Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Regime Turns On Its People - 20 June (Updated)

UPDATE: Fox News is reporting confirmed sightings of tanks entering Tehran streets. This marks a major escalation by the Iran's corrupt theocracy.)

Protestors march on 20 June chanting death to the dictator.

The size of the protests today are not clear. Part of this is because the police have been positioned so as to stop large groups from coallescing. There are clearly thousands of people who turned out to protest, but it is just not possible to say whether these are the hundreds of thousands of past days. The reality may be that Khameini's threat coupled with the regime show of force has in fact done enough to spell the beginning of the end of the protests. Or not. A retired General recently appeared on Fox News who noted that he was in Iran during the period of the 1979 revolution. According to him, this does not merely duplicate what he saw in 1979, but is actually running ahead of the 1979 timeline.

The regime appeared to be responding today primarily with traditional crowd control techniques - CS gas and water cannons. There are persistent claims on Twitter of the regime using helicopters to dump acidic liquids on the protestors that are causing severe burns. And it would seem that the level of violence has in fact increased.

The military has not been called in, but the regime's thugs, the basij, are appearing today armed with guns and there are many reports of protestors being killed, but one example of which is the horrendous video of the murder of an unarmed young girl posted below. Reports on Fox are that up to 50 people across the country have been killed today. Likewise, there are reports of injured all across the country. If what is coming across Twitter is accurate, they are being directed to foreign embassies rather than to hospitals where thugs of the basij are stationed.

Ahmedinejad has been completely silent since his initial comparison of the protests to little more than soccer holliganism. This is interesting, as one of the prime purposes of the presidency is to provide a buffer between the people and the theocracy.

A suicide bomber blew himself up at the shrine to the theocracy's founder, Khomeini. Iranian television is reporting nothing of the protests, but this bombing was reported across Iranian news shortly after it happened. Who carried it out is an open question. There was no damage to the shrine but for a window destroyed. This could as easily be an IRGC act to blame on the protestors as it could be an actual act rebellion by a protestor. If the latter, it just drives home the same point that the chants of "death to Khameini" do - that this revolt is now aimed at the theocracy itself.

Mousavi supposedly started to take part in today's protest, but there has been no further word on his whereabouts since the claim that he left his office to join the march. On his web page, he claims that he is ready for martyrdom and calls for a general strike if he is arrested.

Prior Posts:

20 June 2009: Life, Death & Terrorism On Iran's Streets
19 June 2009: Countdown To High Noon
19 June 2009: An Iranian Showdown Cometh - Liveblogging Khameini's Speech At Friday Prayers
18 June 2009: Iran Update
16 June 2009: Iran 6/16: The Fire Still Burning, An Incendiary Letter From Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, State Dept. Intercedes With Twitter & Obama Talks Softly
16 June 2009: Breaking News: Vote Recount In Iran, Too Little, Too Late
16 June 2009: The Fog Of War - & Twitter
15 June 2009: Iran Buys Time, Obama Votes Present, Iraq's Status Is Recognized
15 June 2009: The Fog Of War - & Twitter
15 June 2009: Chants Of Deat To Khameini
15 June 2009: Heating Up In Iran
14 June 2009: Heating Up In IranTehran Is Burning; What Will The Iranian Army Do? (Updated)
13 June 2009: The Mad Mullah's Man Wins Again - For Now
15 April 2008: The Next Moves In An Existential Chess Match (Background On Iran's Theocracy)

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