A Chink in the Armor?
One 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]