The revolution continues

December 30th, 2009 at 10:35 pm by David Farrar

The Times names Neda Soltan as the 2009 Person of the Year. A superb choice.

Soltan was killed by Government forces in , during a protest. However the Government has gone even further, with there being some evidence that Seyed Ali Mousavi (nephew of the presidential candidate) was not shot during a street protest, but actually hunted down at his house and killed by the Government as a warning.

Regardless the protests are growing, and the Times explains why:

Iran’s panicking regime is once again seeking to suppress the Green Movement by decapitating it.

Just as it did after June’s hotly-disputed presidential election, it is arresting high-profile reformists, academics and journalists who support the opposition.

It hesitates to detain Mir Hossein Mousavi lest millions of his supporters take to the streets, but it has locked up his brother-in-law and is widely suspected of killing his nephew. It cannot arrest Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel laureate, as she is abroad, but it has imprisoned her sister.

The tactic will prove as futile now as it did in June. Decapitation will not work because the opposition is a bottom-up movement run not by Mr Mousavi or Mehdi Karroubi, its nominal leaders, but by its grassroots members. It is a massive campaign of civil disobedience.

“Ahmadinejad, Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards still don’t get it,” said one Iranian academic. “The Green Movement is a decentralised popular front run by local cells and local leaderships across the country. The main opposition figures do not control it. They are spiritual leaders, but do not provide any direction in regard to demonstrations or slogans.”

This is the key. You can not decapitate a grass-roots movement. You can shoot and arrest lots of people, but it will just anger more and more people.

Now I’m not saying this will result in the overthrow of the Government, as many in the Government will be happy to kill to remain in power. But their legitimacy as a Government will weaken massively. I doubt they could even go through the pretence of an election anytime soon, and if they do away with elections, then the resistance will have more reason to carry on.

17 Responses to “The revolution continues”

  1. metcalph (1,517 comments) says:

    There’s a report that Khameni supposedly has had a plane prepared to leave the country if things go belly-up.

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  2. emmess (1,815 comments) says:

    Things are getting serious now.
    I think this time the protests have hit a point where they are self sustaining, from what I can tell they seem to be more intense than back in June if not as big.
    So from the regime’s point of view if the relax the repression, confusion may take over collapsing the regime from the inside.
    If they increase it by indiscriminately start opening fire on a protest killing hundreds or thousands, it would almost certainly trigger an immediate attempt at a violent revolution.
    So the ‘middle’ option they are treading of targetted assasinations, mass arrests, tortures, rapes and beatings would seem to be the only viable solution for them, although at this rate is it rapidly diminishing as viable solution too.

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  3. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    I don’t know that it is close to a tipping point yet and rem OB1 has as good as ignored them, as has the EU and Nordic countries who would rather castigate Israel.
    They have a million men in the guards and paramilitaries so there will still be rivers of blood yet.
    But the sodomy of teenage girls and boys in many cities has helped cause a shift in the little people, as too many know someone’s son or daughter.
    Write McCully and ask what we are doing to help, if enough of us do they can’t ignore it.

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  4. roadlesstravelled (2 comments) says:

    Sadly DPF, they don’t have any need for an election any time soon- they only occur every four years and its now a given that the regime rigged the most recent one in June 2009.

    MikeNZ, I contacted McCully’s office querying NZ’s stance on Iran and the recent election at that time and nearly six months later am yet to receive any reply beyond the usual “we have received your query and will answer it sometime”.

    Genuine chance of another people’s revolution? Growing. But a “velvet revolution”? Slim. If it happens it’ll be drawn out and bloody. With credible reports of over a 100 killed since the election, and thousands detained and tortued in prisons, Neda is a face for the many we don’t get to hear about. And how fitting that her name translates as “voice”.

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  5. reid (21,449 comments) says:

    Oh dear, another “grass-roots” revolution named after a colour.

    The colour and flower revolutions in the former Soviet Union were not grass-root at all. By all means support the overthrow of the Iranian govt, but FFS don’t believe it’s happening because its a genuine grass roots movement – that’s just naive. This has INGO written all over it.

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  6. Brian Smaller (4,332 comments) says:

    But their legitimacy as a Government will weaken massively.

    Not with Obama legitimizing the said government every time he opens his trap.

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  7. cha (6,210 comments) says:

    Protests In Tehran

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  8. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    I just heard on Sky News (as I write this at 9:40am) the Opposition Leader in Persia, some chap called Karubi, has put the cue back in the rack and done a runner from Tehran…

    It appears the situation is getting somewhat out of hand and I only hope this does not interfere with NZ exports to Persia which make a lot of money for a lot of our chaps.
    Personally if these fellows what to slaughter each other I could not care less, but when it starts interfering with business…well…gosh!

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  9. Put it away (2,883 comments) says:

    Hundreds of thousands turning out to protest is not grass roots ? You going for a Tui billboard there, Reid ?

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  10. reid (21,449 comments) says:

    “Hundreds of thousands turning out to protest is not grass roots ?”

    It’s being generated, Put it away. Rent-a-mob to get it going, builds momentum, gets a life of its own. Takes off.

    It’s a well-rehearsed schematic, and it happened in precisely the same way in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. Hope you’ve read that link I gave above.

    As to why, you have to look at who’s driving it and what is the likely outcome if the Mousavi-Rafsanjani faction takes over from Khomeini-Ahmadinejad.

    Here’s clue one:

    Inside the prayers – held on a former soccer field covered with a roof – some worshippers rubbed their eyes as tear gas from outside drifted in. They traded competing chants with some hard-liners in the congregation. When the hard-liners chanted “death to America,” Mousavi supporters countered with “death to Russia” and “death to China.”

    Read the whole thing.

    Here’s clue two: Brzezhinsky and I assume you know he is senior in Obama’s Administration, whether or not he has an official position.

    Here’s clue three: Proxy war

    As I said above, when people bleat on about democracy and freedom being at the heart of these geopolitical power-plays, it just makes me laugh.

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  11. Put it away (2,883 comments) says:

    Riiiiiiiiight, so you can get hundreds of thousands of people to go up against the security forces’ bullets, tear gas, torture, rapes and kidnappings just as a kind of fad that someone told them about and they thought it would be nifty , even though they’re not interested at all ? You really are desperate for an argument aren’t you ?

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  12. reid (21,449 comments) says:

    Put it away, if you don’t know how an engineered regime change works, and your 11:02 clearly indicates that, I can’t help you.

    And no, I’m not looking to be argumentative, this is happening for real and people are dying. My point is, the black hands that are creating this are not the ones the media is telling you about and there’s a great deal of evidence revealing precisely who they are and why they are doing it.

    Those 3 clues above should be sufficient for anyone to work it out for themselves. But just in case, here’s another clue:

    Brzezinsky’s lifelong obsession is directed against which country?

    Now once you’ve worked it out I suggest you just file it away and watch what happens as this revolution proceeds. If it works and the Mousavi-Rafsanjani faction actually take over then watch what they do against Russia and China, vis-a-vis the energy contracts Iran has with both those countries.

    And if there is action on that front then bear in mind the Mousavi-Rafsanjani installation was engineered in the US and work out what that might mean to US-China and US-Russia relations.

    Also bear in mind that neither Russia nor China are fucking stupid and they know what’s going on in Iran. I would hope you have noted Putin’s comment in today’s Herald re: the missile-defence issue and how Russia intends to react to that. Brzezinsky is playing an extremely dangerous game and this is precisely what he also did back when he was Carter’s NSC Director.

    If you don’t know Brzezinsky’s background or the backgrounds of the Iranian, Russian and Chinese players or the background to Obama’s long long relationship with Brzezinsky going back to 1982, then I suggest you rapidly familiarise yourself because you will not understand global geopolitics over the next few years without that knowledge.

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  13. Put it away (2,883 comments) says:

    I don’t know how many more ways I can say this to try and get you to stop denying the obvious, but no amount of “black hands” are going to get hundreds of thousands of people to volunteer to put themselves in front of bullets UNLESS THE CAUSE IS SOMETHING THEY BELIEVE IN STRONGLY. There is a genuine movement at work, people are acting on their strong desire for a better government. They are not doing it because anyone else wants a regime change, they are doing it because THEY want a regime change. You can bleat all you like about players outside the country, they are not relevent to the men, women and children going out on the streets, who have their own motivations.

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  14. reid (21,449 comments) says:


    Well duh, that’s the whole point. Haven’t you ever heard of the term “useful idiot?” Just because people think they’re doing it “for the cause” doesn’t mean they haven’t been fooled into thinking that by various mechanisms deployed precisely to make them think that.

    Young people are especially susceptible because they’re idealistic and you see it all the time around the world. I gave you three former USSR republics where it happened. Why don’t look at what mechanisms were employed in those – it’s quite a simple google search.

    Quite elementary really. As I said above, you obviously don’t understand how an engineered regime change works. Until you do, you’re not really in much of a position to assess whether that is really happening right now in Iran, are you.

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  15. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    Hey Reid
    Good try.
    Just reading about Tony Zinni in Battle Ready and his comments that at the end of the cold war the old twofer adversary system wasn’t there so the little wars weren’t contained and the north south started to get prominance through NGO pressures.
    How he thought they missed an opportunity for another Marshall program to uplift the players in the third world.
    whadaya know a US Marine thinking global economy whilst stationed in Germany?

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  16. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    Yeah I got the same old wank off.
    But when they get 100,000 letters (not emails!) then they sit up.

    The smackers screwed up in that they should have sent 300,000 envelopes a week to Neville’s (flipflop) office (all without stamps)

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  17. reid (21,449 comments) says:

    “How he thought they missed an opportunity for another Marshall program to uplift the players in the third world”

    They sure did Mike, and it’s a shame the superpowers only do things like that when it coincides with other foreign policy interests.

    Thanks for that book ref, I’ll take a look.

    Happy NY.

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