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Mass Arrests of Journalists Follow Iran Elections

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the it's-a-sheikh-down dept.

Censorship 333

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the fact that no less than 23 journalists have been arrested in Iran in the week following the elections, making Iran one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Online activists are trying to counter this trend by giving advice for helping Iranian protesters. One problem is that Iranian leaders are trying to delegitimize the reform movement by pretending that the reformers are puppets of foreign powers, so special discretion is required for anyone wanting to help the Iranian people."

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Surprised (4, Insightful)

diskofish (1037768) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422013)

Honestly, I was surprised the backlash against this didn't happen sooner. I guess this just confirms western fears that the elections in Iran were indeed a farce.

Re:Surprised (4, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422121)

I'm surprised that it hasn't been worse. The Grand Ayatollah basically dared the protesters to call his bluff when he threatened them, then he didn't do much to stop them afterwards. A-hole Oppressive Authoritarianism 101 says you crack down hard and fast. Now, the protesters have had a taste of victory and the leadership looks weak.

Re:Surprised (4, Funny)

daveatneowindotnet (1309197) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422187)

How do you say "amateurs" in Mandarin?

Re:Surprised (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422357)

They can still do that. If you read the history of these Iranian assholes, specifically the 1972 revolution, and the killings afterward. Or if you want to get totally horrified you can check out the history of the Iran-Iraq war (there's a reason Teheran and Baghdad have the largest cemetaries in the world, despite the fact muslims don't normally have graveyards at all. Those graveyards even have pictures and stories, which goes explicitly against islam, and yet these ayatollahs and even the Iraqi Sunni's support it).

They lost about 500.000 children in the following manner. The imam would give them a little plastic "key to paradise", you know, with the 72 virgins and so on, then send them almost naked and unarmed into a minefield to clear a path for soldiers.

Let me repeat : they did this to 500 THOUSAND children.

Are you certain this is sinking in ? 500 THOUSAND kids dead.

That's what these guys did to get, and remain in power. They are still more than capable of repeating this. Or it might be a reason for them to not repeat those things. I pray (to a God whose idea of an afterlife does NOT include slavery, not for me and not for anyone else) that they don't repeat their history.

The mullahs are probably correct in thinking that if they don't get the demonstrations under control they will get hanged though. They certainly deserve it, but I doubt they agree.

Re:Surprised (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422513)

That's what these guys did to get, and remain in power.

That's remarkably shortsighted seeing as those dead kids represent the future voter base.

Re:Surprised (1)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422859)

That's what these guys did to get, and remain in power.

That's remarkably shortsighted seeing as those dead kids represent the future voter base.

More likely they represent future troublemakers. Might as well kill them before they're old enough to wield pitchforks.

I'm sure Hitler killed more (0, Flamebait)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422743)

Probably Stalin too.

The United States killed about over 140,000 people with one bomb [wikipedia.org] near the end of World War II, many if not most of them civilians and many of them children.

While we can argue forever if the Atomic Bombings were "justified warfare" or not, the facts remain that there are worse governments than Irans and that despotic regimes don't have a lock on mass killings of innocent people.

Re:Surprised (2, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422811)

I pray (to a God whose idea of an afterlife does NOT include slavery, not for me and not for anyone else)

so you talk to imaginary people (or even voices in your head) and at the same time feel you are better than other crazy people?

Re:Surprised (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422613)

The problem here is that there are deep divisions among the various factions that control Iran. Khamenei is, at least on paper, the most powerful person in Iran, but he ultimately does have to answer to the Assembly of Experts. The Assembly of Experts is lead by Khamenei's chief rival; Rafsanjani. It appears that, whatever the goals of the protesters, it really is about Rafsanjani and the other commercial elites, who stand to benefit from opening up to the West, taking on Khamenei and his faction, who are decidedly anti-Western and totally anti-American.

You can see this secret dance in odd ways; Khamenei's fawning words about Rafsanjani's, the unwillingness of Khamenei to go completely Tienanmen on the protesters (which may suggest deep divisions in the Guardian Council). Khamenei clearly thinks he is vulnerable and has to walk a fine line. Still, by arresting Rafsanjani's kids and making only slightly veiled threats against Moussavi he's trying to send the message that he still holds a lot of cards, which of course he does.

I think the news, such as we're getting, suggests the protests are petering out. But the cat is out of the bag now. Khamenei's authority has been undermined.

The Grotesquely Ugly Truth (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28423119)

In the absence of an external interfering force (e. g., the army of the Soviet Union), the fate of a nation is determined by its people. Period.

After the Kremlin exited Eastern Europe, the peoples of each nation in Eastern Europe rapidly established a genuine democracy and a free market. Except for Romania (where its people killed their dictator), there was no violence.

In Iran (and many other failed states), no external force is imposing the current brutal government on the Iranians. The folks running the government are Iranian. The president is Iranian. The secret police are Iranian. The thugs who will torture and kill democracy advocates are Iranian.

If the democracy advocates attempt to establish a genuine democracy in Iran, violence will occur. Why? A large percentage of the population supports the brutal government and will kill the democracy advocates.

Let us not merely condemn the Iranian government. We must condemn Iranian culture. Its product is the authoritarian state.

We should not intervene in the current crisis in Iran. If the overwhelming majority of Iranians (like the overwhelming majority of Poles) truly support democracy, human rights, and peace with Israel, then a liberal Western democracy will arise -- without any violence. Right now, the overwhelming majority clearly oppose the creation of a liberal Western democracy. The Iranians love a brutal Islamic theocracy.

The Iranians created this horrible society. It is none of our business unless they attempt to develop nuclear weapons. We in the West are morally justified in destroying the nuclear-weapons facilities.

Note that, 40 years ago, Vietnam suffered a worse fate (than the Iranians) at the hands of the Americans. They doused large areas of Vietnam with agent orange, poisoning both the land and the people. Yet, the Vietnamese do not channel their energies into seeking revenge (by, e. g., building a nuclear bomb) against the West. Rather, the Vietnamese are diligently modernizing their society. They will reach 1st-world status long before the Iranians.

Cultures are different. Vietnamese culture and Iranian culture are different. The Iranians bear 100% of the blame for the existence of a tyrannical government in Iran. We should condemn Iranian culture and its people.

Re:The Grotesquely Ugly Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28423259)

Wow, great way to show you have no clue what you are talking about.

Re:Surprised (5, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422151)

This does not confirm that the elections were a farce. It simply confirms that Iran is not a liberal democracy. If the elections were fair and a protest erupted, there would have been a similar clampdown.

Frankly, I don't know who to believe. The past 30 years of American history has taught me not to take my government's word at face value, and journalism isn't much better. I don't think anyone outside of Iran knows the truth.

Re:Surprised (5, Informative)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422269)

No it, doesn't confirm the elections were a farce. But there is quite a lot of statistical evidence [fivethirtyeight.com] , and even the government admits to some apparent overvoting [washingtonpost.com] . Yes, it could all be coincidence (the statistical evidence allows for a less than 1% chance the chance the election results weren't made up), and it is possible that in between 50 and 170 districts, people voted outside their voting districts and therefore produced greater than 100% turnout, but it's extremely suspect all the same.

Re:Surprised (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422301)

It is difficult to say that the elections were or were not a farce. If they were fair, I feel as though the protest would be less pronounced. As well, I don't think Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would have threatened his people like he did if the elections were fair. I think a lot of people knew the elections were rigged from the get go, but few wanted to come out and say it. I agree there would probably have been a clampdown if the elections were fair and a protest ensued, but it would have been far less severe.

Re:Surprised (4, Insightful)

CrashPoint (564165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422579)

I don't think anyone outside of Iran knows the truth.

Hell, I doubt many people inside Iran know the truth.

Re:Surprised (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28423233)

Truth is asymptotic.

you have it backwards (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422649)

no one in iran knows the truth, because there is no free press

everyone outside iran knows the truth, because there is free access to a free press

and what in your mind makes you think that the us govt can control the world media?

well, let's go with your paranoia, and make believe for the moment the us govt really can control the media. not even just american outlets, but even the likes of news.com.au and news.bbc.co.uk: any western media outlet. this is some extreme paranoia to believe that, but let's go with your bizarre pov for a moment

well then, what's preventing me from going to:

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/ [peopledaily.com.cn]

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/ [itar-tass.com]

is your assertion the us govt can control these news sources?

but my whole point is right there in those links: the fact that i can even click on those news sources if i choose to, and no one is going to knock on my door for doing that, and no one is blocking my access to official russian or chinese news sources, and i feel no fear in clicking those links, then what the hell does that leave your assertion about who is controlling "the media" or your right to free access to news sources in the usa?

why the heck do you have the whole notion of a free press and its implications completely ass backwards in your mind?

Re:you have it backwards (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28423019)

but even the likes of news.com.au and news.bbc.co.uk: any western media outlet.

I hate to be the one to break this to you, but I do believe Australia [wikipedia.org] is almost the furthest away you can get from the West... ...that's assuming the damned place is even real, of course.

australia is real (2, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28423231)

its where arnold schwarzenegger and freud and hitler and the sound music are from... its just below germany ;-)

(awaiting the incendiary and mocking comments from people who don't have a sense of humor)

Re:Surprised (3, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422807)

I don't think anyone inside Iran knows the truth either. You may not "trust journalism" whatever that means, but our journalism, with all of its flaws is far better at disseminating accurate information than anything they have inside Iran at the best of times, and these aren't the best of times.

The people in Iran are hearing little besides rumor, propaganda, and sermons.

Re:Surprised (5, Interesting)

SkyDude (919251) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422903)

I don't think anyone outside of Iran knows the truth.

Iranians living in the US know the truth. Seek out what they have to say on Google.

By the way, you may think the US government is FOS, but take note of the language used on many of the protester's signs. They're in English, and I don't think they are necessarily looking for attention from the Brits.

Having worked with a former Iranian several years ago, I can tell you only what he told me - there can be terrible consequences if someone speaks out against the ruling mullahs. I, for one, would like to see this upheaval undermine the bastards that are ruling that otherwise magnificent country, populated by smart hard working people.

Re:Surprised (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422197)

The Iranian government was hoping to quietly sweep the issue under the rug. The Guardian Council's statement that they would look into possible election fraud was nothing more than a delay tactic. The Council had hoped that the public would wait for the result quietly. Then when the Council made their determination, the people would have cooled off and the whole matter would be swept under the rug.

Of course, it didn't work that way. The Iranian public has been getting progressively angrier. These stalling tactics only made them madder. The Ayatollah's proclamation of "divine insight" into the election made them angrier still. Even the blood shed on the street has not discouraged them, but thrown them into a shear rage.

Now Iran is staring down a full-blown revolution. The police have been told they can use firearms (as if they haven't been using them) and the protesters have been denounced as terrorists.

A lot of blood is going to be shed in the next few days. And the press just happens to be considered a fair target by the Iranian government. :-(

Re:Surprised (3, Interesting)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422973)

A lot of blood is going to be shed in the next few days. And the press just happens to be considered a fair target by the Iranian government. :-(

Making the press a target is actually going to backfire on the Iranian government. Instead of the usual 15 minutes devoted to practically any international event before the next bit of sensationalist bullshit comes on the air, this attack on their own may embitter the press enough to cause them to give Iran a bit of hell for its trouble. Imprisoning or killing a few dozen reporters could mean the difference between a revolution that nobody ever hears or cares about and one that has most of the world supporting it and therefore succeeds.

Re:Surprised (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#28423175)

Of course, it didn't work that way. The Iranian public has been getting progressively angrier. These stalling tactics only made them madder. The Ayatollah's proclamation of "divine insight" into the election made them angrier still. Even the blood shed on the street has not discouraged them, but thrown them into a shear rage.

Now Iran is staring down a full-blown revolution. The police have been told they can use firearms (as if they haven't been using them) and the protesters have been denounced as terrorists.

My guess is that the regime understands what fueled the revolution that they, themselves, were a part of 30 years ago. Bloodshed only served to strengthen the revolution (that and disinformation - which we're seeing plenty of already). However, at what point does one decide that there is nothing left to lose and that blood is a gamble that must be made to preserve the current regime?

Re:Surprised (3, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422321)

this just confirms western fears that the elections in Iran were indeed a farce

What a curious way to look at it. Here I was thinking that what the West feared was the result, not the method of arriving at it.

If the moderate liberals succeed in seizing power (nobody laugh), will the West fear them as well just because "the elections were a farce"?

Re:Surprised (1)

fataugie (89032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422989)

The elections were a farce because of the current result (Amawhateverhisnameis). If the results were moderate liberals, then why would we say anything? It's got to be better than what's there now.

But should we believe that.... ? (3, Interesting)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422077)

> "One problem is that Iranian leaders are trying to delegitimize the reform movement by pretending that they're puppets of foreign powers, so special discretion is required for anyone wanting to help the Iranian people."

I agree with this idea but should we think that foreign intelligence agents in Iran are currently seriously told to stay put and do nothing ? ;-))

Or even believe that there is no foreign intelligence agents in Iran ?

There definitely seems to be a momentum from the people of Iran taking place although, pendulum effect at work again ?

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1273015&cid=28384711&art_pos=8 [slashdot.org]

Re:But should we believe that.... ? (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422647)

      How about this: The US doubtless has intelligence agents inside Iran, both US citizens and Iranians that report to our CIA. Their orders are what most agents get most of the time - to gather information, and to try to make it as accurate as possible and not to get played by one side or another. The first is a safe assumption. The second could be the case if the current administration thinks there is a fair chance things will work out well that way.

      Why would the administration believe that? The Iranian spiritual leaders have become divided. They are (with some notable exceptions), people who have endorsed suicide bombing and similar methods, at least against what they consider entrenched opposition. They have a strong tendency to consider the other side in any division to be diabolically evil and not just holders of a differing opinion. These are people who have trained ultra-violent animalistic killers and are just now realizing those human weapons could end up pointed at them. (And by and large, they are still thinking 'could' and imagining some vague future time-frame, when they should be assuming some already have been, and a lot of the action will happen over the next three months or less). Why would the US need to interfere, when it's already reap what you sow time? I doubt 'CIA assassins' could raise the body count if they tried.

Re:But should we believe that.... ? (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422875)

> Why would the US need to interfere, when it's already reap what you sow time? I doubt 'CIA assassins' could raise the body count if they tried.

There is much more subtle ways to influence the outcome, but if I tell you, I will have to kill myself ;-))

I am just having doubts that agents are told to do absolutely nothing that can influence the outcome ;-)) Heck ! why not have them help the ayatollahs while at it just to make sure it is really Iran people that decide autonomously ? ;-)))

Marg bar Diktator! (5, Insightful)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422101)

The regime seems to be fighting the last media war. They've been very effective in deporting and isolating professionals, only to discover how irrelevant that is when thousands of phone-cams are in the streets. Their attempts at jamming and filtering have clearly been quite porous. There's no such thing as a media blackout once word of mouth goes world wide.

Re:Marg bar Diktator! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422783)

Their attempts at jamming and filtering have clearly been quite porous.

The porosity may be purposeful. You'll note an article posted earlier about Siemens and Nokia providing censoring technology to Iran's government.

FTA:

the Iranian government appears to be engaging in a practice often called deep packet inspection

If they totally shut down the internet communications then there is nothing to run DPI on. By reducing their traffic but not eliminating it they have stuff to inspect.

For more information about the Iranian firewall check out the links in the summary from Researchers Find Gaps In Iranian Filtering [slashdot.org] posted here yesterday on Slashdot. There are a couple of charts of web, email and video traffic leading up to and after the elections as well as a graph showing percentage of top 10 applications blocked.

Re:Marg bar Diktator! (0)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#28423383)

They should take an example of the USofA where during 8 years the government could do anything without any serious investigation from the side of the media.

Hmmm... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422107)

Maybe sand niggers really are worse than Jews?

At the very least, sand nigger government is a shitty as their false 'prophet' Mohammad. Pestilence and thirst be upon his violent and oppressive people.

Fool me once, shame on you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422109)

www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB28/

Why do you think they call it I Ran? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422115)

Because after a day of protesting and being chased down by the military, when you get home and your wife asks how your day was, you say "I ran and I ran and I ran and I ran and ...."

Re:Why do you think they call it I Ran? (2, Informative)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422223)

This is not the way Iran is pronounced, for your information, it would sound more like "he ran".

Serious case of BSE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422117)

It seems like it's always the same with these people: Blame Someone Else - they never take responsibility for anything.

Foreign Influence in Iran Protests is Real (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422123)

"One problem is that Iranian leaders are trying to delegitimize the reform movement by pretending that they're puppets of foreign powers, so special discretion is required for anyone wanting to help the Iranian people."

Regardless of what one thinks about the Ayatollahs and Ahmadinejad, it is well known that the CIA and other western powers are spending millions stirring up trouble in Iran: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1543798/US-funds-terror-groups-to-sow-chaos-in-Iran.html [telegraph.co.uk]

This article gives some historical overview of western meddling in Iran: http://www.voltairenet.org/article160670.html [voltairenet.org]

What many of you also fail to understand is that while Musavi is less fundamentalist than Ahmadinejad, his views are hardly one of support for "human rights" and free society. It is sorta like the difference between Republicans and Democrats - a few differences on paper but little substantial difference.

Re:Foreign Influence in Iran Protests is Real (4, Insightful)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422201)

Whether there are only "a few differences on paper but little substantial difference" between Ahmadinejad and Moussavi, that is not the point. The point is that the election was rigged. The fact that the mullahs felt the need to rig an election where both front-runners only have "a few differences on paper, but little substantial difference," speaks volumes about how much "dissent" will be tolerated by the Ayatollacrats.

Best,

Re:Foreign Influence in Iran Protests is Real (1)

adougher9 (1092141) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422337)

Was the election rigged? Or is the story that the election was rigged, rigged?

Re:Foreign Influence in Iran Protests is Real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422583)

The story that the story that the election was rigged, rigged, was rigged.

Re:Foreign Influence in Iran Protests is Real (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422843)

I think at this point it's almost irrelevant. I know there were some analysts prior to the vote that thought Ahmadinejad would win 2:1, and he got reasonably close to that number of votes. Of course analysts spend just as much time blowing hot air as revealing truth, so maybe they were talking out of their ass.

It's been the constant mantra since Khatami was president that the Iranian people want reform and if not an outright end to the Islamic Republic, then at least a loosening of its grip. Still, no one denies that Ahmadinejad is very popular with the rural dwellers and the poorer classes.

But like I said, it's pretty much irrelevant now. A lot of Iranian youth and the middle class view this as a stolen election meant to keep them from having a say. The real question now is are these people going to be willing to put their necks through noose long enough to truly weaken Khamenei's position, or will they wait, hoping that once more of the old guard is dead, their chances of success will be greater? Or will they ultimately succumb, deciding their lives are more important than reform?

Re:Foreign Influence in Iran Protests is Real (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422971)

"Ayatollacrats" ... the word is "muslims". That's why it's called a theocracy. This is how an islamic government operates (killing dissidents, for example, is expressly permitted by islam. The rule to kill any muslim who converts actually states that muslims should kill a) anyone who leaves islam b) anyone who goes against the islamic government, or fight against a muslim army* c) adultery (though only women get executed in practice))

* the assumption, of course, being that there is only a single muslim army (muslims demand a political system known as a caliphate, basically a worldwide dictatorship). But in fact the prophet massacred several allies of him, accusing them of disbelief. So in the case of 2 muslim armies, like the Iran-Iraq war, or the many saudi wars before that, one of those armies must have been apostates.

Re:Foreign Influence in Iran Protests is Real (1)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422979)

There's some truth to that, but -- assuming the election was stolen -- it looks like even those small differences were enough for Khomeini to step in, which points up just how short he wants the leash to be.

Standing up (5, Insightful)

phrostie (121428) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422135)

My heart goes out to the Iranian people, but this is something they have to do for themselves.
their governement has to learn to respect the people they govern. as one post i read had stated, "we've traded one dictatorship for another".

if we in the west get involved there will always be accusations of puppets and strings.
the only way for the Iranian people to earn the respect of those that run the country and the other countries of the region is to do this on their own.

the worst is yet to come, but i wish them all the courage and strength they may need.

Re:Standing up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422199)

Agree 100%

This phenomena of fundamentalism and authoritarianism exists in large part due to the influence of the west and the accurate perception of western imperialism and meddling. They are reactionary movements.

Stop giving them things to "react" to and I'd wager that the fundamentalists would have less momentum for their power.

Re:Standing up (4, Insightful)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422215)

Damn straight! These folks descend from the Persians, I know they have what it takes to hold their own. If other countries step in, it will only lead to propaganda. At this point, all we can do is watch and cheer. May the force be with you, Iranians.

Re:Standing up (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28423237)

These people MASSACRED the persians, and took their land, and killed or enslaved anyone living on it. The same is true of just about any muslim state, with the notable exception of Indonesia (though neighboring malaysia is certainly not an exception).

Honestly, read history. There isn't a single country around the globe, with the exception of Indonesia, where muslims are the natives. Not a single one.

Just so you know : the natives of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia are the berbers. The natives of Egypt are, well, Egyptians, massacred by the muslims in the first wars, and now all but replaced. The peoples of the gulf were always a mix of different nationalities, living in tribes, massacred by a single tribe during the start of islam. The inhabitants of Jordan, Syria, Iraq ... were Greeks, Romans, Persians and Hindus (western peoples) before the muslims slaugthered them. The inhabitants of Iran were the Persians, these were slowly killed over a few hundred years by muslim "immigrants". Pakistan and Bangladesh were inhabited by Hindus before the massive slaughter of the islamic mongol empires started. All were exterminated, either by direct genocides, like the islamic prophet did, or by slow attacks during "peaceful immigration" like happened in Iran.

The muslims, or the arabs, whatever you call them started out as a small tribe stealing from caravans between Damascus, Medina and Mecca. Christian and Jewish cities all. In Mecca there was a strong "pagan" presence, a polytheist religion centered around the moon god "allah" (only one mark in his name in Arameic) (the symbol for islam is still the moon phase). He had 3 beautiful daughters, of which all but a few statues are destroyed. In the initial war to start islam, over 12000 people were killed. A number that would rise to 100 million before 100 years would pass.

Re:Standing up (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422459)

The cool thing about the Iranian election controversy is that the idea of democracy seems to have spread, not to foreign nations, but to foreign peoples. The Western crusade for democracy is now running itself, and unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, no one is to blame for the Iranian protesters but themselves.

Re:Standing up (1)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28423213)

How do you suppose the world's superpowers remain superpowers without meddling in every other country's affairs? The only reason this is happening in Iran is because somebody's put a lot of resources into it.

But not the Republicans in the USA. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422137)

They did not learn the lesson that the last President Bush learned the hard way when he supported the coup in Venezuela before it was a done deal. After he said the coup was a good thing, Chavez used that to demonize Bush and the USA as a whole as (lets all say it together) "The Great Satan".
Now they want to do the same thing at the wrong time. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Let it play out even though it's like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

What does it take to topple regime? (5, Interesting)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422189)

I'm not asking a rhetorical question. I'm genuinely curious about what the historical precedent is for regimes to be overthrown since it doesn't seem to happen.

My Russian friend used the colloquialism "every country is three meals away from a revolution" to describe the threshold for revolution, to make the case that nobody missed three meals during the Great Depression but did before the Russian Revolution.

I also read Robert Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" in which Heinlein asserted that revolutions are never started or run by ordinary people, but by well organized political factions.

There's also 1984, in which Orwell points out that revolutions always involve the middle class, and the proletariat never drives revolutions.

There's also the wild card of alleged CIA involvement, which was behind the Orange (Ukraine) and Rose (Georgia) revolutions.

All of these tidbits of information aren't helping me to predict the outcome of the latest situation in Iran. What's driving the protests other than the election results? Will the revolutionaries succeed?

Re:What does it take to topple regime? (4, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422371)

My Russian friend used the colloquialism "every country is three meals away from a revolution" to describe the threshold for revolution, to make the case that nobody missed three meals during the Great Depression but did before the Russian Revolution.

I also read Robert Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" in which Heinlein asserted that revolutions are never started or run by ordinary people, but by well organized political factions.

There's also 1984, in which Orwell points out that revolutions always involve the middle class, and the proletariat never drives revolutions.

There's also the wild card of alleged CIA involvement, which was behind the Orange (Ukraine) and Rose (Georgia) revolutions.

The thing to remember is that these are the observations of writers. They may be true or they may not, being printed is no more proof of one than the other.

If you look at the American Revolution, it was organized and financed by a faction within the elite and most privileged class of society. The colonies had not been around long enough to have as firm a tradition of aristocracy as in England so most of the American aristocrats were new to their wealth, having earned it themselves rather than inheriting rank and position from father and he from his father before him. So there was a great belief in America that the intelligent and hard-working could win their place in society, that a common man could prove his merit. Of course, there was also scorn of the common man who did not prove his virtue and remained common.

With the French Revolution, by all accounts it did start as a spontaneous uprising and leadership positions were hewn out violently in the same fashion one would expect if a few thousand people were thrown together and dumped into an isolated wilderness.

The other thing we've seen historically is that a conspiracy might form to kick down the door to the halls of power but they lose control of the beast they created and different people gain control of it.

History seems to be a record not so much of grand conspiracies cunningly executed but people of greed and avarice settings events in motion that can sometimes turn out quite contrary to their expectations. WWII in Europe never would have happened if Hitler had not worked so diligently to bring it about but the results ran somewhat contrary to his expectations.

exactly (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422993)

history is often viewed as rote tired predictable trends playing out in rote tired predictable ways

this is an artifact of human mentality, of hindsight, of how we try to process our world. its not the truth

in truth, history is made by a few people groping their way in the dark, unsure of their efforts, but full of a strange conviction (for their time), and every once in a while, they hit a giant fucking motherlode of popular appeal or societal structural imbalance, and send the entire world careening on some dramatic unforeseen path of ebullition or madness

some assassinations result in nothing but a few changes in an administration, some assassinations result in world war i

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavrilo_Princip [wikipedia.org]

some rebellions aren't even noticed, some foment a civil war

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Brown's_Raid_on_Harpers_Ferry [wikipedia.org]

what makes one event the start of a massive social earthquake and another event a forgettable hiccup? something strangely symbolic to someone somewhere, and whimsy

no really: whimsy

beware anyone who claims to know which event is nothing and which is an earthquake. the wisest person knows enough to say that no one knows. too many factors, too much complexity. no one controls anything, its all fumbling in the dark

contrast that to those who see conspiracies and dark controlling powers everywhere. paranoid schizophrenia is no replacement for true intelligence about the facts of history

Re:What does it take to topple regime? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28423205)

With the French Revolution, by all accounts it did start as a spontaneous uprising and leadership positions were hewn out violently in the same fashion one would expect if a few thousand people were thrown together and dumped into an isolated wilderness.

That's sort of the popular view of the French Revolution, but it's not reality. There were many French aristocrats who despised the monarchy, and the growing middle classes were, in large part, the chief victims of the taxes and inflation that had been gripping France decades before poor old hapless Louis XVI came on the scene. Admittedly the Revolution did collapse into anarchy, mainly because the various factions began fearing and scheming against each other, and it wasn't until a short little Corsican of some later repute came along that the Revolution was finally put back on track (until said Corsican decided there were better ways to govern a country).

Duh (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422409)

The CIA.

We'll find out in five years than the hundreds of millions of dollars approved last year [france24.com] were for the purpose of overthrowing the Iranian government. That'll be the second time we've ousted their government. Should be good for relations in the future, don't you think?

Re:Duh (1)

Tuna_Shooter (591794) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422771)

I know the guy that penned this article personally and i can attest he is a nutjob...... nuff said

Re:Duh (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28423363)

You are personally well enough acquainted with Seymour Hersh to assess his mental health?

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422833)

Why didn't you link directly [newyorker.com] to the article? It is a stunning revelation indeed.

Re:What does it take to topple regime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422575)

What makes the difference is whether they get the military behind them. Everyone likes to pretend otherwise, but at the end of the day, military power determines the government.

The situation in Iran is complicated however. There's a regular army, badly equipped, and the an army not under government control, but under direct control of the lead islamic shithead.

The regular army at least seems to be partly on the side of the protesters, but not yet enough to go against the basiji (the islamic assholes), at least not with bullets. If that happens, the revolution will have a real chance of success. If

Re:What does it take to topple regime? (1)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28423287)

In most situations, I think the tipping point is generally the support -- or at minimum, the lack of opposition -- of the military and/or security service(s). Of course, that just pushes the question back one level: What does it take to get the military and/or security service(s) to walk away from the current regime?

That depends on a mix of factors concerning the priorities of the leadership of services: stability, honor, and personal benefit in terms of power and/or money. The ratio of the mix depends in general on how those leaders came to be leaders, and varies from person to person. Do you appeal to them by convincing them that the current regime can't maintain order? Do you try to make the argument that their honor is not so much about obeying the current regime as about serving the country? Do you convince them that they'd be personally better-off under a new regime?

You got to hand it to them (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422283)

In some countries the people would just give in [wikipedia.org] when an unelected legislature tries to overturn a majority decision.

Re:You got to hand it to them (2, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422729)

Once again we see this come up. The problem with the "popular vote" theory about the 2000 elections is that you don't know enough. The popular vote number in the wikipedia article is based on number of votes counted. Most states stop counting absentee ballots once the difference between the candidates is greater than the number of remaining absentee ballots. Therefore, we do not know what the actual total of actual votes for each candidate on a nationwide election. Second, the U.S. Presidential election is not based on the results of nationwide majority (and never has been nor was it intended to be).

Re:You got to hand it to them (1, Insightful)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422769)

The point is that the Supreme Court cancelled the recount of the Florida election results, effectively appointing George W. Bush president. Why didn't they allow the recount to finish?

Re:You got to hand it to them (3, Informative)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 5 years ago | (#28423063)

Bush won the mandatory Florida recount as well. The Supreme Court disallowed the hand recount because Florida wouldn't have it completed by the deadline.

Deligitemized indeed (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422285)

"One problem is that Iranian leaders are trying to delegitimize the reform movement by pretending that they're puppets of foreign powers"
It takes no more than one Google query for green (orange, pink, whatever color) glasses to come down quickly:
http://www.google.com/search?q=400+million+iran

Fark has it right (4, Informative)

ultraexactzz (546422) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422329)

The reason it's so important to cut through the misinformation is that the Iranian government is now tweeting with false information, and it's crucial to keep track of what is real and what is FUD. They are taking other measures as well; there are several reports that a speech by President Obama (who has yet to speak in support of the protesters) was translated as a speech calling for revolution and the overthrow of the regime. This lets Iran claim that the protests are the result of meddling by the Western powers.

Fark seems to be doing a really good job of cutting through the FUD and getting solid, reliable information out there. One of their users, Tatsuma, has a quite detailed and extensive analysis of the crisis, the players, and what is happening now. Their Iran threads would be a good place to start.

Fark is an echo chamber. (1)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422685)

Yes, there are well meaning people there providing useful information, but in general it is an echo chamber of people caught up in the excitement who are VASTLY overestimating their positive contributions as much as they visciously disregard their potential to do extraordinary harm with mind numbing platitudes about freedom and revolution while accepting little, if any, risk or responsibility themselves. The egos are so jealously guarded to protect that sense of involvement that the constant astroturfing essentially by Haaretz is taken as the ne plus ultra of all factual sources on the topic and 99.9999% of the people taking it as practically Talmudic haven't the foggiest idea of the source save for seven-letter nickname.

Using that environment to engage in direct action is frightfully dangerous.

Re:Fark has it right (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422721)

They'll claim it's interference by Western Powers regardless, because some people will believe it, and it's a nice bogeyman to justify their harsh repression.

I think Obama is doing the right thing by staying out of it...Given our reputation over there any overt involvement could only make things worse...And, frankly, whoever wins, it's not going to change a lot for us.

Re:Fark has it right (1)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422787)

They are taking other measures as well; there are several reports that a speech by President Obama (who has yet to speak in support of the protesters) ...

Well, yes and no. He has spoken in support of the protestors speaking out, while being careful not to publically agree with what they're saying.

... was translated as a speech calling for revolution and the overthrow of the regime. This lets Iran claim that the protests are the result of meddling by the Western powers.

This is why Obama has tried to be very careful about what he says. Given that there is a history of meddling by the US (and others), anything he says is going to be seen through that filter. People calling for stronger statements by Obama seem to be unaware of that history ... or are pretending to be.

hey (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422333)

The only way you can disagree with me is if you are under the influence of the Great Satan. So either you agree with me, or you are obviously evil. What better argument could you want?

Where have I heard that before...? (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422539)

You're either for me or you're for the terrorists!

Re:hey (2, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422577)

either you agree with me, or you are obviously evil. What better argument could you want?

It's good to see that you finally understand how to debate on Slashdot.

Now, here's a pop quiz. If the RIAA and MPAA sued Microsoft and Oracle over breaching the copyright of their DRM, Richard Stallman testified on behalf of the RIAA and Theo de Raadt spoke in favour of Microsoft... Who would you cheer for?

Re:hey (2, Insightful)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422821)

The only way you can disagree with me is if you are under the influence of the Great Satan. So either you agree with me, or you are obviously evil. What better argument could you want?

Huh. Why does that argument sound vaguely familiar?

Middle East Peace (3, Interesting)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422345)

I see this happening in Iran and even though I think the human suffering during this build up to civil war (and I have no doubt civil war will erupt from this) is immense, I look at the middle east overall and I wonder if Iran having this happen to it wouldn't be the best thing for everyone. With Iran fighting within itself, it doesn't have the focus on Isreal, Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq which has large issues with iran-funded militant groups. The money dries up, leaving the groups to fend for themselves, which they would find extremely difficult.

I personally hope that at the end of this there is a more 'west friendly' regime. It seems from all accounts that most of Iran's youth are wholeheartedly embracing technology and being part of the world stage. The middle east needs an country with an people-elected islamic leader which is willing to embrace the future.

Sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422397)

I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Ahmedinejad fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of an Iranian policeman (a Basiji with an AK-47) for about 20 minutes now while he attempts to beat a confession out of a protestor. 20 minutes. At home, in my local police department with a bunch of redneck cops, who by all standards should be a lot slower than this Basiji, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this interrogation, Facebook will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even Twitter is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working with various Basiji, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Basiji that has run down a protestor in a car faster than his American counterpart, despite their access to cheaper oil. My Andy Griffith with arthritis in both knees runs faster than this 20 year-old militiaman on heroin at times. From a totalitarian standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that Iran is a superior country.

Iran addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use Ahmedinejad over other faster, cheaper, more stable dictators.

that's nothing- try the political conventions here (2, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422405)

Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the fact that no less than twenty-three journalists have been arrested in Iran in the week following the elections, making Iran one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist

23? That's it? At the RNC's and DNC's for the last decade, the cops have been putting people in holding cells by the bushels, charging them with all sorts of things like "disturbing the peace", or just simply letting them go after 24 hours.

Re:that's nothing- try the political conventions h (2, Informative)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422599)

Not all people are journalists.

Reporters without Borders doesn't care about non-journalists being arrested (well they might care, but it isn't what they are talking about).

why do you think that even compares? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422763)

scale

perspective

context

these are some wacky concepts. try using some of them next time when you compare:

1. cops putting rnc and dnc marginal characters with marginal concerns behind fences

vs

2. the sheer scale of the popular uprising in iran
3. what is at stake: the very heart of iranian society (as opposed to nothing more than the ability to disrupt a party convention by outsiders with grudge fringe issues that don't have popular support)
4. the modus operandi: sueable, accountable urban cops restraining people with nonlethal force, versus shady government unaccountable thugs and militia, the basij, unleashed on peaceful protesters

its completely out of scale, out of context, and out of perspective the way in which you are trying to compare these two events. at best, you qualify as a weak threadjack

Re:that's nothing- try the political conventions h (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422953)

The last decade? Guess you missed the '68 DNC in Chicago.

i understand the historical reasons (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422415)

why iran hates great britain

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Game [wikipedia.org]

i understand why iran hates the usa

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_ajax [wikipedia.org]

but what the hell: it's not the colonial era and its not the cold war anymore

are the iranian people that deluded (or rather: the iranian government thinks so lowly of their own people) that anyone would actually believe this massive popular uprising is actually just manipulation by foreign powers?

propaganda only goes so far, then its just downright laughable paranoid schizophrenia

Re:i understand the historical reasons (1)

nulldaemon (926551) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422773)

There are also many contemporary reasons for Iran to legitimately believe that US, Israeli or even British intelligence agencies are responsible for inciting the uprising, and I'm not entirely sure I disagree with them. In fact, I would be more than surprised if there was no meddling by foreign powers.

Having said that, and since the Iranian "special forces" thugs have murdered protesters, it doesn't matter who caused it; It's here now and I hope the protesters "win".

how can you fucking believe that? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28423121)

how in a billion years can anyone with the slightest bit of cognitive coherence believe that what is going on in the streets of iran is a foreign plot!?

really, those millions in the street are puppets of israel or the usa or great britain? really?! you honestly fucking think that is even remotely fucking possible?!

i find it absolutely mindblowing how anyone could even begin to think that what is going on in iran is anything but an organic, natural, native uprising

how the HELL do you think some meddling foreign power convinced all those iranians to march in the street day after day?

how the HELL can you even begin to think that? how did the mossad, mi6, the cia, convince iranians to do that? mind control rays? hallucinogenic drugs in the water supply? chemtrails? ergot in the wheat in the food supply?

how? how did they do that? please: elucidate to the world your particular brand of paranoid schizophrenia that believes anything like what you are proposing is in the slightest fucking way possible

you're fucking insane. you really are, to even begin to believe that

Re:i understand the historical reasons (2, Interesting)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28423041)

CNN was great last night, some Iranian spokesperson having a press conference declaring that there is no freedom of speech or privacy in Western countries and declaring that hence it must be a conspiracy by western governments that iranian embassies have seen disrupted by protests and so on. And that such a thing is unacceptable.

Because Iran has never, say, assaulted a foreign embassy and taken those inside hostage or anything like that.

Certainly never restricted freedom of speech by locking up reporters, or invaded the privacy of people by snooping on their electronic communications.

you either laugh or you cry (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28423361)

i am just amazed that people can say that what is going on in the streets of iran day after day by millions of people is all some plot of mi6 or mossad or the cia

i mean you have to either laugh or cry that you live in a world where the people spewing this ignorant propaganda are this delusional and that those believing it are that moronic

it reminds me of this guy:

http://www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com/mss_history.html [welovethei...nister.com]

someone should start a fark or 4chan meme mocking the delusion of some iranian mullah declaring how millions marching in the street day after day is the work of mossad

expedient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28423389)

hate is politically expedient, like with our governments.

Hey (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422427)

aren't you people supposed to wait for Tatsuma to post first? wait...wait...wrong site..my bad.

this is the smell (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422469)

So this is the smell of "vigorous debate" in the morning.

Why is anyone even the slightest bit surprised? (1)

goffster (1104287) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422533)

The entire series of events was predictable almost to the minute. Mass bloodshed was never intended or delivered.
The Iranians did gain something, The "Supreme Ruler" may be less inclined to
precipitate these kinds of mass demonstrations by being more careful. He realizes he
no longer has a blank check.

Iran will be interesting to watch... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422593)

The next decade or two will be very interesting to watch. What you have is an aging hard-line population and a younger generation who wants more freedom. What we're doing in Iraq by force may happen naturally in Iran in the near future. Who knows, maybe having Iraq for a neighbor has had something to do with it.

Re:Iran will be interesting to watch... (0, Troll)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#28423183)

Could you please fuck off and learn something about Iran before posting your tripe? Iran had a secular, educated, healthy middle class. The West deposed it in favour of the short-term convenience of a theocracy.

Re:Iran will be interesting to watch... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28423415)

Perhaps you should learn something yourself? The West installed a monarchy. The Iranians themselves overthrew the monarchy and installed the current theocracy.

Bullshit summary (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422625)

making Iran one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist

The US troops deliberately shelled hotels where journalists were staying during the early phases of Operation Iragi Liberation - sorry Operation Iraqi Freedom, and deliberately targeted Al Jazeera. Being shelled is a darn sight more dangerous than being arrested.

Anyway looks like Bush's $400M 2007 destabilisation program is finally publically underway.

How do we know? (4, Insightful)

drDugan (219551) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422651)

Frankly I think most observers have extremely little information about what is real and reliable half way around the world.

The most reliable things I've seen so far are the large events, and the events reported independently in a similar way by several different sources: there was an election, it has led to unrest. One group in power is now in rising conflict with another group that wants power. Several people have died. Really beyond that, assertions of any particular thing day-to-day are pretty unreliable for me, and I've been reading and following this pretty closely.

As to whether a foreign power is involved, I think that is an extremely difficult question to answer as a remote consumer of "news" and Internet reports. Any group or nation powerful enough to be involved inside Iran now would have as a prerequisite the ability to control tightly the access and dissemination of information internally and the stories released to the public, plus would probably have a desire for secrecy regarding their involvement.

Given recent history of multiple invasions in the region, the high value of resources in the region, plus historical precedent for outside regime support (specifically in Iran) - on what basis of reliable fact does one base the conclusion of foreign involvement or non involvement in the current demonstrations and issues in Iran? What do you consider to be the most reliable sources in the current fog of conflict and disinformation? Twitter? Some random Blogger? CNN? Your government? People you know personally?

My only point is this: Even if there were outside groups directly influencing events, how would people know about it? I don't think they would.

dictatorships, cartels, democracy (3, Interesting)

goffster (1104287) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422711)

I think a large number of people (Americans especially) automatically think a dictatorship is
a bad thing. A dictatorship is generally bad for Americans but perhaps good for other people.
There are benefits to a dictatorship. When you have a good dictator, things are generally pretty
good. The trick is to avoid the bad dictator.

As an analogy, think of a software company where the CEO was voted in by all the developers.
This software company is almost certain to never be competitive with a company that
is run by a tight-fisted, smart, savvy CEO.

So which company would you want to work for?
It would depend on your goals. Do you want to make money with Stock options? Do you simply
want to program any cool thing you wanted?

Re:dictatorships, cartels, democracy (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422873)

The trick is to avoid the bad dictator.

You make an interesting point. The problem is that history indicates that the "trick" has rarely, if ever been, accomplished. Feel free to give examples of dictators who were not bad dictators. Based on the track record of dictators, I think it is safe to assume that a dictator is a bad dictator until evidence to the contrary is presented.

American Hypocrasy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422731)

I find it amazing that this much of a stink wasn't made during the Zimbabwean elections...where anti mugabe supporters were being raped and murdered by the thousands Then again, I guess there are no economic interests in that part of Africa, like there are in Iran (read: oil)

I praise the internet for being able to illuminate to us all, the double speak and forked tounge of the supposed 'freedom force (or farce rather)' known as America.

Hypocritical Liars.

Dear Arresting Officers: +1, Informative (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422835)

Please arrest Bill O'Reilly [billoreilly.com] . He is an enemy of democracy.

Yours In Journalism,
Kilgore Trout

Dangerous? (2, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#28422879)

making Iran one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist

If the journalists are being arrested I do not see how that makes Iran a "dangerous" place for a journalist...

Compare that to Mexico where journalists get kidnapped, physically assaulted, killed, and whatnot...

History shows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28422943)

If you want a war, piss of some journalists. If you want a really BIG war, piss off a lot of journalists.

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