The Iranian Revolution Devours Its Young
It looks like February 11th will be the most violent confrontation to date. The regime is taking unusual measures to put down the promised demonstrations. In many ways it resembles the "Chinese solution." First, an unprecedented mobilization: 120 trains and something like a thousand buses have been deployed from as far away as 250 kilometers from the capital. They will be used by the Revolutionary Guards and Basij to bring tens of thousands of paid "volunteers" to Tehran. These will consist of entire families (dependent on the regime) to counter the Green Wave. Each family gets $80 for the day, plus free food. The regime is aiming at 300,000 thugs in the streets. The Greens don't think the numbers will be that high, and in any event they expect ten times that number of protesters, upwards of three million increasingly angry people, demanding freedom and justice.
Their resolve has undoubtedly been hardened by the very tough interview released earlier this week by Green leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. As before, Mousavi put himself on the line, defying the regime to move against him as the mullahs have moved against his friends, allies, and family members. It's quite a challenge:
Today, the prison cells are occupied with the most sincere and devoted sons of this nation: students, professors and others. [Security forces] are trying to prosecute them with espionage or charges related to financial or sexual misconduct – charges based on expired formulas – while the real criminals and thieves who steal public money are free. Instead of looking for the real spies, they accuse decent religious people. I should take this opportunity to express my regret that all of my advisors, who are decent, honest and educated individuals, have been arrested; that I am not with them. These days, there is not a [single] night that I do not think of Imam [Khomeini], martyr Beheshti and others. I whisper to them that what was achieved is far from what they sought...
Khamenei has still not mustered the courage to strike directly at Mousavi or Karroubi, which everyone sees as a sign of weakness. They see it as I do, as evidence that he is not prepared for a real showdown, fearing the vastly greater numbers of the Greens, and the unreliability of his armies. He knows that the recent Green video, appealing to the armed forces to join the revolution, is having an effect.