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In Iran, repression to mark a revolution

Perhaps the Iranian regime will call it a victory that opposition protests planned for today were suppressed. But what a way for the regime to celebrate the anniversary of the Islamic revolution against the Shah’s oppression! By threatening protestors and intimidating the opposition.

From videos and blog entries that appear to have been sent from Tehran today, you can sense the regime’s determination to quash the Green Movement. Mir Hossein Mousavi, the opposition presidential candidate, tried to attend a rally marking the revolution he helped to make, but “plain clothes militia, Special Forces and thugs with batons surrounded him and did not let him join the crowd,” according to a Facebook page maintained under Mousavi's name.

Here’s a vivid account from the Associated Press in Tehran:

Heavy security force fanned out across the city and moved quickly to snuff out opposition counter-protests. Police clashed with protesters in several sites around Tehran, firing tear gas to disperse them and paintballs to mark them for arrest. Dozens of hard-liners with batons and pepper spray attacked the convoy of a senior opposition leader, Mahdi Karroubi, smashing his car windows and forcing him to turn back as he tried to join the protests, his son Hossein Karroubi told The Associated Press.

The opposition is still alive: You could see that in video footage of a crowd defacing a poster of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, an act of public defiance that would have been unimaginable a year ago. But this is a movement in retreat, for now, driven back by the ferocity of the regime.

Repression comes at a cost. Iran’s power in the Middle East came from the idea that it was different from the undemocratic police states of the region, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. That moral legitimacy has been shattered. The men who run Iran are now revealed as just another clique holding on to power.

That’s what the world saw today in Tehran: The commemoration of a revolution whose moral, spiritual and political force is being wasted by the people who now claim to speak in its name. All revolutions have arcs: This one has crested and is heading gradually but inexorably downward.

By David Ignatius  | February 11, 2010; 6:06 PM ET
Categories:  Ignatius  | Tags:  David Ignatius  
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The Green Movement’s defiant legions remain undaunted in the face of brutal repression. Daily Beast contributor Jason Shams defines the group’s motto as, “Each Iranian is a media outlet.” And they practice what they preach.

As Shams observes, “the computer students are all over the place with their backpacks filled with flash drives and proxy programs, always a step ahead of the bearded dinosaurs and their dying ideologies.”

Moreover, while Americans generally use Facebook and Twitter to pour over the excruciating minutae of modern life, the Greens employ these social networking websites to disseminate information, plan operations and mobilize their organization.

Armed with camera phones, laptops and an iron will, these courageous individuals communicate their message to the world even without the journalists imprisoned by Ahmadinejad’s repressive regime.

Read more @

Posted by: ArmchairFirebrand | February 11, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Of course, "the Green Movement's defiant legions remain undaunted" and MORE POWER to them! They are also demonstrating their practical common sense in NOT trying to overcome the State institutions of the army, the Revolutionary Guards, the Bajaii, and all the other State forces aligned against them on this day.
They need to keep themselves ALIVE to continue their struggle. Very smart, very practical, and very ominous for the current regime.
The world understands what happened today in Teheran. And the world will NOT stop looking at what happens as the State continues their relentless oppression of the citizens of Iran.

Posted by: cms1 | February 11, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I am bitterly disappointed that our president has failed again to excoriate Iran`s leaders for the brutal suppression of their own people.Iran has shown contempt for Barack Obama and has rejected his conciliatory overtures to the amusement of our enemies.We need to encourage and show support for the Iranian people!

Posted by: bowspray | February 12, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

The United States recently liberated an Arab people from a police state and a tyrant that make the current Persian leaders look like humanitarians. There wasn't that much in the way of appreciation from Europe, the Middle East or a substantial number of the American populace. In fact, the current Justice Department and many Democrats in Congress would probably like to investigate and try some of the American leaders who engineered that feat.

I don't think Mr. Ahmajinejad needs to worry or the Iranian people get their hopes too high.

Posted by: Roytex | February 12, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

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