Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Iran

Who has been following what is happening in Iran? I can't pretend to have any great grasp on the facts, so I don't have any insight or even opinion more than what you have probably read...but it is pretty easy to recognize a monumental event when you see one. I have also found the role of technology in this to be really interesting...the government is trying its darnedest to limit the flow of voice and data out of the country, which is no small feat in this day and age.

It is hard to see how this resolves itself, too. Riots and demonstrations have been going on for nearly two weeks now...they aren't gonna stop demonstrating, and the leadership doesn't seem to either know how or be willing to quell the unrest. The demonstrators want a fair election, and they don't think they got one, and the Supreme Council has basically told them that they did.

Everyone (The US, Europe, Iran's neighbors, The Opposition and the Government) seems to agree that they want a resolution and order, and that the chaos of a governmental overthrow would be a disaster. But, when it really gets down to it, who is willing to do what it takes to avoid that kind of chaos? If the government would rather have chaos than change, and the opposition would rather have chaos than the status quo, what stops it? Unless the Ayatollah is concerned so much with preserving his own power that he is willing to give up some of his ideology to keep it, this seems destined for a very messy end.

It is also hard to tell exactly where the fault lines are. This is popularly discusses as a middle class uprising against the repression of the Islamic leadership (supported by the poor and uneducated). But it seems also to be the young, urban progressives against the older, rural conservatives. But there is a lot more to it than that. The guy that the protesters most want elected is basically a Communist, and seems to be riding a wave of outrage over high unemployment...as I read from one analyst "How can this be a middle class uprising if the protesters are 20 year old unemployed people?"

So, to further complicate matters...there is a very good chance that the protesters are all protesting the same thing for very, very different reasons.

Anyway, I am not sure how much value this added to your day...lol...but it is certainly an event that has grabbed my attention, and a situation very much worth watching. Maybe tomorrow, if I am still in the mood, I will go into Obama's (non)reaction...or maybe we can talk about North Korea firing missiles at Hawaii!

4 comments:

Ally said...

Who needs CNN when we have AM? :)

brandyismagic said...

I've been following it pretty intently and I'm really interested to see what happens Thursday. I have to say, I've been impressed with the measured response of Obama, I think with the amount of pressure he's facing to respond in a great way, he's walking a pretty thin line and doing it well. But that's just me.

Ys said...

I personally think the US and the UK should keep their noses out of it. I understand that it's a bad situation and I really hope there's a resolution but other countries sticking their oars in is not going to calm the situation. We Westerners need to realise that our way is not necassarily the only way to do things. Our interference is what has riled up the Iran government even more.

I love how technology has played such a big part in it. It's wonderful that us ordinary folk can have such a strong voice even when the government is trying to quieten it.

Aaron said...

We should give the civilians some guns and let them work it out.

Oh, wait. We already tried that in Afghanistan. :P