Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has decreed that the vote was legitimate and stands. He then issued a warning essentially saying, 'end the protests or there will be bloodshed'. He also condemns 'foreign power interference' (http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LAW000106.htm). How did the protesters respond; "Cries of "Death to the dictator!" and "Allahu akbar" — "God is great" — rang from rooftops in what's become a nightly ritual of opposition unity." (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090619/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iran_election). The protesters are not backing down (http://hotair.com/archives/2009/06/18/tomorrow-tiananmen-in-tehran).
Despite this, the administration has said that the speech will not alter the official stance of the White House (http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/06/officials-khamanei-speech-will-not-change-white-house-stance.html).
England would have none of it and summoned an Iranian diplomat for a dress down of Khamenei's 'evil' criticism of Britain (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090619/ap_on_re_eu/eu_britain_iran).
By most accounts tomorrow will be a decisive day. Khamenei's actions today have put both sides on a collision course. The protesters will wake up tomorrow, kiss their worrying parents goodbye, then march on mass toward destiny. They will look down the barrels of machine guns with little more then their green cloths and green painted hands to protect them. Cell phone video cameras will roll and the world will hold it's collective breath. If the Mullahs do not back down, then someone will give the order to shoot. And then; well, no one knows. Either the soldiers pull the trigger and a massacre is broadcast live via Twitter, or we could witness a true Democratic revolution as the soldiers refuse to follow orders.
Related thoughts at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/18/AR2009061803369.html.
Obama's timid stance has been noted in Iran (http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/06/mousavi_spokesman_smacks_obama.asp):
"In an interview with the Washington Post's Foreign Policy blog, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, described as Mir Hussein Mousavi's "external spokesman," had some sharp words for President Barack Obama's recent comments about the demonstrations in Tehran. But Makhmalbaf also said some things that could make it even more difficult for Obama to maintain his passive, pro-stability approach to the ongoing struggle for power in Iran.
FP: There has been growing criticism here in Washington that U.S. President Barack Obama hasn't said or done enough to support those demonstrating in the streets of Iran. Do you think Obama is being too careful? Or even that he is helping Ahmadinejad by being cautious?
MM: Obama has said that there is no difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. Does he like it himself [when someone is] saying that there is no difference between Obama and [George W.] Bush? Ahmadinejad is the Bush of Iran. And Mousavi is the Obama of Iran.
One assumes that if Obama's full-throated support for the protesters would do great damage to their cause, as many Obama defenders have suggested, Mousavi's spokesman might have taken the opportunity to say so. He didn't."
The House of Representatives on the other hand overwhelmingly passed a bill in support of the Iranian protesters: "The House overwhelmingly approved a resolution Friday in support of Iranian dissidents as that country’s top cleric warned protesters to end demonstrations.
The resolution was approved in a 405-1 vote, with two members voting present. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was the only lawmaker opposed to the resolution. Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and David Loebsack (D-Iowa) voted present." (http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/house-approves-iran-bill-405-1-2009-06-19.html [via http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/80441])
Ralph Peters feels that Obama's virtual silence is giving the green light for the Mullahs to crack down (http://www.nypost.com/seven/06182009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/green_light_for_a_crackdown_174811.htm?page=0). He really lays into Obama on this silence calling it "treachery":
"And our president is "troubled," but doesn't believe we should "meddle" in Iran's internal affairs. (Meddling in Israel's domestic affairs is just fine, though.)
We just turned our backs on freedom.
Of all our foreign-policy failures in my lifetime, our current shunning of those demanding free elections and expanded civil rights in Iran reminds me most of Hungary in 1956.
For years, we encouraged the Hungarians to rise up against oppression. When they did, we watched from the sidelines as Russian tanks drove over them.
For decades, Washington policymakers from both parties have prodded Iranians to throw off their shackles. Last Friday, millions of Iranians stood up. And we're standing down.
That isn't diplomacy. It's treachery."
Obama has since made another statement, this one stronger then past ones.
Video embedded below.
Watch CBS Videos Online
Full transcript at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/06/19/eveningnews/main5099083.shtml.
Let me highlight a portion:
It is better then his past statements. Still, it comes very late and seems generally weak.
Of all the policy disagreements I have had with administrations past and present, not many compare to how I feel about Obama's virtual silence in regard to the protesters. For well over two-centuries America has stood as a shinning beacon of freedom to the world. We may not have always been perfect, but we have always been striving for perfection. More than that, we have always encouraged people to join us on our quest for true freedom. And now, right when Iran needs us, right when the protesters are looking west for that beacon that has guided so many before them, at perhaps the most important time in any of their lives, it feels like our beacon has been dimmed. People are going to die tomorrow, sacrificing their lives in the noble quest for freedom. A fight that we have always championed to the point that revolutionaries can and have always depended on our support. Not this time. This time we stand on the sidelines. This time we just watch. This time we just hope for the best. This truly disturbs me. All I can do now is wish you the best. To the Iranian protesters, good luck and God speed.
Navi Pillay, the human rights chief for the United Nations, is expressing concern over the excessive force of the crack down (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hWqj9ebXTtkZBXAKbxv25T927AGw).
The reports about Iran importing thugs may have been proven today: "Hezbollah & Hamas Thugs Photographed in Tehran" (http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2009/06/hezbollah-hamas-thugs-photographed-in.html).
There is growing fear that Iran could turn into a Sudan (http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2009/06/iranian-protesters-warn-regime-do-not.html).
Video embedded below.
For info on How Iran's internet works, head to http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/06/18/1970353.aspx.
If you are a Twitter user who wants to show solidarity with protesters, head to http://www.flickr.com/photos/arasmus/3631722096 for a step by step guide.
Google is jumping in to help as well: "Twitter has the starring role as opening up Net communications about Iran's turbulent politics, but Google and Facebook are jumping in with their its own hasty efforts.
Google is adding Farsi, or Persian, language support to its translation service, the company announced Thursday night. Google rushed out the support specifically because of events in Iran, said Principal Scientist Franz Och in a blog posting.
Google's translation service so far is optimized for translating between English and Farsi, but Google is working on expanding that to support other language combinations, Och said. A quick test for me showed it workable translating Persian to English." (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10268577-38.html).
The BBC is bringing extra resources to bear: "The BBC is using two extra satellites to broadcast its Farsi-language service after days of jamming it blamed on Iran.
The British state-run news organization said the move was meant to help it reach its Iranian audience as the crisis over their country's disputed election deepens. It is also a challenge to Iran's religious government, which has accused foreign broadcasters of stirring unrest, singling out the BBC in particular." (http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D98TSB5G0&show_article=1).
GayPatriot asks "Would There Be Green In Iran Without Purple In Iraq?" (http://www.gaypatriot.net/2009/06/19/would-there-be-green-in-iran-without-purple-in-iraq). Count me squarely on the 'No' side, at least not this soon.
Here is your crackpot theory of the day; Israel is behind all of the protests http://www.chartingstocks.net/2009/06/jpost-removes-the-evidence-and-issues-a-response-iranelection.
Let me end this round up today's post the same way I did yesterday's; with a cartoon. This one more comical in nature.
Past related posts:
Berman Post: Iranian Election Viewed as Rigged
Berman Post: Iranian Election Fraud Protest (NYC)
Berman Post: Iranian Riots Continue
Berman Post: Iranian Election Fraud Riots (Day Three)
Berman Post: Iranian Election Fraud Riots (Day Four)
Berman Post: Iranian Election Fraud Protest at Union Square (NYC)
Berman Post: Iranian Election Fraud Riots (Day Five)
Berman Post: Iranian Election Fraud Riots (Day Six)
Berman Post: Prayer Vigil For The Fallen Iranian Protesters (NYC)