Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hope for Iran in a soldier's smile

Interesting report from Robert Fisk in Teheran:

"...the special forces - who normally take the side of Ahmadinejad's Basij militia - were there with clubs and sticks in their camouflage trousers and their purity white shirts and on this occasion the Iranian military kept them away from Mousavi's men and women.

In fact at one point, Mousavi's supporters were shouting 'thank you, thank you' to the soldiers.

One woman went up to the special forces men, who normally are very brutal with Mr Mousavi's supporters, and said 'can you protect us from the Basij?' He said 'with God's help'.

It was quite extraordinary because it looked as if the military authorities in Tehran have either taken a decision not to go on supporting the very brutal militia - which is always associated with the presidency here - or individual soldiers have made up their own mind that they're tired of being associated with the kind of brutality that left seven dead yesterday - buried, by the way secretly by the police - and indeed the seven or eight students who were killed on the university campus 24 hours earlier.

Quite a lot of policeman are beginning to smile towards the demonstrators of Mr Mousavi, who are insisting there must be a new election because Mr Ahmadinejad wasn't really elected".

This is a good sign. Revolutions succeed when the police and military refuse to obey orders to repress dissident demonstrations. Success of the Green Revolution is not yet assured, but the sheer size of the demonstrations, and their persistence, and the violence of the backlash, and the evidence for poll-rigging, and now theses signs of sympathy from the soldiers, all suggest that Mousavi will soon be in charge of Iran.

Here is a video showing police and protesters in harmony.

Successful popular revolutions are all too frequently sold out by the politicians that they install. Let us hope that Iran fares better.

I see the Guardian front page picture caption today reads "Opposition support of the defeated Mir Hossein Mousavi". "defeated" Idiots. Sometimes I wonder whose side the Guardian is on.

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