What the Basij Do (Warning: Very Graphic), and What Side I'm Not On
The following is a photo of the body of a protester attacked by the Basij in a morgue, probably attacked with the axes that were said to have been used in yesterday's attacks on the demonstrators. The photo, according to Andrew Sullivan, has been verified as real.
Now: Imagine this was your friend, or your brother.
Also: I would like to address something. There was a message I received yesterday in the comments that I rejected. It was lauding my post, but then went on to assume I was also attacking Barack Obama's reaction to this, and the commenter went on to attack Obama for his supposed "inaction". I might have even let the comment through, though I would have replied that I'm actually an Obama supporter, if not for the blather that followed about "monkeys" and "savages."
Let me be clear to that person. I am not on your side. Leaving aside the racism, which all by itself puts you outside the community of civilized humans, I also know what you right-wingers want with your urgings of Obama to take action.
You are children. I will explain to you what grown-ups think.
Obama is in a difficult position right now. A potential opportunity is opening up that any interference by an American president will surely fuck up. Because any interference will play into the hands of the Iranian government. Already they're using the little he has said publicly as justification to accuse the protesters of being tools of our government, and well, it results in things like using axes on them. And worse. Both for the sake of the protesters and the future of Iran and our relations with them(and presently we have none), it is vital that we place not one finger upon this. It would only strengthen the fascist bastards. Obama knows this and is treating it appropriately. He may have already said too much publicly. His decision to send an ambassador to Damascus, however, is in fact a first step to trying to talk to Iran.
And the right wing knows this, unless they're stupid. I'll be kind and assume they're not. But they don't care. They don't give a damn whether Iran reforms. They don't expect it to. And they think the only solution is to bomb it, and so they'd rather have the bastard that's there already because he is much easier to demonize. Of course, that's insane--they'd rather have a dictator there so they can kill people, than have a reform occur. Probably because Iranians would do the reforming themselves. The right wing only wants a puppet Iran. And as long as the oil's there, I imagine they'd not mind if everyone there was dead, just like Iraq.
But more importantly, they want to stick it to Obama for short-term political gain, no matter what damage it might do. They want to plant a seed of the notion he's weak on foreign policy, just to get a few points ahead in the polls. He was very discreet at first and Graham called him weak. So he was firmer, and about as definitive as he could be without giving Khamenei something to decontextualize into a propaganda weapon. And now you have the Republicans trying to egg him into a definite threat. Which would then lead to them asking for military action, of course. And that would be foolish and possibly result in a world war. But do you think for a second that its being a foolish choice would stop the Republicans from wanting it? That never stopped them from doing anything, especially damage. Ask the Iraqis. Ask Panama.
The Republicans are a dying party that is unserious about government, that in their heads live in an action movie. It is natural that a dying monster wants to take others with it, and that's what they're doing. And this nipping at Obama's heels as though anyone still thinks they're authorities on anything is all they have left, and they wouldn't care if action taken on their advice kills us all.
That's why their advice is exactly what not to take. The only reason their story seems the only one the news addresses is because they're the only ones flapping their decayed gums. Measured and careful response is good geopolitics but terrible TV. But the networks have nothing from Iran and little from Obama, so to fill in the space, they are glad to give the children in our government a voice and whip up suspense.
Which is another reason I'm glad their gatekeepers are becoming irrelevant.
What action should Obama take? None. He cannot without causing harm, nor can any American president, not given our deposing of Mossadegh, backing of the tyrant Shah Reza Pahlevi, and arming of both sides in the Iran-Iraq war in hopes they'd kill each other off. And any taint of American interference will get people killed for nothing. And military action? Do we have special bombs that will only kill the Basij? Would those be the same bombs we used to save Kosovo? And what standing do we have when we tolerated openly stolen elections here in 2000 and 2004? Or, for that matter, given Iraq?
If we really want things to change there, we have to let things take their course, while still aiding the Iranians individually by doing whatever we can to help them get the information out that Khamenei wants to squelch. If we do that, they may win. But if we stick our noses into it?
If we do that we have no chance.
So, to all right-wingers: if you really care about the people of Iran, shut up about Obama talking tough. Because it doesn't help a damn thing.
But given what my commenter called Iranians, well: you don't give a fuck about the Iranians, do you? You're too obsessed with wanting to hurt Obama, and too hot for bombings.
So, you're children. Please go play with the other children and let the grown-ups handle the grown-up stuff. Or spend some time with your Argentinian mistresses or whatever. Just go away for a while. You've proven what your ideas do. You've had your chance.
The neocons know nothing about Iran, nothing about the culture of Iran. They have no interest in understanding Iran, in speaking to any Iranian other than Iranian exiles who support the idea of invasions -- I'll call them Iranian Chalabis. It's offensive, even to an Iranian American like me. These are people who would have actually preferred to have Ahmadinejad as president so they could continue to demonize him and were worried, as some wrote in Op-Eds, that Mousavi would be a distraction and would make it easier for Iranians to build a nuclear weapon and now all of a sudden they want to be on his side? Go away.