Monday, June 22, 2009

Girls Of The Green Revolution

While Supreme Leader is busy considering if he may actually be like the last Supreme Leader and serially cranking up the violence against his own people, Great Satan is begining to actually consider out loud all the hot!, cool and desirable desire that would unfold -- if say -- the regime in Mullahopolis were to collapse under it's own illogic and illicit weight.

A regime of control freaks who watched as their control spiraled out of control.
Let's say it shall we? -- "Regime Change!!"

"Everything is on the line in Iran, at present -- not only the future of the Iranian regime, but also of the Middle East, and by extension, the most tangible western interests.

"Consider: if the Iranian regime were to fall, by far the largest organized threat to peace in the region would be removed. This includes not only a fairly proximate nuclear threat to Israel (for all we know North Korea's second nuclear test was actually Iran's first), but sponsorship of the most efficient part of the world's Islamist terror apparatus.

"Hezbollah and Hamas are both, today, for all practical purposes, Iranian proxies. Through them, and through other channels, the regime of the ayatollahs makes money, materiel, and expertise available to terror cells as far away as Argentina, Sweden, the Philippines.

"But more significantly, Hezbollah and Hamas together represent an Iranian veto on any Palestinian settlement, or any attempt to ameliorate that conflict, with all that that implies.

"The Syrian regime, most dangerous of Israel's neighbours, would, in the absence of Iranian support, have to make accommodations, indeed find new allies.

"North Korea's chief conduit into the illicit Middle Eastern arms trade would be lost.

"The principal external threat to Iraq would be removed, along with sponsorship of Iraq's own domestic insurgencies. Afghanistan would also be more secure.

"In economic terms, the threat of a world crisis provoked by the interdiction of oil shipments from the Persian Gulf would disappear.

"Both Russia and China would lose a very important lever of influence on world affairs.

"If the ayatollahs come down, the whole world situation is changed, and in every conceivable way for the better. It is impossible to overestimate the stakes of the insurrection in Iran.

Fear of a 'Velvet Revolution' is nothing new to the mullahs or the Revo Guard --

During his Friday prayers address at Tehran University, the Supreme Leader mentioned the dangers of a "velvet" revolution and it is clear that the regime has been deeply concerned by the democratic overthrow of Eastern European and west Asian governments since the fall of the Soviet Union. People power – through which the 1979 revolution was ultimately successful – is a devastating weapon (albeit the only one) in the armoury of a serious but unarmed political opposition.

"In the aftermath of the Ahmadinejad "success" at the polls, his supporters were handing out leaflets condemning the secular revolutions of Eastern Europe, and their content says much about the anxieties of Iran's clerical leadership.

One of them was entitled: "The system of trying to topple an Islamic Republic in a 'velvet revolution'." It then described how it believes Poland, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine and other nations won their freedom.

"'Velvet' or 'colourful' revolutions... are methods of exchanging power for social unrest. Colourful and 'velvet' revolutions occurred in post-communist societies of central and Eastern Europe and central Asia. Colourful revolutions have always been initiated during an election and its methods are as follows:

"1. Complete despair in the attitude of people when they are certain to lose an election...

"2. Choosing one particular colour which is selected solely for the Western media to identify (for their readers or viewers)." Mousavi used green as his campaign colour and his supporters still wear this colour on wristbands, scarves and bandannas.

"3) Announcing that there has been advance cheating before an election and repeating it non-stop afterwards... allowing exaggeration by the Western media, especially in the US.

"4) Writing letters to officials in the government, claiming vote-rigging in the election. It's interesting to note that in all such 'colourful' projects – for example, in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan – the Western-backed movements have warned of fraud before elections by writing to the incumbent governments. In Islamic Iran, these letters had already been written to the Supreme Leader."

Indeed -- even Great Satan has an operational plan to use to help tip the regime over the edge and let it crash called "Operation Checkmate"

Yet perhaps the ultimate weaponry against Preacher Command is Iran's own dear sweet girls.

The senseless thug style killing of "Neda" has sparked a ton of sympathy and people are openly wondering about the worthiness of even trying to dialogue with control freaks that torment their own people for stuff like demonstrations

"Babe Theory" (And that's a ho nother piece - no pun there) in mind, the hotties of Iranistan have a bit part that they are playing, players.

To the iconography of revolution -- the man in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square, young people ripping shards off the Berlin Wall -- we can now add this: the red nail polish, black eyeliner and side-swept bangs of young Iranian women.

So conservative by American standards, yet revolutionary by Iranian ones: these women, who by law can do and say and expose and adorn almost nothing, are agitating for the most basic human rights in the smallest of ways. And it is these tiny acts of rebellion that the Iranian government, which has further constricted the rights of women since the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005, cannot abide.

"I do not know a single woman who is pro these laws," says a 29-year-old Iranian woman, who has lived in the US for the past 11 years. "They are not as bad as the Taliban, but it's all relative."

The women of Iran are on the verge. They are more literate and highly educated than men (63% attend university), and, as in the US, women comprise 50% of the vote. Ahmedinejad's challengers -- even Karroubi, the cleric! -- made a point of soliciting the female vote, appearing in public with their wives, or speaking to the need for more women in parliament or positions of power. Mousavi, the so-called reform candidate, shrewdly deployed his wife, political science professor Zahra Rahnavard, as a vocal campaigner. Her electrifying effect on the electorate led to comparisons to Michelle Obama.

"I really like her," says the Iranian ex-pat. "She could be very influential and help change the suppression of women. She's educated and very open-minded. A lot of people follow her."

The resonance Rahnavrad has had on the electorate rattled Ahmedinejad enough to drag his own wife -- a woman many Iranians are unsure even exists -- out of the shadows. Sort of. She doesn't speak, and dresses so conservatively that all one can see are her eyes. "And she wears glasses!" says Iranian scholar Dr. Nayereh Tohidi. "That makes it even harder!"

Under Ahmedinejad, Iranian women must cover their heads and their bodies at all times. They cannot file for divorce, travel without their husband's permission, attend sporting events, smoke a hookah. Beauty salons are outlawed, and the ones that exist are run like speakeasies. (Men have never been able, or really willing, to outlaw vanity.) Once she turns 13, a girl can be conscripted into marriage. Even public transportation is segregated

10 out of 11 Iranian girls have had nose jobs. Boys and girls drink alcohol (which is forbidden) and date and log onto Facebook and hang out at the mall. They know how kids in the West live and they like it and want to live like that too. The hottest commodity in Tehran is an iPhone. Boys are not shy about asking girls out. Young people on the whole are not religious, because they see a theocratic government twisting and manipulating religious dogma to its own ends.

"The more fundamentalist families -- that's where you see problems," says the ex-pat. "Because this new generation, my age and younger, they know that a lot of the laws that control them are unfair. They have the Internet. They can see the basic human rights that most everyone else has. I was in Tehran eight months ago. These girls are not afraid. They do what they want. And sometimes they are beaten."

In the wake of this most recent election, Ahmedinejad was asked about the status of women in Iran. He said that they have more rights than men. "Can you believe that?" says Tohidi. "It made women outraged."

Yet no matter the outcome of this revolt, says Tohidi, Ahmedinejad does not know what he's up against.

"He cannot take women back again," she says. "Even if he stays in power, it won't last."

The police in Tehran have formed a special task force specializing in dress codes. Known as "the green police," they often park their vans outside malls and by the promenades where kids hang out, snatching up girls whose dress is deemed too provocative. Usually it's a female officer -- swathed head-to-toe in black -- who does the rounding up and arresting, the photographing and fingerprinting, the calling of the parents.

Last year, Sara says that her cousin, who lives in Tehran, was arrested: "Her clothing was not short or tight, but the cops cut it up," she says. Women who can afford to bribe the police are let go; those who can't are beaten with metal chains. Curiously, it is the women who truly defy the dress code, who wear bright colors or a tighter silhouette (one can only imagine what that could constitute), who are left alone.

"The cops won't bother with those girls," says Sara. "I asked my family why, and they said, 'Those girls are already a lost cause. They're already ho's.' "

Pic "If an innocent girl gets killed 1/2 way around the world -- does her death make a sound?"


Findalis said...

I won't believe that a true revolution has happened until the women come into the streets without the chador and hajib on.

Until then, the Mullahs rule.

Jeff Wills said...

You may also be interested in Roget Cohen's piece in the NYTs:

“Can’t the United Nations help us?” one woman asked me. I said I doubted that very much. “So,” she said, “we are on our own.”

Donald Douglas said...

No Roger Cohen!

Smack down, here.