You did know I was referring to Iran--didn't you?
Amir Taheri writes:
Thursdays's events in Iran dealt a serious political blow to a beleaguered re gime unable to either accommodate its opponents or crush them by force.
It was billed as the biggest show in the history of the Islamic Republic, and the celebrations marking the 31st anniversary of the seizure of power by the mullahs were planned like a military operation with the code name Simorgh (a mythical Persian bird) under the direct control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.
What Iranians saw on live TV, however, was a chaotic gathering of tens of thousands of rent-a-mob elements -- along with guardsmen, all with standard and easily recognizable beards, and members of the Baseej professional street fighters.
The spokesman for the operation, the Revolutionary Guard's Ali-Asghar Abkhizr, all but admitted the failure of the enterprise: He announced that pro-regime demonstrations had been confined to 33 "public places" in Tehran -- leaving the rest of the vast capital to the opposition.
Abkhizr also admitted that this year's anniversary gatherings were limited to 637 towns and cites -- out of a total of more than 4,000 localities with populations of 10,000 or more. The regime's profile was even lower in rural Iran, where pro-regime demonstrations were confined to 3,000 villages out of a total of 50,000.
In several major cities, among them Isfahan, the country's second largest in population, and Ahvaz, official ceremonies had to be curtailed as pro-democracy marchers seized control of major thoroughfares.
Read the whole thing.
I suppose at some point Obama will get past the whole sanctions thing and come out openly in support of Iranians. In the meantime, Iran's citizen's will be forced to go it alone with risk to their lives and their families.
Technorati Tag: Iran.