15 Jun


I haven’t been able to stop reading up on Iran this weekend, so uh, Happy Monday to You?

I’ve been reading: The Daily Dish (or just the twitter feed if you prefer), The Lede, NiacInSight, Juan Cole, Tehran Bureau, and the BBC.


Posted by on June 15, 2009 in News, Personal, Politics


14 responses to “Uhhh…

  1. Overrated Outcast

    June 15, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    I’ve been following the coverage too. A

    The MSM seems to have really abandoned Iran, except of course a few reports by BBC and Channel 4 and the NYT.

    In India, there has been absolutely NO coverage by any of the news channels. They cover spelling bee’s held in America, but this they leave out.

  2. Gagan

    June 15, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    write something for us… I would like to understand what’s going on… but could use a guide.

    have a friend who is verge on breakdown ” bastard mullahs are fucking my country, just fucking it I tell you ” political correctness is not his forte.. clearly

  3. Gradwolf

    June 16, 2009 at 4:48 am

    Pardon the levity. I am reading Persepolis. 😐

  4. Aspi

    June 16, 2009 at 10:59 am

    The more I read about this and map it what little I know about Iran the more I’m becoming convinced that Mousavi is deftly manipulating Western stereotypes of Iran to create one gigantic scam.

    I could be wrong, but I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest he won. On the other hand if Ahmadinejad had lost this election (given how popular he is in Iran), I WOULD have spilled my chai.

  5. Amrita

    June 16, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    OO – lolz! but spelling bees are important!!

    Gagan – I don’t think I know enough frankly. But those links should tell you a fair bit. And if you can, then try and get your hands on that BBC series I’ve mentioned below. It’s absolutely great!

    Adithya – which is hardly levity! Love the books, love the movie.

    Aspi – You’re the first person who’s said anything of the kind. Kudos! Michael Scherer at Swampland became the second when he pointed out that Moussavi didn’t exactly step off a liberal cloud and descend to strife torn Iran – he was PM back when they were killing people in the 80s.
    I do think there’s a real sense of discontent in Iran because way too many people have written about/mentioned it for it not to be true (the last one I read was Aatish Taseer who talked to some guy who said Ahmadinajad was a US plant because nobody in Iran liked him and nobody knew how he won elections! Just an example of the crazy out there) and it also came across rather strongly in the BBC’s excellent Holidays in the Axis of Evil so I understand why people out there on the streets but I don’t think it means what a great many of the western commentators think it means.
    Besides even if Moussavi wins and becomes some sort of great and enlightened leader, what difference is it going to make with the Ayatollahs still calling the shots?

  6. Overrated Outcast

    June 16, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    @Amrita: I agree what Aspi said might be true. But I think this isn’t really about Mossavi. This is 30 years of suppressed emotions finally finding an outlet. Imagine if McCain would have been elected in November. (Heaven forbid!). Everyone would have been out on the streets in the US just like that.

    What I’ve been reading is that this is basically a power struggle with Mossavi, Rafsanjani and Khatami on one side and Khomeinei on the other.

    To think, till a few days ago, I didn’t even know who Mossavi or Rafsanjani were!

    • Amrita

      June 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm

      This is 30 years of suppressed emotions finally finding an outlet. Yup, that’s what it sounds like to me too. Everybody loves a good revolution, it’s the nation building that comes after that’s a bitch. A couple of people were comparing this to the Tiananenmen Sq. incident and saying there was a good chance the tanks would crush this as well, but I think that’s apples and oranges. I’d be shocked if they went that way because the Shah tried it and look where it got him.

      Re: Moussavi – he really did appear out of nowhere, didn’t he? Or else, that’s about as much attention as we’ve been paying. 😦

  7. memsaab

    June 17, 2009 at 10:22 am

    I just thank God that Obama is our president now and staying out of it—our last joke of an administration would probably be sending tanks in there now.

    • sachita

      June 17, 2009 at 2:09 pm

      M, but does iran have oil?

      • Gradwolf

        June 18, 2009 at 1:36 am

        Of course it does!! I think they have one of the largest fleet in the Middle East.

  8. Prasanth

    June 17, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Have been following the Dish too and it’s quite sad to see the coverage in India(especially since the Hindu definitely seems to have a reporter in Tehran). I am always a skeptic but there definitely seems to be something truly happening.

    I only hope the movement is not divided or compromised and that the spirit of this movement does not descend into cynicism or disillusionment.

  9. sachita

    June 17, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    I read through the links and wondered how exactly that our politicians havent sunk this low yet? They are almost there and quite capable.

  10. Amrita

    June 17, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Memsaab – have you listened to what John McCain is saying? Can you imagine if the guy were President?

    Prasanth – well, it’s almost a given that it’s all going to end in disappointment and disillusionment at some point but let’s hope we aren’t headed to some brutal crackdown. The thing about Moussavi is that because he belongs to the 1980s crowd, he remembers how the revolution worked and he seems to be using the same playbook, provoking the establishment into making bigger and bigger missteps. Interesting days are here.

    Sachita – we’re a lot more sophisticated about these things. More experience, you see! 😀

  11. Aspi

    June 18, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Overated, I don’t entirely buy that my man. Just about every country on the planet has 30 years worth of repression about something. But I don’t see riots erupting after every election with this type of media coverage (twitter postponed its planned downtime to accommodate more updates for god’s sake! :))

    I think this is skillful manipulation of the privileged class in Iran. We all can’t seem to bring ourselves to believe that a fundamentalist, anti-modernization dude won a democratic election. So the election is a crutch to express our disbelief. The US famously did that in Algeria once – and the country never recovered.

    I feel bad for the people in Tehran. But Tehran and Iran are two different places, so to say. And there are plenty of people in non-metro Iran who Ahmadinejad really reaches. He promises them a return to fundamentalist values, a challenge to the corruption riddled ayatollahs, a shot at sticking it the rest of the world and – if he survives this crisis – a serious challenger to Khameni.

    Agree with it or not, there are people in the world to whom this sort of thing matters. And they also – like you and me – vote for their leaders. Part of being committed to democracy is that you have to allow your belief in the system to override some of its results.

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