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21 June 2009


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Col, except for one small deviation I agree with you 100%. Events in Iran may transpire at a faster clip in this modern age of 'twitter' and instant communications than similar such historical conflicts in the past.

Israelis and Zionist sympathizers can no longer characterize Persians as inhuman Islamo/fascist thugs and murders. There is now not only a more normal view of Iranians, but also a heroic story of freedom being played out on the world stage for all to see.

And fear and angst are the watch words in Tel Aviv as this 'paradigm' shift remolds and shapes our global community. Clearly the post WW II global order is disintegrating fast and becoming the past. In some respects it couldn't happen fast enough.


Juan Cole seems to believe the same thing.

William R. Cumming

The Iranians are an sophisticated and intelligent culture and people and see how AF-PAK and other countries have struggled with fundamentalism and with their own experience my guess is that the examples of democratic socialist India, the State socialism of Turkey, and the State Capitalism of China appear attractive alternatives and they really did not exist in 1979 when a combination of repression and oil exploitation revealed a bankrupt monarchial and authoritarian system. What is not an attractive alternative except for certain segments of Iranian society, except for those with knowledge of the west from first hand experience or on fact living there is the EU or USA with their willingness to tolerate violence to the fundamentals of societal propriety extant in Iran that persist even without religious sanction. But could be wrong.



Prior to the Iranian election I knew virtually nothing about Iran's Islamic republic, though lately I have been getting a crash course in trying to comprehend some of the amazing events taking place in Iran since election day. One such source is Geneive Abdo, a fellow at The Century Foundation who is an Iranian analyst and co-editor of the 'Iran Election Bulletin.'

In the latest 11 June bulletin she describes the political divisions that have riven the IRGC and the Basij militias into a house divided against itself. And just how those elements still loyal to Khamenei were able to steal the election for Ahminajead.

Iran’s Militias Could Tip Election in Ahmadinejad’s Favor
Political Factionalism in Iran’s Guards and Militias

But her latest article on FP explains the fear in the corrupt "theocratic regime" and great divide that separates them from the "mainstream establishment of clerics in Qom."

The Battle for Qom's Hearts and Minds

Mousavi's incredible confidence and some of his remarks in his latest statement are now more understandable, since he also has support not only among the masses and clerics, but also within the ranks of the IRGC and Basij militias. It may be the tyrants have attained the worst they can inflict and why it took them so long to act decisively when immediate action in these affairs means everything.

Clifford Kiracofe

Well hopefully this is a game changer.

I hope it changes the game that the malevolent Zionist entity and its international financial-industrial-entertainment-media support complex had in mind: getting the US into a war against Iran.

The entire planet can now plainly see the strategy of demonization of Iran and Iranians is a false one. Iran has its problems like any country in the world, including the US. Iranians ARE concerned about democracy, justice, economic and social modernization and all the rest. Iran is NOT some medieval backwater. It is a modernizing state of some 70 million people who are industrious, who have an ancient culture, and who are justified in hoping for a prominent role in regional and world affairs. As night follow day change will come, the pace and quality of change remains for the IRANIAN people to workout among themselves.

Iranians are trying to work through many problems and challenges. As anywhere else on this planet, Iranians are divided in their INTERNAL politics. Naturally, one hopes for peaceful rather than violent change.

It is very difficult to get a sense of the internal situation particularly given the incompetence and bias of Western media.

I hope the changed game allows President Obama to redouble his efforts to engage Iran.


Sic semper tyrannis!

Different Clue

The behavior of the A-K factions reinforces my feeling that Ahmadinejad lost the election very severely, and that the A-K forces decided to just flat-out lie about the results and the outcome. And now they are going to brazen it out.

The Iranian opposition asked that twitter channels and you tubes be kept open and that has been done. They wanted the world to see
what the A-K regime looks like and those parts of the world which care to see have lots to look at.

At what point do many of the Iranian people come to feel about the A-K regime the way that Rumanians came to feel about the Ceaucescu regime? At what point does Iran become a "lake of gasoline" waiting for its "Timisoara moment"? And at what point do sensible parts of the Iranian state structure and
Ayatollocracy decide to stage an "internal counter-coup" the way parts of the Rumanian power-structure are suspected of having staged a "guided revolution"
against Ceaucescu?

And do the Iranian police
and the Armed Forces view the Basijis and the Revolutionary Guards as fellow servants of the state? And if so, for how long?

And will outside governments have the decency and respect to not intervene or "pick sides"?


An excellent comment by Mr. Kiracofe! Seconded!

Babak Makkinejad

William R Cummings:

You wrote: “…to tolerate violence to the fundamentals of societal propriety…”

I agree with you and I would like to share with you and others in this forum some of my own thoughts and observations in this regards.

The first time the word "democratic" was used - if I recall correctly - was in a Dutch publication in the 16-th century; "Demokraten", I believe.

Next we had John Locke's ideas in the 17-th century followed by the American Revolution in 1776. This is a span of almost 200 years for the gestation of these ideas into its full realization in a corporeal form. And many thinkers contributed to further development and clarifications of these ideas and to their amplification and precision. And I am not even including the actual practices of republicanism in Venice and some other city-states all over Europe from which people could try to abstract out certain patterns ands practices.

No such thing had ever existed anywhere else in the world. Expecting these non-European people to go from tyranny to democracy with no theoretical underpinning in the world of ideas is un-realistic, in my opinion. Non-European thinkers, in my opinion, have to graft these European ideas into the body of their own traditions at the theoretical level in order for these ideas to take root and have a live of their own.

This is the work of decades as the Euro-American case clearly indicates. I am unaware of any theoretical work that has attempted to do so among non-European people excepting one. I am unaware of any Chinese work in which the Confucian or Legalist thought has been amalgamated with the principles of republicanism. Ditto for Hindus or the Buddhists. I am unaware of any text that has attempted to marry republicanism and Judaism either. To my knowledge, the only intellectual work where an attempt was made to make native the ideas of republicanism was in the book "The Islamic Government" by the late Ayatollah Khomeini.

This where we stand today and to the questions ”Why they cannot be democratic [like us]?” I would reply:, “Because they have not done their [intellectual] homework.”

otiwa ogede

From Haaretz, "Netanyahu told NBC that he knows Obama wants the Iranian people to be free, adding that free people everywhere were amazed by the willingness of the Iranian people to stand up for their rights. "

Can you imagine if Israeli Arabs or Palestinians "stood up for their rights" like the Iranians are supposedly doing? F-16s, and Apaches would be used against them, not just bullets and batons.

More poisonous, hypocritical audacity from the colonialist Israelis. Disgusting.


The Ay.'s are divided, the people are divide, and now the all the armed units are apparently also divided.

Kind of wish we had a special interest section in Tehran for mischievousness but the NeoCons killed that option.

Think of all the fun Col. Lang and the old-schools could have had...

Is it just me or do we really have no idea what exactly is happening over there?

MTP with Gregory kind of looked like a NeoCon informational, miss Tim.


As I watch the talk of a "Twitter-Pistachio" Revolution, one thing continues to bother me about this whole situation. Are we really seeing a rebellion against the Mullahs or is this a case of the Mullah's making a bad choice for the candidate slate? Nobody makes it onto the presidential slate unless the Mullahs approve it. Will Musavi really bite the hand that feeds him in the end if he does somehow win out? Or is it back to politics as usual?



The British Empire's 'spin' on the Khamenei's Speech is classic media manipulation.

Britain's Financial Times are consciously distorting what Khamenei said.

Jon T.

A Game Changer.
Sir Yes Sir.
Can you imagine the energy alive in the cities and towns and mountains of Iran.
Electricity and power.
After leading the 49'ers to score 14 points in 90 seconds to win a playoff game, Joe Montana was asked "How did you do that?" His response: "I have no idea. Everyone of us knew what each other was going to do and it happened." This is like that.

Or not.


uhhh, this is definitely superpower stuff now.

A direct military intervention in Iran (or clandestine) is now out of the question. not with 4% of China's energy supply at stake.

I was wondering about this.

There goes europe I guess. (What is the story with Angela Merkel insisting recount? I can't understand that. It's as if she has a big stake at Mousavi's faction.)


The government-owned China Daily featured its main editorial comment on Thursday titled "For Peace in Iran". It comes amid reports in the Western media that the former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is rallying the Qom clergy to put pressure on the Guardians Council - and, in turn, on Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei - to annul last Friday's presidential election that gave Mahmud Ahmadinejad another four-year term.

Beijing fears a confrontation looming and counsels Obama to keep the pledge in his Cairo speech not to repeat such errors in the US's Middle East policy as the overthrow of the elected government of Mohammed Mosaddeq in Iran in 1953. Beijing also warns about letting the genie of popular unrest get out of the bottle in a highly volatile region that is waiting to explode. Tehran on Friday saw its sixth day of massive protests by supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi, whom they say was cheated out of victory.


It is very likely a "game changing" moment for politics in Iran. Maybe down the road Iran gets a government that more closely reflects the sentiments and aspirations of its people. But as Clifford Kiracofe points out there are deep divisions within Iran about the structure of government and the policies the government should pursue. So we will have to wait and see how all this turns out. But we can be quite certain that no matter how the wheel turns and who comes to power in the future, corruption and cronyism will remain - not just in Iran but in every country in the world including our USA.

As I hear several Western leaders make comments on the internal situation in Iran - I ask a simple question - what moral authority does the West have in judging Iran's or another country's politics?

IMO, my government is no paragon of virtue when it comes to its relationship with its citizens or the rule of law. Our written Constitution is our supreme law and the Declaration of Independence enunciate the founding principles of our union. Yet we see numerous instances in our contemporary life where there is at least an appearance that our government has violated the Constitution. From torturing prisoners to depriving individuals of liberty by detaining them for long periods with no charges to broad based surveillance of citizens with no probable cause or judicial warrants. And we have the revolving door of corruption and cronyism that has most recently led to the massive looting of average working citizens future incomes. Our democracy has yet to have an impartial investigation or held anyone to account.

While we must be inspired by people who risk their personal safety to demand accountability of their political leaders and provide them our solidarity I think we should be motivated to get our own house in order first. As Joe Stiglitz points out in a recent article in Vanity Fair - when other countries (Indonesia, Argentina, etc) got into financial trouble we through international organizations like the IMF forced governments to enforce harsh policies on their people to repay loans to western banks and as condition for emergency funding. Now when we are faced with insolvency of our largest banks we don't swallow the bitter pill we forced on others but take to passing on private financial losses to our middle class citizens and their children. So as people who live in glass houses should we throw stones?

William R. Cumming

Thanks Babak! Your comments on PL Posts always educate me (and I need that desperately) and fascinate me.
If you were to recommend a few books that give insights into the complexity of Iran today what would that list consist of?
And just so you know my take on democracy--the newer and poorer the democracy the more likely the population at large understands it best. And of course if this casts aspersions on our democracy (republic) as in Zanzibar's excellent commenhts so be it. what is really starting to worry about the current economic crisis is appears to not have dampened the ego and hubris of not only the financila types but reinforced the federal governments absolutely underserved elitist take on foreign affairs. This completely misreads the real "History" of our country and the skills and efforts of the past. We don't know yet where history will place any of the Post-War US President's but if the collective effort of that group of people is the economic, military, political and social collapse of the US we will all be reinterpreting the past based on how ignorance and incompetence and ego and hubris often ruled the US political scene. Given the resources of the richest continent in the world to exploit for over two centuries, and the skills, drives, and motivations of the world's tired, hungry and poor, perhaps it was not skill but luck that brought US to where we are today.The worry is for tomorrow! I still like the recent Andy Jackson quote I read "It is not the government's job to make men rich"! I would paraphrase that in US foreign pokicy--"It is not the goal of US foreign policy to make citizens of the US rich"!


Iran, is going Venezuela style "national strike". Rafsanjani people used to control oil industry.

Now it's going to get interesting. The public irritation from this strike is going to propel conservative to the moon, if they survive.

If ahmadinejad and khameini fail, then Iran is liable for military attack. The second day of national strike, they better find rasfanjani and make him disappear forever. Where is mousavi? They should tag him and all his car with GPS tracker already.

How hard is it to find mousavi? Come on this is a child play. Half the town must know where he is.

Iran also going to get banking attack by UK, US, watchout germany and france.

It is now an open economic war between US/UK/germany/france.

One month from now Iran will be very weak. Then the bombing start. So watch out.


Juan Cole posted a preliminary study by Chatham House on the Iranian election. The available evidence proves the fraud perpetrated is far greater than anyone expected, even by the believers. The enormity of it is breath taking in its scope and compels wonder that the Khamenei/Ahminajead cabal ever dared to dream they could have so blatantly stolen the election without no opposition.

Juan makes a very piercing observation when he says:

"...I was careful in my initial discussion of why I thought the numbers looked phony to say that CATCHING HISTORY ON THE RUN IS TOUGH..."(my capitalization's)

Attempting to comprehend the history making events now in play in Iran is a hard task for the wisest and most knowledgeable, as Cole poignantly reminds. In real time all too often the only guiding principles are the gut feelings of intuition and a lot of luck, especially for those in the epicenter of the storm who risk everything. As for uniformed spectators far from the fields of action such as us, beyond ambiguity and broad strokes of a brush its pointless trying to imagine how this game will turn in it details, or belaboring yet again another superflous recitation of events from a dead past.

Col Lang with far greater insight appropriately sizes the Iranian crises up as a "game changer." What is beyond doubt is that nothing will be the same in Iran and has turned the calculus of the region and politics hard on its head, with likely reverberations throughout the global community and relations with the US. What these will be no one can say at this time. But the fear, yes, the fear that underlies Bibi Natanyahu's "hesitation and uncertainty" underscores the intuitive feelings Iranians experience as hope in the face of the greatest adversity, as opposed to the the terror in the souls of those who sense the tides of history turning against them.


Arrested MKO had reportedly played a major role in the recent street violence. Iranian security officials reported Saturday that they have identified and arrested a large number of MKO members who were involved in recent riots in Tehran.

Security officials are saying the arrested MKO members had confessed that they were extensively trained in Iraq's camp Ashraf to create post-election mayhem in the country.

They also found that they had been given directions by the MKO command post in Britain.


I forgot the links to Juan Cole and the Chatham House report.


Preliminary Analysis of the Voting
Figures in Iran’s 2009 Presidential


""This where we stand today and to the questions ”Why they cannot be democratic [like us]?” I would reply:, “Because they have not done their [intellectual] homework.”"

India is doing quite well without having done this supposedly required intellectual homework. That requires explanation.


I recommend this essay to Babak:

"Similarly, the value placed on full participation of members in the affairs of their sangha must reflect the ideology of those who believed in the sangha-gana form of government in the political sphere. The Buddha's commitment to republicanism (or at least the ideal republican virtues) was a strong one, if we are to believe the Maha-parinibbana-suttanta, among the oldest of Buddhist texts.55 As is common in the Buddhist scriptures, a precept is illustrated by a story. Here Ajatasastru, the King of Maghada, wishes to destroy the Vajjian confederacy (here = the Licchavis) 56 and sends a minister, Vassakara the Brahman, to the Buddha to ask his advice. Will his attack be a success? Rather than answer directly, the Buddha speaks to Ananda, his closest disciples:

"Have you heard, Ananda, that the Vajjians hold full and frequent public assemblies?"

"Lord, so I have heard," replied he.

"So long, Ananda," rejoined the Blessed One, "as the Vajjians hold these full and frequent public assemblies; so long may they be expected not to decline, but to prosper..."

robt willmann

Ah, yes. The machinations of the mandatory monopolies known as governments and Nation States! A monopoly in the sense that each local, state, and national government claims to be the sole authority in its geographical area, and mandatory in the sense that you are told you must be a member of the monopoly, must abide by its dictates, and must pay it money called taxes ... or else the State's monopoly on force will be applied against you.

Monopolies, of course, hate competition. And governmental monopolies face both internal and external competition.

All of these features are now on display in Iran.

Unless Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the main challenger, has been "flipped" and has become a double agent for the "West", some internal competition is emerging, not to split from the monopoly, but about who gets to run it.

It is safe to assume that the U.S. and others are trying to destabilize the existing regime and change its composition.

And what about Ahmed Chalabi? He as an agent of influence for Iran was the focus of the primary post on this site on April 16---


In that posting, who is the man to Chalabi's left in the accompanying photo, I wonder?

Whatever Iran's position, it could use a better spoken public face. This man, Hooman Majd, who appeared on C-Span, is not too bad---


As fascinating as this Iranian tempest is, we should not fail to look inward.

The U.S. mass media is trumpeting every violent instance it can involving the Iranian demonstrators, but was disgracefully silent during the police and prosecutorial abuses during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in 2008. There was no ongoing coverage of the illegal "pre-emptive" raids on protesters, there were no photographs published of the wounds caused by the use of tasers on people after they were arrested and placed in a detention center, there was no investigation of where all the "security" people dressed in black came from, no complaining about the phony "free speech zones" set up to prevent demonstrations, and so forth.

Can you imagine what would happen if large numbers of people in this country suddenly tried to do mass protests on the spur of the moment in Washington, D.C. or New York City, on more than one day?

And vote-rigging?

It has been made legal in this country by the Help America Vote Act, which promotes the use of electronic voting machines throughout the U.S.A. Those machines present the certain capability for untraceable vote fraud. I wrote an editorial on the problem of electronic voting machines which had been accepted for publication in the San Antonio paper at the time of the 2008 election, but was pulled at the last minute because it was deemed too controversial.

What about a revolution in the United States?

Perhaps it has already happened.

Recently, I re-read a collection of three essays by Garet Garrett (1878-1954), published as "Ex America, The 50th Anniversary of the People's Pottage" (ISBN number 0870044427). It was as if they were written today. One of them, "The Revolution Was", can be read on the Internet here---


Many of Garrett's works were published by the Saturday Evening Post magazine.

His thesis is that a revolution occurred in the U.S. within the form of the government, without overthrowing it.

This has certainly happened since 2001 within the laws passed by Congress in both the Bush jr. and Obama administrations.

Iran's governmental situation is pertinent to us, aside from our hand in its turmoil. More important, however, is that we look in the mirror as we talk about others.

Eagle in the Mountains

Col Lang, this is a test to see if I can now submit comments. Please delete it without publication. Thanks. Eagle

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