June 21, 2009

Weep for Iran, cheer the Iranians

The news from Iran is overwhelming and overwhelmingly tragic. The Islamic Republic was never, as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed on June 19, 2009, a "religious democracy." It was always a dictatorship with some window dressing of constitutionalism and representative government.

As Samira Makhmalbaf, an Iranian filmmaker said on the same day:

“Until Friday we had 80 percent dictatorship and 20 percent democracy, and since Friday we have 100 percent dictatorship.”

Iran is bleeding. Iranians are, however, demonstrating great courage. They are on the streets defying a bloody regime. They know that their government will stop at nothing to stay in power. Yet still they turn out on the streets and absorb the blows of the police and the vigilantes.

For some Americans, Iran can seem a place only of menace and darkness. If you are worried by the conduct of the Iranian regime, you have understood the country better than many commentators. What Americans now see is that Iranians are a people with spirit who are not easily broken. For all the claims that Americans are an unsophisticated bunch, they know that a regime and its people are not one and the same. What has happened in recent weeks has confirmed that instinct.

Are those protesting true believers in democracy? We do not know, because they have never been given the chance. What we do know is that they reject the dishonesty of a repressive theocracy. For that reason alone, we should stand with them.

Let us weep for Iran. Let us cheer the Iranians.

Posted by Howard Baskerville at June 21, 2009 8:25 AM

Well stated. I can't get the image out of my mind of that young woman shot to death. May she rest in peace.

Posted by: Paul S. Author Profile Page at June 21, 2009 5:01 PM


You say:

For some Americans, Iran can seem a place only of menace and darkness.

I wonder, who could be a culprit for Americans seeing Iran in this fashion? Who keeps saying "bomb Iran?" Who keeps saying "they're terrorists?" Who keeps calling them a "member of the Axis of Evil?" Who has forgotten that Iran mourned with us on 9/11? It is a damn shame that those people, the ones who bamboozled America into thinking Iran was such a "place only of menace and darkness" are not held accountable for their propaganda. They are still allowed to sit atop their perches and scream out obscenities at the world around them with impunity. A real damn shame.

Posted by: The Good Democrat Author Profile Page at June 21, 2009 7:16 PM

Anyone who hasn't distinguished the poisonous evil of this regime and their surrogates from their captive victims at home by now hasn't been paying attention. Yes, that's you Mr. Democrat. Don't bother replying; I'm not wasting time on myopic ideology. Go whine to glasnost.

Posted by: Paul S. Author Profile Page at June 21, 2009 8:16 PM


I will reply. You don't have to read my comments.

The one thing you don't seem to understand is that when you bomb Iran, the people who die ARE the "captive victims at home." Go ahead, bomb them. See who dies. You should have seen by now in Iraq. Who has died there? Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. What a legacy. A damn shame.

Posted by: The Good Democrat Author Profile Page at June 21, 2009 8:26 PM

I was amazed to see Andrew Sullivan link to this post, given Totten's entreaty to "stand by" the Iranian protesters...unless of course "stand by" equals the continuation of the banal, feckless rhetoric that has hitherto been issued by the Obama White House during this crisis. Anything harsher than that is, of course, despicable neocon warmongering.

Speakeing of neocon derangement syndrome, it was also amusing to see Sully quoting Zbig yesterday: "once we no longer have a Manichean, black-and-white, good-and-evil type of a regime confronting us in a hostile fashion, it will be easier to deal with the specific problems that we confront". Is Zbig - and by extension Sully - actually finally admitting that the current Iranian regime truly is a) evil, and b) hostile to the United States? "Axis of Evil", anyone?

Posted by: MoonDawg Author Profile Page at June 22, 2009 1:24 AM

Good Democrat;

Did the Iraqis have no other choice but to attack each other with bombs and electric drills because we toppled their government?

You should ditch the idea that third world people are dumb sheep with no minds, agendas, or will of their own. Infantilizing them does not help them, to the contrary.

Posted by: Boojum Author Profile Page at June 22, 2009 9:52 AM
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