Monday, June 22, 2009


One of the things that makes it impossible to get excited by the Iran uprising is that most of it must, of necessity since I'm ignorant of Farsi, be filtered through the insufferable self-regard of American bloggers, pundits and journos on both ends of the official spectrum. The right wing is crazy as expected. It's the liberals though that really take the cake. People who took weeks to make a sympathetic keystroke when Gaza was getting raped (I'm looking at you Digby, Ezra, Kos, Firedoglake, Obsidian Wings, HuffPo, Atrios, TPM) are now excitedly posting Iranian riot-porn and YouTube snuff films and are utterly scandalized by state-repression and inspired by the boldness of resistance. As usual Jon Schwarz hits it:

I'm amused by all the attention this is getting from some of the best U.S. liberal bluggers, such as Hilzoy of Obsidian Wings. Even when they're at their best, American liberals essentially follow in lockstep the agenda of the governing classes. Would they care anywhere near as much if Iran weren't an Official Enemy? Obviously not. Thus even when "opposing" William Kristol, they're ratifying the right's power by giving them the ability to decide what gets talked about.

DearLeader, however, fumbles slightly in an otherwise good post with this observation:

Just once, on both right and left, I would like the response to some world event to be the following: we do nothing. Is there anything that takes place on planet earth that we aren't obliged to offer an opinion on? Or even worse, is there any group of people in human history who we don't have to "take action" on behalf of?

No matter who you are, or where you live on this planet, you can be sure that no matter what you're going through, pundits in American will feel your pain, know your hope, look at you, and see exactly what's most important: themselves.

As Jon makes clear, it does matter who you are and where you live. If you live in an enemy state then we must be full of opinions, suggestions, recommendations and brow-knitting concern about shit we know nothing about as well as risk-free symbolic displays of solidarity. If you live in an allied state, well you can go fuck yourself.

One thing to look forward to: If the Iranian government violently suppresses the uprising look for libloggers to get more hawkish on Iran. They won't buy a self-defense argument for US military action, but a humanitarian intervention gets 'em on board with war every time.


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