Friday, June 19, 2009

Grading ourselves 

It's important to look back and admit when we've be incorrect, partly correct and, in that rare circumstance, altogether correct.

Last Sunday was the first post in the Iran elections, and I laid out a $10 bet that
"it will only be a matter of days before Ahmadinejad or someone in the regime blames the Jews (25,000 out of a population of 70 million, or 0.04%). These are all well worn pages from a well known playbook."
OK, so today we have:
"Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denied that the country's recent elections were fixed, called on protesters to stop and blamed the "Zionist" media."
The K-man got this done for me in less than a week, but when I stated "a matter of days," I really though it would be only two or three at the most. The parenthetical I used clearly implied that he would blame Iranian Jews, but it seems from his statements that he is probably blaming American, Israeli and European Jews, but really, who frickin' knows with this loon? The blaming of the Jews was the central concept in the prediction, so I'll give myself a B/B-.

I was also trying to compare the Soviet tankers who rolled through Budapest (my mother's hometown) to suppress the 1956 Hungarian revolt with the Iranian forces who might be called upon to crack down on the uprising in the present day:
"the indigenous Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, who are highly motivated and will do anything to keep the ruling Mullahocracy in power, knowing that if they fall while suppressing the protests, it's off to paradise."
There has been lethal force used, though the estimates of the dead and injured are variable, and -- fortunately -- are not yet of an order of magnitude that has quieted the protests. The time of the main event is rapidly approaching, however, if Khamenei's words today are to be believed. There are rumors floating around Iran and the Internet that elements of the IRGC will not engage the demonstrators. There are also rumors of Arab soldiers as mercs. The religious aspect of this conflict may be more on the side of the demonstrators, who continue to shout "God is great!" from the rooftops at night, in defiance of the regime. I have recently begun to think of the IRGC as just another economically corrupt gang that operates at the behest of and in a symbiotic relationship with an ideologically flawed political leadership (like the Stasi in East Germany or the KGB in the USSR), dividing up the spoils. That some may also think they have the express elevator to Allah may not be all that relevant. I am giving myself an Incomplete here, grade to follow soon, hopefully an F.


By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Fri Jun 19, 09:50:00 PM:

A totalitarian regime needs to treat both its secret police and shock troops VERY well or risk losing their reliability in the crunch.  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Sun Jun 21, 03:03:00 AM:

When Yugoslavia started breaking apart, one of the Serbian parties ran on a platform left over from before unification: that getting the Jews out would solve many problems. Even though there were no Jews left, that party got some votes.  

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