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Here’s One For Pilger

May 6, 2011

It is surely time we focused on the savage repression in Iran.

It is one of the world’s worst dictatorships. The rate of capital punishment confirms it. Iran now stands second only to China in number of executions, with a smaller population. In 2005, the year Ahmadinejad became President, there were only 86 people executed. That figure has been rising steadily – there were 542 executed in 2010. Some are public entertainments.

So far this year there have been 13 public hangings (two of them juvenile offenders – executing children is another test of regime barbarity ) compared to 14 hangings reported for all of last year.

The demonstrations that were ignited by the same wave of protest that produced the crisis in Libya and the collapse of Mubarak simply resulted in even more comprehensive arrests. The protests that took place in February saw 1 500 protestors hauled away, and that included a former Speaker of parliament and a former Prime Minster, both seen by Ahmadinejad as political threats.

The repression of the regime had been effective in 2009 when literally millions of Iranians demonstrated against the stolen election outcome and branded the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as a dictator. Brave people. But the Green Movement was flattened by the raw power of the Islamo-fascist state.

Now, according to Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre at Washington, this campaign of repression is aimed not only at the usual dissidents but at people who were once considered “regime insiders”. The goal is to prevent the nation ever being taken in a liberal direction, argued Esfandiari, who herself was held in solitary confinement in Evin prison in Iran for 105 days in 2007.

Any opposition? Throw them in gaol. 

Deserves a Pilger documentary.

  1. fefe permalink
    May 6, 2011 2:34 pm

    Bob, I take it you will be present at the syria solidarity protests organised by the syrian community and the far left this sunday?

    • Bob Carr permalink
      May 6, 2011 2:58 pm

      I haven’t been invited but I congratulate the organizers.
      Out of curiosity, who are they ? You refer to them as far left and I’m interested in which groups or individuals have broken ranks with a left which up to now have never attacked an Arab regime.

      • Fefe permalink
        May 6, 2011 9:35 pm

        Here Pip Hinman from the Socialist Alliance interviews Syrian activists

        Another example of proactive solidarity with the Iranian movements by socialists

        Statement from Stop the War Coalition in solidarity with revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.

        Here is a statement from the Egyptian Communist Party

        The revolution will continue until the demands of the masses are fulfilled

        Statement issued by the Communist Party of Egypt

        February 1, 2011 — The moment of truth is approaching. This is the decisive moment for the Egyptian popular forces for change; to topple the Mubarak regime. It seems that the imperialists, and their American masters in particular, are lifting their hands from him after the continuation of revolution everywhere in Egypt.

        Today millions emerge to demand the departure of Mubarak. They will prevent all the conspiracies of the dictator and his gang of spies to thwart the revolution and overcome them.

        The formation of a committee, which enjoys the confidence of the people and the demonstrators, is crucial to achieve the demands of the political, economic and social revolution, and we emphasise the basic demands presented by the national forces to the deputies of the people’s parliament:

        1. Dismissal of Mubarak and the formation of a presidential council for a transitional period of limited duration.

        2. Forming a coalition government to administer the country during the transitional period.

        3. To convene the election of a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution for the country based on the principle of the sovereignty of the nation and ensure the devolution of power within the framework of a democratic just civil state.

        4. Prosecute those responsible for hundreds of deaths and injuries of revolutionary martyrs and victims of oppression as well as ensuring the prosecution of those responsible for plundering the wealth of the Egyptian people.

        5. Long live the revolution of the Egyptian people


        The idea that somehow, that Marxists are to blame for the Arab dictators is an unjustifiable conclusion. In fact, anyone beholden to a Big Mac analysis of the Arab Spring should be thanking the revolutionaries, those that are communist and those that aren’t for providing an alternative praxis to terrorism through mass mobilisation, direct democracy and the hope of workers control.

        Andrew Bolt has made the same accusations previously, calling on socialists to apologise for the regime in Burma, when in fact the Burma campaign in NSW is being lead by someone from the socialist left of the ALP and someone from the Greens.

        I think you need to move on from this anti-communism, it just doesn’t work in 2011. It has lost its meaning in a world with the US as a global (albeit in retreat) hegemon.

        Oh I forgot, the other problem with your analysis, is that you forget that these regimes hatred of their own people is first directed at those that are most likely to be any of the following, unionists, communists, homosexuals, activists, agitators and revolutionaries, how could they be allies?

  2. May 6, 2011 4:09 pm

    It is unlikely that Pilger will ever make a documentary denouncing Iran’s despotic and theocratic regime. He has remained reliably silent on its deprivations in the interest of playing up those of the US and Israel, his eternal windmills, who he claims want to bring the country back within their sphere of influence. (He says as much in this interview, which appeared on Russia Today, an English-language satellite station funded by the Putin-Medvedev government. As recently as this month, he sidestepped a question about how the Left should feel about the Green Movement by pretending that the interviewer was asking a question about environmentalists (who he said were usually war-mongers, too). ( If Pilger were to make a documentary about Khamenei and Ahmadinejad (or whomever the latter is replaced with, should the rumours about the former requesting his resignation turn out to be to be true), he would probably appear in it shaking their hands, as he did in 2007’s The War on Democracy, shaking that of Hugo Chávez.

  3. May 6, 2011 6:42 pm

    Like everyone, Bilger has to make a buck. He discovered long ago that there is a large enough audience for anti-American, anti-western tripe to provide him with a good living and a fabulous, globe trotting, celebrity-meeting lifestyle. His audience are a river of gold, and he’s extremely adept at milking them for all they’re worth.

    Unfortunately for the Iranians, Bilger’s audience don’t give a bugger about them, so making a film about Iran (or Libya, Syria etc) wouldn’t make him a cent. For someone far out on the left, he’s quite tuned in to his market and he knows how to exploit them more ruthlessly than McDonalds exploits the walking whales.

  4. May 8, 2011 4:03 pm

    Bilger has to make a buck. He discovered long ago that there is a large enough audience for anti-American, anti-western tripe to provide him with a good living and a fabulous, globe trotting, celebrity-meeting lifestyle

    Yeah I’m sure that what he was thinking when he applied for the cadetship.

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