Iran. Everybody’s talking about Iran.
The mainstream media are up in arms, political demonstrations are being held in cities around the world in solidarity to the protesters, and you can just tell politicos are bursting with the urge to throw their support behind the protest movement — so long as they’re after democracy.
If it isn’t the Iranians ingenious use of twitter to get the word out, or their daring in demanding democracy from a government that has been made out to be the devil over the last decade, the subject of Iran has been slapped on the front page of newspapers throughout the world.
I’m not complaining. The images of Iranians taking to the streets to protest their government are inspiring, but there are some horrible truths stirring in the background. The C4SS has already pointed out that politicians hate change, and while Obama and other politicians have express their support for the mass in Iran, the silence from most political leaders has been deafening;
It’s also interesting to watch the reactions of politicians elsewhere. Incipient revolution, regardless of its ideological content or where it takes place, gives politicians the willies. It keeps them up nights, or else causes them to bolt awake with the irresistible urge to make sure the world outside their windows still believes it needs them.
From the perspective of a man in Obama’s line of work, the worst of all possible outcomes is the “failed state” — a state where the political class experiences “loss of physical control of its territory or a monopoly on the legitimate [sic] use of force.” Such a situation is always pregnant with possibility: The possibility that the dying state will be replaced, even temporarily and provisionally, by something other than a new state.
Six days a week and twice on Sunday, a Barack Obama will support any state — liberal democracy, communist dictatorship, Islamist theocracy, doesn’t matter — if the plausible alternative is no state. After all, if one country can manage itself without overhead in the form of his counterparts, people are bound to notice, and next thing you know he might find himself looking for real work instead of running a successful franchise of the Big Con.
While the “leaders” of other states might be willing to accommodate, might even wish for or be willing to tentatively support, a more “liberal” regime in Iran, they’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs if they foresee any risk at all that Iranians might take their lives into their own hands and dispense with the state altogether, even if only for a day.
Change, true change, scares politicians. If you can find a better, more successful method of doing something, such as looking after your daily life without outsourcing most of the thinking to an old man a few thousand kilometres away, then you don’t need them. But still, this observation, while totally apt, doesn’t seem to be quite right given the coverage Iran has received in the media. One could be forgiven for believing that there was nothing else worth reporting, another point which has been made elsewhere;
Iran, Iran, Iran. You would think this was the only news in the world. Odd isn’t it?
What is so unique about unrest in Iran? Isn’t there unrest everywhere? Sure there is!
Aren’t there protests everywhere?
Yup, there are!
Look at the G-20 protests. The coverage that was given served to portray the protestors in a negative light and law enforcement as doing their job to keep the peace. Even when the death of an innocent bystander resulted, Ian Tomlinson at the hands of head bashing police officers, the main stream media stayed quite quiet. Apologies I stand corrected, quiet, except for the smear campaign that was launched against the victim after the police brutality was exposed! Apparently, Ian Tomlinson liked to drink. As if that justified his murder at the hands of law enforcement…
In Iran, it is a different story.
The police trying to control some extremely unruly crowds are portrayed as ruthless and “videos of police beating demonstrators hit hard at the emotions”
Unusual for western media to be sympathetic to unruly protestors.
If protesting is legitimate in Iran for an election, it surely should be at the G-20 protests, when issues affecting the world populace are being discussed and decided upon by elites behind locked gates. Gates that ensure the masses are left out in the cold.
But if the G-20 protests aren’t relevant in your mind.
Let us look at another country. Georgia.
There have been many protests there.
Did you know that? Most people don’t.
Why is that? Well there hasn’t been much western mainstream media coverage of it. Certainly not the wall to wall, 24/7, coverage Iran has garnered.
Yet, in Georgia on June 15th/09, guess what was going on?
Protests! Along with police beatings!
To add to the author’s posts, let me also point out that Greek Anarchists have been in struggle since last the shooting of a 15 year old boy against the Golden Dawn, the riot police that they work with and attempts by the Greek government to conduct a pogrom of immigrants inside Athens. Shock horror! Nationalist groups seek racial purity inside the birthplace of democracy and all that is good and holy? Surely that would make a great story, one of passion, struggle and deliverance.
Sadly, no. And the only thing to be said about the affair so far is that a while back some terrorist groups shot a cop. Hell, even the Gold Dawn fascists have been described as ‘Right-Wing Anarchists’ in the media on occasion.
I don’t want to appear as if I’m engaging in conspiracy theories, but might all this have something to do with Iran not particularly malleable when it comes to American and Western interests? Perhaps its easier to foment rebellion and destabilise the country than saddle up to go to war for the first time in a new presidency, particularly if North Korea keeps playing up and bullets start flying in that region.