Iran and Revolution

It doesn’t seem like a good idea to attempt to silence a people that is basically brought up on the idea of revolution, especially if that revolution took place during the lives of many and its ideas formed the foundation of a nation. It would be like trying to install monarchy in the United States in 1800. In any case, it’s difficult to get a sense of what is happening, but this has been a news item – Grand Ayatullah Husayn (Hossein) ‘Ali Montazeri has issued a statement condemning the electoral fraud:

In the name of God

People of Iran

These last days, we have witnessed the lively efforts of you, brothers and sisters, old and young alike, from every social category, for the 10th presidential elections.

Our youth, hoping to see their rightful will fulfilled, came on the scene and waited patiently. This was the greatest occasion for the government’s officials to bond with their people.

However, unfortunately, they used it in the worst way possible. Declaring results that no one in their right mind can believe, and despite all the evidence of crafted results, and contrary to the people’s protestations, in front of the eyes of the same nation who carried the weight of a revolution and 8 years of war, in front of the eyes of local and foreign reporters, attacked the children of the people with astonishing violence. And now they are attempting a purge, arresting intellectuals, political opponents and Scientists.

Now, based on my religious duties, I will remind you:

1- A legitimate state must respect all points of view. It may not oppress critical views. I fear that this will lead to the loss of people’s faith in Islam.

2- Given the current circumstances, I expect the government to take all measures to restore people’s confidence. Otherwise, as I have already said, a government not respecting the people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy.

3- I invite everyone, especially the youth, to continue reclaiming their dues calmly, and not to allow those who want to associate this movement with chaos succeed.

4- I ask the police and army personnel not to “sell their religion”, and be aware that receiving orders will not excuse them before God. Recognize the protesting youth as your children. Today, censorship and cutting telecommunication lines can not hide the truth.

I pray for the greatness of the Iranian people.

12 thoughts on “Iran and Revolution

  1. It is interesting how Twitter (a most Capitalist creation) et al is working to organize “democratic” multitude protest, allowing them to fluidly move sites of protest, in fact circumventing the very foreclosure of democracy already created by Capitalism in parts of the Middle East. Somehow I’ve always felt that it was the lack of parallel development Democracy/Captialism in the Mid East that provided the groundwork for Islamic resistance to the West. Who would have thought “Twitter” bespoke a difference.

  2. Did you see that story where State Department or some such intervened and asked Twitter to hold off the scheduled maintenance?

    It’s interesting that Twitter as an ultimate narcissistic tool of the West – look at me, I’m doing things and they are worth mentioning – is the medium in this case. I feel like maybe the significance of Twitter is somewhat overblown here, but I do appreciate the irony. I think my main reaction to the events is the utter disrespect of the government for its people, people that it basically raised on the ideas of revolution of 1979 – I mean if more clerics speak up, that same anger they used in 1979 in their fight against the Shah could be easily channeled into what the new form is – what are really the possibilities here? Government admits fraud?

  3. Yes, I’m sure it is over blown, but apparently Facebook and Youtube were shutdown or slowed, so the government certainly saw some communication threat worth dealing with.

    I can sympathize with your notion of narcissism, but blogs were really thought pretty narcissistic too. The point is that small packages of information can aggregate and help provide enough “glue” to make structural changes when things hit a certain threshold.

    I don’t know enough about the Iranian situation to guess, or repeat the thoughts of some expert I heard today, but what I do find interesting is the idea that Obama is in a precarious position. He represents, really to the world, a kind of victory of new-thought, the kinds of change that can come within a system. And in a certain respect it seems that the Iranian election is embodying for the United States a much darker version of both the “chad” issue with Gore, and then surely the precarious feeling of election night with Obama, a kind of “could it really happen, is a black man really going to be president?” The pure, do we say, revolutionary spirit of Tehran streets somehow expresses the US experiences of the last decade, taken to the extreme, and Obama in a sense has a kind of historical responsibility to that kind of expression. But he also has to play it cool, perhaps extra cool, for that very same reason.

    The question is, why did the Iranian government falsify the election so blatantly? It must have been a reactive decision they had not planned for.

    They are doing some kind of semi-recount the last I heard, but what would be very interesting is if they actually get a re-vote. The tidal events of recent days surely would generate a very different kind of voting event. I think it would stir the Middle East (perhaps even in directions United States allies would not be so confortable with).

    • I can sympathize with your notion of narcissism, but blogs were really thought pretty narcissistic too. The point is that small packages of information can aggregate and help provide enough “glue” to make structural changes when things hit a certain threshold.

      Yes, ok. However, when did blogs stop being thought of as narcissistic I wonder?

  4. Mikhail,

    I agreed with you that the Twitter aspect of the “revolution” was likely overstated, but it seems that the intial characterization itself fed back into the possibilities and now Facebook and Twitter are the very means of proclamation and organization. What do you think now?

    It will have such an interesting effect on the Twitter product as well. If anything Twitter suffered from the appearance of being a fluff, self-involved indulgment. There was absolutely nothing serious about it (hence its growth). Now the most serious of things is being brought about through the technology. In fact, if you are to be very serious about action and organization it would seem that Twitter will become a necessity.

    Are you reconsidering your brief brush with Twitter?

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