactly a "resistance" as such; also, I suspect the "romance" is more palpable and real (as the danger and energy is) on the streets of Tehran than it is in my house in Vauxhall, London.

Tell you what I can't stand, though, the cynical, distanced, fence-sitting of Western democrats and realists. There was some ex-State Dept guy on Newsnight about an hour ago speaking on the Obama "position", and he was so awful, it was very depressing.

It's not as if this has come out of the blue either: there have been significant strikes and demonstrations going on (and being opressed and broken up) since 1999, and they've been getting larger and more frequent by the year.

It's amazing, in many ways, that this didn't happen in 2005, when circumstances were far more favourable.

craner
16-06-2009, 12:43 AM
Let himself down? He made an absolute cock of himself.

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 02:26 AM
@scott - that stuff also sounded crazy back in 2007.


...(as the danger...is)...

there you go.

re: cynical Westerners - what do you expect tho, exactly? not that cynicism is appealing, but - look, it's nearly impossible to get people to care about things that directly impact their day to day lives, let alone mass uprisings in other countries.


More like a welcome to the 21st century kind of thing.

yeah, alright that makes sense.

I guess I'm just skeptical whenever post-everything concepts like "Twitter revolution" (or whatever you want to call it) come up. what regime has Twitter etc actually toppled...? the flow of information may well trump batons & tear gas (& bullets) & men willing to use them someday but I don't see it happening yet.

polystyle desu
16-06-2009, 05:06 AM
Iron cleric blinks ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/world/middleeast/16cleric.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Social network links
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/world/middleeast/16media.html?hp

four_five_one
16-06-2009, 08:49 AM
@four_five_one, nice to see someone correctly call a spade a spade re PAD-aligned thugs in Thailand and their appalling assault on the democratic process! (though you are, of course, also right to say Thaksin ran death squads etc. as a matter of fact i mean to put up a fair-sized piece on some of Thaksin's crimes and excesses on one of my blogs soon.)

Haha, sounds like you might know more about it than me... can you link your blog(s) here, Scott?

I'm going back to Thailand next week, it'll be interesting to see what's happened in the last six months or so. I might well be promoted into further reflections then. The main problem is that Thailand doesn't have a left alternative - and by left alternative, I don't mean communist or anything like that, just social democratic - Thaksin was a right-wing populist, perhaps similar to Ahmadinejad, yet with an inverse relation to the establishment. I'm hopeful that at least some of the red shirted faction will realize they need to carve out their own political policies and form their own party, and leave Thaksin where he should be left: for dead. Hopefully the protests are a catalyst for a wider political project, which is much the same as I hope of the Iranian protests.

My other particular interests wrt Thailand are the role of the King, and what neutralizing anti-emancipatory role he might play, the Muslim insurgency in the south of Thailand and the war on drugs (specifically yaa baa/methamphetamine).

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 09:20 AM
I wanna see the Iranian vote according to age -- can anyone help?

they all voted for ahmadinejad, according to the official results ;


breaking::::: recount!

fantastic news

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 09:40 AM
I also find the vague talk of a U.S. military intervention to be highly dubious. where's the calls for invasion or even bombing? nowhere in mainstream debate so far as I can see. logistical questions aside. the possibility of the Israelis going for a rogue (or semi-rogue, unofficially U.S. endorsed) surgical strike of some kind is higher but still, I think, very unlikely.


Thought it pretty obvious Josef was joking. I certainly was.

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 09:45 AM
Less good: Iran says they've arrested "agents" behind demos with explosives and weapons.

scottdisco
16-06-2009, 10:01 AM
Thought it pretty obvious Josef was joking. I certainly was.

not the first time us Brits and our dry wit has caused a board misunderstanding i fear ;)

scottdisco
16-06-2009, 10:05 AM
Let himself down? He made an absolute cock of himself.

you are quite right.

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 10:10 AM
10.02am:
120 academics have resigned in protest at police raids on Tehran University, according to the BBC World Service.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2009/jun/16/iran-uprising

craner
16-06-2009, 10:43 AM
Weak stuff. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8102061.stm)

craner
16-06-2009, 10:45 AM
What's been happening in Tabriz and Isfahan?

vimothy
16-06-2009, 10:51 AM
breaking::::: recount!

The opposition wants another election (http://cnnwire.blogs.cnn.com/2009/06/16/opposition-rejects-guardian-council-offer-to-recount-vote-in-iran/).

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 10:51 AM
Weak stuff. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8102061.stm)

So one the one side, we have

Mr Obama's reticence may have in fact strengthened the hand of the reformers and improved the chances of fundamental change.

on the other

The charge levelled against President Bush was that he was too simplistic, that there was no nuance in his foreign policy, that he only saw the world in black and white.

But if he were in charge now, we would at least know his verdict on these elections.

are you really suggesting the latter is more important?

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 10:52 AM
The opposition wants another election (http://cnnwire.blogs.cnn.com/2009/06/16/opposition-rejects-guardian-council-offer-to-recount-vote-in-iran/).

yeah, the recount will be a farce. i got overexcited. the arrest of old Khatami advisors says more about where this is going.

vimothy
16-06-2009, 10:53 AM
What's been happening in Tabriz

They are burning Basij HQ, according to Twitter.

craner
16-06-2009, 11:02 AM
So one the one side, we have

Quote:
Mr Obama's reticence may have in fact strengthened the hand of the reformers and improved the chances of fundamental change.

on the other

Quote:
The charge levelled against President Bush was that he was too simplistic, that there was no nuance in his foreign policy, that he only saw the world in black and white.

But if he were in charge now, we would at least know his verdict on these elections.

are you really suggesting the latter is more important?

I don't think either of those statements are at all certain, frankly.

vimothy
16-06-2009, 11:03 AM
Protest in Tabriz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnzMlhBst1o

craner
16-06-2009, 11:08 AM
Super.

vimothy
16-06-2009, 11:18 AM
Tweets:

http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23IranElection
http://twitter.com/#search?q=Mousavi
http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23iranElection
http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23Iranians
http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23gr88
http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23Iran9
http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23Tehran

I can't keep up....

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 11:38 AM
Thought it pretty obvious Josef was joking. I certainly was.

oh forreals? no, I caught that. I was going to add "don't even joke about that" but that would've made it sound like it had some degree of plausibility. also it was half-joking, black humor, kernel of truth joking, no?


Weak stuff. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8102061.stm)

you'd like him to do what exactly?

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 12:01 PM
something I noticed while reading an article in Newsweek - Iran's plummeting total fertility rate, >1.7 children/woman. which is esp. nuts cos it's down from a TFR of 6.5 in 1980. we're talking world record drop-off here, & apparently flying in the face of all demographer wisdom.

1955-2000 (http://globalis.gvu.unu.edu/indicator_detail.cfm?IndicatorID=138&Country=IR)
2003-2008 (http://www.indexmundi.com/iran/birth_rate.html)

in the "reasons why" category - as opposed to minute-by-minute updates (which Vim - & good work sir, whether we agree or not - has on lockdown) here's a very interesting article from February on the decline of Iran:


Sex Drugs & Islam (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KB24Ak02.html)

drop in TFR duly mentioned, also - staggeringly high #s of opium addicts (something like 5% of the adult population!), educated women choosing prostitution as a road to affluence (on the order of American women working their way thru college as strippers).

it all speaks to the catastrophic encounter w/the 21st century Vim has postulated, tho it's been catastrophic for everyone, not just the mullahs, who are themselves - yeah, futilely - trying to hold back history. it also goes a long way to explaining the desperation they feel - nothing to lose.

vimothy
16-06-2009, 12:10 PM
http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/sdasd.jpg

scottdisco
16-06-2009, 12:13 PM
dunno if anybody else saw it but just saw the opening footage of Basij shooting dead seven protestors on Ch4 News at Noon five mins ago.

i know we've discussed Iranian opiates, prostitution etc on other threads, but seeing the numbers presented as P does, this clear-eyed illustration of falling stats, is large.

just ignore that sick-azz Brit humour eh P?
;)

(got yr PM BTW man, will be in touch anon. loved that anecdote!)

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 12:30 PM
just ignore that sick-azz Brit humour eh P?
;)

nah I reckon my sense of humor is even drier! actually I think it's that in the back of my head I'm just paranoid that somehow we will wind up - or Bibi will drag us into - some incredibly stupid war with Iran...

re: falling birth rates in conflict zones - see also;

Lebanon (http://www.indexmundi.com/lebanon/total_fertility_rate.html) - down from 4.3 in 1980 to 1.87 now
Sri Lanka (http://www.indexmundi.com/sri_lanka/total_fertility_rate.html) - down from 3.75 to ~2 - put forth as one of the major, largely unspoken reasons for the end of the civil war - less recruits, plus less kids means more opportunities for education, jobs etc

on the other hand the Gaza Strip is at a healthy 5.9, tho the West Bank is down at 3.31, including a sharp decline in the last 5 years.

3 Body No Problem
16-06-2009, 12:39 PM
re: falling birth rates in conflict zones - see also;

Here's (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1949068.stm) and here (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1374/is_1_63/ai_96417139/) are old articles on the matter. I think increasing standards of living and in particular a drastic raise in female levels of education can account for this.

scottdisco
16-06-2009, 12:41 PM
Sri Lanka (http://www.indexmundi.com/sri_lanka/total_fertility_rate.html) - down from 3.75 to ~2 - put forth as one of the major, largely unspoken reasons for the end of the civil war - less recruits, plus less kids means more opportunities for education, jobs etc

all interesting stats and i was particularly intrigued wrt this one. SL is such a broken society, certainly in the areas where conflict has most touched, really worse off than even a lot of other conflict zones/warring nations, in terms of the duration and reach of the conflict there specifically

scottdisco
16-06-2009, 12:42 PM
Mint condoms!
:cool:

nice one 3 Body (will PM you anon re Thailand etc BTW)

scottdisco
16-06-2009, 12:45 PM
just reading that ATimes piece, i do have my doubts about Spengler's world-view sometimes.

Craner can tell us all about Pepe Escobar, another ATimes nutter.

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 12:46 PM
you'd like him to do what exactly?

The League of Decency seems determined to drag Bush back into this, as if forged Iranian elections prove he was right about Iraq, or that walrus-tashed cunt whose name escapes me* was right about Iran, or something.

Even Aaronovitch, who I generally rate much higher, is sounding off about this being what happens in a post-Bush world and apparently confusing Amnesty & HRW with the SWP.




*Bolton.

craner
16-06-2009, 12:51 PM
you'd like him to do what exactly?

I'd like him to have the guts and clear eyes to follow through on this:


Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.

There is no straight line to realise this promise. But this much is clear: governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them. And we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments – provided they govern with respect for all their people.


which was WELL SAID (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/04/barack-obama-keynote-speech-egypt). He said it, he should sell it. Why not? And lose what? His precious detente with the mullahs?

I think we've just witnessed a far more potent and principled alternative. But our reaction to it has been sluggish and cynical, to say the least. It's an embarrasment.

craner
16-06-2009, 12:55 PM
I didn't mention Bush and have nothing to do with the Decents.

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 01:10 PM
I'd like him to have the guts and clear eyes to follow through on this:



which was WELL SAID (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/04/barack-obama-keynote-speech-egypt). He said it, he should sell it. Why not? And lose what? His precious detente with the mullahs?

I think we've just witnessed a far more potent and principled alternative. But our reaction to it has been sluggish and cynical, to say the least. It's an embarrasment.

what would this achieve, other than making it easier for the theocracy to portray a democratic uprising as the work of the great satan?

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 01:13 PM
I didn't mention Bush and have nothing to do with the Decents.

The Decents aren't a party, just a likeminded group of (generally) Labour supporters who took a Blairite view of the Iraq war.

craner
16-06-2009, 01:16 PM
Well, that's now received wisdom, but based on what?

People inclined to believe 'Great Satan' propaganda are inclined to believe it anyway. What happened to solidarity?

vimothy
16-06-2009, 01:16 PM
Lenin's Tomb is hilarious.

craner
16-06-2009, 01:17 PM
They are a pretty tightly knit social group, too, from what I have witnessed. Scott will back me up on that, at least.

craner
16-06-2009, 01:19 PM
The Decents, that is. They really do interlock and hang out.

droid
16-06-2009, 01:26 PM
The Decents, that is. They really do interlock and hang out.

Mainly because no-one else wants to.

vimothy
16-06-2009, 01:26 PM
A power bloc!

So, it is 4.55 in Tehran. 5 minutes to the big protest. Anyone got links to any pictures?

Also, it seems like the regime is splitting into to the armed forces on one side and the old school Islamic revolutionaries (Larijani, Rasfanjani, etc) on the other...?

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 01:31 PM
Here's (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1949068.stm) and here (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1374/is_1_63/ai_96417139/) are old articles on the matter. I think increasing standards of living and in particular a drastic raise in female levels of education can account for this.

true & true. as affluence increases birth rates drop. hence, for example, why it's in the Israelis' interests to raise the affluence of Palestinians.

still, everything I've read on Iran (which, admittedly, is not a great deal) suggests that its astronomically dropping TFR is unaccountable even by those metrics.

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 01:33 PM
I'd like him to have the guts and clear eyes to follow through on this:

well fair play. tho as crackerjack said. also, a speech DNE action. would have a better response but I'm out the door, maybe later.

vimothy
16-06-2009, 01:36 PM
http://tehranbureaublog.blogspot.com/2009/06/turmoil-follows-silent-protest.html

vimothy
16-06-2009, 02:00 PM
Ouch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBp2p3MGJqw

vimothy
16-06-2009, 02:09 PM
Doctors and nurses are protesting in a major hospital in Tehran:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyirzlCO-FA

one of nurses is shouting "7 people died in this hospital last night"

polystyle desu
16-06-2009, 02:12 PM
International press now banned from shooting the protests ?

josef k.
16-06-2009, 02:24 PM
The recount is blatantly an effort to slow things down, stall things.

josef k.
16-06-2009, 02:26 PM
Obama's statement:



"It is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran's leaders will be... We respect Iranian sovereignty and want to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran."

Seems perfect to me.

polystyle desu
16-06-2009, 02:33 PM
The recount is blatantly an effort to slow things down, stall things.

Yes ...

vimothy
16-06-2009, 02:33 PM
GuardianUSART @RAGreeneCNN: Thousands jam streets of Tehran in support of Ahmadinejad - details soon #iranelection

vimothy
16-06-2009, 02:37 PM
Cordwainer_Bird URGENT RT: @iranbaan: Mousavi supporters in vali-asr (st.) in front of IRIB headquarters (Jam-e-Jam), so far peaceful #IranElection

Follow: http://twitter.com/Change_for_Iran

josef k.
16-06-2009, 02:38 PM
How powerful are the Basij and their allies? How strong is Khamenei? It seems like the protesters will need to break the back of the Iranian security state - somehow - to stand any chance of success. That seems unlikely right now.

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 02:52 PM
Well, that's now received wisdom, but based on what

Erm, based on the term not really existing until it was used (initially, I think, by themselves, later as mockery) to characterise pro-war elements of the left chatterati. Those last few words are far more defining than whether or not you hang out with Oliver Kamm.

edit: sorry, anyway, no wish to derail. And wot Josef says about the recount. If you wanna know which way this is headed, just look at who's being arrested.

vimothy
16-06-2009, 02:55 PM
Khamenei has cultivated the armed forces. It seems to me that he has lost the support of the clerics (if he ever really had it) and the older generation of the revolution. Maybe we're witnessing the recolonisation of the Islamic revolution by a faction of the IRGC, which is supportive of Kamenei.

BTW, the Basij are thugs with sticks and AKs (volunteers), but there are also the police, Lebas-shakhsi-ha, IRGC, the regular army, Ansar Hezb Allah, etc, etc....

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 03:11 PM
New Yorker on the fraud

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2009/06/laura-secor-why-tehran-matters.html

vimothy
16-06-2009, 03:21 PM
Ok, people who have been keeping score: who (in terms of regime officials) has been arrested, and who has quit in support?

craner
16-06-2009, 03:26 PM
Erm, based on the term not really existing until it was used (initially, I think, by themselves, later as mockery) to characterise pro-war elements of the left chatterati. Those last few words are far more defining than whether or not you hang out with Oliver Kamm.


Eh? What are you on about? I was refering to this:


what would this achieve, other than making it easier for the theocracy to portray a democratic uprising as the work of the great satan?

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 03:30 PM
Eh? What are you on about? I was refering to this:

Oh right, I thought you were still objecting to being called 'decent'. use the damned quote button :p

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 03:32 PM
Anyway, more important matters

Mousavi seems to be calling off the demo for security reasons - since it was one hour after the pro-Ahmad. one and in the same spot, it's probably for the best.

vimothy
16-06-2009, 03:58 PM
Think it's happened anyway, if I'm reading the Tweets right.


3pm:
Tens of thousands of people have now gathered outside the IRIB, the headquarters of the state broadcasters, according to our man in Tehran who just phoned in from the rally.

He contrasts the police's handling of the opposition protest with the pro-government march on nearby North Valiasr Streets. Ahmadinejad's supporters have been ushered along peacefully, whereas Mousavi's supporters have faced hostility from the police and assertions that the protest is illegal.

There are reports of 2,000 police or Basij at the opposition rally.

Regime hitting back: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2009/jun/16/iran-uprising

vimothy
16-06-2009, 04:12 PM
Iran on the brink: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/opinion/16iht-edcohen.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3&ref=opinion

polystyle desu
16-06-2009, 04:24 PM
Iran on the brink: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/opinion/16iht-edcohen.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3&ref=opinion

That was a good op ed, glad you posted Vim

The old Guard' are actually pretty old ...

four_five_one
16-06-2009, 04:34 PM
"# They are filtering everything! Gmail is blocked now!about 1 hour ago from web "

(from the change_for_Iran twitter) -- they can block Gmail but not Twitter? Or maybe they don't know about Twitter yet...

vimothy
16-06-2009, 04:40 PM
Official election results by region, 2005 & 2009 (http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=r_uwMuClOfVIjaQpj8liIpg).

Day long strike went ahead as planned (http://twitter.com/sabor906).

Internet coverage from Iran seems to be slowing.

Reports that the Basij are about to storm the student dorms again...

vimothy
16-06-2009, 04:47 PM
Gary Sick, here (http://garysick.tumblr.com/post/123070238/irans-political-coup) and here (http://www.cfr.org/publication/19622/us_should_react_cautiously_to_irans_stolen_electio n.html).

four_five_one
16-06-2009, 04:59 PM
"Could Iran Shut Down Twitter?

Publius thinks so:
[Tweets are] essentially being sent to "middlemen" proxy servers -- which, in turn, allows the information to pass "in disguise" through the filter. It's like a digital Underground Railroad...But here's the thing -- they're only getting through because Iran has (for now) left its networks open, even though the government has apparently tried to limit bandwidth to prevent videos and pictures from getting out."

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/06/could-iran-shut-down-twitter.html

four_five_one
16-06-2009, 05:02 PM
http://twitter.com/persiankiwi

vimothy
16-06-2009, 05:13 PM
http://iran.twazzup.com/

More days of unrest and Iran will surely see power shortages and the like. This thing probably has a limited life-span, unless the IRGC switches sides.

Also, confirmation of opposition protests (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8103577.stm) in Tehran today.

four_five_one
16-06-2009, 05:18 PM
This Change_For_Iran feed is shocking:

"there is no need to hide their names anymore Mobina Ehtrami, Fateme Borati, Kasra Sharafi, Kambiz Shoaee & Mohsen Imani; all killed by ansar"

vimothy
16-06-2009, 05:21 PM
Some useful potentially stuff here: http://forums.iransportspress.com/forumdisplay.php?f=21

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 05:25 PM
Bush boy backs Obama

http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/diplomacy/bushs-iran-ambassador-lauds-obamas-handling-of-iran-crisis/


“President Ahmadinejad would like nothing better than to see a very aggressive series of statements by the United States that would try to put the U.S. in the center of this,” Burns said. “And I think President Obama is avoiding that quite rightly.”

four_five_one
16-06-2009, 05:47 PM
The plus point is that now the efficacy of the global communication network has been proven, even if nothing comes of this right now - which looks likely - alliances have been formed, and pathways alighted for sustained emancipatory pressure; which is the major difference between this and say Tienanmen Square, or the monks protesting in Burma, etc...

four_five_one
16-06-2009, 05:50 PM
nice one 3 Body (will PM you anon re Thailand etc BTW)

er, I think you're confusing 3 Body with me here, which is understandable, given the numbers thing. But feel free to PM.

craner
16-06-2009, 05:55 PM
Burns was a Condi man, not the same thing. He would be pretty insulted to be called a Bush boy, no doubt.

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 06:05 PM
first off thanks to everyone (esp. Vimothy) staying right on top of all this.

a couple things from linked articles that I found esp. on point:

from the NYT Op-Ed, this also reminds me of the only experience I have with anything even remotely similar, which has been in Mexico:

“The bottom line right now is whose violence threshold is higher? How much are the hard-liners willing to inflict to suppress the population and tell yet another generation to shut up? And how much are Moussavi and his supporters willing to stand to fulfill their dreams? It sounds so inhuman, but that’s what it comes down to.

some dude from Stratfor on why an Ahmadinejad victory is plausible (http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20090615_western_misconceptions_meet_iranian_reali ty) - tho much of that thinking has been either refuted or challenged in various articles linked in this thread, notably by Juan Cole & also that New Yorker piece by Laura Secor. to wit:


Iran has a traditional and a modern lower class, a traditional and a modern middle class, even a traditional and a modern élite. The new generation of activists (students, democrats, feminists, journalists) comes largely from the traditional lower middle class—the same demographic that brought us the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and no less authentic a part of the social fabric. To dismiss these Iranians’ aspirations as the vain fancies of the isolated rich is insulting and misguided. Those élite North Tehranis have not been the ones populating rallies and prison cells. That work has been done by those whose lives are difficult and dangerous enough to feel that change is urgent at any price. And if there is a hard core of Iranian activists who will remain in Tehran’s mean streets in the days or weeks or months ahead, it will most certainly not be one comprised entirely of the well-heeled few.

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 06:13 PM
The plus point is that now the efficacy of the global communication network has been proven, even if nothing comes of this right now - which looks likely - alliances have been formed, and pathways alighted for sustained emancipatory pressure; which is the major difference between this and say Tienanmen Square, or the monks protesting in Burma, etc...

definitely a world away from Tienanmen. but "the efficacy of the global communication network has been proven" - I dunno. that it's impossible to stop the flow of information, yes - but that has always been true. information moves much faster now, of course. on the other hand I think it's also shown - & this isn't the first time either - that the flow of information, absent of something concrete behind it (organization, weapons, whatever) has its limits.

"alliances" & "pathways alighted" - I'm sorry to be skeptical but what, exactly? not that they don't exist, but I think it's very easy to toss around phrases. happy to be proven wrong, as always.

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 06:28 PM
foreign media confined to barracks (http://webmail.aol.com/43524/aol/en-us/Suite.aspx)

bbc's man estimates anywhere up to 2m at yesterday's demo

josef k.
16-06-2009, 06:34 PM
Now the official hacks are being suppressed, the unofficial sources become even more important.

four_five_one
16-06-2009, 06:35 PM
definitely a world away from Tienanmen. but "the efficacy of the global communication network has been proven" - I dunno. that it's impossible to stop the flow of information, yes - but that has always been true. information moves much faster now, of course. on the other hand I think it's also shown - & this isn't the first time either - that the flow of information, absent of something concrete behind it (organization, weapons, whatever) has its limits.


A spontaneous rhizomatic network with enough subversive potential to create serious rupture(s) has already emerged. It will not succumb. It cannot be reassimilated. The system is broken.

I hope ;P Yeah, I think I was throwing around a few phrases there in a bid to be optimistic. But still, it's far more difficult to suppress virtual pathways, and meeting places than material ones. You've just got that much more chance of keeping the fervor alive. I'm thinking of things like manifestos (http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-seven-point-manifesto-of-the-iranian-resistance/), obviously you've got little to no chance of circulating such a document materially, unless you have some sort of media outlet (or even a free press). Online though, they've already proven that they can bypass the censors.

I mean that maybe obvious... hopefully I'll have a better answer later, when more things have become clear to me.

vimothy
16-06-2009, 06:49 PM
The plus point is that now the efficacy of the global communication network has been proven, even if nothing comes of this right now

Think I have to respectfully disagree with both you and padraig here -- something already has come of this, is coming of this. Not a revolution via Twitter, but a change in the public domain, and hence the power of the state.

vimothy
16-06-2009, 06:54 PM
I'm thinking of things like manifestos (http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-seven-point-manifesto-of-the-iranian-resistance/)

More importantly: strategic coordination

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 06:59 PM
America intervenes!


Meanwhile, Reuters is also reporting the US state department presuaded Twitter to delay a planned upgrade that would have cut service to Iranians.
(http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2009/jun/16/iran-uprising)

vimothy
16-06-2009, 07:07 PM
http://stochasticdemocracy.blogspot.com/2009/06/iran-elections-final-update-for-now.html


Professor Mebane has updated his analysis to incorporate 2005 second round district-level data.

In 2005 some opposition politicians called for a boycott of the election. The surge in turnout in 2009 is widely interpreted as meaning that many who boycotted in 2005 decided to vote in 2009. Hence towns that have high ratios should have lower proportions of the vote for Ahmadinejad (the coefficient should be negative). He then tested this hypothesis using an over-dispersed binomial model, finding that it worked well for most districts. Suspiciously however, whenever this data significantly deviated from his model, it was in Ahmadinejad's favor.

Data! (http://mail.the-beach.net/Redirect/www.umich.edu/~wmebane/Iran2009_16jun2009.zip)

[h/t Andrew Sullivan BTW, and the data appears to be formatted for R, which I don't have here]

vimothy
16-06-2009, 07:40 PM
BBC Persia: http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/tv/2009/01/000000_ptv_live_s.shtml

Looks like all of the footage is being lifted straight from YouTube.

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 07:42 PM
A spontaneous rhizomatic network with enough subversive potential to create serious rupture(s) has already emerged. It will not succumb. It cannot be reassimilated. The system is broken.

right, well I haven't ever read Deleuze or any of those dudes but I take your meaning. "succumb" strikes me as the wrong terminology (unless you mean it in some philosophical sense with which I'm unfamiliar), the point I'm trying to get at - how can a communication network "succumb"? what is the system? how is it broken? was it broken before? what did this network emerge from? how is it different from what it emerged from? sorry all the questions.

I'm just wary of conflating Twitter/Youtube/etc with tangible stuff.


But still, it's far more difficult to suppress virtual pathways, and meeting places than material ones. You've just got that much more chance of keeping the fervor alive.

see above.


obviously you've got little to no chance of circulating such a document materially, unless you have some sort of media outlet (or even a free press). Online though, they've already proven that they can bypass the censors.

well, I mean samizdat & magnitizidat. for that matter, illicit cassettes of Khomeini that circulated in Iran pre-1979. tons of things, really. clearly, yeah, online makes it harder to suppress I just don't see how it's fundamentally different. just faster. maybe that's a moot point. maybe at a certain degree of speed it becomes fundamentally different. I dunno.

sorry I know this is all OT, for another thread.

craner
16-06-2009, 07:46 PM
Can you imagine if the other Padraig was here, he probably would say it was all a Great Satanic fix-up!

josef k.
16-06-2009, 07:46 PM
I'm just wary of conflating Twitter/Youtube/etc with tangible stuff.

But what is more tangible than Youtube and Twitter?

crackerjack
16-06-2009, 07:50 PM
Can you imagine if the other Padraig was here, he probably would say it was all a Great Satanic fix-up!

yeah, there's not enough spice on this thread, too much good sense. would it help if i called you a decent again?;)

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 07:53 PM
Think I have to respectfully disagree with both you and padraig here -- something already has come of this, is coming of this. Not a revolution via Twitter, but a change in the public domain, and hence the power of the state.

well, obv something comes of everything that happens.

again with the questions, some of which may not have answers

what is the change? who does it benefit? "the people" or something similarly ambiguous? mostly importantly, what will the impact/relevance/function of these networks be once this surge of emotion & action has resided? I'm say, Twitter may make it harder to crack down on people but does it resolve the issues that are behind the conflict in the 1st place?

I think that was a very good point, Vim, about strategic & tactical coordination but surely this is nothing new - the printing press, radio, telephones, TV, cassettes, video telephones, cellphones, the Internet, text messaging, blogs, Youtube, Twitter. at least as far back as Seattle (crazy that it's going on 10 years) this - loosely speaking - has been a key activist tool. all that business about network-centric, decentralized, presumably rhizomatic, etc etc

craner
16-06-2009, 07:53 PM
No, no, I'm enjoying it as it is. Quite useful, seeing as I'm stuck in work, without access to all this twitter stuff. As you were.

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 07:55 PM
But what is more tangible than Youtube and Twitter?

not to be trite, but the baton smashing in some poor bastard's face that makes up the video footage.

Twitter & Youtube - IMO at least - don't really create anything that isn't there to begin with. certainly they facilitate the spread of things, or ideas, or feelings, which already exist.

craner
16-06-2009, 08:01 PM
Remember Khomeini's cassettes!

polystyle desu
16-06-2009, 08:05 PM
in Iran ?
http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/where-will-the-power-lie-in-iran/

and continuing updates at The Lede including shouting 'Death To The Dictator' from rooftops, DDOS strikes and fake Moussari Web sites ...
http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/latest-updates-on-irans-disputed-election/

Good night Tehran ...

four_five_one
16-06-2009, 08:07 PM
Twitter & Youtube - IMO at least - don't really create anything that isn't there to begin with. certainly they facilitate the spread of things, or ideas, or feelings, which already exist.

You're wrong about that! Twitter doesn't resolve any issues. But would there be any issues in the first place w/o it? Issues don't exist if there is consensus. The ability of networks to create affects - another good question - but I can only state the obvious, I for instance had zero feelings about the Iranian election before I started checking the various twitter feeds --

Your other point about networks is well worth talking about, but any discussion wrt that is going to lead to an ontological debate that probably belongs in Thought and also to another day, since I have an appointment at the pub...

Agree w/Vimothy strategic consensus etc. Sorry I had to edit this four times, I'm doing four things at once ;p

josef k.
16-06-2009, 08:24 PM
Twitter & Youtube - IMO at least - don't really create anything that isn't there to begin with. certainly they facilitate the spread of things, or ideas, or feelings, which already exist.

I don't agree. New forms of media render things visible and public which previously would have remained private. Before the birth of cinema, the close-up of a face was something which only a mother or a lover ever saw. The internet is rendering generally visible patterns of thought and feeling which previously remained isolated. Everyone has shouted at a newspaper (he says) but what a thing to learn, that so many people hate newspaper columnists, that nobody (it seems) really believes it...

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 09:01 PM
I knew that bit would elicit some responses.


But would there be any issues in the first place w/o it?

yeh, there would. they would be resolved in different ways, but there they would be. there have been "issues" since Cain bashed Abel in the head with a rock. well, before that, but you get the point. surely we could get into some kind of interminable "does an event happen if no one's around to Twitter it" thing but as you said, another thread & also tbh I have less than zero interest in such a discourse.

the medium is the message is the medium, alright. the how is the what, ok. on the Other Hand - secret police, torture chambers, tanks & planes, the grind of poverty, old hatreds, theocracies, bureaucracies, theocratic bureaucracies, etc.

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 09:03 PM
Remember Khomeini's cassettes!

right, but those issues existed w/o Khomeini, many of them were beyond his control.

padraig (u.s.)
16-06-2009, 09:07 PM
I don't agree. New forms of media render things visible and public which previously would have remained private. Before the birth of cinema, the close-up of a face was something which only a mother or a lover ever saw. The internet is rendering generally visible patterns of thought and feeling which previously remained isolated. Everyone has shouted at a newspaper (he says) but what a thing to learn, that so many people hate newspaper columnists, that nobody (it seems) really believes it...

so, everyone knows more stuff, or everyone can know more stuff, or everyone with electricity & Internet access can know more stuff.

you could say - people create things & pass them thru these forms of media.

I don't think these things have no effect - that would be nuts - merely that the effects they have are ambiguous, contradictory, unclear, etc.

josef k.
16-06-2009, 09:22 PM
the effects they have are ambiguous, contradictory, unclear, etc.

Yes, I think this is right...

The Iranian security state is itself a network, connected by media - expressed in gestures, forms of associations, etc. The emergence of new media alters these forms in unpredictable ways.

nomadthethird
16-06-2009, 09:42 PM
Sex Drugs & Islam (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KB24Ak02.html)

Wow. What info.

In my mind, this is just more proof that sex just doesn't mean that much to women--despite every Western stereotype and stupid bullshit heteronorm to the contrary-- and that sexual labor is not an inherently scary, unconscionable thing that only battered victims of childhood abuse or the extremely destitute and poverty-stricken would ever consider doing.

It really isn't such a huge deal, in the capitalist scheme of things. The body is the essential commodity. Prostitution has existed since long before capitalism did, so we can't blame Capital for sex work. Maybe we can blame sex work for capitalism.

josef k.
16-06-2009, 09:57 PM
Fred Kaplan on US/Iran relations:

http://www.slate.com/id/2220555/

zhao
17-06-2009, 01:10 AM
intense photos of the election aftermath (http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/06/irans_disputed_election.html)

crackerjack
17-06-2009, 08:29 AM
so bad, it's funny (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/daniel_finkelstein/article6514202.ece)

.

scottdisco
17-06-2009, 09:28 AM
predictably, many of the comments are more simplistic still.

mind, you can't beat CiF.

vimothy
17-06-2009, 09:55 AM
Rafsanjani for supreme leader?

vimothy
17-06-2009, 10:01 AM
Fisk: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/17/2600571.htm