Monday, June 15, 2009

Read and breathe

The most interesting commentary I've read so far on the current situation in Iran, from a pseudonymous Iranian-American poster on the normally hilarious Sadly No!, which has been hosting some serious, non-snarky discussion on the matter:
I am so glad people are wising up. I’m Persian, born in the US. I’ve been to Iran several times, last time was 2007. I have been telling people for YEARS: Wait. Do not intervene. The hardliners are shrinking, the youth is something like 80% of the population, and they all like the West. Even most of the middle aged people want a return to a more western culture, and be part of the world (while not giving up all of their Islamic Republic). Mostly, they are sick of a bunch of stupid rules and religious thieves running the country. There are charity boxes lining the street, but everyone says the govt just keeps the money.

I knew this was going to happen, but not when. I am glad the US is sitting back and not saying anything. Just sit back, shut up, and watch it happen. If not this time, then next time. When the new govt is in power, extend an olive wreath, GENTLY. They will need to settle in and show their independence first. Iranians are big on independence and respect.

I always tell people the following rules about the Middle east (semi tongue in cheek): they are very independent, and dont like being interfered with. They are very ethical and are big on keeping their word. They are tricky, but will never balls out lie (most of them at least). They like to argue/fight, and have long memories, and are big on honor.

Dont give the hardliners a reason for anything. The second the US does anything, game over.

I see it like this: What the hardliners just did is insult the whole people. They lied to them. They interfered with the voting process. They did this before, but it slid, for various reasons (they are tricky). But now they have been been caught, and people are PISSED. If it fails this time, I guarantee every one of those kids will remember this, and be back for more, the same way Iraqis and Afghanis have their own vendettas for being bombed by the US. Don’t shift the spotlight. Those kids won’t give up until the army is driving around in tanks. Which unfortunately might be really soon. Hopefully the army backs the populace. You’d have to be really dumb, or hardcore religious, to not see how the wind is blowing over there.
UPDATE: More thoughts from here:
Demonstrators in the streets in Iran today utilize allegations of fraud as the tip of their spear, but what fuels those protests goes beyond the official results of an election. That is even more true of Iran than of other recent examples of this post-electoral dynamic because the terms of the election itself were a farce even before the votes were counted: The Iranian "president" and "parliament" - elected powers - are in the end overruled by a Supreme Leader, his "advisors," his "experts," his "Guardian Council" (Ayatollahs, which is to say fundamentalist religious clergy) and the elected leaders live under their veto power on virtually all matters except for some of style and tone and what to eat for lunch...

More to the point: The yearnings by those in the streets of Iran today precede and supercede the concerns about yesterday's election results. They are seizing the moment of the election, but this is not really about the election. This is about a much deeper and wider discontent with the theocratic-political system they have lived under for 30 years. The timing of the protests has as much to do with the world's eyes being on Iran at this moment and the quorum of international media reporters that are inside Iran as part of that watch. (It's an advantage that the 1989 protesters at Beijing's Tienanmen Square did not have when their demonstration was cut short by a massacre.) The cost for the Iranian state of resorting to excess violence and brutality to shut down this revolt would, as a result, be much higher to its own goals at home and abroad, than it was for the Chinese regime twenty years ago. In that, the protesters have the system over a barrel.
In short, history is happening right now, and it's not "our" job to do anything about it. I'm thankful those brave kids waited until the neo-cons were out of favor over here to make their stand.


Righteous Bubba said...

I noticed him too. It was nice.

Hoist a big frosty mug of Slytoxa in his name.

J Neo Marvin said...

I take mine with Expers.

Righteous Bubba said...

Beware: you may become nesitanked.

J Neo Marvin said...

Getting tanked does seem to almost be a necessity sometimes.

I must now retire to le PIDEUR.