14 June 2009

Iran roundup

As noted before, the indispensable Michael Totten's continually-updated report from Iran is here. Update: His new posting is a must-read. Dissension is developing within the regime, with one Grand Ayatollah declaring Ahmadinejad's victory "illegitimate". There are also rumors that the regime has deployed Arab and Venezuelan mercenaries in the streets, fearing that Iranian police and soldiers will not obey orders to shoot their own people.

The Huffington Post has a liveblogging thread here.

A wealth of photos and videos, without commentary, is here.

The violence is not confined to Tehran; here's video of a street battle in Isfahan.

The Guardian reviews some of the evidence of vote fraud.

More pictures and reporting here, along with what is claimed to be the actual vote count, leaked by insiders: total votes 42,026,078 (85% of eligibile Iranian voters), Mousavi 19,075,623, Karoubi 13,387,104, Ahmadinejad 5,698,417 (!), Rezaei (to the right even of Ahmadinejad) 3,754,218.

Some observations:

-- Besides the Orange Revolution and the fall of Ferdinand Marcos, there's another precedent which could apply here: Tiananmen Square. The regime is brutal, ruthless, and probably frightened. This could still all end in hideous massacres and re-stabilization of the Islamic Republic. That's probably why official responses from the US and Europe have been muted and cautious; we may find ourselves dealing with this regime for some time yet. Also, given the history of Western interference in Iran and Iranians' under-standable prickliness on the subject, too-enthusiastic support from the West might actually de-legitimize the anti-regime mass movement in the eyes of fence-sitters.

-- Mousavi cannot be considered a democrat; he represents, at best, a mildly-reformist wing of the existing system, and there never was much prospect that this highly-controlled election for an office with limited powers would be much more than a sham. The mass movement has adopted him, and then his fraudulent "defeat", as rallying points, but it's unlikely that putting him in Ahmadinejad's place would satisfy the protesters, especially now that blood has been shed.

-- It's striking that much of the best coverage of the story that I've found has been on left-leaning sites. My admittedly-scattershot sample of right-leaning sites found many of them seemingly just looking for an angle on the situation that they could use to take rhetorical potshots at the left.

-- Considering how hard the regime has worked to shut down internet communications, it's remarkable how much video is getting out. The revolution will be televised!

-- Realistically, there is very little that the rest of the world can do. The Iranian people must face the theocratic gangster-state alone. The rest of us can only wonder whether we, if we were in their position, would show as much courage as they already have.


Blogger by Michael Boh said...

You're better than the BBC, CNN and MSNBC combined - thanks Infidel! Btw, I finally decided to go with filtering on OR&R. YEA! Thanks for your help! Michael

15 June, 2009 16:04  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Check out Sullivan and Totten too -- they've got news coming in thick and fast, straight from Iran.

Very glad to hear you're flushing Goatreamer$6.99 -- that situation was getting completely ridiculous! Will be checking out your troll-free blog soon.

15 June, 2009 17:38  

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