Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Iran, WORLD POLITICS — Rick Moran @ 3:06 pm

That quote, from Andrew Sullivan’s gripping liveblogging of the riots in Tehran speaks volumes.

To a very large degree, the MSM has been left in the dust as far as reporting during this, what now must be termed (though I was reluctant to do so) a revolution in Iran. “The Revolution will be Twittered” is not a joke. Hundreds and hundreds of tweets every couple of minutes are relating a the first draft of history. It’s not newspapers or TV reports - ruthlessly suppressed by the regime - that are informing the world of the chaos, the blood, and the courage of the demonstrators.

It is a silly little social networking app that 1 month ago people were asking how long the Twitter fad might last. I don’t think too many will be wondering whether anything useful can be related in 140 characters anymore. What we’ve discovered is that it is the cumulative effective of the narration that imparts an emotional subtext and gives the reader a psychic connection to the event being twittered.

Sure a lot of the tweets are probably rumor, or perhaps even complete B.S. But have you seen how TV reports a major story lately? Anyone who watched coverage of Katrina can look at what the Iranians are doing with Twitter and other new methods of communication and realize that the MSM Katrina coverage suffers by comparison.

Video is reaching the outside world via YouTube, LiveLeak, and other video outlets. Camera phones seem to be the easiest way to visually relate the horror of the day. The authorities must be going apesh*t. They’ve done all they can to close off communications, even going so far as to censor western news broadcasts out of the country, and the story is still being told - relentlessly, courageously, and emotionally. The regime reminds me of someone trying to plug holes in a dam. Each time they succeed in keeping the water back, another leaks springs up somewhere else.

This is probably not a remarkable turn of events to many younger people. They have grown up with these technologies, use them with a comfort and ease that I envy. But for those of us a little older, this is nothing less than a revolution in communications; easily the equal of the satellite breakthroughs of the early 1960’s. Right before our eyes, we have two forces of history bursting into view - forces that have been roiling beneath the surface of our day to day vision for many years until necessity and opportunity have met in the streets of Tehran and, volcano-like, erupted into view. A new collective way for mankind to communicate and the world-historical impetus that is driving it on - Persians seeking freedom and justice - will be seen in the future as a watershed moment.

Meanwhile, Iran is bleeding. It is night there now. There will apparently be another attempt to gather after dark just as there will be the hated Basij to try and break it up. There will be no official death toll that anyone will believe but it is clear that scores are dead. I fear the night. The regime may use the darkness to teach the reformists an object lesson. This is what the Chinese did in 1989 at Tiananmen Square.

Ed Morrissey has the days events with commentary and video. Just keep scrolling. Ed has several graphic videos of the dead as well as snippets of the response to the crackdown.

As expected, as the violence has escalated, so has the rhetoric from the White House:

The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.

As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.

Martin Luther King once said - “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.

I think the non-violent tactics of King worked because of the times in which he lived and the nation he was trying to reform. As brutal as the southern authorities were on King and his followers, their ruthlessness pales in comparison to the determination of the Iranian regime to stamp out the prairie fire that is actually being stoked by their own callous stupidity towards their own people. The moral courage being demonstrated by those in the streets is to be admired. But it is their physical courage - their acceptance of the risk of death - that is important now.

The Iranians don’t need a Martin Luther King right now. They need a George Washington who can win a revolution. It won’t necessarily be with guns that victory will be achieved. But even if the regime succeeds here in stamping out the reform movement, things will never be the same in Iran and the day will come - as it does for all tyrants and tyrannical regimes eventually - when the walls come a tumbalin’ down and the natural state of being that all men are born into reasserts itself and victory is achieved. People are born free. No tyrant anywhere can take that away from us. It is our heritage as human beings and our right. And whether you speak Arabic, Kurdish, Turkomen, Farsi, or any other language where dictators suppress the will of the people, the Iranians have put them on notice that their days are numbered.


  1. They may abandon non-violence later but I think it was a very good move for them to be seen using it to begin with.

    Comment by getreal — 6/20/2009 @ 4:15 pm

  2. Well stated Rick….especially the final paragraph.

    Comment by Ad rem — 6/20/2009 @ 6:53 pm

  3. I’d like to think I’d be out on the streets with them. But man, I don’t know. That has to be a gut-check moment and you can’t praise these demonstrators enough for stepping into those streets.

    I’ll say this, though: I hope we don’t ever have to fight these people. I like them and I respect them. They’d make good allies and tough enemies.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 6/20/2009 @ 11:24 pm

  4. “People are born free”

    But, even when or if it happens for the good over there how will the women be treated?
    Some things may never change in that part of the world.

    This is going/has gotten ugly and by the looks of things this morning, achmanutterbutter is growing impatient.

    Comment by ajmontana — 6/21/2009 @ 4:17 am

  5. The patriotic thing to do to complement the strategy of POTUS Obama is to criticise him vigorously. If, we all sit here and say that Obama shouldn’t meddle, anything little that even vaguely approaches meddling will be denounced by the Mullahs as meddling, so we have to back up Obama stand of “hands off” by making it look credible that he is vigorously “doing nothing” by calling him an idiot for not doing more .. often.
    It also gives us cred if the protesters should prevail.

    Obama is an idiot” … and it’s the patriotic thing to do.

    Comment by Neo — 6/21/2009 @ 4:36 pm

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