There is a woman who is being beaten. She’s horrified and hysterical but not as much as the anti-riot police officer facing her. She shrieks, ‘Where can I go? You tell me go down the street and you beat me. Then you come up from the other side and beat me again. Where can I go?’ In sheer desperation, the officer hits his helmet several times hard with his baton. ‘Damn me! Damn me! What the hell do I know!’
I ask myself, ‘how much longer can these officers tolerate stress? How many among them would be willing to give their lives for somebody like Ahmadinejhad?’
I feel that I can understand why Tank Man risked his life to stand in front of the tank column. I have less of a sense of why the tank commander decided to stop. For all I know, Tank Man may have been Tank Commander's brother. Tank Commander may have been afraid that his superiors would have been pissed if he ran over a guy while cameras might be watching. He may not have wanted innocent blood on his hands, or on the treads of his tank. He may have sympathized with the demonstrators; perhaps his father or mother had been a victim of the Cultural Revolution. Or perhaps he identified the Tiananmen demonstrators with the Cultural Revolution, and sympathized with them. I really have no idea.
The thing is, Tank Commander is far more dangerous than Tank Man. Tank Man can simply be shot; most seem to believe that Tank Man was later executed, far out of sight of the international media. The regime survives if Tank Man dies, even if the death of Tank Man isn't the optimal outcome. The regime dies, however, if Tank Commander refuses to run over Tank Man. Eisenstein used the Odessa Steps to demonstrate the corruption of the Czarist regime, but the regime didn't die until the soldiers refused to shoot the demonstrators. The successor regime didn't die until Boris Yeltsin climbed on a tank in August 1991. While there's some mystery as to the fate of Tank Man, I don't doubt that the CCP found Tank Commander and put a bullet in the back of his head at the first opportunity.
Perhaps I'm just a heartless bastard, but I don't see why this should be linked. We know it happens, is it necessary to have a video of it on Youtube? If so, is it necessary to have it linked on Metafilter?
If the answer to either is "yes," then we'd better get started uploading the videos of the deaths of the thousands (millions?) of people who have died in war and unrest in the last decade.
Perhaps I'm just a heartless bastard, but I don't see why this should be linked.
According to the Cyrus News Agency, Tuesday morning 16 senior members of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps were arrested. "These commanders have been in contact with members of the Iranian army to join the people's movement," CNA reports. "Three of the commanders are veterans of Iran-Iraq war. They have been moved to an undisclosed location in East Tehran." This report has not been confirmed by other sources. If true, it shows that the regime is losing the loyalty of some members of its control appartus, which is necessary if the opposition has any chance of achieving fundamental change. Mass rallies can easily be broken up and revolutions crushed, as we saw at Tiananmen Square in 1989. But if members of the armed forces, police and especially Revolutionary Guards decided to switch sides, then one can begin speaking of revolution.
During a press conference, Governor Rhodes called the protesters un-American and referred to the protesters as revolutionaries set on destroying higher education in Ohio. "They're worse than the brown shirts and the communist element and also the night riders and the vigilantes," Rhodes said. "They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America.
The footage of a brutal police force assaulting the political opposition on the streets of the capital has shocked the world. Rightly so, although no one has made comparison with police forces who batter demonstrators on the streets of Western Europe, who beat women with night-sticks, who have kicked over an innocent middle-aged man who immediately suffered a fatal heart attack, who have shot down an innocent passenger on the London Tube... There are special codes of morality to be applied to Middle East countries which definitely must not apply to us.
The footage of a brutal police force assaulting the political opposition on the streets of the capital has shocked the world. Rightly so, although no one has made comparison with police forces who batter demonstrators on the streets of Western Europe, who beat women with night-sticks, who have kicked over an innocent middle-aged man who immediately suffered a fatal heart attack, who have shot down an innocent passenger on the London Tube... There are special codes of morality to be applied to Middle East countries which definitely must not apply to us."
Neda might have been an innocent bystander instead of a protester
The moment and image of their death can serve the world as icons of change and horror. The uglier carnage (i.e. the woman who was shot in the head in My Lai), however, does not, because our animal nature does not allow us to attach meaning to such a visceral image. In a similar vein I think the grief of a loved one supersedes the “need” of the world for an iconic image. Take a photo if you must. A video of the event seems voyeuristic and unnecessary.
Back in 2007, ABC News reported that President George W. Bush had signed a secret "Presidential finding" authorizing the CIA to mount covert "black" operations to destabilize the Iranian government [cite 1, cite2].
"a coordinated campaign of propaganda broadcasts, placement of negative newspaper articles, and the manipulation of Iran's currency and international banking transactions."
After my interview on June 25th, 2009, regarding my personal account of the brutal killing of Neda Agha Soltan, I read the news of my arrest warrant by the government of Iran.
As I mentioned in the interview, I was expecting such as action from a government, which is founded on lies and deceit. I was expecting them to deny my statements. This government, instead of bringing justice to the murders of this innocent girl and others and accepting their responsibilities, tries to blame individuals and organizations, which have done nothing wrong.
They have put pressure on my friends and family who have done nothing. They have harassed my father who is 70 years and a university professor.
I did what every human would have done in my situation. I tried to save a victim. When the government tried to cover up the details, I testified what I witnessed.
I have lived my life so that I would have no regret. I was one of the first physicians who went to Bam after the earthquake so that I could be near the victims who had no hope. However this time, this victim was not the victim of a natural disaster.
I am a writer and from my essays and stories, you will realize that I have always been a human rights advocate and I have paid the price.
I have always tired to live honestly and do not betray my principles.
I believe what I did regarding Neda was the right things. I believe that if I have to pay the price, so be it, but I reserve the right to defend my honor.
God is my witness that I told the truth.
This lie questions the entire principles of this government. A government which questions the events of WWII, claims that there is freedom of speech in Iran, claims that there is no censorship, states that there are no political prisoners and that each individual enjoys full rights including regarding their sex, religion and race.
In the past 20 days, the world has come to realize that these are false claims. I know that the world will not believe these new lies and know that this physician has do nothing except following his principles and coming to the help of people who need help and stating the truth.
Neda was not the only victim. Are all the other victims the result of Western conspiracy?
I am only a witness. Why are they pursuing the witness and not the killers? Is there enough bloodshed? Should I have been silent regarding this horrible crime? Is this the message that we want to send to the future generations?
I believe that all the citizens of the world will support me and thousands of other Iranians who have been beaten, murdered and imprisoned, in order to achieve freedom and join the rest of the free people.
I am proud of myself for being a part of this movement. I have done something that every honest human being would have done. This is my crime and this is why they are threatening me.
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