Sunday, June 21, 2009



In 1970, when Gil Scott-Heron first wrote his poem, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," later released as the lead track on Pieces of a Man, there was neither Twitter nor Facebook.
The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the 
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

So now everyone is saying the Revolution will be tweeted. OK, the machinery of oppression in Iran has moved to grab control of the news and re-shape the story. Social networking sites are making that next to impossible for them. But, let's not forget that the revolution in Iran is not just on computer screens and cell phones. The blood is real. Neda was a real person, a young woman with hopes and aspirations who was shot down and died horribly in the gutter. This video is absolutely horrific and I don't recommend you watch it unless you're ready to shed some tears for our sisters and brothers in Tehran:

While bloodthirsty vampires on the political right, your McCains, Pences, Liebermen and Cantors-- whose only desire is to see blood running in the streets of Tehran-- do whatever they can to inflame emotions and offer Iranian patriots false hope, the entire world is viscerally mourning for Neda. And Twitter is part of that at #neda. Mousavi, no friend of the West by a long shot, says he's prepared for martyrdom-- he tweeted it-- but Neda is already dead. Unlike him, she never ordered the deaths of 30,000 political prisoners or funded Hezbollah. President McCain, President Graham, President Lieberman are wrong-- always... about everything. But it is their cranky, crackpot voices-- voices Charles Pierce explains so very well in Idiot America-- that dominate the incendiary, trivial, ratings-hungry mass media.

In the House last week only one lonely member of Congress, Ron Paul (R-TX), spoke out for a rational approach to Iran. Fortunately, there is somewhat more sanity in the Senate-- at least on one side of the aisle. When's the last time you read anything positive about Arlen Specter at DWT? I guess he woke up and remembered he was a Democrat yesterday: “I think the president is doing the right thing. If we’re seen as siding with the insurgents, we run the risk of turning momentum against them." Too difficult a concept for the doddering and deranged McCain? Lieberman on the other hand, isn't senile; he's working for the Likud to do all he can to foment discord and mayhem.
Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) sides with the Republicans, as he often does on foreign policy. Lieberman said Obama should be speaking out, and dismisses the theory that doing so would incite anti-American sentiment.

“My sense of human nature and the conversations I’ve had with people who have been to Iran and talked to Iranians is that we’re their hope and they need to hear from us,” Lieberman said.

They need to hear exactly what Obama is saying. But that isn't what the neo-Cons want. They want a message like the one George H.W. Bush gave the Iraqi Shi'a in 1991-- or the CIA gave the Hungarians in 1956: rise up against your oppressors and we will help you. They rose up-- and were slaughtered by the thousands. Irresponsible inciters, safely back in Washington, shed a collective crocodile tear for them. Meanwhile, without McCain and without Mike Pence and without Howard Berman, the Iranian people-- or at least the middle class of North Tehran-- may well be delegitimizing the fascist dictatorship and the Supreme Leader. And if Al Giordano is correct, the revolution is spreading from the middle class to the working class. Here's a translation of a declaration from the striking Autobus Workers Union of Iran. (Gee this could be the first time Mike Pence, Eric Cantor, John Boehner and Richard Burr have ever been on the same side as a union!)
In recent days we have witnessed the passionate presence of millions of women and men, the old and the young, and ethnic and religious minorities in Iran, people who want their government to recognize their most basic right, the right to freely, independently, and transparently elect, a right that in most societies around the world is not only recognized officially but for whose protection no effort is neglected.

In the current situation, we witness threats, arrests, killings, and naked persecution, which threaten to grow in dimension and lead to the shedding of innocent people's blood thus bringing a rise in popular protests and not in their decline.

Iranian society is facing a deep political and economic crisis. Million-strong protests, which have manifested themselves with a silence that is replete with meaning, have become a pattern that is growing in area and dimension, a growth that demands a response from any responsible person and organization.

The Autobus Workers Union in an announcement issued before the elections declared, "in the absence of the freedom for political parties, our organization is naturally deprived of a social institution that can protect it."

"Workers of the Autobus Workers Union consider their social involvement and political activity to be the certain right of each member of society and furthermore believe that workers across Iran as long as they submit the platforms of presidential candidates and a practical guarantee about campaign slogans can choose to participate or not participate in elections."

The fact that the demands of the vast majority of Iranian society go far beyond those of unions is obvious to all, and in the previous years we have emphasized that until the principle of the freedom to organize and to elect is not materialized, any talk of social freedom and labor union rights will be a farce.

Given these facts, the Autobus Workers Union places itself alongside all those who are offering themselves in the struggle to build a free and independent civic society. The union condemns any kind of suppression and threats.

To recognize labor-union and social rights in Iran, the international labor organizations have declared the Fifth of Tir (June 26) the international day of support for imprisoned Iranian workers as well as for the institution of unions in Iran. We want that this day be viewed as more than a day for the demands of labor unions to make it a day for human rights in Iran and to ask all our fellow workers to struggle for the trampled rights of the majority of the people of Iran.

With hope for the spread of justice and freedom,

Autobus Workers Union

Neda, a 27 year old philosophy student

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At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahmadinejad (or however it's spelled, I could care less) has gone too far. Denying the holocaust and the crap he's trying to pull now. What a prick. I really hope the rest of Iran turns on the government and unite to end this evil opression. The ayatollah can go jump off a building for all I care.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Your assumption that Mccain would do this or that is just that an assumption. Mccain flops more than a damn fish and it's hard to know his true intention, but trust me when I say this. America has the counter intelligence assets in the region which could aid the students. High frequency jamming, intercept, and broadcast techniques are available. We COULD offer free internet via SPA war satellites, broadcast AM/FM, and even broadcast TV. Armed-support is not needed like it was in the conflicts you mentions, but rather media and outlet support. Obama would rather play this like a politician, and his FOLLOWERS will continue shield him from any criticism. Obama should be offering 100% support to the protesters.

It doesn't matter if Obama is polarised towards either way, the Iranian right will still demonize the West with conspiracy theories and propaganda. Turning your back on the youth who care about the outside world will only reinforce what the mullahs tell them.

At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's wacky to think this an appropriate occasion to attack Joe Lieberman.

At 5:49 AM, Anonymous Cuffy Miegs said...

At least he's not blaming it all on "the Jews". I suppose that's a start.

At 7:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well written statement from the Autobus Workers Union. Democracy would be best served by all who take this opportunity to show their individual support for those who struggle against oppression. In any true democracy, it's voice is that of the collective of individual people's voices, not necessarily the voice of the one chosen leader. Our forefather's (USA) recognized that the need for a president or executive leader was a necessary evil, and that his power should be limited and closely overseen. We (American's) should be sending our message one free person at a time, not waiting for our chosen leader to respond for us. Obama is doing the right thing by keeping the USA politically distant from this revolution (think of the backlash from a regime that now knows it is loosing international political ground, what little they may have). But, the internet has given each individual citizen a powerful tool to collectively shout a clear message to those who fight for political freedom in Iran. Those that fought for freedom here before us have so much in common with those who fight now in Iran. Holding a silent protest here in USA to show that the people of the USA have empathy and sympathy for those who have fought, and currently fight, here and abroad, for the very freedoms that we now enjoy, would be the best way to help those who struggle in this way. The easiest thing that comes to mind; a huge coordinated twitter or facebook post of the same message, so those in the streets of Iran can see for themselves that we support them not scorn them.

At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Dwight said...

Thanks for the picture of Neda. I've been looking to find pictures of her in life, and her life story. How did you attain this photo and can you share it with the media?

At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Neda, you are an inspiration to all freedom lovers! The criminal dictators in Iran must be tried and answer the world for their crimes.
The world will remember!

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the video looks like it was faked. The blood only appears on her face after someone's hand is there. Heartbreaking if it's real. Shameful, if it's fake.


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