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Teheran on fire
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-06-18 09:30:53
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Many times I have written, and I strongly believe that democracy finds its own ways and it always prevails in the end. And somehow Iran becomes, or at least I want to believe that it becomes, an example of that. The last presidential election was a joke, and of course the ayatollahs didn’t give up their most loyal puppet, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It doesn’t matter what they call it: republic, theocratic or anything else; the bottom line is that Iran has a dictatorship. Compared with all the other dictatorships throughout history, the ruling regime has only one aim, its survival over the people. But the people are on the streets of Teheran and at the moment they are demonstrating because they feel that their candidate lost unfairly. Soon they will understand that they lost because democracy loses in Iran; and this is what destroyed the Shah, but this is the turning point and it will destroy the ayatollahs.

Back in early 70s, the dictators in Greece called a presidential election; there was only one candidate, the dictator himself and in the end he took a …surprising 98% of the votes. Thousands of jokes were going around at that time, with one of them saying that he and his family were the 2% that voted against him. During the same period, all political parties were illegal and most of the politicians were in exile or in prison. The people that the police considered as possible candidates, who were still free, not in prison or in exile, suddenly got a call from the police and some of them had to stay in a cell for a couple days, just to clear out things. I’m talking about things that I lived through myself and I remembering them when I read the reports from Iran.

Over the last days, people of every age, education and from all classes, are demonstrating in Teheran and other big Iranian cities. They demonstrate against the establishment that has reelected the puppet president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and soon these people will start wondering if their choices were limited. The candidates agreed on most issues, and their real disagreements were only in details. The people will realize that this election was a joke, since they had to do nothing with decisions, but with the front of the regime. Whatever their opinions are, they will be controlled by a group of fanatics, who use religion as an excuse. They suppress a nation by covering up their fears, xenophobia, racism and dangerous militarism.

The people of Teheran are discovering that the regime is not working on their behalf, it is not listening to them; it is absolutely ignoring them; it has already decided their destiny. This will bring back memories from another leader, who they had thirty years ago, the not forgotten Shag and his regime’s piquant attitude. The people who are in the streets now, understand that there are ideas and opinions, that there are exchanges of ideas, and even the most provocative ideas help. That’s why the regime is in panic. And when dictators are in panic, they react exactly like dictators do, with threats and violence. There are tens of cases of police brutality in Teheran. The state has forbidden demonstrations and strikes, and lately they have even forbidden gatherings. Reporters are restricted in certain areas, without any access to information, and internet and foreign media are cut off.

The regime of course reacted also in another way, dictatorships do that; they organized a rally in support of the puppet president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This is something that again brings out memories from the national guards that demonstrated for Saddam, or Mugabe’s supporters demonstrating in Zimbabwe. Dictators, like the ones in Iran, Zimbabwe or North Korea, feel safe and legal as long the laws that they established to protect them, work to scare people enough to keep them quiet. The problems start when people realize that their voices are above these laws, and this is what is happening this minute in Iran.

The latest reports from Iran talk about more wounded, victims of an uncontrollable police force, and a regime that has shown its true, brutal face. On the same time, more reactions from abroad are coming in, and the Iranians in exile are finding their voices. They have started to ignore all the parasites around the Iranian embassies, as well as the informers of the regime inside the Iranian communities abroad. In the end it doesn’t matter how much violence the regime uses in Iran, and it doesn’t matter how much money the Iranian embassies spend on their parasites abroad - this is exactly how democracy prevails, the will of the people is a wave that is difficult to stop.

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Emanuel Paparella2009-06-18 17:42:18
Indeed, ultimate power resides in the people and the Machiavellian politicians of any polity, not excluding the democratic ones, can fool some of them all the times, and all of the them some of the times, but cannot fool all of them all the times, as Lincoln reminded us. The power that the people have is “soul power” as understood by the likes of Ghandi, Thoreau, King and Havel, and here I am afraid the Iranians have a lesson for the utra-democratic Europeans who abstained from their democratic electoral duties at the tune of 57% only a few days ago and then rationalized their abstention. As Havel put in his Politics and Conscience way back in 1984: “impersonal manipulative forces can be resisted only by one true power we all possess, our own humanity.” I suppose it is called "soft power" or "velvet revolution" or "conspiracy of hope" and it always triumphs, ultimately, after some pain and suffering.

David2009-06-19 04:08:08
I hope you are right. I believe you are, but possibly only when one considers the long march of history. How long did the Russian people suffer under the dictatorship of the Soviets? They slipped free, briefly, and now feel the boot again. The Chinese people demonstrated equally strongly at Tiananmen Square, and were crushed. People have power, but the Dictators have guns. Big guns and lots of them.

Reil2009-06-24 07:16:59
"That's right," the man said. "I couldn't remember the word." He was the only t, then high school students, and, finally, to anyone aged 13 and over. The website currently has more than 175 million active users in amount of visitors, making Facebook the most popular social network, followed by MySpace and Twitter.other human at the loading dock this morning. The man didn't have a name, just a number, like the rest of the robots. Paris, at Night.

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