At first, it was about a group of thugs holding on to political power, but now that the government has taken to murdering its own citizens in the streets, Ahmadinejad et. al. must know that their physical survival is contingent upon the destruction of the protest movement. If the Ahmadinejad regime falls, there will be no quiet retirements. In the eyes of his own people, Ahmadinejad has become Saddam Hussein and, somewhere in Iran, there is a noose waiting to be filled by a murderous dictator's neck.