FYM -- All Quiet on the Iranian Front - Page 9 - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-27-2009, 09:54 PM   #121
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 02:48 PM
.
Quote:
The Revolution Will Not Be Digitized: How the Internet helps Iran silence activists

By Farhad Manjoo
Slate, June 25


What happened in Baharestan Square on Wednesday? According to a woman who called in to CNN, Iranian security forces unleashed unimaginable brutality upon a few hundred protesters gathered in central Tehran. "They beat a woman so savagely that she was drenched in blood, and her husband, who was watching the scene, he just fainted," the anonymous caller screamed into the phone. "This was—this was exactly a massacre. You should stop this. You should stop this. You should help the people of Iran who demand freedom. You should help us."

Clips of the phone call ricocheted across the Web and cable TV. The message was corroborated on Twitter, where a post by @persiankiwi brought horrific news from Baharestan Square: "we saw militia with axe choping ppl like meat - blood everywhere - like butcher - Allah Akbar." News organizations around the world told of a brutal crackdown—Iran's Tiananmen. But at the same time, other reports suggested the rally was a far tamer encounter. A reader on the New York Times' Lede blog wrote in to say that the protest had been cleared by security forces with minimal violence. The blog of the National Iranian American Council, which has been closely following all the news out of Tehran, published a report from a "trusted source" who said that while the rally was "tense," it didn't match the CNN caller's account. "The moment we stood in one place, they would break us up," the source wrote. "I saw many people get blindfolded and arrested, however it wasn't a massacre."

Over the last couple of weeks, those who believe in the transformative powers of technology have pointed to Iran as a test case—one of the first repressive regimes to meet its match in social media, the first revolution powered by Twitter. Even in the early days of the protest, that story line seemed more hopeful than true, as Slate's Jack Shafer, among many others, pointed out. Since last week, though, when the state began to systematically clamp down on journalists and all communications networks leading out of the country, hope has become much harder to sustain. The conflicting accounts about what happened at Baharestan Square are evidence that Iran's media crackdown is working. The big story in Iran is confusion—on a daily basis, there are more questions than answers about what's really happening, about who's winning and losing, about what comes next. The surprise isn't that technology has given protesters a new voice. It's that, despite all the tech, they've been effectively silenced.

The crackdown in Iran shows that, for regimes bent on survival, squashing electronic dissent isn't impossible. In many ways, modern communication tools are easier to suppress than organizing methods of the past. According to the Wall Street Journal, Iran has one of the world's most advanced surveillance networks. Using a system installed last year (and built, in part, by Nokia and Siemens), the government routes all digital traffic in the country through a single choke point. Through "deep packet inspection," the regime achieves omniscience—it has the technical capability to monitor every e-mail, tweet, blog post, and possibly even every phone call placed in Iran. Compare that with East Germany, in which the Stasi managed to tap, at most, about 100,000 phone lines—a gargantuan task that required 2,000 full-time technicians to monitor the calls.
The Stasi's work force comprised 100,000 officers, and estimates put its network of citizen informants at half a million. In the digital age, Iran can monitor its citizens with a far smaller security apparatus. They can listen in on everything anyone says—and shut down anything inconvenient—with the flip of a switch.

We've seen the effects of this control over the past couple days. To be sure, a few harrowing pictures and videos have filtered through Iran's closed net. But they're the exceptions; much of what's happened since the start of the week went undocumented. As the Lede points out, many of the clips now being posted to YouTube were first published last week, before Iran shut down its connections with the outside world. In the absence of fresh videos coming out of the country, people have been attaching new dates to old clips in order to stoke new outrage over the security crackdown.

The dearth of new images isn't surprising. The Internet is not anonymous; in places like Iran and China, whatever you do on the Web can be traced back to your computer. Hackers and activists have come up with many clever ways to elude such monitoring, but for most citizens, posting videos and even tweeting eyewitness accounts remains fraught with peril.

There's another problem with expecting digital movements to overthrow repressive governments. Organizing online—using tools like text messaging, Facebook, and Twitter—requires social trust, a commodity in short supply in a police state. Even in America, we've seen movements that look mighty online fizzle when they hit the ground (see Howard Dean). Imagine how much more difficult this would be if you were sitting in Tehran: You come across a tweet alerting you to a rally this afternoon in Baharestan Square. You'd like to go, but all kinds of fears begin to run through your head. What if they're watching me? Is this rally for real—or is it disinformation? What if I'm the only one to show up?

Other than trying to shut down many parts of the Web, we don't know what, precisely, Iranian security forces have done in response to the online protest movement. It's unclear whether they've actually planted disinformation online or tried to trace images and videos back to their original posters. But the uncertainty itself breeds fear. Several times over the last couple weeks, rumors have flooded the Web that the government had already gotten wise to Twitter and was actively seeding the movement with fake news. It was a stark example of how the psychological repression characteristic of authoritarian regimes—the constant fear, the inability to trust anyone—finds particularly fertile ground online.

Here's another one: On Wednesday, a reader alerted the Lede to an Iranian government Web site called Gerdab.ir, where authorities had posted pictures of protesters and were asking citizens for help in identifying the activists. That's right—the regime is now using crowd-sourcing, one of the most-hyped aspects of Web 2.0 organizing, against its opponents.
If you think about it, that's no surprise. Who said that only the good guys get to use the power of the Web to their advantage?
__________________

__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 01:00 AM   #122
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 02:48 PM
.
Quote:
New York Times, July 13


Three prominent clerics criticized the Iranian authorities on Monday for failing to condemn the recent killing of Muslims in western China. Their comments often seemed aimed at the Iranian government’s own conduct during the crackdown after the disputed June 12 presidential election.

One of the clerics, Ayatollah Youssef Sanei, a reformist, drew a sardonic parallel, suggesting that Iran, which considers itself the defender of Muslims worldwide, could not criticize China’s repressive tactics while it was doing the same thing. He also said Iran’s silence was related to its commercial, military and political links with China. “How could China suppress the Muslims so violently and seek good relations with Muslim countries, and sometimes dominate their markets?” Ayatollah Sanei wrote, in comments published on news services and reformist Web sites.

Several Parliament members and a member of the Tehran City Council have invoked the same comparison, Web sites reported. Although some seem genuinely upset by the deaths of Muslim Uighurs in western China, the issue has clearly gained a special resonance in light of the violence in Iran, where many opposition protesters have been killed and wounded since the election.

A tense funeral for one protester, Sohrab Arabi, 19, was held Monday in Tehran, reformist Web sites reported. Mr. Arabi’s family had believed that he was in prison and learned over the weekend that he had been shot dead after a demonstration on June 15. Video of the funeral, in which dozens of people can be seen holding his picture and chanting “God is great,” was posted on the Internet. The funeral was closely monitored by the police, who warned the family not to allow any protests or antigovernment chants, according to reports by witnesses published on reformist Web sites.

The government has said 20 protesters have been killed in all since the election, but opposition members say the number is much higher, possibly in the hundreds. Hundreds of people have been arrested since the election and held without charge. Some have been released, and it is not clear how many remain in jail.
__________________

__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 08:09 PM   #123
The Fly
 
Hobo13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Sunny San Diego
Posts: 72
Local Time: 06:48 AM
Defenders of Muslims... as long as it's convenient.
__________________
Hobo13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 03:33 AM   #124
War Child
 
stagman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: The Sunshine State - Australia
Posts: 936
Local Time: 01:48 PM
what can you say... Islam is one of many roads to eternal hell and damnation in this life and the next.
__________________
stagman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 04:31 PM   #125
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 02:48 PM
Quote:
On 21 March, The Independent published a letter in which I argued that there was no empirical evidence of the elections in Iran having been rigged, despite prolific assurances to the contrary. Driven by forces beholden to the corporate interest, nothing would please the West more than to have the Iranian masses emulate "the mindless McDonald's-munching slaves of Mammon" of my last sentence.

Ignoring certain wholly predictable responses of a personal nature, two principal lines of reasoning have emerged that are intended to rebut my hypothesis. First, that recent events in Iran, notably large street demonstrations, are proof of election rigging, and second, that all the Iranian people really want is to enjoy "freedom" and "democracy" – just like us! A proposition that smacks as much of arrogance as of Fukuyaman hubris
Quote:
Nor is the proposition that a hermetically sealed society has managed to contain evidence of wrongdoing convincing. Truth has an uncomfortable habit of getting out. Proper evidence, real smoking guns, have been regularly uncovered where genuinely repressive regimes such as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Stalinist Russia and so on are concerned.

In fact, those who rely on such arguments have clearly never set foot in Iran, where they would be struck by her openness, warmth, lack of surveillance cameras, fingerprinting at airports and other paraphernalia that accompany a KGB-like state apparatus. The Englishman need travel no further south than Land's End to experience a genuine police state.
Quote:
On the contrary, Iran's workers are largely in favour of Mr Ahmadi Nejad. It was in fact commercial, bourgeois interests which choreographed the Tehran demonstrations, a class compromised by their collaboration with Pahlavi despotism and consequently repudiated by the Iranian masses who groaned under the regime from which that class prospered.

The truth is that many in Iran and in the Muslim world in general have grasped Western democracy's dirty little secret: that your leaders have no real power. And if your representatives are as ineffectual as their electorate before the Dictatorship of Money, then what meaning have your votes and your democracy?

As for the patronising assumption that Muslims in general and Iranians in particular, look with envy from far across the Bosphorus at Western society: wake up! While I do not claim to speak for every Muslim or even every Iranian, I am confident that my views coincide with those of the majority.

For we look with horror at your anarchy and what you have become. Visit Iran and you will see a people polite, hospitable, cultured, noble and brave. Look at Britain's urban hell and you will see young girls and boys armed with knives, swearing, half naked, vomiting the previous night's attempt to stifle their pain and their emptiness. Turn on the radio and listen to laddettes boasting about what they did with their boyfriends in bed the day before, but tune in to Iran's airwaves and you will hear poetry and beautiful music.

Now while you may have traded Turner for Emin, Shakespeare for Rushdie, Mozart for Madonna, people who think very much like me will never allow such a thing to happen to their nation. You offer us Puff Daddy but we have Hafez, thank you very much. You offer us Hollywood when we have perhaps the finest modern cinema on earth. You may have jettisoned a once great European and God-fearing civilisation, but your moral poison must never be allowed to insinuate its way into one of the greatest and oldest cultures on the planet.

The events in Iran of the past 30 years must be seen for what they really are, not a revolution at all, but a counter revolution; not a negation of a nation's grand past as occurred in France or Russia or China, but an affirmation of it; a realisation that the experiment you call the Enlightenment, or secular liberalism, far from being the triumph of your comfortable certainties, has been the opposite – a bringing low of all that once made Europe great.

The planet has been brought to its knees by bourgeois greed. Scientists increasingly consider us to be in the midst of a "mass extinction event", similar to that which gripped the world when a giant meteorite slammed into the Gulf of Mexico and extinguished the dinosaurs. Vast and increasing discrepancies in wealth cause massive social unrest that can but accelerate the apocalypse. Meanwhile, the value of your cultural output is zero, and in the West the family has all but disappeared.

Built on a doctrine of expansion, your effervescence entailed history's greatest genocides, 60 million alone in South and Central America within a century of Columbus's arrival, the virtual eradication of the Plains Indians in the North ("Manifest Destiny"), the enslavement of millions of Africans and Asians and the pillaging of half the world's resources. No creature in history has been as destructive as European Man and no force has harnessed that destructiveness as successfully as secular liberalism with its denial of a transcendent order.

And yet you accuse us of aggression.

The history of Iran is one of invasion by foreign powers. How many Iranian warships patrol the Gulf of Mexico or the straits of Dover? How many Iranian spy satellites sail across your skies? How many Iranian troops are stationed next to your borders poised to invade? How many billions of Toumans are pumped into destabilising your regimes? How many Iranian nuclear missiles are aimed at your cities? How many atom bombs has Iran dropped on civilian populations? Now ask these questions in reverse. And yet you allow your politicians to make you feel insecure!

Were the catastrophes I outlined above caused by Islam, or Iran, or even Bin Laden for that matter? Or were they in fact caused by a way of life which you arrogantly assume the whole world wishes to embrace? Your "mindlessness", by which I mean your failure to ask such questions, comes from the fact that you cannot even comprehend your own indenture – to money and to desires that can never be satisfied.

Iran is set irreversibly on a course towards independence and will never adopt the position of servility towards Mammon and America which has earned for England the appellative not of the "the Great Satan", a term reserved for the United States, but "shaytan-e-kuchek" or "the little Satan".

To this end, she has recently developed her own fighter jets and her own communications satellites. Likewise, she is engaged in building a giant oil refinery so that she will no longer be reliant upon imported petrol. And, rest assured, she will develop a peaceful nuclear technology to insure her energy requirements against the inevitable day when the oil runs out, however much the "free world" or "international community" plot.


Darius Guppy: Here in Iran, we look with horror at the country that Britain has become - Commentators, Opinion - The Independent
__________________
financeguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 04:46 PM   #126
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 02:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjohn2441 View Post
perhaps now is the time to leave them the fuck alone. as well as iraq and afganistan.
__________________
financeguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 08:32 PM   #127
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,499
Local Time: 08:48 AM



how chic of you.

of course, a close reading reveals that the writer seems to have much in common with the worst elements of the American christianist right.

does he talk about the execution of gays in iran? and that's just to start.
__________________
Irvine511 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 08:51 PM   #128
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 02:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
how chic of you.

of course, a close reading reveals that the writer seems to have much in common with the worst elements of the American christianist right.

does he talk about the execution of gays in iran? and that's just to start.
Guppy is a rightwinger of admittedly somewhat shady background. I think he did time in the UK for some kind of a fraud. However, I doubt if he approves of gays being executed.

Still, the 500,000 you alleged earlier in the thread that were protesting against the Iranian government constitute only about 0.7% of the population. You won't hear the opinion of the other 99.3% represented in the Western media except from people like Guppy, so I'm afraid the liberals and neocons are just going to have to hold their noses - that is, if they want to hear all the opinions from Iran, which of course may not be the case.

I suspect that, as he claims, Guppy is much more representative of Iranian public opinion than most Western commentators on Iran.
__________________
financeguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 11:07 PM   #129
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,499
Local Time: 08:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
I suspect that, as he claims, Guppy is much more representative of Iranian public opinion than most Western commentators on Iran.


and with a thuggish theocracy in charge, how are we to ever know what is "representative" of Iranian public opinion?
__________________
Irvine511 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2009, 12:21 AM   #130
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 08:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
I suspect that, as he claims, Guppy is much more representative of Iranian public opinion than most Western commentators on Iran.
Well, I'm not sure that Guppy is reliable on Iran, as much as he is biased against the country that imprisoned him for fraud--that is, staging a fake jewel robbery and trying to bill the insurance company for £1.8 million. Yes, I'm sure that not letting him get away with that has probably influenced his opinion that the UK is a "police state."

I would say that a more reliable indicator as to the public opinion on the Iranian government has more to do with voter turnout, which was tremendously high. Apparently, much of Iran, prior to the election, had never bothered to vote at all, since quite a few people silently have thought that the entire government has been a sham since the Iranian Revolution concluded.

But even if you want to chalk that up to hearsay and conjecture, what is quite clear is that the election was a fraud. The electoral results claimed in favour of Ahmadinejad are basically impossible to believe. To believe that a Kurdish majority province, for one, voted overwhelmingly for Ahmadinejad is like believing that Alabama would vote 90% for Obama. Whatever results one would like to believe, all legitimacy is thrown out the window when you rig an election. The reformists quite clearly have a right to reject the legitimacy of the Iranian establishment.

What is perhaps most interesting about Guppy's editorial, however, is how it tows the line of the Iranian clerical establishment to the letter--that all of Iran's problems are due to "foreigners." I have to wonder what his relationship is with the Iranian government. The West is not blameless in history, most assuredly, but when one starts making nationalist appeals when confronted with bad behaviour (Iran, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea, and Myanmar come to mind), I can't help but be sceptical.
__________________
melon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2009, 12:31 AM   #131
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,499
Local Time: 08:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by melon View Post
I can't help but be sceptical.


are we going to have to revoke your passport?
__________________
Irvine511 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2009, 12:33 AM   #132
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 08:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
are we going to have to revoke your passport?
I created an informal rule that I will write in the English of the country I'm currently resident in. If I start writing in American English, it means that I'm temporarily back in the States.
__________________

__________________
melon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com