The Iranian Protests

Sad to say that the protests are all  but over…..but they should give fodder for pundits and think tanks for a month or so…..then the media will move on…..

Well the pundit class has a new thing to zero in on….the book, the tell all book, but before that there were the protests in Iran….everyone has an opinion and everyone has  a  reason what made the Iranians resort to these deadly protests.  Most of these theories are wrong!

I have heard not one Western pundit report is what the protesters want from the government…..let me be the first……

What do the Iranian protesters want?

1) A referendum on founding the future regime, as most of the demonstrators called for a republican system similar to the developed countries and the overthrowing of the rule of of the Faqih.

2) Undermining the ideology of the Faqih regime and the liberation of Iranian society from the illusion of leadership of the Shiite world and its incursion into the Islamic world and eliminate the slogan of exporting the revolution.

3) Abolishing the forced veil and endorsing the principle of women’s free choice of appearance and clothing.

4) Freedom of the media, including free access to information, the Internet, social networks and the abolition of censorship.

5) Separating religion from politics and removing religious institutions and estates from politics and handing the administration of state affairs over to a government of technocrats.

6) An independent, just and impartial judiciary that is not subjected to any authority, power or political current.

7) Equal distribution of wealth and development plans to eradicate poverty, unemployment and deprivation.

8) Free, fair and transparent elections under international supervision.

9) Equality between women and men and the rejecting all forms of discrimination, violence and abuse against women in all fields.

Would be nice if someone in the media would have reported on these demands it would have given the protest more exposure…..

Of course the Iranian government will be blaming the CIA for this upheaval…..personally I do not think the “company” is the source of this unrest….yes they are there and working but these protests are generic….

There is as yet no public proof that the US is behind the protests, though the narrative sells well within Iran because of the long history of Iran being subjected to foreign intervention, and the long US history of backing foreign “revolutions.”

Hopefully the Iranians are not waiting for the US to step up with covert support…..the Trump State Department would be the kiss of death for the movement……a do-nothing bunch of losers from the top down.

But because of their lip service the Guard was called out and the usual “foreign agitators” were blamed…..

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said Sunday that the nation and its security forces have ended the wave of unrest linked to anti-government protests that erupted last month, reports the AP. “Iran’s revolutionary people along with tens of thousands of Basij forces, police, and the Intelligence Ministry have broken down the chain (of unrest),” the Guard said on its website, per Reuters. The unrest was “created … by the United States, Britain, the Zionist regime (Israel), Saudi Arabia, the hypocrites (Mujahideen) and monarchists.” Price hikes sparked protests in a number of cities and towns late last month, and at least 21 people were killed in scattered clashes. The protests, which vented anger at high unemployment and official corruption, were the largest seen in Iran since the disputed 2009 presidential election, and some demonstrators called for the overthrow of the government.

Many of the demonstrators protested against the Guard’s massive budget, its costly interventions across the region, and against Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himself. Hundreds have been detained since the protests began. They include around 90 university students, reformist lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeghi was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency. Iranian lawmakers held a closed session on Sunday in which senior security officials briefed them on the protests and the conditions of the detainees, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. “It was emphasized that foreign elements, and in particular the United States, played a basic role in forming and manipulating the recent unrest,” IRNA quoted lawmaker Jalal Mirzaei as saying. The United States and Israel have expressed support for the protests, but deny fomenting them.

Keep in mind that Israel needs a strong Iran…..without i they have nothing but the Palestinians to blame for all their problems and the world will be watching…..something Israel does not need.

On a side note:  Former Iranian president has been arrested……

With an estimated 1,000 people arrested over the course of a little over a week in protests in Iran, the most high profile may ultimately be the most surprising, with reports former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been jailed for “incitement.”

Though Ahmadinejad has not really been linked to the protest movement, he made comments during his visit to Bushehr in late December which seemed to express support for them, faulting the leadership for being “detached from the problems and concerns of the people.

This makes the narrative a lot trickier internationally, as the US has sought to brand the new protests as a continuation of the 2009 protests, which were themselves against Ahmadinejad’s contested reelection.

(antiwar.com)

This also……

Since the outbreak of mass demonstrations and unrest in Iran last week, US media have mostly busied themselves with the question of not if we should “do something,” but what, exactly, that something should be. As usual, it’s simply taken for granted the United States has a divine right to intervene in the affairs of Iran, under the vague blanket of “human rights” and “democracy promotion.” (The rare exception, such as an op-ed by ex-Obama official Philip Gordon—New York Times, 12/30/17—still accepted the premise of regime change: “I, too, want to see the government in Tehran weakened, moderated or even removed.”) With this axiom firmly established in Very Serious foreign policy circles, the next question becomes the nature, degree and scope of the “something” being done.

https://fair.org/home/think-tank-addicted-media-turn-to-regime-change-enthusiasts-for-iran-protest-commentary/

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Iran Is Fascinating

Over the New Year holiday the people of Iran started protesting…..now please do not think that it was pro-democracy protests…..it is more about the economy and the way the government is supporting adventurism aboard…the protesters think that money should be spent at home not aboard…..

The riots in early 2000’s ware not the same as the ones these days…these are lead by the working class not the middle class as before…….

In a world that is not short of conflict and crises, attention is now focused on the nationwide protests which have been rattling Iran’s clerical leadership for the past week. The protests have been compared to the last outburst of popular anger in 2009, when mainly middle-class protestors took to the streets of the capital Tehran to challenge the fraudulent victory of the populist candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in the presidential election.

Those demonstrations were crushed with brutal force, which allowed the clerical leadership and its security establishment to pursue a ruinous economic policy at home while expanding the country’s influence abroad, from Iraq to Syria.

https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/iran-s-protests-stem-from-working-class-grievance-over-price-hikes-and-a-lack-of-sanctions-relief-1.692554

The middle class is sitting this protest out…….

Yasaman was too young to join her siblings and parents as they took part in the 2009 unrest that last threatened to disrupt the regime in Iran. Now they’re aghast at her participation in the protests that are currently rattling the country. But that disapproval didn’t stop the 21-year-old as she surveyed the scene in front of the gates of Tehran University on Tuesday afternoon, the sixth day of the demonstrations.

It’s easy to understand why Iranians would oppose their 37-year-old clerical regime, a religious autocracy characterized by corruption, mismanagement, and political and social repression. Lately that list of grievances has included risky and expensive adventures abroad. The Trump administration and some Iranians in the diaspora have wholeheartedly embraced a week of anti-government protests that mostly began in small towns and cities and have since spread across the entire country.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/borzoudaragahi/irans-middle-class-is-sitting-out-the-protests

There as many opinions as there are blogs…..I just want to give my readers as much info as I can for their education…..

Starting Dec. 28, 2017, Iran has witnessed anti-government protests in several cities and towns. The character and the demands of the demonstrations have varied greatly and seem to have already evolved over the course of a few days. From the beginning, Iranian government officials have stated that people have a right to demonstrate, but that acts of sabotage and violence would be dealt with forcefully.

The first few protests focused mainly on economic issues. Demonstrations were peaceful and marched down streets chanting slogans. These initial protests seemed to occur without major incidents. From there, some of the marches become more militant and aggressive, with garbage cans and police cars set ablaze. By the night of Dec. 31, 2017, protests took on the form of armed attacks on government buildings and police stations. By Jan. 3, hundreds had been arrested and 21 people have been killed.

https://www.liberationnews.org/what-to-make-of-irans-demonstrations/

Trump took to Twitter and Tweeted his support for the demonstrators…..I think that is a bad idea….he should say nothing and watch the protests….why?  America’s approval could be the kiss of death for the demonstrators…..any involvement by the US and it will get ugly quick.

President Rouhani seemed to offer a small amount of approval but what else could he do?

Manifold reasons lie behind Iran’s ongoing protests, but the immediate trigger appears to be widespread disgruntlement over the country’s economic performance, especially cuts in President Hassan Rouhani’s new budget. Neither a revolution nor a political movement, the crisis is an explosion of the Iranian people’s pent-up frustrations over economic and political stagnation.

Beyond a struggle between state and society – or a standoff between security forces and political figures on the one hand, and young, working-class, unemployed citizens on the other – the demonstrations are putting on full display the fault lines that also divide Iran’s political establishment.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/iran/how-irans-president-rouhani-can-turn-crisis-opportunity

This situation needs to be given a wide berth and let the Iranian people decide when it is time…..unfortunately we have a d/bag in the White House that cannot resist trying to look important and in doing so  may well condemn any possibility of success for the Iranian people.

The Future Of Iran

Protests are still going on in Iran and contrary to what that moron in the White House has said it is not about the money that Obama gave Iran which by the way was Iranian money that had been frozen in 1979 it was NOT taxpayer money…..these protests are the Iranian people tired of the foreign adventurism of the government they want the money to be spent at home not in Lebanon or Syria or Iraq or anywhere else….

But all that aside what is being said about the future of Iran?

Protest movements in the Middle East face enormous repressive hurdles and rarely have happy endings. Even when protesters “succeed” in toppling an autocrat, they’ve rarely succeeded in ending autocracy.

In Iran, the obstacles to success are daunting. Whereas most Middle Eastern countries are ruled by secular autocrats focused on repressing primarily Islamist opposition, Iran is an Islamist autocracy focused on repressing secular opposition. This dynamic—unarmed, unorganized, leaderless citizens seeking economic dignity and pluralism, versus a heavily armed, organized, rapacious ruling theocracy that espouses martyrdom—is not a recipe for success.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/12/the-battle-for-iran/549446/

Or maybe this…….

Iran has often seemed to be on the brink of democracy. During the twentieth century, the country experienced three major political upheavals: the Constitutional Revolution of 1905–11, the oil nationalization movement of 1951–53 and the Islamic Revolution of 1978–79. Each differed from the others in important ways, but all constituted a reaction to corruption, misrule, and autocracy. They all reflected the spread of literacy, the rising expectations of a growing middle class, and the impatience of a wealthy business community with official mismanagement. They were all characterized by an aspiration for some form of democratic government. Yet each time, that aspiration was disappointed.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/review-essay/2017-12-12/reform-or-revolution?cid=nlc-fa_fatoday-20180101

The American Conservative also has touched on the Iranian protests……

Protests broke out in several cities across Iran last week:

The demonstrations began Thursday to oppose high unemployment and rising costs, including a 40 percent jump in the price of eggs. But they swiftly expanded to take on a system many protesters have said is corrupt.

“Down with the dictator!” some demonstrators chanted, as they tore down posters of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, in central Tehran. Protesters defied police from Kermanshah in the west to the holy city of Qom in the north and Ahvaz southwest of the capital, according to footage uploaded onto social media. Many of the images could not be confirmed.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-iranian-protests/

I do not think that too much should be read into this situation….it is an opportunity for the government, Iranian government to have a dialog with the people….but if substantial change is looked for then all will be disappointed.

Let’s get it clear right from the beginning: we don’t know what’s happening in Iran. We don’t know who’s leading the demonstrations, which are turning into riots in some parts of the country. We don’t know who, if anyone, is directing them.

Yes, yes, I know: you want me to explain what’s happening, and if it’s a Good Thing or a Bad Thing. But I’m not going to lie to you: I don’t know – and neither, at this point, does anyone else.

Here in the West, three views have taken root among the commentariat (and, of course, among US government officials: 1) This is a heroic attempt by the freedom-starved people of Iran to – finally! – overthrow the theocracy that has fastened itself on to the nation like a giant parasite. Purveyors of this view cite (sketchy) reports of Iranian demonstrators chanting “Death to Khamenei!”, “We don’t want a theocracy!,” and other anti-clerical slogans. This is the approach taken by the neoconservatives, such as Bill Kristol, shown here on MSNBC declaring that “The Iranian people want freedom” and that’s all there is to it.

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2018/01/03/iranian-rebellion-everybodys-wrong/

A New Year, A New World?

I take a couple of days off to be with family and the world changes around me and I was too busy eating to see….

First there is the situation in Iran…..

They may have started small, but the protests engulfing Iran for a fourth day are an “audacious” challenge to four decades of clerical leadership, in the words of Reuters. President Hassan Rouhani sought to calm things Sunday by defending Iranians’ right to protest but condemning any resulting violence. “People are absolutely free to criticize the government and protest, but their protests should be in such a way as to improve the situation in the country and their life,” he said. “Criticism is different from violence and damaging public properties.” Background and developments:

  • What protesters want: To put it succinctly, “regime change,” per the Wall Street Journal. These protests were small and scattered and largely focused on economic issues in September. That changed this week when news of a large protest in Mashhad spread on social media and spontaneous demonstrations broke out elsewhere. Protesters have moved beyond issues such as rampant inflation to vent over larger matters such as political oppression.

At least 12 people have been killed in the ongoing protests in Iran, and armed protesters have tried to take over police stations and military bases, state TV reported Monday. The protests began Thursday in Mashhad over economic issues and have since expanded to several cities, with some protesters chanting against the government and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the AP reports. Hundreds of people have been arrested. The state TV report said 10 were killed during clashes Sunday night, including six in the western town of Tuyserkan, 185 miles southwest of Tehran. Two demonstrators were killed during a protest in western Iran late Saturday.

“Some armed protesters tried to take over some police stations and military bases but faced serious resistance from security forces,” state TV reported. State TV aired images of burning buildings, as well as an ambulance crew trying to aid a wounded person amid a crowd of shouting people. It also showed a firetruck that appeared to have been attacked and burned. On Sunday, Iran blocked access to Instagram and the popular messaging app Telegram used by activists to organize. President Hassan Rouhani acknowledged the public’s anger over the Islamic Republic’s flagging economy, though he and others warned that the government wouldn’t hesitate to crack down on those it considers lawbreakers. (President Trump has warned that the “world is watching.”)

Maybe Trump should heed his own warning…..the world is watching.

Do not read too much into these protests……but watch the region this could be a signal of something big on the horizon and I am not talking about Iran…..stay tuned for more stuff……..

Face Of Protest

I have written a lot about the situation with Palestine in the past…..with good reason….when I was working in the Middle East I had an associate that was Palestinian, Rafiq, and when I was doing research on the West Bank I was summoned by the Israeli authorities for questioning….I ignored the summons and was told I was to be arrested….Rafiq’s family hide me until I could get away across the border to Jordan.  I owe the family.

I am sure that most Americans are aware of the protest going on in the Occupied Territories simply because Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel…a lame ass move.

There have been many arrests some have been children…like this brave young lady…Ahed al-Tamimi…..

Ahed Tamimi was just 14 when she rose to international prominence through the release of a video and a series of photos capturing her desperate attempts to save her 11-year-old brother, Mohammad, from the grips of an Israeli soldier in 2015.

Many Israelis threatened me on social media after the video was released, demanding that I be detained or even killed,” 16-year-old Ahed told Al Jazeera from her family’s home in the village of Nabi Saleh, where the distinct, red-tiled roofs of illegal Israeli settlement housing dot the adjacent hilltop. “The harassment handcuffed my life. I was scared to even go outside or visit my friends.”

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/07/nabi-saleh-silent-ethnic-cleansing-170702123734851.html

Hers is not a unique story….sadly it is all too familiar….

Junaidi was detained during clashes that erupted in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Dec. 7, the day after U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

http://mondoweiss.net/2017/12/palestinian-sentenced-conviction/

His arrest has gone viral……

Then IDF had to go a killed a wheel chair bound Palestinian protester and his death has gone viral…..

One of the men killed was Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, a wheel chair-bound 29-year-old who was a regular presence during Palestinian protests against Israel. Thuraya has spoken to the media regularly in recent years, and claimed he had lost both his legs in a 2008 Israeli missile strike in Gaza.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/israel-troops-shot-dead-wheelchair-214045011.html

The IDF had an investigation and found no one guilty for the shot….(does that sound at all familiar?)….these Palestinians are becoming the face of civil disobedience against Israel….

What Price Jerusalem?

Yesterday I asked the question….will the Palestine issue be solved?

I guess I got my answer.

Just when no one thought that Fearless Fosdick could get any stupider….he does what NO other president would do knowing the repercussions that it could cause throughout the Arab/Muslim world…..

Defying dire, worldwide warnings, President Trump on Wednesday broke with decades of US and international policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Despite urgent appeals from Arab and European leaders and the risk of anti-American protests and violence, Trump declared that he was ending an approach that for decades has failed to advance the prospects for peace, per the AP. He also for the first time personally endorsed the concept of a “two-state solution” for Israel and the Palestinians, provided both sides agree to it. “I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” he said in a White House address, calling it “overdue” and in the best interests of the United States.

He said recognition acknowledged the “obvious”—that Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government despite the disputed status that is one of the key elements in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “This is nothing more or less than the recognition of reality,” he said. Trump also directed the State Department to begin the process of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as required by US law. Officials said, however, that the move will take years to complete. Trump maintained that his decision would not compromise the city’s geographic and political borders, which will still be determined by Israel and the Palestinians.

Only a stupid slow witted moron would do this (BTW his followers that like this are even slower and more dim witted than their idol)……

What would possess an American president to do such a controversial thing?

In a politically motivated move the repercussions of which will incite anger throughout the world, Donald Trump the elected President of the United States has made a dangerous decision, so stupidly inept as to be unbelievable, that could ignite the entire Middle East, including Turkey, Africa and Europe.

In a quid pro quo for favours rendered, this amateur president has made a decision that marks him out as the weakest incumbent of the White House in American history. Some would describe him as moronic. Whatever the correct description, he has laid the fire for a conflagration that could impact millions.

The only ones to benefit, apart from the campaign donor, being the hard-Right Likud Party of Binyamin Netanyahu who is presently under investigation for corruption regarding, inter alia, alleged kickbacks on multimillion dollar purchases of submarines from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

To have the world’s most powerful state under the control of an apparent misogynistic, moronic madman is the most frightening prospect for everyone in the international community from Europe through the Middle East to Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Any American president who is willing to betray both Christianity and Islam by selling Jerusalem, the Holy City, for ‘thirty pieces of silver’ in  order to swing an election, should not be trusted further in high office. He is too dangerous and should be removed by democratic process, in the interests not just of America but the world. 

This person deserves neither respect or support…he has set the world on fire to repay a campaign debt…..even Christians in Palestine think he is a murderous thug like his handlers to Israelis.

This will not bode well for American interests in the region.

But it should do what he wanted it to do…….divert the media from all the investigation stuff……how pathetic……screw an entire people because of your petty problems.

Just Say Your Are Sorry!

Since Ken Burns released his newest documentary about the Vietnam War I have been following it up with some historic perspectives on the war.

I fought my way through 21/2 years in Vietnam and when I returned back to the US I became a staunch anti-war protester.

Over the years I have had many discussions with others about that war….some served others did not…..at one time some older gentleman told me that I need to apologize to the country for my activism.

I was taken aback and asked why should I apologize?

He told me that it was people like me that tore the country apart with all the protests to the point that the country was weakened by all the division.

My first reaction was…..BITE ME!

I said that I had nothing to apologize for and that he, a supporter of the war, should do it more than I.  Support sending in children to fight a bloody war that was NEVER meant to be won.

This event from my past came to m                                                                                                        ind after I read a piece on Common Dreams…..

How many times have you heard, or even said yourself, something like this:

It was beyond cruel what was done to Viet Nam vets. I protested the war but not the soldiers who’d been thru hell.

That’s a comment made on my Facebook page when I posted Jerry Lembcke’s very insightful review of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s series, The Vietnam War. Lembcke points out that the series promotes the established narrative that for Vietnam vets, the experience of coming home to a “hostile” public was “more traumatic than the war itself.” As I will discuss here, Lembcke, a Vietnam veteran and Associate Professor Emeritus at Holy Cross College, has dedicated much of his life to countering and disproving that narrative.

Now take a close look at the above statement. I protested the war but not the soldiers who’d been thru hell. The implication is, of course, that while this person didn’t do it, others must have “protested the soldiers,” referring to the ubiquitous stories of soldiers and veterans being harassed, hounded, called baby killers and spat on by a variety of protesters and, as the stories usually go, “long haired hippies.” Actually, this particular comment was part of a string of responses to someone who claimed he was “urinated on while in uniform.”

Source: Vietnam War Protesters have NOTHING to Apologize For | By | Common Dreams

In hindsight I still see NO reason for me to apologize…I did what I felt is morally right.