27 December 2009

Iran Today

Apparently, today is a major Shi'ite religious festival, particularly one of mourning martyrs. This means that today has become a major opposition demonstration in Iran. I cannot do justice to all of the reports coming in (confirmed and unconfirmed), but apparently the violence today has been the largest since the post-election protests. For anyone who wants to follow it (which should be just about everybody), I recommend going to Andrew Sullivan's blog where he is tracking every single report.

Many people have speculated that Andrew Sullivan is a little crazy and occasionally suffers from something like monomania, because he just can't let go of something once it catches his attention. This can be detrimental when it's something like the Sarah Palin pregnancy story, but in the case of the Iranian protests it leads to some very valuable blogging. I highly recommend checking it out.

As for myself, I'm not entirely clear what this all means, but I have some guesses. At the time the protests petered out, many were sure that it meant that the "Green Revolution" had failed. I remember thinking that it was premature to think that, because of what little I knew about the '79 revolution. That revolution had started in '78, and went through fitful periods as it built up support and took devastating losses. I thought that maybe the same thing could be happening here.

It looks likely right now. I can't judge from where I am, but it looks like the protests now are larger and more passionate than any time since the post-election protests. The response is certainly more violent (possibly 3 or 4 dead already, including maybe the nephew of opposition leader Mousavi; no confirmation).

Here's some video from today's protests:

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