Al Giordano @ The Field: Interesting updates on Iran and background

June 24, 2009

Al Giordano at The Field has some very interesting commentary on the state of play in Iran.

For anyone interested in thoughtful analysis and deep background, I would recommend that you visit his site.

In a post from 23 June, Al’s talking about the situation in Iran from an informed perspective that certainly accords with my own thinking at this point:

What we can see in Iran today are two simultaneous struggles, one from below (people with legitimate grievances against their government), and one up above (a power struggle between factions).

Although many had hoped that the post-electoral struggle in Iran would be a one act play, this one seems more likely to be headed into a saga that is four or five acts long. Like many previous social movements throughout history, this has turned from a hundred yard dash into a marathon.

I don’t know about Al’s politics, but his analysis of the importance of a general strike to the success of any secular/humanist overthrow of the Islamist regime is spot on:

The conflict is now moving into a Second Phase, in which massive street protests show diminishing returns (it would be near impossible to keep them massive when communications are subject to such constant censorship and interference) and different sectors of the opposition – electoral, non-electoral, students, labor, religious, etcetera – have called for a General Strike, using varying words to describe it.

There are unconfirmed reports today that a national strike is underway already, including by Iran state television which has reported that today, Tuesday, thirty percent of workers in the country have not shown up on the job.

If state media is admitting 30 percent, it is a safe bet that adherence to the strike is larger than that. It would also be very impressive because the government has warned that any citizen that participates in a strike will be fired from his and her job, or lose his or her space in the public markets. Thirty percent compliance on what is only the first day a strike would also be heartening for the resistance because some sectors – specifically a call by the Grand Ayatollah and spiritual elder Montazeri for three days of mourning beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, have not kicked in yet.

I suggest that if you’re interested in this line of thinking, checking out The Field should be a higher priority than following the Twitter feeds, or mainstream media.

For the MSM, the story has now moved into a second phase too: one that privileges Washington and London over the bazaars. I will post more on this later, particularly the awful Fox network coverage from this week.

One other interesting source is a guy called NiteOwl who’s posting updates at Anonymous Iran and who claims to only be distilling his information from the Twittersphere. I like his writing style and the fact that he covers himself with a large disclaimer.

People Outside Iran: This is as clear and concise as I can be. I have not included ANYTHING that I have sensed to be remotely fishy, but human error will always manifests itself in even the most flawless of non-mathematical things. However, this includes nothing from the Western media, including the BBC which I have been generously using to inform people and I laud them for their courageous journalism.

People Inside Iran: Don’t believe a WORD of what I am telling you. Do what you think is best, keeping everything in mind. I know LITTLE of what you know so make your decisions based on your OWN judgment.

This should be on every news story coming out of Iran at the moment.