Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Iran’s Political Turmoil

In a vote, where the will of the people is supposed to prevail, the system of voting is essential to the processes which keep the will of the people in power. Stealing, rigging, or otherwise cheating elections might get someone some temporary power, but in the end the people will have their voices heard.

In the past couple of days, the result of the elections in Iran has been enlightening. But of import is not what’s happening now—which will certainly resolve itself, for good or ill—but in the crackdown on freedoms of speech which occurred prior to the elections. They started by blocking Facebook, only to reinstate it within hours. Then they tried to block SMS messaging (which everyone who texts on their phone should be familiar with). They tried to block (or possibly jam) BBC Persia. People don’t like to be stifled; once they realize that they can be heard, they get a taste for free speech. It’s a bit like offering purified water: everything else is a pale comparison once you taste it.

Democracy itself is the reason for the Iranian turmoil. While we cannot possibly know what Iran is going through without being there, the pictures which have been leaked seem to paint a fairly clear picture of political unrest. The will of the people will be decided. These people appear ready for change. We shall see.

Politicians and activists were arrested. The Basij militia (loyal to the incumbent) fired into a crowd, striking one man in the neck. Protesters attacked a group of militia and set their motorcycles aflame. Eight protesters were killed on June 15th. Molotov cocktails burn in the streets. University dormitories have been raided. The press has been prohibited from leaving their offices, in particular the foreign press. And through it all, civil liberties are suspended or chilled.

This is starting to look more like a civil war than it is anything else. Let’s all pray that it doesn’t come to that.

UPDATE: Special thanks @ernestina@Twitter for the photos:

Protesters are turning out for peaceful protest in the tens of thousands!

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Leaders in Iran BUSTED Photoshopping


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Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your support. Take care, Ernestina