Sunday, June 14, 2009

Iran: the Revolution will be tweeted

The Revolution will be is being tweeted.

tweets via @Allahpundit
Go here to see up to the moment tweets from Tehran.
  1. RT @IranRiggedElect: conf:Mousavi: I'm fine, but being watched. my office shut down. party members arrested.
  2. RT @Change_for_Iran: Basij bastards waving Iron chains at us, my back hurts but I'm OK, we will try again around 2~3AM #iranelection
  3. RT @jimsciuttoABC: inside the protests tonight, if you support ahmadinajad, no police, you criticize him, get pepper spray, tear gas, batons
  4. RT @iran09: Riot police is spreaded everywhere in the city, massivly use teargas bombs to keep ppl inside!!! #iranelection
  5. RT @StopAhmadi: Let's take down Khamenei (website will auto-reload itself, keep open) #iranelection
  6. RT @StopAhmadi: We took down Ahmadinejad's website!! #iranelection
  7. RT @Change_for_Iran: I'm sorry people of koy for not being able to do anything, never saw so many basij forces in my life! #iranelection
  8. RT @alexhoder: NBC offices in Tehran raided, cameras and Equipment confiscated. BBC told to get out Iran immediately. Cel/internet shut down
  9. RT @iran09: is 23:09 in #tehran and people are in the streets again. it's worst that last night! #iranelection
  10. @ParisParamus Thanks
  11. RT @TehranBureau: As of 5 pm in Tehran, people have taken to the roofs and are chanting God is Great and Death to the Dictator!
  12. RT @jadi: We can hear shootings.. many shoots. People shouting Allaho Akbar and Down With Dictator and "Mousavi/Karroubi where is my vote?"
  13. RT @iran09: must-see vid: #humanrights

Waves of events are rising and rolling so fast, leaving such sudden troughs in their wake, that only live television or Twitter can keep up. Since there is no live television in Iran(if television cameramen went there, we would see dead television), Twitter is it.

Part of the reason waves of events are rising is that Twitter is being used to publicize sudden protest events at rapid speed. The protesters are using Twitter to get inside the Iranian Government's OODA Loop.

Cell phone video is being used to document the crowds(crowd is shouting: "Death to the government!) and the police efforts, then to post the footage to You Tube. Example: footage of young Iranian woman, allegedly shot by Iranian Police, being transferred from a vehicle into a hospital

We've recently had the Velvet Revolution, the Orange Revolution, the Cedar Reveolution. Iran is either the Cell Phone Camera Revolution or the Twitter Revolution, or maybe the Social Media Revolution. I doubt the guys who invented the computer expected it would be used by citizens to throw off the shackles of oppressive government, yet that is happening.

Patrick at Hot Air Green Room
Thank you, free enterprise. The government didn’t make cameras, camera phones, camcorders, and other digital equipment affordable to the masses. The private sector built Twitter, YouTube, and TwitPic. It’s freedom that’s making freedom possible in Iran, despite the Administration’s apparent willingness to legitimate the Ahmadinejad government, should it survive. If the Iran regime falls, it won’t be negotiations that did it, but a freedom seeking people using the tools of freedom.
Not that Iran's Cell Phone Camera Revolution will be any more successful than Lebanon's Cedar Revolution, but, sometimes, you need initial steps to embolden bigger steps later on. Iranian citizens need to gauge police reaction for themselves: need to gauge the risks of participating in future protest - be that protest later tonight, or next month, or 3 years from now. However, successful revolutions are unpredictable: sometimes they suddenly gain momentum and burst forth, toppling a regime. So, you never know. This revolution, right this moment, might succeed.

Remember, in spring 2007, when GWBush authorized a CIA operation to work with Iranian dissidents to destabilize and/or topple the Iranian government? Remember how that information was leaked - possibly by opponents of GWBush inside the CIA, or possibly on orders of GWBush, as such a leak could only hearten and encourage dissidents inside Iran? Could we be seeing CIA black ops helping to encourage protest? Part of what CIA wanted to do was to get money and communications equipment to dissidents inside Iran, to give them some tools to operate with. For the sake of Iraq, it is strategically important for the U.S. to take the fight (either covert or overt) to Iran. Iranian Mullahs must be kept more focused on maintaining their own grip on power; must be forced to expend more resources to maintain their grip on power. This means Mullahs have less focus on, and less resources for, interfering in Iraq and in Iraqi politics. Iraq will succeed if Iranian influence and meddling is neutralized. If Iran is allowed to meddle - to inject money and weapons and operatives into Iraq, with impugnity - then Iraq could still fail, could still devolve into either anarchy or into a satellite nation which does Iran's bidding. ABC News, May 22, 2007:
Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:

ABC News, May 22, 2007. The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on

The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.
The sources say the CIA developed the covert plan over the last year and received approval from White House officials and other officials in the intelligence community.

Officials say the covert plan is designed to pressure Iran to stop its nuclear enrichment program and end aid to insurgents in Iraq.

"There are some channels where the United States government may want to do things without its hand showing, and legally, therefore, the administration would, if it's doing that, need an intelligence finding and would need to tell the Congress," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism official.

Richard Fernandez
Roger Cohen of the New York Times writes:
I’ve argued for engagement with Iran and I still believe in it, although, in the name of the millions defrauded, President Obama’s outreach must now await a decent interval.
This is soggy thinking. A wrong thing never becomes right if you simply wait to do it when nobody’s looking. President Obama can ‘engage’ Iran now, but it must be the right kind of engagement. Not one which accepts the existence of a dysfunctional regime; that comes to terms with the devil. No. It must be diplomacy with the end in view of containing, and perhaps at some point facilitating the demise of a regime which the Iranian people themselves wish to be rid of.

The policy debate should not be about ‘decent intervals’ but whether the US aims for ‘behavior change’ or ‘regime change’. The tactics can be debated. But the strategy should be clear. If the strategy is wrong, the only thing an interval will do is change the timing of betrayal.


Webutante said...

This Iranian Twitter phenomenon is phenomenal! Thanks for being so on top of it today. Please don't stop your coverage of the Twitter coverage.

gcotharn said...

Ugh. Thanks for helping me realize I copied those tweets from Allahpundit's Twitter page. Then, not being in habit of copying tweets, I didn't think to credit him. Have credited him now.

Among other places, you can go here to see up to the moment tweets from Tehran.