The Twitterverse is outraged, uproared and up in a heaval over the results of the elections in Iran. Just search Twitter for #iranelection and you’ll see hundreds of messages, all with pretty much the same message and tenor, posted every 30 seconds. (I searched and while I was scrolling through the results, I got a message that 586 new messages on the topic had been added since I started scrolling.)
I think Ryan Sager at NeuroWorld has things mostly right in his post, “Iran: Knowing Nothing.” No doubt some of you know much more than I do about Iran, but I doubt most people know much about it, particularly in light of Iran’s long-held secretiveness.
I agree with Sager that the election results were probably rigged, that the current regime — whose head is really the Ayatolla and whose rule is based on shari’a law, supported by the armed Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Basij — is oppressive; and I also wouldn’t be surprised if the election results were found to be less in Mousavi’s favour than was widely expected (though a leaked report of unverified authenticity suggests that Mousavi did win, with incumbent Ahmadinejad coming in 3rd).
btw, Inside Iran, a blog written by Jason Rezaian, a journalist in Iran, is an interesting read for what was going on in Iran in the days leading up to the elections. For one, thing: apathy.
I also agree with Sager that, at least for many onlookers (perhaps not all), we tend particularly to confirmation bias, that is, filtering info to match our preconceptions.
His penultimate paragraph is powerful:
“As bullets fly toward protesters, perhaps we’re reminded that every movement needs its own narrative — almost always self-serving, highly tenuous with regard to fact, but capable of binding people together to fight a common enemy.”