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View Diary: Iran: A Twitter Coup (133 comments)

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  •  The point is not "is he as bad as ..." (2+ / 0-)
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    csquared, FrankCornish

    The point is that however brutal, dictators always have fans. And the fact that they have fans in no way excuses their bloody deeds.

    I think it's fair to call bullshit on the compassion and courage of a regime that uses live rounds on unarmed protesters. I think it's fair to call bullshit on the dignity of a regime that bombs the mausoleum of its founder and then blames it on protesters. I think it's fair to call bullshit on the attempt to paint a regime that by most accounts stole millions of votes in an election as "uncorrupt".

    As for the opinions of a hypothetical farmer or mechanic, examples surely chosen to portray Ahmadinejad as the friend of the plain-spoken working man against decadent urban elites -- friend, I've heard that rhetoric before and I know where it leads.

    "Hope has never trickled down. It has always sprung up." -- Studs Terkel

    by baudelairien on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 04:18:05 PM PDT

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    •  Look, I concede (1+ / 0-)
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      the point, I don't agree with diarist. However, the reason I write what I do is because this is not the first time I have heard such arguments. Going forward we have to analyze why people think this way and try to craft responses that will help as many of these people to think differently.

      That being said, I will say that the demonization of Iran goes overboard. I have frequently made the point that Revolutions like the one that Iran went through are a sign of a sick society--it takes time and gradual change to set things back. The reason that I engage in these debates is because the more people condemn the more you drive people away. Iran, in recent years has been a much more reasonable place to live--now I do believe that Ahmadinejad and company are trying to roll that back the last four years. That is why this election was so important. I have written about little else since the beginning of May, and I never supported Ahmadinejad.

      Regarding the farmer, I am not saying I agree or think this should be the case, but it is a reality. The poor and the underclasses see Ahmadinejad as their champion. They shouldn't, but they do. SO, the more important question what do we do to help change this? It does not come from condemning positions we do not like. We need to establish lines of communication with people like this diarist. I guarantee you, that given the reception here this diarist has not reconsidered her views one bit.

      You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

      by FrankCornish on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 04:32:59 PM PDT

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      •  Demonizing v. apologizing (3+ / 0-)
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        WIds, FrankCornish, Dingodude

        I agree that it's important to understand why some people supported and continue to support Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. But I also think it's important to understand that not everybody who's coming forward to speak for those folks is doing so to, to borrow a phrase, engage in a dialogue between civilizations. There is a propaganda effort underway, and this looks to me like part of it.

        If someone -- someone with, it should be noted, no history of posting here -- had posted a diary in the week leading up to the November elections in the U.S. laying out the position that say, it's not entirely clear that Barack Obama is a natural-born citizen, or a Christian for that matter -- or whatever -- would you take it as an opportunity to establish lines of communication?

        I couldn't agree with you more that Iran has been unduly demonized. Ahmadinejad has exacerbated that. But stories and images that have made it out of Iran for the last few days have shattered people's stereotypes of the country and its people: It's not, despite what the counters of votes would tell us, a nation of Ahmadinejads.

        I can't help but notice that aside from Ahmadinejad's sympathizers, many of the people lending most credence to the official results of the election are those who demonize the country the most: The ones who have not ceased to beat the drum for war with Iran.

        In the last few days we have seen any number of examples of working class voters who have stood up to protest the results of the election. There have been articles claiming anecdotal support for Ahmadinejad outside the cities, but those articles have been contradicted by other articles citing evidence of his poor performance in rural districts in the last election cycle. There's no doubt that Ahmadinejad's style is populist and that it has won him a following. But I think we should be careful not to buy into the rather Nixonian line that his faction is actively propagating: That there is some salt-of-the-earth "silent majority" out there behind him, lost in the noisy of protests of elite brats of questionable loyalty.

        You're clearly very well-informed about the situation in Iran, and I've learned a lot from reading your comments. I commend your desire to engage in dialogue. I think it's wasted on this diarist.

        "Hope has never trickled down. It has always sprung up." -- Studs Terkel

        by baudelairien on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 06:03:40 PM PDT

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        •  Yes many times the effort (2+ / 0-)
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          blindcynic, baudelairien

          is wasted, but one has to try. I first came across this person when she posted her comment in one of my diaries. I immediately engaged her and tried to explain how things work around here.

          If I had to deal with the attitude on a regular basis I would scream, but when you present civility you sometimes make them realize you are not what they think.

          Before the election I knew that Ahmadinejad had significant support, now with the crackdowns it may simmer down through society that Ahmadinejad "the champion of the powerless" is not really true, and then maybe his support will really slip.

          You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

          by FrankCornish on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 06:23:59 PM PDT

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