Iran: This is what fascism looks like

Andrew Sullivan continues his superb, non-stop coverage.


For a flavor of the political atmosphere in Tehran, Iran, last week, I quote from a young Iranian comrade who furnishes me with regular updates:

“I went to the last major Ahmadinejad rally and got the whiff of what I imagine fascism to have been all about. Lots of splotchy boys who can’t get a date are given guns and told they’re special.”

Fascism at home sooner or later means fascism abroad. Face it now or fight it later. Meanwhile, give it its right name.

The Angry Arab

But I am in no way sympathetic to Moussavi. He is a man who suddenly discovered the virtues of democracy. When he was prime minister back in the 1980s, he presided over a regime far more oppressive than Ahmadinajad’s. And why has no Western media really commented on his rhetoric during his own campaign: the man kept saying that he wants a “return” to the teachings of Khomeini. I in no way support a man who wants a “return” to the teachings of Khomeini.

Lenin’s Tomb: The protesters are becoming far more radical than Mousavi ever has been, and we need an independent movement to continue that momentum.

If the protest movement were to die down following a recount in which Mousavi won, the result would probably be a few blunted reforms coupled with a more aggressive neoliberal policy. If a dozen deaths are to mean anything, the movement must surely acquire an independent organisational backbone to sustain it when the inevitable disappointments come.

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