Iran to women: No skiing unless with a male guardian
Washington Post / Thomas Erdbrink
11-Nov-2011 (2 comments)

The first snow of the season fell in Tehran this week, but female ski bums planning to carve fresh lines at one of the three resorts in the Alborz mountain range will be able to hit the slopes only if they are accompanied by a male guardian


Please Help expose Arabs to news like this

by FG on

After Iranians ousted an absolute ruler in 1979, trusted clerics stole the revolution and installed something even worse. If the same happens to Arabs, those thugs stand to benefit.   Don't let it happen.

With Assad falling, the Arab Spring spreading and every area of life growing worse in Iran, the mullahs can't afford further isolation in the region. For that reason, they've launched a major disinformation campaign whose goal is to divert the Arab Spring away from democracy.

The best way for oppressed Iranians to counter such efforts is by constantly reminding Arabs of the harsh, humiliating reality of life under extremist clerics who rule by force and whose actions demonstate a shameless and total lack of scruples.  Items like the above will not appear in most Arab papers or Arab internet help UNLESS Iranians make sure they post more often on Arab internet sites. At the same time Iranians must show support and sympathy for Arab protestors who suffer many grievances under their own dictators.  Help promote a brotherhood for democracy and human rights. That includes the idea that a dictator is a dictator, no matter if he wears a turban.   The latter are worse, having posed as moral exemplars.

Imagine the impact on young Arabs of photos showing thuggish regime officials harrassing young women.  How many young Arabs would identify with Iran's clerical thugs over those being harrassed?  Make Arab Spring brothers aware of other shameful behavior on the part of clerical rulers--their atrocities, their mendacity, their economic incompetence, their political prisoners, their torture, their censors, their phony justice, their death squads.  No need to lie.  Let the muilahs convict themselves by exposing their own awful deeds.

Finally, Iranians must not be too upset if so-called "moderate" Islamists prevail in some Arab Spring elections.   You can hardly expect people raised to blindly trust the clerics and to mistrust secular parties to smarten up overnight.  Arabs will be far better off having elected Erdogan-style Islamists now than Iranians were after trusting the mullahs in 1979.    As I wrote in another post, Erdogan's example, even if imperfect, is a huge threat to brutal Islamists models precisely because he added a culturally acceptable alternative that didn't exist previously.  These guys will be eager to distance themselves from Iran's example if they want to be re-elected.



Congratutulations to Ruling Clerics

by FG on


Sunnis and Kurds in Iraq who got a taste of Al Queda-style rule
described it as "living in hell."   Increasingly Iran fits that

Ruling Islamists say, "The best way to win back the people's love is by cracking down on all social freedoms."     Stealing ideas from the Taliban and Saudis, Khamenei now bans women from skiing on  their own.  Women must be accompanied by a male relative.  

Who still loves the mullahs?  The most reactionary clerics, a dwindling number of blind religious zealots and a certain well-bribed IRCG oficers.  Meanwhile bribe money for lesser lesseer types is in short supply.  Ahmadinejad and his sizable faction of supporters verge on defection.  

Ahmanijadis have no  problem with most regime crimes but notice the frustrating consequences of economic and diplomatic isolation, clerical interference, the inefficiency of IRCG economic monopolies and the explosive political risks of increased islamization (comparable to forcing most Iranians--including the educated--to eat feces).  

Most reformists will skip the next election and let the Bad Guys duke it out.  Instread of wasting votes, any reformist who does show would be wise to vote for the lesser of two evils--Ahmadinijad's faction.

At a minimum, a victory by Admadinejads might increase social freedoms.  Better yet it would assure infighting among the Two Bad Guys would continue with the more dangerous clerics holding a much weaker hand.  If the clerics one, I'd anticipate a bloody purge of all perceived enemies--starting with Ahmadinejad himself.

 The most intriguing electoreal outcome would be a victory by one side which is then stolen by the opponent.   Reformists will have no dog in the subsequent fight but should be amused in watching it play out. 

WillIranians ever get out from under this regime without revolution?  I'm skeptical.  Having inspired the Arab Spring, they failed to oust their own tyrants for reasons that were in part inevitable...back then.

First, Green leaders fooled themselves too long by insisting this regime could be salvaged through reform.  Sedondly, Iranians balked at the idea of another revolution after experiencing 1979.  Thirdly, the rulers took advantage of class divisions while Green leaders let them get away with it by failing to appeal to workers.  Most importantly the regime, still had too many true believers who hadn't been "burned enough" to become realists.


As conditions ripen, Iranians will grasp that revolution may be their only option for change.   All the mullahs offer is "bleakness and oppression forever."  

The longer the revolution is delayed, the greater the probabillity it will succeed.  This is seed-sowing time, especiallyamong security force conscripts.  Their reliability diminishes inversely with suffering or disillusionment among populations from which they are drawn. 

In  the end, why would anyone fight for the mullahs except religious fanatics and IRCG officers with well-stuffed wallets?