Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Twitter and Rebellion

A few weeks ago my brother and I were sharing our disdain for and the utter uselessness of Twitter. I'm thinking we were wrong. The Iranian Rebellion would be impossible without Twitter and the conservative mullahs would have to shut down the nation's entire communications network, plunging Iran deeply into the 18th century, to silence the revolt.

Iran's Green Revolution has the feel of the 1979 Revolution. It is deeply patriotic, that is why any attempt at Western support would backfire. Students and the young, bridling under an increasingly repressive and aged regime, are striking out. As has happened so often in history, the Iranian mullahs have become exactly like the Shah they replaced.

They have made an Iran where the young have no voice and no hope. Iran's rapidly declining fertility rate (5.5 children per woman in the year 1988, 2.2 in 2000, and 1.71 in 2008) is a sign of how hopeless young adults feel.

Ahmadinejad can only keep power now if he engages in the mass murder of his own people because a little repression will not work this time. I believe Ahmadinejad is capable of butchering a few hundred thousand Iranians. The only remaining question is whether the the mullahs will sanction the wholesale slaughter of their own citizens.

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