Saturday in Tehran

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tehran.jpg
There are scattered reports being texted out of Iran that a massive police presence has blocked Mousavi-supporting protesters from entering the large square.
Many reports of people shot — and many beatings. The basiji are using tear gas and reportedly gassed a crowd of 3000 people to make them disperse.
The government has issued a statement saying that Mousavi will be held responsible for the protests and violence today. And thus, Mousavi’s options at this point are to use every technique and tool at his disposal to resist the State or he and his followers will be crushed.
They need to find a way to get more of the police to defect. Rafsanjani needs to show how much muscle he has with the infrastructure of the security state that he controls.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

30 comments on “Saturday in Tehran

  1. arthurdecco says:

    “Anonymous — Civil War is already upon Iran.
    best, steve”
    Would you like a side order of hypocrisy with that huge helping of hubris, steve?

    Reply

  2. ... says:

    peace, it is not only chinese youth that are immersing themselves in materialistic pursuits…. this is something taking place on a grand scale and you know what? walmart and all the numerous corporations out there are quite happy to comply… this is our democracy in action!
    democracy as i presently understand it is some form of somnolence, at least that is what it appears to foster in most people i know….
    anyway, aside from my poor attempts at humour, i do think a pause would be good.. why does radical change have to take place right now? things are changing as we speak, apparently not fast enough for many, but at what cost? i am interested in a balanced approach… to be honest, i don’t think that is what we are going to get in the next few years.. i personally feel we are headed into a 60’s era over the next few years.. the 60’s shook up a lot of stuff and were about change on a grand scale.. i think we are going to get this anyway.. maybe i am getting old!

    Reply

  3. Peace says:

    @….,
    I agree with you on most parts. What you say
    is the gospel truth — it’s the people who pay the
    steep price, Moussavi=Ahmadinejad , Israel is on
    the sidelines wanting to jump in et al. But, a
    pause ?
    A pause would be costly. It would be akin to
    handing the victory to Ahmadinejad-Khomenei with a
    guaranteed retribution-clampdown cycle. Look at
    what happened in China post Tiannamen. By now,
    many in China have not only resigned themselves to
    the communist regime’s dikats, but are complicit
    in it’s propaganda — the teens are increasingly
    tuning themselves out of the harsh political
    reality and immersing themselves in materialistic
    pursuits ; Time had an article on it 6 months ago
    ..

    Reply

  4. ... says:

    peace quote “Something’s got to be done. In all of this, Moussavi is just the face of this revolution, it’s more about the people of Iran and less about him..”
    i think a little time out would be good from both sides would be good, don’t you? a little pause would be nice… i agree it is more about the people of iran and less about moussavi… actually it is the people in most countries generally that are screwed over by the leadership, or the opposition that gets in power… most of those in power are there because they are working with others in power, and with others who want power over who gets what and who gets to do what… i wouldn’t trust moussavi any more then ahmadinejad, not to mention the main power brokers behind the scene… if any of them really cared for the welfare of the people they would be taking a different approach as i see it… both these men appear to be willing to see bloodshed as opposed to diplomacy or resolution… that is what it looks like to me…
    and the real clincher is how well all of this plays into the bigger global dynamic of israel constantly holding out a threat of war on iran, over the thought iran could have nuclear weapons like itself..
    we could be talking nuclear disarmament on the part of all countries, but we have countries that are unwilling to even sign on to armament treaties overseeing them, so it is all very challenging to find a solution when it appears no one wants to have one that takes away any of their ‘power’ real or imagined….

    Reply

  5. Peace says:

    @….,
    On that we are on the same page. Like I said,
    your post confused me. I conceded democracy —
    albeit severely fractured as Iraq had their
    elections and elected some stooges. So with you on
    that. I understand where you are coming from, so
    military intervention is not what I’m suggesting.
    But we(the saner free world, not just the USA)
    cannot sit and watch ?
    I understand and agree that all that the
    Ahmadinejad-Khomenei pair need is a ruse and US
    condeming the attacks stromgly will provide just
    that. My frustrations is more with the world
    that’s just sitting by and watching innocents be
    slaughtered ..
    Obama has enough support internationally to mount
    a multi-state joint statement. He can even stay
    behind the scenes and let someone else take the
    leadership to lesses the above..
    Something’s got to be done. In all of this,
    Moussavi is just the face of this revolution, it’s
    more about the people of Iran and less about him..

    Reply

  6. plschwartz says:

    Steve:
    Well this phase is all over. The clergy of Qom handicapped the race and announced the winner. Will Mousive be killed, exiled or house arrested? Whatever, he leaves that wonderful document that lives on. And this Uprising will have had the result of radicalizing a large number of Iranis.
    If there is a winner it would be Grand Ayatollah Sistani. If Mousive gets out of Iran, it will be interesting to see how he is treated by Sistani.
    It would do us and Obama well by reaching out to Sistani

    Reply

  7. ... says:

    to the poster name ‘peace’.. i was being sarcastic… if you think iraq has a democracy, then you and i are viewing things very differently as well… i agree that whether it is 70 iraqi’s who have died today, or 1 iranian women, it is an unfortunate occurance in both instances… why i point out the 70 who died in iraq today has to do with what i believe is the importance of keeping sight on what the usa’s grand missions of the past 8 or 9 years have resulted in… the war in iraq, thanks to bush and the usa( americans are easily led into war so long as it isn’t on their soil) has created a nightmare for the iraqi people and some americans here seem to want to see a similar unfolding in iran, without necessarily thinking thru the implications of any of it…

    Reply

  8. erichwwk says:

    Also, a war, including a civil war, requires arms (violence)to be used by two (or more sides). What evidence is there that there is for violence being confronted by violence?

    Reply

  9. erichwwk says:

    “Civil War is already upon Iran.”
    best, steve
    ???
    “”When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”
    More consensual use of “civil war” include:
    control of territory
    recognition of control by others
    de facto control of territory
    Most seem to require SUSTAINED effort and threshold of deaths (1,000 being a common figure)
    While I grant that Steve may prove to be correct in his prediction that in hindsight, this may indeed prove to be a civil war- and date from this perio -, but in terms of being sustained and number of deaths, to call it a civil war NOW does not conform to the general use of the term. A more accepted term would be “riots”, and the the extent of involvement by foreigners is to be currently unknown.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_war
    For me the jury is still out, knowing how easily Americans are fooled by covert U.S. actions, knowing the dollars allocated to the CIA to destabilize Iran, the magnitude of the U.S. propaganda efforts and institutions, including NGO’s, and the widespread belief that the recent S. Ossetia conflict was not orchestrated by the U.S. and enabled by the MSM.
    I look forward to Flynt Leverett’s take on Monday, although if history is any indication, it will be years before we know what happened.

    Reply

  10. Peace says:

    @….,
    Your point eludes me — peace in ‘mission
    accomplished’ Iraq ? Are you kidding ? Democracy,
    yes. That, along with Saddam’s ouster is the only
    positive of that ill conceived war.
    My feeling bad about the excesses in Iran does
    not have to be mutually exclusive to the bloodshed
    in Iraq. Both have the common denominator of loss of
    human lives. The fact that there were 70+ people
    killed does not make the loss of the woman in the
    above video any less painful, insignificant or easy. And that should/would be the case whether I support
    Obama or Bush.

    Reply

  11. ... says:

    peace -today 70 killed, 182 injured in suicide bombing in northern Iraq.. i don’t have videos to go with it… thank the usa gov’t and military machine under bush for bringing peace and democracy 8 years later to the citizens of iraq… if this shit was happening next door to you, you might feel somewhat different about it too…

    Reply

  12. rfjk says:

    I don’t believe the current political stasis in Iran is revolution or civil war, not yet anyway. The struggle appears to be the societal divide between an aged ruling theocratic establishment from the revolutionary past and a new generation of Iranians. Half the population in Iran are young adults 26 years of age or less, with some 22% of all Iranians 14 and under.
    The best unimpeachable authority on the Iranian election is Eric Hooglund whose:
    “…background includes 30 years of research, teaching, and writing about the domestic politics and international relations of countries in the Middle East and also of US foreign policy toward that region. His particular expertise is Iran, a country in which he is one of very few American scholars who continues to undertake field research…”
    http://www.bates.edu/x151587.xml
    His analysis of the electoral fraud in the Iranian election can be obtained at this link:
    Iran’s Rural Vote and Election Fraud
    http://tehranbureau.com/2009/06/17/irans-rural-vote-and-election-fraud/
    Its the massiveness of the vote fraud that’s the driver of these spontaneous mass demonstrations in the cities and rural areas. None of this was planned by the opposition or outside meddlers as the Mullah ‘snafu’ artists are trying to claim, besides 99% of the reporting in the west that spans pure silliness to very dangerous presumptions and advice.
    The breathe and depth of resentment and grievance among Iran’s masses is not going away. And too heavy of a hand can easily turn civil disobedience into a rebellion neither side wants or desires. Its my suspicion these affairs are going to settle into a stalemate among the competing factions despite all the threats and violence.

    Reply

  13. Peace says:

    @…,
    Drama? Is that what this seems to you ?
    http://breakfornews.com/KarekarAveShooting090620.htm
    I’m no supporter of war either . Hated that bastart Bush, voted Obama, but am pissed at where we are now — kinda the Bill Maher school of fucking liberal if you will. But it’s NOT ABOUT ME ! Neither is it about YOU.
    Watch this woman die in the above pictures or if you can stomach it watch the video on huffingtonpost.com and revert back if you want to sparr with me about what my American ideological inclinations are . To me I don’t care what I voted or what you voted. I’m just being a concerned human, an American. Period.

    Reply

  14. Outraged American says:

    To see how much the wars are costing you go to the National
    Priorities Project site. It breaks down the cost of war in terms of
    how it could be spent to actually benefit Americans.
    http://www.nationalpriorities.org/
    Here’s the part of the site that will allow you to see the cost of
    war to your community:
    http://costofwar.com/
    Every American should know exactly what they’ve sacrificed to
    slaughter more than a million innocents for the benefit of the
    military/industrial complex, oil boys and Israel.
    Maybe that knowledge when held by the “average” American
    would stop us from “intervening” in Iran and escalating in
    Pakistan.
    Steve, I think that you’re a great guy, but it almost seems in the
    last day or so that you want a civil war in Iran. Who benefits?
    Damn straight at some point UsRael will use whatever happens
    in Iran to its own ends. It’s a mess no matter what. I just feel for
    all those idealistic Iranians who are desperate for change,
    because, unwittingly, they are playing straight into UsRael’s
    imperialistic aims.

    Reply

  15. ... says:

    peace – drama will get you everywhere…… in hollywood…
    i am no supporter of atrocities and wasn’t in favour of the war in iraq, or the one israel had in gaza the past year, but you????

    Reply

  16. Peace says:

    A nation is burning, innocents are being slaughtered, a eunuch is holding onto power with the backing of a Godman — who even God would abhorr, and now, we have people here arguing neocons vs. liberals ? Shame on you fellas. Get your heads out of your behinds. It is NOT about YOU ! Let the embers of the dead subside before you start making use of this as a tool for your ideological crapshit party (Democrats, Republicans alike).
    Does logic and common sense fail you ? Is it not writ large that these bastards are perpetrating the worst possible atrocities on innocent people ? Irrespective of your F’ing ideology, can you not feel sick at this treatment meted out to your fellow humans ? If you do, leave your baggage out for a damn few days , will ya ?

    Reply

  17. Dave says:

    I keep seeing video out of Tehran. The protesters are throwing rocks, destroying property, and lighting fires. I know if protesters where acting that way where I live (Canada) the police would respond the same way, tear gas, water houses, and physical force if necessary.
    Last Monday 7 protesters where killed trying to firebomb a Iranian military complex. The 7 protesters where reported being killed, but the media left out the fact they where trying to burn a building full of people.
    The hypocrisy I see is sickening.
    Thousands of activists arrive in Seattle, Washington in masses to protest the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 (World Trade Organization). Although it began as a peaceful protest with a goal of stopping the WTO talks, it escalated into a full-scale riot and eventually, a State of Emergency that pitted protesters against the Seattle Police Department and the National Guard.
    Not to mention the majority of the Iranian people support their government.

    Reply

  18. MNPundit says:

    Seen some reports that clerics are starting to march in Mashhad.

    Reply

  19. Steve Clemons says:

    Anonymous — Civil War is already upon Iran.
    best, steve

    Reply

  20. Anonymous says:

    “They need to find a way to get more of the police to defect.
    Rafsanjani needs to show how much muscle he has with the
    infrastructure of the security state that he controls.”
    Clemons in his usual careful, responsible, thoughtful, far sighted
    way, is calling for civil war.

    Reply

  21. ... says:

    wigwag, you are pretty consistent in posting the same propaganda and your post at 1:24pm is in the same mold as usual… “democracy movement in Iran will never recover from the brutal putsch perpetrated by the fascist”
    the democracy movement in the usa will never recover from the brutal putsch perpetrated by the fascist bush regime either, but of that there will not be a word from you on it… meanwhile the usa continues to try to prop up its financial system, spending outrageous amounts on its war machine ( they are connected!) and many folks are not only content to think they have a fully functioning democracy, but that oh how the rest of the world wouldn’t like to be just like the usa on so many levels? i think the problem with self infatuation which seems to be a national pastime of americans is that if these same folks ever break out of their arrogant attitude towards the rest of the globe it would indeed be refreshing… alas, i wonder if it is meant to be with posts like your 1:24pm that dish out the same tired drivel…

    Reply

  22. George says:

    Steve– thanks for your great work. WigW-I assume that you
    are prepared to enlist iand lead the troops in, else you
    neocon thoughts hold no water with me. Obama’s response
    to this crisis is spot on.

    Reply

  23. cherish says:

    Check on the tweets translated from Farsi over at The Field. This kind of citizen journalism is as close to the Iranian streets as foreigners will get, I think.

    Reply

  24. WigWag says:

    Most of are predictable, JG and we all look at events in the world through the prism of our own experiences and opinions; don’t you?
    The comment section of the Washington Note is interesting when people who have different opinions, however predictable those opinions may be, debate their disagreements in a civil and thoughtful way. I plead guilty to verbosity but I try to comment in a way that explains why I think what I think.
    It’s much more interesting that way; isn’t it? Attacking people with one liners such as calling them neo con blatherers (see Peter Principle above) or commenting on their “predictability” doesn’t really do much to advance the debate.
    As a cartoonist I know that you specialize in making substantive statements in a very short space. If you disagree with my comment, I would be glad to know why. But your view of how predictable I am really isn’t that illuminating.

    Reply

  25. JG says:

    Wig:
    Got to give credit where credit is due, you sure know how to stay on message.
    I knew your conclusion just from the length of your post. You are so predictable.

    Reply

  26. Peter Principle says:

    Wigwam — Don’t you neocons EVER get tired of hearing yourself blather absurd, self-serving nonsense?
    I didn’t think so.

    Reply

  27. WigWag says:

    “The government has issued a statement saying that Mousavi will be held responsible for the protests and violence today. And thus, Mousavi’s options at this point are to use every technique and tool at his disposal to resist the State or he and his followers will be crushed.”
    Is this the beginning of the end of the Iranian revolution? We should know in a couple of days. The democracy movement in China never recovered from the Tiananmen Square massacres perpetrated by the Chinese government and it’s entirely possible that the democracy movement in Iran will never recover from the brutal putsch perpetrated by the fascist clerical overlords in Iran.
    Regardless of whether the ultimate tragedy befalls the brave students in Iran, the ultimate tragedy has already befallen many Washington Note readers who viewed Iran as a bulwark against what they view as American imperialism in the Middle East, authoritarian Arab regimes and Israel.
    The chants of “death to Khamanei” ringing from roof tops in the Tehran night provide ample proof that millions of Iranians feel a greater sense of fellowship with the United States than they do with their own masters. Does anyone doubt that Barack Obama is more popular in Iran today than Ahmadinejad is? How infuriating it must be for Ahmadinejad’s American supporters to learn that so many Iranians view the United States not as the great Satan but instead as a role model. But it shouldn’t be much of a surprise; after all the Lebanese rejected a government aligned with Iran for a government aligned with the West too.
    The Iranian imbroglio must be equally discouraging for those who viewed the Iranian example as an antidote to dictatorship in the Arab world. How frustrating it must be to discover that the majority of Iranians view their leaders with the same distrust and disdain as the citizens of Egypt or Saudi Arabia. It’s got to be quite a let down to discover that in the legitimacy department, Ahmadinejad=Mubarak=Abdullah (Saudi Arabia)=Abdullah (Jordan)=Assad=Abbas.
    It must be an equally shocking discovery that in the brutality department the Arab autocrats could take a lesson or two from the Iranians. Thugs on motorcycles; those Persians are so clever; the Arabs never even thought of that.
    And then there’s Israel. How many readers of the Washington Note were willing to overlook the fact that the Iranian regime treated women like garbage and gay people like animals because they were besotted with Iran’s role as the leader of the resistance against Israel? To these selfish narcissists Iran’s support of Hamas and Hezbollah was far more consequential than anything as trivial as civil rights for the Iranian people or honest elections.
    There’s no reason to doubt that most Iranians have little affection or sympathy for Israelis, but the elections in both Lebanon and Iran demonstrate unequivocally that unlike
    Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah, most Iranians and Lebanese don’t define their aspirations in a way that implicates Israel. Regardless of whatever sympathies they have with Palestinians, the majority of Iranians and Lebanese don’t want to get involved in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute; they’d rather cast their lot with the United States.
    With the election in Lebanon and the stolen election in Iran, the “Shia Revival” has come to a screeching halt. Iran’s ability to assist Hamas and Hezbollah has been dramatically impaired and its ability to assist its Shia brethren in the coming civil war in Iraq has also taken a hit.
    Anyone want to take a guess what percentage of the Iranian population is actually praying for a U.S. invasion right about now?
    I wonder how many Iranian families now in the sites of the Basiji would even welcome bombs with Hebrew markings falling on basiji baracks.
    My guess is, quite a few.

    Reply

  28. easy e says:

    IRANIAN ELECTIONS: THE ‘STOLEN ELECTIONS’ HOAX
    By James Petras
    “Change for the poor means food and jobs, not a relaxed dress code or mixed recreation…Politics in Iran is a lot more about class war than religion.”Financial Times Editorial, June 15 2009
    June 19, 2009 “Information Clearing House” — There is hardly any election, in which the White House has a significant stake, where the electoral defeat of the pro-US candidate is not denounced as illegitimate by the entire political and mass media elite. In the most recent period, the White House and its camp followers cried foul following the free (and monitored) elections in Venezuela and Gaza, while joyously fabricating an ‘electoral success’ in Lebanon despite the fact that the Hezbollah-led coalition received over 53% of the vote…..
    read entire article here http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22868.htm

    Reply

  29. ... says:

    they need to find some solid proof of the election fraud they claim, which is what is central to all of this… i don’t know that they have…

    Reply

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