18 June 2009

Showdown coming?

Ramin Ahmadi of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center thinks that the regime's crackdown on foreign media means it's preparing to resort to large-scale violence to crush the uprising. Michael Totten says the same -- but reminds us that some of the members of the security forces might not obey orders to kill their own people. A great many lives may depend on whether or not this turns out to be true. Perhaps that explains the widespread reports of non-Iranian fighters (Palestinian, Venezuelan, and Hezbollah-Lebanese) being brought in to defend the regime.

Totten also debunks a meme popular in Western commentary on the uprising, by showing that Ahmadinejad probably has less support in rural Iran than in the big cities.

There is also evidence of photo manipulation to make a pro-Ahmadinejad crowd look more impressive.

Greg Sargent has more on Twitter's delaying its maintenance shutdown so as not to deprive the uprising of a critical tool:

Twitter’s self-congratulatory claim that this new technology is bypassing governments to influence global events — so much so that the U.S. asked for its help — is not an exaggeration. Which is kind of amazing.

I don't know much about Twitter -- my impression is that it's a kind of short-form blogging for hand-held devices?

In any case, it's clear that modern communications technology is shaping both events and our perception of them. I'm not sure that we're prepared for what this will mean if the regime does escalate the violence. Remember that in 1979 tens of thousands of people died in the Shah's attempt to crush that uprising, before his regime finally collapsed. If the same thing happens now, we'll see it, while it's happening -- and so will millions throughout Iran. What follows will depend on whether anger is strong enough to overcome fear.


Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Thank You for all the info you compiled over the last couple post's on what is going on over there.Even though there is alot of talk about this... I frankly didnt know what the hell is going on currently over there... except the hell raising.But your post's were very informative too!

Thank You Sir...............

19 June, 2009 06:54  
Blogger Zardoz said...

Twitter is a way of sending an SMS message to a list of friends rather than just one person. Social networking limited to 140 characters. Tweet!

19 June, 2009 21:29  

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