Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

The Greening of the Moose: Open Thread

Ladies and gentlemoose,

You may have noticed that our lovely purple banner is turning green! And unless you’ve been living in a cave (and likely even if you have), you’ve probably guessed that it has something to do with the current protests in Iran. The Moose has gone green to show solidarity and support for the Iranian protesters and for free and open elections. The protesters’ determination to see their votes counted, and their dedication to fair elections, is inspiring. It is indicative of real progress, and The Moose supports Progressives the world over.


In choosing to green the blog, we did not come by this decision in haste.

We felt it a way to visibly show our support for those struggling to bring Change to Iran. Support for the students whose rooms were raided and computers destroyed to prevent access to the outside world.


Support for the women who rallied and voted en masse for Change.


Support for all those demanding a fair accounting of their votes.


While we feel that going green is the right thing for The Moose, there are some valid arguments as to why it might not be the best of ideas. There has been much discussion elsewhere in the blogosphere along these lines.

Comments from a DKos diary titled Kos, Turn This Site Green:

If turning every blog green would somehow hasten a revolution in Iran, then I’d be on board. But this is a dumb idea.

It’s just as dumb as the GOP idea of renaming French fries as “Freedom Fries” in 2003 as a symbolic protest against the French. It’s literally the least productive action we could take.

Instead, we just have to keep publicizing news events out of Iran, show solidarity, etc. But this is really up to the people of Iran to decide how far they will take this; I really don’t think they need American political blogs to turn green in order to inspire them to march. Their lack of freedoms and democracy should be enough incentive.

by existenz on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:51:54 AM CDT

how long do you leave the site green? A week, a month? When we turn the site orange again, does that mean we are no longer showing solidarity? The 1979 revolution took many months to build up and succeed.

If Kos wants to do it, fine. But I get the sense that he would think this idea is just as dumb as I do.

Anyway, I meant solidarity in the sense of more than just empty symbolic gestures. Putting a flag decal on your SUV bumper may cause conservatives to think they are patriotic even while they do nothing for soldiers with insufficient body armor. Turning the site green accomplishes nothing, other than maybe causing a Iranian bloggers somewhere to say “oh, another site has turned green”.

Real solidarity is what we have already been doing — sharing videos, twitter feeds, news stories, personal accounts from Iran, etc….

by existenz on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 01:08:20 AM CDT

Tbogg from FireDogLake remarks,

There was a disputed election in Iran and thousands of political bloggers who have never lived outside of the city in which they were born and who have absolutely no experience in Middle East affairs will now tell you what this all means, how this will impact the region, and what to expect by drawing upon their extensive background in World of Warcraft and a hardly used MCSE certification.

From John Cole’s Balloon Juice,

Also, I’ll Have Kale, Spinach and Peas For Dinner

God love Sullivan, because I know his heart is in the right place:

We switched the color scheme in solidarity. Wear green if you can. They need to know we care.

If someone can give me one legitimate piece of evidence that wearing green boxers is going to help bring democracy to Iran, so help me I’ll wear plaid from head to toe and shoot for world peace.

I know he means well, but this is what I was talking about this morning when I said that the coverage of the events in Iran by American bloggers was giving me a warblogger circa 2003 vibe. I can’t be the only one who is reminded of Abbie Hoffman’s plans to levitate the Pentagon through the power of meditation.

My thoughts are with the folks in Iran risking it all fighting for democracy, but this can not be said enough- this is not about us, it is about them. I love the coverage of events, but please stop with this narcissistic nonsense.

We do believe that the most important thing to do is to keep talking. Keep posting images, articles, reports, videos and youtubes, twitters and tweets, and any other sources of information. Keeping what is happening VISIBLE will be the most valuable support we can provide. Let us know your thoughts and ideas. We want to hear from the Herd.

So, what do YOU think, Mooses? For now we are Green. How long shall we remain as such? Is it a worthy gesture? Do we look good in Green?  



  1. fogiv

    …we fade from purple to green, with roughly equal amounts of both.  Stikes me as just about right.  Sure, my wearing a green T-Shirt yesterday didn’t do much for free and fair elections half the world away, but it sure as hell didn’t hurt.

    So, why not?

    Besides, if the enthusiasm is contagious, can’t we channel that toward something we can affect, whether it’s motivation to canvass for health care reform, attending a LGBT rights rally, weeding the garden, or spending an extra ten minutes reading to your kids.  Good things all, yes?

    Half full, Baby, Half full!

  2. I see lots of mentions of free and fair elections. Let’s not kid ourselves. This election wouldn’t have been a free and fair election even if it hadn’t been stolen. There is no primary process in Iran. Only approved candidates can run. They do not have a democracy and still won’t have one when this is all over.

    This isn’t a fight about democracy, but it is about giving a voice to the people. They want better relations with American and the rest of the world. They want a better economy. The younger generation and women want more freedom for women. All of those are positive things for which to strive. Accomplishing a few of those will be a great achievement. Full democracy is probably several decades in the future.


    Hmm, I don’t have many green things to wear since I look awful in green.  Maybe I could wear a green scrunchy in my hair (also look awful in scrunchies but can’t stand hair in face).

    Heading upstairs to bedroom to dig out anything green in closet.

    Seriously, the plight of the Iranians has been on my mind day and night since this election.  I really, really want them to know how much sympathy they have across the pond.

  4. Juan Cole, for those that don’t know, teaches at the University of Michigan. He is a Middle-east scholar and is President of the Global Americana Institute.

    I hadn’t heard about this –

    Grand Ayatollah Hosain Montazeri, once thought likely to be Khomeini’s successor, called for 3 days of mourning for the 12 demonstrators killed on Monday. Montazeri broke with the regime, rejecting an authoritarian interpretation of the ‘guardianship of the jurisprudent’ or mandatory clerical rule, and is under house arrest in Qom.

  5. For a big foot footed collective animal, you sure are swift of foot.

    There are many reasons we should be supporting the Green Democracy movement in Iran. Their politics might be chaotic. We’ll probably not find ourselves agreeing with a lot of Mousavi’s policies, but in global terms they are progressive – they are making strides to be more democratic and accountable to the hopes and aspirations of the many, rather than the power structures and cynicism of the few.

    It reminds me of another movement for change which the Moose was heavily involved in last year.

    And of course this is an online forum, and an example of how citizen journalism and grass roots advocacy is the way forward on so many fronts. We may be a drop in the ocean compared to the #iranelection tweets, and our origins and intents much more humble, but we ARE related.

    On that note, a picture from Tehran I found on twitpic

    Seen in DC #Iranelection #cnnfail on Twitpic

  6. With that in mind and a long sleepless night, I came up with this insomniac exercise. It doesn’t have a title yet. Maybe, Sea of Green would work.


    Iran, today,

    is a sea of green.


    Hopes and dreams

    Young and old

    Rich and poor

    Marching together

    Striving for more

    It is a modern revolution

    powered by tweets

    yet in the end

    it comes down to the streets

    It won’t be guns

    that win this fight

    It will be raised fingers

    and knowing what’s right

    Freedom isn’t free,

    neither is it cheap

    Blood will flow

    and mothers will weep

    What is won today

    must be defended tomorrow

    or all that will be left

    will be the pain and sorrow

  7. Shaun Appleby

    Robert Fisk seems to get the Interior Ministry letter wrong, it’s been labelled a ‘fake’ on the Mousavi website, I understand, but there were a couple of interesting tidbits in his recently filed report:

    What was significant, however, was that once more the security authorities chose not to confront the Mousavi demonstrators. Military conscripts wearing bright yellow jackets and standing with their hands clasped behind their back – rather than holding batons – lined the first mile of the road but then abandoned the marchers to their own devices. This followed less than 24 hours after the frightening confrontation between up to 20,000 Mousavi and Ahmadinejad supporters at Vanak Square on Tuesday night when Iranian special forces paramilitary police protected Mr Mousavi’s men and women from the government “Basiji” militia. Although some civilians were later hurt in fist-fights on the street, the government cops brought in reinforcements and prevented the Basiji and thousands of other Ahmadinejad supporters from entering north Tehran.


    The highly dubious election results, however, are arousing concern far outside Mr Mousavi’s millions of voters. Fifty-two MPs have asked the interior minister why he could not prevent the post-election intimidation and violence. Parliament has asked for a fact-finding investigation into the vandalisation of Tehran University property. Ali-Akbar Mohtashemi, a member of the Combatant Clerics Assembly – an important figure who founded the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and sent them to Lebanon when he was Iran’s ambassador to Damascus – has demanded a committee to investigate the election results, made up of senior clerics, MPs, members of the judiciary, the Council of Guardians and an official of the interior ministry.

    Robert Fisk – Secret letter ‘proves Mousavi won poll’ Independent 18 Jun 09

    Slowly shifting policy on the protest within the Islamic Republic or calm before the storm?

  8. Shaun Appleby

    This is more like the American revolution than the French one.

    Andrew Sullivan – Between A Coup and A Revolution Daily Dish 17 Jun 08

    Interesting and important point, this is not about the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is ‘asking that the regime live up to its own commitments.’  Westerners who expect ‘their’ kind of system of government to replace the theocratic one don’t necessarily understand the meaning of ‘green.’  And we will all be better for it, the awareness among Western activists of the aspirations of the Iranian people, and their determination to preserve it, has been transformed in the last few days and is the real lesson of the phenomenon of solidarity with the cause of the Iranian opposition.  And it is not ipso facto a threat to us, just something we need to respect and understand.

  9. Shaun Appleby

    The Unknown Iranian Twitterer, Nico Pitney, Andrew Sullivan, Robert Fisk (for old times’ sake) and Austin Heap, in the new category ‘People’s Cyberwarrior’…

  10. this one affected me the most. There are far more violent images and there are many images that are more photographically pleasing, but this one showing unarmed women rushing to the aid of a person being beaten shows the passion and strength of will of the protesters. It also shows that the protesters aren’t all westernized Terhanis. Note the older woman at the top-right of the image. What could she do to stop that beating except through force of will and being in the right?

    I’ve seen this photo on several sites, but I got it from this page on the Boston Globe that has a great collection of photos.

  11. rfahey22

    Maybe we can occasionally do some other color changes as well, for appropriate causes (marriage equality, for instance).

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