Monday, August 03, 2009

An Iranian's forecast that resonates

Steve Clemons of the Washington Note has posted a detailed narrative from a friend inside Iran recounting the July 30 protests marking the 40-day anniversary of the death of Neda Agha Soltan, the young woman shot in the street during the protests of June 20. Lucid and factual, this young woman protestor captures the ebb and flow of cat-and-mouse confrontations throughout the city between the protesters and the riot police and Basij -- while also chronicling the more sympathetic stance of the regular police and army (as opposed to the Revolutionary Guard.

This skilled young writer ends with a vignette that may prove to be worth volumes of well-informed scholarly speculation about the likely outcome of continued resistance to the riged election outcome in Iran:
One mother told a soldier who asked her to go back home "I'm not going anywhere. Don't you know that we brought you guys into power by doing just this: by being out on the streets for nights on end. We brought you to where you are today, and we're going to take you out by being on the streets. I'm not going anywhere."
Those who lived through or have studied the revolution of 1979 know that the toppling of the Shah played out over the course of a year of recurring and escalating protests. While more than half of Iran's population is under 25, the memory of that regime toppling is obviously still very much alive. The resilience of this battered populace that reveres martyrdom and remembers bringing about regime change should not be underestimated.

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