Persian courage -

Persian courage


In most popular uprisings against tyranny, there is a time when security forces are faced with a decision whether or not to open fire on their fellow citizens. So much hinges on this moment. In Serbia, for example, they didn’t, and Slobodan Milosevic was overthrown.

As much as I’ve wanted to believe that the popular will of most Iranians for a more decent and democratic regime would prevail in that country, my optimism has always been tempered by the repeatedly demonstrated reality that the thugs in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Basij will open fire; will massacre their own people; will arrest, torture, and rape; will do whatever it takes to stay in power.

This stunning video has given me new hope. A gunman opens fire on a crowd of protesters. They continue to advance.

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Persian courage

  1. I have not seen that video yet, thanks for the link. It takes real courage to run toward someone firing a weapon at you when you don't have one yourself. Whenever I see people trying to overthrow tyrants, it always puts my caviling about Canadian politics into perspective. I bitch and moan about Canada but I also thank my lucky stars that I was born and raised here.

    Petrou I have two questions and a comment.

    1) I saw footage of Basji firing on their people during the weekend and many/most of them were wearing masks. Do Basji always wear facial items to protect their identity or are Basji worried about people finding out who they are? I am curious to know if Basji are so hated now they have to worry about protecting their identity in case their neighbours find out what they do or somesuch.

    2) Are more people participating in these clashes against the State now than in the summer? Do you know if movement is expanding from who protested last summer – I see many middle aged men in video you link to but recall lots of university aged males and females from last summer's protests.

    3) I read Renegades over Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed it. My favourite sections were when you looked at which Canadians joined, and why, but I still wish both sides could have lost the war.

  2. Hi Jolyon,

    1) I don't know. Based on much of the footage I've seen, yes. And it appears that they have good reason to be concerned. More remarkable cell phone video was posted this past week showing Iranians attacking a group of Basij whom they had cornered.

    2) It's so difficult to tell because of the restrictions on news reporting in Iran, but I think the very fact that opposition protests continue to be so strong and widespread despite increased repression speaks to the depth of dissent in Iran. The main difference between 1999 and now is the diversity of the movement. Mousavi, recall, was insider who now says he is willing to die for reform. (His nephew has already been murdered.) Leading clerics have sided with the protesters.

    I get a lot of grassroots news from Iran here:

    3) Thank you.

  3. Thanks for the suggested link, Petrou.

    I read Ledeen and Rubin when they post at The Corner, occasionally Contentions blog (Commentary) and the UK press for Iran news but I was wondering what the quality/reliable blogs were for more detailed info. I am trying to keep track of what's happening in Iran – I really want the regime to be toppled and for less murderous people to take over.

    I find the fact that Basij feel need to hide themselves to be quite telling – they are not feeling safe, that's for sure.