David Kirkpatrick

February 11, 2010

The Iranian despots crack down

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:30 am

From credible accounts coming out of Iran on 22 Bahman, an expected day of renewed green wave protest, the totalitarian state in Iran exposed its cravenness. And that Iran is no longer a democratic state by any definition.

Here is a great round-up from Sully and his under-bloggers at the Daily Dish with links to plenty of video and tweets from Iran.

January 29, 2010

Iran “censors” its own flag

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:39 pm

The green stripe at the top of Iran’s flag has been removed when the flag was displayed at recent official ceremonies. This totalitarian state is now willing to desecrate its national symbol to avoid displaying the color of the green wave revolution.

Ruling in fear is not ruling.

From the link:

Flag

IRAN-FLAG-BLUE

Radio Free Europe reports:

[I]n at least two official ceremonies in recent days, images of that flag have been used where the green color has been replaced by blue. The move has led to speculation that the Iranian government is trying to get rid of the green in the Iranian flag because it’s a symbol of the opposition movement that has been challenging the disputed reelection of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

January 28, 2010

Iran executes protesters

Filed under: Media, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:31 am

The heavy hand of a totalitarian state takes the life of its own citizens with the gall to protest a stolen election:

Iran hanged on Thursday 2 of 11 people who had been sentenced to death on charges stemming from unrest following last June’s flawed presidential election, according the ISNA news agency in Tehran.

It does sound like the mullahs are ruling in a state of fearful panic of their own populace and all that newfangled technology (my bolded text):

On Jan. 15, Iran’s national police chief declared that the era of “mercy” was over and that the authorities would begin cracking down more harshly not only on street protests but also on anyone who used cellphones and e-mail messages to publicize them.

As part of its broad effort to quell protest, the government has shut down opposition newspapers and blocked Web sites, and has grown increasingly frustrated with the protesters’ continuing ability to elude its restraints.

The police chief, Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, said those who used e-mail and cellphones to organize protests would be punished even more severely than the protesters themselves.

November 28, 2009

Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis”

Filed under: Arts, Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:54 pm

This autobiographical animated film from 2007 is an excellent view into the Iran of the last thirty years. It opens with the Iranian Revolution and the high hopes of all Iranians looking to get out from under the Shah only to find out the Islamacists ended up as bad or worse.

The film is informative, happy, wistful and more, and it was very interesting for me to watch after this year’s ongoing green wave in Iran against the hard line Islamic leadership and the election by the ruling despots.

Hit this link to find Persepolis on DVD at Amazon.

November 4, 2009

The Green Wave continues

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:05 pm

The revolution against Iran’s despotic ruling faction is far from over and there have been a multitude of reports of “Death to the Dictator” shout and defacing and stomping on posters of Khamenei.

From the link:

1902 GMT: Josh Shahryar, having gone through the videos and reports of today’s events, estimates that 25,000 to 30,000 opposition demonstrators were on the streets of Tehran at some point during 13 Aban. An estimated 2000-3000 were marching in Isfahan, but there is not enough information yet to project the numbers in other cities.

August 1, 2009

Iran pours gas on fire

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:57 pm

The heirs of the 1979 revolution currently in leadership positions just don’t get it. By openly falsifying an election — not necessarily the results, but actually turning the entire electoral process into a sham — then cracking down on the not surprising uprising against totalitarianism while issuing clearly false propaganda that “outside forces” were at work during the protests, the ruling mullahs have essentially sealed their own demise.

Iran has long been known as a place of contradictions. Hosting a secular, by middle east standards, population with a hardline Islamic leadership and political face to the rest of the world. The nation existed in something of a state of truce where the people went about their lives and enjoyed the idea of living in an enlightened democratic nation, albeit democratic in a very limited fashion.

The stolen election changed the equation overnight. There has now been almost two months of protests against first the election, and now simply against the increasingly desperate and brutal leadership. Recently graffiti that would have been unthinkable even a month ago — “Death to (supreme leader) Khamenei” — is showing up with some frequency.

How do the floudering tyrants react? Like this. Stupidly.

From the link:

The Iranian authorities opened an extraordinary mass trial against more than 100 reformist figures on Saturday, accusing them of conspiring with foreign powers to stage a revolution through terrorism, subversion and a media campaign to discredit last month’s presidential election.State television broadcast images of the defendants, many of them shackled and clad in prison uniforms, as prosecutors outlined the charges in a large marble-floored courtroom.

The trial, coming just days before President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to be sworn in for a second term, suggested an intensified government effort to undermine the opposition movement, which maintains that the election was rigged and continues to muster widespread street protests.

July 17, 2009

Does Iran have a new great Satan?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:31 pm

Amonst the green wave it looks like that might just be the case.

Taken from an eyewitness report sent to NIAC and posted at the Daily Dish:

… the speaker after Rafi was urging people to shout “death to America” and “death to Israel” people responded in mass by shouting “death to Russia” and “death to the dictator” …

Rafsanjani speaks

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:43 pm

And breaks somewhere down the middle as was expected. I think even the mild opposition he expressed toward the ruling despots still in power in Iran will provide strength, albeit a small amount, to the green wave.

From the link:

As thousands of opposition protesters chanted in the streets of Tehran on Friday, the former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani assailed the government’s handling of the post-election unrest, saying it had lost the trust of many Iranians and calling for the release of hundreds of protesters and democracy advocates arrested in recent weeks.

Mr. Rafsanjani, speaking to a vast crowd at Tehran University that included the opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi and many of his supporters, called for unity and reconciliation in his prayer sermon. But he also said doubts about the election “are now consuming us” and called for a new spirit of compromise between the opposition and the government.

July 9, 2009

The green wave continues

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:59 am

Open protests had largely ended before today’s planned gathering. The despotic ruling regime threatened its own citizens once again to not demonstrate for any reason and looks to be making good on its promise to rain physical violence down on any protesters.

It is horrible the people of Iran must suffer at the hands of what is now nothing more than a brutal totalitarian state and a leadership that over the last several weeks has continually broken Irani law in an attempt to break the will and spirit of the Irani people.

Today’s protest makes it very obvious to both Iranians and the people of the world the green wave revolution is not over by any stretch, and that the ruling despots days are truly numbered. The ideals behind the revolution of 1979 are gone from Irani leadership. There’s no telling what will come next politically and no way of telling when change at the top will occur, but change is coming to Iran.

From the link:

It was the first protest in 11 days, and was called to commemorate the 10th anniversary of violent confrontations at Tehran University when protesting students were beaten and jailed. Iranian authorities had announced earlier that the demonstration was illegal and would be met with a “crushing response.”

But at the end of the work day, hundreds of protesters began packing the streets of one area of Tehran, chanting, clapping and sitting in jammed traffic as drivers honked their horns, witnesses said. Families brought their children. Many held a hand in the air in the defiant V for victory.

The security forces quickly moved in.

Reuters, citing witnesses, reported that the police used tear gas to disperse a group of about 250 protesters as they headed toward Tehran University, shouting support for a defeated presidential candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi.

At the Daily Dish Andrew Sullivan has a great roundup of mainstream media coverage of today’s protests and the ensuing crackdown.

July 4, 2009

The green wave and the 4th of July

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:03 pm

As we celebrate our Independence Day in America we should all take a few minutes to think about the people of Iran who as I type are seeking a more free, more democratic life.

The green wave is not over by any stretch, but the despotic ruling mullahs will not go quietly into the night. They, and the Irani political structure, have both been exposed. What little democracy the people of Iran enjoyed has been proven to be a sham with this blatantly stolen election, and the mullahs have proven themselves more than ready to attack, torture and kill Iranians young and old to remain in power.

The people of Iran have seen the true great Satan and it’s not the United States as they’ve been told for decades. It currently rules over their land.

Celebrate the red, white and blue today, but also take a moment to celebrate the green that represents those fighting for freedom today in Iran.

This is sad and disturbing news from a dying regime:

Iranian leaders say they have obtained confessions from top reformist officials that they plotted to bring down the government with a “velvet” revolution. Such confessions, almost always extracted under duress, are part of an effort to recast the civil unrest set off by Iran’s disputed presidential election as a conspiracy orchestrated by foreign nations, human rights groups say.

Update: This news is heartening. The green wave may lead to quicker results than expected. It’s also important to note not all the ruling mullahs are part of the anti-democratic Khamenei coup.

From the link:

The most important group of religious leaders in Iran called the disputed presidential election and the new government illegitimate on Saturday, an act of defiance against the country’s supreme leader and the most public sign of a major split in the country’s clerical establishment.

A statement by the group, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, represents a significant, if so far symbolic, setback for the government and especially the authority of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose word is supposed to be final. The government has tried to paint the opposition and its top presidential candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, as criminals and traitors, a strategy that now becomes more difficult — if not impossible.

July 1, 2009

Iran’s green wave is not over

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:32 pm

From ABC News’ Lara Setrakian via Twitter:

@LaraABCNews And, from same source, very loud Allahu Akbars on Tehran rooftops #Iranelection

The despotic regime will not crumble quickly or easily, but the cracks in the foundation are real and fatal. The Irani people have seen the brutal truth behind the ruling mullahs and what is clearly much more a police state at this point than an Islamic republic.

Europe prepped to put Iran on island

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:32 pm

A diplomatic island, that is.

From the link:

Iran courted new levels of post-election isolation from the European Union on Wednesday as European diplomats pondered whether to withdraw the ambassadors of all 27 member nations in a dispute over the detention of the British Embassy’s local personnel.

European diplomats said that no formal decision to order their envoys home had been taken but that the measure was an option under consideration as the European Union — Iran’s biggest trading partner — tries to work out how to defuse the dispute in a way that would shield other embassies in Tehran from similar action.

June 26, 2009

Cato on Iran’s green wave and Obama’s response

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:02 pm

The libertarian Cato Institute voices approval of Obama’s measured handling of the green wave revolution going on in Iran right now. The United States hand in this process must be very delicate. The despotic leadership in Iran would like nothing more than to blame “the great satan” America for the popular uprising (indeed they are attempting to do so daily along with trying to pin blame on the British as well).

The green wave is about the Iranian people becoming tired of the cheap and false lip service given to democracy by ruling mullahs. The stolen election ripped that falsehood away and exposed the existing Islamacist leadership as little more than cheap frightened thugs.

From today’s weekly dispatch:

Obama’s Cool Response to Iranian Politics Appropriate  
  As the voices of protest to the Iranian election grow louder, many have called upon President Obama to use bolder rhetoric when speaking about the elections in Iran. Last week, Charles Krauthammer and Paul Wolfowitz opined in The Washington Postthat Obama’s reaction has not been nearly enough. Cato foreign policy expert Christopher Preble disagrees, saying that Obama’s calculated reaction is appropriate:

The louder the neocons become in their braying for a free and fair counting of the election results, the less likely it is to occur. In their more candid moments, a few are willing to admit that they would prefer Ahmadinejad to Mousavi.

…It is possible to view President Obama as a more credible messenger, given that he opposed the Iraq war from the outset and has shown a willingness to reach out to the Iranian people. Perhaps a full-throated, morally self-righteous, public address in support of Mousavi’s supporters might have tipped the scales in the right direction.

It seems more likely, however, that Obama’s patient, measured public response to recent events is well suited to the circumstances. As the president said earlier this week, Americans are right to feel sympathy for the Iranian protesters, and we should all be free to voice our sentiments openly. But it is incumbent upon policymakers to pursue strategies that don’t backfire, or whose unintended consequences don’t dwarf the gains that we are trying to achieve. In many cases, the quiet, private back channel works well. And if we discover that there is no credible back channel to Iran available, similar to those employed in 1986 and 1991, then we’ll all know whom to blame.

Cato scholar Justin Logan says that the U.S. government should stay silent on Iran:

President Obama should keep quiet on the subject of Iran’s elections. At least two pernicious tendencies are on display in the Beltway discussion on the topic. First is the common Washington impulse to “do something!” without laying out clear objectives and tactics. What, after all, is President Obama or his administration supposed to do to “support protesters” in Iran in the first place? What would be the ultimate goal of such support? Most importantly, what is the mechanism by which the support is supposed to produce the desired outcome? That we are debating how America should intervene in Iran’s domestic politics indicates the sheer grandiosity of American foreign policy thought.

June 20, 2009

Revolution and politics

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:20 pm

I can’t shake the feeling that if the events in Iran were occurring under a United States led by the current GOP brand there would be immediate political spin how Republican foreign policy and pressure created the green wave revolution.

It’s a fair guess that the U.S. has almost nothing to do with what’s happening in Iran right now. There’s also a certain amount of evidence Obama’s new year’s address to the Iranian people and his Cairo speech did resonate among the people of Iran, and I’m pleased this administration is taking a very cautious and humble approach to what is playing out right now in the bloody streets of Tehran and other cities.

I also fully expect the Democrats to eventually make political hay out of the green wave if it were to overturn the current despotic Irani regime and look for, and probably get, some foreign policy and security bona fides.

The Irani people have suffered long enough suffering under what I’ve seen characterized (probably correctly) as a “Fascist Islamic Mafia” and deserve our support. They don’t need, and thankfully so far are not getting, our politics.

Live green wave coverage from the Daily Dish

Andrew Sullivan is doing an exhaustive (and exhausting even for me just to attempt to keep up with it all) job of live blogging the green wave in Iran and now today’s crackdown from the despotic ruling regime.

He’s continually adding tweets from inside Iran, embedding video and providing fresh images of the protests and state-issued violence against a democracy seeking population.

Hit the Daily Dish link in my blogroll for his latest posts, and this link goes to “Live-Blogging Day 8.”

From the link:

2.58 pm. good source: Hospital close to the scene in Tehran: 30-40 dead thus far as of 11pm and 200 injured. Police taking names of incoming injured.

Voice from Iran: Shame on a country in which foreign embassies are safer than hospitals :(

Gunfire Is Hearing From Near Resalat SQ. (East Teharan)

Bloody-woman

2.47 pm. New footage of fighting in the streets. And another protester is shot.

2.31 pm. Canadians, call your foreign office. It’s confirmed Canadian Embassy rejects injured protesters

Australian Embassy reportedly accepting injured

My Friend Wounded At Haft Hooz SQ, No Clinic Is Open!

June 19, 2009

Iran-I-am, a green wave comic

Filed under: Arts, Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:07 pm

This is a great comic from the Atlanic Online’s Sage Stossel:

Iran-I-am by Sage Stossel

Iran-I-am by Sage Stossel

(Hat tip: the Daily Dish)

 

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