Posted by: Jeff | December 27, 2009

The Green Revolution

Today is Ashura, the day that Ayatollah Khomeini pointed to as the turning point in his coup against the Shah of Iran.  And it would seem that this may be a turning point in another change of regime, as protestors have taken to the streets in numbers and confidence not seen since June when the results of the election were fresh and the regime in a state of denial.  This has to be seen as a withering blow to the regime’s governing legitimacy.  The protests are bold, and the state resistance seems weakened.  I wrote earlier this week that the call for Iranian reform needs to come from within in order to score the most damage against an unpopular, dangerous and inhumane regime – it is coming now, and the world is rapt with attention.

Preliminary reports indicate at least five confirmed dead (including Mousavi’s nephew), with clashes ongoing all across the country.  Iran is on fire.

Photos: AFP/Getty

Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish has been doing an absolute heroic job keeping up with events in Iran:

I just can’t help but hear the confidence, the joy mixed with rage, in the voices of the people on the streets. One woman in her car is grinning widely as she passes the demo. Even in the midst of this carnage, they have the knowledge that history will acknowledge them, that any victory raw violence may have, it is Pyrrhic. But I also get a sense – totally subjective and maybe my own wishful thinking – that the confidence comes from a sense that they are winning this standoff, that today has rekindled into an even stronger flame, the sense that Iran’s people remain sovereign in their own land, that they have not been intimidated, and that they know they will soon win.

How does the regime survive this massive demonstration of its fragility? How does the clergy react to these scenes of total mayhem? How does Ahmadinejad blame all this on Obama, the Queen and the BBC?

And note how critical it is that Obama’s reticence removes from Ahmadinejad this convenient weapon of demonizing the protests as pawns of the Great Satan. The neoconservatives still seem to think this struggle is all about them. But in fact, it is all about the Iranian people’s utter independence of them and us and anyone but themselves.

And that’s what makes this so powerful.

Head to The Daily Dish for the best up-to-the-minute coverage.  Kudos to Andrew Sullivan for never giving up on this story.

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