Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Covering the Revolution

Andrew Sullivan’s blog has become the go-to place for coverage of the events taking place in Iran. Everything from the latest tweets (or Twitters or whatever they call them now) to the reaction from the Obama administration, to pushing other bloggers and outlets to show solidarity with the protesters in the streets of Tehran by going to a green color scheme; Sully’s got it all.

What’s going on in Iran is very hard to understand from the distance we are at. And interpretations of the dizzying events of the last few weeks have varied widely – and still do. In fact, it’s hard to remember an event like this on which there is still such a debate. Some today have argued that Ahmadinejad won and that what we are seeing is some sore losers. Others have seen this as a turning point in the history of Iran. Others still think it may be somewhere in between. And the truth is: we do not know. At this point in time, I do not know. We may be misjudging this, over-reading it, misunderstanding it. All we can do is assemble as many facts and test as many theses as possible in real time.

And then you realize: the Iranian people do not know either. So many feel so robbed; others perhaps stay loyal to the regime. There are a dizzying array of actors and institutions now interacting in ways we have absolutely no way of knowing and are beyond the ken of all but a few Westerners. But that too makes an act of faith necessary.