The Regime Reels
December 27, 2009 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Kosoof—Arash Ashoorinia's Photography —including today's Ashura protests in Iran.

The protests in Iran today on the Islamic holy Day of Ashura have been significant and violent, with multiple deaths reported including the nephew of opposition leader Mir-Hussein Moussavi.

There are several sites live-blogging the events:

Enduring America
NY Times The Lede
Iran News Now — [twitter feed]
The Daily Nite Owl

And video compilations: [some videos and images display brutal violence]

Tehran Bureau
Enduring America
Opposition group Jaras

Please note all sites are very busy today and may be slow to load.
posted by netbros (19 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, I can't help but think that the regimes days are numbered. I want to say that Obama should say something, but at the same time, it seems that they don't need our help.
posted by empath at 1:02 PM on December 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Andrew Sullivan has been following it closely today.
posted by empath at 1:04 PM on December 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think the big news is that Mousavi's nephew was murdered.
posted by empath at 1:06 PM on December 27, 2009


We'll see, empath. This is a government that has no problem with using brutality to suppress dissent. If the protesters are really out for regime change, then I expect this to get much, much uglier before it's over. Shooting into a crowd on the biggest religious day of the year is an excellent way to send the message that even worse atrocities can be expected on any other day.

I can imagine protesters wandering the streets chanting a variant on the popular American protest chant: 'Show me what theocracy looks like! THIS is what theocracy looks like!'
posted by kaibutsu at 2:33 PM on December 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I want to say that Obama should say something, but at the same time, it seems that they don't need our help.

Seems to me that could even be counter-productive. Would make it even easier for the regime to paint the protesters as American puppets.
posted by wildcrdj at 2:54 PM on December 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


The words from the White House are a little testier today than last summer:

"We strongly condemn the violent and unjust suppression of civilians in Iran seeking to exercise their universal rights," White House spokesman Mike Hammer said in a statement.

"Hope and history are on the side of those who peacefully seek their universal rights, and so is the United States.

"Governing through fear and violence is never just, and as President Obama said in Oslo — it is telling when governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation."

posted by netbros at 3:23 PM on December 27, 2009


Crude analogy time: The important thing to remember here is that, as far as we know, these protests are happening in cosmopolitan, middle-class "Blue-state" Tehran. The regime's power-base is largely in the city of Qom, which represents the deeply religious, poor, rural "red-state" Iran. And, of course, the military.

Saying "OMG the regime must crumble soon!" would be like saying "GWB is going to get overthrown any day now because there was a protest in New York". As if people getting shot while waving giant puppets around on Wall Street was somehow going to force the American people to come to grips with the Brutality Of The System, Man.

If anything, most of GWB's power base would probably applaud.
posted by Avenger at 4:37 PM on December 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Huge crowds of Iranians turned out for the funeral of leading dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri in the holy Shi'ite city of Qom on Monday and some chanted anti-government slogans.
posted by netbros at 4:45 PM on December 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Avenger, Iran is nothing like the US. And you are incorrect, the protests have spread throughout Iran at this point.
posted by empath at 5:29 PM on December 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Avenger, there have been lots of protests outside of Tehran. When the University Students were protesting a few weeks back, those were all over the place. Second, it's not like everyone protesting is a university student or an engineers or lawyer. There are plenty of articles online dispelling that myth. So maybe you need a better analogy.
posted by chunking express at 5:29 PM on December 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


God, I wish Andrew Sullivan would not get his freedom boner on and blog about Iran whenever political violence takes place over there.
posted by Auden at 5:33 PM on December 27, 2009


And you are incorrect, the protests have spread throughout Iran at this point.

I agree that Iran is nothing like the US, but I'm completely sure that the Iranian regime will still be around a year from now, definitely five years and probably ten to fifty. Eventually things may change, but not like this. The regime is far too entrenched to be worried about unarmed protesters.
posted by Avenger at 5:37 PM on December 27, 2009


Maybe. I have my doubts. I don't think you can brush off protests of this scale. I'm sure the Shah thought much the same thing. It was a basically a full year between the first big protests in Iran and Khomeini stepping off a plane in Tehran.
posted by chunking express at 5:41 PM on December 27, 2009


I hardily recommend Persepolis, both the movie and graphic novel/s.

Only one or two things to add:
- Revolutions are very rarely successful; What people are saying now, we've said similar hopeful things in the very recent past about Burma/Myanmar, China and others... the epic Twittering of Iran's elections brought the exact same comments, but historically revolutions are extremely hard to pull off, and even if they occur the end result is pretty dicey, again Iran is a prime example, they threw off one asshole regime and got a worse one, that started governance int he name of the people. To be clear, I hope they succeed and Ahmadinejad and Ruhollah Khomeini get kicked in the ass. I am pessimistic though.

Iran has so much potential it is so fricking frustrating to see what the country has gone through now and in the recent (as in decades) past.
posted by edgeways at 8:04 PM on December 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


i will be shocked if ahmadinejad is still in charge in a year.
posted by empath at 8:06 PM on December 27, 2009


Crude analogy time: The important thing to remember here is that, as far as we know, these protests are happening in cosmopolitan, middle-class "Blue-state" Tehran. The regime's power-base is largely in the city of Qom, which represents the deeply religious, poor, rural "red-state" Iran. And, of course, the military.

Actually there were some protests in Qom the other day, or at least booing the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei when he criticized another cleric Montazeri, who had just died. This cleric criticized Khomenei (predicessor of Khamenei) for suppressing something or other.

There were also protests all around the country, Andrew Sullivan had a map. They were very widespread.
I agree that Iran is nothing like the US, but I'm completely sure that the Iranian regime will still be around a year from now, definitely five years and probably ten to fifty.
The last Iranian revolution lasted three years from the first protests, but it had been brewing a long time. It's obviously possible for countries to have revolutions, even against 'entrenched' interests.
posted by delmoi at 11:26 PM on December 27, 2009 [1 favorite]








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