Iran: Democracy or death?

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Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 12:10 am
http://i43.tinypic.com/2py446d.jpg

Iran: Democracy or death?

Iran in a nutshell
What happened and why all the commotion?

BBC timeline says this; 2009
Democracy or death.

So what do you think about the whole situation? Any thoughts whatsoever, its great to just have a good discussion about it, both in terms of the nation, what has happened, what is happening, or what may happen in the future.
 
salima
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 12:25 am
@VideCorSpoon,
i think we need to look at news sources in other areas-alternet, the christian science monitor (believe it or not!), hindustan times, dawn, al-jazeera, to get a wider perspective. bbc is good-but add to that the guardian, the independent, the washington post. i dont have any thoughts on it yet, but that is where i would start

there are so many countries right now that appear to be exploding or imploding on this side of the world...where to start? where will it end? right now what is happening in pakistan is pretty much beyond belief. what can i say....and add to this the economic crisis which can zoom into the headlines again without warning, we are definitely on the verge of something big.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 09:21 am
@salima,
 
salima
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 10:12 am
@VideCorSpoon,
i also think news and media in general is biased, which is why i quit reading newspapers early in my life. then when i first went on the internet, about 10 years ago, i started reading overseas news and then felt obliged i had to read american news and europe as well. if you read them all you get a sort of balance even if it is a balance of lies and propaganda. actually it's hilarious sometimes comparing the slant on the same story. you can also get another perspective from forums-i remember being on an afghan forum when the bombs first started-so for man on the street opinions we could also look for some iranian messageboards and blogs.

all my indian newspapersites are being blocked by mcafee at the moment and the others i had bookmarked take so long to load i dont want to go there right now. i wish i had something useful to add here, but not yet at this time.

oops, i havent looked at the dow in a few days-did anything happen? bombay sensex is doing ok. unstable and volatile but in general upwards.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 10:51 am
@VideCorSpoon,
I find The Economist to be a very reliable and unapologetic source of news. This past Friday's issue points out two notable things:

1) This is not a revolution, at least not right now. There is very little emphasis in the protests on overturning the government.

2) Iran is a democracy of sorts, with a true democratic arm (the presidency and Parliament), and an independent theocratic arm (the "guardian council" of the judiciary and the supreme leader). But the problem has been that the supreme leader has contaminated this separation with his support for Ahmadinejad, which has undermined the legitimacy of the entire system. THIS, and not just the farce of the election, is what may destabilize the entire government.
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 01:30 pm
@Aedes,
It in my opinion it does not represent democracy in any sense of the word.Only muslims can stand for government and even those are selected by the clerics.When a president is elected, it is a tool of the clerics.Power is well and truly held by the clerics, the process is a charade of respectability enforced by any means, propaganda intimidation or force.
To see how their minds work just look at their record on human rights and the abuse of sharia law.Where else in the world can you see public hangings from industrial cranes or adulterers stoned to death.Their laws permits nine year old children in principle to capital punishment, can you then ever think of them as a progressive moderate open government.
The reality is that the majority would like secular law but have no power to seek its implementation.Many would die if this uprising became more than peaceful protest, have they the courage for revolt? who knows.
 
salima
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 05:10 pm
@xris,
xris;70871 wrote:
It in my opinion it does not represent democracy in any sense of the word.Only muslims can stand for government and even those are selected by the clerics.When a president is elected, it is a tool of the clerics.Power is well and truly held by the clerics, the process is a charade of respectability enforced by any means, propaganda intimidation or force.
To see how their minds work just look at their record on human rights and the abuse of sharia law.Where else in the world can you see public hangings from industrial cranes or adulterers stoned to death.Their laws permits nine year old children in principle to capital punishment, can you then ever think of them as a progressive moderate open government.
The reality is that the majority would like secular law but have no power to seek its implementation.Many would die if this uprising became more than peaceful protest, have they the courage for revolt? who knows.


where did you get the information that the majority of the iranian people wants secular law?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 05:30 pm
@salima,
Hard numbers are impossible to produce, however, we can look at the current student movement and the history of Iranian politics to make an educated guess. The student movement is large and popular, Iranian politics have grown increasingly progressive over the past several years (opening up public office to women, for example) and there already exists a long history of precedent for democratic, and even secular, government in Iran.

Iranian Constitutional Revolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The US Operation Ajax ended democracy in Iran.
 
salima
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 06:19 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
here are some links to iranian news sources:
albawaba.com middle east news information
Tehran Times Daily NewsPaper
Worldpress.org - World Press Wire

of course we are at a disadvantage because the medium has to be english.

here is a directory of blogs written by iranians both inside the country and across the world: Iranians' blogs

i will try and get into some blogs and post links to what sound like good ones. at this time i dont have enough information to make any sensible comments.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 08:15 pm
@xris,
xris;70871 wrote:
It in my opinion it does not represent democracy in any sense of the word.
While it's indeed ultimately a theocracy, I think your judgement is a bit extreme. Most legislative and political activities of the government are performed by elected officials, and I haven't heard much evidence of a chronic cronyism in their parliamentary election process. Remember that in the early years of the US racial minorities and women couldn't even vote let alone hold office. In Iran even if the candidates are restricted suffrage is not.

I do not agree that we can say with confidence that the majority "want secular law". I do agree that the majority want a liberal society, though, with the freedoms enjoyed by most liberal democracies.
 
salima
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 01:19 am
@VideCorSpoon,
most of the blogs i looked at were really old and no use, but i came up with a pretty good one: View from Iran
this is written by an iranian man and his american jewish wife tori.

i tried like heck to find both points of view, but as far as i could see in blogs there are no supporters of the current regime in iran. you would think that they would want to speak out if there were any and that they would be able to much easier than those who disagree...wouldnt you? maybe the government's view is more written in newspapers...but i trust blogs more than newspapers.
it is a simple matter of evaluating whether or not the writer is educated and intelligent, and i think it wont be hard to see that they are all telling the truth as they see it and not making up stories.
every group of people (such as those who blog) has its proportion of jerks, geniuses, and everything in between...from pathological liars, complainers, preachers, thinkers and honest observers. but they are fairly easy to recognize.

---------- Post added at 12:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:49 PM ----------

just found this and had to add it-really great!
Michael J. Totten
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 03:02 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;70940 wrote:
While it's indeed ultimately a theocracy, I think your judgement is a bit extreme. Most legislative and political activities of the government are performed by elected officials, and I haven't heard much evidence of a chronic cronyism in their parliamentary election process. Remember that in the early years of the US racial minorities and women couldn't even vote let alone hold office. In Iran even if the candidates are restricted suffrage is not.

I do not agree that we can say with confidence that the majority "want secular law". I do agree that the majority want a liberal society, though, with the freedoms enjoyed by most liberal democracies.
They are only elected after they have been selected for election by clerics.Any who openly condemn the system never get the opportunity and we have seen many who opposed the system imprisoned.
If you see this amount of open dissent can you imagine the real feelings of those who see the clerics as an opposition to democracy.Read the comments of those who have fled or those who have the opportunity to indulge in forums.Remember the minorities have no say in politics and they do represent a sizable amount of the population.
The young are demanding change and a more open society, given the students are tomorrows potential for change the system will inevitable be secular.Turkey is their example, with this wind of change and system that is uncomprimising it is only a matter of time before open revolt.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:51 am
@VideCorSpoon,
I saw a video clip out of Iran this morning that was quite disturbing and moving. If this doesn't wretch your heart for what's going on, nothing will
(Warning: Graphic Content - Link)
 
 

 
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