Thursday, June 18, 2009

Iran's Latest Propaganda Strategy and the Planned Rally to Mourn the Election and the Dead

Here are some of the latest developments that are coming out of Iran.

It is becoming more apparent that the Iranian government is trying to convince the citizens that the opposition protesters are actually rioting and creating destruction. This strategy is probably being used in order to try and fragment the public opinion of the protesters and get those who are not involved in the protests, to turn on those who are. This strategy also has the goal of deterring those Iranians who are "on the fence" about joining the green revolution from not wanting to be a part of a group who is vandalizing Iran. The kicker in this situation of course, is that it is the government and the security forces who are creating a lot of the destruction.

I posted some video a couple of days ago of the aftermath of an attack on Tehran University and here is some fresh video of the aftermath of an attack on a parking garage. Here is some helpful context from a reader of the Huffington Post:

this is a video that show the aftermath of security forces breaking into a residential parking. the camera man keeps asking the women who did this, and she explains that it was the special security forces. he asks "so it wasn't the protesters?" she explains why would our kids break our cars? she says at least 3 or 4 times that it was the security force that broke in and smashed all the windows.

An image that also speaks to this strategy by the security forces is below. Check out the lower left-hand corner:

The Wall Street Journal also has some reporting on the attack on Tehran University:

At the same time, Iran's Interior Ministry ordered a probe into an attack late Sunday night on Tehran University students in a dormitory reported to have left several students dead and many more injured or arrested. Students say it was carried out by Islamic militia and police. Iran's English-language Press TV said the ministry urged Tehran's governor's office to identify those involved. Iran's influential speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani, condemned the attack.

Students' Web sites reported mass resignations by Tehran University professors outraged over the incident. One medical student said he and his roommate blocked their door with furniture and hid in the closet when they heard the militia's motorcycles approaching. He heard the militia breaking down doors, and then screams of anguish as students were dragged from their beds and beaten violently.

When he came out after the militia had left, friends and classmates lay unconscious in dorm rooms and hallways, many with chest wounds from being stabbed or bloody faces from blows to their heads, he said. The staff of the hospital where the wounded students were taken, Hazrat Rasoul Hospital, was so shocked that they went on strike for two hours, standing silently outside the gate in their white medical uniforms.

That same article in the Wall Street Journal also speaks about how prominent leaders who are supportive of Mousavi, have been arrested:

At the same time, security agents rounded up three more prominent figures affiliated with Mr. Mousavi. The country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has told Mr. Mousavi to pursue his demands through the electoral system and urged Iranians to unite behind their Islamic government.

There is another huge rally scheduled for today by supporters of Mousavi in order to mourn the deaths of citizens killed during the protests and also to mourn the election. Demonstrators are encouraged to wear black and I will post some video that manages to trickle out of Iran from these protests. Reza Aslan appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show last night to discuss the significance of this movement:

YouTube also understands the significance of these events and how important it is for images and videos to get out of Iran so that the world can see what is happening. They have relaxed their restrictions on uploading violent content so that these images can reach the rest of the world. From the company:

“In general, we do not allow graphic or gratuitous violence on YouTube,” the company said in a statement. “However, we make exceptions for videos that have educational, documentary, or scientific value. The limitations being placed on mainstream media reporting from within Iran make it even more important that citizens in Iran be able to use YouTube to capture their experiences for the world to see.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How can a theocratic dictatorship hope to preserve its power in the 21st century, with the increasing number of pluralistic, democratic nations emerging, not to mention the proliferation of the internet? How can there be any genuine freedom in a country in which the real political power resides in the clergy rather than the democratically elected leaders? What are all these demonstrators hoping to achieve? Even if Mousavi had won the election, he still wouldn't have been the ruler of his country. Frankly, I don't understand the purpose of these demonstrations.