Beyond the Cusp

August 6, 2018

A Revolution Under Media Silence

 

Can a revolution happen if the media refuses to cover it? This may be answered in the not too distant future. The media has been doing its best to ignore the uprisings in Iran. The people of Iran are completely fed up with their leadership and are demanding change. There have been recent protests of varying size in the Iranian cities of Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad and Tehran driven by concerns over the economy as well as wider anger at the political system. In a rare CBS News reported, they disclosed that in Isafan, marchers shouted “death to the dictator,” before appearing to set fire to police cars. These protests have been gaining strength sparking across Iran as a nationwide anti-government movement starting last December continuing sporadically in varying points since. The driving causes include the 12.5% unemployment rate, the plunging worth of their money where the Rial has dropped to 122,000 to the dollar as well as their desire for an end to the theocracy replacing it with open democratic governance. The Rial has lost half its value against the dollar in just four months. Even some hardliners have called for new elections or for Rouhani’s civilian government to be replaced by a military-led one though they have no desire to replace the Supreme Leader the Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

 

The leaders of Iran have a completely different view of the effects and who is to blame. The problem, according to a statement from Radio Farda last Sunday claimed, the central bank alleged the Rial’s drop was the result of foreign conspiracies and said the currency’s weakness against the dollar was not a reflection of “economic realities.” “Recent developments in the gold and forex markets are part of the conspiracies hatched by the country’s enemies in order to agitate the economy and rob the people of their psychological security.” The Tasnim News Agency reported spokesman Bahram Qassemi as saying referring to talks, “The US or parts of the US may express wishes, but after the illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA and their hostile policies and push for economic pressure on the Iranian nation, I think there is no such issue.” Meanwhile, the US is set to restore its full range of sanctions in two stages on August 6, 2018, and November 4, 2018, forcing many foreign firms to cut off business with Iran. The real Iranian leadership appears willing to allow the “elected” government to fall taking the blame but the structure of the ruling Ayatollahs will remain unshaken and remain in control facing the unrest within the population.

 

Iranian Protests Against Supreme Leader

Iranian Protests Against Supreme Leader

 

These protests resemble those from 2009 in that they are calling for replacing the entirety of their governance starting with the Supreme Leader and the rest of the Ayatollahs replacing them with a secular democracy and complete separation between religion and government. They desire a return to secular rulership and desire a Western style democracy free of the Islamic totalitarianism. The government has claimed that these protests are the result of external agitators who are spreading discontent and lies and that those who take part in demonstrations are breaking the rule of law. There have been scattered reports on social media that the police have used live fire to break up some of the protests with a number of protesters being murdered with many others being arrested. If these protests result in similar results to the 2009 protests, then there will be a point when violence will become the standard reaction from the government where numbers of demonstrators will be mowed down in the streets and thousands, even tens of thousands, will be arrested with the majority not ever being heard from again and any attempt to attain information about these individuals will be met with silence. This time around, it has been reported that a good percentage of the protesters have been women with some in the leadership and the protesters cross all levels of the population from students to merchants and tradesmen.

 

What is also new to these demonstrations have been the direct threats to the Ayatollahs as there have been chants of, “Death to the Ayatollah!” The Daily Mail online has a rather extensive set of videos covering the Iranian protests, and from these videos the word protest could easily be used to mean riots, and show some of the injured individuals with some graphic content. These protests are spreading and are in their fourth consecutive day despite the attempts to break up their unity using tear gas, water cannons and as reported in some instances live fire. The Iranians are pretty much ready to take whatever risks and losses it may require regaining their freedom, the very freedom, which the Ayatollahs had promised in 1979, a promise which was quickly eclipsed by their totalitarian rule and iron fist enforcement. Iran is facing the same story we have seen time and again, the people revolt against what they saw as an imperialist leader, the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and accepted the perceived savior, the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini whose return to Iran and rise to power was supported by the United States as President Jimmy Carter extolled the greatness of this wonderful man of religion and deep faith. Almost immediately after raking power, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini allowed “students” to storm the United States Embassy taking fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981, and the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan.

 

The Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini also took complete dictatorial power under the thin veneer of an elected Parliament where only approved candidates were permitted to be entertained on the ballot and a President who would act as his official receptacle of blame allowing the Supreme Leader to remain perceived as perfect with the elected Parliament and President being the reason for all misfortune. Soon after the new government settled in the Ayatollahs instituted a second military just as powerful and as well armed, if not superior in numbers and arms, called the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which would “keep the peace” in times of unrest as in 2009, as well as be responsible for spreading the revolution across the Middle East and the world. The IRGC assisted and armed Hezballah in Lebanon making it the equal or better than the Lebanese army. Hezballah now commands the Lebanese Army and has complete use of its United States provided arms which were upgraded by President Barack Obama knowing these arms were actually going to Hezballah, have trained Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza, assisted and armed the Houthis in Yemen, carried out the March 17, 1992, bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires which resulted in twenty-nine civilians being killed and two-hundred-forty-two additional civilians were injured as well as the July 18, 1994, Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) bombing which resulted in killing 85 people and injuring more than three-hundred others (see image below). There probably are other terrorist acts and attempts at undermining nations traceable to the IRGC and even if not, just give them enough time.

 

Results of the July 18, 1994 AMIA Bombing in Buenos Aries

Results of the July 18, 1994 AMIA Bombing in Buenos Aries

 

The Ayatollahs also instituted the Basij militias who were used extensively in the decade long war between Iran and Iraq under Saddam Hussein. These Basij militias were utilized as the Ayatollahs’ shock troops and during the 2009 uprising were sent into the dorms of the universities to hunt down the leadership of the protests and persuade them to cease their activities sometimes resulting in their terminating the instigating students. The 2009 abortive revolution, also called the Persian Awakening, Persian Spring or Green Revolution, was over the perceived, if not actual, overthrow of the people’s choice at the poles where the majority was believed to have elected the opposition candidate, either Mir-Hossein Mousavi or Mehdi Karroubi, and the Ayatollahs candidate of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was announced the winner. Whether or not he actually won is inconsequential, as the protesters believed he lost by a sufficient margin that they perceived this as nothing short of a repudiation of their votes. The protests were violently put down using the Basij Militias and IRGC forces where hundreds, if not thousands, were mowed down in the streets with many thousands arrested with a good proportion ending up in Evin Prison from which most never returned and all record of their eventual end left hanging as a mystery. Evin Prison is infamous for being where political prisoners are sent, tortured and eventually killed or die as a result of their treatment and also as a black hole where people go in and nothing comes out and even information appears to disappear along with the people who entered. During the entirety of the Green Revolution and its violent suppression, President Barack Obama continued in his negotiations with the Iranian government saying nothing about their actions and simply politely pursuing what would eventually become the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which is the nuclear agreement which President Trump recently pulled the United States support. The one important point is this was ended up being called a Presidential Agreement and was never a treaty, thus as President, Trump decided that the Presidency of the United States no longer agreed.

 

This brings us to the least favorite part where we predict what is likely to occur. Despite the fact that the Ayatollahs represent at most thirty percent and likely more like fewer than twenty percent of the population of Iran, they possess the vast majority of the firearms and definitely the most powerful weaponry, such as tanks and aircraft. The end result of these protests, especially if they should grow as we suspect they will, will come down to which side the Iranian Army, which is supposedly secular and somewhat independent of the Ayatollah unlike the IRGC troops who answer directly to the Supreme Leader the Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, decide to support and upon their choosing the people, assuming that is their decision, also the decisions of individual policemen who might also side with the people and who would be capable of arming people more directly than even the military as they are on the front lines and know who to trust should they side against the Ayatollah. Should the Army, as in 2009, decide to sit on the sidelines and do nothing, then the people face an impossible mountain to climb. The Ayatollahs have stated that they would attack Israel or the United States even if doing so guaranteed the return strike would decimate Iran, as they believe that after such events that their revolution to make Shia Islam the ruling power in this world would become true to honor their national martyrdom. With such an attitude, do you really believe that the lives of the people they rule actually matter to them. The only lives that matter to the Ayatollahs are those who support the revolution where Shia Islam eventually comes to rule the world, all else is inconsequential and may as well be dead to them. People who are in the streets demanding new governance are exactly the people who are superfluous bodies to the cause of the Ayatollahs and as such are unnecessary. The Ayatollahs very possibly would look at the protesters as people who are unnecessary baggage and a drain on resources which could be better spent on nuclear weapons and more missiles and other things which could be used to fight the war in Syria, arm Hezballah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the Houthis and any others who are spreading the Iranian revolution to the remainder of the world. The Ayatollahs do not place much worth on their own lives as they do not expect to see this glorious revolution through to its end, but they do believe that they can save Iran from its people even if such requires a purging of the population. This is the threat the protesters are facing and it is a serious threat. Unless the Iranian military comes to the defense of the people, their attempts at change will die in the streets right beside them. The only other hope for these protests would be outside intervention such as the United States did in Iraq. That is going to be next to impossible because the last thing President Trump wants is to use the United States military in another Middle East conflict. Of course, there is always the possibility of a miracle, and that is about what it will take for an uprising by the people of Iran to succeed.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

    Comment by OyiaBrown — August 11, 2018 @ 7:44 AM | Reply


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