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Sunday, June 21, 2009

This is Not About Twitter, This is Not About Tweeting

This is about people of Iran who have had their hope stolen and are willing to risk death and imprisonment to get it back. Sure Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are playing a roll. Information is getting out and the struggle goes on, but we have seen this before. In Burma and Tibet, less bumbling and more brutal governments have crushed popular uprisings, shutting down their servers and sweeping the streets with overwhelming force. Iranians have the mixed blessing of a government that wants to seem legitimate in the eyes of the world and its own people. They feigned democracy, allowed the debate to get out of hand, then stole the election from the people. This time the people were not to be denied. While the state hesitated, the people acted and took their leaders by surprise. With their blood up, they celebrated freedom and defiance in heady demonstrations. The crackdown that finally came has been erratic and disorganized as the authorities slowly realize the the genie they have released. They will become increasing more violent and may crush this revolt in it's tracks, but they are destined to lose. They have lost the respect necessary to spread their ideology and the ability to govern their people. As the economy falls apart and civil society collapses, they will lose the means to govern. Sooner or later they will be replaced. With what? We can only hope it will be something better.

See John Sarvay's comments about Twitter.

Find expert news analysis from Juan Cole at Informed Comment

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