Today there was a big protest at the Baharestan Square – which is a very important place for commerce in Tehran. According to the some eyewitness reports, there were 500 police/armed Government men came armed with sticks and guns and started shooting and beating the protestors. Many were thrown over from the pedestrian bridge there.
A woman whom CNN interviewed called it a massacre. According to other reports as well, there were many who were shot.
Today, in a way, was probably THE most cruel crackdown and massacre in Iran since the current crisis began. Where is Iran headed?
Well, now the current fight has changed. People do not respect the Clerics in Iran much – at least the middle class urban folks – I have talked to some and they at least make fun of them. Ahmednejad, in that sense, was a breath of “fresh air” for them. He was a person of common means and a very educated person. And he led a military based Government. The fight between Moussavi and Ahmednejad was between Islamists and Militarists. Many sided with one of the other, more because they were either sick of Ahmednejad or liked him.. and not necessarily because they wanted more power to the Islamists.
However, now, the things have changed dramatically. Now, the people who are protesting, are not protesting against or for someone. They are now protesting FOR THEMSELVES. A person interviewed by CNN – who had voted for Ahmednejad – said.. that she also backs the protests. It was for Freedom.
This is significant. The character of protest is quickly now changing into a revolution. Because its no longer for or against someone. It is now FOR the people, by the people themselves!
Given this, the unusually quiet and unobtrusive stance of Obama is a little puzzling. But I think this may be meant to send a message to the world – that it cannot have it both ways. When US jumps in to take out a dictator, then you cannot blame her and then hope it will save people from another one.
Besides, Iran is a different game. It is right next to Afghanistan and Pakistan. IF, US were to take Iran on, then it will be surrounded completely and nowhere to go on enter from. From Pakistan to Iraq will be ONE BIG terror training camp and attack ramp. How fast an intervention to save the common men can deteriorate into a full fledged terrorism situation just like Iraq is now well known. Within a year, insurgents and terrorists will be rampant from Pakistan to Iraq if US or allies forced really entered Iran. In that sense, it is not in interest of the US Government to enter Iran.
And I think it will not happen. At most there may be noises from the US and condemnation.. but nothing more.
Sadly, this is a time that someone in the world really needs US. But (i) US has spread really thin and (ii) Muslim world doesn’t trust US and the local Muslim analysts have targeted the US for most criticism – deserved and undeserved.
Logistically it is probably a difficult probability that US will be in Iran. So, what would help the protestors there? Only if the world comes together under the auspices of UN or Security Council.
Where do you think this situation is headed?
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