Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Revolution in Iran IS BEING Televised and T-T-t-t-w …


The social networking site of much that is trivial and mundane on the internets has also become the most galvanizing tool of popular insurgencies and grass roots underground political movements EVER.

The reasons are clear: Twitter promotes the two “Ps” –- presence and participation -– as one blogger noted, like no other technological tool currently available to a networked population. It has enabled instant (and archived) communications, as the Iranian government shuts down the traditional means of communication, such as cell phone networks. Critical information tweets have continually fueled the organization and mobilization of the networked masses in anti-government protests.

Television, cell phone services, satellite communications -– yesterday’s technology -– are easier for the repressive Iranian regime to shut down, jam, censor, and control. But Iran’s traditional information blackout has had limited capacity to control the information flowing out of the country from tweets, Facebook, blogs, and YouTube postings. The ruling mullahs have been playing a losing whack-a-mole game with the protesters. No sooner do they suppress dissent in one area, that it pops up in another, and another, and another.

With the foreign media banned in Iran and ordered out of the country, and the local media, such as it is, acting as an instrument of state control and censorship, the message is getting out through thousands of citizen journalists. Young Iranians, educated university students, are at the forefront of this revolution. In this respect, at least, they are direct descendants of just about every revolutionary movement in history. The university in repressive societies has frequently been the town square, the focal point of revolution. But the advent of Twitter brings a new dimension to this common narrative of struggle. it's not so easy for repressive regimes to shut down the universities, identify the student leaders, and jail or make them "disappear."

In a remarkable admission of Twitter’s critical role as enabler of Iran’s popular revolt against its fixed election, the State Department requested that Twitter delay its scheduled maintenance until off hours in Iran, so that critical communications among insurgents would not be interrupted.

No one can predict with any certainty what will happen in Iran in the days, weeks, and months ahead. The Iranian ruling clerics have lost all legitimacy. Their options for state control are limited and point almost exclusively to a severe crackdown and dictatorial control of the population with the strong-arm backing of the Revolutionary Guard. The military, analysts note, are the real power behind the clerics and their puppet Ahmadinejad.

President Obama has taken the correct position. Expressing his concern over events in Iran, and his solidarity with the Iranian people, the President has studiously refused to take the bait of his strident, reactionary critics, Gramps "bomb-bomb Iran" McCain, Congressmen Cantor and Pence, and "Pal Joey" Lieberman. These imbeciles, and I do not lightly use this term, are criticizing the President for not standing with the protesters and against Iran's ruling clerics.

President Obama is absolutely correct in stating that the United States should not be "meddling" in Iran's elections. Considering our shared, chekered history, that's a no-brainer.

Anyone who knows the recent history of Iran, dating to the CIA-backed coup which deposed a democratically elected government and installed the Shah, would understand that for the United States to take sides in this delicate, evolving upheaval in Iran means THE KISS OF DEATH FOR THE PROTESTERS!

Nothing would restore Iranian legitimacy with its people more quickly than for the United States to once again inject itself in internal Iranian affairs. "See," the ruling mullahs will gleefully and with some justification tell their people, "the GREAT SATAN is behind these protests! Death to America!" (Yadayadayada ...)

Thanks for validating our vote, Gramps "bomb-bomb Iran" McCain. Time for your nap.

1 comment:

PatEsposisto said...

Absolutely agree with your take on Obama's stand; revolution has to come from the people involved, at the time of their making.

I hadn't realized Twitter, and such, were being used with such rewarding efficiency. Yes! It has found a good use.