Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Hi - if you're here due to a Twitter update, check the bottom of the post.
I'll be updating this post throughout the day. First something important that can be worked on right away though - it seems that Michael Jackson's funeral has resulted in #Iranelection being removed from Twitter's trending topics.
But! Don't forget that most people writing in Persian on Twitter aren't adding the #Iranelection hashtag so let's ask them to. Here's my tweet in Persian (that I'm pretty sure is correct). It says:
دوستانمان در ایران "#انتخابات ایران" در انگلیسی خیلی مهمه، فراموش نکنید #Iranelection <-- اینطور بنویسید
Which means (from write to left) "Write like this - #Iranelection. Friends of ours in Iran, "Iran election" in English is very important, don't forget". So let's try copying and pasting and RTing that a few times.
Picking yesterday's big news is quite easy - Ahmadinejad's speech and the joint statement by Mousavi, Karroubi and Khatami, which are both summarized in this article. Ahmadinejad called the elections the freest and healthiest in the world, and the joint statement demanded that prisoners arrested for no particular reason be released immediately. Some people on Twitter said that many people turned on all their appliances on purpose when the Ahmadinejad speech started in order to cause a blackout, and that it was successful in some areas (haven't seen independent confirmation of that though).
The Washington Independent remarks on just how dumb Ahmadinejad is - it would have been easier than anything to say that Iran is willing to hold talks which would put the pressure on Obama to choose either between diplomacy (working with Iran) or human rights (siding with the protesters and refusing to accept Ahmadinejad as president), but Ahmadinejad has simply dug in and made it very easy to oppose him, while at the same time suggesting ridiculous ideas like having a debate with Obama at the UN.
I remarked in the comments below there that a good politician is able to advance their own cause without giving their opponent anything to work with, but Ahmadinejad doesn't seem to recognize this and has yet to adapt to the new situation (new situation = disputed election plus new American president and foreign policy).
Obama also clarified yesterday that he was "absolutely not" giving Israel the green light to attack Iran (clarifying a statement made by Biden).
The National Iranian-American Council is continuing to do a great job on informing the world of the events going on in Iran, and be sure to read their writeup for yesterday. Quite a few of the statements from Ahmadinejad's side yesterday seem to be bordering on lunacy, such as the statement that the election was approved by God and the Hidden Imam, that the Islamic Revolution has dodged a bullet and will now be okay for the next 20 years thanks to this election...really quite nutty stuff. The captain of the football/soccer team also spoke up for the first time yesterday as well.
Luckily Obama's statement clarifying what Biden said in the recent interview about Israel is now on the front page of a number of sites like BBC Persian and Tabnak. Biden's statement (interpreted by many as a green light for Israel to attack Iran) had gotten quite a bit of attention as well and the clarification was desperately needed.
The Washington Times has an op-ed here on Khamenei's strategic error.
Here's a video from June 20th that I missed for some reason - it's called Biyaa and is by a band of expat Iranians in Sweden. Not only is the song itself quite good (also not the type of music one would expect from a band singing in Persian) but the lyrics in Persian are also written right below so it's perfect for those learning the language.