Ahmedinijad hasn’t lost the will to rule, that’s why. Mubarak was old and tired and facing a regime change, anyway. Iran’s dear leader still has some spunk in him. Moreover, with the way the State Department is backing Twitter, Iran can now legitimately portray the website – and possibly also Facebook – as tools of the US Government… the same US Government that ordered the overthrow of Mossadeq in 1953 and that set up the Shah in his place.
Iran is ready to fight and break bones. I don’t see peaceful protest succeeding there because the police will make things violent as quickly as they can. Root for the plucky, wired-in activists if you want, but they’re not going to find much success in their efforts.
Not that the recent revolts had that much to do with the Internet, anyway. The people that speak English may use the Internet, but for the folks on the street that don’t have an ISP, things look a whole lot more like they did back in the day… I recommend “The Battle of Algiers” to understand their unwired world. What happened in Tunisia and Egypt and everywhere else looked just like the closing scenes of that film. The opening of the wave of unrest didn’t look like “The Social Network”, either. It looked more like the Buddhist monk immolating himself to protest the anti-Buddhist measures of the US-backed government of South Vietnam.
I’m now wondering if the 60s metaphor will extend to a general wave of economic decolonization. The nations attained political freedom in the 50s and 60s, but soon fell under the economic sway of the USA and its allies, becoming economic colonies. This wave of activism could very well be what unseats the American Empire… unless our forces join in the breaking of bones “to protect American interests”, as I suspect they will, one day soon.