Missing the Forest for the Green

Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Mousavi's film-maker spokesman to the west, says that Mousavi has been "ordered... to stay silent" by the Revolutionary Guard.

Anyone who still views this as Mousavi vs Ahmadinejad -- a group that apparently includes Ahmadi himself, and/or whoever's really in charge of his faction -- is deluding themselves. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people don't take to the streets to support one slightly less authoritarian politician over another. They do it because they want real change.

Makhmalbaf hits the nail on the head:

Some suggest the protests will fade because nobody is leading them. All those close to Mousavi have been arrested, and his contact with the outside world has been restricted. People rely on word of mouth, because their mobile phones and the internet have been closed down. That they continue to gather shows they want something more than an election. They want freedom, and if they are not granted it we will be faced with another revolution.

Thirty years ago we supported each other. When police used tear gas, fires would be lit to neutralise its effects. People would set their own cars on fire to save others. Since then, the government has tried to separate people from one other. What we lost was our togetherness, and in the past month we have found that again. All the armed forces in Iran are only enough to repress one city, not the whole country. The people are like drops of water coming together in a sea.

He caps it off with:

If we gain power through aggression we would have to keep it through aggression. That is why we're having a green revolution, defined by peace and democracy.

And that's why the world is watching, and holding its breath. If Iran throws off its shackles without taking up arms to do so, the rules change not just for them, but for everybody.

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