To badly mix metaphor with a Charlie Daniel lyric, I couldn’t resist chasing this dead horse once more around the parking lot. Because when an “Iran cleric urges severe punishment for rally leaders” I’m guessing that means lots of prison and torture, something you’d think lefties would oppose.
Just because Mahmoud Ahmadinejad thumbs his nose at the US doesn’t mean leftists should support his brutal regime
While I remain agnostic about the numbers [of the Iran election results], I was sure about one thing, and pretty much proven right. On the hard left, the ghosts of the Comintern and heirs of WH Auden’s necessary murderers reflexively and with few if any qualifications support Ahmadinejad, just as they did Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic’s bloody trail across the Balkans, or Hugo Chávez’s thuggish tactics against any centres of alternative power, or indeed Fidel Castro’s robust ways with dissidents. To be bathed in the blood of the Leninist lamb, all a thuggish kleptocrat has to do is to oppose Uncle Sam.
It is unfairly alleged that there is a Middle Eastern aphorism about my enemy’s enemy being my friend. It is in fact the hard left’s modern position, made all the worse, because we never hear that agnostic qualifier “but” – as in “He opposes US imperialism, but he has reduced his people to poverty, locked up the opposition, tortured and shot dissidents and censored the media.”
We did not think that winning elections gave Bush the right to repress all opposition, and anyone who thinks that Ahmadinejad’s dubious triumph gives him a license for brutality is guilty of, to put it mildly, moral inconsistency.
Yet I heard someone yesterday on KPFK use his interpretation of what Lenin wrote to justify support for Ahmadinejad because the Holy Books Hath Writ that the petit bourgeoisie can be backed by revolutionaries under some circumstances. Which seems both grandiose and overly academic to me. Like the clerics in Iran care about support from dinky little Marxist parties and really guys, maybe it’s time to stop justifying everything based on your interpretation of the Gospel According to Marx and look at the world as it is instead. As for all those dead bodies piled up in mounds in Iran, such lefties remain silent. Apparently thuggery is justifiable when it’s done by those deemed to be allies and only opposed when done by those assumed to be enemies.