Posts Tagged ‘iran election’

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Why Ahmadinejad has to go

August 1, 2009

The Western powers agree that the current Iranian government has done several things that require them to help destabilize it and if possible overthrow it. In order of importance these are:

  1. Very vocal (Ahmadinejad traveling the world and giving speeches) opposition to US and Israeli policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine.  
  2. Ahmadinejad being branded, correctly or incorrectly, a holocaust denier and a man who ‘wants Israel wiped off the map’. Such a man should be discredited and removed from the ‘pages of time’.
  3. Iran’s considerable influence and standing within the region, particularly in Iraq and Lebonan.
  4. Ahmadinejad’s rising popularity among the Iranian masses that has increased their sense of Nationalism (steadfast insistence of Iran’s right to achieve nuclear power) on one hand and is helping them improve their standard of living on the other (examples: 1. raising the pensioners’ pensions. 2. Giving free life insurance to women who worked from home, 3 million carpet weavers among them. 3. Giving a tractor to every 3 rural households so they can work the land.  4. Building cheap hosing for the poor).

Clearly a President that is popular both with the people inside Iran as well as the people of the Muslim world and that has a strong anti-Western Rhetoric is a major cause of concern in a region dominated by unpopular dictatorships supported by the West.  

side notes:

1. Please note that the I did not include Iran’s nuclear threat since it is not government dependent. Iran’s nuclear program has existed since before the revolution with the same goals as it has today. It will most probably continue with any other Iranian regime since most Iranians believe that it is in the best interest of the Iranian people.  Iran insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes while the west fears that the technology developed could be used to build weapons.

2. While the policies outlined above have made Ahmadinejad very popular with the poor and the lower middle class, the same policies, his anti-Western stand, and other actions have helped his disapproval among the upper classes along with the better educated and academics that we see in the streets of Tehran.

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Understanding what happened on July 30th and its consequences

August 1, 2009

By looking at the videos and photos of the July 30 protests (40 day anniversary of Neda Aghasoltan and other martyr’s deaths) one sees a shift in the tactics of Iran’s security forces.  While there are two videos of police firing tear gas into the crowds, there seems to be no gunshots.  There has not been any new video of police violently ganging up on protester and violently and senselessly beating them.  The plain clothed thugs with big sticks have also been absent in the recent videos and photos. 

It appears that the outcry against the use of excessive force has had an effect and the government has tried hard not to give the green movement any new martyrs. While the security forces have been out in force, and have charged the crowds and used tear gas and batons to disperse the crowds, they appear to have been far more restrained in their response.  The government is pressing with instilling fear into the hearts of the protesters but has refined its tactics to make sure that fear does not turn into rage.

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Today’s game is a game of fear and rage

July 30, 2009

In just a few hours, the people of Tehran will be commemorating the 40th day of the killing of Neda Aghasoltan and others who died in the protests that day.  The stakes are very high for both sides. If the government plays its cards right, it hopes that it could put an end to the post election unrest.  The leaders of the green movement, however, need this opportunity to escalate matters.  Here are some factors to consider:  The government wants to instill as much fear in the greens as possible without making them excessively angry.  A rational person properly frightened will retreat.  However if the government goes overboard, as it did in the previous weeks, it will instill rage in the opposition.  A person with sufficient rage can easily get out of control, and then take away control.  The ideal scenario for the government is a strong show of police presence that would deter protestors from clashing with the police — non-violence on all sides due to fear of the police.  Many people would see the police and go home; others would march a bit, express their frustrations, and then go home.  End of story.  If large numbers of people show up, a non-violent protest may also be enough for the greens.  However, if fear keeps the huge masses at home, then the smaller crowds will need to do something, whatever it may be, to cause the rage in people’s hearts to increase. 

The revolutionaries of 1978 used the 40 day commemorations as a way to escalate their fight by increasing the rage in the people.  In each 40 day cycle, more people would go to the streets in commemoration, there would be more clashes with the security forces, and more people would get killed.  And then, 40 days later the same would happen again resulting in more deaths, more rage and an even harder resolve.  Khamenei knows that he needs to break this cycle.  A report is circulating claiming that he has ordered the security forces not to clash with the protestors.  If this is true, and if the protesters remain non-violent, then this may be the end of the violence, if not the protests.  However, if the protests are small (the fear has worked and the masses have stayed home), the opposition needs something to heat up the rage.  They may have snipers that will shoot some protesters to create the rage, or start violence by burning vehicles and attacking buildings to force the security forces into a confrontation, creating more martyrs and therefore building more rage in their supporters.

The report on Khamenei’s order may be created by the opposition.  It may have been circulated by them to remove people’s fears, so they would come out in large numbers to the streets.  We will know in a few hours if the report is fake or not, if violence will escalate matters or a peaceful protest would result.

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Mousavi uses poem and song by those he killed

July 25, 2009

Take a look at the following video. It is a promotional video created for Mousavi’s presidential campaign:

The song you hear was the song of the Mousavi campaign during the recent presidential elections.  It was not only used in promotional videos, but also sang by the crowd at two big rallies of the Mousavi campaign.  Its origins however will shed some light onto current events.  It was created by a communist group called “Fadaiyan e Khalgh” to commemorate a battle between its armed members and the Shah’s forces in a place called Siyahkal in the jungles in the north of Iran in 1970. The one sided fight resulted in death or capture, torture and subsequent death of all the Fadayees involved.  The song’s title is “آفتابکاران جنگل” or “Those who plant sun in the forest”.  The lyrics are attributed to Saeed Soltanpour, a revolutionary poet, theater director, and writer.

Saeed Soltanpour

Saeed Soltanpour

After the Islamic revolution, Soltanpour was arrested on his wedding night, tortured for 66 days and then executed.  At the time Mirhosein Mousavi was a member of the Central Committee of the Islamic Republic Party and its Political Director as well as the editor in chief -of the Islamic Republic newspaper.  Supporting both in writing and in political ideology the violent extermination of the opposition. Shortly after that he becomes the Prime Minister and over the next 8 years executes thousands of political dissidents including many Fadaeyees.  In 1988, his regime went on a rampage and massacred several thousand (estimate range from 4,000 to 30,000) political prisoners, many of whom had already served most of their prison term.  And now, he borrows the music and lyrics of the same people he killed for his own political gain.  During the recent elections, he was confronted by university students about his role in the 1988 massacre. He said nothing.

Here is the original version of the song: