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RE: Iran

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  • Dan M
    ... weakened.   ... OK, I ll agree that his position with some factions within the ruling elite has been lowered. The real question, of course, it what is
    Message 1 of 12 , Jun 22, 2009
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      >Whatever the final outcome Ahmadinejad's position has to have been severely
      weakened.  
      >As he's a nut case, this is a very good thing.

      OK, I'll agree that his position with some factions within the ruling elite
      has been lowered. The real question, of course, it what is the position of
      the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He backed Ahmadinejad strongly,
      and issued a clear threat of violence against any protesters. The
      Revolutionary Guard and the associated paramilitary (brown shirts) appear
      eager for violence. So, the risk of Ahmadinejad doing something against
      Iran's interests is probably lower, but I think he was always on a leash.

      My prediction is that, after a few more demonstrations of a few hundred
      people get knocked down with scores dead, the struggle will go underground.
      Thirty years from now, there will significant changes, but before then I
      think that Iran will have a score or so of nuclear weapons, without even the
      command and control that Pakistan has over its nukes. Pakistan is looking a
      bit better now than 2 months ago, but it is still very dangerous.

      One thing that I read that is very disturbing to me is that it is near
      impossible to predict the future of Iran, even for those who devoted their
      life to studying Iran, even for those who are ruling Iran. Once they have
      the capacity to eliminate Israel in half and hour (probably 5 years from
      now), I fear that after that, an Ayatollah who wishes to hasten the return
      of the Mahdi will be come Supreme Ayatollah....or that a faction of the
      National Guard that does will gain command and control of, say, 3 nuclear
      missiles....cause that's all it would take to virtually eliminate Israel.

      Dan M.


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    • Rceeberger
      ... I wouldn t be so quick to judge. Reports from inside Iran say the Guard is split and mostly inactive. The Army is similarly. The police have been
      Message 2 of 12 , Jun 22, 2009
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        On 6/22/2009 7:36:48 PM, Dan M (dsummersminet@...) wrote:
        > >
        > > Things do not look overly promising for the protesters, but if they
        > manage
        > > to make it through tomorrow without their heads being cracked Iranian
        > > public sentiment may swing decisively in their direction. It really
        > > depends on how hard the Supreme Ayatollah swings back at them.
        > >
        > > We should see by morning.
        >
        > Well, it's the next day, and I don't see any resolution. I think that
        > the
        > splits in the leadership are promising, though small. But.....the best
        > organized force is the Revolutionary Guard, and they appear to be
        > fanatical.
        > I'd guess, if push came to shove, they wouldn't mind killing
        > thousands to
        > keep order....and I don't see anyone standing up to them in a fight.
        >
        I wouldn't be so quick to judge.
        Reports from inside Iran say the Guard is split and mostly inactive. The Army is similarly. The police have been ineffective because they won't shoot their own countrymen. That is why most of the violence has been committed by Basiji and Arab imports (such as Hezbollah and some Afghan Taliban with possibly some Russians thrown in according to rumor) Many of the people committing violence are non-Farsi speakers and that is a solid indictment of the gravity of the situation.
        The Council of Experts is split and the Ayatollahs seem to be waiting for Khamenei to commit an irrevocable fuckup before they move. Many Mullahs are going to the protests themselves and making pronouncements on behalf of the protestors. A Revolutionary Guard General was arrested for refusing to fire on protestors. Rafsanjani's daughter was arrested for attending a protest.
        The longer this continues the better it gets for the protestors I think. The general trend seems to be favoring them.
        Amedinajad is pretty much irrelevant ATM. It really hinges on Khamenei and what he does, which I expect will be screwup because he really isn't much more than a hack/wonk in the overall picture and I don't think he is skilled enough to wiggle out of the crack he has gotten himself into.

        A national strike is being called (starting today). How that goes will determine the course and success of this revolt.

        xponent
        #IranElection Maru
        rob

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      • Dan M
        ... I m curious to see where you stand now. I read your source, and realize that info coming from the country has been really cut back....so there is a lot
        Message 3 of 12 , Jun 27, 2009
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          > Reports from inside Iran say the Guard is split and mostly inactive. The
          > Army is similarly. The police have been ineffective because they won't
          > shoot their own countrymen. That is why most of the violence has been
          > committed by Basiji and Arab imports (such as Hezbollah and some Afghan
          > Taliban with possibly some Russians thrown in according to rumor) Many of
          > the people committing violence are non-Farsi speakers and that is a solid
          > indictment of the gravity of the situation.


          I'm curious to see where you stand now. I read your source, and realize
          that info coming from the country has been really cut back....so there is a
          lot more speculation than fact in the outside world.

          I know the Rand Corporation thinks the Revolutionary Guard is the big winner
          in this

          http://www.rand.org/commentary/2009/06/22/RC.html

          Even with reporters locked up in their hotel rooms, I would guess than
          marches of tens of thousands would be heard in the hotels. The types of
          reports that are getting out indicate that, if anything, the younger more
          militant aspects of the guard are increasing their power. (I'm thinking of
          the folks who captured a UK ship as an example).

          > Amedinajad is pretty much irrelevant ATM.

          He may be a figurehead for the younger more militant guard members and their
          brownshirt auxillary.

          >
          > A national strike is being called (starting today). How that goes will
          > determine the course and success of this revolt.
          >

          >From what I read, folks will have a hard time not working and not getting
          paid at all. With unemployment at 25%, and virtually all money coming from
          oil sales, and with everything government subsidized, the government has a
          lot of power. Again, I'll agree that we are working on minimal information,
          but I haven't been able to see a good source since Monday that indicates
          that the reform is gaining a foothold. If anything, its falling back.

          It reminds me of the USSR in the '70s, when my friend from Moscow said folks
          became disillusioned. I don't doubt that in two decades, we could see
          reform. But, in between, the odds are that the younger more militant
          members of the Republican guard are the most likely to have increasing
          influence. And, with predictions of Iran having the capacity for an A-bomb
          within a year, we will probably have tough sledding there for the next
          decade.



          Dan M.


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        • xponentrob
          ... From: Dan M To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2009 5:15 PM
          Message 4 of 12 , Jun 27, 2009
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Dan M" <dsummersminet@...>
            To: "'Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion'" <brin-l@...>
            Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2009 5:15 PM
            Subject: RE: Iran


            >
            >> Reports from inside Iran say the Guard is split and mostly inactive. The
            >> Army is similarly. The police have been ineffective because they won't
            >> shoot their own countrymen. That is why most of the violence has been
            >> committed by Basiji and Arab imports (such as Hezbollah and some Afghan
            >> Taliban with possibly some Russians thrown in according to rumor) Many of
            >> the people committing violence are non-Farsi speakers and that is a solid
            >> indictment of the gravity of the situation.
            >
            >
            > I'm curious to see where you stand now. I read your source,

            I think at this point we must both recognize that we both access several sources not noted in our discussion, and that the overall situation is much more complex than we are describing. I mention this because I believe we need to broaden the terms of the discussion a bit if either of us are to make arguments that give sensible predictions. I think most people would like to know what is coming from Iran over the next few years as recent events there could destabilize the local equilibrium.


            >and realize
            > that info coming from the country has been really cut back....so there is a
            > lot more speculation than fact in the outside world.

            Media info is cut back dramatically, but there is still a lot, a whole lot, of lower quality information sneaking out. There is still a fair bit of higher quality info coming from Iran, just not from media outlets.

            >
            > I know the Rand Corporation thinks the Revolutionary Guard is the big winner
            > in this
            >
            > http://www.rand.org/commentary/2009/06/22/RC.html

            Interesting article, and probably accurate in some particulars, but I think it misses some crucial points. The group that has gained the greatest enhancement is the Basiji (your brownshirts). They have carried the load in the suppression (as semi-official and sanctioned enforcers) and (it seems to me) to be the locus of the increase in outright fascism in Iran. At this point Iran has to be defined as a fascist state on par with the WW2 fascists. This is a grave concern for reasons I think most of us already recognize.


            >
            > Even with reporters locked up in their hotel rooms, I would guess than
            > marches of tens of thousands would be heard in the hotels. The types of
            > reports that are getting out indicate that, if anything, the younger more
            > militant aspects of the guard are increasing their power. (I'm thinking of
            > the folks who captured a UK ship as an example).

            I would expect that the key to recognizing a nearby demonstration would not be the sounds made by protestors, but the sounds of gunfire from those supressing the protestors.
            Currently, I don't think there are any demonstrations that have 10K protesting, but there may occasionally still be 1K or 2K out on the street (max).


            >
            >> Amedinajad is pretty much irrelevant ATM.
            >
            > He may be a figurehead for the younger more militant guard members and their
            > brownshirt auxillary.

            Here we disagree. And what we disagree about is who Amadinajad fronts for. I contest that he is a schill for Khamenei. Further, I believe that the entire point of the clampdown is so that Khamenei can ensure that his son becomes the next Supreme Leader. Amadinajad is constitutionally prevented from serving as president after the upcoming term ends. I see three potential events coming. The constitution is changed to eradicate the term limits, the law is changed so that Prime Minister once again becomes the important position it once was with Amadinijad locked in, or Khamenei grooms someone equally pliable as the next president. It is really all about Khamenei and his scoin maintaining power.

            >
            >>
            >> A national strike is being called (starting today). How that goes will
            >> determine the course and success of this revolt.
            >>
            >
            >>From what I read, folks will have a hard time not working and not getting
            > paid at all. With unemployment at 25%, and virtually all money coming from
            > oil sales, and with everything government subsidized, the government has a
            > lot of power. Again, I'll agree that we are working on minimal information,
            > but I haven't been able to see a good source since Monday that indicates
            > that the reform is gaining a foothold. If anything, its falling back.


            Agreed. Iranians seem to have had no stomach for a general strike. I think they would like to, but the reality on the ground is not conducive to an action that would entail incredible sacrifice and an obvious hardship on all.
            (I'm guessing it generally works this way in fascist countries?)


            >
            > It reminds me of the USSR in the '70s, when my friend from Moscow said folks
            > became disillusioned. I don't doubt that in two decades, we could see
            > reform. But, in between, the odds are that the younger more militant
            > members of the Republican guard are the most likely to have increasing
            > influence. And, with predictions of Iran having the capacity for an A-bomb
            > within a year, we will probably have tough sledding there for the next
            > decade.
            >

            Indeed!
            But again I'd like to point out the "Brownshirts" and the role their kind play in such situations and the Supreme Leader who is the beneficiary of the suppression. Rafsanjani appears to have had his teeth pulled and without him as a counterweight to Khamenei, the Council of Experts and the Supreme Council are not much more than formalities or at best functions TPTB.

            Any chance we can get Gautam to weigh in? I'm beginning to lean away from diplomatic solutions and toward military or covert solutions in this matter and would be interested on his take. (Has he written on his blog about this?)

            [Bani-Sadr is in exile in France a writes a lot about these events in his blog which is sometimes informative]

            xponent
            The Gong Of Doom Is Struck Maru
            rob

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          • Charlie Bell
            ... Um... a ship? Do you mean the Marines patrol boat a couple of years ago? Wasn t a ship. C. _______________________________________________
            Message 5 of 12 , Jun 27, 2009
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              On 28/06/2009, at 8:15 AM, Dan M wrote:
              >
              > Even with reporters locked up in their hotel rooms, I would guess than
              > marches of tens of thousands would be heard in the hotels. The
              > types of
              > reports that are getting out indicate that, if anything, the younger
              > more
              > militant aspects of the guard are increasing their power. (I'm
              > thinking of
              > the folks who captured a UK ship as an example).

              Um... a ship? Do you mean the Marines patrol boat a couple of years
              ago? Wasn't a ship.

              C.

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            • dsummersminet@comcast.net
              ... From: Charlie Bell charlie@culturelist.org Date: Sun, 28 Jun 2009 12:10:27 +1000 To: brin-l@mccmedia.com Subject: Re: Iran ... Sorry Charlie. You have to
              Message 6 of 12 , Jun 27, 2009
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                Original Message:
                -----------------
                From: Charlie Bell charlie@...
                Date: Sun, 28 Jun 2009 12:10:27 +1000
                To: brin-l@...
                Subject: Re: Iran



                On 28/06/2009, at 8:15 AM, Dan M wrote:
                >
                > Even with reporters locked up in their hotel rooms, I would guess than
                > marches of tens of thousands would be heard in the hotels. The
                > types of
                > reports that are getting out indicate that, if anything, the younger
                > more
                > militant aspects of the guard are increasing their power. (I'm
                > thinking of
                > the folks who captured a UK ship as an example).

                >Um... a ship? Do you mean the Marines patrol boat a couple of years
                >ago? Wasn't a ship.

                Sorry Charlie. You have to remember that, when I was I kid I was on many a
                boat longer than 200 meters, with the biggest over 300 meters and > 30k
                tons. I realize that it wasn't a big ship, but the way I was raised:
                saltwater=ship, freshwater=boat. Size didn't matter. But that's what I
                meant, yea. Even in Britian you might have heard the song "the Wreck of the
                Edmund Fitzgerald. I was on the Mighty Fitz a number of times and can
                still close my eyes amd remember the smell of those boats.

                Dan M.

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              • Charlie Bell
                ... It s not size, it s type. Submarines are boats... (they re also it , not she to anyone who s not actually a submariner). :-) Sure, it s probably a
                Message 7 of 12 , Jun 27, 2009
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                  On 28/06/2009, at 1:25 PM, dsummersminet@... wrote:
                  >> Um... a ship? Do you mean the Marines patrol boat a couple of years
                  >> ago? Wasn't a ship.
                  >
                  > Sorry Charlie. You have to remember that, when I was I kid I was on
                  > many a
                  > boat longer than 200 meters, with the biggest over 300 meters and >
                  > 30k
                  > tons. I realize that it wasn't a big ship, but the way I was raised:
                  > saltwater=ship, freshwater=boat. Size didn't matter.

                  It's not size, it's type. Submarines are boats... (they're also "it",
                  not "she" to anyone who's not actually a submariner). :-)

                  Sure, it's probably a regional usage difference (like "LEFT-enant" in
                  Britain and Australia), but a patrol craft, a fast-attack craft (like
                  the couple of hydrofoils with guns we've had over the years) or a
                  merchant vessel with only 15 or so crew is usually a boat if you're
                  talking about a British vessel.

                  C.



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                • Alberto Monteiro
                  ... Yes. Been there. Our fascist dictatorship fell (probably) because the fascists were tired of being ridiculed by the population. The subtle and persistent
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jun 29, 2009
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                    xponentrob wrote:
                    >
                    > Agreed. Iranians seem to have had no stomach for a general strike.
                    > I think they would like to, but the reality on the ground is not
                    > conducive to an action that would entail incredible sacrifice and
                    > an obvious hardship on all.
                    > (I'm guessing it generally works this way in fascist countries?)
                    >
                    Yes. Been there. Our fascist dictatorship fell (probably) because
                    the fascists were tired of being ridiculed by the population. The
                    subtle and persistent strategy of Humour is far more powerful
                    than guns or strikes.

                    Alberto Monteiro


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                  • John Garcia
                    ... That s how it was when I was in the USN, 29 years ago. Subs are boats as are small craft generally. Although, we used to refer to our ship as a boat as
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jun 29, 2009
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                      On Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 12:38 AM, Charlie Bell <charlie@...> wrote:

                      On 28/06/2009, at 1:25 PM, dsummersminet@... wrote:
                      Um... a ship? Do you mean the Marines patrol boat a couple of years
                      ago? Wasn't a ship.

                      Sorry Charlie.  You have to remember that, when I was I kid I was on many a
                      boat longer than 200 meters, with the biggest over 300 meters and > 30k
                      tons.   I realize that it wasn't a big ship, but the way I was raised:
                      saltwater=ship, freshwater=boat.  Size didn't matter.

                      It's not size, it's type. Submarines are boats... (they're also "it", not "she" to anyone who's not actually a submariner). :-)

                      Sure, it's probably a regional usage difference (like "LEFT-enant" in Britain and Australia), but a patrol craft, a fast-attack craft (like the couple of hydrofoils with guns we've had over the years) or a merchant vessel with only 15 or so crew is usually a boat if you're talking about a British vessel.

                      C.

                      That's how it was when I was in the USN, 29 years ago. Subs are 'boats' as are small craft generally. Although, we used to refer to our ship as a 'boat' as in "Gotta report aboard the boat in the morning." (I served aboard USS Eisenhower, but in an aircraft squadron, I was not in ship''s company).
                      And, I thought it was pronounced "LEF-tenant".

                      john
                      air-head maru

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