A Chink in the Armor?

IRAN REVOLUTIONARY GUARDOne of those interesting-if-true moments:

According to the Cyrus News Agency, Tuesday morning 16 senior members of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps were arrested. “These commanders have been in contact with members of the Iranian army to join the people’s movement,” CNA reports. “Three of the commanders are veterans of Iran-Iraq war. They have been moved to an undisclosed location in East Tehran.” This report has not been confirmed by other sources.

Here’s the interesting part:

If true, it shows that the regime is losing the loyalty of some members of its control appartus, which is necessary if the opposition has any chance of achieving fundamental change. Mass rallies can easily be broken up and revolutions crushed, as we saw at Tiananmen Square in 1989. But if members of the armed forces, police and especially Revolutionary Guards decided to switch sides, then one can begin speaking of revolution.

This comes courtesy of Robert Farley over at LGM, who links to the piece at the end of a long disquisition on Tank Man and Tank Commander – the Tiananmin rebellion.  He concludes as follows:

1989 is not 2009. The media trends that allowed the dissemination of the moment between Tank Man and Tank Commander have, if anything, accelerated; the ability of individuals to create their own narratives, independent of the state, is remarkable. At the same time, the state has developed new strategies for dealing with its citizens. This is as true of liberal democratic states as it is of authoritarian. I think, however, that the center of gravity of the state remains with Tank Commander. To the extent that the United States, other Western regimes, non-governmental organizations, and pretty much anyone else want to affect the course of events in Iran, the key is to convince Tank Commander not to shoot. The Iranian state has not deployed its full coercive resources against the demonstrators, and there’s no indication that it really wants to; even the CCP is said to believe that the massacre in Tiananmen Square was a serious mistake. The news to watch for is something like this, in which several members of the Revolutionary Guard were purportedly arrested for collaborating with dissident elements. Without the obedience of the security forces, the state collapses.

Revolutionary Guards Arrested in Iran [Cyrus News Agency]
memeorandum link

Revolution mentioned:

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Didn’t work out so well for Ceacescu when his police and military aside from the fanatic orphans of his Special Security units joined forces against him.

However, I’d be surprised that if something similar happened.

In any case, a destabilized Iran is a scary, scary thing. I want these people to have their choice, and with it, a bit more of their freedom, but this thing has the potential to go seriously very wrong…

@Tommmcatt doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene: I keep forgetting to mention that civil war is as much an option as revolution. These things don’t turn out tidy.

@Benedick: Back in the day, we’d call that the bumper-sticker version. I guess now we’ll call it the Twitter version.

@Tommmcatt doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene:

That’s for sure.

But what the talkers, especially Mr. Cowlick there, seem to be saying is that there is considerable internal turmoil.

This is just the superficial stuff. Inside, its roiling.

@nojo: I think the word may be transformation rather than revolution or civil war. What if they had an azan*, and nobody came?

*One of the high-scoring words Lefty deployed to trounce me in the final plays of Scrabblewordscraper.

@Nabisco: I hardly trounced you – 41 points was the margin and we were going back and forth the whole game.

To save anyone the effort of looking it up on dictionary.com, azan is the Muslim call to prayer.

I was proud of my tired brain today, for remembering that “ligneous” really is a word, and really does mean woody or treelike. Life is so random sometimes.

@Tommmcatt doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene: this should work.

@SanFranLefty: Yeah, it was close but I felt like Frazier out there. I got tired toward the end, and the body blows kept coming until you finished me off.

@IanJ: You know what is interesting? “Lignje” is the Bosnian word for calamari, which as far as I know is not particularly woody or treelike.

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