Monday, December 28, 2009

Mousavi Nephew Killed in Iran Protest

I’ve been watching Iran with concern, because totalitarian regimes tend to strike externally to cover up their internal problems.  The Bush/GOP regime is an excellent example.

Dec13-protests A reformist website said a nephew of Iranian opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi was killed in clashes between protesters and security forces in Tehran on Sunday.

Earlier, the opposition Jaras website said four people had been killed in a second day of violence in Tehran during a Shi'ite Muslim religious festival. Tehran's police chief denied that report.

The Parlemannews website said Ali Mousavi, 20, was killed in clashes on Sunday and his body had been taken to a hospital.

Jaras said unrest also spread to other parts of Iran, including the holy city of Qom, in reports that could not be independently verified.

The events underlined escalating tension in the Islamic Republic six months after a disputed presidential poll plunged the oil producer into turmoil and exposed widening splits within the clerical and political establishment.

Jaras said police shot dead three protesters in central Tehran. It later said a fourth demonstrator was also killed in clashes in the capital, without giving details.

"Three people were killed and two others were wounded when police opened fire at protesters," the website said.

Any such violent incidents could provoke further opposition protests.

"We will kill those who killed our brothers," Jaras quoted demonstrators as chanting.

These were the first reported killings in street protests since widespread unrest and violence in the immediate aftermath of the June poll in which the opposition says more than 70 people died.

The authorities have estimated the post-vote death toll at about half that number, including pro-government militiamen.

Tehran police chief Azizollah Rajabzadeh, speaking about Sunday's protests, said: "So far there have been no reports of killings and no one has been killed up to now," according to the ISNA news agency. He said some arrests had been made.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators had packed the streets of Tehran and clashes also erupted in the cities of Shiraz, Isfahan, Najafabad, Mashhad and Babol, Jaras said.

It said 20 people were detained in Qom and Mashhad and that protests would continue in Tehran on Sunday evening. Shots were heard in northern Tehran after nightfall.

English-language state television reported sporadic clashes in Tehran and said a bank and bus stop were set ablaze, showing pictures of protesters and fires with thick smoke. It said police had fired into the air to disperse demonstrators…

Inserted from <Common Dreams>

I hope the Obama administration ignores the “bomb, bomb Iran” crowd and does not exacerbate the situation there.

The death of a few people so far away barely sparks a media response.  But, if the death of protestors, who are opposing oppression, seems distant, we, especially those of us who were 1960s activists, need to remember how we felt on May 4, 1970:


With that in mind, I extend my condolences to the families and friends of those killed in Iran.


Leslie Parsley said...

TC: "I hope the Obama administration ignores the “bomb, bomb Iran” crowd and does not exacerbate the situation there."

I hope so, too. Hoekstra and the Lie are beyond the pale. The Hoke starts out saying to connect the dots for the last 11 months and then adds, "the last eight years."

I remember Kent State well. Jesse Jackson was scheduled to speak at the U of Houston the day after. Administrators were uneasy that he'd further inflame the students.
Instead he was a very calming influence.

Kent State was such an unimaginative horror - our own government shooting its own citizens? Krause wasn't even a protestor - she was just walking to class. I have always equated this incident with the beginning of the end to the protest movement. Our government had guns and it would use them to shoot us.

I also can't help but compare the protests in the 60s to the Tea Partiers of today. Back then they would have been arrested.

TomCat said...

Leslie, I do see two key differences between us in the 1960s and the teabaggers. We backed our protests with truths and we had intellectual standing. The teabaggers are the opposite to both.

Leslie Parsley said...

Another thing is that while we could be loud, and sometimes destructive - unfortunitely - we didn't shout down a speaker. We'd boo but we weren't so collectively rude as you see now. These people are in-your-face rude - to speakers, bloggers, media - everyone. Of course these people are on the lowest strata of society.

I'm always intrigued by the fact that the righties cannot seem to write a simple grammatical sentence.

Infidel753 said...

I am more confident than ever now that the Islamic Republic's days are numbered. The killing of Mousavi's nephew will provoke people who had not previously been sympathetic to the protesters.

The Ashura holiday commemorates the killing of the prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein in the 7th century by the Umayyad dynasty. Shiite Islam considers Hussein its greatest martyr, and the Umayyads the epitome of evil. The theocracy has now assasinated a man who was (supposedly) descended from Muhammad, and has done so on Ashura. Even the more religious element of the population, which might be more sympathetic to the regime, can't miss the symbolism.

The possibility of the regime lashing out at some other country in hopes of provoking a response which would unify the people behind is something of a concern, but it seems unlikely now that it would work. The opposition is too angry. They would not let themselves be so easily manipulated.

Lisa G. said...

Jeez, they can't even refrain from killing people on a religious holiday - what the hell is wrong with these people?

I don't even pretend to know what is going on with Iran, but it is not looking good. I just hope we stay the hell out of it. They like us even less than their government, which is saying something.

This is the same thing with them and that oil well the other day. Something bad is going to happen and it ain't gonna be pretty.

TomCat said...

Leslie, you're quite right. 1960s activism began with grass roots student movements. Teabagger activism began with top-down brainwashing.

Thanks Infidel. Your analysis is flawless.

Lisa, what is going on there is what would have happened here had the GOP stayed in power.