Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Revisionist Iran Links

As news trickles out of Iran, some truisms have been established; that social networking has added to the potency of the protests, Hossein Mousavi is the face of the reformist movement and the ruling regime has been badly shaken. The information available is so limited - although that has not stopped everyone from suddenly becoming an Iran expert - that I'm not sure what I think about events in the country. Nonetheless, I thought these three pieces challenging the prevailing wisdom were well-argued:

Evgeny Morozov at Foreign Policy disputes the centrality of Twitter in organizing protests within Iran.

Also at FP, Ranj Alaaldin has a sober assessment of how Mousavi might rule. It serves as a cautionary tale to those who got similarly excited by events in Georgia and Lebanon.

And Steve Coll at The New Yorker argues that recent events have shown the strength of the ruling establishment

It'd be interesting to hear what you guys think about these revisionist pieces.


AK said...

I am sure many of you have already heard of this or read it already, but an excellent source of information is this live blog maintained by an Iranian American at the Huffington Post.

The nature of an uprising has certainly forever been changed. Who knew twitter could actually be more useful than finding out what Ashton Kutcher is thinking right... *now*

Ahsan said...

I have to say, I have absolutely no idea what's going on in Iran right now (which is partly which I have resisted posting anything substantive as yet). All I know is that any time everyone believes almost the same thing -- and there can be little doubt that the Western press has uniform coverage/editorial stances on this -- that thing is almost always false. I'm very suspicious of such quick and uniform narratives forming.

Philistine said...

I find it really annoying how the role of the internet/twitter/facebook in the iranian protests is accorded almost as much importance in the media as the actual protests themselves. Aren't issues relating to the nature of the conflict between Mousavi and Ahmadinejad - ideology, violence, bases of popular support, patronage from various state structures - more important than how the internet features in the whole process? This piece by Kristof is particularly vomit inducing - not surprising perhaps as it is part of the globalization theory hangover that the media seems to be suffering from.