Live blog sites 4 Iran events

Regarding the intensifying “controversy” {e.g. “rioting, unrest, civil protest, hooliganism, or (in A/N’s terms) “traffic violations” — take your pick} about the Iranian Presidential election results (and whether or not there’s been massive fraud or even a coup within the system), two valuable live blogs for following events:
1. from the Huffington Post
2. from National Iranian American Council (hardly a site pre-disposed to be ideological one way or the other)
Note especially the videos in the live blogs, and the calls for marches tomorrow (all over the country) and for a national strike on Tuesday. We shall see.
If jwn readers have other sites to help us discern events, (in english or persian), please post. Thanks!
I admit to being puzzled by the suggestion that an esteemed veteran journalist (Robert Fisk -who yes has long covered the Islamic Republic – among other things) who is now in one Iranian city on a short term visa, who can quote one friend “who has never lied to him” to the effect that “Ahmadinejad really won,” has more credibility than those of us who have studied Iran long and hard and who are monitoring the process from say, Michigan or Virginia. Maybe. Yet it’s not even clear if Fisk believes him.
Happens that I received a message from an ordinarily very cautious friend (a professional who has served the regime for nearly its entire existence), who is of the view that the election results are a clear “fabrication.” And golly, I also used to have “Persian only dinner” with him too (several as I recall) — in Tehran, in private. And as far as I know, he’s never lied to me either. :-}
Much still to sort out among fellow bloviators. I will reflect more on my own Thursday post later tonight. Advance hints: the genie unleashed in the past few weeks cannot be readily stuffed back into the bottle; the political fissures opened up will not be easily swept under the carpet.

53 thoughts on “Live blog sites 4 Iran events”

  1. thanks Craig. I am particularly struck that we’re getting video feeds of protests and unrest from all over the country…. (with recognizable landmarks too — like the protests in Ahvaz)
    Here’s one noteworthy video clip (3 minutes) — that encapsulates/hints at volumes… mass protest, wild-eyed batton weilding riot guys, counter-surge, — then wow, watch what happens at the ending:
    Maybe just one episode….
    and then there is the allahu akbar chants from the rooftops… all across the city.
    Deja vu?

  2. For what it is worth, there is an opinion piece in the WAPO by a couple who claim to have done independent preelection polling in Iran which was totally consistent with the official election results for Ahmedinijad, even though the respondents opposed the hardliners policies. (Wasn’t George W actually elected, at least in 2004?)
    Normally, I would hesitate to call the WAPO a reliable source of middle east news or information.

  3. about that poll…. I’ll restrain myself — that poll was taken perhaps a month before the elections — and polling is notoriously unreliable in Iran. In my post last Thursday, I specifically did NOT mention polls — as there were mulitple polls suggesting quite different things… Of course Flynt Leverett also has his name on this poll….)
    about the condescending swipes about being “wild eyed,” yes, I should just close my eyes, or do what a Tehran U. friend of mine suggests, “lower them.” (e.g. “eyedropping” — and look the other way)
    The indications of fraud are so…. um…. problematic. The fact that Karrubi (who has his own not insignificant base of support) came in fifth in a field of four (after invalidated votes) ought to…. um… raise eyebrows. (oh, but let’s keep our eyes down)

  4. A European website reports that Mir-Hissein Moussavi Prime Minister of Iran during the Reagan/Iran-Contra days maintained a “very close” relationship with Michael Ledeen and had contacts with the Mossad.
    One can conjecture as to the amount of dollars parlayed in Tehran in comparison to the amount spent prior to the Lebanese election. As the French are wont of saying, ” the more things change the more they are the same”.

  5. say omop, what web site would that be? Can you give us a characterization of their general “bent?” To say that Musavi is associated with Ledeen (Mr. “faster please”) and Mossad of course would be tantamount to treason to the IRI. I can’t imagine even A/N would lobb that sort of charge.

  6. Since that survey was mentioned above, here’s Juan’s measured reponse: (noting that even by the poll’s own numbers, a quarter of the respondents were undecided)
    So much about that poll didn’t add up when I first saw it — and for its authors now to be using it to suggest that A/N really might have had a two-third’s victory is… special
    (more “eye-dropping”)

  7. say scott h. unless you are fluent in italian better translate this link:
    Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s Iran/Contra Connection?Reza Fiyouzat, Revolutionary Flowerpot SocietyJune 8, 2009What do Michael Ledeen (the American ‘ne

  8. I’ve just been watching two demonstrations in Tehran, on TV here in Johannesburg.
    The Mousavi one was in cars!
    The Ahmedi one was on foot. And a lot bigger.
    I have never seen a grass-roots demo in cars before.

  9. Correction. I have seen a demo in cars on TV before, although not exactly grass-roots. It was Lebanon. Lots of sports cars and pretty girls in smart casuals.

  10. Biggish demo, Azazel. Mousavi appears, standing on a car or a truck, right in the middle of it at around eleven o’clock today, with what looks like very little security. Do you think a colour job is on? What is the colour? I must say that as a South African, it looks from your photos as if the colour is white. It’s hard for me to sense what the vibe is like. What it makes me think of is the campaign for the “Common Market” (now EU) referendum in Britain, long ago when I was campaigning against it (My side lost). The passionate desire of the middle classes for homogeneous mediocrity. Am I wrong?

  11. Cars is old news – the Mousavi demonstrators changed to cars a couple of days ago
    to make it harder for the security forces to beat them up.

  12. I don’t find the absence of major security very significant. Mousavi is facing only one threat, and it isn’t one that a few security men can deter. If Khamenei wants to get Mousavi then he will – no two ways around it.
    In terms of the color at issue, I think your South African experience may be betraying you. Iranian politics, as I understand it, is not racialized: while there is ethnic tension, it isn’t based on skin color, and wealth doesn’t correlate with whiteness. In any event the people in photos like this one, at least to my untrained eye, don’t look any more or less white than other typical Iranians.
    As for what the protesters want, I’d guess that it runs more to not having their votes stolen and not being shot or beaten by paramilitary thugs than “homogeneous mediocrity.” Those Tehranis are risking their lives, which usually signals a matter of more importance than whether to make economic arrangements with one’s neighbor. If I recall correctly, you’ve stood up for your and others’ freedom at considerable risk to yourself: don’t you recognize kindred spirits when you see them?

  13. thank you azazel…. that’s in a nutshell what puzzles me about so many of my friends on the left who I otherwise greatly admire who cannot see this…. who buy the… view that Iran’s protests are simply by “north tehranis” (a vapid, ridiculous phrase)
    Why can’t they see what this is about — that people who know damn well what they voted for was stolen from them…. and that’s precisely why they are willing to risk it all (and at least six already have) to stand up and demand….
    a change.
    the MILLIONS who were out protesting today, all across the country are coming from all strata — from ALL walks of life, even from tiny villages in Fars Province….
    And no, this has not been a match between educated vs. the poor and a populist champion, nor has this been simply between Rafsajani & A/N.
    No, this is a split that goes to the CORE of the current revolutionary elite….
    it won’t be easily papered over
    I only pray this doesn’t end in mass bloodshed.

  14. Scott, I’m afraid that people on the left are not immune to stereotypical thinking. How many caricatured views of Israel and Israelis have been expressed in this space?
    In the Iranian case, I think the problem is with people who (1) see the world in the binary terms of imperialism versus resistance; (2) identify Ahmadinejad with the latter; and (3) can’t imagine a mass movement against someone who they view as a resistance figure. Thus, they must construct the Iranian uprising as an elite, and likely foreign-managed, phenomenon.
    This is actually quite similar to some of the thinking on the opposite side of the spectrum, which divides the world into freedom (personified by the West) and tyranny (all that is non-Western), and thus can’t get its head around the fact that groups like Hezbollah have organic support. When I hear someone characterize the Iranian protests as a North Tehrani “color revolution,” I hear echoes of those who describe Hezbollah entirely as a foreign proxy and ignore the fact that it gives clout and representation to its Shi’ite constituents. No wonder Domza and Norman Podhoretz seem to be on the same side of this one.
    In the event, elite protest movements have existed – for instance, EDSA II in the Philippines (where maids bringing protesters their lunch was not an uncommon sight) or some of the recent protests in Thailand. They tend to have elements that are not shared by the protests in Tehran. For instance, they are usually not responses to oppression or betrayal of democracy, but instead arise from political feuds within the ruling class and/or elite opposition to the policies of legitimately elected governments. Also, the protesters generally take little or no personal risk, because the security forces and traditional institutions are often covertly on their side. To compare the Iranian protesters to the anti-populists of Bangkok is an insult.
    Laura Secor (via Sullivan) has a nice putdown of this “north Tehrani” nonsense. I’d recommend it to Domza, but I don’t think he’d be impressed.

  15. I am thrilled that AHmadeinjad won. There is no evidence for corruption, and the vast majority of the Iranian population stands behind his plan of providing a final solution to the zionist problem. It is good that Moussavi is no longer around to distract. Nuke Israel now

  16. I don’t know about personally taking chances, whether in the past or present. That’s not the point, Azazel.
    True, I was referring to the risk factor when I noted that Mousavi had no obvious security. You thought I meant that there were no police around. In fact, there were no police visible in that shot, and yours is also a good observation.
    But that was not what I meant, exactly, Azazel. When I said he had no security I meant that Mousavi had no obvious bodyguards. After the South African national elections that concluded in April, the sight of a national figure on a platform in the middle of a huge crowd, but without any bodyguards, is very striking to me. It tells me straight away that the intensity is still higher here in SA than in a place like Tehran.
    But demos the world over are usually peaceful. You should know that. Demos are the mass medium of those who think they don’t have one. They communicate among the masses and from the masses. This one in Tehran yesterday was extremely bland. Only in numbers was it at all impressive. In South Africa people dance, sing and self-choreograph. The dances and songs change all the time, with new ones often composed for the occasion. They WEAR (usually red). Sometimes there are placards, but always there are banners. In Tehran on the other hand it is hard to see what they are getting at. In Tehran they look like a medium without a message. This 15 June Tehran demo is very middle class in that regard, is my conclusion, based on experience.
    Today is Youth Day, the anniversary of the Soweto uprising of 1976 among others, a public holiday in South Africa, for your information.

  17. Azazel – thanks for that link – Laura Secor gives the most convincing evidence yet that the election result was cooked up.
    “I was in Iran for the 2005 presidential election, the 2006 election for the Assembly of Experts and city councils, and the 2008 parliamentary elections. Nowhere did I see any kind of balloting other than old-fashioned paper…
    … The results were tabulated by hand, and, therefore, never released less than twenty-four hours after the polls closed.
    In 2005, the second-round results were issued in the wee hours of the second day after the voting.
    They were delivered by announcement outside the interior ministry, where die-hard political junkies and journalists had gathered since midday Saturday to await news.
    This time, the regime’s television station called Ahmadenijad the winner at 1:30 A.M. Saturday morning, only ninety minutes after the last polls closed, and the proportions had barely changed when the official announcement came nine-and-half hours later. How, exactly, did the government manage to tabulate the results so quickly?”
    and later …
    “Those who wish to argue that Western reporters, in their narcissism, have simply overlooked the widespread enthusiasm for the incumbent, need to explain the outcome of the the 2008 parliamentary elections, which were carried by conservatives who were fiercely critical of Ahmadinejad’s economic policies and worked hard to distance themselves from him.
    These were elections that did not even include any reformist candidates, let alone lure a large North Tehrani vote.”
    I’d forgotten about the 08 parliamentary elections where that had been such a big vote against Ahmadinjad’s economic policies. It’s sure not looking good for the government.

  18. Another question that arises is: How were people organised to come out at short notice in Tehran on 15 June 2009, a working day, a Monday morning in particular? Was it a one-day strike? Does anybody lose a day’s pay? Who organised it? Was it the employers who organised it? I would say that, prima facie, that is very likely to be the case that the employers organised it. They have the means of communication to co-ordinate such a thing quickly. The city’s clerks came in on Monday and were told by their employers to go out to demonstrate . The fact that there are no banners or any other insignia, and that not even as much as a flyer can be seen, is evidence for this.
    Most likely Mousavi’s electoral infrastructure consisted, in the same way, of business communications adapted for the purpose. That’s what it looks like from here.

  19. “How were people organised to come out at short notice in Tehran on 15 June 2009, a working day, a Monday morning in particular? Was it a one-day strike? Does anybody lose a day’s pay? Who organised it? ”
    No mystery – all answers publicly available.
    The demo was at 4 – 5 pm. People only started gathering in numbers then.
    How was it organised? Mrs Masouvi gave a speech somewhere – at the university I think – at which day and time was announced. Information is being spread via sms, twitter, mobile phones, emails and postings on websites, various and different methods used to overcome slow downloads to cutoffs etc.
    Dom you would know all this if you’d been following it on the web. One can read the tweets at Twitter. Google iraqelection. Check out daily dish, Huff Post. You’ll get it all there.
    btw – you should check out the You Tube video where the orange clad Tehran garbage collectors join the demo.

  20. Let’s be fair and not exclude one option. Namely that in some way the Americans and maybe Europeans too have agreed with the Iran Opposition leaders not to say anything in public, so as to deny the regime the propaganda momentum of saying that the Wicked West is fomenting anti-Iranian spies and disarray.

    This is what happened in the historic Serbia election of 2000. As a matter of deliberate policy the Americans did not come out publicly in favour of Kostunica against Milosevic. Instead they whistled nonchalantly and looked the other way, while quietly throwing technical and other support to the anti-Milosevic organisations.

    This crafty silence led to a good outcome for Western policy, viz the giddy collapse of support for Milosevic, precisely because the whole campaign against him was not ‘internationalised’ – Serbs could think of it as a purely home-grown revolution.

    Charles Crawford retired from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the end of 2007 after nearly three decades in the UK’s Diplomatic Service, most of it spent serving in or dealing with communist and post-communist Europe.
    His first job on joining the FCO in 1979 was to head the Indonesia Section, followed by his first posting, to communist post-Tito Yugoslavia. He returned to London in 1984 and after a year on the Aviation Desk was appointed FCO Speech-writer. He was posted to South Africa in 1987 as part of the Embassy team led by Ambassador Robin Renwick working to end apartheid.

  21. Hi BB
    It seems that with so many sources, still nothing changes. People continue to choose their facts to fit their arguments, and now they have even more choice of suitable facts for the purpose.
    That is why I followed the links that Azazel showed me, so that I could use the sources that he had chosen, and thereby possibly cut out half the disagreements. If you were to follow those links, and go back to yesterday, you would see photos of a big demo at c. 10h30 on Monday morning, described at that stage as being “as far as the eye can see”. By c. 11h00 you get the photo of Mousavi on top of a car or truck, in the middle of the crowd, with no bodyguards or public-address system, being greeted with a semi-nazi or semi-ancient-Roman style of arm-in-the-air salute.
    Your version is different. You say that the demo was organised for the evening, on a weekday. Then whose demo was going on in the morning, in working hours?
    You see, this is another reason why I say the actual election poll is so crucial. These Tehran demos are if anything obscuring the election, and not restoring it. I think this is the intention of these demos, namely to expunge the memory of the election that was won by Ahmedinejad from the political present, and to create new “facts on the ground”.

  22. Is that what’s going on? Are they grasping? Not waving but grasping?
    I suppose grasping is a good symbol for a bourgeois and salariat mass movement.
    I had begun to wonder if it was the Vulcan salute they were doing. But grasping does seem to fit.
    Obviously that is what they are doing. They are grasping.
    What’s the slogan? All power to the graspers?

  23. Domza, I’m not sure where you got your idea of the timing of yesterday’s demo. The rally was scheduled for 16h00 and 100,000 to 200,000 people had arrived by that time, with many more arriving throughout the evening. Mousavi’s speech took place an hour or two later. The shootings took place at about 21h00 or 21h30 when people were getting ready to go home. There were several web sites covering the events in real time and they all agreed on the sequence of events.
    I would guess, although I can’t be certain, that many of the protesters came over after work. Others may have been getting an early start on the general strike called for today. And while I’m sure that many employers were there – somewhere between 5 and 20 percent of adult Tehranis were present, so I’d be very surprised if the employers were left out – the organizing messages weren’t coming from that quarter, and there were no mentions of a paid holiday for all.
    And as BB points out, the Tehrani garbage men were there, and I doubt very much that their presence was sanctioned by their employer.
    As for how it was organized, BB got it right: twitter, cell phones and word of mouth. Most Tehranis – most Iranians in fact – have cell phones, and the government’s jamming has been intermittent. This kind of viral organizing can work very quickly, and the Tehran demos would not be the first time it has done so. Indeed, Ahmedi’s people are attempting to do the same thing today by holding an impromptu rally at Vali Asr two hours before Mousavi’s. The speed with which the demo was put together proves nothing.
    Intensity: different cultures express it in different ways. Iranians are not South Africans and don’t express their passions in the same manner. In the event, if you’ve seen the videos of people shouting “Allahu Akbar” from the Tehrani rooftops, you would have no doubt about the intensity of the mood.
    This is not an elite movement. This is not a repeat of EDSA II. The Iranians, who know their own history best, are comparing it to the popular movement that overthrew the Shah, who you rightly called a monster on another thread. Now that the government that replaced the Shah has itself become a monster, its hour may also have come.

  24. You referred me to a 3:39 ET entry, Azazel, but I scrolled down and got this:
    10:36 AM ET — As far as the eye can see.
    From Twitter:
    @persiankiwi Tehran streets are a sea of GREEN – many many hundreds of thousands. … Militia still attacking people in sidestreets but main roads are peaceful marchers.”
    And earlier:
    9:58 AM ET — Pro-reform marchers “fill the streets.” The latest:
    Tens of thousands of supporters of pro-reform leader Mir Hossein Mousavi are streaming through the center of Tehran in a boisterous protest against election results that declared President Mamoud Ahmadinejad the winner.
    If you want to organise a strike from the working-class side, Azazel, against unemployment, say, or high food and energy prices, you have to be careful that it is legal and protected, so people are not going to be sacked, and you have to canvass it with the masses, who will lose money and have to turn out on schedule in regalia and not go shopping or watch TV all day. All this takes a lot of time. This is not the same as the mobilisation on the day by SMS or twitter or cell phone. I still think that it looks as if the employers of Tehran gave everyone the day off on Monday. That is the only way to get the appearance of an instant general strike, and it will still look like an unfocused stroll, signifying nothing, as this one did. As for the waged working class being there, a few municipal garbos do not make a proletarian summer.

  25. Domza, I can’t figure your drift out. What are you trying to suggest? MILLIONS of Iranians poured into the streets yesterday and all over the country, perhaps dozens died, and you’re wondering gee, who organized it, or if employers gave people the day off?
    And why the heck would you characterize it as “signifying nothing?”
    These protests transpired nationwide, across class and ethnic and regional lines, across rural and urban divides, from Tabriz to Ahvaz to Mashad to tiny villages outside Shiraz,….
    and already, the Leader and now the Guardian Council have moved…. not enough for the protesters, but they have indeed already moved….
    This is stunning and momentous, nothing like it since 1979…. severe cracks were already evident among the ruling elite long before this election cylce — they’ve now come to the surface.
    No, I don’t know how this will end. But I do know this is momentous — that it profoundly MATTERS. (to all Iranians)

  26. Hi Scott,
    You don’t know how it’s supposed to end and nor does anybody else. There’s a word for that, and the word is: pointless.
    An organised protest has a conscious aim. An election is a deliberate act, both individually and collectively. This is neither one nor the other. This is neither fish nor fowl.
    An aimless midsummer jive in these circumstances is deadly dangerous. You didn’t make it happen but if you had, then I would call you criminally irresponsible.
    This is an air-headed colour job, par excellance. Nobody knows what’s going on. This is post-modernist nonsense, except for the provocateurs who have malice aforethought and the opportunists who will make a grab for the steering wheel pretty damn soon now, unless the whole fandangle has run out of steam.
    By the way, that’s the first I’m hearing about anything outside Tehran.

  27. Domza, Tehran local time is eight and a half hours ahead of Eastern time. The 10:36 a.m. ET entry was 19h06 local time and the 9:58 a.m. ET entry was 18h28 local time. The entry labeled “the rally is on,” marking the beginning of the protest was time stamped 8:14 a.m. ET, or 16h44 local time. Even granting some time lag between the taking of the original photos and their posting online, the rally happened after work.
    (For reference, since the Huffington Post thread now shows only today’s entries, the posts under discussion are archived here).

  28. In any event, Domza, let me see if I have your position straight. Unless I mistake you – in which case I’m happy to be corrected – your argument is “even though (1) there is no empirical evidence of employer collusion, (2) none of the organizing messages, many of which remain archived on twitter, mentioned a free holiday, and (3) the demo took place after work, it must have been arranged by the employers, because there’s no other possibility that fits your world-view.” Isn’t this exactly the kind of thinking you were criticizing on the previous thread, on the part of the people claiming the election was stolen?
    Regarding your substantive points, I’ve already mentioned the difference between Tehran time and Eastern time. Second, what makes you think that the protesters don’t have a conscious aim? This list of demands has been reported by several sources. And third, if this is the first you’ve heard of protests outside Tehran, it’s because you haven’t been looking – all the sites reporting on this in real-time have mentioned the disturbances in other cities.
    Is it possible, Domza, that you’re simply seeing what you want to see? I’ve recognized that possibility in myself and am trying to filter for it, although the task is difficult. Have you even made the attempt to filter out your ideology and listen to what the actual Iranians are saying?

  29. So, 3:30 Eastern Time would be nearly midnight? I will await better info on Monday’s demo’s timing. A photo does not necessarily correspond to the blog entry in time.
    Otherwise, I’ve already said that I want to see what you are seeing, and then make my own judgement of what you are seeing. I am not trawling the Internet. I expect you to have the strongest evidence for your case. I don’t have to look for evidence for the case for Ahmedinejad’s victory because there is a lot of it already here, on JWN. Maybe you have not noticed it?
    What I can bring is experience of organising demos. In that regard, your list of demands is absolutely pathetic. Who produced it? Who supports it? Where and when and to whom is it going to be presented? It doesn’t say any of these essential things.
    There is no such thing as government by crowd, or even crowd by crowd. It is easy to see that there is zero structure in the Mousavi camp. The back-of-an-envelope list of demands that you have is only a wish to promote certain people to certain existing positions. It talks of a new constitution but it does not advocate any particular kind of new constitution. You cannot woo a nation with a pig in a poke, or a nudge and a wink.
    You have no theory of the state. You have no political economy. You have no strategy and no tactics. Your shopping list is not the April Theses, for sure. It ought to have a point eight that says: “Er… that’s it.” It’s baby-talk.
    If that is the quality of its fundamental document, then it looks like this particular colour revo is a dead duck. I am cheered up. Thanks, Azazel.

  30. Domza, I have read the evidence in Ahmedinejad’s favor posted on this blog and elsewhere. I have made an effort to look for and peruse the arguments in his favor as part of the process of controlling for my ideological biases. I have read your defense of Ahmedinejad’s victory, which basically amounted to “because the government said so.” I have also read the rebuttals to that evidence, many of which have also been linked here and which I find a great deal more convincing.
    Your demand that I point you to every source I am relying on is not reasonable. If you are going to take a position in a debate, it is incumbent upon you to familiarize yourself with the evidence and arguments used by the other side, especially where, as here, they are trivially easy to find. If, as you claim, you aren’t even looking – if, for instance, you were actually surprised by the news that demonstrations were taking place in cities other than Tehran – they you aren’t seriously arguing, you’re just giving vent to your ideological prejudices. It has to be a foreign plot, a “colour job,” a Gucci revolution, because nothing else will fit your theories.
    Given that, I have a distinct feeling that we’re talking past each other. But I’ll suggest that, as someone who is experienced in organizing demos, you must know that movements can take some time to develop their principles. Until last Friday, the people in Mousavi’s camp supported his campaign platform, which had well-developed stances on the issues. Since then, they have been reacting to events, and it obviously will take some time to realign their positions and demands, especially since the government is doing the best it can to disrupt any centralized leadership. Moreover, the groups now coalescing as the opposition come from many different ideological backgrounds and a unity platform cannot develop overnight. I expect that yesterday’s list of demands was a first draft and that, unless the government heads things off at the pass by ordering either a revote or a massacre, much more detailed lists will be circulating before the week is out. The people in the streets are millions: I would not be so quick to dismiss them.

  31. It’s not the government that announces election results in our country (South Africa). It is the Independent Electoral Commission. If candidates have problems with any results, there are processes that are agreed beforehand.
    Nobody, not you or anybody else, has reported Mousavi making anything like a specific allegation to the Iranian equivalent of the IEC, but only a general one of, as I have put it before: “We wuz robbed!”. In my book that puts Mousavi in breach of the electoral process in spirit and most likely in law, too. You go into an election in good faith and you don’t throw your toys out of the cot if you lose. Your observers are at all the counts. If you have something to say, say it. The process is there and the remedies are there.
    You are now talking about how long it takes to develop a platform. I agree, and that is exactly what I have been saying. You talk of “groups”. Who are they? You say there have been millions on the streets, but whose millions? Ahmedinejad’s supporters are also rallying in huge numbers. Somebody, either Scott or yourself, said that there was going to be a general strike in Iran today (Tuesday). It didn’t happen, did it? Instead, there was a rally in the dreaded Gucci belt of North Tehran, wasn’t there? That looks like a retreat to me.
    I think your colour-coded goose is cooked, Azazel.

  32. Reporting is spotty due to the government restricting journalists to barracks, but the Times of London is saying that the strike did happen. So is the National Iranian American Council (10:38 a.m. entry), which is collecting twitter feeds from Iran.
    And Domza, it’s a lot more than “we wuz robbed.” For pete’s sake, multiple witnesses with Interior Ministry IDs are confirming the rigging! The head of the national electoral commission has called for a do-over! (I’ll post the links separately in order not to run afoul of Helena’s spam filter.)
    For that matter, is violent suppression by paramilitary groups – a panic reaction if I ever saw one – the act of a government secure in its electoral victory and popular support?
    Keep ’em coming, Domza. All you’re showing is the size of your ideological blinkers.

  33. Azazel, thanks for trying. I share your diagnosis. I’m also eager to see your extra links…. (if you hit too many links, I’ll let them in — as you obviously have caught some things I hadn’t even heard…. a smoking gun from within the interior ministry? Wow, gotta see that)
    I have been reading and personally receiving extraordinary reports from all over Iran…. suggesting that the entire country is in turmoil, that it’s gone paralyzed…. from the Caspian sea to the Persian Gulf, from the heartland in Fars to the outer reaches of Kurdish and Azeri provinces.
    Domza is indeed operating from a different prism that has no room to consider any widely known facts and issues.
    Iranians aren’t just little sheep waiting for someone to tell them what to protest for and against…. The protests were catalyzed by something that millions felt was wrong and needed to be challenged.
    Now it happens that several players, beginning with Musavi & Khatami, are available to give it voice — and their own sophisticated campaign apparatus is no doubt behind much of the efforts to channel the discontent — and in the case of today, their signals may have avoided a clash with a counter rally of A/N supporters….
    Nothing mysterious about that; no need to import in a category of analysis that might work elsewhere, but seems anything but helpful here.

  34. Ummm… azazel, could you help us with two of the links you already posted?
    the first one goes to a three day old link from the NIAC web site — and yes, I’d heard about those interior ministry employees — but nothing more since….
    (there’s also a Stratfor whopper on the same page claiming that Rafsanjani had resigned from the Expedience Council — classic stratfor unreliability exposed yet again)
    As for the statement of the electoral monitoring commission, on a web site I don’t recognize as yet, have you seen this anywhere else? Have you seen this claim in translation as yet?

  35. to clarify the question, I also am not so sure of the second claim, as it too is 3 days old (from Andrew Sullivan’s web site…) — it in turn claims a web site I don’t recognize….
    If you’ve seen more on these claims since saturday, please post. thanks

  36. Scott, I’m certainly not arguing for the credibility of Stratfor! However, the NIAC link leads to a report from the Farsi site, which has been around for several years and is a serious news outlet. I think it’s at least provisionally credible.
    Here is another article, this one two days old, in which the author spoke to someone who showed him an Interior Ministry ID and confirmed rigging of the elections. I haven’t seen any independent confirmation since, particularly since the employees in question have very good reason to lay low.
    The link for the Electoral Commission president’s statement leads to Mousavi’s site. Obviously he is an interested party, but he is also the one with an incentive to collect this evidence. Given that Domza accused Mousavi of not collecting any evidence and simply saying “we wuz robbed,” it’s significant that he clearly is gathering testimonies and getting the specifics.
    I would not call any of this a smoking gun. It is, however, evidence, which in combination with the other evidence emerging from various sources (e.g., some of 538’s statistical analyses), points strongly to a conclusion that the numbers were cooked.
    And no, Iranians are not sheep. They are a proud, ancient people with a strong desire for freedom, and they are proving that they will risk their lives to get it.

  37. Your links go to partisan blogs that say the election has been declared invalid, something that is not confirmed anywhere, not even by the outrageously partisan BBC TV that I have just been watching.
    Such a declaration would be a crime in the absence of any recounts, and it would be a huge crisis for democracy in Iran and in the world. There is no basis for an overall recount. The electoral commission has declared its willingness to do recounts if necessary, as they must in any case, if reasonably requested to do so and in terms of electoral law.
    In a paper ballot, the results are counted on the spot, in thousands of locations. For an overall fix, there has to be collusion of probably hundreds of thousands of people, including the agents of the complaining party. What is being alleged by yourself, with no details given, is something extraordinarily unlikely. It’s time you admitted that, Azazel. You have not made your claims plausible in any way.
    Now there are US objections to any recounts. These US sources have even condemned recounts as fraudulent before they have taken place. The US is shameless. Embarrassingly so.
    The problem for Mousavi is that he has gone so hyperbolic that for him to call for a recount now in any single polling station in the normal way becomes a retreat from the sublime to the gorblimey. But, every day that passes makes each single objection subject to the question, why didn’t you put your hand up earlier?
    The undoubted fact is that there is nowhere that Mousavi can make an objection and make it stick.
    The colour-coded goose is cooked, Azazel.

  38. “Your links go to partisan blogs”
    As opposed to the people supporting the election results, who are completely nonpartisan and objective? Come on, Domza, there’s no such thing as an impartial source in a situation like this. Everyone has an ax to grind, even if only ideological.
    Also, in Iran, the ballot boxes are not counted in situ. They are brought to centralized counting locations (source: Fars News, 12 June 2009) and there are firsthand reports that some arrived with seals broken (10:59 update). Moreover, Mousavi’s partisans were kept out of the counting centers. Your claim that any rigging of the election would require Mousavi’s connivance, and that of hundreds of thousands of others, does not hold water. Given the centralized counting system, it can be done on a much smaller scale and need not involve members of the opposition.
    I also notice that you’ve been subtly changing your arguments – instead of “bourgeois demonstrators in cars” it’s now “undisciplined protesters without clear demands” and instead of “Mousavi isn’t citing any evidence” it’s now “his evidence is not credible.” Obviously there’s nothing wrong with changing your mind in response to new information, but nowhere have you acknowledged that your previous beliefs were wrong or incomplete. It’s those ideological blinders again, I fear.

  39. I have been asking for information all along. You gave me some. But I have not said anything different about Mousavi. I am saying that to my knowledge he has not lodged any complaint with the electoral commission. Others have said the same.
    I did say that the longer he waits, the less credible will be his complaints when they come. He has made a problem for himself by making the huge claim of gross overall fraud, without evidence. He has painted himself into a colour-coded corner.
    Allegations of unsealed ballot boxes being moved around in cars is the kind of thing one expects to hear in support of claims of electoral fraud, but it is of no use if it is from somebody’s unidentified friend.
    Put up or shut up is the rule.

  40. “put up or shut up?” wow, sounds like A/N speak, the language of the baseej — and way beyond jwn netiquette. Oh well; thankfully,
    In the category of evidence, my friend Eric Hooglund just published this essay, drawing from his 3+ decades of experience tracking rural Iran developments. (and having known Eric for over 2 of those decades, I can vouch for his skills and contacts. I met one of them recently in scandanavia)

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