Monday, June 22, 2009

Millions, Thousands ... Hundreds

They came in their enraged millions, to protest the theatrical absurdity of an election purporting to be legal and democratic, but which, on the evidence and the clumsiness of its conclusion, was obviously corrupted to influence an insulting and unwanted outcome. They protested in defiance of danger, despite the assurances of their theocratic government that it was incapable of creating falsehoods because it was vested with the word of the Almighty.

They marched in anger and rebellious denial of the Ayatollah, their divinely-inspired-and-selected Supreme Leader who has denied their resentful allegations of wrong-doing and reiterated his firm support of the reviled and detestable President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They were beaten with batons, sprayed with water cannon, teargas, and shot with lethal weapons. The Revolutionary Guard, the special police, the Basij militia out to do the bidding of Ayatollah Khamanei.

Protesters march along a street in Tehran in this undated photo uploaded onto Twitter June 21, 2009. Foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on their ability to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.

The 85% voter turnout that the Islamic Republic insisted validated its democratic credentials seemed also to encourage them to the belief that the voting public would be readily manipulated into accepting that the election went, virtually uncontested, to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Generously handing him 13-million more votes than his closest competitor for the office of president. Improbable, and enraging to the sensibilities of those huge segments of the population who insisted that this man, the choice of the hardline Islamists, must go, and be replaced with that candidate whom they insist is a 'reformer'.

The millions of protesters in Tehran and throughout the country met a sullen resistance from the administration that quickly turned into bitter condemnation that they were willing tools of the imperialist West, puppets of the Americans, the British, the French, above all the evil Zionist entity that controlled their media and their governments. The protesters summarily dismissed as terrorists and illegal rioters. And to make certain that the message came across, not only were students beaten and arrested, but also family members of a former president.

Nineteen protesters are officially said to have been martyred for their cause in protesting the illegality of the election results. Canada has come out clearly in condemnation against the brutal violence unleashed on the protesters. Germany's Angela Merkel, Italy, France have condemned the crack-down on dissent. And finally American President Barack Obama has broken with his reluctance to commit, to comment unequivocally against the "violent and unjust actions".

The protest began with millions going out onto the streets. The real and raw threats evidenced by actions of the Revolutionary Guard, the special police units, the militias, instilled fear and circumspection in angry Iranians. The succeeding demonstrations saw the courageous coming out in their thousands. At night anonymous protests of "Allahu Akhbar!" were heard on rooftops, and later protests brought out hundreds, as fear settled deep in the heart of the protest.

The Islamic Republic, its Guardian Council, its Supreme Leader, its president, fulminate against the evil machinations of outside sources seeking to instill dissent and unseat the lawful government of the Iranian people. The world waits to see whether these tactics and the vicious suppression of the peoples' will may result in a tormented and resolute dictatorship resuming where it left off.

Or whether the country rises to meet its destiny. Whatever course that happens to take.

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