Thursday, June 25, 2009
The Daily Show episode for today has just been uploaded and Reza Aslan was there (sporting a green band on his right arm) for a fairly long interview on Iran that you can see below. Two points he made that were particularly interesting were 1) The US has next to no leverage with Iran, so those that want to help would do best by convincing the EU or the UN to pressure them. 2) Iran is on the verge of becoming a country either resembling China or North Korea. This is true, although it wouldn't be exactly like North Korea since Iran just isn't capable of sealing their border like North Korea has done to the south. Countries bordering Iran are Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, plus a ton of other countries nearby connected by the sea - Russia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman.
(Canadians can watch it here I think)
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
CNN has an interview with two women that have just gotten back from Tehran, who have concealed their identity for the interview in order to protect family members back in Iran.
Big surprise (that's sarcasm; Ahmadinejad always talks about Bush) - Ahmadinejad has decided to draw a comparison between Obama and Bush.
The government in Iran is showing a lot more movies than they usually do. This article also has quite a few Persian sentences so definitely check it out if you're studying the language.
Remember the scandal about firing those that weren't "loyal Bushies" in the Justice Department? Well, that's nothing compared to the 10,000 government employees Ahmadinejad had reportedly replaced over his term as president in order to increase loyalty to him.
A video of tear gas being used on protesters yesterday.
290 MPs were invited to Ahmadinejad's celebration of his election "win"; only 105 showed up.
Esquire has an article here making the argument that an Ahmadinejad win is better for the interests of the United States. The argument is similar to those we saw during the election: as a hardliner, Ahmadinejad is able to do things that Mousavi couldn't since any conciliatory moves by A. would be seen as being out of character whereas M. would have had to spend a while burnishing his credentials as a president with Iran's interests in mind, and a quick trip off to the US for example soon after winning the election would look weak. The problem with that argument is that it's too ingrained in the pre-demonstration mindset - the situation is vastly different at the moment, with the legitimacy of the entire system in Iran at stake, and the post of president really isn't relevant to the discussion now. That is, people protesting in Iran aren't so much protesting the idea of another four years of Ahmadinejad - if he had pulled off a 54% or so squeaker in the first round there might have been grumbling and a bit of "how can we be so stupid?" similar to the US after Bush was reelected, but the results in this election are a slap in the face to those that voted, as the high turnout is being used by the other side to make the claim that nearly the entire country is behind Ahmadinejad, which is patently untrue.
FIFA is looking for answers on why the Iranian soccer/football players were suspended.
CNN seems to be benefiting trafficwise from their coverage of the events in Iran. Glad to see this as CNN seemed to have chosen a losing hand starting last year in attempting to hold a neutral stance (in contrast to Fox and MSNBC), and it would be a bit sad to see a news network be punished simply for trying to remain more neutral than others.
An article here translated from Persian by Tehran Broadcast features an interview with a man from the countryside who is being paid vast sums of money ($200 per day) to go around with a club and beat protesters.