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Ear to the Ground

10 Reported Killed in Streets of Tehran

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Posted on Jun 21, 2009
Flickr / .faramarz

Protesters defied the supreme leader’s threat of a crackdown and marched Saturday in the streets of Tehran, where they were reportedly met with tear gas and gunfire. Foreign media were unable to verify state television reports that 10 people were killed in Saturday’s confrontation between police and “terrorists.”


The state TV report said 10 people had been killed in clashes between police and “terrorist groups” in Tehran, and added “rioters” had set two gas stations on fire and attacked a military post.

Earlier it said an unspecified number of people had died when “rioters” set a mosque on fire. But later reports said there had been no deaths at the mosque. A correction was also issued reducing the overall death toll to 10 from 13.

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By Folktruther, June 22, 2009 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

The picture that heads this piece demonstrates the streaks of truth that are sometimes embedded in a narrative of deception. It shows a large male demonstrator attacking a smaller policeman, whose motorcycle is overturned, who is responding with what appears to be teargas.  In a US demonstration a demonstrator with a raised club attacking a policeman would be riddled with bullets immediately.

But in Iran, the authorities, according to Roger Cohen of the NYTimes, bring in teen age Basij, give them a badge, shield and club, BUT NO GUNS, and send them off to battle the demonstrators.  The demostrators thus are free to engage in violence of various kinds, including attacking and burning gas stations, etc.

Cnn printed an article about a demonstrator who called in, asking the US to intervene in the Irani election.  He stated he was waiting FOR ODERS FROM HIS LEADER before demo-ing.  He was himself a “regular person” and didn’t know who his leaders were, but were “Reformists” who were meeting and coordinating the demos.  The US, under Peter Acherman, funds and trains demonstrators across the bay at Dubai.  The US also funds terrorist organizations that has blown up mosques killing and maiming hundreds of people.

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By KDelphi, June 22, 2009 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

Its another place that the Weissman truthout article is printed…

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By Ed Harges, June 22, 2009 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

re: By ardee, June 22 at 5:57 am:

Oh gee, why don’t you just start throwing your food, ardee.

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By ardee, June 22, 2009 at 2:57 am Link to this comment

Ed Harges, June 21 at 6:53 pm #

Ardee, just ask Norman Finkelstein, whose underwear you are not worthy to bleach, what he thinks of Daniel Pipes and this “Middle East Watch” outfit.


I have enough underwear of my own, thanks. You are a really sick and worthless piece of excrement.

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By KDelphi, June 21, 2009 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment

Please look at the photo.

Whether or not you believe that this is a partly US-staged coup, please ask yourself what the US govt would do it “3 million” people showed up in DC and behaved like that.

There would be death and injury , and it has happened in the uS many times. There might be something worth dying for, but Mousavi aint it! Its pretty obvious. His collaberation with Israel on Iran /Contra, the war with Iraq—read the history peeps.

“As prime minister from 1981 to 1989, Mousavi oversaw social austerity measures imposed to finance the Iran-Iraq war. At the time, he was a proponent of normalizing relations with the US and recognizing Arab regimes. In the lead-up to the American Iran-Contra scandal in the late 1980s, as the US and Israel sold weapons to Iran, Mousavi organized arms purchases from Israel and oversaw the repression of opposition to the negotiations with US officials on weapons—including the execution of prominent Iranian politician Mehdi Hashemi, who had led a Tehran demonstration against these covert arms deals….

...In the Western press, Mousavi is widely treated as the most viable challenger in the elections..” (This was June 1st, of this year)

The article continues, although there are many more…

“The Iranian bourgeoisie may hope to improve its currently bleak economic situation through access to US investment. Since Ahmadinejad took office in 2005, the annual inflation rate has increased from 11 to 25 percent, as the rise in energy revenues due to high oil prices has flooded the stagnating Iranian economy with cash. Industrial output has consistently declined amid high unemployment. Inflation in prices for food and other basic commodities, together with a wave of plant shutdowns, have caused a number of demonstrations throughout Iran….

..Tehran has already provided valuable support to Washington both in Iraq, where in 2007 it isolated the anti-US Mahdi Army militia of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, and in Afghanistan. A Shiite country, Iran is hostile to the bitterly anti-Shiite Taliban, which the US occupation displaced.”


Iranian presidential election: candidates debate strategic shift
By Sahand Avedis and Alex Lantier
4 June 2009

Now, whether one thinks that this is a “good thing”, I guess, depends on whether you are on the ground.

I never knew that USAns so loved a “revolution”—we cant even elect an opposition candidate here!

There seem to be alot of Iran-Americnas showing up in the media—sound familiar anyone? Anyone hear Netanyahu on Meet the Press? It is so obvious…

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By Ed Harges, June 21, 2009 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

Please, ITW, and all you other romantics who are allowing yourselves to be sucked into the current media hype about Iran’s “Green Revolution”, read the following piece at Truthout:

Iran: Who’s Diddling Democracy?
Thursday 18 June 2009
by: Steve Weissman, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Watching the protesters in Tehran, many Americans feel a strong sense of empathy, exhilaration and hope. I strongly share those feelings, especially since I know firsthand the danger the protesters face from government thugs on motorcycles, provocateurs and the secret police. But none of this should blind us to the likelihood that our own government is dangerously meddling in Iran’s internal affairs and playing with the lives of those protesters….

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By idarad, June 21, 2009 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

ardee -

Every year, since Reagan for me anyway, I think the tipping point had been reached, and the people would say “enough already enough” and take to the streets, but stolen pensions, stolen elections, illegal wars, and they keep going as if it is just another day in the park.

You were correct, Naomi Klein - a follow on article I think to what is in my opinion one of the most important books of the decade, if not the past 50 years -  Shock Doctrine.  I think we may have been played the fool and will be taking the hit for passive neglect.  We shall see. 

We know the outcome in Iran… what we don’t know is the outcome here.  Sad

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By Ed Harges, June 21, 2009 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

[correction: it’s “Middle East Forum”, not “Middle East Watch”.]

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By Ed Harges, June 21, 2009 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

re:By ardee, June 21 at 6:16 pm:

Ardee, it doesn’t speak well for you that your first source is Middle East Watch, the “news” vehicle for the rabidly racist, ultra-Zionist neoconservative warmonger Daniel Pipes, infamous for his McCarthyist “Campus Watch” initiative, which has sought, often successfully, to purge US academia of all but the meekest, mildest critics of Israel.

Ardee, just ask Norman Finkelstein, whose underwear you are not worthy to bleach, what he thinks of Daniel Pipes and this “Middle East Watch” outfit.

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By ardee, June 21, 2009 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

Suicide bombings, sure, suicide bombers, not really:
More than five years after President George W. Bush’s declaration of a global war against terrorism, the Iranian regime continues to embrace suicide terrorism as an important component of its military doctrine. In order to promote suicide bombing and other terrorism, the regime’s theoreticians have utilized religion both to recruit suicide bombers and to justify their actions. But as some factions within the Islamic Republic support the development of these so-called martyrdom brigades, their structure and activities suggest their purpose is not only to serve as a strategic asset in either deterring or striking at the West, but also to derail domestic attempts to dilute the Islamic Republic’s revolutionary legacy.
IRAN has formed battalions of suicide bombers to strike at British and American targets if the nation’s nuclear sites are attacked. According to Iranian officials, 40,000 trained suicide bombers are ready for action.

The main force, named the Special Unit of Martyr Seekers in the Revolutionary Guards, was first seen last month when members marched in a military parade, dressed in olive-green uniforms with explosive packs around their waists and detonators held high.

Iran’s suicide bombers threaten to “burn down” U.S. interests    
Monday, 13 February 2006
Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Feb. 13 – A senior commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) vowed that following the printing of insulting cartoons of Islam’s prophet Muhammad in European dailies, the Islamic Republic’s suicide volunteers abroad were being placed on readiness alert to attack Unites States and Israeli interests.

Mohammad-Reza Jaafari, the commander of Iran’s “Lovers of Martyrdom Garrison” and a Brigadier General in the IRGC, said, “Now that America is after gaining allies against the righteous Islamic Republic and wants to attack our sanctities, members of the martyrdom-seeking garrisons across the world have been put on alert so that if the Islamic Republic of Iran receives the smallest threat, the American and Israeli strategic interests will be burnt down everywhere”.

He was speaking to a group of suicide volunteers in Shahr-Rey, on the outskirts of Tehran, on Saturday evening.

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By Ed Harges, June 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Yesterday a suicide bomber has attacked the tomb of Khomeini in southern Tehran, killing two people and injuring at least 8 others.

Suicide bombings are practically unheard of in Iran.

So there do seem to be at least some ‘terrorists’ among the protesters in Iran.

Now, we can be sure that in America, if there were widespread street protests happening, along with a suicide bombing at Reagan’s grave, killing 2 and injuring 8 or more others, our police would be gentle and tolerant of the continuing street demonstrations, can’t we?

Yeah, maybe I could be sure of that, if I hadn’t been in New York City during one the huge protests against the then-looming Iraq war that were practically ignored by the US corporate Zionist media — the same media that are saturating our TV screens with coverage of the protests in Iran.

Maybe I could be sure of the moral superiority of our approach to street protests, if I hadn’t seen NY mounted police charge their horses directly into a crowd, terrifying the perfectly peaceful demonstrators, even though there hadn’t been any suicide bombings or any other protester violence whatsoever to excuse these and other thuggish police excesses which our Zionist corporate media ignored.

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By Folktruther, June 21, 2009 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

The picture associated with this article is astonishing.  I have been a part of many, many demos of various kinds, and I have never seen a demonstrator attck a policeman with a club.  that’s crazy, for a number of reasons.  Something is wrong here, this is not a typcial demo of any kind.

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By ardee, June 21, 2009 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

idarad, June 21 at 11:33 am #

A thoughtful and thought provoking response. Not all that long ago we saw an article and a conversation about how demonstrations had been made impotent in this nation. Naomi Klein was the author if memory serves.( I tried the archives but found the search function clumsy and the results fruitless).

I do not mean to hijack this thread but was sort of hoping that the symbolism inherent in the current protests in Iran might find a counterpoint in the lethargy of the American people.

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By nefesh, June 21, 2009 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

By idarad, June 21 at 11:33 am #

We certainly wouldn’t ever want to have to do that here, to messy.

Sure we would. In spades. Americans, broadly speaking, are among the most heavily-armed populace in the world. If the US government employed death-squads in the guise of religious police (I’m referring to the Basiji enforcer-goons of the ayatollahs) the same way the Iranian regime does, the crackle of gunfire would reverberate all across the land, all day and all night. And it wouldn’t be a one-way rain of lead.

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By idarad, June 21, 2009 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

ardee -

It would be refreshing - maybe not the word for it - to see some form of interest from the people.  Even with the economy in the toilet, they/we seem content with the toys, lies, and entertainment.  Democracy (sort of) working its way through the process in Iran is apparently sufficient for Americans entertainment and comment. We certainly wouldn’t ever want to have to do that here, to messy.

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By ardee, June 21, 2009 at 5:58 am Link to this comment

I cannot help but think that this nation of ours could do with a few demonstrations itself. I am not advocating disruption or violence but I am saying that, unless we see many thousands of Americans in the streets of our cities protesting torture, invasion and occupation, the loss of basic rights to privacy and free speech, then most of the world will think we favor such.

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By Tokin Lib, June 21, 2009 at 5:22 am Link to this comment

As the Powers learned in 1970, in Ohio, in a hyper-mediated environment, a rgime doesn’t have to actually kill a lot of people to make its point. You kill a couple, very publically, and keep showing the video, to remind the rest of the insubstantial nature of their claims..

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