As the controversy over the Iranian election intensifies, supporters of have Moussavi continued to engage in protests. The authorities have responded by using force and seven people have been killed so far.
As one might expect, the Iranian government has put strict limits on the foreign press and has done its best to restrict the access of Iranian citizens to various means of communication. However, clever folks have made use of web proxies and other means to get around these attempts at oppressive censorship. Interestingly, Twitter is playing an important role in getting information in and out of Iran.
It is natural for oppressive regimes to use such methods to maintain secrecy and suppress dissent. After all, using such methods is far easier than actually having real reform. There is also the obvious fact that the oppressors’ hold on power is threatened by the free flow of information. Oppressive regimes need to maintain secrecy and keep citizens from communicating freely. After all, two of the greatest weapons against oppression are information and free communication.
Ironically, such attempts at suppressing information and communication provides a very clear message about the nature of the government and how those folks treat their own people. By engaging in such information and communication suppression, the rulers of Iran are showing their true nature in a way that is just as clear as videos of police attacking protesters.
I have sometimes joked that when a government restricts the press, the rest of the world should have the right to just speculate wildly about what it going 0n in the dark. While this would probably not do anything, it would be interesting to see something like this on the news:
Biff Newscaster: “This just in-the Iranian government has severely restricted the access of foreign press and has been attempting to prevent the citizens from communicating with each other and the outside world.”
Buffy Newscaster: ‘That’s right Biff. But we have some wild speculation from Coyote Lightning.”
Coyote Lightning: “While we cannot see what is going on in Iran, I’ve had our technical people whip up a computer animation of Iranian officials throwing kittens into wood chippers. Viewer discretion is advised. While they might not be doing this, we have no reason to think that they are not. Perhaps they are even tossing copies of the Koran into the chippers after they run out of kittens. We simply do not know.”
Buffy Newscaster: “But I love kittens!”
Coyote Lightning: “Everyone does. Everyone that is except the Iranian officials who might be shoveling them into wood chippers right now!”
Buffy Newscaster: “Noooo! It hurts me right down to my liberally biased soul…or it would, if I were not also a pagan atheist who denies the existence of the soul and God!”
Turning back to the election results, the Guardian Council has agreed to a recount of some of the votes. While the fact that they are willing to allow a recount is interesting, the fact that it is a limited recount speaks volumes. After all, a limited recount of the sort being permitted will almost certainly have no impact whatsoever on the election.