A Velvet Coup?
Khiaban, #13/Saturday, July 4, 2009
In a meeting with a group of families of those detained in recent days, [former president] Khatami called the recent events a 'velvet coup'. This was an implicit reply to Ahmadinejad's characterization of the recent events as a 'velvet revolution', which was defeated by the government.
However, to call it a velvet coup is as much of a lie as calling it a velvet revolution. A coup that has murdered hundreds of people in the most violent fashion, that has shut down all the news and communication lines, that has arrested and subjected to torture a vast number of political activists, and has locked up thousands of youth and dissidents in torture/imprisonment camps -- how can it be called velvet like?
In a few coup's in the modern world history, such level of ruthlessness and violence has been employed; and in very few cases in the world has a coup stood in such absolute confrontation with the civil society. Numerous coup's that in their own right would not be described as 'velvet like' operated with much less crackdown and killing than the joint Khamenei-Ahmadinejad coup.
Using the term 'velvet like' by Khatami to describe it is to paint a gentler face of the coup, so as to secure himself and his friends the possibility of cooperation and friendship down the line with the coup regime. He has made up his mind about staying with the system at any price. Therefore, he has no choice but to justify the symbiosis of his faction with the coup regime at every step. Yesterday, Ahmadinejad's move was a coup d'etat, today it's a velvet coup, and perhaps tomorrow there will only remain a colorful piece of velvet to be spread on the seat of the rulers.
But, as Khatami obfuscates, Ahmadinejad spins misinformation yarn: he claims to have defeated an American velvet revolution. A velvet revolution whose planners, like all velvet revolutions, were part of the power structure. He wants to deny the absolute opposition of the people to the ruling system.
But, a new era has begun. And nothing about it is velvet like.