Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Students Demonstrating Against the President:
in Iran

Tehran University kicked off the academic year with a something different this year.

About a hundred students demonstrated against the president Monday, October 8. That's hardly noteworthy, except for this detail: it was President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran who they called 'dictator.'

What's even more remarkable is that the students seem to still be alive.

Maybe it isn't so surprising: I've never thought Ahmadinejad was particularly stupid or foolish: and this isn't the time to emulate Burma/Myanmar's direct approach to opposing opinions. Not if Ahmadinejad wants to maintain an image of innocent victim of western oppression, at least.

The non-Ahmadinejad fans chanted "death to the dictator" (in Persian, I assume) while the Iranian president talked about how good science is, and how risky Western-style democracy is.

More conventionally loyal Iranian students chanted "thank you president," while the police stayed safely on the other side of the university gates.

I don't think this is the start of an Iranian "sixties," with student radicals taking over the colleges and universities. For starters, Iran seems to be much too well run for that sort of thing to happen. Besides that, pro-government student groups have more support, and the reform newspapers that haven't been shut down are being discretely muted in their criticism of official Iranian policies.

What's going on in Iran?

I think it's fair to say that not everyone is satisfied with how the ayatollahs are running the place. Which is something to remember, when thinking about what can, and should, be done about the very real danger of Islamic fanatics building nuclear weapons with Iran's "peaceful" nuclear program.

Related posts, on Individuals and the War on Terror.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.