Friday, June 26, 2009


The Iranian authorities have ordered the family of Neda Agha Soltan out of their Tehran home after shocking images of her death were circulated around the world.
Neighbours said that her family no longer lives in the four-floor apartment building on Meshkini Street, in eastern Tehran, having been forced to move since she was killed. The police did not hand the body back to her family, her funeral was cancelled, she was buried without letting her family know and the government banned mourning ceremonies at mosques, the neighbours said.

"We just know that they [the family] were forced to leave their flat," a neighbour said. The Guardian was unable to contact the family directly to confirm if they had been forced to leave.

The government is also accusing protesters of killing Soltan, describing her as a martyr of the Basij militia. Javan, a pro-government newspaper, has gone so far as to blame the recently expelled BBC correspondent, Jon Leyne, of hiring "thugs" to shoot her so he could make a documentary film. ...

In accordance with Persian tradition, the family had put up a mourning announcement and attached a black banner to the building.

But the police took them down, refusing to allow the family to show any signs of mourning. The next day they were ordered to move out. Since then, neighbours have received suspicious calls warning them not to discuss her death with anyone and not to make any protest. (The Guardian)

To readers of JSF all this should sound awfully familiar, the persecution of the families of martyrs, the disruption of funerals, and of course the fabrications, all standard operating procedures of the IDF.


Of course, most of the hypocrites who are so shocked with the behavior of the Iranian government during this crisis don't even blink at the fact that this is normal behavior in Israel for decades. Obama criticized Palestinians in Cairo for not following the ways of Martin Luther King, but passed in silence Israel's routine murder of protesters like Martin Luther King. Those Iranians who justifiably resent the Western politicians' and media hypocritical attention need only carry signs "Free Palestine" to their next protest to see Gordon Brown and the BBC losing all their feigned sympathy.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Damn. Another page turns. 

Appalachian tango 

At a time when little is right with the world, god bless formerly self-righteous politicians who go/reveal themselves to be completely bananas. As a fan of demented and digressive speech in all its permutations, I think this one ranks up there...

Also worth watching is the very beginning of the speech, in which he discusses his love for the Appalachian trail.

This may be the greatest speech in the history of politics: the most profound proof of the complete irreconcilability of personal and political lives. Neither assertion-- that he is a man who had an affair and feels bad, that he is a Republican evangelical Christian who has some moral responsibility as part of his public "self"-- can function whatsoever.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Flipside of fantasy 

Fantasies about being part of history, fantasies about escaping it altogether. Our culture is stunningly, revoltingly, incessantly sick.

From this trailer alone I can ascertain the neofascist coordinates: Obama's ascension turns the world's cultural monuments against us (St. Peter's rolling over its own worshiping hordes) while the ghost of John F. Kennedy, incarnated as aircraft carrier-riding-a-tsunami, inexplicably avenges his death by crushing the White House.

Absolute perversion. Everyone associated with this film should be put in jail.

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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