Friday, June 19, 2009

Mir-Hossein Mousavi's long night

The Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has made it plain to the leaders of the opposition and their hundreds of thousands of followers: any more protests are going to bring mass bloodshed inflicted by the forces of the regime. PBS reported on the Lehrer News Hour this evening that the basij militias, a major prop of the regime and notorious for their violence, are right now on the streets with guns and chains.

Tomorrow may turn out to be one of the most pivotal days in modern Iranian history. If Messrs. Mousavi, Karroubi, Khatami et al. decide to stand down from their opposition, the new pro-democracy movement may fizzle. If they decide to stand against the regime, the toll in lives may be horrible.

But the students and other anti-regime protesters may decide to stand up and go to the streets no matter what Mousavi et al. decide to do. This evening Juan Cole posted a translation of a blog entry by a young Iranian planning to be on the street in protest tomorrow, fully aware that he may not ever get home.

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