In the above video, Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies does a good job explaining why we know so little about the protests in Iran. For all YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have done to bring us information and images from the streets, they can’t replace the accuracy and context of strong on-the-ground international media coverage—which, of course, has been banned. As a result, it’s hard to say whether the crisis in Iran is being fomented by a democratic uprising or, more simply, by a split within the ruling elite.
It’s almost certainly a bit of each, but mainstream Western media outlets have been pushing the former. Both the Times of London and the Wall St. Journal published articles this week about the opposition finding new and creative ways to protest amidst the crackdown. As much as we love reading about that sort of stuff here at WNV, it’s always a bit odd to see conservative papers supporting protesters. I suppose that’s why voices on the left, within the independent media, have surfaced with accusations of meddling by the US government and imperialism through nonviolence.
While there may be legitimate reason for such speculation, it’s clear the protests have taken on a mind of their own. It’s just too bad we can’t fully understand what that mind is thinking.