Why didn't the world go after "Kind-Hearted Khamenei" in 2009?


by FG

It is all about red lines.   It's not that Khamenei did nothing but that his crimes were miniscule by comparison to others.  Assad and Khadaffi chose open public massacres and total destruction of their countries to retain power. Assad's slaughter rate now exceeds 100 per day.   Peripheral damage includes the medievalization of future generaions, refugee flight and the intolerable destabiliation of neighboring states.  

Since the post-election crackdown 79 known protestors have been murdered on Khamenei's command.   Assad beats that daily.  Averaged since the crackdown started. the IRI slaughter rate for protesters is less than one every ten days.  Property damage has also been minimal.

Khamenei the Good?: Not Really! 

Regime propagandists make Khamenei sound like a softie.  Manouchehr writes: "A 'minority' of the Iranian population rose up in 2009 against what they were deceived into thinking was a "stolen election" when it was in fact a free vote. The authorities never imposed martial law during the crisis and tried to keep casualties as low as possible."

The first whoppers rebut themselves. The regime did not have to formally declare martial law because it could create one de facto.  Any restraint on Khamenei's part stemmed from calculated self-interest.  He needed just enough brutality to break demonstration and keep them broke.  There was no Free Iranian Army to stop him.  Pushing violence further might create one.   Khamenei also benefited from a divided opposition (reformers vs.realists) and the Green's "no violenct resistance" doctrine.  Otherwise the IRI might be long gone.  See my previous blog:


2009 VS. 2012

In 2009 many Iranians thought they had three choice: 1. Substantial reforms and gradual evolution toward democracy; 2. Revolution, and 3. Acceptance of life in the Iranian Republic as their unchangeable fate.

Three years under a police state cured any illusions about the viability of Option #1,  Today that leaves Iranians with a choice between what is Transiently Bad (Option 2) and  what is Completely Abysmal. (Option #3).  The latter limits casualties and destuction but at a hefty price: One must live endlessly like the poor souls in the link below (See photo at top)  knowing for certain life can only be more bleak tomorrow.  


Compared to 2009, the chances of successful revolution in Iran are exceptionally favorable in 2012 and will continue to improve as everything goes bad for IRI rulers. Khamenei has gained only one advanage (experience in repression) while the Iranian people have gained five major ones: 1. Realism. 2. working class alienation; 3. security force  lienation; 4. Lessons in tactics and strategy from Syria, and 5) Favorable consequences of Assad's downfall.  It would weaken the regime, embolden the and make Russia wary of backing Iran to the degree it backed Assad. 


As I wrote earlier, the regime must nip any protests in the bud before any Free Iranian Army can form.  Spotaneity, surprise and flexibility are critical.  Assad's downfall and Election Day are potential explosion points but the regime knows it as well and will be fully ready.   It might be best to wait until regime forces are sent home.  

Despite surveillance of the internet and public, there are a few things people can do to be ready when the first major protest breaks out: 

1. Pass the word (It's time). 

2. Create new demonstrations in as many places as possible

3. Agree in advance to a "no respite" policy with demonstations (mobile if necessary) in as many places as possible. 

4. Prepare useful signs, graffiti and chants especially those urging security defections and protecting the people. 


In 2009 the Iranian people were pioneers who inspired the Arab Revolution. Just as Iranians can learn from Syrian tactics today, the Syrians learned something important from what happened to Iranians.  After showing relative restraint,  Assad decided to crack down on his protestors using the very techniques Khamenei had used.  Syians who had previous insisted on "peaceful demonstrations only" had the Iranian example to see where they would end up unless strategy and tactics changed. 







more from FG


by FG on

The CIA, Israel and Martians are behind all uprisings!  That's the kind of thing we often hear from Bad Guys exploiting nationalism. The quote below comes from Syria's Foreign Minister but the speaker could be Khamenei, Ayatoilet or Amir .   They are cookie cutter alike

Historically, out-of-touch older emigres have always dreamed impossible deams not shared in the homeland.  When the IRI falls,  Iranians want democracy--not a new dictator wearing a necktie instead of a turban. 

QUOTE: “Israel is the mastermind of all in this (Syrian) crisis...They (Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey) are fighting in the same front.”

OBSERVATION: Fact joins fiction. Those three countries co-operate because it serves their national interests.  The intent is to taint alll three and rebels who supposedly work for Al Queda at the same time.  Xenophobes often float mutually contradictory theories hoping at least one will float.


One nice thing about exploiting nationalism is that you can always use it to justify censorship, as in "The people of Iran, Turkey, Syria, etc. must not be allowed access to any news not approved by the state lest foreigners manipulate them."


Khamenei regime: "Foreigners were behind the Iranian post-election protests in 2009.  Hence a crackdown is justified."

Ayatoilet: "The US loves the Mullahs and is behind all Khamenei's crimes." and  "The Russians and Americans are involved in a secret conspiracy against Iranians."  (Again incompatible theories collide and theory becomes "fact." Like Joe McCarthy--Ayatoilet claims access to secret lists and documents unavailable to anyone else.   

Amir for Secular Monarchy: "The USA and the West loved Khoumeini and arranged for him to overhrow the Shah who everyone loved.  They did the same in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, etc., where people adored their dictators."   

Observation: Anyone who would praise Samoza and those dictators can't have much interests in human rights.  That raises the question of what Amir really has in mind for Iranians. 


1. They expoit ultranationism for their own purposes.

2. They twist reality by inventing the most implausible alliances.  

3. They slander the peoples of Iran, Syria, Egypt, etc. by suggesting they are easily fooled by devious foreigners.  This becomes the pretext for censorship. 

4. They imply the CIA is so omnipresent, omnipotent and rich in resources that  it can magically work its will freely in police states where eyes are everywhere and most locals supicious of foreigners. 

5. They invent charges out of the nothing then insist the accused prove the it isn't so.  Occasionaly such types offer "evidence" as dumb as "I saw the Obama wearing a green shirt which proves who was behind the Greens." 

6. They despise Enlightenment ideas about universal human right and use nationalism to discredit such "awful" foreign influences.    

Western political ideasare accepted only when they support dictatorship.   The idea of nationalism is just as much a westrern innovation as the Declaration of the Rights of Man.  Historians point to Joan of Arc (vive la France!) as the first real nationalist in history. 




Conversation with a Basilj

by FG on

Conversation with a Basilj: "We would refuse to fight"

(The question concerned any potential conflict with the USA, not future suppression of protestors.  Nevertheless, I think this sort of attitude has become commonplace among many Basilj today.  Recall when they'd serve as human minesweepers for Khamenei?  You won't find suckers like that anymore!)

Abbas, said something that I found to be very interesting. Abbas said he had gone to a mosque and noticed that a group of Basij members were sitting around talking about war, so he decided to ask them some questions to find out how they would react. Essentially, what the Basij members told Abbas was that the main reason they were Basij was because they were being offered motorcycles and various other financial incentives, and that these were the only reasons they were part of the Basij. As far as fighting for the regime, all of them had said they would refuse to fight...

 So, if the Basij won't fight to keep the regime in power, and angry protestors are pouring into the streets either demanding cheaper chicken or their votes to be counted, how is the regime going to go to war and hope to defend the country? Firing off missiles in the desert and making unrealistic threats about closing the Straits of Hormuz are not going to fool anybody.