The most important thing in the world this week is happening in Iran, and it seems that most of the world is going on oblivious. I brought it up with my coworkers at lunch today and none of them even seemed to realize that anything out of the ordinary was even happening. So let me say it straight.
The estimates from reporters on the ground in Tehran estimate the crowd on Monday to be between one and two million. That is an enormous number for a city of roughly 13 million people. These people are all protesting one thing. Their one chance to make a choice was taken away from them. The government of Iran is one where candidates come pre-approved with permission from the country’s ruling Clerics. In theory they are saying, these are the candidates we are happy with. You may choose between them. The old phrase, “never taunt a tiger” came to mind, as the meat of freedom was so transparently pulled away by the over confident establishment.
The cowardly US government is maybe too afraid of losing “diplomatic” ground to say it, but I will, the government of Iran is now blatantly illegitimate. It deserves neither respect nor recognition in any part of the world. A more correct foreign policy decision here, would be to play the same game with Iran as China does with Taiwan.
But I digress, I got my answer today, on an Iranian twitter there was a short request. “Help needed from world: A low-bandwidth way to access yahoo msging via browser. #iranElection” I may not myself have the knowledge to do it, but I hope one of my readers will. And, I will keep watching for more requests to spread.
It still remains to be seen whether this nascent revolution will die out or mature, but it is the first to take such advantage of the internet. Iran is a nation of bloggers(If you look at nothing else look at this). The Cyberwar waged in Iran is already breaking ground in its level of scripting and sophistication. The news and communications for this revolution are being carried over the internet, and it seems that the revolution really will not be televised. The BBC’s news and satellite channels have been jammed, and all foreign media has been ordered out of the country.
These protests are not founded on the misguided wish that Mousavi won they are founded on fact. Both the speed of the election count and the final result are preposterous.
The one gnawing worry in the back of my mind here is why was this done at all? The Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei already had undisputed power, no matter which candidate won he would have remained in charge. The political differences between the two candidates are not so great that he would risk such destabilization simply to get his choice of the two. If he really wanted Ahmadinejad he surly could have select other candidates in such a way as to split the opposition vote. Or maybe he did… but it backfired. But to me it looks like Ahmadinejad may have himself just carried out a back door coup…more on that later I suppose.
One last thing I want to show are two very interesting points in this video. The first is at about the 2 minute mark, and the second at 2:32 I wont deprive you of the freedom to come to your on conclusions.
As I went to post this I noted a request for people to set their twitter accounts to Iran and time zone to +3:30, I am registering for twitter now, and I hope you will do the same.