After yesterday's brutal crackdown on protesters in Iran-and with opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, reportedly under house arrest, continuing to issue defiant statements on his website-this New Republic piece on the history of popular protest in the country makes for sobering reading.
Anyone who tells you that they know how the current situation in Iran will play out has no idea what they're talking about, but no matter what happens there have already been a number of images that can only be considered iconic from the week of protests. The Boston Globe's Big Picture blog has an excellent collection of photos here.
Don't be sweating that up to 3 million votes in Iran could be dicey or, you know, fake. A Guardian Council spokesman explained that "voter turnout of above 100% in some cities is a normal phenomenon because there is no legal limitation for people to vote for the presidential elections in another city or province to which people often travel or commute." Oh. In typical Iran fashion, the government keep taking ideas that are substantially true and then going around the bend of crazy. Of the Western media, the foreign ministry says: "How can they say they are unbiased when their TV channel is like a [...]
Tom Scocca: Keller of 'NYT' in Iran: 'The Iranians Watch Us Closely' Choire Sicha: Mr. Executive Editor of the Times is driving me a little crazy. His Reporter's Notebook? Tom Scocca: Oh? Oh. "A newcomer to town." Tom Scocca: Oh, he did not do a "Welcome to…" transition. Choire Sicha: He's like 20 seconds away from a "Reader, I x'd Him."
According to Iran state radio, seven demonstrators were killed Monday night. Iran's "Guardian Council" (mmm, hmm) has now said it will recount the vote in "contested areas." Is a limited recount enough? Not bloody likely. Outside Iran, people are looking into the raw election data-and howling with laughter. And Ahmadinejad supporters are having some fun with the western media still present and active: "The people who claim vote rigging should look first into the election of George W Bush in 2000 and how it was stolen from Al Gore. The West is a sore loser when it comes to the result of a democracy which [...]
The latest from today in Iran: "All of a sudden some 500 people with clubs came out of [undecipherable] mosque and they started beating everyone. They tried to beat everyone on [undecipherable] bridge and throwing them off of the bridge. And everyone also on the sidewalks. They beat a woman so savagely that she was drenched in blood and her husband, he fainted. They were beating people like hell. It was a massacre. They were trying to beat people so they would die. they were cursing and saying very bad words to everyone. This was exactly a massacre…."
"The Guardian Council, one of Iran's top oversight bodies, said Thursday it would invite the country's three unsuccessful presidential challengers to a meeting to discuss the contested weekend elections." Uh oh. You can imagine how that "meeting" ends. (The Council is calling the meeting "extra-ordinary." Yikes.) Let's hope they meet in a room with a drain in the floor. Also because: "At the same time, security agents rounded up three more prominent figures affiliated with Mr. Mousavi."
It is really quite something that the New York Times is running, on page one, above the fold, an article about yesterday's White House press briefing that says "President Obama hardened his tone toward Iran on Tuesday." Ooh, his tone! Hardened! The Chicago Tribune and others say similar. And the Washington Post says "Saying U.S. is 'outraged,' president appears to mark new phase in response to disputed election." Appears? New phase? What? A phase of doing what? (He also said Americans were "outraged" about AIG, by the way, because some people were asking about things that concern America-not to say that what is, one hopes, an Iranian revolution isn't [...]
What we're all watching today! Two shocking videos about violence, both with bearing on the world economy and our global infrastructure-our very understanding of what it means to be human! · "My first instinct is to say that I'm not saying that to make myself feel better than all the people who have watched the video, but after reading the comments on all the various different sites that have posted it, I can't help but wonder… Why would you watch it?" · "Violence is never the answer. Ever. No matter what anyone says. Blood should never be drawn. Another person should never be hurt."
Google now offers a Persian option on its Translate page to help you better keep up with the fast-moving events in Iran. I just tried it, and while it is somewhat rudimentary, it translated the first Twitter message I found-"Ã™…Ã˜ÂªÃ˜Â´ÃšÂ©Ã˜Â±Ã™… Ã˜Â§Ã™â€ Ã˜Â¯Ã˜Â±Ã™Ë† Ã˜Â³Ã˜Â§Ã™â€žÃ›Å’Ã™Ë†Ã˜Â§Ã™â€ Ã˜Â¨Ã˜Â±Ã˜Â§Ã›Å’ Ã˜Â¹Ã˜Â· Ã˜Â³Ã˜Â¨Ã˜Â² "Ã™Ë† Ã™Ë†Ã˜Â¨Ã™â€žÃ˜Â§ÃšÂ¯ Ã˜Â´Ã™…Ã˜Â§-as "I was not going to protest until I saw that Andrew Sullivan turned his blog green in solidarity," which seems about right.
As protests over the disputed Iranian presidential election continue into their third day, the New York Times checks in with Ahmad Batebi, a student who became the symbol of anti-government protests in 1999 after a photo of the 21-year-old holding a bloody shirty appeared on the cover of The Economist. After the Economist cover, he was tortured and imprisoned. The magazine caught up with him last year.
At left, Iranian demonstrators protest against the contested results in the country's Presidential election. At right, Los Angeles Lakers fans celebrate their team's 15th NBA Championship; the LAPD reports that at least 25 people were arrested. Good morning!