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  1. #21
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    I do see the logic of blinding international media, but does the local government expect what the state media says to be passed along internationally at face value?
    No, but without an 'objective' source of news other countries won't get to see the protesters point of view at all. Wars are lost or won by media coverage, think Vietnam.

    Interesting fact. Twitter is rescheduling their announced maintenance to coincide with night-time in Iran, so protesters can make use of it during the day. It is rumoured the US government asked them to do this.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmy View Post
    No, but without an 'objective' source of news other countries won't get to see the protesters point of view at all. Wars are lost or won by media coverage, think Vietnam.

    Interesting fact. Twitter is rescheduling their announced maintenance to coincide with night-time in Iran, so protesters can make use of it during the day. It is rumoured the US government asked them to do this.
    I wouldn't be at all surprised if the US government was using some influence on Iranian political life. Not like they haven't done it before.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Yeah, it may not be "proven" but it's as factual as jumping elephants.

    I don't think it'll make a big difference though. Ahmadinedjad will ruthlessly strike down these riots, make a bullshit concession to the opposition, and be in the same situation after the next elections.

  4. #24
    Allergic to Mornings ergophobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmy View Post
    Yeah, it may not be "proven" but it's as factual as jumping elephants.

    I don't think it'll make a big difference though. Ahmadinedjad will ruthlessly strike down these riots, make a bullshit concession to the opposition, and be in the same situation after the next elections.
    I think the problem with this analysis is that the final power does not actually rest in Ahmadinejad's hands. It rests in those of the Ayatollah and the clerics. They decide.

    So, it is certainly possible and the indicators do point to this partial recount as nothing but window dressing for a continued Ahmadinejad regime. However, if the protests continue in the numbers they have, at some point there will just be too many to repress (think Eastern Germany in 1989 - the army general is actually quoted as saying, "how many people can we shoot?"). It's possible, even though they endorsed him, that strategically he may be made the scapegoat. They are 'forced' to hold reelections (if it becomes a question of them holding on to power with or without him) and he loses.

  5. #25
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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  6. #26
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ergophobe View Post
    I think the problem with this analysis is that the final power does not actually rest in Ahmadinejad's hands. It rests in those of the Ayatollah and the clerics. They decide.

    So, it is certainly possible and the indicators do point to this partial recount as nothing but window dressing for a continued Ahmadinejad regime. However, if the protests continue in the numbers they have, at some point there will just be too many to repress (think Eastern Germany in 1989 - the army general is actually quoted as saying, "how many people can we shoot?"). It's possible, even though they endorsed him, that strategically he may be made the scapegoat. They are 'forced' to hold reelections (if it becomes a question of them holding on to power with or without him) and he loses.
    Yes true, that's another option. However I don't think that the protests will currently overturn Ahmadinejad as president. Iran has got somewhat of a stable economy based on oil, at least for a third/second world country. This is one of the factors Eastern Europe did not have. Besides, there is nobody particularly suited to rule the nation. Eastern Germany at least knew they could always rejoin Western Germany and have a safe and stable base for a new nation. To support my theory, look at Yugoslavia, where after Tito died the country was heavily divided and the next best dictator could easily grab power.

  7. #27
    Allergic to Mornings ergophobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htb View Post
    Thanks for sharing the pictures - they are really powerful. We're not seeing as many of these on regular news sources - access, I guess, since foreign media is being shunted out. Scary and important to be able to see what's going on from an individual perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmy View Post
    Yes true, that's another option. However I don't think that the protests will currently overturn Ahmadinejad as president. Iran has got somewhat of a stable economy based on oil, at least for a third/second world country. This is one of the factors Eastern Europe did not have. Besides, there is nobody particularly suited to rule the nation. Eastern Germany at least knew they could always rejoin Western Germany and have a safe and stable base for a new nation. To support my theory, look at Yugoslavia, where after Tito died the country was heavily divided and the next best dictator could easily grab power.
    I think you misunderstood me - I meant that the clergy could make Ahmadinejad the pawn and have new elections for President or put someone else in charge. This wouldn't actually change the power structure since the clergy would still be in charge, Iran would remain the dictatorship it is but perhaps broader if there is a new election and Mousavi is elected or a narrower dictatorship if there is a new election and the clergy's favored candidate comes in. So, the whole power structure likely won't collapse, thus no anarchy being predicted.

    I do see revolution in the future as ajblaise suggested, for now though, the protests are against the election results and not against the clergy or the theocracy as a whole. When that happens, I'll begin to wonder about the collapse of the system. There are enough reformers present and popular for a leader to emerge and take over. Yugoslavia was always an unmanageable federation -- too large, too diverse and with too many competing nationalities. Iran has its troubles too but overall - there is a clear religious majority, its smaller and far more manageable.

    It does have oil but it doesn't use oil money like the Persian Gulf monarchies do to keep people quiet by coopting them with free healthcare and guaranteed employment. Unemployment levels are high in Iran (that's part of the frustration, I would imagine, being reflected in the current protests). So, I don't see oil as a deterrent to democracy or providing as much stability to the country as it might because the resources don't seem to be distributed as well among its population.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmy View Post
    No, but without an 'objective' source of news other countries won't get to see the protesters point of view at all. Wars are lost or won by media coverage, think Vietnam.
    Sure. But the media blackout isn't preventing pictures and reports from getting out, it's just preventing news agencies from citing them as official given they can't verify anything.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Ergophobe, I think you are right and that we are on a more similar wave-length here then I first thought. However I personally don't think Ahmadinejad will step down. He still holds a lot of power and credibility with the people and the Ayatollahs. Besides, riots alone are not very effective at bringing down governments because they are to organised. If weeks of riots would work then Greece, France & Zimbabwe to name a just few nations would have had different governments by now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    Sure. But the media blackout isn't preventing pictures and reports from getting out, it's just preventing news agencies from citing them as official given they can't verify anything.
    Let's turn this around. If Iran would allow international press to do their work they would only make it easier for well informed western nations to mingle into their affairs. Iran knows that every rapport a journalist makes in Iran will picture them negatively. Plus underground resistances could potentially use journalists to communicate with western intelligence agencies or feed strategic information. The more cameras Iran controls the more we get to see their point of view. An extreme case would be a picture where a protester would be executed in cold blood by the riot police. That would not be good for Iran's image.

  10. #30
    Allergic to Mornings ergophobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmy View Post
    Ergophobe, I think you are right and that we are on a more similar wave-length here then I first thought. However I personally don't think Ahmadinejad will step down. He still holds a lot of power and credibility with the people and the Ayatollahs. Besides, riots alone are not very effective at bringing down governments because they are to organised. If weeks of riots would work then Greece, France & Zimbabwe to name a just few nations would have had different governments by now.
    I don't think Ahmadinejad would step down but if the clergy had to make a choice and protests continued as they have, then he would be an easy sacrifice for them to retain power. He does hold sway and he was endorsed by the clergy but I do think the protests took them by surprise as well.

    Protests, alone (riots seem to be more spontaneous) can bring down or have significant influence on government forms -- it all depends on the scale of action. France saw scattered riots (if I understand the context you refer to as the race riots in Parisian suburbs a few years ago). In France, government change was never demanded, at least during this time, and never at same the scale of protests (hundreds of thousands, potentially millions of people).

    In Zimbabwe, on the other hand, even a Mugabe had to eventually agree to a power sharing agreement with the opposition due to the protests. Similarly in Kenya. In both these, we saw big changes in the political system. Kenya changed its Presidential to a semi-Presidential - in essence making a new position for the opposition candidate of the Orange movement. So, I think a lot depends on the scale of action as well as, granted, other factors such as the leadership provided, the international pressure put on the government etc... Protests, by themselves, can have pretty profound effects on the form of government.

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