More news of the world

July 22, 2007 at 7:58 pm | Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

I found the following news items to be of interest today:

 

    What is of particular interest to me right now is how Iran’s “dual citizens” (a term Iran does not recognize) is forcing its captives to say some vaguely threatening statements on democracy, somewhat subtly (by Iranian propaganda standards) implying that they are trying to use “western” and liberal ways of thinking and democracy to undermine the Iranian regime and bring chaos. Although my initial response was and still is sympathy and empathy for these captives, who at their hearts want nothing but the best for Iran and certainly do not wish for an American takeover, I have to also conclude that, based on the nature of this theocratic and profundly undemocratic regime the reaction of the authorities has been perfectly understandable and rational. Let’s face facts: The Iran that these advocates are pushing is hardly close to existing in Iran today, because the mullahs have too much power (and power, particularly one vested in absolute authority, corrupts). The caliphs do not want to give up this power–they very much enjoy being in charge either because they feel righteously entitled to it as per the teachings of the Koran–remember that Muhammad never advocated a separation between religion and politics–or cynically enjoy their high and collectively untouchable position, or a combination of both. These advocates of a true Iranian democracy threaten the very system that has been put in place since the Ayatollah Kohmeini took over power in the 1979 coup against the Shah. As is always the case, when you are the coup plotters a coup is justifiable but any type of regime-change is blasphemous and evil when it is your position that is being targeted.

    So in a sense, the accusations from the authorities that these “Westerners” are plotting a “soft” revolution in Iran is correct, because these people being held in custody very much do want to see a change. I think the real outrage here is that at times Iran does purport to be a democracy–or at least one of sorts–as it certainly has more freedoms than Saudi Arabia and many other middle-eastern countries. It has its reformist newspapers that have this seemingly endless cycle of being shut down and reopened and shut down again. The ebb and flow of freedom of expression in Iran is constantly fluctuating. Yet many leaders in Iran still boast about their country’s purported freedoms and respect for religious minorities, and these coerced television appearances show just how much of a facade a lot of this is. If Iran was truly free its leaders wouldn’t mind if some of its citizens voiced a wish for reform over the country’s constitution. The people of Iran need to choose what kind of government they want Iran to be and what kind of society they want to live in.

    Next up on the list is how Egyptian border patrol officers shot and killed a Sudanese woman trying to flee into Israel. We can’t be completely certain why she chose to flee into Israel, but this is all connected to the situation in Darfur, how Darfur affects the rest of Sudan, Egypt’s tenacious and at times racist relationship with Sudan and its African peoples, Israel’s collective memory of the Holocaust, Israel’s concerns for its own security amid the threat of smuggled weapons into and from the Gaza strip, and its cold-again, warm-again relationship with Egypt. Everything comes in full circle and its all connected to each other. There’s another blogger much more knowledgeable on the plight of many Sudanese than I am; if you need a refresher about all things political on Sudan please check out http://www.sudanreeves.org/ .

    You know, I just realized something. Writing and trying to analyze every news story that has caught my attention in a day can take an inordinately long time–if I had the time to be at my computer for multiple hours consecutively, I would have little trouble but much of my blogging is actually done in spurts. So for now, I’m calling it in but I can always modify this entry later if I get the opportunity.

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    1. your political articles are very good, but too long because you take too much time to write them & then you’ll end up resenting the time spent and/or giving up again for a while. So, in everyone’s interest, touch upon a subject of interest to you (almost like an introduction) & leave it at that. You’re letting us know which topic of the day is worth knowing about – which is a great service!


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