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The Revolution Will Not Be Hijacked

Discussion in 'News And Current Events' started by FintanDunne, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Wow. You represent a lot of people on this planet to be able to say that with any credibility. You're a pretty important person, it seems.

    Should we be impressed by your rudeness? Or just take it for what it is -- rudeness -- and leave it at that?

    Here's the mirror. Look in it.

    Your life? Are you speaking about your life? :rolleyes:

    Been there, done that.

    So what exactly, sir or madame, are you saying that you want? Do you want us to shut up and not express our points of view? Or do you only want to dump your undifferentiated rage on us; your inability or unwillingness to engage anyone in a rationale conversation?

    Do you have anything substantive to add to the conversation or just looking for someone to bully? Can't tolerate differences of opinion today? What about all the other days you couldn't tolerate differences of opinion? Cuz, I'll tell ya, a bud doesn't get to be as good as you are at not tolerating differences of opinion -- without a lot of practice.

    And, ya know, it all seems really familiar to me. In fact, look closely, and even you have to admit that it pretty well resembles what we are seeing from the regime. Hey, bud, if the shoe fits...
  2. Hechicera: I may have gotten some discussions mixed up from among the threads. If I did, then I apologize. (I get fatigued from all the reading and forget which thread I am in.)

    In any case, I am not strongly attached to debating the numbers. What with the crackdown on journalism in Iran, it is hard to evidence very much. I certainly am reluctant to believe the numbers offered by Bagdad Bob Reborn. ;)

    I do not believe that Fintan is badly intentioned. On the other hand, given a choice between scientific methodology and graphic illustration, I tend to fall on the side of science.

    I think there is room for some give and take on both your parts. And some middle ground to be reached, where truth is more evident to all present. Do you not both agree?
  3. Hey, one way to circumvent a monologue is to actually contribute an alternate point of view which, I note, you have failed to do. Not surprising.
  4. Hechicera Member

    @Bugs

    Umm, no I'm not about the graph. Like I said, that is this tex guy in that other thread. And the graph actually makes an odd sense, now I go look at it. I'm 100% used to non-engineers slaughtering math anyway. And Fintan never said he had a math Ph.D. to back that graph up (didn't read the whole thread anyway) - if he had I might have asked him where it was from. =P

    I'm cool with the graph. I'm cool with Fintan caring about the Green movement (only the third time I've said that - I think?).

    I'm not cool with him saying I am wrong about his (lack of professional) journalistic tone because he is an important MSM journalist dangnabit! Now, if he is an important journalist, then cool. He needs to put up though. If he says, ah you got me, I'm a blogger (he links to his blog profligately), but we are usually better than journalists and that was meant as private speech anyway, then I can shrug, grab my cane and my teeth and toddle off to watch tweetgrid.
  5. I'm not taking sides and have been meaning to register but is this side issue worth the distraction. It takes away from the movement, it sidetracks the debate about people that simple want a voice and in the big picture it's not productive.

    Can we agree to disagree, keep our eyes on the prize and unite on the big issues instead of letting the small ones divide us?

    One mans thoughts.
  6. LOL. :D I hear ya.

    Hey, I'm cool. :)

    Putting up is reasonable.
  7. Yep. Thanks for this.
  8. Ray Murphy Member

    It sounds like they wouldn't - because that's the way they normally handle dissent and rebellion.

    This is why honest elections are needed. They help to show what is acceptable or not - even if the preferred politician is only slightly better than another one. It seems THAT is what Iranian voters were doing - trying to slightly improve things.

    That's what politicians are supposed to use - words.

    [Greatnness questioned]

    Fintan Dunne might have a better idea about the meaning of greatness, but I don't see any greatness yet.

    [Mousavi not a leader of protestors]

    Are we reasonably sure that he didn't expect corruption at the election?

    [Conjured up leader of protestors]

    Well it shows he knew what he would be up against. At least he wasn't uninformed enough to TRY.

    I wasn't referring to the people. I was talking about Mousavi and Hollywood stunts.
    [...]

    Mousavi is just trying to make a small change to the way they do business in Iran, and he will achieve that.

    His Plan A was (obviously) to get an overwhelming number of votes and win, and his Plan B must have come into being after he was informed Plan A was destroyed by the coup on election night. Plan B was to stay legal, low profile and alive - and make Plan A work by a people's counter-coup. I suppose it's just as well that many protestors don't realize what his game plan is, because it means that a good percentage of his opponents don't see it either.

    He's even stuck his Plan B on auto-pilot, so it doesn't matter if he survives physically or not, but in the end people will be standing around and saying "How did he DO that - how come we've suddenly got fair elections, when Mousavi wasn't even showing us strong leadership?"


    [Leadership criteria - out of some fancy workshop]

    I'm not into verbal gymnastics.
    The people wanted fair voting and Mousavi and Rafsanjani have now ensured that they will achieve that. If they want anything more that that they need to use the NEW fair system or find rebel leaders.

    There was nothing subtle about what Rafsanjani said. It would only look subtle to clueless people.
  9. Ray Murphy Member

    Bugs wrote: I want the people to take their freedom, Ray.

    Yes, the people want their votes counted properly. That's what the 1,000,000+ marchers want. Many of them may not want a westerner's version of freedom.
  10. But Bugs did not say that she wanted to force them to take their freedom, did she Ray?

    And to be fair, the point was about the people taking their own freedom as they define it -- as opposed to someone giving them their freedom.

    Be fair, Ray. The people want a variety of different things, not only their votes counted properly. Including their manifesto It seems to me that it has ceased being only about their votes a long time ago.

    Then they should have the freedom to choose, should they not? Right now they do not have that freedom.

    How can they have the freedom to choose unless they can actually know different concepts of freedom? How many concepts of freedom do you know, Ray?

    And, if Iranians do not want a westerner's version of freedom, then why does it seem so important to them that the whole world be watching? Why are we doing this? Why do we go to city squares and protest? Why do we create video compilations. Why do we tweet? Why set up message boards? Why blog? Why report? Why post?

    Why not simply publish an official definition of freedom, an official list of demands, and silence everyone else? Easy peasy -- don't even need a change of regime to do that! :D
  11. Hechicera Member

    Interesting third-person reference to self, Why not say "I did not say that I wanted to ..."
  12. Leaders use example.

    Do the people want a small change?

    OK, fair enough, maybe Mousavi genuinely believes it is in the people's best interest that they accept a small change -- and that he believes this in good faith. But I am wondering if that is not a little patronizing of the people, condescending, 'know what I mean?

    In any case, it only underlines what I was saying about the people co-opting Mousavi for their own movement, for no other reason but that he was there and that Mousavi may not have the ability or will to LEAD them.

    Yeah, and I do get it. It is possible that the there is a little push-pull going on here. That the people want to co-opt Mousavi and Mousavi wants to co-opt the people.

    To be fair, this is speculation. Evidence? How can we be assured that Mousavi is not just sweet-talking the people in order to make a power grab?

    How do you know the game plan?

    Again, you are trying to reduce this back to a question of fair elections. The people want more than fair elections.

    They want different things. Some want freedom of speech. Some want freedom of assembly. Some want freedom of the press. Some want freedom of religion. Some want equality between men and women. Some want an end to ethnic persecution. Some want jobs. Some want everything to go on the way it has.

    Sarcasm is not strengthening your case. If you have something to say about criterion for leadership, then say it. No need to mock a field of study with which (I am assuming) you may not be completely familiar.

    Don't need to be. Logic and evidence is enough.

    I am not aware of a new fair system but am willing to be informed. Can you outline this for us, please? As for rebel leaders: yes.

    The term clueless people lowers this discussion to the level of ad hominem attack and therefore represents a concession. Did you really want to do that?

    The way I see it, a discussion is a sharing of points of view, information which occurs in a friendly -- albeit at times robust -- environment. Namecalling has nothing to do with the questions being discussed. So why go there?

    If you have something to say about "subtlety" then we're all listening. No need to call people clueless. Sheesh.
  13. Just having a little chuckle with myself. :D

    Note to self: Self, don't use third-person references to self anymore. :D
  14. Ray Murphy Member


    Yes she did, because to suggest that people "take" something from a vicious regime can mean nothing else but force - either physical or some other means of force.

    It isn't their OWN freedom to take. That is the problem - they want to acquire some more!

    Well they have no say in the matter (in law) unless they do it through a democratic system - which means getting fair elections in place first.

    That is as absurd as asking "How would Americans know what freedom was?"
    It doesn't matter that the old Soviet citizens laughed for decades about the insular propaganda machine in the U.S. -- the citizens always knew what freedom meant for them in their daily lives. The Soviet people at least KNEW they were subject to propaganda. For many U.S. citizens "freedom" means "bragging rights for winning fights" [I just dreamt that one up] :D

    They all want fair voting, and they know outsiders can help make it happen.
    They certainly wouldn't want America's version of "freedom" - and have their sons and daughters conscripted or conned into unnecessary military work, while the nation's social services were under-funded.

    Why not get what we came here for - fair voting - and then just piss off - after grabbing a few email contacts for some friendly Iranian people we've met?
  15. Visionary Member

    This doesn't make sense...how does talking about them taking their freedom possibly through the use of force mean that she wanted to force them to do something?

    Of course it's their freedom. It just isn't freedom allowed to them by the regime.
    Voting isn't all they want. I think there's quite a bit more than that involved. And you never know what could happen afterward. The same bad guys could muscle themselves back into power if they are kicked out in the first place. Besides the fact that voting won't necessarily solve the problems of the Khamenei family.
  16. Ray Murphy Member

    [Ray]: That's what politicians are supposed to use - words.

    [Bugs]: Leaders use example.

    [Ray]: Mousavi has given numerous examples - like:
    * Working within the law
    * Defying the regime legally
    * Making sure he had support in the right places
    * Publishing and keeping in contact with supporters
    * Showing he can put 1,000,000 on the street at will.
    * Showing he can rally support from the whole world
    * Risked his life for his quest and the quest of the people
    * Carried on while his close supporters were arrested
    * Walked into Friday prayers - facing possible assassination.


    [Ray]: Mousavi is just trying to make a small change to the way they do
    business in Iran, and he will achieve that.


    [Bugs]: Do the people want a small change?

    [Ray]: Relatively small at the moment. They want their votes counted.

    [Bugs]: OK, fair enough, maybe Mousavi genuinely believes it is in the people's best
    interest that they accept a small change -- and that he believes this in
    good faith. But I am wondering if that is not a little patronizing of the
    people, condescending, 'know what I mean?


    [Ray]: The SMALL change is just the thin end of the wedge. That's all the people want to start with, and they are in the process of getting it now.

    [Bugs]: In any case, it only underlines what I was saying about the people co-opting
    Mousavi for their own movement, for no other reason but that he was there
    and that Mousavi may not have the ability or will to LEAD them.


    [Ray]: He hasn't exactly been co-opted. Mousavi happens to be the
    Iranian people's preferred President right now - even if only by default
    because no one more respectable (and powerful) was available.

    [Bugs]: Yeah, and I do get it. It is possible that the there is a little push-pull
    going on here. That the people want to co-opt Mousavi and Mousavi wants to co-opt the people.


    [Ray]: He only wants to co-opt the protestors to get into office and follow
    his own agenda which he advertised during the election - not their agenda.



    [Ray]: His Plan A was (obviously) to get an overwhelming number of votes and win, and his Plan B must have come into being after he was informed Plan A was destroyed by the coup on election night. Plan B was to stay legal, low profile and alive - and make Plan A work by a people's counter-coup.

    [Bugs]: To be fair, this is speculation. Evidence? How can we be assured that Mousavi is not just sweet-talking the people in order to make a power grab?

    [Ray]: There's no point in misrepresenting what I said and calling it
    "speculation" when I had already said it was "obviously" his plan.
    The internet and media is absolutely FULL of information that shows
    Mousavi did indeed orchestrate an immensely powerful campaign
    that brought people to the polls in unprecedented numbers, so
    asking for "evidence" of it is inappropriate.
    ----------

    [Ray]: I suppose it's just as well that many protestors don't realize what
    his game plan is, because it means that a good percentage of his opponents
    don't see it either.


    [Bugs]: How do you know the game plan?

    [Ray]: Once again - it's splattered all over the internet in not-so-subtle language.
    ----------

    [Ray]: He's even stuck his Plan B on auto-pilot, so it doesn't matter if he
    survives physically or not, but in the end people will be standing around
    and saying "How did he DO that - how come we've suddenly got fair elections, when Mousavi wasn't even showing us strong leadership?"


    [Bugs]: Again, you are trying to reduce this back to a question of fair elections.
    The people want more than fair elections.


    [Ray]: Well they should tell him what they want after he is made President.

    [Bugs]: They want different things. Some want freedom of speech. Some want freedom of assembly. Some want freedom of the press. Some want freedom of religion.
    Some want equality between men and women. Some want an end to ethnic
    persecution. Some want jobs. Some want everything to go on the way it has.


    [Ray]: Well marching in the streets is not going to bring any of that unless all the marchers in a particular rally are marching for the same reason and have placards to show it.
    -----

    [Ray]: Leadership criteria - out of some fancy workshop

    [Bugs]: Sarcasm is not strengthening your case. If you have something to say about criterion for leadership, then say it. No need to mock a field of study with which (I am assuming) you may not be completely familiar.

    [Ray]: You just don't geddit. Mousavi and Rafsanjani are not leaders
    of the protestors for the protestors' agendas. They each have their own well
    known agendas and Mousavi published his agenda after the election campaign
    started. When he becomes a LEADER he will be doing it as the President
    of Iran, and your definition of leadership skills will have no bearing on it.
    ---------

    [Ray]: I'm not into verbal gymnastics.

    [Bugs]: Don't need to be. Logic and evidence is enough.

    [Ray]: How's this for logic. Mousavi is not a leader of protestors, so
    your fancy "leadership criteria" is totally irrelevant.
    -------

    [Ray]: If they want anything more that that they need to use the NEW fair system or find rebel leaders.

    [Bugs]:I am not aware of a new fair system but am willing to be informed. Can you outline this for us, please? As for rebel leaders: yes.

    [Ray]: Have you forgotten already? The NEW fair system that Rafsanjani pushed for on Friday will be the fair elections.
    -------

    [Ray]: There was nothing subtle about what Rafsanjani said. It would only
    look subtle to clueless people.


    [Bugs]: The term clueless people lowers this discussion to the level of ad hominem attack and therefore represents a concession. Did you really want to do that?

    [Ray]: You are misrepresenting the true situation again. A person can
    be legitimately described as clueless without such a description being an
    ad hominem attack. In case you still don't geddit. I am clueless about
    Rafsanjani's and Mousavi's history, but would it be an ad hominem
    attack if someone pointed to that fact? No.

    [Bugs]: The way I see it, a discussion is a sharing of points of view, information which occurs in a friendly -- albeit at times robust -- environment.
    Namecalling has nothing to do with the questions being discussed. So why go
    there?


    [Ray]: Agreed - but misrepresenting ordinary conversation as being
    ad hominem attacks is merely building strawmen and burning them down
    and then laughing gleefully to yourself.

    [Bugs]: If you have something to say about "subtlety" then we're all listening. No need to call people clueless. Sheesh.

    [Ray]: Rafsanjani's words were very, very plain. If anyone doesn't
    get the drift of his numerous messages - they are positively clueless.
  17. Ray Murphy Member

    [Ray]: Yes she did, because to suggest that people "take" something from a
    vicious regime can mean nothing else but force - either physical or some
    other means of force.


    [Visionary]: This doesn't make sense...how does talking about them taking their freedom possibly through the use of force mean that she wanted to force them to do something?

    [Ray]: Of course it doesn't make sense - because that was not said.
    There has been absolutely NO talk of Bugs forcing anyone to do anything.
    --------

    [Ray]: It isn't their OWN freedom to take. That is the problem - they want to acquire some more!

    [Visionary]: Of course it's their freedom. It just isn't freedom allowed to them by the regime.

    [Ray]: Freedom doesn't even exist until you GET it.

    [Ray]: They all want fair voting, and they know outsiders can help make it
    happen. They certainly wouldn't want America's version of "freedom" - and have their sons and daughters conscripted or conned into unnecessary military work, while the nation's social services were under-funded.


    Why not get what we came here for - fair voting - and then just piss
    off - after grabbing a few email contacts for some friendly Iranian people
    we've met?


    [Visionary]: Voting isn't all they want. I think there's quite a bit more than that involved. And you never know what could happen afterward. The same bad guys could muscle themselves back into power if they are kicked out in the first place. Besides the fact that voting won't necessarily solve the problems of the Khamenei family.

    [Ray]: Of course some people want more than just fair voting, but until
    they verbalise it, we have nothing specific to support.
  18. Farad Member

    Sorry it's so long.

    I have lurked anonymously on this forum since Election Day. I have watched in quiet solidarity with the brave people of Iran, content that nothing further needed to be said and that it was enough that I kept the movement and the entire nation in my prayers.

    I am now compelled to participate. I suppose it would be better if my first post was a positive one, but it is what it is.

    The initial tone concerned me. If possible, however, this thread has recently devolved into something even more course and (IMHO) unhelpful.

    First a note about my thoughts regarding Fintan. I have noted his numerous posts over the last month. Some of them have been substantive, and many have merely been attempts to drive traffic back to his blog. Now mind you I don’t take offense at this. I actually rather appreciate it, as like most others, I have a hunger verging on starvation for any source of new information or alternative viewpoints. I feel the same way about the fellow who shills traffic over to his Iran news aggregator site (I can’t recall the name at the moment, it is unimportant). I have visited both sites and am happy that they are there. This is an information war which should be fought on as many fronts as possible. I have listened to one of Fintan's interviews with rapt attention. In other words, though I take issue with the premise of this particular thread, I have no quarrel with the man himself and hope he continues to support the struggle.

    My first issue is that I just simply disagree with Fintan's premise here. I have read Raf's speech again, and I just don’t see how one can reach the conclusion it was a sellout. Raf has big problems in my book. He has made himself a billionaire during a period of economic hardship for the people. He has given silent acquiescence to some of the regimes more evil deeds. That being said, he is potentially one of the most important keys to resolving the current situation. I think that Fintan's biggest problem is that he sees, somewhat myopically in my opinion, a mass uprising that storms Evin, IRIB and the Interior Ministry as the only path to victory. He envisions the Guard laying down their weapons when they finally realize that they can't kill enough people to stop the momentum. Perhaps this will happen, and it is one way that this might go down. But I find it equally probable that the murders, the arrests, the tortures, the dumping of charred bodies in the desert, will actually cause enough revulsion among the clerics that Raf will have the votes to announce from Qum that The expediency council has sacked leader dickweed. That path would have been forever foreclosed upon if he had not been so careful with his words yesterday. To me his message was clear. When he referred to following the law, I certainly did not take it as a call to obey the extra-constitutional edicts coming from Ahmamadman's office or that of Khamenei. I rather took it as a call for both of these pricks to obey the fundamental law, which in Iran means the Koran and the constitution (in that order). If they do that, the people will have won because neither of these documents sanction the behavior of the regime. I can understand how one would come to the conclusion Fistan did, especially one who is as passionate about the cause as he obviously is. I just think that Fistan is letting the good be the enemy of the perfect and I disagree that's all.

    If my first quarrel is with how the thread started, my second is with what is has become. From what I have read while lurking these many weeks, All of the biggest contributors to this thread are good members of the community. They are all articulate and share the same goal. This being freedom for the Iranian people, however that is defined. It seems to me, however, that this seemingly endless debate of Fistan's credentials as a journalist or blogger or whatever is terribly unproductive.

    I also don't know how anyone can really intelligently debate whether Mousavi or Raf are "real" leaders or not. It is a semanticall discussion that does not further the goals of the counter revolution revolution. Hitler was a leader, no question about it. At its core, being a leader is as simple as getting someone to follow you. Ahmamadman is a leader. Stalin was a leader. I don't know whether Moussavi has the best interests of the people at heart. I don't know whether the people truly trust him. I don't know whether Raf is just trying to save his own skin. None of us do. I am in contact with only two people in country. They are both what I would consider trusted sources, and ironically, they share completely different viewpoints about where this thing is headed and how it's going to get there. There is one thing I know however, and that is when they tie a green armband on and go out into those streets, knowing they may not come back, I am not there. I can't know what it is like to go to the roof to chant at night, realizing that the basijis are targeting people with night vision scopes. For me to make strategic decisions and urge their implementation on behalf of these people would be like trying to coach a football game in one stadium, while standing in the dugout watching a baseball game in another.
  19. You know, I have to agree. What they choose to do is up to them. I am just here to let them know that I care, and that I will help in anyway that is is possible for me to. If my location means that it is just by spreading the word, making people aware, and trying to keep channels of communication open, then so be it. If it ever becomes more, then even better. But as for telling people what to think about who and what, and what do to, no. We don't deserve that right. We're not bleeding for this, or living with the fear and pain.
  20. Kind of like you didn't make up the hurrdurr graph.

    [IMG]
  21. Hi Farad: thanks for your thoughtful post.

    I would like to hear more about what kind of options exist. It can't be reduced to a dichotomy: either this, or that. At least I hope it can't. So the options are out there.

    This is very insightful. Good enough is good enough. :D

    Well, I can understand how different folks have different understandings of the term 'leader.' I think that may be what is causing some of the push-pull on the thread. I struggled with this many years ago until finally a very close friend -- a veteran -- said to me: "Bugs, you make the mistake of believing that a leader must be right. A leader only has to be trusted. If he is trusted, his followers will plunge into the gates of death for him."

    Trusted. Whether he was right or wrong, that word 'trusted' left a very deep impression on me. What does it take for someone to be trusted? How must he search his own heart to know that he merits another's trust?

    How deeply did Hitler probe his own heart? Did he care if he was trusted? Does the Ayatollah? Does Ahmadi?

    Of course leaders in the Iranian revolution are going to make mistakes; they are after all human. And let not the perfect be the enemy of the good. :D My question -- and it is a genuine question, not a rhetorical question -- is whether each of them is trusted. I can't prevent myself from questioning, because it seems the Iranian people have been betrayed so many times before.

    I agree that we cannot know the heart of the man, nor the heart of the matter.

    But do you not believe that a person reveals himself by his behaviour? That is, that the tree is known by its fruit? Are we not all of us doomed to make educated guesses throughout our lives, sometimes making terrible mistakes along the way, sometimes coming up smelling like roses? Is that not the risk we take by being among the living?

    I agree. I have not been aware of too many strategic decisions being made. Well, perhaps Fintan conveyed a sense of urgency with his ACT NOW. I gave him the poetic licence.

    You are right though. I have often been struck down with pain wondering if folks are going to be safe through the night. They are tremendously brave.
  22. JohnDoe Moderator

    Excellent post Farad. I think you and I agree about the important of Rafsanjani's speech. Today spouse listened to many commentators reflect on the speech. And every one of them said the same thing, ie it was a brilliant speech, and will certainly encourage the people. That there was nothing in it for the regime.

    I listened to Karim Sadjadpour speak about it, and he was very positive about the importance of the speech at this time. No one is saying that Raf is an angel, or that he is not looking after his own interests - and maybe that interest is the name he wants to take to the grave? He wants to be remembered as the man who supported the people in the hour of their need?

    I would be interested to hear where your two sources think this is headed and how it's going to get there. If you don't want to post it, then private mail me. Thanks!
  23. "Reader meet author"

    This thread reminds me of the Morrissey song

    You don't know a thing about their lives
    They live where you wouldn't dare to drive
    You shake as you think of how they sleep
    But you write as if you all lie side by side
    Reader, meet Author
    With the hope of hearing sense
    But you may be feeling let down
    By the words of defence
    He says "No-one ever sees me when I cry"

    You don't know a thing about their lives
    Books don't save them, books aren't Stanley knives
    And if a fight broke out here tonight
    You'd be the first away, because you're that type
    And the year 2000 won't change anyone here
    As each fabled promise flies so fast
    You'll swear it was never there
    Oh, have you ever escaped from a shipwrecked life ?

    So safely with your software, miles from the front line
    You hear the way their sad voice sings, and you start to imagine things
    Oh, any excuse to write your lies
  24. Ray Murphy Member

    I forgot to mention earlier that I thought his sermon would have done a lot of good for Islam.
  25. JohnDoe Moderator

    It might. It depends how much unrepairable & irreversible damage has already been done to Islam, not just from the last 5 weeks (still can't believe how far the people have come in 5 weeks), but also in the last 30 years. And that is something will only be seen after the current regime has gone.

    I get the sense that the Mullahs & Ayatollahs are worried about what this unholy marriage of political Islam has done to the religion, and it might be that fear that makes them change the current system, and I wonder if that is partly what Rafsanjani is working on. Who knows?!
  26. Farad Member

    BUGS BUNNY:

    I agree wholeheartedly that the choices cannot be reduced to a dichotomy. My intention was more to reference two possibilities that may represent the boundaries of a continuum. I'm not even sure they represent boundaries however. Iranian politics are so byzantine that the eventual outcome is truly unknowable.

    Again, I agree. To question the motives of the players is natural. I would love to know the answers. My counter question, however, is: Do you really know whether you can trust your closest friends? Your family even? My point is that the true heart of a man is usually impenetrable. I think that the closest thing to real trust is when you have seen someone risk everything on your behalf. When a person has braved bullets, torture, rape, hanging to keep you safe; that person can be trusted. But even there; what if you were Raf or Moussavi and had made the calculation that the populace as a whole would be better off if you preserved some influence within the establishment? Or if you stayed out of jail and didn't brave the tear gas and the motorcycles and the knifes wielded by basijis dressed in women’s garb? Would that make you more or less trustworthy? I guess my point is that, while your questions are certainly genuine, and I share them, we must realize the limits of our knowledge. To a certain extent, I think all we can do is watch, support, report and inform, always realizing that some questions can be nothing other than rhetorical.

    I do and It is. And those bravest of souls on the streets are making an educated guess every time they venture forth. Only in this case, coming up smelling like roses means living in freedom and making a terrible mistake means being gang raped in Evin until you bleed to death from a torn rectum. When placed in that context. The educated guess really must be made in the first person. I don't mean to be playing devil’s advocate here. I am not trying to shoot anything you are saying down. I agree with virtually all of it. I only mean to focus attention on the unquestioned evil being perpetrated daily. This does not require an educated guess to see and to know. Trying to know what is going on behind the closed doors of the offices of Tehran and the seminaries of Qum is a little more difficult.

    ROE LASSIE:

    It is interesting. I am in voice com (via a black market satellite phone) with a middle age man in the Chaleh Meydan District. We met some time ago in a business transaction. He was a late teen during the 79 revolution and was a fervent revolutionary. He has moderated his political beliefs somewhat but still cannot envision a political reality in Iran separate from Islam. He fears anarchy and mob rule every bit as much as he fears the government (which he does fear, I assure you). He believes that Allah and The Prophet (PBUH) will cause the clergy to see the evil of the government’s ways. He prays fervently every day that a solution will be found which minimizes bloodshed. He does chant at night, but he does not protest on the street. Last week I asked him why and he said that "A merciful god would only ask a man to stand face to face with an evil dictator once in his life". He has done his bit for the people as he sees it. He distrusts Moussavi somewhat because he was not impressed by his stint in government. He allows that people change, but he is putting more faith in Raf. It is very difficult for a westerner to really, truly understand the mindset of a devout Iranian. A man with a turban commands exponentially more respect simply because of his religious training.

    My second contact is with a 23 year old accountant who is in government. He is more typical of some of the folks who tweet to Josh for the Green Brief (They should build a monument to him in a prominent square in Tehran when this is all over btw). He hates Ahmamadman, and now hates the supreme dipshit as well. This transformation has only occurred over the past two weeks. He was like most folks who simply wanted a change, mostly for economic reasons, but also to loosen the control of the clerics to a certain extent. He didn't start out to bring down the republic. He just wanted an end to the inflation and to be able to attend a house party and do a little dancing without the risk of being publicly strung up by a construction crane for it. That has all changed. He has a 16 year old niece that has been missing for two days now. His family fears the worst and he is becoming more radicalized by the hour. I think at this point that nothing short of total regime change and a separation of church and state would satisfy him. Unlike source #1, he has no faith in Raf whatsoever. However, his take on the speech is that it was the best that Raf could do. He feels that it was a manifesto of support for the people against the regime. Having said that, he wouldn't want Raf to be anywhere near the center of power under a new system. He isn't that thrilled by Moussavi either. There is more faith there, and he certainly voted for him, but my take is that if Moussavi doesn't get a bit more public in his efforts, my friend will find someone else to support.

    RAY MURPHY:

    My sense is that you are correct. I think that one of Raf's goals was to show the people that the Islam part of the Islamic Republic doesn't have to be counter to the goals of the people. we will see if it plays out that way, but old habits die hard and we are talking about an awfully long tradition of religion playing a critical part of people’s lives. Even under the monarchy Islam was the backbone of society.
  27. It does, doesn't it.
    But you yourself are, well, someone who live in the West, or the Gulf, perhaps?
    And if not - and if you think that our views are wrong, and our discussions are without any merit, and we try to "look through the looking glass, dimly" - what is your, (presumably) clear, view on "all of this"?

    Farad

    I have read some views and articles from people living outside of Iran - from the westerners, and from people living the Middle East( non-Iranians ) - majority have the same view as you have. But they have been wrong before. Because a month ago, all of them were saying that Iranians really do like Ahmadi. That majority supports him. They have been wrong for the couple of years, now. I think they (and you) are wrong now.

    I am a simple person - I think the above is a crap. You choose this or that politician and hope that your choice will be correct. That politicians will do what they told you they will do. This is the trust we talk about. The trust you are talking about is not the trust one puts in politician, it is the trust one puts in one commander or one fellow soldier/revolutionary. You are talking about war, but Iranians are not in war with the government - are they?
    And you did not answer the question, did you?
    That is not the point. The point is that religion under first shah (and before) was quietist. Mullahs did not butt into politics, at least not much. Religion gave people directions. But now the politics corrupted majority of the mullahs. They got money, bonyads, factories, land and they use that to wield power. Often to detriment of Iranians.
    Religion will be part of Iranians, but religious persons should not play large role in politics. Because politics and power corrupts, wielding large (political) power corrupts badly.
  28. I do still think the majority supports him. Maybe not as much as we thought, but a good majority. But the elections provided us a good excuse to resist. If we had tried these kinds of demonstrations at any other time, the response would have been a lot more brutal. Same thing with the so-called leaders. Some among us like Mousavi and Kerroubi and some do not. The reality is that the protesters are miles ahead of the leaders, but we can rally under their banner because it provides a level of protection. If they decided to concede tomorrow, we would be at a lot more risk. I am back in the US now and so missed the Tir 18 and this Friday protests. But both my family and my friends who went to the prayers said how they felt much more courageous, motivated and especially safe after Rafsanjani's khutba.

    EXACTLY!
  29. Farad Member

    Yes my friend I think Iran is at war. I do not know if it will be a long war of attrition like the cold war, or if it will be a short, hot and massively violent war, or something in between. As for my political assumptions (I thought they were fairly limited in scope), they may very well be wrong. I do not pretend to have more insight than anyone. I am probably only slightly better informed than the average person living in the west. Certainly I am in no position to dispute whom the people support with anyone. I only know what my two friends tell me, and they are not special people. At least not in the sense that they know more than anyone else in Iran.

    You speak as if you are in Iran. If you are, I pray that you, your family and friends can stay safe Ensha'Allah. And that you gain that which you deserve.
  30. This is a very helpful insight.

    Thanks btw to Farad and the various Unregs this morning for their thoughtful, informative, and courteous posts. Farad, I pray that both your contacts in Iran remain safe.

    As for trust: well, in one respect, Farad, I think you are right that we can never really know most things for sure in this world. In another respect, I think there are some things which are written on our hearts.

    Moreover, are we not given the gifts of observation and of reason which allow us to learn?

    I think, and I could be wrong, that knowing what a man/woman will die for is knowing what you can trust about their words, actions, lives. In other words, what are their core values and how have those values been put to the test?

    I totally agree with you, Farad and some others, that it is the people who demonstrate their greatness by risking their own lives to stand for freedom, however each of them defines that freedom.

    With all the pain that the Iranian people endure on a daily basis, perhaps some sweetness comes by knowing the joys of trust in each other.

    I remember quite some weeks ago, right after the election, reading the words of an Iranian woman. She said that, out there on the street -- holding hands with another -- she finally felt accepted, that she belonged, that she was recognized and loved and that her poverty didn't matter anymore. Nobody cared that her shoes were worn out or that her clothes were in disprepair.
  31. I have been thinking about this disagreement between Fin and yourself today.

    A friend of mine were talking about Paulo Freire, participatory action, and also a world changed by quantum physics.

    Certainly the cell phone coverage of the Iranian uprising of 2009 is a good example of participatory action; that is, it dispels the myth of impartial subject/object, observer/observed journalism.

    Even given this, however, I do believe that certain standards separate a reasonable analysis from a mere polemic. And those standards involve looking at a range of evidence (not just the evidence which supports one point of view); questioning, analysing, being skeptical; respecting the rules of logic; maintaining a friendly environment for dialogue.

    Quantum physics tells us that the observed is changed by the act of being observed. I suspect that Fintan is well aware of this. But I'll let him be the judge. :)

    What are your thoughts on this, Hechicera?
  32. Visionary Member

    Saw this in the VP resignation article earlier in the other thread. Forgot to mention it until now.

    What do you folks make of this?
    Makes me wonder what he's up to.
    Iran vice president resigns under pressure from hard-liners -- chicagotribune.com

    (I didn't post this to discuss the VP here. lol
    I posted it because of the info about Raf.)
  33. Ray Murphy Member

    The V.P. has denied on his website that he has resigned
  34. Visionary Member

    I'm well aware of that. I don't think that necessarily invalidates the unrelated stuff about Rafsanjani though.
  35. Ray Murphy Member

    No of course it doesn't invalidate it. They are unrelated events.
  36. anyupdate on the VP enigma??
  37. Hechicera Member

    Ahh, I think you are requesting a discussion on the intersection of Schrödinger's cat and journalistic ethics? I think an in depth discussion is off-topic for the thread at this point, if you make another thread I'll look for it.

    But for a short answer. Certainly, the presence of a journalistic observer can change events simply by reporting, aka "Is that comment on the record?" can obviously cause the answer given to change, completely without the use of cats. :p The the ethical line between observer and participant in *professional* journalistic standards is an ongoing discussion within the profession.

    I would recommend this book as a starting point in understanding that:

    "Ethics in Journalism", 6th. ed. by Smith, Ron F.

    He is admittedly from a U.S. viewpoint, but prior editions did discuss variation between U.S. and foreign journalistic viewpoints. I've not read the new edition.
  38. Farad Member

    Now that is funny that we somehow got to Schrödinger's cat from Raf's speach. The analogy isn't perfect (asking about on the record vs off is not passive observation as contemplated by Schrödinger), but it is amusing to consider journalists in the context of quantum physics.
  39. Hechicera Member

    It made me laugh when the notion hit me too!

    Yeah, analogy isn't perfect, a better one would have taken a longer set-up, and being so off-topic already ...
  40. Farad and Hechicera: I had a chuckle thinking of Schrodinger's Cat sitting on Fintan's lap as he input his latest blog entry (Fintan, not the cat).

    But you slyly sidestep Paolo Freire my friends. And participatory action, I believe, is not off-topic to this thread. :D

    It is generally very interesting in terms of the citizen cell-phone journalists in Iran and specifically mildly interesting in terms of Fintan (who I think might benefit from coming in from the cold for a bit btw.)

    It is, I agree, a more strained analogy that between quantum physics and the Iran uprisings. But to return to "the observed is changed by the act of observation": certainly Iranians are hoping that their outcome can be changed by a world which is watching. Otherwise they wouldn't have asked us to watch.

    In any case, we are watching. We are retweeting to beat the band and sending videos of Western protests and of music compilations over the www. I wonder if all this observation is softening old A-jad's heart.

    :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    Or making him even more... er... well, words fail me.

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