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Twittering the Revolution, Day 2

AP photo/Vahid Salemi

AP photo/Vahid Salemi

I just discovered the power of Twitter a couple of weeks ago when we decided to add a Twitter feed to The Confluence front page. Little did I know how addictive it would be! I found I could learn about breaking news stories from reporters on the ground–before the stories were actually published or broadcast.

Back in the ’60s and ’70s we had underground newspapers that were passed out free on street corners. People had to find ways to bypass the status quo mainstream media and these newspapers gave outlets to new and exciting writers. In recent years, as the media has become even more corporate-controlled than it was in those days, people have used internet newsgroups and then the hunger for real news fueled the explosion of blogs that allowed direct communication of ideas among engaged citizens.

Last night at TC, we noted and dicussed the power of social media in the political process, as Iranians on the ground twittered news of the riots following the possibly rigged election by satellite, begging for attention and support from the West.

At some point last night on Twitter, someone proposed that everyone put the tag “#cnnfail” in their tweets to call attention to the fact that the U.S. media was ignoring the cataclysmic events taking place in Iran. It went viral and the topic made it up to number three on the trending topics list. One of our own Regency’s tweets is highlighted here.

As the Iranian election aftermath unfolded in Tehran–thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to protest their anger at perceived electoral irregularities–an unexpected hashtag began to explode through the Twitterverse: “CNNFail.”

Even as Twitter became the best source for rapid fire news developments from the front lines of the riots in Tehran, a growing number of users of the microblogging service were incredulous at the near total lack of coverage of the story on CNN, a network that cut its teeth with on-the-spot reporting from the Middle East.

For most of Saturday, Cnn.com had no stories about the massive protests on behalf of Mir Hossein Mousavi, who was reported by the Iranian government to have lost to the sitting president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The widespread street clashes–nearly unheard of in the tightly-controlled Iran–reflected popular sentiment that the election had been rigged, a sentiment that was even echoed, to some extent, by the U.S. government Saturday.

Was the U.S. media deliberately ignoring the Iranian election story? I don’t know, but this morning Iranians were twittering that CNN was focusing cameras on the official news conference, while ignoring scenes of protesters being beaten in the background. A little more from the linked article:

Yet even as word of the urban strife, seemingly led by those posting to Twitter, spread next around the world on news networks like the BBC, NPR and the Times, CNN remained mostly mute. Even when the network’s Internet site finally posted a story late Saturday, the network’s first “story highlight” was, “Ahmadinejad plans rally after winning second presidential term.”

Increasingly, Twitter has become the go-to source for breaking news about any kind of notable event, be it an earthquake, terrorist attacks in Mumbai, or post-election riots in Tehran. Yet many Twitter users found CNN’s lack of attention to what could end up being one of the biggest stories in years appalling.

Google news has some links to foreign stories about cnnfail. And Politico has a story on “Twittering from Tehran.” Young Iranians were also communicating via Facebook. The London Times interviewed a young Iranian woman and speculated about the future for her and other women in Iran now that their hopes for change have been interrupted for now.

“It seems people were half dead before and suddenly everyone felt alive.”

Half dead because they were brought up in a society patrolled by religious police with the power to beat them for holding hands in the street. Alive because it was the first election in which women played a potent role, demanding an end to the inequalities they endured.

What happens now that the all too brief “Tehran spring” has been abruptly curtailed by the election result? Thirty years after Iran’s Islamic revolution, are the conservative male forces that control the country immune to the demands for reform?

The beatings by riot police, closure of universities and clampdown on foreign news websites yesterday, after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed an overwhelming victory, were targeted at the Facebook generation.

Will these women give in? Under Islamic law as it is enforced in Iran, a woman’s word counts only half as much as a man’s in court; a woman can inherit only half as much as her brother; and while men can divorce easily, a woman who wants a divorce will typically spend three to 10 years in court and automatically lose custody of daughters over the age of seven and sons over two.

“Changes have to be made,” said a 34-year-old political activist who asked to remain anonymous. Her first target would be headscarves, which are mandatory in Iran. “The least of the freedoms we need is the ability to choose what to wear. For women this is really an issue. Whenever you go out, you have to be vigilant because the moral police may not think it is appropriate and they may even take you to jail. A woman’s integrity is judged by the colour of your dress – well, isn’t that stupid?” THE symbol of the demand for reform is not so much Mir Hossein Mousavi, the 67-year-old main opposition candidate, who complained of election fraud yesterday, as his wife.

Wait a minute! I thought Obama said the big issue was fighting to allow Middle Eastern women to wear head coverings? Hmmm….

Seeing all this transpire on Twitter and here at TC last night, I kept having chills. Will we see this kind of populist fervor in the U.S. ever again? Will Americans continue to allow the corporate media to tell them what to think and feel? I and many other Americans feel such a kinship with Iranians today after what has happened, and it’s clear they are reaching out to us ordinary Americans.

Last night Iran cut all electricity and closed down access to the internet and social media, but some determined Iranians still got through. There are bills moving through Congress right now to give the government greater control over the internet. What will we do if such a shutdown happens here?


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157 Responses

  1. Welcome to our world. Last year after Hillary Clinton would win a primary by a huge margin, I would go to CNN.com and there would be a big picture of Obama eating an ice cream cone.

    • “our world?” Not sure I understand.

      • The PUMA world.

        • PUMA started here

          • I know. Sorry, I don’t usually post here, just lurk. But you’re the only blog that seems to be covering this. I won’t bother you anymore.

        • We’ve been covering Hillary and the media blackout since January ’08 at The Confluence. PUMA was born here on May 31, 2008 and soon went viral.

        • You’re not bothering anyone. We’re glad to have you here. Just give us a little credit that’s all.

          • I didn’t mean “our world” as opposed to yours, sorry I see now that I did not choose my words carefully. I’ve been here since the beginning too, just so you know.

          • OK, sorry for the misunderstanding. We get defensive sometimes…

        • I understood perfectly what you meant – maybe because I mostly lurk around here too.

    • I understood what you were trying to say. So many people that weren’t drank on Obama witnessed that world where everything Hillary said was taken out of context or when they made her achievements seem minimal compared to Obama. She wins a state and they tell you she did so badly.

  2. I am glad women are out there protesting and letting the world know they are not happy with their oppressive government and that they want equal rights and Human Rights.

    I was impressed with the chants of “We Want Freedom”, by the young people.

    • I found that article about Iranian women protesters very exciting. In fact, one tweet I saw last night from a news person said that the chants often sounded like mostly women.

      • BB,

        curtisrt RT @AdkinsHHS: #iranelection Hey, two revolutions happening here….Rev in Iran AND Revolution in the Media. #cnnfail #msnbcfail #Tehran

        I guess your and others assessment is correct in that the live Twitter communication will proceed, even if traditional media ignores the stories and major events.

    • Let’s hope the young women here learn something from the women of Iran. They may find themselves fighting to regain some of the freedoms and rights their mothers had with the way things are going.

  3. jtyost2 RT @vjack: Dear CNN, Please Check Twitter for News About Iran – http://bit.ly/nLRcB #iranelection #CNNfail

    Tweeter folks are very, very upset about the lack of coverage on CNN.

    • Does it make you wonder if just maybe the sitting President of Iran is actually the person our gov’t really does want in there?

  4. New photo of university protest.

    http://twitpic.com/7dudp

  5. Thanks BB and Dakini for keeping those who are Twitter challenged up on all of that last night – great job :)

    • Twitter is pretty easy to use. You should try it!

      • I noted last night that a message went out for everyone to meet at one place -but then it was noted that it may have been a trap – how does one discern valid tweets and abuse?

        • Those were reports of rumors on the street. The whole place was/is under martial law, no texting, phone, etc. Twitter and Facebook were all they had and those weren’t easy to get on.

    • I don’t know what I am doing, but very interested in the young people of Iran wanting their FREEDOM. Give it a try! Or Live blog here, where the better pickings are being posted.

  6. More photos, just posted.

    http://twitpic.com/7d7t3

  7. I’m not surprised that the women are in the lead as they are the ones in most jeopardy

  8. I’ve resisted a blackberry because there is so much information coming at us at all angles and because there are times when I don’t want to be accessible – but in light of what happened last evening I do see the value in it – particularly what we see our own congress and President looking at ways they can restrict our communication with each other.

    • The government can shut down all the cell signals too. Our ability to communicate is very vulnerable and getting more so under Obama.

  9. Lions and tigers and bears – oh, my – the world has indeed become a scarier place. :(

  10. Protesters protect BBC reporters
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8098942.stm

    CNN Fails photo on flickr showing the dismal coverage
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelpinto/3624388512/sizes/l/

    WomanWrites RT @AmeriKeithRT @oxfordgirl Western media appears determined to play down this uprising. Show them it is serious. #iranelection #MSMfail

    Yea! The women are speaking up too!

  11. Reinforcements brought in from other countries to quell the protesters.

    Advorec RT @StopAhmadi “some anti riot forces are speaking in Arabic! apparently imported from Lebanon” #IranElection

    • Oh my. This is really starting to smell.

      Someone help me out here. Are we witnessing a military takeover by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wherein both the reformers and the ruling mullahs are jailed?

      Is Ahmadinejad about to oust Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the actual leader of the country and turn Iran into a real member of the axis of evil?

      This is so confusing.

  12. Wow! BB, that was wonderful. So glad you caught up with your sleep deficit.

    • Hi RD,

      I was so excited by all this last night, I stayed up until 3AM! I’ll probably have to take a nap sometime, but I’m still so energized. I can see why the US media doesn’t want us to see what is happening in other countries. They are afraid we might be inspired ot follow suit!

  13. i think the unrest is far from over. in fact i think the iranian leadership has opened a can of worms.

  14. Wiki article on Iranian elections, ongoing coverage.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Iranian_Election_Protests

  15. The bitter knitters were wonderful in the coverage of this news that the msm failed to cover.
    The fact that everyday average people reported a major news event is awesome. As long as this type of reporting continues we will be free.
    I thank everyone of you.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  16. ABC reports that Obama is playing golf in VA at the moment.

    • Well, if the media/press isn’t covering it, it isn’t happening is my guess?!?

      • Can’t wait to hear the Obot criticisms against anyone who thinks Obama should be talking about this….the guy is entitled to have some relaxation time; afterall, he’s the hardest working man on the planet. He will get a statement out soon enough.

        Further proof that he likes having this President in Iran. Any improvements there will diminish his ability to sell Iran as the next great threat.

  17. 60% of Iran’s population is under the age of 28 years old and weren’t alive during the last revolution (via Zakarias…were there were no woman on his panel).

  18. Video of women being beaten by police in Iran:

  19. again i think the young people in the muslim nations will notice how indifferent obama is. they aren’t stupid and pick up on these things as well as we do.

    so all of his grandiosity will sink his administration like the titantic. bush saw himself as bringing democracy to the middle east with guns and obama hopes to apologize his way across the region. “what fools these mortals be.”

  20. also, its said the “Hamzeh” Armored devision (army or revol. guard) heading toward Kkhorramabaad

  21. i note obama’s little buddy chavez congratulated his bro on this “election”. figures!

  22. the number of languages on the #iranian election is thrilling to see …

  23. There is a new message on Facebook from Mousavi but it is in Farsi … hopefully, some one will translate it soon.

  24. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ml_iran_election;_ylt=AhkTdA0GC.pH6FluvFsynUHlWMcF

    Ahmadinejad dismissed Tehran’s worst unrest in a decade as “not important,” comparing it to passions after a football match. He insisted Friday’s vote was “real and free” and the results showing his landslide victory were fair and legitimate.

  25. The riots are not only in Teheran.

    Footage of protests in major cities

    This is a real revolution.

    • I wonder how long they will be able to oppress the young people who are the majority of the population well over 60%, when they are chanting; “We Want Freedom” ?

  26. Mohamadreza from Tehran:

    Ahmadinejad in his press conf said we have absolut freedom in Iran, and these protesters are just a very little group of ppl

    #iranelection1 minute ago from web

  27. Ahmadinejad has little or no power under the Iranian Constitution. He is basically a front man. If the election was fixed, he didn’t do it..if the military and security forces are being mobilized, he didn’t order it. The head of the iranian “monster” it the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.

    • Yes, that’s right.

    • I thought I heard he was open to such a contest and a change in that position. That was probably propaganda to give the impression the elections were actually open and fair when they never were from the start.

      • According the Iranian Constitution:

        “Presidential candidates must be approved by the Council of Guardians (Mullahs) prior to running in order to ensure their allegiance to the ideals of the Islamic revolution”

  28. I don’t know if this is true but interesting to see if coverage will be on cnn/fox.

    from Ramin Khadem (ramin89)

    All foreign media is being thrown out of Iran! Twitter is going to be the last place to get info about the revolution in Iran!

    #iranelection1 minute ago from web

  29. Interesting speculation at American Thinker (sorry, MABlue, but it is interesting):

    The only real question seems to be at this point is who is controlling the Revolutionary Guards? They are the ones in the forefront of the crackdown. They are supposed to be under the direct control of the Supreme Leader Khamenei. But this amateurish, way too obvious election fraud would seem to be too inept if Khamenei and say, the senior Guard leadership was going to do the vote stealing. After all, it is widely believed they engineered the election of Ahmadinejad in 2005 in the first place. However they did it, they were able to fool most of the international observers who were invited to watch the proceedings (more like the observers were kidding themselves but at least they were given a fig leaf to hide behind).

    So it’s not like they don’t know how to be subtle about rigging an election. The heavy handededness of this election’s shenanigans, however, might show more unsure hands at work in the Interior Ministry where the election was obviously stolen. And this would point to an Ahmadinejad-led cabal of loyal bureaucrats and friendly Guardsmen…

  30. I just tried to take a break from the Iran and made my own life miserable:

    Lack of votes seen for Obama healthcare program

    President Barack Obama’s health secretary on Sunday pushed for a new government-run healthcare program, an idea facing skepticism even in his own party, and a senior Senate Democrat flatly said votes are lacking in Congress for the proposal.

    Fucking Dems!

    • “Hopenchange” means “You ain’t getting a pony”

    • This just in, the Democratic party is not your friend. They are not liberals. They could give a crap about anyone. Breaking news: the two main parties are identical, both owned by the same interests.

      Sadly, that’s not sarcasm. And I’m fearing Iran will be like Tienanmen Square. I believe it’s time for some serious drinking. Who’s with me.

    • I’m not sure what that’s about. Nancy Pelosi has said the House will not vote for it without a public option.

    • A few republicans and ben nelson (dino) were talking about an alternative today: the idea of health coops. We’ll see how far that gets developed.

      • Like Blue Cross/Blue Shield were coops? That’s how they started and that sure worked out well for the people.

        • Well except for the ones they got cheating in California, when they decided to drop them because it cut into profit.

  31. The other story of the day we have been waiting for…

    Bibi spoke. He will accept two-state solution only if Palestine has no army, no control over airspace, no smuggling of weapons. They have to agree to Israel’s right to exist.

    Natural growth of settlements will continue.

    The above from bbc. The below from me.

    He is giving some to Obama, but not all he wanted.
    I think a showdown is imminent. If Obama insists on no natural growth, this will spiral out of control.

    Hillary may even to resign, if she doesn’t agree with Obama. Your thoughts?

    • Call me crazy but this is one thing I hope Obama stands firm. I know it is hard because he can’t take a stand on most things but he has to start somewhere – right?

      Every freakin’ country in the world has an army so why should the Palestinians be different. Israel gets to have one but no to Palestinians. What makes them so special? And no control over airspace- what exactly does Israel think Palestinians deserve to have control over?

      • Their falafels? Seriously, that’s a darn good question. I would bet they want Palestinians to have control over nothing.

  32. Where is my Vote Perth Australia 14 June 2009

    Will news organizations begin covering the unrest and the demonstrations around the world?

  33. IranElection09″Gun fire in Tabriz”, largest Azeri city where supposedly Ahmadi won by 80%, and was under martial law last night. @iranbaan #iranelection
    4 minutes ago from web

    • Something about their election is sounding familiar… where did I see that sort of crazy math, oh yea, the ’08 Dem primary. Hmm, kind of the same media coverage too.

  34. Wow-what an amazing live twitter last night!

    Just wanted to post this from the BBC-OT but not too much so:

    “Italian businesswomen boo Gaddafi”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8097936.stm

  35. Change for Iran is back up today! I was wondering after we last heard up on the roof at University feeling the side effects of tear gas.

    Farhad says this:

    Change_for_Irantired & beaten. we couldn’t break through their wall, they were too many & we were no match for an entire army of special forces10 minutes ago from TwitterFox

    I’m sorry people of koy for not being able to do anything, never saw so many basij forces in my life! #iranelection4 minutes ago from TwitterFox

  36. If you want to get CNN’s attention and ask about Iran coverage, try setting up accounts with CNNAnchor’sNameFan. An informal survey confirms that that will get them to reply to you.

    • The CNN ME reporter on Twitter is pissed about the complaints. She says CNN has been covering 24/7 and deserves an award. Where were they reporting? It wasn’t on the website or TV.

      • She referred to the complainers as “haters.”

        • Ouch! You know when they get caught and then attack they lose even more credibility. When they came on the scene it was for their live coverage, including the one of OJ in his Bronco and they can’t cover the protests in Iran Live?!?

        • Must have taken a quick lesson from Donna Brazile on how to reply to emails which in any way criticised her actions- Stop the Hate !!!

      • The attitude they’re taking with their viewers is unbelievable. They went to The DNC for tips on unprofessionalism and anti-PR.

      • What planet did Obama say he was from? I suspect it was there!

      • LOL, hey, she’s a comedian. That’s pretty funny. Wait, she wasn’t joking. Oh dear.

        • What we thought were commercials featuring the Hamburger Helper hand during the 24th hour of Larry King were in fact CNN’s intrepid efforts to reenact the situation on the ground using hand puppets when the government blocked their live feed.

      • Sorry-don’t watch CNN over here -so I can’t tell you if maybe they did something on it in Europe.

  37. Police beating people in their home yard 14 June 2009 Tehran – Iran

    &

    Police attacked a student dorm in Isfahan (Sanati Isfahan) Iran and beat the students

  38. LOL! #CNNfail is back on the trending topics list at Twitter.

  39. In case no one has mentioned it here:

    NYT The Lede is doing a great job on the play by play

    • It’s all stuff I saw on twitter already, but it’s great that they are paying attention to it.

    • Amazing to see the NYT giving so much space to people blogging to protest election fraud…. :roll:

      • They only do that for countries other than the U.S. Here, it’s verboten to mention election fraud.

  40. The article is in Farsi, so I can’t figure it out, but interesting development …

    k_rim Musovi meets Ali Khameni http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/06/14/75944.html #IranElection less than 20 seconds ago from web

  41. Signatures Against the Results of Iranian Election
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/where-is-my-vote

    Honorable Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki Moon:

    We, the undersigned would like to thank you for taking time in considering our petition against the Iranian electoral results of the June 13 election.

    The results of this recent election have granted Mr. Ahmadinejad a landslide victory over his rival candidates.

    There is no doubt in our minds that this is a result of fraudulent activity and we wish to express our deepest concerns as such actions undermine the basics of democracy and the rule of law.

    As individuals concerned about the current situation within Iran, we seek your support in uniting the international community to stand against tyranny and violence.

    Once, again we thank you for your support and hope that you will help us towards finding a peaceful resolution to this issue.
    Honorable Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki Moon:

    We, the undersigned would like to thank you for taking time in considering our petition against the Iranian electoral results of the June 13 election.

    The results of this recent election have granted Mr. Ahmadinejad a landslide victory over his rival candidates.

    There is no doubt in our minds that this is a result of fraudulent activity and we wish to express our deepest concerns as such actions undermine the basics of democracy and the rule of law.

    As individuals concerned about the current situation within Iran, we seek your support in uniting the international community to stand against tyranny and violence.

    Once, again we thank you for your support and hope that you will help us towards finding a peaceful resolution to this issue.
    We, the undersigned would like to thank you for taking time in considering our petition against the Iranian electoral results of the June 13 election.

    The results of this recent election have granted Mr. Ahmadinejad a landslide victory over his rival candidates.

    There is no doubt in our minds that this is a result of fraudulent activity and we wish to express our deepest concerns as such actions undermine the basics of democracy and the rule of law.

    As individuals concerned about the current situation within Iran, we seek your support in uniting the international community to stand against tyranny and violence.

    Once, again we thank you for your support and hope that you will help us towards finding a peaceful resolution to this issue.
    signature
    goal: 1,000,000

    497
    signatures!

    I hope they reach their goal within days.

  42. another interesting twit from Iran:

    AZNasser #iranelection

    ther is no more time for peace. Forces R committing murder and Ahmadi will kill opposition. If ayatollahs can’t help, attack.

    less than 20 seconds ago from Twitterfall

  43. A free lance reporter just told CNN that the women in Iran wanted more FREEDOMS such as not having to wear the Hijab. Hemmm
    http://www.iranian.com/History/2000/March/Women/index2.html

    Right to choose
    First protests against mandatory hijab

    Compiled by Pedram Missaghi
    March 7, 2000
    The Iranian

    The following photographs are from the first weeks after the 1979 revolution. They show women demonstrating against compulsory wearing of the hijab as well as its supporters. See chronology here. See old news clips (1) (2). Also see video at Rahai-Zan TV.

    • Is that all they like to mention on CNN- what women wear…. :roll:

      • I think it was in reply to the question why they young people including women are out protesting. I think the young women are great in that they have had enough and don’t want to be oppressed any longer. Good for them.

        • Maybe they’re protesting the lack of free and democratic elections…
          (but of course for the CNN young women only protest being told what to wear)

  44. Mousavi is back on twitter:

    # به دلیل فیلتر شدن وب سایت قلم نیوز شما میتوانید اخبار و بیانیه ها را از وب سایت http://sites.google.com/sit… دنبال کنید.about 2 hours ago from web

    # Due to widespread filtering, please view this site for latest news from Mousavi (via GhalamNews): http://sites.google.com/sit…about 2 hours ago from web

    # امشب همه از بالای پشت بام ساعت نه، مرگ بر دیکتاتور. EVERYONE: Tonight at 9pm Iran time from rooftops: “Death to Dictator”. #IranElectionabout 3 hours ago from web

    # قلم – میرحسین ابطال انتخابات را خواستار شد. #IranElection MOUSAVI DECLARES THE ELECTION VOID. http://www.ghalamnews.ir/ne…about 3 hours ago from web

    # @parizot http://ow.ly/dWZ8about 4 hours ago from twhirl in reply to parizot

    # BBC Persian: Karoubi does NOT recognise Ahmadinejad as Iranian President, and declares the election VOID. #IranElectionabout 6 hours ago from web

    # http://www.flickr.com/photo… #IranElection میرحسین موسوی: متن این بیانیه بدین شرح استabout 6 hours ago from web

  45. LA Times has a page dedicated to Iran coverage.

    http://topics.latimes.com/world/countries/iran

  46. A repost – I put it in the wrong place upthread.

    Someone help me out here. Are we witnessing a military takeover by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wherein both the reformers and the ruling mullahs are jailed?

    Is Ahmadinejad about to oust Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the actual leader of the country and turn Iran into a real member of the axis of evil?

    This is so confusing.

    As others have said – Who controls the Guard? Ahmadinejad or Khamenei? Or, is the Guard split as well? And who controls the foreign military that has been brought in? A or K?

    • No one knows anything for sure yet.

      • I know you have previusly said that Twitter is easy but do you know where I can go to figure out how it actually works?

        A month or so ago I opened a gmail account for the purpose of signing up for Twitter. I did so and immediatelly got a message that two people were following me – one of them is someone I know personally. It freaked me out and I have never been back.

        Thanks in advance.

    • The guard could be split, because Ahmadinijad was once a member and may have influence. I posted a link about it above–American Thinker.

    • Under the Iranian Constitution, The Supreme Leader, Khamenei controls the military, secret police, Guards, para-military, etc. The President controls nothing. If there is a revolt among these groups it has nothing to do with legal control.

    • John Simpson is a very good and very experienced BBC Middle East reporter:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8099374.stm

  47. Latest from Robert Fisk:

    First the cop screamed abuse at Mir Hossein Mousavi’s supporter, a white-shirted youth with a straggling beard and unkempt hair. Then he smashed his baton into the young man’s face. Then he kicked him viciously in the testicles. It was the same all the way down to Vali Asr Square. Riot police in black rubber body armour and black helmets and black riot sticks, most on foot but followed by a flying column of security men, all on brand new, bright red Honda motorcycles, tearing into the shrieking youths – hundreds of them, running for their lives. They did not accept the results of Iran’s presidential elections. They did not believe that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won 62.6 per cent of the votes. And they paid the price.

    “Death to the dictator,” they were crying on Dr Fatimi Street, now thousands of them shouting abuse at the police. Were they to endure another four years of the smiling, avuncular, ever-so-humble President who swears by democracy while steadily thinning out human freedoms in the Islamic Republic? They were wrong, of course. Ahmadinejad really does love democracy. But he also loves dictatorial order. He is not a dictator. He is a Democrator.

    Anyone else think that sounds familiar?

    • Yes, somehow it rings a vague bell….

    • How about the part where the opposition party newspaper has its headline “dictated to it by the authorities, ‘Happy Victory to the People.’ Can’t get much more neutral than that.”

    • “Ahmadinejad really does love democracy. But he also loves dictatorial order. He is not a dictator. He is a Democrator.”

      Democrator – never heard of that before. Inky posted some articles where it was suggested that Ahmadinejad actually won. I find that heard to believe since won by 62% Is it possible for them to have a do-over?

    • BB:

      You didn’t check “The News”, did ya. That article is in.

      Btw The News Dpt needs a larger budget. There’s too much happening and we have to increase our staff.

      If not, we in the News will orchestrate a collective walk out.

      • Since CNN apparently fired all the actual news people and clearly no one else’s hired them, they should be willing to work pretty cheaply.

  48. I am in moderation

  49. OT here is an interesting site
    http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/

    • nice one-
      There is only one reason that pregnancy should “scare” you: your culture hates women and kids.* It especially hates teenage women. It especially hates pregnant teenage women. It especially hates teenage pregnant women who get knocked up under unapproved circumstances.

  50. Totally OT – at busy times like the present I really appreciate the “nesting”.

    • yes, I hated nesting when we started using it but have gotten used to it and value it in these situations as well. :)

      • I hated it too but I’ve gotten used to it as well. The only thing is when 20 people are nesting and suddenly they all stop and you think the topic is over when instead it’s been moved to the bottom. :)

  51. Huh? I refreshed (blinked) and it disappeared. Mods are quick.

  52. CNN’s not that bad; they cater to their audience’s demands… it’s the majority of Americans who are not all that interested in international events

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