Monday, June 15, 2009

The Iranian Revolution In Tweets

While the results of the election in Iran are being protested, the police and security forces are hitting back — often viciously — and the government is trying to shut down any form of communication — telephones, satellite service, and the internet — that could be used to get news to the outside world. But they can’t close down everything, and Twitter is still working. Andrew Sullivan has been keeping a chronicle of the tweets that are getting out (here, here), including from Mir Hussein Mousavi, who claims to have won the election but is now under house arrest.

I AM UNDER EXTREME PRESSURE TO ACCEPT THE RESULTS OF THE SHAM ELECTION. THEY HAVE CUT ME OFF FROM ANY COMMUNICATION WITH PEOPLE AND AM UNDER SURVEILLANCE. I ASK THE PEOPLE TO STAY IN THE STREETS BUT AVOID VIOLENCE

So far the response from the Obama administration has been muted. Clearly they do not want to be seen as taking sides, and all the talk about “robust debate” that the president mentioned last week — before the election — is going to be about as far as they want to go: they got the robust debate, all right. And anyone who remembers the last Iranian revolution from thirty years ago knows that any hint of interference from the outside world — especially from the United States — would only exacerbate the situation for the protesters.