Iranian Protests
June 17, 2003 10:48 AM   Subscribe

An Iranian student's account of the recent protests in Tehran and the retaliation by pro-government vigilantes with an attack on a dormitory: "They got shields from the police and entered the dormitory. There were about 600-700 of them — armed with swords, sticks, daggers, iron chains, and tear-gas guns — to 700 of us students, mostly in pajamas. We had run out of stones to resist any longer…". For more first hand accounts see Buzzmachine's list of Iranian bloggers.
posted by Quinn (46 comments total)

 
I don't know what to say. One of my good friends is from Iran, I went to school with her. From what she described most of the people were fairly western. They listened to western music, bought western clothes and it was fashionable to have a still since the mullah prohibited alcohol. The cost of being caught for many of these things were public floggings.

The people are trying to move towards a less theocratic government but so far haven't had any success.
posted by substrate at 12:12 PM on June 17, 2003


Where's International ANSWER to organize a protest when you need them? Where's Not In My Name? Where's Amnesty? Human Rights Watch? (To be fair, their search engine is broken, I can't easily see if they've commented/condemned) Where's Kofi Annan? Where's the UN? Where's French Diplomat Extraordinaire Dominique Villepain? Where's Gerhard Shroeder?

Where are all of those people who say that war is bad, and then don't even raise their voices about a thugocracy torturing/tormenting/beating its own people?

You'd think (well, I'd think...) that the "left" and all the people above would be supporting the students to the hilt. An _actual_ thugocracy, with literally _no_ human rights or civil rights for its people, you'd think that Amnesty and HRW and liberals all around would rally for the Iranian student movement. I wonder why they're not.
posted by swerdloff at 12:27 PM on June 17, 2003


wouldn't direct email to the above list of horrible hypocratic lefty organizations and individuals be more likely to raise your awareness of their awareness of this situation?
posted by wah at 12:35 PM on June 17, 2003


Where's International ANSWER to organize a protest when you need them? Where's Not In My Name? Where's Amnesty? Human Rights Watch? (To be fair, their search engine is broken, I can't easily see if they've commented/condemned) Where's Kofi Annan? Where's the UN? Where's French Diplomat Extraordinaire Dominique Villepain? Where's Gerhard Shroeder?

Hearing in the news, Bush stirred/started up this whole mess. Is this why the above exists? Recall a US flag being burned by Iranians because the US was not showing enough support for their cause. Should we just myob because this has and it seems it will always be. Notice too, Iran's current situation for the last decade, seems to be the future things we may see to come in Iraq. Replace Iraq & Iran with Afghanistan too.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:46 PM on June 17, 2003


swerdloff, I wasn't aware of anyone on the left supporting the pro-gov't vigilantes.
posted by mathowie at 12:47 PM on June 17, 2003


....Iran's current situation for the last decade, seems to be the future things coming in Iraq.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:49 PM on June 17, 2003


I wasn't aware of anyone on the left supporting the pro-gov't vigilantes.

Mathowie - I'm not aware of anyone on the left saying anything either way, that's all I said. No support for students fighting thugs, and no support for thugs. Maybe Iranians aren't worth the notice of the left.

Bush stirred/started up this whole mess. I'm not sure which reports you're getting that from (would like to see them, actually) but this has been going on for awhile now, but now that Iraq has fallen, and America is on either side of them (Iraq and Afghanistan) the Iranian Student movement is picking up steam.

The rest of what you said doesn't make sense to me.

Thomcat - are you suggesting that we're about to see a failing Mullahcracy in Iraq?
posted by swerdloff at 1:02 PM on June 17, 2003


Where's International ANSWER to organize a protest when you need them? Where's Not In My Name?

The point of "Not In My Name" would be to protest the action of one's own government-- ie, "don't take these actions in my name." It sort of defeats the purpose to stage a protest against some foreign governments with the same message because, after all, they're not interested in representing you in the first place. Now, if the US sold arms to Iran, well, that would be the thing to protest about doing "not in our name", now wouldn't it?

Where's Amnesty? Human Rights Watch?

They've been reporting on abuses in Iran all along, or haven't you been paying attention? I actually have a report from HRW written about China. Have you ever deigned to bother reading their reports?

What's amazing is how conservatives have had a track record of repeatedly ignoring Amnesty and HRW until the day when they complain that those conservatives never hear from them because they never read them in the first place. sigh.
posted by deanc at 1:07 PM on June 17, 2003


Some of the Iranian bloggers think Bush's open support is doing more harm than good. Maybe it's not a good idea to be too vocal right now or you risk playing into the clerics' hands.
posted by homunculus at 1:10 PM on June 17, 2003


I wasn't aware of anyone on the left supporting the pro-gov't vigilantes.

That's not the point, and I don't think that was swerloff's implication either. The Left has been pretty damn quiet about supporting the students and the pro-democracy movement--especially as compared to the vocal Right on the same issue (columns by Michael Ledeen, Marc Steyn, David Warren; National Review Online has often hosted pieces by pro-democracy Iranians; Rush Limbaugh and other talk radio hosts discuss it quite a bit, etc.) You'd think the issue (pro-democracy student underdogs taking on oppressive theocrats) would be something everybody could come together to support.

But every one of those groups swerdloff mentioned---ANSWER, Amnesty, Not In My Name, Human Rights Watch (and I can think of ones he didn't, like United For Peace, Women in Black, etc.)--were extremely vocal and out front in protesting against the war in Iraq, "on behalf" of the poor Iraqi people. No such protests, rallies, postering, mass e-mailing, or other direct action has been initiated by any of those supposedly pro-human rights groups on behalf of the Iranians. Same goes for a whole passle of American and European statesmen. Same goes for a lot of Lefty bloggers.

Which is a shame, because IMHO the Iranians deserve and need all of our support. As their revolt teeters into becoming outright revolution, it's going to get very ugly.
posted by Asparagirl at 1:10 PM on June 17, 2003


The relevant point here is that people all over the world gathered to protest the actions of the United States government last year/this winter even when the proposed actions would in no way effect them. Why aren't people protesting the current government of Iran for similar reasons?
posted by pjgulliver at 1:11 PM on June 17, 2003


Whops...asparagirl is a much better write than I am.
posted by pjgulliver at 1:12 PM on June 17, 2003


The Left has been pretty damn quiet about supporting the students and the pro-democracy movement--especially as compared to the vocal Right on the same issue

I agree. The same is true of Burma and China (though with China, Bush himself has been quiet too.) Many on the left seem to be stuck on the WMD issue right now, and though I agree that it's very important, there's still a lot more going on in the world right now.
posted by homunculus at 1:22 PM on June 17, 2003


Here is Amnesty. Here is Human Rights Watch.

ANSWER is an anti-war group, not a generic human rights group. Until the US starts talking about invasion, this is out of their jurisdiction. Not In My Name is concerned only with I/P issues. Or did you mean Not in Our Name? Also a limited-scope group. Asking why they aren't involved is like asking why PETA isn't involved.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:32 PM on June 17, 2003


The Left has been pretty damn quiet

The fact that you haven't been listening is not the same as them being quiet.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:34 PM on June 17, 2003


I think the argument that should be made is that groups like ANSWER, Not in My Name, et al., were not so much about supporting certain ideals of self-determination or peace, but rather, they were opportunists. They saw a chance to go after Bush (yet again) and took it. Whether you like Bush or not, did we really need the Bush = Hitler signs at these protests? Or the tired "You stole the election!" chants? It's almost as bad as the people out protesting Hillary's new book. Get over it.

If the anti-war left was really about principles and ideals, then they would be standing up for the students in Iran and the people of Burma, China, the Sudan, the Congo, etc., even if it might align them with the evil G.W. Bush.
posted by marcusb at 1:35 PM on June 17, 2003


Well said marcusb
posted by pjgulliver at 1:38 PM on June 17, 2003


LOL... ANSWER is hardly an Anti-War group. It is an Anti-American group.

If they were truly ANTI-War, they would be against ALL war, not just the ones that the United States participates/initiates in.

All ANSWER is, is a not-so-secret front group for the Communist Party.
posted by da5id at 1:39 PM on June 17, 2003


And if you doubt the above, look at their website.

See anything about the conflict in the Congo? Chechnya? Liberia?

Nope...
posted by da5id at 1:42 PM on June 17, 2003


You'd think the issue (pro-democracy student underdogs taking on oppressive theocrats) would be something everybody could come together to support.

Everyone I know (even those on the left) are pulling for those students. It seems like everyone here is talking about some "boogey man" left that doesn't want the students to prevail, because a few columnists seem to be silent on the issue, but that isn't reality.

By the way, the Human Rights Watch site has an Iran page but the organization looks like it does press releases months after a conflict and isn't really a breaking-news kind of place, so I wouldn't expect there to be anything for a while.

Why aren't people protesting the current government of Iran for similar reasons?

Silence does not equal non-support of the students and support of the Iranian gov't. People rarely protest for anything beyond major events that involve their own country.
posted by mathowie at 1:43 PM on June 17, 2003


Everyone I know (even those on the left) are pulling for those students. It seems like everyone here is talking about some "boogey man" left that doesn't want the students to prevail, because a few columnists seem to be silent on the issue, but that isn't reality.

It's not about some "boogey man" left so much as it's about the disproportionate amount of attention drawn to the war in Iraq as compared to what's happening in other places around the world. The left acted as if war in Iraq would be the end of civilization as we know it. They rallied millions of people around the notion that the U.S. shouldn't go to war with a brutal dictator like Saddam Hussein. Again, I don't care how you felt about that issue, but doesn't this issue deserve just as many protests? Where are the tens of thousands of activists marching in DC in solidarity with the Iranian students? Everyone seemed quick to jump on the bandwagon when we were standing with Iraqi women and children, but not now! Why? Opportunism.
posted by marcusb at 1:52 PM on June 17, 2003


Everyone seemed quick to jump on the bandwagon when we were standing with Iraqi women and children, but not now! Why? Opportunism.

Apples and oranges. The lefties weren't protesting about human rights abuses in Iraq. They were protesting about the US-led coalition going in and bombing th eplace, based on (highly-suspect) evidence. Once the US starts talking about going in and bombing Iran based on (highly-suspect) evidence, I'm sure you'll see protests.

This is a ridiculous argument for the righties to make in the first place. When Bush and co. were using humanitarian reasons to justify invading Iraq, the lefties said "what about China? What about Burma? What about Korea?" Then, the righties said "that's ridiculous--we can't solve the whole world's problems." Now the righties are jumping on the lefties' bandwagon, throwing the lefties off, and bitching about how the lefties are on the side of the road. Incredible.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:00 PM on June 17, 2003


There's a difference between protesting the actions of your own government, in which we participate as citizens (in theory,) and protesting the actions of another government, with which we have no direct relationship. And when your own government ignores you, it's hard to see the point of protesting against another.

But as some of the Iranian bloggers have indicated, foreign intervention may actually help the clerics and hurt the students.
posted by homunculus at 2:07 PM on June 17, 2003


For the record, I'd like to protest that this ridiculous Lefties Vs. Righties thing turns into just another goddamn spectator sport that does no one any good and has no real bearing on what happens in the world. Christ. Care about the issues, don't care about scoring debating points over who protested what.

Yes, it would be great if the Iranian theocracy fell. I'd be very happy. But I have my doubts that I could help bring that about by going out and standing in the street.
posted by COBRA! at 2:11 PM on June 17, 2003


What is the issue here with the "left" not supporting these political movements? Last I heard the right wasn't too interested in the Congo and Burma either. It seems to me that posters such as Marcusb and swerdloff are implying that because you don't comment on one political situation then your comments on other situations are irrelevant. I just don't get how you can lump all these disparate political issues together and make it a left/right issue. The basic problem is that few Americans are concerned about any third world country until they start shooting at us.
posted by monkeyman at 2:24 PM on June 17, 2003


The only constant, consistent cry has been the right-wing's resentment of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. First they were just a bunch of naive do-gooders mucking up the grown-up world of realpolitik.

Now they're a bunch of people who never existed before September, 2001, and simply reflexively hate the Bush administration's policies everywhere they might be found and never spoke up against the abuses in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Burma, and Zimbabwe.

This is, of course, exactly what the Bush administration does-- picks a position (in this case, that HRW and Amnesty are bad organizations), and then comes up with constantly shifting, contradictory justifications to back up this position.
posted by deanc at 2:27 PM on June 17, 2003


Here is Amnesty. Here is Human Rights Watch.

Your link for Amnesty International goes to this page (which concentrates on news, as opposed to Urgent Action appeals, etc.). Note the one whole article written about Iran this year and one last year. Compare and contrast with the equivalent pages for Iraq, China, Burma. Much much more coverage for those countries.

Also, presumed human rights violations and atrocities caused by coalition soldiers in Iraq merited an organized pre-war campaign by AI that is ongoing. (See contemporaneous blogger discussion about AI's incident reporting bias during the war here and here.) Actual human rights violations and atrocities caused by the reigning theocrats in Iran did not and do not merit anywhere close to the same kind of coverage. For example, there are no recent AI press releases about the mullahs' recent extreme crackdown and violence, which has been going on for six days now. Nor have they covered the human rights violations at several other pro-democracy demonstrations.

By the way, the Human Rights Watch site has an Iran page but the organization looks like it does press releases months after a conflict and isn't really a breaking-news kind of place, so I wouldn't expect there to be anything for a while.

No, compare it to their corresponding Iraq page, which is chock full of updates. There's a big difference in coverage and attention. (And at least 7 of those updates in the past month are spent directly or indirectly blasting coalition forces for not keeping the peace well enough or for not supporting the 1991 Shi'a rebellion or for not properly uncovering the mass graves, etc., so maybe there's more coverage just because there's more chances to blame the US.)

How hard could it be for these leading human rights groups to throw a bone to the Iranians, especially since world attention right now on the theocracy's brutality could make a big difference?
posted by Asparagirl at 2:28 PM on June 17, 2003


the disproportionate amount of attention drawn to (the war in) Iraq as compared to what's happening in other places around the world. - well, that's what many progressives have been saying when considering, say, North Korea, the Congo, Tibet, Kashmir, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, the USA...
posted by dash_slot- at 2:35 PM on June 17, 2003


Iran has again accused the US of attempting to interfere in its domestic affairs for supporting pro-democracy protesters who clashed with police and pro-government vigilantes.

First like to point my first comment above don’t think the left side(whom ever they may be to some) is ignoring this, maybe some groups are. The Middle East has been a mess most of my life. Starting with my memory the hostages and so forth. Don’t see anything being fixed just cycles over and over. Sure the cycles are not exactly the same but oppression is the ruler.

Thomcat - are you suggesting that we're about to see a failing Mullahcracy in Iraq?

Iran had a King, The Shaw, so looking at Iraq with their king being dethroned; the land is being divided and ruled by the mullahs. Can't say it will fail, yet how well has it been working for Iran?
posted by thomcatspike at 2:57 PM on June 17, 2003


And I thought Dorkboy didn't listen to "focus groups".Just ask Carlo how the "free" world handles protests. If he wasn't dead that is.
posted by joemeek at 4:17 PM on June 17, 2003


Given the history of dire relations between the US and Iran - the Great Satan, hostage crisis, encouraging our old pal Saddam to wipe out the revolution - I'd have to agree with those above who suggest that overt interference would most likely backfire.

As for coverage, I wish there was more. I'm absolutely enthralled by developments over there, because it seems like things are really shifting. The violence is certainly pretty off (to say the least) and seems to be forcing the reformist government of Khatami to crack down on both student protesters and fundy thugs. Not great.

At the same time though - and this is the interesting bit - the government is simultaneously campaigning for political reform, albeit surreptitiously. Here's a bit on a recent newspaper letter described as 'an extraordinary attack'

{Reg. maybe required. Not sure... soz}

Great stuff!
posted by pots at 4:20 PM on June 17, 2003


Britain has adopted a much more cautious tone, fearing that public support would merely undermine the movement by stoking anti-western nationalism.

Does the above stem from this.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:29 PM on June 17, 2003


disproportionate amount of attention drawn to the war in Iraq as compared to what's happening in other places around the world.

Sort of like the disproportionate desire of the Right to bomb Iraq to hell when there are dozens of regimes around the world who might need (in some cases more desparately) the same treatment?

I find the suggestion that "the left" isn't interested in Iran to be highly ignorant. Typically, the right-wingers here seem to be stuck in this intellectual rut, where "left" = extremist groups like ANSWER. Let me let you in on something. It doesn't. It's a poor argument to use, and it just emphasises that it's not that the "left" hasn't been talking, just that you haven't been listening. We're hard to hear over the rants of Limbaugh.

It's a bit like how I've protested and informed people about anti-semitic bastards like David Irving and Frederick Toben. But right-wing obsessives like to brand people like me anti-semitic simply because I'm a leftie. It's what seems fashionable at the moment, and it's too intellectually taxing to understand the complete picture.

I know for a fact that my sister was writing letters to Iran on behalf of Amnesty in the early 1990s.

I am personally overjoyed to see the student protests - as I've said in previous threads, the opposition in Iran has been gaining momentum slowly but surely for years now, and will probably achieve their goals without the west having to bomb their government into submission.

If you want to know what "lefties" think of Iran, go and ask one. Not a balaklava-toting soap-dodger. Go ask a member of the Green party, or even your progressive-voting neighbour.
posted by Jimbob at 5:55 PM on June 17, 2003


Why reaching out to Iran's democrats could backfire.
posted by homunculus at 6:24 PM on June 17, 2003


Not a balaklava-toting soap-dodger.

That's awesome. Can I use that elsewhere? That's my new catch-all hippie insult. "Listen you balaklava-toting soap-dodger, let me tell you something."

Heh.

Totally made my night. :)
posted by swerdloff at 6:24 PM on June 17, 2003


You're welcome, swerdloff..all I ask is a small commission, payable monthly.
posted by Jimbob at 7:24 PM on June 17, 2003


I don't want to get in the left/right/up/down, thing. So....

There is potentlly a Web reaction to this. I agree with the poster and recommend the Jeff Jarivs link. He seems really tuned in to the Iranian blog scene and has contact with many of their members. Also, Andrew Sullian, conservative, but gay and English ( do those things cancel out in your mind ) is proposing a day of focus on the issues in Iran for July, 9th. Seems a little late for me. I'm assuming more authoritarian crackdown, but this is a place for links, right?
posted by superchris at 8:20 PM on June 17, 2003


Just what we need--more polarizing screeds. Oh, asparagirl--do share your feelings on our War On terror ally President Niazov of Turkmenistan after you finish your next finger pointing withering comeback. It's as easy to see the hypocrisy on the other side as it is hard to see it on your own.
posted by y2karl at 9:58 PM on June 17, 2003


The left has been well aware of growing unrest in Iran for years. But groups like AI and HRW tend to focus on crises, both because they have limited resources and because the public simply doesn't have the attention span to follow coverage of twenty countries at once for ten years at a time. For the past two years, these organizations and others have chosen to spend their energies on situations in which the US is a primary actor--Afghanistan and Camp X-ray, Iraq, and domestic detentions. Now that the immediacy of war on Iraq is dying down, I predict that both the mainstream media and human rights/lefty organizations will pick up their coverage of events in Iran, particularly as the student movement grows in strength.

If it makes you feel better, swerdloff, I just sent a long email to about 20 friends (sweet-smelling balaclava-toters all) notifying them of the recent uprising and asking for ideas about how we can support the students. I'd write to my local paper, too, but I'm afraid I've already used up my letter-to-the-editor for the month. [/self-righteous]
posted by hippugeek at 12:41 AM on June 18, 2003


It's too bad that this thread turned into a (rather silly) debate about American politics. Those Iranian blogs are so good. One of the best things I've seen on the web in a long time... Thanks, Quinn.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:03 AM on June 18, 2003


First of all a word of warning to all the hawks in the US from one of these same anti-theocratic bloggers:
My posts on the student protests in Tehran have attracted a whole bunch of hits from Republican discussion groups like this[free republic discussion linked]. I can see they're excited to see unrest in a member of the "Axis of Evil". Too bad they can't read Farsi though. Otherwise they wouldn't need the likes of me to tell them that no matter what the dispute is inside Iran, the vast majority don't like George W. and they certainly don't like the pathetic pawns that America supports and funds, like Reza Pahlavi (son of the late Shah) and the terrorist MKO. I guess it's more pleasurable to be naive though... keep happy. :-)

Hear this, also from lady sun:
Monarchists are killing themselves rambling about a new revolution, a protest, an opposition… I hate monarchy, we hate monarchy, we hate any sort of dictatorship. I hate this stupid Bush who is releasing statements in support of the students. I hate him who has no idea what kind of people Iranians are. I hate the monarchists who think we are that stupid to put the red carpet for Reza Pahlavi, the late Shah's sun.
Second, all undemocratic regimes attack protestors: The occupying army in Iraq does it, with more than sticks and daggers. The Berlusconi government, as pointed out by joemeek, did it with enthusiasm and glee not seen in Italy since the days of Benito Mussolini. I didn't hear any right wingers protest the government violence in Genoa.
Third: a great deal of the protesters in Iran are indeed leftists. An arch-conservative Iranian regime figure, Kayhan, had this to say about the student protests this past January: "....In past decades, students have been constantly used by the communists and terrorists as foot soldiers". One could argue that the Marxist parties in Iran were the main targets of the Islamic wrath (see also the link above to see why Hashem Aghajari was sentenced to death). Note also this scathing criticism of political islam(and indeed religion) by the WCP of Iran and Iraq.
As for the supposed lack of action of the left on Iran as compared to Iraq: Even the act of comparing a full scale war and the occupation of a country by a foreign army to (what amounts to) civil unrest in Iran (as horrific as the regimes fascist vigilante squads are) shows a really deep lack of understanding of the seriousness and awfulness of war. War, folks, kills a lot more people than protests and destroys a country's potential to feed its own people. The dissolution of even the lame and sorry version of international law that tried to hold things together for a while in favor of unilateral action by the worlds only superpower makes things even more dire and awful (for us non-american non-people that is). As for support I can personally attest that during this whole time of islamic fascism in Iran the leftist parties and people supported their Iranian comrades and the people of Iran in their struggle against theocracy. Always. Not just now when the american extreme right is searching for an excuse to attack the country.
posted by talos at 3:54 AM on June 18, 2003


How hard could it be for these leading human rights groups to throw a bone to the Iranians, especially since world attention right now on the theocracy's brutality could make a big difference?

Well, there's the small reason that the human rights organisations don't want to be piggybacked by the neocon right, with its own well-documented agenda. Frankly, if you think that opportunist Conrad Black lickspittle Mark Steyn, or Michael Ledeen, the man who helped broker the Iran-Contra 'arms for hostages' deal in the 1980s, cares one jot about 'the plight of the Iranian people' as opposed to the expansion of American power, then you're wearing your naivety blinkers pretty tightly. Because somehow I doubt that you were taking part in Amnesty's campaigns addressing Iran over the past, what, handful of years, before it became part of the right-wing spin machine.

(Oh, and I see a lot more than 'one whole article' for 2003 here. Which means you're being economical with the verité, too.)

What a festering, hypocritical pile of shit.
posted by riviera at 7:22 AM on June 18, 2003


Well, there's the small reason that the human rights organisations don't want to be piggybacked by the neocon right, with its own well-documented agenda.

See, that's exactly what bothers me, and it's why the whole left/right thing is indeed relevant to the situation in Iran. I worry that less attention will be or is already being paid to Iran than is proportional to the situation, precisely for the reason you mentioned: "human rights organisations don't want to be piggybacked by the neocon right". So the crisis gets underreported and the Iranians get less support and direct action on their behalf, because the people and groups that would otherwise be shining the spotlight on the situation don't want to do anything that might prop up the claims of a particular political faction. Interesting that you're conceding that AI and its ilk would have political biases of their own and are not apolitical in their defense of human rights and choices of coverage.

(Oh, and I see a lot more than 'one whole article' for 2003 here. Which means you're being economical with the verité, too.)

MrMoonPie submitted that link, which is the news page, not me, and I was commenting on it and comparing it to comparable news pages for Iraq, China, Burma. What part of my comment "this page (which concentrates on news, as opposed to Urgent Action appeals, etc.)" did you not understand?

Now, the page you're linking to is the index page for all Iran-related items, not the news page. It's less relevant to my point about coverage of the current violence, because it includes things like worldwide death penalty round-ups. Nevertheless, if you want to compare that index page to the index pages for Iraq, China, Burma, then we come up with a 9 items for Iran, compared with 91 for Iraq, 18 for China, and 9 for Burma. 9 items on Iran, and not one about the ongoing protests and the violence surrounding them. I still say that's pathetic.

What a festering, hypocritical pile of shit.

Ah, the mating call of the schmuck.
posted by Asparagirl at 8:58 AM on June 18, 2003


So the crisis gets underreported and the Iranians get less support and direct action on their behalf, because the people and groups that would otherwise be shining the spotlight on the situation don't want to do anything that might prop up the claims of a particular political faction.

That's an absurd extrapolation. Are human rights organisations deliberately underplaying the situation in Iran? I doubt it. Are they choosing not to participate in the disingenuous hysteria of a particular subspecies of the presspack? Very possibly. It's like saying that the rest of the class ought to be indicted for not joining in with the group at the back who stand on their desks and start shouting.

Interesting that you're conceding that AI and its ilk would have political biases of their own and are not apolitical in their defense of human rights and choices of coverage.

No: I'm arguing that AI don't want to be shills for PNAC. Interesting that you read it so, though.

Ah, the mating call of the schmuck.

I could see your ears prick up, dear girl. The spraying is a little unfetching, though.
posted by riviera at 9:06 AM on June 18, 2003


Nevertheless, if you want to compare that index page to the index pages for Iraq, China, Burma, then we come up with a 9 items for Iran, compared with 91 for Iraq, 18 for China, and 9 for Burma.
The fact that a major war that killed thousands of civilians and the occupation of the country by a foreign army occured in Iraq, more than justifies this discrepancy. I would argue that the human rights situation in both China and Burma is (at least) as odious as in Iran. In fact in Iran there is even some form of opposition which would be unthinkable in either China or Burma.
As for the ongoing protests. AI is not a news agency, check again in a week or two and see if there are any updates.
posted by talos at 9:12 AM on June 18, 2003


Things Right Wing Bloggers Aren´t Talking About
posted by homunculus at 1:25 PM on June 19, 2003


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