Michael Ledeens Einschätzung der Lage:
The FT reports that Iranian industry is at 40% of capacity. Student demonstrations are ongoing. Stories abound concerning army and air force officers promising to side with the people if the regime does not cease its brutality. (I believe these stories, as does Afshin Ellian). The regime conjurs up a video purporting to show demonstrators burning a photo of Khomeini, and then arrests the “guilty.” Most Iranians seem to think it was a regime deception to justify further violence against students and their friends and (incredibly) relatives.
For about 48 hours Twitter has carried warnings that the regime is about to arrest the opposition leaders, but it has not happened, thereby suggesting regime indecisiveness. And the country is headed into a period of religious celebrations, when there will be lots of people in the streets. Mosharram begins on December 18th, culminating with Ashura on the 27th, with its rituals of bloodletting and praise of martyrdom.
Those who thought the opposition had been crushed should look again. And keep looking. That cauldron’s still burning. And now Obama’s said that we support the dissidents. So far it’s only words. Will he finally do something? Unlikely, but life is full of surprises…