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Freedom of Speech... But Not Today

by REZA VALIZADEH in Paris

13 Apr 2010 23:5720 Comments
green-flag1-1.jpgGreen leaders' dubious derision of popular slogans.

[ analysis ] Several months after beginning their march alongside the people and camaraderie with them, the leaders of the Green Movement eventually started to scrutinize and censure demonstrators' slogans. This appears to mark a retreat by the leaders of the Movement from the people's demands; it can even be seen as the declaration of a tactical ceasefire with the regime. This moment has been considered by some as a point of no return, while others believe that the former relations can be restored.

The collective rise of the Iranian people in protest, as what the world now recognizes as the Green Movement, although it involves a spectrum of beliefs and a diverse sets of demands, is now clearly coordinated by the Reformists. Spurred by further repression, the slogan that originally arose in reaction to the election results, "Give back our votes," has transformed to "Give back our country." As witnessed in many videos, slogans like "Autonomy, Liberty, Iranian Republic," "Gaza, not, Lebanon, not, only Iran My Devotion's Got," "Down with the Rule of the Jurist's Rule," and "Death to Khamenei" have been heard during various demonstrations. They have become a focal point for the government-controlled media, as well as the intelligence and security organizations.

The recognized leaders of the Movement, Mehdi Karoubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, at first did not react publicly to these slogans. Meanwhile, in the opposing camp, these slogans were exploited to ascribe a Western ideology to the Movement's leaders, to escalate the oppression and suppression of the demonstrators, and to associate them with the external enemies of the Islamic Republic. The regime's propaganda machine has repeatedly insinuated that a traceable line connects these slogans to Western agents, foreign subversives, and agents of the MKO (now called National Council of Resistance).

The leaders of the Movement ultimately tried to present these slogans as reactions to the harsh response of the regime. In several carefully worded announcements, they called such slogans distracting, and even deviant, and that they provide the regime an excuse for further attempts at suppression. Mohammad Khatami, an unofficial supporter of the Movement, also called people's blunt slogans "perverse and wrong." Hashemi Rafsanjani took a similar, if less explicit, position.

Contradictions of the Green Movement's Leaders

In his invitation to the people to rally on February 11, the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution, Mousavi wrote, "The sole desire of this force that has appeared on the scene is a return to the mandates, values, and principles of the Islamic Revolution. Instead, it has been insulted." He added, "The Green Movement takes everyone, even those who don't hold the same beliefs as us, as friends, because they are part of our nation."

At the same time that Mousavi, and Karoubi behind him, suggest people's slogans and demands as recalcitrant, they portray themselves as "disciples" and "supporters" of the Movement. They say that they are not its leaders, that their will and motivation arises out of the Movement, and that they are only its "followers." Reformists describe this approach to leadership as an inverted pyramid, with the leaders at the bottom. Yet, traces of potential future strategies are visible in their communiqués, indicating different aims than following the people.

Prior to the February 11, the leaders of the Movement, along with the Jaras and Kalameh websites tried to promote a roster of compromised slogans, containing nothing but calls for the re-creation of the Islamic Republic.

Silence in the Face of Derision

Although none of the Movement's other prominent figures or any distinguished political activists, within or outside Iran, took public note of the leaders' censure of the people's own slogans, one could find pro and con reactions within certain conclaves and on the margins of cyberspace. The left came together in opposition to criticizing slogans, while the liberals, the Reformists, and others saw it as a prudent strategy. Unfortunately, the discussion of the issue did not go beyond airing of historical legitimation of the various groups to an analysis of the censure as a political act, with due assessment of its harm.

The left and the secularists believe that criticizing and deriding mass slogans and dictating new, ideological ones to a populace composed of different groups with diverse demands, more than anything else, stands in contradiction to people's rights in a democratic society. From this point of view, there is no effective difference, concerning the slogans, between the stances of the Green Movement's leaders and that of the Islamic regime. By labeling their expressions recalcitrant and wayward, the Movement's leaders treated the people in a manner similar to the way the regime has, drawing lines between "us" and "them."

Confiscating a People

Perhaps the foremost danger of derision of people's slogans is disregard for the rules of a democratic civil society and reducing a diverse populace to an indistinctive mass.

The Reformists who condemn the regime for treating the people with fundamentalist zeal apparently believe that they are gradually rehabilitating the regime. But their abusive use of domineering language against people's demands and slogans brings them into contact with the same disease, fundamentalism. The people, above all, want a true Iranian republic. Does not the labeling of their slogans as wayward conjure the image of Movement leaders and their influential associates viewing the people as their political subjects, just because they use the color green?

To follow a path that, instead of uniting people, seeks to consolidate them into an unindividuated mass, overlooks the characteristics of the current movement. The Greens have been composed of diverse social groups, such as labor unions, women's organizations, artisans' syndicates, teachers' organizations, student associations, political parties, journalists, and so forth. All of them have accepted to stand under the Green banner of protest, but this does not mean that their demands and the ways they express themselves must be forced into a uniform color, shape, and style. The operating principle should be exactly the opposite: the movement must develop paths that lead to each and every one of these groups attaining its rightful demands. This is the exact definition of civil society, which is composed of independent groups with their own specific philosophies and beliefs, free from the obligation to follow the uniform prescriptions of any regime.

Although at present, the Green leaders show respect for the diverse and autonomous groups that constitute the Movement, they have never taken an unambiguous stance in support of any group's distinct demands. For a clear example, we can point to the leaders' failed response to the women's movement and the actions it was considering for March 8. When the Green Movement does not openly recognize and support the occasions chosen by its constituent groups to highlight their demands and mobilize the backing of others, it denigrates their unique identities and promotes their forcible alignment into a uniform mass.

On the day after the International Day of Palestine, Mousavi proclaimed, "Our victory will not mean anyone's defeat." He went on to stress his respect for the beliefs of those opposing the Movement, and effectively declared that, because of his conviction in freedom of speech, the suppressors of the people also have the right to their views and to expressing them. This stance was cheered by his adherents and many others, but it is very difficult to reconcile it with the derision and censure of people's slogans and demands.

Although many of Mousavi's and Karoubi's backers consider the criticizing of people's slogans part of a strategy to reduce the regime's excuses for suppressing demonstrators, they fail to recognize the other side of the coin. Like a coin stamped in a Machiavellian thought foundry, that other side reveals a fundamentalist vision devoid of trust and honesty. Even if we accept Henry Bergson's saying, "Truth can not necessarily be revealed through method alone," and acknowledge that victory in any struggle is the result of better tactics, the language chosen by the Movement's leaders to explain their strategy contradicts the view of the protestors expressed in their proclamations. To believe people's slogans wayward is equivalent to believing they have perverted thoughts and deeds.

Cruel Historical Tragedy

A number of analysts, mostly in the left and secular blocs, do not consider the leaders' purported strategy an effective one. Some argue that the leaders are, in fact, seeking the re-creation of the Islamic Republic and, as Mir Hossein Mousavi has repeated stressed, a return to Ayatollah Khomeini's ideals. These analysts tend to repeatedly recall the murder of prisoners during the late 1980s, depicting it in terms that evoke a holocaust; with a few exceptions, the Reformists have largely been unwilling to reflect and take a stance on this history and its meaning. The analysts I refer to believe that these murders, and many others, were carried out under the supervision of today's Movement leaders and other reformists under the cover of Ayatollah Khomeini's ideology, and that utilizing the energies of today's protesting public for the re-creation of such a regime would be both a cruel irony and a historic tragedy.

Other analysts believe that the Reformists, a defeated gang within the regime, are working to keep the Islamic Republic's system intact by finding ways to shield it from the popular battering. The accuracy of these analyses aside, the Reformists insist that a revolution would exact a high cost on the nation and ensure fundamentalist domination. They assert this even as they appear to have adopted practices identical to those of the regime in their attempt to convert the aggrieved population from autonomous groups into a uniform horde of supporters.

Guardianship of the Reformists

In the face of such contradictions, the discussions and disputes among political groups in the Iranian diaspora are producing clearer divisions. Those expatriate groups and individual Iranians living abroad who express their demands clearly in direct, forceful slogans are also being subjected to the derision of the Reformist bloc.

Groups outside Iran, from workers and communist parties, MKO, and the monarchists, believe that today's struggle, which the Reformists are attempting to mold as a uniform movement against the current regime, is the same one they have been engaged in since the 1980s, the same one for which they have sacrificed lives and suffered exile. Now the Reformists, who were pushed out of the game, suddenly have donned anti-regime uniforms and will not acknowledge any other combatants unless they carry the swords of their camp.

It appears that the Reformists' view of the opposition in the diaspora is not much different from that held by the regime. They are considered fossilized groups which dream of only one thing, the total eradication of the Islamic Republic, and if they ever succeed and return, it is said, they will immediately raise the gallows to take revenge on all. Iran will then turn into a colonial outpost of foreign powers.

It goes without saying that the Reformists have gained widespread acceptance among the people of Iran. The full range of reasons for the admiration with which they are viewed is beyond the scope of this discussion. However, the central issue, the one that has led to the Reformists becoming the de facto guardians of the popular opposition movement and allowed it to seize the right to deride and denounce the Movement's slogans and demands, is the number of their members currently incarcerated by the regime.

Considering the news about the prisoners, it could well appear that virtually all those who have been detained since the elections are from the Reformists' camp. More than anything else, it is the volume of news about detained Reformists, propagated by the media close to their camp, that has swayed public opinion. Close to a thousand people have been arrested in street skirmishes, but we have heard about only the prominent Reformist figures, the politicians, journalists, and activists among them. By contrast, no one has been able to offer an accurate picture of the political identities of most of the others who have been imprisoned, and they go largely ignored. The reasons that we are unaware of the political stance of most of the detainees and those murdered during the demonstrations and afterward include their lack of access to the media and fear for their families. As a result, unlike the Reformists, there is little discussion of them in the Western media.

This fact has enabled the Reformists to induce the majority of the people into its philosophical sphere and thus encouraged them to believe it is fitting to take ownership of the people's slogans. Compared to the figures associated with other opposition groups, inside and outside the nation, Moussavi and Karoubi are the most widely admired, thus able to direct events and mobilize social forces for the protest movement.

Referendum through Divisive Spectacles

There are more than a few who consider the adoration expressed by Moussavi's supporters as all too similar to that of those who would sit amorously around Ayatollah Khomeini's pulpit. Thus, they fear the re-creation of a fundamentalist regime that will have few substantial differences with the current Islamic Republic. On the other side, followers of Moussavi and Karoubi claim that the censure of dissident slogans is a strategy for safely guiding the Movement to victory. Once that victory is achieved, they say, all the demands of the people, including the transparent investigation and demystification of the holocaust of the 1980s, will be addressed.

People have accepted this strategy based on their trust in the leaders of the Movement and the belief that their demands will be met when victory is achieved. They have come to believe that they will get to participate in a referendum to choose between an "Iranian Republic" and an "Islamic Republic." Whether the Movement's leaders actually share this vision, held by so many of those they would mobilize, is the question.

Could it be that, upon victory, the dissident movement being directed by the Reformists will actually hold a referendum in which supporters of Ahmadinejad's government, monarchists, workers' communist parties, the MKO, and all the Iranian political groups inside and outside the country will be present? Can we honestly assume that the Iranian people will have a multiple-choice referendum? In light of Mossavi's declaration, "Our victory will not mean anyone's defeat," can we truly hope for a full referendum, covering all of the rights for which Iranian citizens are currently struggling? The censure of people's demands and their slogans, through which they voice their vision, insinuates a different image of such a referendum, one in which it is difficult to discern how many of the hopes of today's popular opposition will be considered indispensable.

Until recently, Reza Valizadeh worked at state broadcaster Seda va Sima. He participated in every demonstration before having to flee Iran. This article first appeared in Farsi at Tehran Review.

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20 Comments

Do not be surprised...people are watching them and are not going to risk their lives so that they revive anything of Islamic Republic ideologies! People are being silenced and they will fail without the people whose demands are beyond Islamic Republic.

It will take few years for those who do not want to accept the realities to realize that the majority of the people of Iran do not want "Islamic Republic" period.

Either they are smart and they do the changes taking Iran to real democracy or the whole system will miserably fail!

They have no choice but to ACCEPT this. Nothing much of the Islamic Republic and Khomeinyist is left.

Musavi's tactical mistake is putting the photo of Khomeiny on Newe Year's Haft Sin make us be careful not to put our lives in Iran in many more dangers for Khomeiny or his brutal, aggressive and viloent idieologies.

The movement is not going to die because of their compromise, it will only be silent to take deeper roots in the following few years!

Hengameh / April 13, 2010 8:41 PM

This article is typical "expat talk" as many have come to call it - sit on your couch in Paris, London, New York, etc, etc and wait for "revolution, freedom and democracy" to come to Iran by the time American Idol is on.

What is Mr. Valizadeh's point? You can very well analyze/criticize the likes of Mousavi, Khatami, etc. But I don't think it's a "secret" that they were never rooting for revolution. Iran is a country of 70 million, how does the writer claim to know what the "majority" of Iranians want or don't want? In fact, given everything that came and went after the election, it can be very well argued that revolution was never the aim - despite the slogans one hears on the streets in demonstrations.

It may be fun to watch "death to Khamenei" on youtube with your Nachos or crepes, but it's a whole different life on the ground. If we mourn the loss of at least 100 civilians who were killed by the establishment, a revolution is surely going to cost us thousands more ... I guess that's easy to say though if it's all just one big spectacle.

Well, I have news for you: those are real people on the ground. People who may choose to make compromises or live within the confines of a repressive system because their number 1 priority is to LIVE and not be Hollywood fodder for Valizadeh and HIS defeated gang.

Houshang / April 13, 2010 9:10 PM

Moussavi and Karroubi are part and parcel of this regime and this is nothing more than political infighting among the political elite in the system. They care not for the demands of a people and if they 'want to return to the mandate and values of the Islamic Revolution' they can count me and millions of other Iranians out, as we were there during those early days; the days when their brutality was at its height and their religious fervour still bubbling.

NO thank you!
Marg Bar Jomhuri E Islami!

Samira / April 13, 2010 9:18 PM

The cult of worshiping a single entity seems ingrained in the human genome. Why should there be a single president, in France, in the US, in UK, oops sorry, they worship the Queen, or any other republic. What is this business of a single person being equal to a 9 judge panel and a 600+ body of legislators? Isn't that worshiping similar to worshiping khomeini or Mohamad or Jesus?

The beauty of this people's struggle, called green, is that it doesn't have a defined head. If it can grow as it is, like network, it can become pervasive and take roots below the grass even.

We need to think of a new system of rotating committees with rotating heads (I don't mean the member's heads rotating, but the heads of committees, didn't want to use the word president again).

So, maybe the land that gave the world alcohol, monotheism, nihilism, modern math (think technology and the atomic bomb), and sugar (yes, they have all been proven no so helpful) can make up for all that by coming up with a self governing system that doesn't require a deity, visible or invisible.

It is hard to kill each other over committees as it would be over loyalty to a single deity. You can have a different god in every home. At night, the gods can go out and party, and leave people alone.

Maybe genetic engineering is the only solution. We need a fatwa to get rid of the "God Gene'.

nassim sabba / April 13, 2010 9:37 PM

This piece is sheer mumbo jumbo, written by someone who, from the comfort of his home in the West, is criticizing those who, under the most difficult conditions, are trying their best to make Iran a better nation.

It jumps from one absurd statement to another. It makes one outlandish claim, and before discussing it intelligently, it moves on to another outlandish claim. Most of all, it demonstrates the author's frustration with the fact that his faction (whatever that is) is not recognized by the people.

The ridiculous idea that the reformists are trying to "shield" the hardliners is so outlandish. Shielding them for what? Keeping more of their leaders in jail?

Mousavi and others have a right to express their opinion, just like everybody else. They can say, "we do not approve of this or that slogan." If people trust them, they take their advice. If they do not, or do but disagree, they won't take their advice. What is the problem?

Who says that just because Mousavi is recognized as the de facto leader (something that he himself has repeatedly rejected), he must follow people? In fact, a leader leads not follows.

Who says the slogans that the author is criticizing Mousavi and others for are reflective of the desire of the majority in IRAN? What scientific evidence is there for it? Making such statements is a hollow slogan by itself. The author, from the comfort of his home in the West, speaks for Iranian people in Iran, but those who are present in Iran cannot, or should not, or do not?

Finally, the author seems to claim that those unknown jailed people are all on his side. If they are unknown, then how does he know? If they are not, then why the fuss about "propaganda" about the jailed leaders?

George Stewart / April 13, 2010 10:37 PM

@ I just don't like these out-dated conservative classifications: "expats" versus "x, y, z", all of us whether inside or outside are concerned about our countries unless you want take our right to our citizenship by force!

Anonymous / April 13, 2010 10:39 PM

Regarding the acceptance of compromise, the only place I have heard that from is demoralized expats my age (46) in the diaspora. No one I know in the movement inside Iran--and I talk to several of them on a daily basis--wants anything less than autonomy, freedom, and secular democracy in an Iranian Republic without "Islamic". That includes devout Muslims who pray five times a day, go to mosque every Friday, and study the Quran diligently. It cuts across gender, socio-economic, religious, and ethnic lines. In fact, those who most loudly celebrate every statement of unqualified support coming from the triumvirate (plus Rafsanjani and Rahnavard) also say that if at the last moment the "leaders" opt for supporting an Islamic republic in any form, they will find themselves without a movement of which to be a part.

I'm glad to finally see some journalists giving attention to this disturbing trend.

Chuck Hamilton / April 13, 2010 11:56 PM


I am delighted that this forum enables a diverse set of opinions -- even those that I may disagree with.

Certainly, there are shortcomings in the Green movement! However, it is ironic that the author has chosen to take issue with the very principle that enables him to express his opinions in this very forum -- the freedom of expression and the respect for the opposing views -- indeed, by writing an article that principally criticizes Mousavi for the stance of respecting the opposing views.

A generous interpretation would suggest that the author simply did not understand the context and the meaning of Mousavi's statement. Yet another interpretation would suggest that the author is unfamiliar with the imperfections of democratic systems that at times in history has enabled brutal regimes. Despite the imperfections, however, democracy is preferable, in my opinion, to an elitist system that masquerades as a democracy-- often a charade to sell dictatorship to the masses.

Democratization is a long and arduous, yet imperfect, process. It is simply unfair at the best, and disingenuous at the worst to condemn people for walking along the path to a native democracy because "western democratic nirvana has not been achieved", or, it has not been achieved "fast enough".

jay / April 14, 2010 2:25 AM

This video teaches the proven method the Iranian people can employ to overcome the tyranny of the theocratic fascists:

http://www.youtube.com/righttoconsent#p/u/6/dHPr90g3-Ys

WillofthePeople / April 14, 2010 9:14 PM

Chuck some 'devout' Muslims, who pray 5 times daily and read the Koran also supported the Shah and the terrorists of Al Qaeda quote Koranic verses and pray before blowing themselves and innocent women and children up in the streets, market place and mosques even. Outward piety means nothing. I know of secular minded Iranians who strongly support Ahmedinejad because they say he is honest and dares to stand up to the bullies of this world. He has given Iranians pride by going forth with its nuclear programme which the reformists had temporarily frozen. Under his government many infrastructure developments have been carried out in the rural areas. And don't forget as many if not more also attended his rallies. During one rally in South Tehran, he had to turn back after trying for a few hours to get to the rostrum. The reality is that there are two Irans or maybe many more and therefore perhaps pragmatically the only institution that can hold it together until the time different political groups learn to tolerate each other, is the VF system! and this seems to be the opinion of the majority according to a poll taken a few months ago.

rezvan / April 15, 2010 2:49 AM

Rezvan, devout Muslims, specifically Grand Ayatollahs Kashani and Behbahani, were the main forces behind the coup d'etat that overthrew Mosaddegh and reinstalled the Shah. Kermit Roosevlet (of the CIA) couldn't find his own buttocks with both hands behind his back. Another devout Muslim named Hojat e-Islam Ruhollah Khomeini hand-carried congratulations to the Shah for his return to power from his boss, the top-ranking Shia cleric in Iran, Grand Ayatollah Boroujerdi.

My point in mentioning devout Muslims, and in pointing out the facts I just did, is that the Islamic Republic is not only very un-republican, it is also not very Islamic. Well, that was one point, the other was that the movement is much more diverse than people such as you like to describe it (as made up of overeducated, overprivileged, rich North Tehranis).

I remember this summer that the Basijis were chased out of Nazi Abad several times when they followed protestors in the community. The people the Basijis were fleeing from were the residents of Nazi Abad. And Nazi Abad is far from being the only poor community to have defended protestors of the green movement.

If you want an accurate picture of the level of support of AN versus the Green Movement, compare the picture taken of Azadi Square on 15 June to that of the aerial photograph on Google from Azadi Square on Revolution Day.

Chuck Hamilton / April 15, 2010 9:53 AM

rezvan,

ahamdinejad is more of a bully than bush could ever hope to be. The difference is that he doesn't have the power that the latter did. Iran is interfering in iraq, funding militas as bloodthirsty as al-qaeda, and looks like it's trying to do something similari n afghanistan. It's threating its gulf neighbors, interfering in lebanese politics and supporting the medieval hezbollah and destroying lebanese democracy and fanning the flames of conflict.

it's interesting reading things like 'ahamedinjad stands up t the bullies/west' or whatever. It's the same logic rednecks defend bush with. Of course both ahmadinejad and bush only isolated their countries and set back their national security, anybody with a modicum of intelligence can see that. Those with not much intelligence however, simply see the optics - empty bluster and rhetoric, a black and white world view, uncompromising idiocy, and see tough resolute leaders, LOL. Most people are simple and gullible unfortunately. More so in the case of religions ones that believe in fairy tales and bearded men in the sky that torture people and give them virgins for obedience, as is the case in third world dictatorships like Iran.

BTW, my criticism of bush isn't from a lefty viewpoint - I support both the afghan and iraq wars and one with iran if it comes to that.

GeneralOreo / April 15, 2010 2:15 PM

Feldmarshall Offmedz (aka GeneralOreo),


Still refusing to accept your promotion or take your medications, Herr General?


You seem acutely obsessed with IRI foiling America's cuddly plans for a New Middle East in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere.


Feeling any 'birth pangs' lately?

Ali from Tehran / April 15, 2010 8:38 PM

To modify my previous post, ahamdinejad didn't just isolate iran but made a very powerful case for why it should be confronted, his irrational rhetoric and venomous antisemitism underscored the barbaric republic's nature.

GeneralOreo / April 15, 2010 9:39 PM

General Oreo if 'irrational rhetoric' is going to be a measure of who we should support & oppose. Then how do you propose we deal with Obama's irrational rhetoric that all countries except for N Korea and Iran, the 'outliers' as he called them, will be protected from any pre-emptive nuclear strike. Whatever one's view about the IRI's government, are its 70 million people not worthy of protection from a nuclear bomb from the only country in the world who has actually used them not once but twice? And what do you say to those other anti-semites based in Tel Aviv whose hatred of their semitic cousins, the Palestinian Arabs, has them create a concentration camp in Gaza and the West Bank and whose religious man vociferously preach hatred for the 'goyim' and whose army commanders called for the breaking of the bones of Arab childre and the killing of their pregnant women. Or what of Madeline Albright who famously called the death of 500,000 Iraqi children due to US imposed sanctions on Iraq as 'collateral damage'. By those standards AN is much more saner, he may practice repression at home but to date has not invaded any others unlike the US & Israel who have repeatedly aggressed against weaker peoples in total disregard of their proclaimed faiths and international norms. Perhaps you are a General in the US/Israeli army??

rezvan / April 17, 2010 3:03 AM

Thumbs up for Houshang and George Stewart

Arash / April 18, 2010 12:32 PM

Ali from Tehran,

America removed taliban, saddam (the one you couldn't beat even AFTER EIGHT YEARS), and is about to give your mullahs a spanking if they don't comply. I don't like spending all that money defending afghans from the taliban, I don't think they deserve much better to be honest, but other than that american 'plans' are going just fine.

How about you ali, feel any batons on your head? don't forget your next appointment to grovel for a visa out of iran (if you are indeed in tehran, otherwise enjoy being out of iran :p).

GeneralOreo / April 19, 2010 11:26 AM

Rezvan
The sins Israel is committing in Gaza, don't make the sins of the IRI any better. No one has a monopoly over Morality or Sadism.

Eitan / April 19, 2010 10:27 PM

Rezvan,

I advise you as a future practice to read out your intended postings aloud a few times just to make sure if they adhere to the rules of logic.

1- "Whatever one's view about the IRI's government, are its 70 million people not worthy of protection ...?"

2- "... he (Ahmadinejad) may practice repression at home but to date has not invaded any others ..."

3- "... death of 500,000 Iraqi children ".

Are they not your fellow Lebanese hired to oppress the Iranian people? What is your opinion about them Mr. righteous?

Do ends justify the means, Mr. Rezvan? How about the democratic occupied state of South Lebanon? Tell us a little about your home state and YOUR accomplishments. OR is that another tragedy blamed on U.S. imperialism or Israeli Zionism?

Is it not about time we, the people of M.E., take some of these responsibilities upon ourselves? OR is it always someone else's fault?

No, I was wrong. You are as two faced as it comes.

Niloofar / April 20, 2010 6:02 AM

I'll also add to my reply to ali from tehran,

Your comment, so proud of iran 'disrupting' what you call 'american plans', is interesting because it's one that underscores the real nature of iran and the other rotten countries in the region.

Disrupting and spoiling attempts at democracy in iraq and afghanistan, funding bloodthirsty militias, never mind that these repugnant crimes never seem to arouse your indignation (that's reserved for the US I guess), but it underscores an important fact: destroying/disrupting is the only thing iranians can do. Destroy, spoil, but build? Nope. That's what the US can do. Even if for people that don't deserve it and aren't capable of handling what the US is doing for them (iraq, afghanistan).

Civilization on one side and insecure barbarity on the other. This is the basic problem of iran and the middle east, they can't stop blaming others for their problems and failures and start building their countries and contribute positively to the world because they can't build those societies and contribute anything positive to the world outside of oil drilled with western technology. Better stay hateful, bitter, destroy and kill things, blame others for everything, particularly the ones you feel inferior to, and engage in delusions of the past.

GeneralOreo / April 20, 2010 2:23 PM