He’d been in jail for protesting where he was repeatedly raped and tortured. His father bailed him out. But they came back for him. He ran away, then jumped off a bridge.
I just can’t get this out of my mind. While outsiders can’t do much inside Iran, we can keep an international focus on the hellish atrocities happening there now, and that can genuinely make a difference.
The government of Iran now has a deliberate policy of raping and torturing protesters with the specific goal of destroying their personalities and will. This has been confirmed by multiple reliable news sources. Only one word applies here. Evil.
That’s why it needs to be opposed. Loudly and continually.
“Witnesses are telling us that the Basijis are trashing entire streets and even neighborhoods as well as individual homes trying to stop the nightly rooftop protest chants,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said.
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.
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.
Driving home from a meeting last night on peaceful streets to our condo in a quiet area, I pondered how different it would be for anyone in Tehran now, if they even dared to go out on the streets at all, given the very real possibility of getting killed or maimed.
The protests are inchoate rage now. They need to morph into something much more focused, if they want to topple the government. There seems no middle ground any more, either. Either the government falls or the repression will be hideous.
That’s what Sue’s dad made her promise after the Kent State shootings. When the Iran protests started, she said, don’t they know what’s going to happen, that the government will come down on them hard, smashing heads and killing people.
Do I think the government will eventually fall? Yes. But ‘I see dead people’ too.
So, how do you fight for change when the other side are thugs?