Watching the Frontline documentary on Neda was like reliving the excruciating experience of passing kidney stone. All the ambivalent feelings of the time came rushing back.
On the one hand seeing people power being peacefully manifested was an immense source of pride and joy. On the other hand knowing what the Islamist Rapists are capable of doing was an ever present feeling of dread.
It would not be too far fetched to claim the unfolding events of the time in Iran were the most videotaped people uprising in the history of mankind. Watching hour after hour of millions of Iranians braving the Islamist cutthroats with the knowledge that at any moment any one of them could be in the crosshair of the regime’s rooftop sharpshooters and knowing nothing can be done to prevent the coldblooded murder in progress was emasculating.
Of course much is known about some of the price exacted on those who dared to ask for their rights, all the raping, torturing and murders which have taken place ever since.
There are those who preach dialogue with the Islamist Rapists will eventually win the day. Fine, then it is incumbent upon them to clearly spell out their step by step plan for transforming such shameless cutthroat regime into any tolerable ruling entity.
Just labeling all those who advocate the overthrow of the regime as warmongers might feel good and be a politically correct populist stand to take, but what do they propose to be done with such regime?
It is also incumbent upon them to say at what point a regime such as the Islamist Rapist Republic becomes illegitimate and worthy of all efforts to overthrow it.
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Your question is misleadingby Zal on Thu Nov 19, 2009 02:15 PM PST
This regime never had legitimacy because from its inception it was a fraud and the illegitimate child of an anti-Iran scam. To the extent that it had fooled people that perception of legitimacy disappeared when everyone learned what a scumbag Khatami really is within a year of his s'election'.
Amir makes good points...by MOOSIRvaPIAZ on Thu Nov 19, 2009 07:36 AM PST
6) Increased assistance from human rights, civil society, and NGOs to
similar organizations and individuals inside the country to augment and
expand their civil disobedience and resistance against the regime
If there was to be any help from outside forces it needs to originate from the civil society, non-governmental entities with geniune interest in helping and forming relations with Iranians. Despite regarding Michael Rubin of AEI as an Iran hawk I very much like his idea of trying to bolster the independent trade unionists and help with forming aliances with those in western countries.
All this of course is where we the Iranian diaspora come into play. We need to recruite people - not governments - to our cause.
Response to Fredby AMIR1973 on Thu Nov 19, 2009 07:14 AM PST
You say: "...they stop there and fail to put forward any specific alternative suggestion." Most of the momentum against the regime will come from Iranians on the ground there, as they have been demonstrating for the past several months--that is the key to regime change NOT sanctions and other actions by the U.S. and other foreign states. However, there may be things that people outside Iran can do to help. Here are a few possibilities (I don't claim that these are full-proof measures or guarantee efficacy, but they strike me as a constructive and humane way forward):
1) Sanctions on sales of anti-riot gear and electronic surveillance equipment
2) Funds to help striking workers
3) Crimes against humanity charges filed in international courts against regime actors responsible for such crimes
4) Anti-filter software and other such technology to allow people to use the Internet and cell phones without being blocked or tracked down by authorities
5) Increased demonstrations against IRI organs and broadcasts from Iranians living abroad--that will show Iranians that they have the moral support of their compatriots living outside the country as well as others, and that they are not alone
6) Increased assistance from human rights, civil society, and NGOs to similar organizations and individuals inside the country to augment and expand their civil disobedience and resistance against the regime
What I would NOT support: military action; support for Mojahedin, Jundollah and other such groups. It seems that the premise of Iranians who support sanctions and who actually care about Iranians (as opposed to right-wing Americans, Europeans, and Israelis who care about Iranians as much as they care about other non-Israeli Middle Easterners) is that airtight sanctions represent a way of exchanging a short-term pain (i.e. sanctions) for a long-term pain (i.e. the IRI). But, my main worry is that sanctions could add a pain to an already existing pain and not get rid of that pain anyway (surely, the experience of Iran's neighbors should give us some pause).
Since I responded to you and put forward some specific suggestions, I ask that you address some of the questions ("leading" though they may be) in my previous post with specific details. Regards.
Amirby Fred on Thu Nov 19, 2009 02:34 AM PST
I have and will do so in the future write more about sanction. But the spirit and letter of this blog is not to have the usual reaction of answering the posed questions by series of leading questions.
This is precisely what some habitually do to any suggestion to get rid of the Islamist Rapists, looking to find all the faults in it which is fine and the right way to go about finding a better way but they stop there and fail to put forward any specific alternative suggestion. Or they come up with general catch phrases like the middle class has to be strengthened, or people have to be educated and alike, which are all true but not specific and do not take into account the time factor.
This method has created the vacuum for the Islamist Rapists and their lobbies to claim there is nothing that can be done and the best way is to come to terms with the regime and work within its confines to get a better deal for the Iranian people out of the Islamist Rapists.
It seems the Iranian people with putting their lives on the line do not buy into being cornered to accepting their faith as being under the brutal tyranny of Islamist Rapists with their salvation depending on the amount of the Islamist Rapists’ largess.
So Amir, please put forward your specific ideas and lets see if some of yours and mine and many others can be mixed to come up with something, anything to do and be of some service to our enslaved compatriots right now who are in a dire situation and things are getting worse everyday.
I know you take strong exception to me calling West, sane, probably thinking I’m not aware of or dismissive of all the stuff they have and are doing all over the world, rest assured that is not the case. I am a student of history and an avid reader, I know what powers, including Iran in those instances of being world class power, have done and will do.
My sole focus is not to be moralizing and judging others rather to see what can be done to help free Iran. Once Iran takes its rightful place among all other democracies, then we have a leg to stand on and go after moralizing and condemning others’ behavior and hopefully becoming a model for them to emulate.
After election crimesby Abarmard on Wed Nov 18, 2009 07:32 PM PST
Were the biggest mistake of the system. They axed themselves.
Fred: An opportunity to provide specificsby AMIR1973 on Wed Nov 18, 2009 03:50 PM PST
I saw the documentary too and found it heartbreaking. You ask at what point did the Iranian regime become illegitimate. In my opinion, very early in its days (perhaps in 1979 when it killed the Shah's generals and ministers after kangaroo trials). Certainly by 1981 (if not earlier), when it entered its bloodiest phase against the Mojahedin and executed many thousands of them and other regime opponents.
You also state: "it is incumbent upon them to clearly spell out their step by step plan for transforming such shameless cutthroat regime into any tolerable ruling entity". I ask that you take this opportunity to spell out your step by step plan. I'm open to persuasion. This could be a chance to persuade some Iranian.com readers (myself included) that your way of thinking is correct. But, you should provide details:
Would sanctions include medicine, food, fuel, equipment for hospitals and water treatment plants? Would any category of goods be excluded or would sanctions cover everything?
Sanctions might require a naval blockade to be airtight (ignoring the issue of trade across Iran's land borders). That could imply an act of war against Iran and may possibly lead to armed hostilities. If I'm not mistaken, you have stated that you oppose a war against Iran; but could airtight sanctions lead to armed conflict, as per the above scenario?
Who or what constitutes the sane world? Name those states (e.g. US, UK, France, etc). What about Saudi Arabia and Israel?--two regional powers closely aligned with Washington DC that have been at odds with the Iranian regime. Such specific details would be helpful.
What is material support? Would it include paying people to protest? Would it include broadcasting via satellite TV into the country? Would it include arming PEJAK, Mojahedin, Arab groups based in Khuzestan or other organizations?
What if airtight sanctions are imposed for several years (12 years in Iraq's case) and the regime is not overthrown. What then? Should the U.S. state that sanctions didn't work, and it's time for military action. Would you support such action?
Since you blog so frequently about this topic, you've had more opportunity to think about this than most people. I don't know which plan (so to speak) is best for Iran, but yours might be the best approach. Readers can only judge that if you provide more details. Best regards.
Fredby Bijan A M on Wed Nov 18, 2009 02:54 PM PST
Don't expct any response when you speak logic and common sense. Many in this crowd just follow the belief that a dictatorship theocracy will gradually and peacefullly transform into a secular democracy. They are willing to close their eyes to all the nurders, rapes and imprisonment indefinitely but oppose any action to overthrow the IRR that would cause any hardship for the same people that are being slaughtered.
Direct answer to your question is "NOW".
Whenby masoudA on Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:01 AM PST
It's time - looooooong overdue