2009-06-23

in context

From what I can gather the general strike never took place today, but there has been talk of further planning. Hopefully if Mousavi doesn't take the lead with the strike, the people of Iran will. There is a call to flood a large market in Tehran but not purchase anything to slow the economy down. Further rallies will be announced in the week as well as days of mourning for those who have died.

President Obama condemed the Iranian government's action, but a spokesman cautioned that Obama would not back calls for a general strike. I can't find the context of this, but it will be very interesting and revealing to see how the main stream media reports the general strike. Hopefully people will realize that those on top fear that concept more than the protests already happening.

Yesterday, Democracy Now had Kouross Esmaeli discussing what happened over the weekend. One of the issues discussed was Western influence in Iran.

The Western presence in Iran has been there for about 200 years, from the British and the Russian, who took parts of Iran under control up to World War II. And after World War II, it was the US that stepped in and started supporting the Shah of Iran as their favorite dictator in the Middle East. There was a coup d’├ętat against a popularly elected prime minister that had come in to nationalize Iranian oil. And that has really remained within the Iranian consciousness ever since, ever since 1953, and Iranians harbor deep mistrust for the US, that was seen as orchestrating a coup against their popularly elected leadership. And in 1979, when the Islamic Revolution took place, the biggest sort of fear of the Iranian people was a repeat of the coup d’├ętat. And that’s why the—that’s a large reason why the hostage crisis took place. They took hostages to make sure that the US does not come in, invade, orchestrate another coup again. And that has remained the dynamic within the Iran-US relations: mistrust on both sides.

And at this point that the US does not have diplomatic relations, it really makes no sense for any administration to get political points for seeming like they’re standing up with some demonstrators somewhere in order to score points with their constituents here. Over the weekend—and what’s amazing is the way the media in the US has been really helping spin this for the Republican right wing. I mean, there were images on CNN and Fox over the weekend of President Obama, I think, buying ice cream for his daughters while the demonstrators in Iran were fighting for their democracy. And they were likening that to President Bush when he was playing golf right after he invaded Iraq and equating the two. It was like, how heartless could Obama be, when he could be—I don’t know what he could be doing in order to support Iranians. I think he did the best thing he could do in order to support the Iranians.

The guest also discusses the different players in the power struggle for Iran.

Today's episode discussed deep packet inspection, a method the Iranian government uses to monitor everything on the Internet. It goes into how this technology is used in the U.S. and other countries as well. This is a must see. I hope the situation in Iran brings more attention to this topic.

Lastly, the Socialist Worker has a great article on Iran putting the entire situation in context. Probably one of the most complete pictures of the situation I have read.

No comments: