The street protests in many Iranian cities seem to have subsided and people have gone home. But the anger lingers on. As we reflect on what just happened, what it means, how it compares with the Green Movement of 2009, and what we should do now, we see that the protests were both wide (in 100 cities) and deep (various social and income groups) as compared to 2009 and its message was about the economy, corruption, freedom and liberty. The Green Movement in contrast was narrow (mainly in Tehran and a few large cities) and shallow (young, educated, middle and upper-middle class.) And the main message was “Where’s my vote?” The vote that was cast for reformers Mousavi and Karroubi, but never counted.
After a few weeks in 2009, Mousavi, Karroubi and Khatami fearing an all-out revolution sent the people home, and with the exception of a few outbursts of protests here and there about their house arrests in the past 8 years, things have been relatively quiet and twice in 2 elections, a big chunk of those protesters not only voted for Rouhani, but some killers and torturers too.
But as is customary in the Iranian culture, the blame always rests with someone else, usually a foreign power or person. In our minds, we are just innocent Mazlooms that are standing in the wind and get blown to here and there. And in 2009, it was Obama’s fault! If he had only supported the people who wanted Mousavi, Khomeini’s Prime Minister during the massacres in prisons, terrorism at home and abroad, to be the president, the Regime would’ve collapsed overnight. The same Mousavi whose campaign slogan was “A Return to Imam’s Golden Age” was now our Gorbachev. So Obama got the blame for this one as Carter got the blame for the 1979 fiasco.
Now, fast forward to 3 weeks ago, The Christmas Uprising. Trump’s inner circle was ready and as soon as the slogans came out of the protesters’ mouths, Trump, Pence, Nikki Haley were all over it. Trump was not going to be the fall guy. He sent a few tweets, blamed Obama as usual and Nikki Haley took a half-baked resolution to the UN Security Council. Well, none of that changed anything on the ground in Iran, and this time around, Trump’s name never came up! The Wisdom of the Iranian People.
So now, we are in desperate need of someone to blame, anybody. Let’s see. Obama is still vacationing, or writing a book, and being a decent guy, is totally ignoring Trump. Hillary is joyfully looking at the “Basket of Deplorables” who put Trump in the White House and now are wondering what the hell they did this for. Pelosi and Schumer are unknown to most Iranians. So who’s left?
I got it. What if we blame some of us on Iroon who could’ve borrowed material and clips from other places and with the added adjectives about the Regime, blah, blah, blah had shown our love for our people? I can see the protestors in Ezeh or Mashhad saying, “Hey guys, I just saw a blog by Faramarz on Iroon supporting us and he’s got 3 green thumbs and 5 comments. Let’s stay on the street for another week. At this pace, if he posts a few more blogs and clips and gets a few people to read them we should be able to overthrow Khamenei by MLK Day!”