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 The Battle of Tehran
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15831 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2009 :  20:49:18  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm starting this thread as a place to air our observations about the unfolding events in Iran.

Tehran in 2007 (from Wikipedia)

Iran is a strange mixture of the modern and the ancient, of the educated and the ignorant, with a complex government made up of interlocking and unmatched parts of theocratic absolutism and democratic secularism. Many of Iran's contradictions stem from the awkward patchwork of compromises that were made after the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Now this patchwork of secularism and theocracy is showing its inevitable strains. The stage is set for a tumultuous confrontation to be enacted upon the streets of Tehran, Iran within a few hours.

It's likely to be the bloodiest street fighting since the dubious results of last week's elections were announced. Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has taken his hardest line to date, delivering a sermon to thousands of hardliners that declared further demonstrations for a new election to be out of bounds. Yet supporters of the opposition Presidential candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi vow to fill the streets and squares of Tehran with their bodies and voices on Saturday.

Push has come to shove. The supporters of an incrementally less theocratic Iran are being radicalized, and may push for further secularization than even Moussavi would like. The entire mullah class and their ardent supporters see Moussavi himself, and the pro-democracy movement that has crystallized around him, as a dire threat to their power.

The "people" may win tomorrow. But I personally don't expect events to go well. The entrenched theocrats control the Revolutionary Guard military and probably have both the power and will to forcibly put down the opposition.

But I suspect that the struggle for a more democratic, less theocratic Iran will not end with this "Battle of Tehran," despite how I see tomorrow's likely outcome. A new legacy of struggle will be created, and the opposition will go underground. The excesses of theocracy will create a growing will among Iranians for a fully secular Iran.

Please post information and your opinions!

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.

Edited by - HalfMooner on 06/19/2009 20:51:26

Dave W.
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Posted - 06/19/2009 :  21:18:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My uncle was an oil man. Pre-1979, he used to take his wife and kids at least once a year to Tehran... for the phenomenal skiing. They said it was the best place to ski, anywhere on the planet.

Not sure how that's relevant, but it is "information."

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4607 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2009 :  21:40:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just finished a math class and my prof, who is of Iranian descent, is flying to Tehran in a couple days. He should have an interesting trip and a lot to talk about when he returns.

I think its important to keep in mind that Mousavi isn't really a reformer. He appears to be in an unfortable position that he did not seek. I don't see him looking for a confrontation with the powers that be. And many Iranians support the current government 100%. This is no replay of 1979 when almost everyone hated the Shah. But it is obvious that a significant number of people there are hungry for change. Even more important, they seem to be willing to fight for it. Who took to the streets in 2000 when the Supreme Court gave George Bush the election? I think they have a ways to go, but refreshing to see an Islamic nation crying out for western freedoms when some (Turkey, Pakistan, etc.) would rather turn back the clock and turn to theocratic rule.


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Posted - 06/20/2009 :  09:26:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Indeed, we are now getting more information that strongly suggest that fraud had taken place.

As I see it, the situation can evolve in a variety:
-It can diffuse progressively as people get tired of manifesting and need to go back to work and such.
-It can end up in a crackdown that will drive the opposition underground.
-It can start as a crackdown that polarize society even further, start a civil war or at least very serious and violent trouble and then... who knows. Depends which side the bulk of the army ends up to, I guess.
-The Mullahs might back up. They have done so to a slight extent but now seems to do so no longer. Backing up would help diffuse the situation now, but in the long run, it is likely that the Mullahs would appear appear weak which would prompt more trouble to come and might spell the beginning of the end for the system.

So... I have no insights.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
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4607 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2009 :  14:29:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is anyone else as fed up with the snazzy CNN graphics as I am? I hate it when they take the time and effort to create these things for events such as this. They're treating it as entertainment and I guess you could look at it that way...if you want. I don't think any Iranians are viewing it this way.


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The Rat
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Posted - 06/20/2009 :  19:18:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit The Rat's Homepage Send The Rat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can remember seeing, only about a day after 9/11, a video of Iranian students taking to the streets shouting 'America, we are with you, we support you!' They were then placed on the fictitious 'axis of evil' by shrub jr. Let's hope they realized quickly that it was merely the action of an idiot and not to be taken seriously.

Bailey's second law; There is no relationship between the three virtues of intelligence, education, and wisdom.

You fiend! Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church? - The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Blackadder II

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