Things seem to be coming to a head in Iran. The government there has all but conceded defeat in the War of Information. The Republican Guard is threatening to bring legal action against foreign websites and domains which provide aid and comfort to the protesters- specifically including Twitter. Twitter, by the way, very kindly postponed some scheduled server maintenance (due a couple of days ago) because it was (and is) such a crucial communications route for the protesters. The fact that the Obama administration asked them nicely probably figured into the equation as well. Big props to the US Gummint for keeping a low-key, hands-off profile in this mess so far. The throngs of individuals who have been allowing protesters to use proxies on their bandwidth deserve thanks for their ongoing efforts. Extra-special thanks are especially due to the Pirate Bay, 4chan, and Anonymous for their work in setting up literally thousands of proxies for the protesters to use- as well as other, less-than-savory means of electronically punishing the Iranian government.
Friday might be the make-or-break day for the government of Iran. The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khameni, has announced he will lead the Friday prayers. This almost certainly means the presence of large numbers of the Republican Guard. Many protesters plan to be in attendance, to pray for those who have fallen. It is fairly likely that mass arrests, beatings, and shootings may take place. The government of Iran may decide to attempt a recreation of the Tienanmen Square Massacre from twenty years in China. The government has already proven itself willing to destroy its own people if they get in the way. Here are a few examples:
Guardian UK blog timeline (with video and stuff)
Compilation torrent for Top 21 Pirate/Persian Bay & Anonymous Iran protester oppression videos:
Youtube videos being posted by those people trying to tell their stories at great personal risk are being taken down due to objectionable content. Many are preserving their legacy through saving and reuploading them as well as seeding them on bittorrent clients.
Police Brutality http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958415
Student murdered in Isfahan http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958443
Injuried people during rally http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958456
Police running away from protesters in Esfahan http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958474
Basij firing on a crowd of Iranian protesters http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958478
Policeman caught and then saved by crowd http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958506
Police try and fail to arrest protesters tazahor-konandegan http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958610
Girl shot by police in Teheran http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958620
Protesters burn police car http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958636/
Police open fire on crowd http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958641
Shooting in front of Police HQ in Teheran http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958650
Riot in Iran 13/06/2009 http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958676
Burning Bus http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958686
Iranian Police Beat Women http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958688
Teheran burning during protests http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4958726
My Friends That been Attacked by Special Forces http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4959998
A person That Basiji’s Shot Him From one of Building http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4959995
Police shooting on crowd (16june not the same above) http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4960197
Police injuries several protesters http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4960270
Protesters burn police station http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4960232
I got these links from a FARK.com comment thread (number 15, I believe).There are reasons why the protesters are furious with their own government- follow some of the links above to see why.
Despite my own lack of enthusiasm for the alleged government of Iran, I do not believe the US should get mixed up in the current turmoil. Our historical dealings with Iran have been less than stellar- to put it mildly. This shared history makes the one nation best capable of helping out the people of Iran against their government is therefore the nation least able to do so. Any bloodshed which occurs can therefore justifiably be laid at the feet of US Foreign Policy over the last half-century or so. We won’t be the only ones with blood on our hands, but the current charlie-foxtrot in Iran is the direct result of US meddling in Iran’s internal affairs in the 1950s.
The people of Iran have been using the Four Boxes in pursuit of liberty. They have spoken out, they have voted, and they have tried to apply Iran’s internal legal system to redress their grievances. They have peacefully protested when it appeared that their wishes were being willfully discarded by their rulers. Their government turned lethal force against them rather than follow the government’s own rules. Such a government does not deserve respect, loyalty, or obedience. It must end, by any means necessary. The people of Iran may soon be forced to open up that Fourth Box and employ it in earnest against their oppressors.
We are half a world away, and our enormous military strength cannot be used to help the protesters. We are bound by chains forged of the misdeeds of our fathers, and breaking those bonds (which is well within our power) would accomplish little more than destroy the very movement we seek to protect. So what can we- a people who love liberty- do?
All we can do is watch. We can help the people of Iran in small ways, by preventing their government from silencing them. We can show the videos, and the photographs, of their suffering and struggle. We can repeat their words to what seems to be an uncaring world. The people of Iran have spoken, and they demand the basic human liberties we in this country so often take for granted. They are willing to die in order to achieve these liberties- for themselves and their children. If their government chooses to spill the blood of thousands to deny those liberties, we must force ourselves to watch, and remember, and spread the word. Those who would rule Iran on a foundation of slaughtered children must learn that their misdeeds will not be forgotten, or forgiven. Those they seek to crush beneath their heel to silence the calls for liberty will not be silenced … because we will bear witness. And remember.
You cannot stop the signal. Not even by piling up the bodies of murdered children.
Current status: Concerned
Current music: 9th Symphony, by Beethoven