This is why the Iranian government will not survive

How do you stand up to a regime that has all the guns?

It is done when the masses of people demonstrate courage and determination in the face of death or imprisonment. In short, the regime is likely to run out of bullets (or willing shooters) before the people cower and hide in the darkness.

Today's example from Iran comes to us via this story in the New York Times by Nazili Fathi where we learn that 88 professors are risking life and liberty to stand up for their students who are being systematically eliminated if they protest against the regime:

Risking expulsion and possible arrest, 88 professors at Tehran University signed a letter on Monday calling on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme religious leader, to end the use of violence against protesters, saying it was a sign of the government's weakness.

"Nighttime attacks on defenseless student dormitories and daytime assaults on students at university campuses, venues of education and learning, is not a sign of strength," the letter read in part. "Nor is beating up students and their mass imprisonment."

An opposition Web site, Jaras, reported that in another open letter released Monday, five leading opposition figures from outside the country called for the resignation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, free elections, release of political prisoners, greater freedom of speech and an independent judiciary.

The letters did nothing, however, to deter the authorities, who continued a recent crackdown on th e opposition with the arrests of dozens of activists and student leaders around the country, Jaras reported. A prominent reporter, Bahman Ahmadi Amoui, who was arrested in June, was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison and 34 lashes, the Web site said.

We had heard rumors of this activity by the Basij who it was said routinely broke into student dorms and randomly beat students and hauled others away. This letter from the professors confirms the rumor and demonstrates an out of control security apparatus.

Such actions are not tamping down the protests but rather igniting them. My guess is the next big catalyst for demonstrations may very well topple Khamenei and his crew.