Posts Tagged ‘protests’

Interesting Times in Persia

June 16, 2009

Just been reading up a little on the political strife in Iran.  However, I still feel as though I don’t really know what is going on there.  Slate has an interesting piece proclaiming the Obama administration will need to change their stance in response to the rigged election and the brutal reaction to protesters.  The author, Fred Kaplan, writes:

Given the near-certainty that Iran’s election was fixed and the documented fact that protesters are being brutalized, there is no way that Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could go to Tehran and shake hands with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, much less to expect that any talks would be worthwhile.

The author goes on to discuss the potential outcome of the current unrest. Kamal states that it is likely that the protest will peter out as the government continues to respond with brutality. An interesting point he brings up is that no one really knows who is really controlling Iran. We know there are a group of Clerics who control the country but there has been rumor that there may be disagreement within this core elite. Another point made in the piece is that the country cannot afford to have blatantly corrupt elections and still claim to be a democracy.

One point I still believe there is missing information is the point that the election was rigged. How do we know that a minority of urban youth are not rebelling just because they did not win? The Slate article states that Ahmadinejad’s primary constituents are the rural populations. Maybe these outnumber the urban?

Lhasa Chaos

March 15, 2008

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Uprisings and riots in Tibet are getting headline coverage. From what I can tell, the protests started on Monday March 10, 49 years after the major anti-Chinese protests in 1949. Chinese law enforcement quickly moved in to surpress the protests. Budhist monks were involved in the protests. Monks have not been involved in political dissent for some time because of the brutal force Chinese have used in the past. Today all tourists were ordered out of Lhasa, which is mostly Chinese nationals, but there are only a handful of Westerners there. This action shows how serious the situation is. Media coverage is being closely monitored and internet use is limited. The Chinese government is reporting that 10 have died while other sources quote 30. Due to the upcoming Bejing Olympics the Chinese are naturally quite concerned about their public image. I am wondering how this Tibet uprising is going to play out. I have a feeling the rest of the world will never know. Here is an AP article. This blog has an interesting post. 

Update: