Iran Protests 2

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Gene Gene's picture

Thanks for the Arash Azizi's interview. [url=http://iranfacts.blogspot.com/2009/07/what-you-should-know-about-what-is... is another point of view. It comes from the ground as well and illustrates the complexities of Iranian society. It, too, offers an interesting viewpoint although I would have liked to read a bit more about the minorities, for example, the one mentioned in the blogpost quoted: [url=http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist... Baha'i faith community[/url].

NDPP

The Tragedy of the Left's Discourse on Iran

http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/21948

"The electoral coup and the subsequent uprising and suppression of the revolting voters in Iran has prompted all sorts of analyses in Western media from both the Right and the Left..."

Gene Gene's picture

Indeed a good article, NoDiff. You may have come across [url=http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/mrzine-and-sex-change-opera... Proyect's take[/url] on that issue. Heart-wrenching!

sanizadeh

It is also quite telling that most of the pro-ahmadinejad articles on mrzine.org are written by non-Iranian authors. You hardly find any Iranian activist who is in doubt about the situation. You'd wish those on the left who are pro-Ahmadinejad, at least talk to their Iranian comrades.

 

Slumberjack

Having done so, it seems Mousavi has receded far into the shadows of this thing.  Not many appear to be putting themselves on the line for his electoral pipe dreams.  He was a brief spark that has now gone out for the most part, but it was just enough to catch the existing tinder, which was looking for any excuse at all to combust.  Attempting to appropriate the extreme discontent paints more of a pathetic figure than before.  This appears to be more about youth, and women, seeking something no establishment reformist has the solution for, justice and freedom.  For those that desire it at all costs, they are more than capable of simultaneously ignoring outside machinations and conducting internal dissent, as befitting any sovereign people. 

NDPP

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/4618

Marxists Must Stand Firm Against Ahmadinejad - An Open Letter to the Workers of Venezuela

 

"...the capitalist government of Iraq has no fundamental disagreements or contradictions with US imperialism. It is in a 'cold war' with America and when it receives enough concessions, it will quickly enter into political dealings with the US and will turn its back on you. Indeed, the Iran regime has already helped the Americans in their military invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq..'

NDPP

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/4618

Marxists Must Stand Firm Against Ahmadinejad - An Open Letter to the Workers of Venezuela

"...the capitalist government of Iran has no fundamental disagreements or contradictions with US imperialism. It is in a 'cold war' with America and when it receives enough concessions, it will quickly enter into political dealings with the US and will turn its back on you. Indeed, the Iran regime has already helped the Americans in their military invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq..'

Cueball Cueball's picture

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:

The Tragedy of the Left's Discourse on Iran

http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/21948

"The electoral coup and the subsequent uprising and suppression of the revolting voters in Iran has prompted all sorts of analyses in Western media from both the Right and the Left..."

No. The real tragedy of western leftist discourse on Iran, is the failure to see, or talk about, the parrallels between western norms of political power as they are manipulated through the electoral system by the elite, and the Iranian electoral process, which does the same, but framed in a different ideological motif.

Bishra, it seems, sadly, is merely applauding the creation of a sham election process in Iran, as if sham election processes in the west are to be emulated. But then for a Palestinian, even a modicum of control over the conduct of policy, even the Pepsi/Cocacola challenge might seem like a kind of freedom -- at least it is some kind of "civil society" as opposed to outright martial law day-in day-out. The number of "leftists" who regularly endorse the NDP in Canada, and who haplessly clambered onto the "hope and change" Obamawagon, seems to indicate that such failings of insight are not uncommon at all.

In a western context, one has to be very cautious about narratives that are being manipulated here to further the propaganda needs of the power structure that needs an absolute "evil" enemy other in order to justify its own supression of liberation movements in territories where it is the reigning authority, the west.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Doug wrote:
I don't think that's a gun that shoots bullets. It looks more like a launcher for tear gas canisters to me.

Tear gas dispensers will have a larger barrel.  It looks like a mock up of a HK MP5, without the long magazine.  Either way, the weapon in that picture is useless for anything but a prop.

The same "prop" used by the Iranian police, which is under license to Defence Industries Organization of Iran. A good thing that Iranian police only carry props.

Cueball Cueball's picture

sanizadeh wrote:

Cueball wrote:

It is quite evident that on June 15th a large group of protestors assaulted a police compound and were shot at. Not suprising at all. Nor is it particulaly evidence of police excess.

By the way so based on you view, the Israelis shooting at rock throwing Palestinian youth was not "particularly evidence of police excess" either, right?

Yes, it is over-reaction to shoot people who are throwing stones, especially crowds of teenagers throwing stones at military personnel who have no legal right whatsoever to be in the occupied zones in which they are operating, generally speaking. However, if someone where trying to burn down the building I were in by throwing molotov cocktails at it, I might start shooting at or near people who were throwing said molotov cocktails.

You explanation for the events at the police HQ are interesting but at odds with the videographer who took the footage that was later shown in part at by Channel 4 (ITV) in the UK. He described it as an "attack" against the police HQ. That said, throwing rocks and even Molotov cokctails, and even shooting people can be a legitimate act of defiance and insurrection in the face of opression. But that is beside my point. It seems quite evident to me that people were enaging in acts of insurrection that clearly threatened the lives of the persons who were occupying the building on behalf of the state.

They were trying to set the building on fire with people inside of it.

I am still waiting for the obigatory discussion about the use of violence toward a political end. When such violence occurs in the west, we are usually treated with a very detailed examination of the means of protest, in terms of violence and non-violence. Gandhi and MLK are regularly invoked, and we are asked to obligingly denounce insurrectionist elements who try and forward the struggle through violence means.

Even you were quick to agree with Adam T. when he invoked the spectre of anarchist elements stirring the pot, when the discussion turned to rioting in France in 2005, and recently in Greece, and at the G-20 summit in the UK.

Not one single thread of these numerous Iran threads has been derailed in this manner yet. In general, in the case of Iran, people uniformly accept the prima facie that any acts of violence were instigated by the authorities in all cases, and that all protestor violence was in reaction to unjustified use of force, and even its seems willing to come up with counter-narratives that directly contradict the narratives of those who were there, such as the videographer who called the incident at the Basiji HQ an "attack" against the installation. This is quite astonishing in the light of the fact that it seems there were several verifiable deaths among Basiji militiamen -- no police officers were killed in France in 2005, none in Greece, and none even mildly wounded at the G-20 summit. The absence of this pacifist counter-narratives, on these threads, ones that seem benign, but actually implicitly reinforce the state narrative that de-ligitimizes protest movements in the west, when they occassionally involve violent incidents (generally attributed to the protestors and not the state) is quite striking.

Slumberjack

Cueball wrote:

Slumberjack wrote:
  Tear gas dispensers will have a larger barrel.  It looks like a mock up of a HK MP5, without the long magazine.  Either way, the weapon in that picture is useless for anything but a prop.

The same "prop" used by the Iranian police, which is under license to Defence Industries Organization of Iran. A good thing that Iranian police only carry props.

I'd be inclined to believe that theirs at least would be functional, complete with a loaded magazine protruding from the housing.  Unless of course times are tough all around, with ammunition being rationed to where they are reduced to loading single cartridges one at a time into the firing chamber.

Slumberjack

The mags only come in one size for that particular model.  It would protrude well below his hand.  Without it, the weapon itself does not have the capability to house more than one round at a time.  Essentially what we have there is a weapon, if that is what it is, that has no more functionality than a musket from the 1700s.  After each shot, a replacement projectile is required to be loaded into the breech in order to be fired again.  Not at all effective in a crowd situation, regardless if one is a police officer, or a protester intent on confronting the police.  If personal protection or offensive intent were captured in that picture, it's effectiveness would result in little more than the comfort one could achieve in a security blanket.  The other conclusion as to the possible intent was mentioned upthread.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Ahh, I see that is your point. One would hope so. I would imagine it was thieved from some unlucky Iranian police officer. In that case one wonders what Iranian police officers would be doing walking around doing crowd control without ammunition, unless of course they were using them as props.

That said, in the photo, the guys hand is crooked in such a manner that one could imagine he is holding it over a magazine that might not be visible. Perhaps long magazines are not standard issue. It also might be the Airsoft MP5 Paintball gun. One really has to question why someone would bring an unloaded gun or a toy gun to a demonstration with real live armed police.

That said, some people really are that stupid.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I don't really know what might or might not be available for weapons licensed for production by the the Defence Industries Organization of Iran, however short magazines are common for all kinds of weapons, and magazine alterations are something of a cottage industry, given how simple it seems to be. I imagine DIO (Iran) is more than capable of making such alterations.

There is this for example: 

Double capacity short magazine available at WolfArmy for $16.99 $US

It is even conceivable to me that the Iranian government would not want to have their police armed with the maximum amount of ammo, precisely because they might use it situations of "civil" unrest. Such hardware restrictions are common for police forces.

I certainly have no objection to the theory that the photo is a government fake, but on the other hand -- its an excelent fake therfore, complete with fake demonstrators, a mass of people in the background and refuse strewn all over the place. Indeed, such a fake suggests a high degree of forethought, planning and quality of execution, that seems to me at odds with the obvious surprise and disorganization, as well as bad media management of the whole affair by the powers that be in Iran. IMO, one looks to the simplest explanation first, and that is pretty simple: This weapon belonged to one of these hapless, and badly trained Basiji guys who met his demise at the hands of demonstrators, and this weapon was "liberated" at that time.

Slumberjack

From what I'm hearing, undoubtedly pent up repression is being released in the street.  To the extent that some of it, or perhaps even some of the worst of it may be found to have an external origin, of that we can safely draw the conclusion that it occurring to some degree, however to gauge the extent of it's influence in the midst long held aspirations, and the complexities of Iranian society, is at best conjecture.  Whether the police actions are in response to the violence being conducted against the state, or in reaction against open public dissent of any variety, the precedence for brutality exists against all methods of unauthorized expression.  Obviously, it is unavoidable to detect a certain amount of posturing in treating the entire situation as repression against peaceful protest.  Clearly though, repression is what it is, and Iranians are well within their rights to determine the response to it.  Beyond that, it isn't much of a challenge, for some at least, to separate western propaganda from legitimate aspirations.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Louis Proyect, the Unrepentant Marxist, had a blog entry, following the election in June, regarding German neo-Nazis "praising the reelection of Ahmadenejad".  Here is the original source. Says Proyect: "My main goal in posting this was to tweak the pro-Ahmadinejad leftists who are always bringing up George Soros et al support for the reformists in Iran. I think it is best to leave the cheering squad element aside."

Slumberjack

Neo-Nazis views are completely irrelevant.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

The leadership of the Tudeh Party noted the following on July 6 ...

Nameh Mardom wrote:
It is now more than 3 weeks since the presidential election was held in Iran, in which Mahmud Ahmadinejad, the candidate of dark-minded and anti-people forces, was
claimed as the winner, through extensive vote rigging and fraud, and the broad and
organized intervention of military-security circles at every stage of the election
process. The protest of the popular movement of our nation against this outrageous
fraud in recent weeks has been one of the most extensive campaigns of the antidespotic struggle in the past three decades. Millions of ordinary citizens, including the working people, the middle strata of society and supporters of democracy and human rights in Iran poured into the streets ...

As a result of the shooting by the regime's security/military
forces, at least 20 people were killed and hundreds were wounded. Also,
launching one of the broadest assault operations, the regime's mercenary hit squads
arrested more than a thousand activists of the protest movement, prominent figures
in the election campaigns of the reformist candidates, activists of the students' and
women's movement and pro-reform journalists, and sent them to the torture
chambers. The forced confessions of these torture victims in front of TV cameras are
now being used to frame some of the leaders of the reform movement and even
individuals who at one point were considered among the "inner circle" of the regime.
Similar confessions to these were planned and executed during the 1980s against a
number of leaders of our party and other dissident and political organizations in the
country to subdue the progressive and popular parties and ban them....

And the assessment ...

Mardom wrote:
The reality is that the 'regime of the Supreme Leader' and its installed government
have wasted away a large part of the natural and human resources of Iran in the past
four years by employing anti-popular and reactionary policies. Iran, a country rich in
oil and gas, has been plunged deeply into poverty, social and economic crisis,
prostitution and corruption. The adventurous foreign policy of the regime has forced
Iran into unprecedented international isolation and, given the current balance of
power in the world, has put the political sovereignty and integrity of Iran under
serious threat from the war-mongering circles of imperialism. It is clear that, given the
state of the people's struggle and also the focus of the world on recent events in Iran,
no political force can remain impartial and neutral concerning this situation. One must
either stand in support of the people's struggle or stand by a regime that is politically,
economically, socially, ideologically and culturally reactionary, backward-looking and
anti-people. Concerning the position of the social and political forces in Iran, we can
say that the political position of all progressive, left, democratic and pro-reform forces
in Iran is aligned with the defense of the genuine movement of people and total
condemnation of the policies of the regime. Even the supporters of the regime have
split under pressure from the undeniable realities of recent developments and as a
result of witnessing the enormity and extent of the popular movement; and sections
of them have seriously criticized the performance of Ahmadinejad's administration
and admitted that a change in direction of the development of the society is
necessary.

The following is also of interest ...

Mardom wrote:
Also, it is important to note that in recent months, the regime heavily invested in this
venture. Some examples are: launching the international broadcast of the "Press TV"
network, in whose programs some of the figures from the left and peace movement
have been featured; running certain internet sites that under the guise of "left" and
seeking justice, make every effort to beautify the hideous visage of the dictatorial
regime; premeditated contacts of the regime's embassies with communist and left
parties around the world; calculated investment in the trade-economic-diplomatic
relations of the regime with some Latin American countries and attempts to mobilize
some of the left-wing states to intervene in order to lessen and soften the harsh
criticism of the left movement against the policies of the theocratic regime.
By utilizing their economic and diplomatic leverage in some countries, the leaders of
the regime in Iran have been able to avoid serious reaction by certain political forces
in those countries to recent developments in Iran.

I can't think who he means other than Chavez in Venezuela. In fact, specific reference is made, later in the piece, to Venezuela. There is a LENGTHY section on this issue that makes very interesting reading. The author is blunt!

Mardom wrote:
we advise the leaders of the Venezuelan government to shun inappropriate and shallow speculation
about the nature of the present developments in Iran, not to misrepresent it and not
to doubt the authenticity of the popular movement of our nation.

There's more on assessing the Iranian regime's anti-imperialist credibility ...

Mardom wrote:
The ruling regime in Iran (and its government led by Mr. Mahmud Ahmadinejad)
neither has the power to play a role in the struggle against imperialism nor are its
policies in line with this. The conflicts and disputes of US imperialism and its
European allies with the Islamic Republic of Iran are about dividing their spheres of
influence in the Middle East. Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran considers itself a
powerful country in the region and demands its own special advantages and sphere
of influence. When the Islamic Republic of Iran finds imperialist interventions to its
advantage, it formally and extensively collaborates (and has previously done so) with
US imperialism and its allies. The crucial and vital collaboration of the Islamic
Republic during the military aggression of the United Stated against Iraq and
Afghanistan and its occupation of these two countries are two revealing examples of
this. The leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran have admitted that they collaborated
with the American forces and their allies during the military aggression of the United
States against Afghanistan in 2001 and, for example, permitted US fighter jets to use
Iran's airspace in order to launch attacks on strategic targets inside Afghanistan.
Also, in preparation for a military strike against Iraq in 2002 and 2003, US-supported
forces, such as the "Iraqi National Congress", headed by Ahmed Chalabi, operated
via Iran's territory at the western borders of the country, with the financial support and
full knowledge of the United States.

On the USA connection ...

Mardom wrote:
Also, in preparation for a military strike against Iraq in 2002 and 2003, US-supported
forces, such as the "Iraqi National Congress", headed by Ahmed Chalabi, operated
via Iran's territory at the western borders of the country, with the financial support and
full knowledge of the United States. The official representatives of the regime at the
Munich Security Conference in February 2009 made a formal public statement
addressed to "Javier Solana", chief secretary of the EU and responsible for EU
Foreign and Security Policy, Joseph Biden, Vice-President of the United States and
Robert Gates, United States Secretary of Defense, declaring that if the interests of
the Islamic Republic were protected, Iran would be willing to take a role in the
political stabilization of Afghanistan and to cooperate with imperialist plans.
The extent of "opposition" of the 'regime of the Supreme Leader' in Iran to
imperialism is similar to figures such as the reactionary "Bin Laden", the fascist
dictator "Saddam Hussein" and Omar Bashir, president of Sudan, the extent of
whose compliance and interaction with imperialism is dependent on their short-lived
interests. It is a fact that these forces, regardless of their fleeting problems with some
imperialist plans, have acted in unison and coordination with 'Satan' in his most
vicious plots against the interests of nations.

Those are scare quotes around 'Satan', by the way. :)

The author cites ruthless privatization, IMF and World Bank economic atrocities supported and implemented by the Iranian regime, attacks on labour and trade union organizations, the entire kit-bag of neo-liberal atrocities and horrors ...

Mardom wrote:
The leaders and activists of the trade union movement are being tortured in prisons. Communists and true left forces are banned and under the most repressive measures. Can any true anti-imperialist force have such anti-people and reactionary characteristics? Our answer to this question is negative.

The author calls to keep the flag of support for the movement of the Iranian people raised. A very well written and clear piece of writing.

The following is a link to a .pdf file. In Defence of the Movement of (the) Iranian People for Democratic Rights and Freedoms.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

From what I'm hearing, undoubtedly pent up repression is being released in the street.  To the extent that some of it, or perhaps even some of the worst of it may be found to have an external origin, of that we can safely draw the conclusion that it occurring to some degree, however to gauge the extent of it's influence in the midst long held aspirations, and the complexities of Iranian society, is at best conjecture.  Whether the police actions are in response to the violence being conducted against the state, or in reaction against open public dissent of any variety, the precedence for brutality exists against all methods of unauthorized expression.  Obviously, it is unavoidable to detect a certain amount of posturing in treating the entire situation as repression against peaceful protest.  Clearly though, repression is what it is, and Iranians are well within their rights to determine the response to it.  Beyond that, it isn't much of a challenge, for some at least, to separate western propaganda from legitimate aspirations.

Fair enough, if one were talking about what is western propaganda, and suggesting that events were in the main instigated by western conspirators. That strawman aside, what I am talking about is events that are taking place that are being manipulated and used as propaganda aimed at distracting peoples attention away from what is going on in the "west", as if the reaction of the "intollerant" Iranian state toward expressions of dissent is of an entirely different order than the repression of dissent in the "tollerant" west.

To say that events are useful for a particular propaganda purpose, is not to say that they did not take place, or that they were instigated by those who benefit from that propaganda.

In other words, not that forces in Iran are being manipulated by western powers toward their own ends, at least not directly in any significant manner, but that unrest in Iran is being manipulated toward the end of positing the events in Iran as exemplars of what defines our superiority and the rightness of "our" cause that serves the dual purpose justifying our right to supress forces of dissent in the west in very much the same manner as the Iranian government is doing now, and justify a continuing campaign of isolating regiemes such as the one in Iran, which firmly remain outside of our domain of control.

I had hoped that our analysis might actually move beyond the blind dichotomy of support for insurgent forces in Iran, and the propaganda line of the Iranian government, where all such disturbances are a direct result of outside influences. More importantly, I had in mind a discussion of the west, and the attitude of authorities here to dissent, in comparison to the methods being used in Iran. Not for the purposes of talking about Iran, but for the purposes of talking about the "west." Such distinctions may not be possible it seems.

Looks kind of "posed" to me.

Let me know the next time we have a discussion about a photo of some Hamas militant carrying fire arms, and we spend half a thread dissecting how it is we can tell that the photo is faked and that the presumed militant is actually a Shin Bet operative, disguised as a Palestinian militant carrying a fake AK-47.

Slumberjack

Cueball wrote:
I had hoped that our analysis might actually move beyond the blind dichotomy of support for insurgent forces in Iran, and the propaganda line of the Iranian government, where all such disturbances are a direct result of outside influences. More importantly, I had in mind a discussion of the west, and the attitude of authorities here to dissent, in comparison to the methods being used in Iran. Not for the purposes of talking about Iran, but for the purposes of talking about the "west." Such distinctions may not be possible it seems. Let me know the next time we have a discussion about a photo of some Hamas militant carrying fire arms, and we spend half a thread dissecting how it is we can tell that the photo is faked and that the presumed militant is actually a Shin Bet operative, disguised as a Palestinian militant carrying a fake AK-47.

There were some minor inferences and idle speculation, distractions really, in discussing the weapon and superimposing it as evidence in support of either theory within the overall context, when it is superfluous to the extent that although it may tell of a thousand words, or points of conjecture as it were, splitting off 500 words apiece and going off from there about it really serves no meaningful purpose.  There was a technical point or two up for grabs, which again its left more or less to ones respective point of view and experience as to what it represents.  

If your point is to discuss western dissent and how it is managed and ultimately contained through the collective efforts of the dominant apparatus, I'm at odds to see how you can manage to splice such an encompassing subject in its own right with a discussion of Iranian protests, in a thread designated as such without appropriating the space entirely with it. 

I believe it is fair enough to say that both forms of government are representative of a two headed coin to use an analogy, with similar features on either side, where the respective facings that Iranian and Western citizens get to see is not so much a matter of geography, but in who is flipping the coin on our behalf.   Western hegemony's perspective, their incessant issue since 1979, is that they are not the ones calling it in the air for the Iranian people as well.

Certainly, the examination needn't be confined to blind dichotomies as you put it.  In focusing from an outside perspective though, while remaining fixated on the outside for answers and culprits, I believe that important dynamics can be overlooked or disregarded in the course of framing it to support the argument.  From what I can gather, which I can only narrowly interpret from discussion with intimate contacts in two cities there, it isn't about election sour grapes, or about support for a dissident cog in the existing apparatus.  It is about ordinary people passionately facing up to their oppressors, on their terms, at great peril.

Undoubtedly, if western citizens were truly to ever wake up in significant numbers to the reality of our own facade, and took to the streets with a similar determination borne out of same sort of desperation that occurs in circumstances where reality and hope are normally only spoken of in whispered conversations, we would see people killed, beaten and arrested by the police.  In fact, we've seen it already in past, in localized situations.  For one reason or another through lingering hope or utter delusion, as witnessed in the enigmatic NDP threads, our society has become adept at creating and swallowing whole the falsifications which only function to contain that which has been alternately placed on display in the Iranian streets.   

A more genuine western orientated discussion in this context would surround the lessons we might take from the motivations of Iranian protesters, and why such admirable things do not occur in a society where reality television is about as close as we'll ever get to the definition.

NDPP

Against A New Wave of Crackdown and Oppression in Iran

http://revolutionaryflowerpot.blogspot.com/2009/07/against-new-wave-of-c...

sanizadeh

Tomorrow is the Friday prayers in Tehran and the sermon is delivered by Rafsanjani, a powerful broker in the system who hates Ahmadinejad, for the first time since the election. He was scheduled to deliver the sermon on June 19 but Khamanei decided to give that sermon himself. Mousavi and other opponents of Ahmadinejad are supposed to attend. The Friday Prayers have typically been a stronghold and base for ultrareligious supporters of the govenment, so a show down is likely.

 

Ghislaine

[url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shirin-sadeghi/the-rape-of-taraneh-priso_b... The Rape of Taraneh: Prison abuse of Iran's protestors [/url]:

 

Quote:

 

One by one, the faces of protest are providing an essential yearbook of the individuals who comprise the protest masses, and a catalogue of the Iranian government's treatment of political activists.

On Friday June 19, a large group of mourners gathered at the Ghoba mosque in Tehran to await a speech about the martyrs of the post-election protests by presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. According to one Iranian blog, 28-year-old Taraneh Mousavi was one of a group of people that was arrested by plainclothesed security forces for attending the gathering.

Taraneh, whose first name is Persian for "song", disappeared into arrest.

Weeks later, according to the blog, her mother received an anonymous call from a government agent saying that her daughter has been hospitalized in Imam Khomeini Hospital in the city of Karaj, just north of Tehran -- hospitalized for "rupturing of her womb and anus in... an unfortunate accident".

When Taraneh's family went to the hospital to find her, they were told she was not there.

According to another Iranian blog which claims to have original information about Taraneh from her family, Iranian security forces contacted Taraneh's family after the hospital visit warning them not to publicize Taraneh's story and not to associate her disappearance with arrests made at post-election protests, claiming instead that she had tried to harm herself

because of feeling guilty for having pre-marital sex.

Witnesses have come forward to the various Internet sites who are covering Taraneh's story, stating that she was mentally and physically abused in Tehran's notorious Evin prison and also that a person who matches her physical description and injuries had been treated at the Imam Khomeini Hospital, was unconscious when witnessed and was later transferred out of the hospital while still unconscious.

Taraneh's is not the first allegation of brutal raping of a post-election protester -- according to the UK Guardian, an 18 year old boy in Shiraz was repeatedly gang raped by prison officials while in detention after being arrested for participating in the protests on June 15. That boy's father won't let him back in the family home.

Despite its agitations for reform, Iranian society remains traditional, according to Iranian-British blogger Potkin Azarmehr, and it's the stigma of rape that is being used as a weapon against the protesters. "By killing protesters, the government makes martyrs of them, but by raping them and allowing them to live, it makes them shunned in society," Azarmehr said.

Slumberjack

The overall tenor of this huffpo story, not only does it paint a rather disturbing picture, and deservedly so, of the Iranian regime's brutality against it's own people, [although not unlike other regimes where we have established good trading and diplomatic relations] it also contains some rather questionable observations about Iranian society and it's people.  In particular, it demonizes Iranian society through it's description of the lack of empathy within families for victims of the Iranian regimes violence as being somehow 'traditional.' 

I get a sense that stories such as this, where ignorant descriptions within the media of the larger society are embedded within 'concern' articles, act as a trojan horse to cultivate negative imagery not only of the government, but the entire country.  It acts as another building block within the larger structure of propaganda, not unlike the incubator babies tale of the first Gulf War, where the public becomes conditioned to accept large civilian casualty rates should another western led regime change effort be undertaken, or perhaps a widespread bombing campaign where cities are targeted.

Which leads to the question of your motivation for posting it here Ghislaine,

Cueball Cueball's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Cueball wrote:
I had hoped that our analysis might actually move beyond the blind dichotomy of support for insurgent forces in Iran, and the propaganda line of the Iranian government, where all such disturbances are a direct result of outside influences. More importantly, I had in mind a discussion of the west, and the attitude of authorities here to dissent, in comparison to the methods being used in Iran. Not for the purposes of talking about Iran, but for the purposes of talking about the "west." Such distinctions may not be possible it seems. Let me know the next time we have a discussion about a photo of some Hamas militant carrying fire arms, and we spend half a thread dissecting how it is we can tell that the photo is faked and that the presumed militant is actually a Shin Bet operative, disguised as a Palestinian militant carrying a fake AK-47.

If your point is to discuss western dissent and how it is managed and ultimately contained through the collective efforts of the dominant apparatus, I'm at odds to see how you can manage to splice such an encompassing subject in its own right with a discussion of Iranian protests, in a thread designated as such without appropriating the space entirely with it.

Discussing media representations and how news becomes news and how it is transmitted to us and its spin is entirely relevant. Ultimatley what we have here is not a discussion based in relevant facts, and "objective" humanitarian standards, and issues of rights but one that is heavily weighted with ideological bias. I see no reason not to point it out.

As far as I am concerned the situation in Iran, from the perspective of a complete outsider, is slightly above the issue of a family feud, as best as I can make out when looking at the factions obstensibly in conflict, the Amedinejad camp and the Mousavi camp. Mixed in with this are other forces struggling for what seem to me to be worthwhile, but not quite clearly articulated ambitions that run the gamut and are probably best articulated as wide-spread discontent -- perhaps something more articulated will come to the fore in the near future, perhaps not. Perhaps the present establishement will bend to accomodate that discontent, or they will continue with a hard line, a view that will back them even further into a political corner that will certainly break the regieme, sooner or later.

The actions of the police forces does not seem to have been inordinately out of the norm of those set by most societies on the planet when the reigning authority is significantly challenged in any meaningful way. I come from a country where in my lifetime martial law was invoked in its territory, merely because 2 prominent politicians were kidnapped by radical fringe organization with little popular support.

Slumberjack wrote:
 

A more genuine western orientated discussion in this context would surround the lessons we might take from the motivations of Iranian protesters, and why such admirable things do not occur in a society where reality television is about as close as we'll ever get to the definition.

Certainly. This observation is the first of its kind of any substance on any of these threads, and comes as a result of parsing media representations and the hypocrisy of the stand taken by most of the media in representing this struggle, and struggles elsewhere, as a means of casting the ideological foundations of our beliefs about ourselves in contrast to what we believe, or are led to believe, about others.

Unionist

[url=Iranian">http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/07/17/iran-protests-rafsanjani.html][... police clash with pro-Mousavi supporters[/url]

Quote:

Iranian police fired tear gas into crowds and swung batons at supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, witnesses said, as thousands gathered at Tehran University on Friday.

At least 15 people were arrested, Reuters reported, as police waded into the crowds near the university gates, trying to disburse the rally.

The clash came as pro-Mousavi supporters gathered inside the university to listen to senior cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who called for the release of those arrested in the protests following the controversial election.

"Disburse" the rally? Oh well, CBC must have laid off proofreaders. Spellcheck just doesn't dew the job.

 

Slumberjack

Cueball wrote:
Mixed in with this are other forces struggling for what seem to me to be worthwhile, but not quite clearly articulated ambitions that run the gamut and are probably best articulated as wide-spread discontent -- perhaps something more articulated will come to the fore in the near future, perhaps not. Perhaps the present establishement will bend to accomodate that discontent, or they will continue with a hard line, a view that will back them even further into a political corner that will certainly break the regieme, sooner or later.

It isn't articulated to us whatsoever, which is to be expected when considering the suffocating nature of the baleful propaganda that is provided to us as factual at every turn.  Even dispassionate viewpoints can often be presented through the foggy lens of a perspective that attempts to analyze something seen as an 'exotic' situation, as if ones basic yearning for dignity and self determination is a separate thing altogether from another culture. 

Certainly, we can consider the variety of information sources that are available to us, partisan or otherwise, as long as we bear in mind that nothing can be measured in such monolithic quantities to the extent that a concrete interpretation can be cast from the dynamic motivational factors.  From what I can determine, some of the participants are simply fed up with being spoken down to, tired of being bound to conformity in a stifling reality, where absolutely nothing exists that promises to undertake the kind of compelling social justice reforms that addresses the demands of an evolving and complex society.  

An honest evaluation in that regard couldn't help but to expose the glaring similarities with our own circumstances, regardless of the deficient intensity in what passes for activism, or from the response that isn't required all that often, but is always ready.

contrarianna

Unionist wrote:

"Disburse" the rally? Oh well, CBC must have laid off proofreaders. Spellcheck just doesn't dew the job.

Maybe the police jest paid theme too go om?

The proofthinkers were fired long ago.

NDPP

Would MLK Back Iran's Protesters? http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/44568

"Testimony that the current unrest, is among other things, a backlash against government services to have-nots, comes from none other than the opposition's iconic leader himself. In gleeful remarks carried on July 5 online by the pro-reform daily Emryz, Mir Hossein Mousavi told a gathering of sympathetic academics, "Our society is quite different from what it was six months ago...The middle class has achieved a consciousness that, if channeled properly, is very constructive...The current [Ahmadinejad] administration has no plans for this class and the situation is hopeless.."

NDPP

Rafsanjani Makes His Move

http://monthlyreview.org/mrzine/javedanfar170709.html

"By calling for the release of imprisoned protesters, Rafsanjani is hoping that the demonstraters will see him as their backer, and therefore that they should continue demonstrating. This is the most critical part of his strategy, to align himself with the people on the streets and to bring out  as many as possible..It must be noted that this is not about regime change, but rather, about leverage to be used in a domestic balance  of power politics.."

NDPP

Reason to Worry

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/956/re61.htm

"Though Iran's regional star is in the ascendant, it is locked in the jaws of a far greater geostrategic struggle...Israel's lobbyists have once again found their voice on the US scene. For a while when Obama seemed intent on talking to the Iranians, they had little to say. Now its a different story. The election of the reformist Mousavi would have put a lot of pressure on Israel, preventing it from ostracizing Iran and ultimately lending a hand to Obama's reconciliatory approach. Clearly the US openness to Tehran would have come at a price. To Israel's chagrin, Washington would have bad to acknowledge Iran's regional role. This is exactly why Israel is exuberant now. Israel is not interested in whether Iran goes reformist or conservative, only that it remains weak."

Cueball Cueball's picture

Meh. Any regieme chosen by the Iranian people would still be victim to the pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game, as long as it represented local interests, however corrupt, as long as they were outside of direct control of western interests. For example, regardless of Amednijad's dubious statements, the existence of an Iranian nuclear energy program would be enough to fan the flames of anti-Iranian propaganda. The opponents of Iran are just as capable of putting about outright lies about any leader of Iran, as they have been in putting about the lie that Zelaya Honduran referendum was about an extension of his presidential term.

Indeed they have often bodly misrepresented Amedinejad's statements to be much more malicious than they actually were, as dubious, stupid and impolitic they were in fact.

The fact that the US has been standoffish in its attitude is a reflection of the fact that they don't really care one way or the other who leads Iran, unless of course we are seeing a sea change in Iranian politics where the Iranian government becomes subservient to its interests.

Had the Mousavi camp succeeded in having the election results stayed and overturned, Zionist propagandist would no doubt have claimed Mousavihad pulled off a coup, if he did not show signs of following the correct agenda.

NDPP

Revolutionary Road - Live blogging from Tehran - http://shooresh1917.blogspot.com/2009/07/live-blogging-from-tehran.html

"Today, Friday 17 July, in various sections of Tehran we are again witness to mass demonstrations in Iran. There are reports that there are more than two million people giving slogan in the main streets and squares of Tehran. Some of the slogans are 'Down with Dictator', 'Free all Political Prisoners', 'Coup d'etat government, resign resign', 'Down with Ahmadinejad'.."

Cueball Cueball's picture

From the same link:

Quote:
The International Human Rights campaign in Iran announced today that the number of people killed in recent unrests in Iran were far higher than what the government was reported. According to a report published by the organization, last month more than 34 bodies were brought to a morgue in Tehran in a single day while the government claims that no more than 20 people have died in all.According to the report, the bodies were brought to three hospitals in Tehran on June 30. 19 were brought to Imam Khomeini Hospital, 8 to Rasoole Akram Hospital and 7 to Loqmane Hakeem Hospital.

NDPP

Rafsanjani: Iran in Crisis

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/07/200971793040418381....

"Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former Iranian president, has said that Iran is in "crisis".."

NDPP

Obama's War Signals - Iran in the Crosshairs

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2009/07/16/obamas-war-signals/

"The evidence that Obama is ramping up the U.S. effort to encircle and eventually strike at Iran is building.."

NDPP

Left is Wrong on Iran

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/956/op5.htm

"Who are and who promoted these leftist intellectuals who question the social uprising of the people in Iran...?"

Gene Gene's picture

In the name of fairness, [url=http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2009/07/hamid-dabashis-attacks-on-my-perso... is As'ad AbuKhalil's response.

Gene Gene's picture

I've put together these few links on the ongoing protests in Iran. Hope you find them of interest.
• [url=http://iranquest.com/blog/?p=7977]"Words to heed"[/url]
• [url=http://iranfacts.blogspot.com/2009/07/najs-picks-of-iran-grand-paradox.h... grand paradox[/url]
• [url=http://www.sidewalklyrics.com/?p=930]I was there[/url]
• [url=http://tehranbureau.com/prayers-history/]Prayers make history[/url]
• [url=http://windowsoniran.wordpress.com/2009/07/19/windows-on-iran-83-electio..."Hashemi, may God protect you!"[/url]
• [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdbZZzYOdNY]A poignant rap for Iran[/url] [via [url=">http://iranfacts.blogspot.com/2009/07/new-hip-hop-for-irans-new-revoluti...

sanizadeh

Cueball wrote:

As far as I am concerned the situation in Iran, from the perspective of a complete outsider, is slightly above the issue of a family feud.

And the Honduras affair is not?

What makes the situation in Honduras a greater abuse of human rights than in Iran?

Cueball Cueball's picture

Nothing in particular. I never said it was. This some sort of opression Olympics?Very simillar levels of moderate level repression are being used in both circumstances.

My main point about introducing the subject of Honduras, has been to highlight the weird divergence of the manner of coverage, and the ideological bent that determines how people are interpretting very simillar social upheavals in these two states, ones that are happening concurrently. The fact that they are happening at the same time really helps in exposing how much a persons ideological bias determines their take the issue of the abuse of human rights by security forces in both places.

Interestingly, but not suprisingly, some here who are up in arms over the apparent abuse of human rights in Iran, are bending over backwards to excuse the siezure of power in Honduras, and ignoring police violence, and the reapperance of death squads in the central American republic.

On the other hand, the question you ask is interesting. Zelaya, apparently was manouvering to have the Honduran constitution opened up for debate among the Hondurans toward the end of constitutional reform, on the other, it appears that Rafsanjani has now manouvered in such a way as to openly support Mousavi, and in this light one might ask: can we really pose that idea that Rafsanjani can be cast as "a liberator of his people?"

NDPP

Please forward and circulate this information re: Hunger Strike At Queen's Park (TO) Saturday, July 25, 2PM

http://groups.google.com/group/supportiranresistance?hl

NDPP

36 Army Officers Arrested in Iran Over Protest Plan

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/19/iran-army-officers-arrested

"Officers planned to attend sermon by former president Hashemi Rafsanjani in military uniform.."

NDPP

Threatening Iran: http://www.countercurrents.org/roberts200709.htm

"The US, which has been threatening Iran with attack for years, has passed the job to Israel.."

NDPP

Iran VP Nominee Mashaei Denies Quitting

http://televisionwashington.com/floater_article1.aspx?lang=en&t=1&id=12288

"the state owned Press TV network also reported that he had quit. However, in a statement posted on his personal website, Mashaei rejected the report as "lies". "This news is nothing more than rumours and lies, and this rumour was made up and spread by the enemies of the Supreme Leader and the state," said Mashaei.."

 

sanizadeh

Iran's former president Mohammad Khatami asks for a national referendum:

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/07/20/khatami-iran-referendum455.html...

Peech

Message to the International 'Left': "Stop Supporting Iran's Islamic Regime."
From The Iran-Left Coalition Canada:

"We are asking the Iranian regime’s defenders in the international left to show us any documents or articles by any major Iranian leftist organization or entity after 1986 that is in line with their current position of defending the reactionary, anti-worker regime in Iran as anti-imperialist and deserving support.

"We ask these comrades again, shall you not refer to the Iranian left’s literature and analysis for a true understanding of the Iranian regime? The experience has taught us that any regime which murders the communists, and the worker, union and human rights activists, can not be anti-imperialist.

"The anti-imperialist struggle can not be waged without the fight for democratic freedoms. Please support us in our cause by endorsing this appeal."

With some minor caveats, I happily endorse this appeal (which follows usefully from Saeed Rahnema's analysis), which should come as no surprise (as in here, and here, and in the context of Afghanistan). I am very happy to see the stupefaction exposed and challenged by the Iran-Left Coalition, because it's long been my view that the corrosive effects of the reactionary 'left' should be exposed at every opportunity.

Terry Glavin

Unionist

Peech wrote:

With some minor caveats, I happily endorse this appeal (which follows usefully from Saeed Rahnema's analysis), which should come as no surprise (as in here, and here, and in the context of Afghanistan). I am very happy to see the stupefaction exposed and challenged by the Iran-Left Coalition, because it's long been my view that the corrosive effects of the reactionary 'left' should be exposed at every opportunity.

Terry Glavin

If the movement in Iran follows the lead of Glavin - that frenzied supporter of Israel and of the U.S.-NATO invasion of Afghanistan - it will swiftly go down the drain. Shame on you for linking such trash on this board.

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

That is interesting. What is also interesting is this call is made to the "left", as a general group. When we puruse most of the aforelinked to bloggery what do we find? We find quotes from "a British leftist" and so on and so forth. Who is "a british leftist"? These wild eyed attacks against unnamed persons amount to a stinking pile of straw shit.

Straw shit mind you, not to disimillar to the accussations made by many Zionist appologists who make undefined charges of anti-semetism against unamed "leftists" who are in league with antisemites, and so on.

Good criticism comes with names and quotes attached.

Galvin and yourself are only adding credibility to the claim that the Iranian movement for change is in the pocket of the Zionists, or at least serves its interests. The last thing they need is a pack of Zionists lining up to show their support for Mousavi.

Unionist

Cueball wrote:

Galvin and yourself are only adding credibility to the claim that the Iranian movement for change is in the pocket of the Zionists, or at least serves its interests. The last thing they need is a pack of Zionists lining up to show their support for Mousavi.

Exactly.

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