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Iranian Crackdown Goes Global

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the innocuous-backup-account dept.

Censorship 313

An anonymous reader writes "Tehran's leadership faces its biggest crisis since it first came to power in 1979, as Iranians at home and abroad attack its legitimacy in the wake of June's allegedly rigged presidential vote. An opposition effort, the 'Green Movement,' is gaining a global following of regular Iranians who say they never previously considered themselves activists. The regime has been cracking down hard at home. And now, a Wall Street Journal investigation shows, it is extending that crackdown to Iranians abroad as well. Part of the effort involves tracking the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube activity of Iranians around the world, and identifying them at opposition protests abroad. People who criticize Iran's regime online or in public demonstrations are facing threats intended to silence them."

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313 comments

Facebook spam? (5, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338464)

I know this sounds odd, but it makes we want to get a million people who are not Iranians and put enough information on our Facebook pages to at least slow the Iranian govt. down, by making them wade through it.

Re:Facebook spam? (5, Interesting)

rysiek (1328591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338612)

It might even work, you know. In 70's and 80's, while fighting our own communist regime in Poland, to help people that carried flyers and other (illegal) prints, lots of people wore backpacks, even when they didn't need them. This way the SB ("Security Service", secret police) had a hard time finding the 1 in 100 that actually had illegal flyers inside.

Re:Facebook spam? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338682)

I have a large number of Iranian and Iranian-American friends. Many have participated in Green movement protests in the DC area. Most of them have changed their names on Facebook since the elections, and many have obfuscated their photos or replaced them with pro-Green banners.

I thought this was probably paranoid, but given recent these developments it seems very prudent.

What I worry is that, even with their names changed on Facebook, their old names could possibly be found via the Wayback Machine or some other web archive. Any issues here?

(Reluctantly posting anon in case the Iranian regime starts poking through Slashdot looking for people-with-Iranian friends. Now *that* seems paranoid but...)

Re:Facebook spam? (4, Informative)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338864)

Having had a friend who lost most of her family in a great purge after the last Iranian revolution, this doesn't at all seem paranoid to me. She and her entire family here are still afraid to speak up, for sake of the lives of the family members she still had back in Iran.

Re:Facebook spam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338922)

Perhaps a better description of my initial reaction would better "naïve"...

I guess I'm kind of surprised how much manpower crumbling, despotic regimes are able to muster in order to squelch dissent from small players.

The Grotesquely Ugly Truth (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339416)

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 (1)

Beale (676138) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339498)

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.

So that brutal violence in the protests following the election was what exactly?

You heard it first on the WSJ. (0, Troll)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338472)

First you get the money, then you get the power...

Obama: Say hello to my little war.

Re:You heard it first on the WSJ. (1, Troll)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338530)

Hellos mods,

From TFS:"People who criticize Iran's regime online or in public demonstrations are facing threats intended to silence them."

Sound familiar?

Re:You heard it first on the WSJ. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338536)

Obama's war? You mean the one started by Bush and Cheney?

Poe's law in action...

Re:You heard it first on the WSJ. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338848)

Given that Obama is escalating the conflict, it's just as much his war as it was Bush's and Cheney's.

GIYUSlashdot?!? (-1, Troll)

Dzonatas (984964) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338538)

Isn't there already an organization out to hunt down every Iranian and Muslim on the Internet? Yep. It's called G.I.Y.U.S.:

http://giyus.org/ [giyus.org]

Give Inter^B^B^B^Bsrael Your United Slashdot!

A live RSS like feed will educate your on "attack" agendas.

Re:GIYUSlashdot?!? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338610)

Sounds like they've learnt from the Obama administration how to manage electronic publicity warfare and 'enable' activist networks.

Seeing as you say GIYUS is about hunting down muslims: That is, of course, the commie muslim foreign-born false president antichrist Obama.

Re:GIYUSlashdot?!? (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338902)

What does some useless, wannabe-Israel-activist site have to do with the Iranian government cracking down on Iranians?

Re:GIYUSlashdot?!? (0, Offtopic)

Dzonatas (984964) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338972)

It's hardly a 'wannabe' site when it is backed by the Israeli government. There are several articles to google about this, but here is one *wink*:

http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=315189 [stormfront.org]


Dear friends,

Many of us recognize the importance of the Internet as the new battleground for Israel's image. It's time to do it better, and coordinate our on-line efforts on behalf of Israel. An Israeli software company have developed a free, safe and useful tool for us - the Internet Megaphone.

Please go to www.giyus.org, download the Megaphone, and you will receive daily updates with instant links to important internet polls, problematic articles that require a talk back, etc.

We need 100,000 Megaphone users to make a difference. So, please distribute this mail to all Israel's supporters.

Do it now. For Israel.

Amir Gissin

Director Public Affairs (Hasbara) Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem

Re:GIYUSlashdot?!? (2, Insightful)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339096)

OK, by citing Stormfront you just lost all factual and moral credibility.

Re:GIYUSlashdot?!? (0, Offtopic)

Dzonatas (984964) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339334)

LOL, I knew you would give a response like that... that's why I put "*wink*" there.

If you want to get into FACTUAL and CREDIBLE sources, since the letter didn't actually come from Stormfront (they just had a copy of it and I posted their link *LOL*). Actually, I never knew what Stormfront was nor heard of the site until 'I was hunted down' for being neither pro-Israel nor pro-Iran!

But since you said that, here are the FACTS:
The official Hasbara handbook: http://www.middle-east-info.org/take/wujshasbara.pdf [middle-east-info.org]
You can read about it here: http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2007/01/13/p13653 [thepeoplesvoice.org]
Article "Israel's newest PR weapon: The Internet Megaphone": http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1162378505678&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull [jpost.com]
(which is one of many source that verifies the copy of the letter above)

And, you can find links to GIYUS on the ISRAEL'S GOVERNMENT'S OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://abuja.mfa.gov.il/mfm/web/main/missionhome.asp?MissionID=20397& [mfa.gov.il]

Do I need to post more to show you how easy it would have been to google it before you accuse me of such 'lost all factual and moral credibility'??? Sheesh, I could have posted a link to a different site than Stormfront, but it wouldn't be as *cough* funny!

What's different between the Iranian regime going after Muslims.... and GIYUS (and gov) going after Muslims? GIYUS makes the Iranian government look like the wannabe-activists!

The mullahs are winning. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338558)

The international (internationalist) press is biased against the Iranian regime.
They won the election and the New York Times/Fox news can't handle it.
The protesters are misguided college kids and foreigners, much like the Tian An Men loonies
and their sympathizers from the 1980s.
They're going to back down to a bunch of drunk, sophomoric college kids?
Look. Russia, China, India, Israel, South Africa, Pakistan,Korea got the bomb and we didn't do squat.
So now we're shocked and upset that Iran is building one?
wtf?

Re:The mullahs are winning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338594)

You forgot

  UK & France

from your rant.
They also have the Bomb.

Re:The mullahs are winning. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338850)

Japan too, albeit very briefly.

Naked Dictatorship (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338564)

That's what Fareed Zakaria said Iran has now become. They can no longer claim to represent the people of Iran, and eventually will decay and fail. In the meantime, it is gut wrenchingly scary what average Iranians face in trying to reform their own government. It's a horrible reminder of the cost of liberty.

Re:Naked Dictatorship (3, Insightful)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338586)

To have pride in your liberty it must cost something, you must have earned it. its a cruel truth. Iraqis wont have pride in their liberty because they did not choose it, they are only accepting it. If the Iranian people can win, with or without international assistance, they will have pride in their freedom because they earned it.

Re:Naked Dictatorship (4, Insightful)

lapsed (1610061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338834)

By 'earn it' do you mean 'achieve it through struggle'? If yes, does that mean that every country that achieved democracy peacefully has no pride in their liberty? Also, does 'pride in liberty' affect some property of a democracy, like its stability? I'm asking because there are lots of examples of countries which did not have to struggle for liberty (Canada, for example), or whose people suffered during history but not because of a struggle for liberty (like Japan) and now enjoy stable, inclusive democracies. These countries have pride in their liberty (depending on how you define it). I don't think bloody revolution is the only path to democracy.

Re:Naked Dictatorship (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339054)

It's not the -only- path to democracy, but it's certainly a common one for societies that lack a shared sense of respect for human life and liberty. It's also more about blood being massively shed and people realizing it's time to stop being dicks to each other; it doesn't necessarily have to come as a result of a struggle for liberty, it just needs to be bloody. It's best if it doesn't have to come down to that and it doesn't guarantee anything, but it certainly contributes to attaining peace and democracy. For some limited time until people become assholes again and the cycle of bloodshed restarts, anyways.

Re:Naked Dictatorship (1)

jegerjensen (1273616) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339314)

Since when was massive blodshed a common path to democracy? You will have a hard time finding empirical support for that claim.

A Little Off (4, Interesting)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339358)

The GP was a little of in the value of liberty, but he's on the right track.

While your example, Canada, didn't struggle to have liberty, they did earn it. As a people, they got together and chose to live in a free, open nation. Put another way, no one gave it to them. Which is the problem with Iraq. The US (my home) is trying to give it to them. That doesn't take away from the value of any such liberty, but it does bring into question the staying power of it.

Re:Naked Dictatorship (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339378)

Actually Canada did have a couple of rebellions, one in 1837 1838 that lead to responsible government being granted, and one in 1869 1870 the red river rebellion. The first lead to a british investigator coming over and the granting of responsible government, the second did not have such a happy outcome

Re:Naked Dictatorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338960)

1- go read a history book noob. Saddam was put in place, supported, and financed by the CIA. They don't need to earn anything. If i put a rabbid dog in your backyard and then come by the next day and take the dog back and tell you that I did you a favor and you didn't earn it how would you feel?

2- "international assistance" was knocking off mossadegh and replacing the shah with ayatollah khomeini. yeah, methinks the Iranian people can do without "international assistance" just fine.

3- liberty is not a privilege, its a right, and cannot be earned. get off your fake high horse little man. just be careful not to fall off and hurt yourself.

Re:Naked Dictatorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339302)

my goodness, the ignorance on this website is sometimes truly breathtaking - it gives one a rough sense of the infinite.

so you think that the americans are interested in bringing liberty to iraq do you? do you anything of the history of iraq? what about the fact that the americans supported and armed saddam for many years (even while he was gassing his own people.) how does that compute?

for such a deluded fool as you to be modded up as insightful is equally amazing.

what happens is that you lend credence to those that say you cannot be reasoned with or argued against and thereby deserve everything you get.

i don't agree but unless you have some sky-daddy (god) whispering this shit in your ear then you really have no excuse dude.

you really should try some "book learnin'" (other than glenn beck)

Re:Naked Dictatorship (0)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338622)

Until they renounce Islam they won't "reform" anything.

Too bad Communism has no traction in Iran, because the only way to loosen the grip of religion is to use Bolshevik or Maoist methods.

Re:Naked Dictatorship (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338836)

I dunno, the Puritan-founded USA never really renounced Christianity, but it's more or less held political Christianity far enough at bay to remain a reasonably good country as far as liberty goes (and most of the areas where its liberty could be better have to do with terrorism/security/drug paranoia rather than religion). Not sure it'd be easy for a country full of fundamentalist true-believing Muslims (or other religious folks) to produce an Enlightenment-style secular democracy, but I'm not sure Bolshevik/Maoist stamping out of religion is the only alternative...

Re:Naked Dictatorship (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338990)

That is the trick with the puritan founded USA. No one version of puritan's ideology could take hold. The fact the puritans came here fleeing other religious groups. Those that made it and eventually founded it realized that there had to be peace between them all in order to succeed. hence religious freedom.

Sometimes I think it is a shame that all those puritans moved into the censorship business. Then again without them there would we collapse like Rome did? Will We yet?

Re:Naked Dictatorship (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339048)

without them there would we collapse like Rome did? Will We yet?

Just look outside of the gates and try to count the barbarians. They make quite a crowd, I'd say.

Re:Naked Dictatorship (-1, Offtopic)

Ozlanthos (1172125) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338684)

With the way our administration is attempting to force their healthcare bill through, I think it's becoming obvious how close we are getting to having the same thing here. Our Congress entirely ignored their constituencies, and I doubt the Senate will do much better.

-Oz

Re:Naked Dictatorship (2, Insightful)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338762)

What the fuck does that have to do with Iranian's pushing for their freedom. No, seriously, you just insert some random-ass non-sequitur on political policies you don't personally agree with, particularly policies that have to be VOTED in, and you equate that to the martial law going on in Iran?! People are arrested, beaten, and killed for peacefully protesting a fraudulent election and the lack of any investigation. If you go out in front of the white house to protest and get beaten, physically not verbally, for your point of view, then I might see your point of view. But until then, at least keep your neo-conservative views on topic.

Re:Naked Dictatorship (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338838)

particularly policies that have to be VOTED in

While I agree with you on the whole (this is about a totally different topic) I wouldn't exactly call the bills being "voted" on, especially not by the general public.

Re:Naked Dictatorship (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339322)

Fair enough, I concede that point. I meant to convey that the whole healthcare thing is going through a more diplomatic/peaceful process. And yes, it does kinda suck that the general populace, regular doctors in particular, doesn't have much of a say.

Re:Naked Dictatorship (0)

Ozlanthos (1172125) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339564)

Hey numb-skull, the same techniques and technologies they are using to oppress their people will soon be used to oppress you. Why do you think your govt has made over 8 MILLION requests to get your private GPS location data from your cell phone? Remember cash-for-clunkers? Yeah, ever single one of those brand new cars has GPS hardware (and the ability to shut off your car via remote control). None of the American people wanted to give them the ability to do what they are doing (which is actually quite illegal) but our "representatives" have created enough loop-holes to make it (and more)possible. There, now do you understand WTF I was saying?

-Oz

Re:Naked Dictatorship (0, Flamebait)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338910)

They are not going to "reform" their government because the vast majority of Iraqis are Muslims and Islam is Fundamentally anti-democratic.

A single theocracy won't work because of the Shia-Sunni schism (fortunately for those not Muslims) so expect Iraqis to behave as usual.

Only a Hafez Assad or a Saddam Hussein can impose secular government on such people, and the necessary methods exclude freedom. For Muslims, democracy can only be a road to theocracy as demonstrated by Iran. (Turkey is in remission solely due to the waning influence of Ataturk and is not a counterexample.)

revolt (3, Insightful)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338568)

What I appreciate about this situation is that the Iranian people are standing up for them selves. Makes me want to help them. Something along the lines of supporting a justified patriot.

I dont care for the Afghan or Iraq wars because the people didnt stand up for themselves so I dont think that the rest of the civilized world shoudl sacrifice our soldiers lives for them. I think you will find many people much more willing to help the Iranians because they will stand up for themselves.

Re:revolt (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338730)

What I appreciate about this situation is that the Iranian people are standing up for them selves. Makes me want to help them. Something along the lines of supporting a justified patriot.

I dont care for the Afghan or Iraq wars because the people didnt stand up for themselves so I dont think that the rest of the civilized world shoudl sacrifice our soldiers lives for them. I think you will find many people much more willing to help the Iranians because they will stand up for themselves.

the people of afghanistan and iraq have been trying to stand up for themselves for decades. between usa, russia/su, and england they have been screwed by foreign super powers since the 70's.

riddle me this: what do the following people have in common?
Osama Bin Laden
Ayatollah Khomeini
Taliban
Saddam Hussein

spoiler: put into power, provided with intelligence, training, and weapons by one or more of the following: CIA, KGB, MI6

spolier++: this is undisputed public information in the historic record.

Conclusion: you live in a free (freedom that you and every other living "American" didn't earn) country (that was raped and pillaged from American Indians) and have every right to spew garbage (freedom of speech that your immigrant forefathers earned by following Iranian culture), but for your own sake (that nobody cares about) please find a better use for your time (and make the world a better place for the rest of us). My suggestion is that you stop paying your taxes, stay away from the military, and do what you can to promote fair elections in usa. :)

Re:revolt (2, Insightful)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339118)

can the previous post be flagged -100 Flamebait?

I pay me taxes and I participate in my freedom. My Grandfather and my line back to out immigration has fought to gain the freedom I enjoy today and the keep that freedom. Our policies and methods are not perfect and we make mistakes but many of those 'mistakes' turned into effective paybacks to other countries that enjoy freedom today. France for instance. France saw that American was standing up for itself and help (though there are other motivations and are not important to the outcome) and we in turn defended and liberated France when they were in need with the obvious help of the rest of the allied forces.

Point is, that despite international opinion, American and Americans are still fighting for freedom wherever necessary. So dont give my a line about taking what my forefathers did for granted because we still live by those principals that got us our freedom.

Re:revolt (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339380)

utter nonsense

can you please tell me where your grandfather is buried so i can go and water him with my liquid waste product?

Re:revolt (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339198)

What I appreciate about this situation is that the Iranian people are standing up for them selves. Makes me want to help them. Something along the lines of supporting a justified patriot.

Standing up for themselves like they did in 1953 [wikipedia.org] or in 1979 [wikipedia.org]?

It's meaningless to be glad that "the Iranian people are standing up for them selves" without looking at why they're doing it and how Iran got there. The Iranian people had a secular, democratically elected government and the CIA overthrew it because the Brits were unhappy that their oil fields got nationalized. Iran is arguably a virulently anti-western throwback because of 30 years of sanctions slowly strangling the country.

Re:revolt (1)

G-Man (79561) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339240)

After the first Gulf War the Shiites in the south of Iraq revolted against Saddam. We foolishly allowed him to fly helicopter gunships and he crushed them. The Shiites took us up on our suggestion to overthrow Saddam and we left them high and dry. We did slightly better by the Kurds in the north, and under the cover of the no-fly zone they basically carved out an autonomous province before the war in 2003 ever started - our 'invasion' there consisted of parachuting in an airborne brigade to work with the locals.

You could assert the Sunni never stood up for themselves (why would they, they were in charge), but your assertion that the people of Iraq never stood up for themselves ignores very recent Iraqi history.

Re:revolt (1)

VocationalZero (1306233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339622)

I dont care for the Afghan or Iraq wars because the people didnt stand up for themselves

It's hard to stand up for yourself when you have no guns, a hole in your belly, a family completely dependent on you, and extremest, well armed, well fed religious fanatics as enemies. You are usually too busy just trying to survive.

I can't understand how people come to expect heavily impoverished, repressed, and abused populations to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" and kick out their well armed regime that took their power though acts of incredible violence in the first place.

just a matter of time (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338576)

the best thing to do is to wait it out. this is the first time that the new generation is old enough to get involved in politics, and they made a very strong statement. over 70% of the country is under 30 due to the iran-iraq war, which basically wiped out a whole generation. this government is a legacy outdated establishment that is totally incompatible with Iran. The country was run by a foreign minority of non-Persians who used religion to control a country of children. Well, the kids grew up and they will rebel. Iran has a strong history and culture, and is too mature to put up with this crap for much longer.

Families, eh? (4, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338582)

My name is M. Ahmadinejad, Jr. [ahmadinejad.ir] I think Iran and it's Government are extremely corrupt, anti-Islamic, and a horrible place. The Iranian people deserve better than the lying cheating sack of shits that run the government - especially, the Mullahs - at least that's what my Dad told me.

Re:Families, eh? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338892)

The Iranian people deserve better than the lying cheating sack of shits that run the government ... at least that's what my Dad told me.

the thing is, his dad told him the exact same thing. Only his generation overthrew the corrupt regime and replaced it with a new one that would bring an era of peace and happiness... oh wait. Maybe 3rd time lucky?

Re:Families, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339166)

So, you put the ram in ramadanadingdong!

Re:Families, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339316)

or did you mean sack of Shiites??

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338616)

Unless your adulterous sister is inside.

Identifiable... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338624)

Rule 1 of opposing an oppressive government on the interwebs: DO NOT put personally identifiable information on the same page as your opposing views.

Not much the US can do (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338642)

The bad thing is, the US can't do much about this. If they press the hardliners too much, the pushback against that will push moderate Iranians into the hardliner's arms and unite the country behind them.

This happened in 2003-2004 when Iraq got invaded. People changed from considering the US as a superpower from afar to having military garrisons on two of Iran's borders and propaganda [1] going 24/7 about a pincer attack just hours away. Of course, this drove the moderate Iranians right into the arms of the extremists until recently.

The big reason the hardliners are having *any* resistance by moderates is that the evil bad bear of the US isn't making any headway with Iranians these days. They know that the US doesn't have the manpower or the technology for a sustained invasion of Iran in a conventional manner, and a nuclear attack just is out of the question.

[1]: The propaganda machines were even in the US. Infowars kept having articles that the Iran bombings were only hours away, and kept having those for years on end.

Actually (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338782)

The invasion of Iraq may have helped a little in that way. As you said, many Iranians were extremely worried that the US would use Iraq as a stopping point to invade their country. What's more, they saw a demonstration of the US's true power, that an army which could hold them at bay (remember the Iran-Iraq war) was swept aside in a matter of weeks. As you said, there was heavy propaganda related to this at home and abroad.

Ok however, the threat didn't materialize. The US stayed in Iraq and did nothing towards Iran. Even when there were some fluff ups over things like a boat supposedly drifting in to Iranian waters, nothing happened.

What something like that does is cause people to question the propaganda. They start to say "You know, maybe the US really isn't bad like they are saying, they haven't made a move towards Iran at all." The government keeps the propaganda going, and yet the propaganda shows an increasing disconnect with reality. The US elects a new leader that tries to engage them in discourse and still the propaganda continues.

Then of course there's the blatantly rigged election and what does the US do? Nothing militarily, and the citizens speak up in support for Iran.

That kind of stuff can lead to people really questioning the government line. The US quite clearly has the ability to crush their military and destroy their cities if they wish, yet there has been no move to do so. That tells them that what they've been hearing is not the truth.

Re:Actually (2, Interesting)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339402)

You know, that is pure speculation. There is absolutely no evidence that the election was rigged. Ahaminejad is very popular and has previously won election with big margins. There is no evidence that the Iranians are "realizing how bad they have been" and are changing their minds en masse. There is no evidence of a great uprising taking place inside Iran. Yes, thousands of students protested in Teheran a few months ago, which is great, but millions of people on the country-side didn't.

But obviously, spreading the idea of an Iranian revolt is beneficial to someone. Ask yourself this: Who benefits if most of the world believes that the Iranian regime is hated by its own people?

Re:Actually (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339404)

"The US quite clearly has the ability ..." Tha ability, yes. Sure. Piece of cake. But the US doesn't have the will. You seem to think that a war with Iran would be easy as the one in Iraq. That's a very bad assumption. Iraq was under a decade's of international sanctions, and the scarcity of WMDs just showed that those sanctions were indeed working.

Iran is a whole new ball game; and a war there would not be easy, unless the atoms are split or the atoms are banded up together--which is basically suicide to do on a first strike basis, as everyone turns against you.

There's an app for that.. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338652)

called iRan

Re:There's an app for that.. (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338746)

Thanks AC. Now I got that Flock of Seagulls tune going through my head:

And iRan, iRan so far away,
I just ran, I ran all night and day,

I couldn't get away.

The last line I think is kind of fitting in regards to some of the Persians that are caught up in this horse shit Government.

The thing that sickens me though, Iran did have a democracy until a certain super power put in their Shah because he was friendly to them.

Keep talking. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338658)

And conversations such as this counter-expose them for what they really are. Cementing here the evils they represent from my values.

Iran isn't doing this alone! (5, Interesting)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338662)

When Iran cracked down on their citizens last time, during this summer's protests, Western companies such as Siemens and Nokia provided them the technology to do this.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124562668777335653.html [wsj.com]

I also highly doubt they're building massive databases with worldwide surveillance on Iranian citizens -- for the purposes of going after their relatives within Iran -- with their own home-brew technologies.

This takes some scary stuff some Iranian University students could not simply hash together -- things like deep-packet inspection of all internet traffic and massive data-mining algorithms in the scope of millions upon millions of megabytes.

Re:Iran isn't doing this alone! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338810)

When Iran cracked down on their citizens last time, during this summer's protests, Western companies such as Siemens and Nokia provided them the technology to do this.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124562668777335653.html [wsj.com]

I also highly doubt they're building massive databases with worldwide surveillance on Iranian citizens -- for the purposes of going after their relatives within Iran -- with their own home-brew technologies.

This takes some scary stuff some Iranian University students could not simply hash together -- things like deep-packet inspection of all internet traffic and massive data-mining algorithms in the scope of millions upon millions of megabytes.

Here are a few factoids for you:

1- When it comes to computer science Iran is a world leader that is only rivaled by USA and England.
2- Iran has the most comprehensive and sophisticated surveillance and monitoring infrastructure in the world
3- Your assumptions about Iranian students are absolutely incorrect. Not only can they keep up with what is going on around the world, but they are leaders and innovators. For example the most successful immigrant minority in the USA is Iranians according to the CIA factbook, and Sharif University has beat MIT, Caltech, Stanford, and Carnegie Mellon in programming and robotics competitions.

Re:Iran isn't doing this alone! (4, Interesting)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339064)

1- When it comes to computer science Iran is a world leader that is only rivaled by USA and England.

Given the existence of China, India, Japan, Israel, and Germany, I have an extremely hard time believing you.

For example the most successful immigrant minority in the USA is Iranians according to the CIA factbook

Link or it's a lie, given the Indian-American success stories.

president of what? (5, Insightful)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338710)

What all this obsession about who actually won the Iranian presidential vote masks is IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO IS PRESIDENT OF IRAN. Sorry for the all caps but that really needs emphasis. The Supreme Leader holds all control over foreign policy decisions, security and so forth even nuclear power/weapons. I mean come on you can't even run for President of Iran with out approval of the Supreme Leader. Ahmadinejad only has control over domestic policy and even then as long as the Supreme Leader approves. He is there as a bargaining chip, if he attracts too much heat internationally or domestically he will be thrown under the Revolutionary bus so that the Ayatolla can find someone else to implement his policies.

Re:president of what? (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338940)

Did you hear about what happened to Maziar Bahari [www.cbc.ca]? The Basij and the Revolutionary Guard are holding the real power in Iran right now, and they've gone completely insane. They thought a Daily Show spoof was real espionage and jailed and tortured a man because of it.

Re:president of what? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339042)

That may have once been true, but not anymore. I have heard very convincing arguments that all the strife in Iran is basically a cloaked military coup. Now I don't think Ahmadinejad has absolute power, but he certainly has enough so that the Supreme Leader can't lightly remove him.

Re:president of what? (1)

timothyf (615594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339068)

Maybe it doesn't, but unrest such as this has a way of forcing a regime change. If people question the legitimacy of the election of puppet figurehead, the next logical thing to question the legitimacy of is the governance of those who actually hold the power. If you hold any sort of power in this situation, you don't want anyone questioning anything, not your puppet government, not the real government.

It matters, in fact a lot (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339280)

The two comments above are correct. Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of Islamic revolution had both power and legitimacy, from both people and army/guards' loyalty. He was also a real Ayatollah in terms of religious knowledge and acceptance. Khamenei, the current leader had none of these. He became an Ayatollah and the Supreme Leader almost overnight, through mostly his fanatic followers in guards calling him so and mildly threatening the Experts Council into making him the Supreme Leader. The rightful replacement for Khomeini was Montazeri [wikipedia.org]; the guy who came up with (made up) the whole theory of a theocratic republic with a cleric at the very top of the system. You can read more on his fate after opposing Khamenei on Wikipedia.

Short version: Khamenei is not really that powerful as he relies on Revolutionary Guards and their civilian thugs Basij to keep him in power as they put him there originally.

Back to the matter of presidency, the idea is not that much who is president -- though I would say it does make a lot of difference, as it did when Ahmadinejad replaced Khatami but that's a different story, too long to fit in a comment -- however that who people want to be president. Us Iranians wanted to vote Ahmadinejad out to tell the world that we do not approve of him and his policies, whether foreign or economic which were all disastrous. That's why he stole the election and that's exactly why people poured into street when they found out it doesn't really matter who they vote for anymore. The protests are the only reason the world now differs between people of Iran and the thugs running the country.

Long time user, posting anonymously for obvious reasons.

Facebookies using their real names (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338756)

This is why you don't use your real name on the internet. That includes facebook. If these guys all had weird names like IranDuDe401 like they would if they were using IRC and not some social networking site then the government would never be able to find their families in order to harass them.

Same old game (1, Troll)

chicago_scott (458445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338818)

FTA: "Although it wasn't possible to independently verify their claims, interviewees provided consistently similar descriptions of harassment techniques world-wide. Most asked that their full names not be published."

This is the same game that the Administration and the Media used to get us into Iraq. No names, no verification. But they promise it's true!

"There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again."" -George W. Bush, 2002

Re:Same old game (1)

timothyf (615594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339086)

Game of what, exactly? Would *you* want your names published if someone was threatening you for standing against a corrupt government?

Re:Same old game (1)

chicago_scott (458445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339252)

I'm not blaming the people for not releasing their names. That's completely their prerogative, the same as it is mine. But for the Media and the Administration (be it the previous one, this one, or the next) to use unverifiable sources and stories as a pretext for intervention is irrepressible. And for citizens to accept these justifications and not demand evidence again and again, generation after generation is unconscionable.

A legitimate cause for war, if Iran goes too far (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338832)

If Iranian expatriates or Americans of Iranian descent can prove that they are the victims of physical violence against themselves or their property while on American soil, that would be a legitimate reason for the United States to invade Iran. If a foreign state sends its agents to a country to kill that country's citizens, that has traditionally been recognized as an act of aggression and legitimate casus belli for the offended nation.

The Mullahs better be careful, lest they become the first, straight up legitimate victim of "American regime change" in the last few decades...

You Fucking Piece Of Shit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30338982)

You need to die. Now you piece of human garbage.

Re:A legitimate cause for war, if Iran goes too fa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339004)

If Iranian expatriates or Americans of Iranian descent can prove that they are the victims of physical violence against themselves or their property while on American soil, that would be a legitimate reason for the United States to invade Iran.

Ummm, no it wouldn't. Unless you are going to sit there and claim that any country WE have done the same thing to (eg: Italy [cnn.com]) now have a legitimate reason to go to war with us.

Re:A legitimate cause for war, if Iran goes too fa (-1, Troll)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339108)

"If Iranian expatriates or Americans of Iranian descent can prove that they are the victims of physical violence against themselves or their property while on American soil, that would be a legitimate reason for the United States to invade Iran."

Not at all. A few attacks on individuals, especially those who hail from an enemy culture and religion but left because their CIA-installed monarch got tossed, are not nearly enough to bother with invading Iran. Real Americans aren't Muslims and don't care what happens to them any more than we'd care if some thoughtful soul was murdering Communists.

BTW, The resources to invade Iraq don't exist, so any "provocation" would have to be massive. Nothing to see here.

Re:A legitimate cause for war, if Iran goes too fa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339440)

Real Americans aren't Muslims.

You do realize you lost whatever consideration people would pay to you once you go all xenophobic.

There is a reason there is freedom of religion in America.

Re:A legitimate cause for war, if Iran goes too fa (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339594)

"There is a reason there is freedom of religion in America."

That reason is to keep religionists from killing each other, not that there is anything good about religion.

Islam is demonstrably, by the societies it creates, a very toxic and savage religion. Islam may be judged by what Muslims believe, do, support, and regard as infallible word of their imaginary friend.

I'm not being "xenophobic" any more than if I deplored Communism. I specifically object to and revile Islam.
It has done nothing to advance mankind in centuries, is hopelessly regressive, and does not support the degree of personal freedom
that I demand.

Why should superstition get the slightest bit of respect beyond that accorded to secular political ideology?

Watch your salads (3, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30338896)

If you are posting things supporting the Iranian protestors, better watch what you order out - portable leafy greens might be the death of you [yahoo.com].

No reason they couldn't take the tactic abroad, and it's a lot less traceable (thus deniable) than Russian exotic uranium killings.

The govt. in Iran today... (1)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30339058)

The govt. in Iran today makes the Shah at his worst seem like utopia! Those students back in 1979 were idiots-they brought in a regime ten times as brutal as the Shah's, and one which shows no desire to abide by the will of the citizens of Iran.

Re:The govt. in Iran today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339576)

Bollocks - the Shah was supported by the Best Government Money Can Buy.

Welcome to the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339144)

Where governments track actions of individuals worldwide and target those who make their lives difficult for "removal". Technology will allow governments to track, impersonate, villify, and eliminate people from existence. When all records of your existence are digital and virtually all of your communications are digital, unless you are a movie star, you will be -easy- to erase. Famous folks aren't much more difficult, and in some ways are actually easier. They'll just get their lives ruined or have accidents.

A New Song (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30339556)

Fuck fuck fuck, fuck fuck Iran

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