Tied to the mast
…but orange now and black

Silence equals protest

Roger Cohen writes in his column today:

A nation has stirred. Provoked, it has risen. “Silence equals protest,” says one banner. The vast crowds move in a hush of indignation, anger distilled to a wordless essence.

Iran is halfway through its fifth day of massive protests since Saturday’s sham election, and the momentum seems, at this point, only to be growing. Further, they’ve rendered it so that silence itself is political (whether from Iranians or from Western leaders).  They’ve cut the white noise the regime needs to as fodder for false legitimation.

It’s too late to back down. If Ahmedinejad / Khameini are allowed to retain power without serious consessions, their consolidation, it seems to me, will necessarily entail retributive imprisonments and terror a la Pinochet. Iran will lose what vestiges of republicanism it retained; vestiges that allowed the events of the last five days to occur. It will become pre-invasion Iraq.

The protesters must recognize that, and at the same time, recognize that their numbers, energy and power have only increased, and promise to increase still, as the police and army come on side (I hope I hope I hope).

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