Shah of Shahs - The Dead Flame, pages 116 to 131 Summary & Analysis

Ryszard Kapuściński
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The Dead Flame, pages 116 to 131 Summary and Analysis

The Shah's response to increasing violence is predictable: show military strength and use violence and the police to beat the people into submission. The Shah, like all dictators, "believes that man is an abject creature" (p. 115), and so is surprised when Iranians show such strength and courage despite massacre after massacre.

The Shah holds a parade in support of himself in Tabriz, and dismisses the revolutionists as a mere handful of people. He fires a few officers in his army as an empty gesture of support for the people, and then orders a massacre at Isfahan to appease angry members of the army. The Shah is trying to play to all sides, and he is losing. He acts impulsively out of panic, and does not develop a larger strategy.

Kapuscinski fast-forwards a bit...

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This section contains 567 words
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