If you can’t get ’em to join you, beat ’em until they shut up.
The government of Iran seems to be Hell-bent on destroying what little international credibility remains to them. Here are a few bits and pieces from Iran over the last few days.
This one is from Letters from Iran:
The following email in Farsi we received today (Wednesday 24th june). It is written by a doctor from “Rasul Akram” hospital in Tehran who says that some people were killed not only by one bullet as they found two or three bullets in some bodies, close to one another, showing that shooters used barrage shooting against people and not only a single
shot. A 68 year old man had 3 bullets inhis body, two on his left shoulder and one in the left side of his stomach. The doctors of the “Rasul Akram”hospital say they had been faced with 38 people killed during last week’s protests. Apparently, police took the corpse of the dead bodies out from the hospital and carried them away by truck. Most
of their families still do not know if their children have been killed. Besides, among the corpse there were some 15, 16 years old kids.
According to the email, the crew of the hospital protested in the street next to the hospital giving out the information about the violence to the people.
One has to wonder how long the government can keep up this sort of crap. The protesters have been peacefully demonstrating, for the most part. Given the strong incentive to lash back at the government forces attacking them, the behavior of the protesters has been extremely civilized.
If you must protest and demonstrate, make sure to demonstrate your humanity at the same time. These protesters have more courage than I. I doubt I would be nearly as forgiving under the same circumstances.
Message to the Basij from Why We Protest:
به شما چه اتفاقی می افتد هنگامی که رژیم می افتد؟ ما عکس شما را. میبینیم ضرب و شتم و به شما تیراندازی غیر مسلح و دانشجویان ، زنان و مردان قدیمی. وضع کردن اسلحه خود را. آزادی را انتخاب کنید به جای قتل مردم خود.
و حتی برخی از ژنرالها شما امتناع سفارشات. سوال من دوباره ، چه رخ می دهد تا زمانی که شما بیش از Rafsani طول می کشد؟ ما عکس شما را به شما خواهد شد و تقاضا برای قتل و ضرب و شتم مردم حساب شما. آزادی را انتخاب کنید.
MESSAGE TO BASIJI, REVOLUTIONARY GUARD, ARMY
What happens to you when the regime falls? We have your photos. We see you shooting and beating unarmed students, women and old men. Lay down your arms. Choose freedom instead of murdering your own people.
Even some of your Generals are refusing orders. I ask again, what happens to you when Rafsani takes over? We have your photos and will demand you account for killing and beating your people. CHOOSE FREEDOM.
Despite vicious provocation by their own government, the protesters have been models of non-violent resistance. Most outside observers and those with access to information from within Iran believe that the government is figyhting a losing battle. Even if they succeed at violently suppressing the current dissent, the social contract within Iran would be irrevocably damaged. Here is a good analysis from TehranBureau:
25 June: Possible compromise? [I also heard the same thing independently from a good source today. It is of course unconfirmed; even if true, the authorities may change their mind as well. tb]:
The following is from Mehdi Noorbaksh, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology:
There is a possibility, and I am saying a possibility, for a compromise on the election result among the involved parties in Iran in the next couple of days. I received a call from Iran late last night indicating that there is a possibility for a runoff between Mousavi and Ahmadinejad. There are a few points that we should consider in this
1. The Guardian Council all but acknowledged election irregularities a few days ago and indicated that it involved 3 million votes. This body did not restrict these irregularities to a few thousand or even a hundred thousand votes, but millions. That was a face saving gesture to open the door for a possible future compromise in the event of mounting
pressure. There are other irregularities having the same nature. Many districts, up to 170, show voter turnout of 95% to 140% of the eligible voters.
2. Ali Larijani, the head of the Iranian parliament, is trying to convince the leadership on the side of the supreme leader to give national TV time to Mousavi to talk to the Iranian people. In his TV talk a couple of days ago, Larijani was critical of the Iranian national TV for not allowing Mousavi to use that medium of communication to talk to the Iranian people. He also announced that a few members of the Guardian Council were biased toward one candidate, namely Ahmadinejad, in the election.
3. There is report that Rafsanjani has succeeded to get the signatures and support of many of the high clerics in Qom denouncing the election. If they openly denounce the election that could be a colossal blow to the supreme leader, and the much diminished legitimacy of the institution of Velayat-e Faqih and his authority.
4. The Guardian Councils’ investigation of the vote fraud has been extended, possibly to gain more time in negotiating a solution to the conflict.
5. There are reports that divisions within the Revolutionary Guard are beginning to surface. There is speculation that one of the commanders, Afzali, has either resigned or been abdicated from his post.
6. Rallies are expanding in many other cities of Iran, and street demonstrations have not been diminished in Tabriz, Isfahan, Kermanshah and other cities. Although the size of the demonstrations is smaller, they are more violent and forceful.
7. The killings of demonstrators will definitely result in more defiance and bolder actions of the protesters and gain more legitimacy for the green movement and its leadership. More killings will definitely delegitimize further the supreme leader’s authority. Imposing a government, after mass killings, on the Iranian people is a much more
Note that many “professional” analysts are still playing catch-up with the supposedly amateur information gathering conducted by a few hundred people around the world with access to modern technology. There seems to be a great deal of wishful thinking going on on all sides. The protesters are hoping that their government will live up to its own promises. The government is hoping that the proetsters will just shut up and stop embarrassing the government. The Supreme Leader’s political rivals are hoping they can use the current crisis to remove the Supreme Leader (just like a regular leader, but with sour cream and lettuce) and bring in someone more amenable. Iran’s neighbors are hoping to capitalize on the disturbances and reduce Iran’s influence in the region. The US government is hoping to get a less hostile Iran. The hordes of keyboard warriors providing aid and comfort to the protesters are hoping for an Iran with less control over the flow of information. One of those people came up with a fairly profound quote:
“The internet sees censorship as damage and automatically tries to work around it.“
This self-repairing nature of internet communications is one of the reasons the Iranian government is having so much trouble cutting the protesters off from contact with the rest of the world. At present, the government has shut down all communications nodes except one in an attempt to get a handle on the protesters’ links to the outside world. All traffic has to go through a single node, and the government is trying frantically to monitor all of that communication in order to strangle the flow of embarrassing information. If they completely shut off communications, they’re going to end up like North Korea. I’m pretty sure that the Supreme Burrito and his midget sidekick aren’t stupid enough to think that’s a good idea.
So far, outside events are working in favor of the government. The gnat-like attention span of the west has been largely diverted to more trivial things like the death of a couple of so-called “celebrities”. Iran has been taking advantage of this to crack down on the protesters even harder. Several sources inside Iran are reporting that PersianKiwi has been arrested. For those who have not been paying attention, PK has been one of the more prolific and reliable sources of information from inside Iran. If this report is true, the government will have struck a blow against the flow of information from the protesters. Unfortunately for the government, the fine folks at Anonymous and 4chan have all been talking with PK for several weeks, and consider him to be one of their own. If PK has indeed been arrested, I predict a swift and savage response from the global online community.
Despite everything the Iranian government can do, news embarrassing to the government has been flooding out of Iran to the rest of the world. Private citizens around the world have been doing whatever they can to keep the information flowing and the lines of communication open. Individuals have been taking active measures against a sovereign nation’s government, and this will only get worse as the government crackdown continues. The internet community is waking up and discovering they are strong.
If PK has actually been arrested, the world might soon see just how strong they are.
Current status: Concerned
Current music: Free Will by Rush