BLOODY, HOPEFUL (but for oil prices), IRANIAN ASHURA
Ashura is the bloodiest days of the Shia calender. Horrific self flagellation is in order. Indeed, the day ends in a bloody, difficult to watch parade. I know. I happened to try to watch one in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Politically correct NYT editors characterize is as peaceful and chided Iran's leaders for not being religious enough (my italics)!
We are inspired by the bravery of Iranians who continue to demand their rights, even in the face of their government’s relentless and shameful brutality. Iran’s leaders are so desperate to repel a rising tide of popular unrest that even Ashura — which marks the death of Shiite Islam’s holiest martyr — is no longer sacred.
The anniversary, which fell on Sunday, is supposed to be a time of peaceful commemoration.. Even during war, Iranian governments have honored the prohibitions against violence during a two-month period surrounding Ashura. Tehran’s current rulers have proved again that their only belief is in their own survival.
Still, they are right to point out that this year in Iran, the violence was not self-inflicted. Perhaps, that is part of what made this year's Ashura seem hopeful. Perhaps, this blood was not shed in vein.
Perhaps, we are at a tipping point. The Iranian diaspora, reports Abbas Milani, is beginning to use its considerable wealth to help their those Iranians"left behind."
Even the mostly dormant but economically successful Iranian-American diaspora is beginning to show signs of eagerness to help those fighting on the front lines of democracy inside Iran. There are increasing numbers of solidarity demonstrations, efforts to lobby politicians, and aggressive fund-raising effort to provide support for Iranians being pressured by the regime. Those who, for so long, have implicitly apologized for the regime by claiming that the only problem with it is that it is not afforded enough respect by the world, particularly by the U.S., must now see the poverty of their argument. The last six months have shown unequivocally that the problem with the Iranian regime is the regime itself.
Not surprisingly, Ahmadinejad and company blame the usual suspects, US and Israel:
"Iranians have seen lots of these games," the president was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying.
Americans and Zionists are the sole audience of a play they have commissioned and sold out. A nauseating play is performed. . . .
Parliament also condemned"disgusting comments" by Western governments about Sunday's unrest, after they unanimously denounced the deadly crackdown in the Islamic republic."
In that vein, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki lashed out at Britain on Tuesday,
"If they (the British) do not stop their absurd comments, they will be slapped in the mouth," Mottaki said according to ISNA news agency.
Poor"idealistic" Obama, the Iranian regime he respects and so desperately wishes to befriend, has been looking worse by the hour. As a result, he was forced to to chide it and renew talk about sanctions.
Clearly, nothing will suit both Iranians and the world at large better than regime change. Nothing will bring it about faster than falling oil prices. Calling the Saudis . . . . Oil's Pricey Again.
At the beginning of 2009 . . . The only silver lining in all the gloom was the easing up of oil prices. From a peak close to $150 per barrel in the summer of 2008, crude oil prices averaged below $40 per barrel in January 2009, a considerable fall in just six months. . . .
Now, at the end of 2009, oil prices are close to $80 per barrel. . . . Oil futures are trading at around $90 per barrel . . .
With each dollar rise, Ahmadinejad and company get more hopeful and the rest of us less hopeful!
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