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Faye Kellerman wrote a fictional book about a mysterious series of murders which rocked the German city of Munich.   The setting of this book was in the late 1920's when the economy was in shambles and when Hitler was rising to power in the years after his unsuccessful putsch.  The title of that book, "Straight Into Darkness", aptly described the destination of the city of Munich along with Germany(and much of Europe).  Darkness was the destination, and that is the destination of Iran's government and people.

The "Supreme Leader" has, for a third time, called this fraudulent election for Ahmadinejad.  Buddy, everyone heard you the last two times..

There is no real way to know what will happen, but we can make predictions and throw out different scenarios.  We know Ansar Hezbollah and the paramilitaries are ready for a showdown.  We know the protesters are ready to go out into the streets day after day, beating after beating, shooting after shooting.  We know the totalitarians have decided that they like power too much to give it up, no matter what their better angels(if they have any) beckon them to do.   We also know that the reformist leaders will not back down no matter how many of them are arrested or intimidated.   We also know that the regular army, and indeed much of the regular police force, are trying to sit on the fence.  Finally, we know that whatever happens in Qom will not stay in Qom.

What goes without question is that there will be blood.

If the Assembly of Experts decide to sack Khamenei(as is being discussed), it may be enough to push the regular police and the regular army off of the fence.  At that point, there will be a lot of bloodshed because the paramilitaries and the RGC are not going to go quietly into the night.  They would rather kill their fellow countrymen and fellow Muslims rather than watch their precious government(of the thugs, by the thugs, and for the thugs) fall.

If the Assembly of Experts rule in favor of Khamenei, than the chance increases for the Islamic Republic of Iran to fall entirely.   Many clerics are already being blamed for what has happened to the country, and the blame upon them will only become more extreme if they prove themselves entirely unable to check and balance the power of government.  Of course, if the Assembly rules in favor of Khamenei, there is a good chance that the fence-sitters will stay where they are and let the protesters be bloodied.

Can these protesters even be bloodied into submission?   Probably not.  Can further arrests stop them from chanting "God is great!" from their rooftops?  I don't know.  What I do know is what I have already said, and I'll say it again; there will be blood, and it will be(as Jefferson said) the blood of both patriots and tyrants that refresh the tree of liberty in Iran.  May they never let that tree die.

Originally posted to Setrak on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:27 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson

    by Setrak on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:28:00 AM PDT

  •  Probably should be careful what he wishes for. (14+ / 0-)

    "Supreme Leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said those who cause violence during protests would be held accountable

    Notice: This Comment © 2009 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:34:52 AM PDT

  •  I haven't been this fascinated by a (19+ / 0-)

    foreign story since the Tsunami in 2004. I lay awake at night thinking about these people. They are so courageous. Knowing that every day and especially at night they go out, they could be beaten or killed. It just breaks my heart.

  •  God is Great (13+ / 0-)

    May He watch over his children in their darkest hour.

    "2012; that sounds like years away." - Sarah Palin

    by RandySF on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:41:16 AM PDT

  •  The Big Question- Will the army and the police (7+ / 0-)

    permit the slaughter of the Iranian people? Will they participate in it? Today, that's what it comes down to.

  •  This just doesn't make any sense. (6+ / 0-)

    Why is Khameni staking his future on the outcome of such an obviously-fraudulent election?

    Just from a self-preservation POV, he should call for new elections.

    Mousavi wasn't even a threat to the regime; is it just personal pique? I understand Khameni and Mousavi are rivals from way back.

    •  Partly the rivalry, (7+ / 0-)

      partly the fact that he made a decision last Friday and he's too stubborn to change it.  Also, being a hard-core conservative, Khamenei fears change(when he's the one that stands to lose).

      "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson

      by Setrak on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:52:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's just stupid. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattman, pat bunny, neroden, kat68

        The best way to continue a dictatorship is to keep the people satisfied with lacking a true say in their affairs.

        The bees of Iran were essentially slumbering, and then Khameni started poking the hive with a big stick.

        Now that the bees are angry, instead of blowing smoke to lure them back to sleep, he's trying to stomp on them all.

        What a fool.

    •  He's an authoritarian leader . . . (7+ / 0-)

      as someone who claims near absolute authority it's not in his nature to admit error.

      He views self-preservation in the same way that hardliners do.  It means that he fears that compromise will paint him as weak, and that his authority will be undercut by a display of weakness.

      It's an interesting question regarding personal animosity and what role it may have.  It's possible that he's beholden to his power base too, which demands no accommodation with anyone outside the power base (e.g. reformers).

      Compromise can be a form of self-preservation too, but Khamenei seems blind to this.  His thinking seems to be all or nothing, which is consistent with an authoritarian outlook.  My sense is that he is probably captive to his support base and the information that he's receiving about the opposition is filtered through his support base.  He's clearly isolated.

      •  Ummm..... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tomjones

        What compromise? What error. He's participated in a massive electoral fraud, in addition to the all the other hateful, criminal, oppressive things this regime has done. If he conceded there was a fraud, heads will roll. People must go to jail, including Khameni.

        I don't see how there can be a compromise, or an admission of error that would allow him and his supporters to continue in power. Those in power in authoritarian states -- and Iran is one -- do not surrender power peacably.

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

        by FischFry on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:16:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He could always find a fall-guy . . . (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tomjones, FischFry

          Khamenei would undermine his credibility based on his initial remarks, but he had an opportunity to reverse himself this week.  He could have undertaken actions that contained the political damage to his authority.  His political leverage is at its apex right now since he still has control over levers of state power.  If those powers erode underneath him, he will have no say over his own fate.

          It may be that his support base would have turned on him if he'd undertaken this action if he'd effectively thrown Ahmadinejad under the bus.  Still, without knowing his internal deliberations, it at least appeared this week that Khamenei had a chance to de-couple his fate from that of Ahmadinejad.  Instead he's doubled down.

          As far as ceding power in authoritarian states go, one of the compromises that took place in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union is that many were able to essential walk in exchange for a peaceful transition (e.g. Poland, former Czechoslavakia, Hungary).  Some authoritarian leaders place a higher value on life than political power.  Others will fight to the death.  Khamenei strikes me as the kind of authoritarian leader who will crack under pressure.  He did not come into power through the assassination of rivals.  His consolidation of power has largely come through political maneuvering -- not violence.

    •  because (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      Ahamdinejad has much power in his own right, perhaps as much as Khamenei behind the scenes, even tho Khamnei makes the formal public pronouncements. He couldn't get rid of Mahmoud even if he wanted to.

      Even The Best Drummers Get Hungry

      by Keith Moon on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:29:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  New Election? True Election? Green Landslide! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tomjones, neroden
      The opposition to crooked religio-politico tyranny is swelling beyond the ignored votes of last week in Iran. The 3rd rate candidate would be swamped worse next time. Key is to replace the phony 3rd rate cleric still pimping the fraud. If the cleric counsel had the courage of the protesters, that pimp would go the way of his frontman puppet whore.
      The current establishment is activating more opposition by their failed methods to suppress it.
      The truth is in the street. Someday we are going to win one of these fights. Then, every day can be someday.

      Lies at the top cause murder and misery at the bottom. Freedom should be a universal birthright.

      by renzo capetti on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:34:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i'm still NOT convinced (9+ / 0-)

    of widespread bloodshed at this point

    i don't mind if arlen remains the senior senator from pennsylvania IF the voters in the DEMOCRATIC primary choose him BUT until then...........

    by primaryarlen on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:49:59 AM PDT

    •  It's impossible to know the extent thus far, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tomjones, neroden, Cassiodorus

      and I fear the worst has yet to come.

      Khamenei has chosen that there will be no backing down.

      "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson

      by Setrak on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:50:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  sure it is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, John Minehan

        so far, the violence has been minimal(which i must admit is a shock in itself); i think that bodes well for a non-violent resolution here(perhaps another election?)

        i don't mind if arlen remains the senior senator from pennsylvania IF the voters in the DEMOCRATIC primary choose him BUT until then...........

        by primaryarlen on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:53:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Minimal? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pat bunny, cas2, JFinNe

          Cellphons are down.  Satellites and phones have been confiscated.  Internet access remains weak.  Many sites are still blocked.  Getting information, especially video out, is difficult. All foreign reporters have been told to leave.

          We don't know that the violence has been minimal.   What I have seen thus far leads me to believe that it has not been minimal.

          "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson

          by Setrak on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:56:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mattman, NotGeorgeWill, John Minehan

            MINIMAL; there is clearly a split WITHIN the regime(i still think rafsanjani is the WILD CARD in this whole scenario) and we will just have to see how it plays out BUT i see the army showing restraint which is a BIG indicator of a regime not knowing what to do next

            i don't mind if arlen remains the senior senator from pennsylvania IF the voters in the DEMOCRATIC primary choose him BUT until then...........

            by primaryarlen on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:59:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think they know what to do next: (0+ / 0-)

              let this die out.  

              The reason that the Republicans were wrong about Iran having a revolution after we liberated Iraq, was that the Iranians saw what happens when there is no one "looking out for the (Shia) folks."  They want a strong government, in the end.  

          •  Minimal violence compared to what? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mattman, pat bunny, Cassiodorus

            ...in my obsessive reading about Iran, I came on a post on either Nico's or Sullivan's site by a person claiming to be a nurse in Iran.  This was two nites ago.  She said "9 people died here last night."  Medical personnel were forbidden to talk to the wounded or get any info about them; therefore, the 9 dead bodies were taken away by gov't truck and "we don't even know who they were."  She also said all wounded street protestors were supposed to be taken to "military hospitals" but nonetheless all hospitals were over flowing.  I suspect when the dust settles dozens, if not hundreds of people will be missing and/or declared dead, and many others will be imprisoned.  Not Tiananmen, but plenty of violence nontheless.        

            •  Compared to say, Saddam's (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              neroden, cas2

              gassing of the Kurds or massive roundups (as in millions of people, at least on the scale of the WWII Japanese internment camps) it is minimal so far.  They haven't even brought in their air force yet.

              •  Point well taken... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                neroden

                ...but just 5 mins ago I watched a video on Nico's site of a protestor being shot dead in Iran.  You're right, tho...it doesn't look like military weapons versus the people with stones. There is considerable violence against life and property, however.  

              •  I don't think Khamenei controls the air force (0+ / 0-)

                The Navy and Air Force of the regular Army appear to be quite resistant to attacking Iranian civilians.  

                I don't think the Revolutionary Guard has its own full-scale air force, though it does have helicopters.

                -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                by neroden on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:01:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman

      The question here is: How far are the refomers willing to push through their agenda.

      Will the Saturday rallies still go forward even though the protesters haven't received official approval?

      If so, what will the support levels be like?  What will the state response be to the protests?

      These are questions that we cannot yet answer.

      So far the reformers have bent over backwards to avoid direct confrontation.  Earlier this week on Tuesday when the state organized a demonstration to pre-empt the Mousavi "Green Wave" his faction made an accommodation and changed locations.

      Today, based on fears of violent reprisals after Khamenei's sermon, the Mousavi-Karroubi supporters stayed at home.

      The question is: What happens tomorrow?

  •  The protesters won't just give up? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John Minehan

    Especially now that they've been reminded by their Supreme Islamic Leader that all the recent trouble is the fault of the Jews, America, England, capitalists, and the west in general?  Plus, he told them this morning, as if he was channeling George W. Bush, that Iranian law does not allow election tampering, thus no tampering with the election could possibly have taken place (because it's against the law).

    I think the protesters will give up, at least the vast majority of them.  Might be a few little protests here and there - and they'll get slaughtered.

    But I could be wrong, and I hope I am.

  •  I am puzzled-do the protesters have weapons or a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shadan7, neroden

    way of adequately defending themselves? If not they could be slaughtered if it comes down to this.

    •  Safety in numbers. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, lysias, neroden, appledown

      Their defense so far has come from the size of the movement.  It's easy for the Basij to pick off protest groups of a few hundred or a few thousand, it's much harder to contain a movement of hundreds of thousands.

      The real risk comes from a suppression by regular uniformed forces.  So far the regular army has remained neutral.  The IRG though is likely to take sides with the hardliners.

      The Basij alone are largely useless against a crowd of several hundred thousand.

      The rumors are that the IRG will be present at Saturday protests.  It may be that this is simply a rumor intended to intimidate protesters from showing up.  It remains to be seen if they will take sides and whether martial law will be imposed.

      If martial law is imposed though, it will put the lie to the idea that the current regime represents the will of the people.  The state will effectively remove one of the pillars underpinning its legitimacy.

      There is also a risk that violent reprisals can backfire on the state and deepen resistance.  This was what undid the Shah's power.

  •  Or it could go down. . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shadan7, NotGeorgeWill

    just the way it has in the past — a few murders by the clerically-controlled thugs followed by the complete collapse of the opposition.

    Good snark is hard to come by.

    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:07:54 AM PDT

  •  My guess: no repression, no (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, neroden

    change in the Gov't position and, within a week or two, no more demonstrations.  Ahmadinejad's leash gets tightened.  Khamenei is quietly ousted by the Guardian Council.  Life goes on . . . .

    •  I think that's the protesters' hope.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias

      If Khamenei is ousted by the Guardian Council, the new Supreme Leader can call new elections, I believe.

      All peaceful, all satisfactory, protesters happy.

      However, Khamenei is showing every sign of clinging to his power at all costs including mass bloodshed.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:08:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The conclusion won't be pretty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, neroden

    I don't see the protesters giving up, standing down, and I don't see A-jad and his clerics doing the same either.  The next few days will reveal the impasse between the two factions and the whole world will be watching.  What has been lost in the coverage is the fact that serious irregularities are being found in the vote count, a fact Khameni didn't mention.  

  •  brutal Basij goons (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pat bunny, neroden, JFinNe

    ozzyfan269
    RT from Iran: Video: Basij beating people in Rasht unrest THE TIME IS NOW TO FIGHT BACK! #iranElection #gr88
    7 min ago· Translate · Reply · Retweet · View tweet

    http://iran.twazzup.com/... OR riots OR riot OR basij OR violence

    Even The Best Drummers Get Hungry

    by Keith Moon on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:24:16 AM PDT

  •  When they take away your cell phone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fisheye

    it's so nobody can hear your screams when you are murdered.

    "You must do what you feel is right, of course" -- Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Episode IV

    by Cassiodorus on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:30:03 AM PDT

  •  Saliva (4+ / 0-)

    I think you're getting saliva on the keyboard.  I admit, yesterday's story line was a bit dull: another big march, but nothing really new to add to the plot.  A huge slaughter would certainly liven up the theater.

    But do we have to seem so damn eager for it?

  •  I'm Betting the People Will Back Down (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA

    I don't have any expertise mind you.

    They've had their protests, the power structure said no, and it'll be acting with force now.

    All the photos I see are of middle and upper middle class people. I can see such people prevailing over a basically collapsing power structure, but it seems that Iran's power structure is not collapsing.

    I don't know where the poor are in this, but it's hard for me to see reasonably comfortable people pressing a protest to the point of enough violence for long enough to overthrow the power structure.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:34:21 AM PDT

  •  We are all on the same side, right? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, neroden

    Well, no.  Take the Washington Post. They have come out very strongly for the fundamentalists in this fight -- because it suits their needs, an easy enemy that will force the US into another war.

    But I am quite sure that 99.9% of people here would agree that we wish the people of Iran the best, and the establishment there the worst.  As bloggerinterupted wrote this morning, maybe this is Khamenei's Ceauşescu moment.

    But I have to disagree with this:

    Can these protesters even be bloodied into submission?   Probably not.

    It would have been better to write "I hope not", because the use of force does have a fairly good track record -- especially in the US.

    I am old enough to remember Kent State -- it did not end with the resignation of Nixon, it ended with the reelection of Nixon. And what of the brutal beatings that took place in Chicago in '68? This article will make you sick (the cops are having a reunion -- oh boy, what fun!).

    Of course, there are lots of other examples in other countries, but you get the point.

    So what differentiates a movement against tyranny that succeeds, and one that does not? My response would be leadership.

    The civil rights movement faced down violence -- but the movement had a lot of leadership, not just MLK. (Sometimes it had too much, as when the various organizations could not agree on tactics.) But the result was that it could not be stopped.  

    So, the question is not what will Khamenei do? but is there effective enough leadership to keep this movement going? or, conversely, will the establishment tire of Khamenei end his leadership?  Those are the two scenarios for victory for the opposition.

    (And of course, I see no scenario where US intervention in any way helps -- I think we can all agree on this, as well.)

    •  This may well be a situation that takes months to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      resolve.  We have gotten used to wanting action to end quickly---this might not happen here.

      Perhaps a slowdown revolt from labor throughout the land will start---and things will develop from there.

      The street protests will continue for awhile, but bloodshed will slow that action fairly quickly I think.

      As long as the US tries to stay on the high road--we will be smart.

      "You know, my wife is so dumb, she is always asking me questions I can't answer."--James Inhofe

      by Phil S 33 on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:50:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Um, the 'establishment' (0+ / 0-)

      Rafsenjani, Mousavi, Khatami, Karoubi, Razaee....

      the opposition is loaded with 'establishment' figures who have tired of Khamenei.  They are also proven, effective leaders.  The other "500 opposition leaders arrested" (according to one tweet) are surplus!

      In your terms the opposition already has victory lined up.  It's more iffy than that actually of course.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:07:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We don't even understand Virginia politics. (0+ / 0-)

    Just saying.

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:24:37 AM PDT

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