“Why are you sitting there? Get up. Get up!”

As many of you, I have been completely and totally engrossed by the uprising in Iran. Even while hiking in the Rockies this weekend I was refreshing Huffington and the Daily Dish on my smartphone for any small tidbit of new information (I usually roll my eyes at people who take their cell phones hiking, so this was a big deal for me).

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Whenever revolution occurs a number of commonalities are observed. First among them, both the participants and observers look for a historical analogy. They say that “this is just like the [insert famous rebellion here].” This step is crucial because history is a river and it is much easier to play your part when you believe that you are a parcel of its inexorable flow and not a fish swimming against the current. This knowledge also makes it easier to accept the loss of loved ones. Although perhaps only slightly easier. This has all happened before. Gandhi–>MLK–>some how end up leading to Mousavi in the eyes of many. How true it is won’t matter until much later. Second, when revolution occurs it is the actions of individuals that shape the arc of the final story. The opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi was no liberal. An Iran under him might have been only slightly different than the one under Ahmadinejad. More than likely though we will never know what the “old Mousavi” would have done in office. That person is gone, having been transformed by the wave upon which he now rides to an unknown shore. He, and the student organizers that are silently shepherding the movement through word-of-mouth have cast their die, much as the founding fathers in our own revolution. I love this one quote by Benjamin Harrison of Virginia to Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts right before our Declaration of Independence:

“I will have a great advantage over you, Mr. Gerry, when we are all hung for what we are now doing. From the size and weight of my body I shall die in a few minutes, but from the lightness of your body you will dance in the air an hour or two before you are dead.” [Link]

There is an old adage that says “Men make history,” not events. In this uprising I believe it will the women who make history. Iran has many women like these, and many more individual stories will arise:

I also know that Iran’s women stand in the vanguard. For days now, I’ve seen them urging less courageous men on. I’ve seen them get beaten and return to the fray. “Why are you sitting there?”one shouted at a couple of men perched on the sidewalk on Saturday. “Get up! Get up!”… [Link]

This rebellion is in many ways in keeping with Gandhi’s teachings. That has been incredibly refreshing since many people only associate the peoples of Muslim countries with indiscriminate violence. This rebellion stresses strength in numbers, total belief in a just cause, and that it is more brave to suffer for your cause than to inflict pain on another for it. When a Basij member (one of the government’s goons) is injured, some of the very protestors he is sent to beat end up shielding him from a mortal blow by others (see the treatment of a riot police officer in this video). And the howling of “Allah o Akbar” in protest from the rooftops at night seems straight out of a Rumi poem.

Like the struggle Gandhi led I believe this one will take time, maybe much longer than it might seem right now. The people are the turtle and the regime is the hare. The people know they have already won. It feels comforting to witness, despite the inevitable loss of innocent life, because the struggle for freedom is a universally satisfying story.

55 thoughts on ““Why are you sitting there? Get up. Get up!”

  1. so-fashionable twitter-powered cell-phone-driven pseudo-revolution

    Yes, those Gucci-wearing snobs Grand Ayatollahs Montazeri and Sane’i (who have both condemned the election results), as well as Iran’s own election commission (which called the announced results invalid), as well as the Guardian Council (40 out of 86 members calling the results invalid) … CLEARLY are all just doing it for the lulz.

    Bear in mind, if Ahmadinejad really did win (which I don’t have a problem believing he did), it does him no favors to win in such a sketchy way.

  2. >

    Yes, those Gucci-wearing snobs Grand Ayatollahs Montazeri and Sane’i (who have both condemned the election results), as well as Iran’s own election commission (which called the announced results invalid), as well as the Guardian Council (40 out of 86 members calling the results invalid) … CLEARLY are all just doing it for the lulz.

    right right…what was the US Supreme Court vote count on 2000 election results ? Was it better then 40/86 you are quoting for Guardian Council in Iran ? Bush’s 2000 victory was much more SKETCHY then Ahmedinijad. But I dont see any revolutions going around here.

    And as for Iranian govt reaction to protests being harsh and/or violent, tell me how Oscar Grant is any different form Neda ? So then the question is “Why are you sitting there” and doing nothing about Oscar Grant murder ?

  3. Even after the US election, which most people agree was handed to Bush with a sketchy court ruling (that wasn’t even allowed to be used as a precedent as per Scalia and crew), there was still a peaceful transition – that was the peoples’ choice (or some may call it apathy). But one party withdrew his claim and there was no further conflict.

    Still worlds apart from claiming to have counted 40M paper votes in a night:


    I can’t believe the Oscar Grant comparison is even a logical statement. There was uproar after that incident, the officer was fired and subsequently charged with murder.

    I guess this thread has jumped the shark once someone starts making comments like that, judging from the lack of further replies (or it was too troll-like to merit a response) – that and the MJ, achar and Hindi book posts are more fun right now I guess.

  4. I have noticed that CAIR website does not have anything up about this. What a shock.

  5. How much attention do elections in Japan, India, Argentina or any other country, get from the U.S. media? How many Americans and American journalists even know who is in political office in other countries besides England, France and Germany? Who can name the political leaders of Switzerland, Holland, Brazil, Japan or even China? Yet, many know of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad. The reason is obvious. He is daily demonized in the U.S. media. The U.S. media’s demonization of Ahmadinejad itself demonstrates American ignorance. The president of Iran is not the ruler. He is not the commander in chief of the armed forces. He cannot set policies outside the boundaries set by Iran’s rulers — the ayatollahs who are not willing for the Iranian Revolution to be overturned by American money in some color-coded “revolution.” Iranians have a bitter experience with the U.S. government. Their first democratic election, after emerging from occupied and colonized status, in the 1950s was overturned by the U.S. government. The U.S. government installed in place of the elected candidate a dictator who tortured and murdered dissidents who thought Iran should be an independent country and not ruled by an American puppet. The U.S. “superpower” has never forgiven the Iranian Islamic ayatollahs for the Iranian Revolution in the late 1970s, which overthrew the U.S. puppet government and held hostage U.S. embassy personnel, regarded as “a den of spies,” while Iranian students pieced together shredded embassy documents that proved America’s complicity in the destruction of Iranian democracy. The government-controlled U.S. corporate media, a ministry of propaganda, has responded to the re-election of Ahmadinejad with nonstop reports of violent Iranian protests to a stolen election. A stolen election is presented as a fact, even though there is no evidence whatsoever. The U.S. media’s response to the documented stolen elections during the George W. Bush-Karl Rove era was to ignore the massive documented evidence of real stolen elections. Leaders of the American puppet states of Great Britain and Germany have fallen in line with the American psychological warfare operation. Discredited British Foreign Secretary David Miliband expressed his “serious doubt” about Ahmadinejad’s victory to a meeting of European Union ministers in Luxembourg. Miliband, of course, has no source of independent information. He is simply following Washington’s instructions and relying on unsupported claims by the defeated candidate preferred by the U.S. government. Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, had her arm twisted, too. She called in the Iranian ambassador to demand “more transparency” on the elections. Even the American left wing has endorsed the U.S. government’s propaganda. Writing in The Nation, Robert Dreyfuss presents the hysterical views of one Iranian dissident as if they are the definitive truth about “the illegitimate election,” terming it “a coup d’etat.” What is the source of the information for the U.S. media and the American puppet states? Nothing but the assertions of the defeated candidate, the one America prefers. There is hard evidence to the contrary, however. An independent, objective poll was conducted in Iran by American pollsters prior to the election. The pollsters, Ken Ballen of the nonprofit Center for Public Opinion and Patrick Doherty of the nonprofit New America Foundation, describe their poll results in the June 15 Washington Post. The polling was funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and was conducted in Farsi “by a polling company whose work in the region for ABC News and the BBC has received an Emmy award.” The poll results, the only real information we have at this time, indicate that the election results reflect the will of the Iranian voters. Among the extremely interesting information revealed by the poll is the following: “Many experts are claiming that the margin of victory of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the result of fraud or manipulation, but our nationwide public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than two to one margin — greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday’s election. “While Western news reports from Tehran in the days leading up to the voting portrayed an Iranian public enthusiastic about Ahmadinejad’s principal opponent, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, our scientific sampling from across all 30 of Iran’s provinces showed Ahmadinejad well ahead. “The breadth of Ahmadinejad’s support was apparent in our pre-election survey. During the campaign, for instance, Mousavi emphasized his identity as an Azeri, the second-largest ethnic group in Iran after Persians, to woo Azeri voters. Our survey indicated, though, that Azeris favored Ahmadinejad by two to one over Mousavi. “Much commentary has portrayed Iranian youth and the Internet as harbingers of change in this election. But our poll found that only a third of Iranians even have access to the Internet, while 18- to 24-year-olds comprised the strongest voting bloc for Ahmadinejad of all age groups. “The only demographic groups in which our survey found Mousavi leading or competitive with Ahmadinejad were university students and graduates, and the highest-income Iranians. When our poll was taken, almost a third of Iranians were also still undecided. Yet the baseline distributions we found then mirror the results reported by the Iranian authorities, indicating the possibility that the vote is not the product of widespread fraud.” There have been numerous news reports that the U.S. government has implemented a program to destabilize Iran. There have been reports that the U.S. government has financed bombings and assassinations within Iran. The U.S. media treat these reports in a braggadocio manner as illustrations of the American superpower’s ability to bring dissenting countries to heel, while some foreign media see these reports as evidence of the U.S. government’s inherent immorality. Pakistan’s former military chief, Gen. Mirza Aslam Beig, said on Pashto Radio on June 15 that undisputed intelligence proves the United States interfered in the Iranian election. “The documents prove that the CIA spent 400 million dollars inside Iran to prop up a colorful but hollow revolution following the election.” The success of the U.S. government in financing color revolutions in former Soviet Georgia and Ukraine and in other parts of the former Soviet empire have been widely reported and discussed, with the U.S. media treating it as an indication of U.S. omnipotence and natural right and some foreign media as a sign of U.S. interference in the internal affairs of other countries. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that Mousavi is a bought-and-paid-for operative of the U.S. government. We know for a fact that the U.S. government has psychological warfare operations that target both Americans and foreigners through the U.S. and foreign media. Many articles have been published on this subject. Think about the Iranian election from a common sense standpoint. Neither I nor the vast majority of readers are Iranian experts. But from a common sense standpoint, if your country were under constant threat of attack, even nuclear attack, from two countries with much more powerful military establishments, as is Iran from the United States and Israel, would you desert your country’s best defender and elect the preferred candidate of the United States and Israel? Do you believe that the Iranian people would have voted to become an American puppet state? Iran is an ancient and sophisticated society. Much of the intellectual class is secularized. A significant, but small, percentage of the youth has fallen in thrall to Western sexual promiscuity, to personal pleasure and to self-absorption. These people are easily organized with American money to give their government and Islamic constraints on personal behavior the bird. The U.S. government is taking advantage of these Westernized Iranians to create a basis for discrediting the Iranian election and the Iranian government. On June 14, the McClatchy Washington Bureau, which sometimes attempts to report the real news, acquiesced to Washington’s psychological warfare and declared, “Iran election result makes Obama’s outreach efforts harder.” What we see here is the raising of the ugly head of the excuse for “diplomatic failure,” leaving only a military solution. As a person who has seen it all from inside the U.S. government, I believe that the purpose of the U.S. government’s manipulation of the American and puppet government media is to discredit the Iranian government by portraying the Iranian government as an oppressor of the Iranian people and a frustrater of the Iranian people’s will. This is how the U.S. government is setting up Iran for military attack. With the help of Mousavi, the U.S. government is creating another “oppressed people,” like Iraqis under Saddam Hussein, who require American blood and treasure to liberate. Has Mousavi, the American candidate in the Iranian election who was roundly trounced, been chosen by Washington to become the American puppet ruler of Iran? The great macho superpower is eager to restore its hegemony over the Iranian people, thus settling the score with the ayatollahs who overthrew American rule of Iran in 1978. That is the script. You are watching it every minute on U.S. television. There is no end of “experts” to support the script. For one example among hundreds, we have Gary Sick, appropriately named, who formerly served on the National Security Council and currently teaches at Columbia University: “If they’d been a little more modest and said Ahmadinejad had won by 51 percent,” Sick said, Iranians might have been dubious but more accepting. But the government’s assertion that Ahmadinejad won with 62.6 percent of the vote “is not credible.” “I think,” continued Sick, “it does mark a real transition point in the Iranian Revolution, from a position of claiming to have its legitimacy based on the support of the population, to a position that has increasingly relied on repression. The voice of the people is ignored.” The only hard information available is the poll referenced above. The poll found that Ahmadinejad was the favored candidate by a margin of two to one. But as in everything else having to do with American hegemony over other peoples, facts and truth play no part. Lies and propaganda rule. Consumed by its passion for hegemony, America is driven to prevail over others, morality and justice be damned. This world-threatening script will play until America bankrupts itself and has so alienated the rest of the world that it is isolated and universally despised.

    From: Are you ready for war with demonized Iran?