quarta-feira, 3 de janeiro de 2018

NYTimes fala do Irã o quê a imprensa brasileira não fala

Vou mostrar em inglês, depois em português...

Quem sabe inglês tem mais acesso à verdade. Mas é possível descobri a verdade, mesmo em português.

Imaginem a dificuldade de ler a Bíblia em latim e como ficou mais fácil quando passou a ser traduzido para a língua de cada país ou comunidade. Isto se deu com a Reforma Protestante em 1500.

Com a internet ficou mais fácil de furar o bloqueio da imprensa, ou furar a censura dos governos ditatoriais. Informação é poder...

Leiam este bom artigo publicado pelo New York Times sobre a dificuldade em se entender o quê está se passando no Irã.

What We Still Don’t Know About Iran’s Protests

NYTimes 03/01/18

We’re glued to what’s happening in Iran.

But if you opened this hoping for an authoritative explanation of what’s happening and why, we have bad news for you. We just don’t think that there’s enough information to say. (And we’re a little skeptical of voices who claim to know.)
Still, we don’t want to let you down.

So here are some of the key things we don’t yet know but are watching for and why they’re so important. We hope that, in the coming days, it’ll help you to make some sense of the noise.

1. Who is protesting?

Probably the most basic question.

We need to know which segment(s) of society are rising up and why.
That will tell us about their grievances and how costly or difficult it would be for the government to meet them (if it’s too costly, they’ll crack down instead).

It will tell us about who in society does and doesn’t support the government and its policies. It will tell us how divided society is or isn’t. It will tell us which elements of the government itself are demographically similar to the protesters and therefore might support them.

We have some information.

Lists of cities and towns that have seen protests suggest they’re more provincial. Some anecdotes suggest many are working class. That’s significant because the 2009 “Green Movement” protests were largely middle class. Members of the working classes tend to have different grievances and needs — often more about economic opportunity than political rights, although not always.
Still, it’s hard to know who is protesting for sure because the demonstrations appear to be leaderless and, confusingly, to have grown out of protests by conservative groups.

2. Are the protests about opposing the system or changing it?

If the protesters are animated by causes that are inherently opposed to the political system — say, for example, if they want the supreme leader or the Revolutionary Guards out of politics — then it’s much harder for the government to mollify them with a show of policy changes.
That would make confrontation likelier and raise the stakes for the future of the political system. The government would be likelier to escalate its use of force to put down protests.

If the protests are about, say, jobs or social policies,
it’s easier for the government to siphon off anger by making policy tweaks or finding a scapegoat.

Again, we have some information, such as anecdotes about what protesters are saying. We can also make suppositions based on the apparent catalysts. Many observers believe the trigger might be, in part, a recent speech by Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, revealing that some unelected institutions are siphoning off huge amounts of public cash. We can also look at polling or other data points on Iranian public opinion, for instance polls that show high approval for certain key officials.

But, presently, all this information is a bit too noisy to make into a sufficiently cogent narrative.
The protesters have used a lot of slogans — some explicitly anti-system, some not — but that’s hard to know how to read. Protesters often pick up anti-system slogans as a way to express anger, rather than to articulate specific policy demands. And, as protests take on momentum, they can change direction.

And anecdotes are easy to overread.

Some early reports suggests that protesters objected to Iran’s interventions abroad. This got a lot of attention in the United States, where most Americans also object to Iran’s foreign policy. For the moment, though, it appears that these anecdotes were about Iranians objecting to government overspending in general.

Corruption is tricky as a catalyst for protests.

It can lead protesters to rally around narrow economic concerns, for example jobs and social programs.
Or it can lead them to oppose the whole political system as corrupt and broken.
So even if the protests do end up focusing on corruption, that alone will not tell us whether they’re within-system or anti-system.

3. What do other Iranian segments of society think?

If the protests and crackdowns continue, then how other social groups respond will be really important.
For example, if middle class groups see the protests as not representing their interests, they are less likely to join in. The narrower the cross-section of society participating in the protests, the easier they are for the government to shut down.
It also matters how people see the government response.

For example, so far, the conservative nationalists who belong to the Basiji, a pro-government, quasi-vigilante street militia, appear happy to play their usual role beating up protesters. But if the nationalists come to see the protests as opposing Mr. Rouhani (whom they also oppose), then they might go easier. They could also go easier if they see the crackdown as hurting fellow working-class conservatives.
It’s a lot of moving parts!

4. What do Iran’s elites think?

This is the most important and least knowable thing of all.
We sometimes see protests as all about the brave people standing up to the bad government. The protests succeed in forcing change, we think, when the people overwhelm the government.

In fact that is almost never what happens.
Rather, the government is composed of lots of different elites who have different interests and agendas. Change typically happens when some of those elites use protests as an opportunity to overturn the other elites.

Think of Egypt’s 2011 revolution.

Yes, it was driven by popular uprising. But the change came when leaders in the military decided to oust Hosni Mubarak, the president.

Protests can change the balance of power among those elites.
Protests can shift elites’ incentives. They’re really important. But it ultimately comes down to elites.

Iran has, even for a country this big, an awful lot of powerful elites.
There are elected officials, religious leaders, business elite, militia and military leaders. There are ideological factions that criss-cross major institutions. There are divisions that go back years. There are differing views on what kind of country Iran should be and how its political system should work.

The politics of Iran’s elite have been shaping the country, and sometimes driving it in wildly different directions, since the 1979 revolution. So we know that it’s really important — probably decisive — how different elite groups think about the protests, their causes and how to respond.

But we don’t have a very good sense of what they think because most are keeping their mouths relatively shut. Yes, some, like Mr. Rouhani, are speaking out, but their words don’t tell us as much as we’d like about what might be happening behind closed doors.

We’ll keep watching all of us this and letting you know what we think.

But, now that you’ve read this, you’ll know what to watch for as well.

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