Saturday, February 13, 2010

Postmortem of a charade

Khamenei and co were just too quick in patting themselves on the back on a job well done and tried to re-energize their receding base using an orchestrated charade. But was it a victory? Was it a vote of confidence? Let us examine.

- Closure of the scant few semi-independent newspapers from weeks ago, thereby making any distribution of information impossible for the reformists and opposition

- Blockage of any form of communication between the regular folks, be it the SMS or email and internet services rendering any attempt in coordination of masses

- Month-long campaign by IRIB inviting people to take part in the charade

- Creating an atmosphere of utter fright & terror with series of executions under charges of “warring against God” that was slapped on everything as simple as shouting slogans in the streets or sending amateur videos of demonstrations!

- Arrest and imprisonment of hundreds of activists and journalists in the run up to this day, in line with their blanket of terror spread over Tehran

- Transforming the city into a large militaristic camps, packed with security forces and para-military militia and basij mercenaries

- Filling the designated areas (for the press coverage) with its own hired crowds and militia from the night before

- Bussing in people from rural and other areas outside Tehran. Many of whom were either forced to participate or lose their jobs, students who were ordered to join in and plenty of others who were handed all sorts of incentives, money included (see photo)

- And the end result is at best, being able to fill up one narrow street leading up to the Azadi square and only sections of the square (Click on the photos for large view)

Please click on the image to see the full, large view. The red lines are drawn along the 100's of buses that brought in the "hired crowd"

- Restricting the already diligently & carefully selected foreign media to only a small section of Azadi square with no permission to venture outside the perimeter

- Limiting the foreign media coverage to only Ahmadinejad’s speech and nothing more, lest any embarrassing scenes are witnessed by the carefully selected journalists

All this proves only one thing, which is the fright of a brutal and unpopular regime that is forced to pay people to come to its functions, is compelled to turn a city into a massive militaristic camp to prevent millions of its opposition from voicing their views. Never before have the Islamic regime been under this pressure to purchase a semblance of popularity.

Victory for the regime, Mr. Khamenei? I say thee nay.
This was only the final thrashings of a drowning man, clutching at any straw to slow his sinking. The futility of the charade has missed them and they are now, even more removed from the reality of the country as before.

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