Sunday, November 22, 2009

Khiaban No. 52: Nature and Destination of People's Movement

A translation of an article from issue # 52 of Khiaban newspaper.

There is also a translation of another highly recommended article from the same issue of Khiaban on
Revolutionary Road; that article discusses the sources of homophobia in the Iranian regime's ideology.

You can read all previous issues of Khiaban newspaper

A Closer Look at the Nature and Destination of People's Movement
by Amir K.
Khiaban # 52 / Thursday, November 5, 2009

More than five months have passed since Khamenei-Ahmadinejad's electoral coup; also five months since the start of the people's movement against the existing situation. Despite the unprecedented killings of the dissidents, despite the imposition of an undeclared martial law on the country, the arrests of thousands of people, suppression of the media, chasing and harassing all social and political activists - in short, despite deploying all the tools of state oppression, the regime has not been able to crush the people's movement. On the other hand, the participation of millions of people in the opposition movement, countless innovations from below, the sacrifices and the amazing persistence of ordinary citizens, and despite the activation of a major part of social capacities for confronting the dictatorship, the movement has still not been able to bring about any tangible results in bringing down the dictatorship and in bringing about a people's governance.

To answer the question, "What is to be done?" it is necessary to start with an analysis of the concrete current situation.

The Coup
The flame of the current struggle of the people was sparked in reaction to the electoral coup in June. In un-free elections held in the absence of freedom of political parties, lack of freedom of speech and lack of the right of assembly for those outside the regime (i.e.; lack of rights for those not belonging to the regime), a huge segment of the society entered the electoral arena to prevent the re-election of Ahmadinejad and, through voting for two reformist candidates inside the regime, to bring a slight ray of hope upon theirs abject social, cultural and economic misery. However, Ahmadinejad, who sits atop the military-economic bloc, by using his powers within the system, by relying on the Sepah [Revolutionary Guards] and the Basij, and by gaining the backing of Khamenei, the leader of Islamic Republic, did not abide by the results of the elections and with an utter shamelessness that is familiar to the Iranian people, announced himself the winner with 63% of the votes. Then, he answered the millions-strong protests in the streets with bullets and further limiting the media, misinformation, suppression of political activists, mass killing of street protesters, torture and rape of the detained demonstrators, etc., in an attempt to impose yet another grave-like silence upon the society. The fact that the people's movement took to the streets in reaction to an electoral coup inadvertently means it also had some connection to the electoral campaigns of the candidates. We cannot claim that all the anger and the rage of the people is on account of their support for Moussavi, nor can we claim that there is no relation at all between the people and the electoral campaigns of that segment of the regime that has come under attack.

Reformists' Strategic Mistakes
We cannot see Ahmadinejad's electoral coup and close our eyes to the fatal mistakes of reformism. Although reformism guarantees only the interests of a segment of the ruling class, regime's reformists have tried to present their discourse as possessing historical legitimacy and not class-based. The reformists consider their ideas and strategies as having arisen from historical experiences and as the intellectual achievement of the contemporary world. It is interesting that even after the Ahmadinejad coup, the reformists have taken the offensive and, for example, they can be heard saying, "This movement belongs to us, and the people and positions that voted for the boycott of the elections have no right to participate in this movement." Until now, they have been running away from any social accountability, especially regarding their strategic mistakes which have led to the current situation, and they are still propagating their pre-coup illusions.

The reality, however, is that, what we can perhaps call an Iranian reformism is a collection of thoughts and ideas that are brimming with dogmas and ossifications that have rendered reformism blind in the face of complicated and dynamic social realities. One of the most important of these dogmas is limiting political activities to ballots and voting. Reformism has always defined politics as the ballot-driven competition. But even there, they have never been consistent defenders of the right of other political and social forces to take part in elections, and even during the period when they themselves held the government and the parliament, political parties or organizations critical or opposed to them were not allowed to be socially present in free and fair elections. But their speechifying and playing with words has no limits. The reformists have always defined themselves by distinguishing themselves from radical historical politics. In their view, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro should have defeated Batista in an electoral fight, but since they chose a different way, they brought about the death of numerous people, and the result has been a country that, in reformists' estimation, is more backward and undemocratic compared to the U.S. (have you ever heard Cuba compared to, say, Guatemala?). Or else, their vast campaign in numerous media against Hamid Ashraf and the Fedayeen-e Khalq guerrillas tries to show that armed struggle in the 1960s and 70s was insufficient, anti-humanistic, anti-democratic and anti-social and the internal logic of that form of struggle has led to the threat against social freedoms in the aftermath of the 1978-79 revolution. (It is not clear at all why Khomeini's form of struggle, which was a combination of western media coverage, over-excessive deception, tendency toward rule by committee, as opposed to mass organizations, and on and on, had no impact nor any influence on the shape and structures of this dictatorship, and all kinds of other why's can be found for it!).

This dogma of reformism as relates to the ballot box was an important factor in the rise of fascism in Iran. While a definite military-economic mafia was busy gobbling up the most important sources of wealth and power in the country, for the reformists the only way of fighting against this was seen as the ballot box. While social movements such as the students and workers movements had understood the necessity of fighting fascism in the streets, the reformists, faced with the mass killing of students in 2007 and the workers on the May Day [this year], remained passive observers (and of course happy to see the elimination of radical forces, who could truly bring a fundamental challenge to the reformist discourse as well as to the material interests of the capitalist classes in Iran). However, the reformists remained blind to the reality that Ahmadinejad's fascism no longer needed to play along with the charade of the ballot box. In fact, in any country where fascism has come to power, it has done so through the ballot box (just like the 2005 elections in Iran), but it has never allowed the possibility of being voted out. Reading contemporary history is not difficult but reformist intelligentsia reads only its favorite paragraphs and memorizes those.

Why must the coup be defeated?
Some believe, from a liberal position, that the term 'coup' is meaningless here. Islamic Republic has always been a coup regime, in which people have never had a real role in any of the elections. This regime uses the people only to put a stamp of legitimacy on its own selections. Others too, from a socialist position, believe that the political system in Iran is a capitalist one, and remained the same before and after the 2009 elections, from the point of view of workers and the productive classes. They believe that the term 'coup' is merely the propaganda of the regime's reformists, who are being eliminated from the political and economic control of the society, and in this way are trying to involve the whole society in a fight that's only to their own benefit. Each of these arguments illustrates some realities of social life under the domination of Islamic Republic. But neither considers the reality in its complex totality. Hitler's Germany was a capitalist country. The Weimar Republic was also capitalist. Different political formations, all of which can be classified as capitalist, have different direct impacts on the society and the dominated classes in the society. In 1981, Khomeini and the Islamic Republican Party organized a political coup to eliminate Banisadr; this, however, was a coup that was internal to the ruling structure. Banisadr was not the representative of the workers and the productive forces in the society. He was a hotheaded supporter of Islamic rule (from his own view) and had an active role in the suppression of progressive movements in Kurdistan and other regions in Iran. However, this coup had a fatal impact on the whole society, and on socialist and communist social political movements.

The current coup, too, in the event of its consolidation and victory, will not merely lead to the elimination of a part of the ruling class. Ahmadinejad, who just like Khomeini, has no fear of mass slaughter of dissident people, will shape another murderous era in the Iranian contemporary history. The total destruction of social life, extreme exploitation by a ruling class that has become excessively militarized and claims to be God's representative on earth, widespread purges in the universities and places of work, mobilization of collective resources for private gain, and on and on, may not have an impact on a theoretician sitting in a safe corner far away, but it will have a direct impact on the majority of people and their daily lives. People who have entered the arena to defeat the coup and are organizing themselves have real and earthly interests in preventing this dark era, whose impact will include [down to even] their choice of clothing, to their social relations, to their income and benefits, to their right of speech, right of education, right to work even and numerous other matters. The very recent actions [by the government] show us the future horizon. The transfer of social resources to companies under the control of the Sepah [Revolutionary Guards] (in reality, under the control of the power to shoot at people, and also the sources of wealth in the hands of a limited echelon of the powerful), the assault on science and university, widespread suspension of the right to education [of dissident students], numerous prisons for social activists, further suppression of media, deepening of spying in the most private spheres, assuming absolutist powers by the state, widespread tracking down of social activists even in Europe countries and ...

Yes, the eliminated faction of the ruling system is definitely seeking to channel this movement into its own material interests. Even the U.S and numerous other world powers are seeking their material interests and are looking to benefit from this movement for their own gain. However, it is irresponsible to use these facts as excuses to close our eyes on the abject and widespread misery that the coup regime will bring to the people. In the same way that imperialism or the different factions of the regime will not take a holiday in the pursuit of their material interests, the people too struggle for their future and social life. The laboring forces of social production will not exit this fight since their life and future do not allow for such a choice. What is necessary is an all-encompassing political fight against the forces that aim to channel all these struggles and sacrifices into their own corrupt, minority interests. Displaying delight at the defeat of the people against the coup shows the historical stupidity of these political forces. When Franco emerged victorious from the Spanish Civil War, he continued his dictatorship for four decades. Hitler and Mussolini did not lose power but as a result of a world war, and the intervention of foreign forces. Anybody who is concerned about the society cannot pull him/herself out of this arena. Especially when the fight against the coup is not an attempt at restoring an Islamic Republic.

The Coup and the Islamic Republic
There is no doubt that, for those who used to belong to the minority benefiting from the Islamic Republic, returning to the good old days is an intense wish and desire. The defenders of returning to the previous Islamic Republic, which certainly include Moussavi, base their main argument on the idea that this recent electoral coup, by turning its back on the people's vote, has turned the Islamic Republic into an Islamic Regime. Consequently, defeating the coup means returning to the Islamic Republic and this movement is a movement for Islamic Republic; nothing more and nothing less.

Such a view may hold true for some coup's; for example, a coup in which an armed group militarily captures the parliament and the presidential palace and suspends the constitution and establishes a new government. In this situation, fighting against the coup means fighting to restore the government and the legal system that existed before the coup. But the current reality in Iran is something else. Ahmadinejad's electoral coup does not follow such a model. All the legal institutions of the Islamic Republic have sanctioned his fraud, and he enjoys the support of the parliament, the judiciary and also the supreme leader. All the crimes that he has committed are based on the contradictions that exist in the constitution of the Islamic Republic. Isn't torture forbidden? Of course it is. But suspension [of law] is allowed. Were not the people's assemblies to protest the election results legal and their military suppression illegal? Of course not. Assembling and protesting are allowed unless they interfere with Islamic principles, and the law has deputized certain institutions to look into such matters, and all those legal institutions (not I or you) believe that such gathering interfere with Islamic principles. Ahmadinejad has not carried out a coup against a ruling system, but has used the system's capabilities to his own benefit and that of the group he represents. In fact, this is a corrupt, class-based, anti-human system, which is reliant on expropriating the people's right of self-determination and on putting this right in the hands of 'God's representatives', a system based on class oppression, ethnic oppression, the oppression of the capital city against the provinces, and gender and sexual oppression. As a result, people are not fighting the coup or the dictatorship in order to restore the system that existed prior to June 12. Even the motivation of a huge segment of the people in participating in those elections was based on wanting change, which itself was based on a mistaken idea that such a change could be pursued from within the capabilities of the existing political system (Islamic Republic). The people who have brought to this movement all their cleverness and innovations in order to overthrow Ahmadinejad's coup, do not share those dreams, such as spun by the Moussavi's, of returning to some Islamic Republic. It is true that in that [former] Islamic Republic Moussavi was the prime minister, Karroubi was the parliamentary speaker, Khatami was the president, Sane'ee the attorney general and numerous others of this circle were among the rulers, but the people, the ordinary citizens who are carrying the struggle forward, in that very Islamic Republic, were threatened, were exploited, insulted, imprisoned, their voices suppressed, their organizations not allowed to be active, and on and on ...

A Mass and Pluralist Movement
Since fascism assaults the entirety of the society, the response to it too is all encompassing. In the current movement in Iran nearly all social classes have been mobilized. Some try to define this movement as a movement of the middle class of Tehran. Their most significant evidence is that most of the people's protests take place in Tehran and in areas to the north of Azadi St. and Enghelaab St. Those who defend this line of thinking have particular political objectives for this observation of theirs. They are attempting to define the movement in their own image: a middle class that, under the leadership of the regime's reformists, wants a mild opening in the country's political space, and would like to have some guarantees from the regime regarding making a living and accumulating wealth, and being able to open up shop and get rich through the work of others - but of course, to their own mind, through their own good education and cleverness - and driving a nice car, reading the reformist newspapers, and enjoying Tahmineh Milani and Mohsen Makhmalbaaf films.

In this image, the working class monster is completely missing from the picture. The fight is merely between this particular [middle] class and a coalition of uneducated provincials, shantytown dwellers, religiously minded country folk and fat revolutionary guards, whose political representative is Ahmadinejad. Proponents of this line of thought are passionate supporters of capitalism, who, in a disappointing manner, are not capable of understanding the necessities of capitalism in Iran. They have their eyes on some utopia that can be brought about by a more modern cleric like Khatami and a suited engineer with such magnificent manners as Moussavi, who will take hold of the wheels navigating the Iranian capitalist state with the aid of the western states, and who will create a Las Vegas on the shores of the Persian Gulf and a Europe on the slopes of the Alborz Moutain.

The problem for these educated fanatics of capitalism is that they replace reality with their own dreams and fantasies. The increasing militarization of the society is not a consequence of the rush by the Basijis from Shahr-e Ray to Vanak. The militarization of the society and the increasing suffocation springs from the necessities of capitalist development in societies like Iran. Neoliberalism means 'deregulation'. Why? Because regulations and laws get in the way of capital accumulation. 'Law', 'Freedom of speech and organization', 'people's intervention in determining their own fate' for a capitalist - which, in order to remain in the global competition, needs increasing exploitation of the labor force - can only lead to eventual death. The real solution for capitalism and the bazaar (market) in Iran is Ahmadinejad. The similarities between the behavior and the workings [of state] in Iran and those of China and Russia have their roots in that reality.

Some - by showing that there supposedly existed a communist tendency in the Islamic Republic that has become more apparent with Ahmadinejad, and by pointing to the communist history in Russia and the current claims to communism by China - have tried to connect the similarities between the three countries, in violating human rights and freedom of speech, to communism; in contradistinction to the liberalism of western Europeans and of the reformists. But it will suffice to think a little deeper to see that capitalism and the market have been ruling China and Russia for years, and it is exactly the tendency in these countries for remaining and competing on the global scene that is necessitating a murderous political structure to dominate those countries. Iran, for its capitalistic survival, needs 'lack of laws', 'deregulation', oppression and Sepah, if it wants to remain a regional power. The other capitalist alternative is the equivalent of an absolute disintegration of Iran as a society, and the formation of fiefdoms of opened up spaces for the looting of the global capitalism.

However, if we step away from the illusory images of these intellectuals of the Iranian middle class, a more realistic knowledge and understanding of the current movement can be gained. Fascism is the assault against the entire life and the world of social existence. Consequently, all the layers of society react to it. The resistance against fascism will always involve different parts of the society, from layers in upper classes, to office workers, to the youth, the working classes, rural populations, the unemployed, the retired and ... A look at the class base of those killed in the course of the street protests will prove this reality as evident: Men and women, from the youth who has come to Tehran from Lorestan villages to do manual labor to the factory worker, the engineer, university student, student of philosophy, high school students, the middle aged. The higher level of mobilization in Tehran, and particular areas of it too can be explained very easily. The current phase in the fight against the dictatorship is a non-violent movement that seeks to pursue its political demands through street protests. In small cities and towns, the possibility of presence in overt demonstrations can lead directly to being identified. Tehran, however, is a mega-city and the 'anonymity' of people is a particular characteristic of big cities. Identification of the protesters, especially in huge demonstrations, is virtually impossible; in particular, in areas that do not have a traditional or neighborhood-like structure. Therefore, the more modern areas of Tehran become the places of gathering for the entirety of society.

In the next installment of this article, issues of leadership, relation between fighting for freedom and fighting for social equality (socialism), and the issue of alternatives to the Islamic Republic will be discussed.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Iran Union Leaders Behind Bars

From SB News.

Independent Sugar Union Leaders in Iran Now Behind Bars

The leaders of Iran's independent sugarworkers union are now in prison in the city of Dezful, serving sentences for their trade union activity. In a drive to destroy the union established last year by workers at the giant Haft Tapeh plantation/refining sugar complex, a court on October 12 sentenced 5 union leaders to immediate prison terms on charges stemming from October 2007. Three leaders convicted for their union activity last year for "endangering national security" in connection with worker action in 2008 had their sentences overturned on appeal in September. Two union officers, president Ali Nejati and communications officer Reza Rakshan, both of whom face lengthy prison sentences, were still awaiting the outcome of their appeal when the court in the city of Dezful sentenced the them on the similar 2007 charges.


Act Now! - CLICK HERE to send a message to the Iranian state and judicial authorities, calling on them to immediately and unconditionally release the jailed unionists and annul their sentences, and drop all charges against Reza Rakhshan. Please note that some messages may bounce back - do not be discouraged! Server overload is a common condition in Iran - some messages will get through, making the point that the persecuted trade unionists enjoy international support. The Haft Tapeh union leaders are also supported by Amnesty International.

Monday, November 16, 2009

26 year old Kahrizak doctor found dead

This (very suspect) news came out some days ago. The particular piece reproduced here is originally from homylafayette.

Suicide, heart attack or something more sinister: Young doctor at Kahrizak detention center dies at 26
(updated 2:00 PM GMT, Sunday, 15 November 2009)

A young medical doctor at the notorious Kahrizak detention center has committed suicide, according to the Norooz news site.

Ramin Pourandarjani, 26, was fulfilling his military service obligations by serving as a physician for Greater Tehran's police force at the Kahrizak detention center prior to his death on Tuesday. Peyke Iran published what it claimed was Pourandarjani's Facebook photo.

Roshangari news site reported a story at odds with the suicide scenario. According to an article posted by the site on Sunday, Dr. Pourandarjani passed away in the early hours of Tuesday at the dormitory of the police health services building in Tehran. His family was informed that the cause of death was a heart attack.

The atrocities committed against jailed protesters at Kahrizak detention center were so egregious that Leader Ali Khamenei had to order its closure in late July. It is unclear whether the makeshift prison has been shut down or not.

Pourandarjani had examined several abuse victims at Kahrizak, including Mohsen Rouholamini whom he had seen two days before his death. Pourandarjani allegedly blew the whistle on Rouholamini's death and was arrested for a week in late July. He was released on bail after the medical examiner denied Rouholamini had died of meningitis, as the regime and Health Minister Kamran Lankarani had insisted, and determined that the cause of death was repeated blows to his head.

Pourandarjani had been questioned since his release by the internal investigations unit of NAJA (nirouyeh entezamiyeh jomhourieh eslami or the Security/Police Forces of the Islamic Republic), the military authorities, and the disciplinary council of the medical examiner's office. But the doctor, who had intimate knowledge of the atrocities and perpatrators at Kahrizak, was also put under pressure and threatened by plainclothes forces, according to Roshangari news site.

Read the complete post here ...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Clueless Idiots

This is a declaration!

The wretched cluelessness of some in the American left is beyond description.

While the Iranian butchers were in conference rooms making deals with imperialists in the preoperational stages of the invasion of Afghanistan, and later with the same gang of international power projectors as the invasion of Iraq was getting nearer, these leftists were busy defending the Iranian regime. As the collaboration of the Iranians with the American, the British, et. al. continued on, and as the Shiite militias were heavily armed (at least partly) by Iran and as they ethnically cleansed all the Baghdad neighborhoods, the American left defended the Iranian regime as if this theocratic dictatorship were the embodiment of revolutionary socialism itself.

The cluelessness has continuously thickened over the years. When the regime thugs were beating up, knifing and shooting from rooftops and windows at people in the streets, and as those thugs rounded up our citizens by the thousands and carted them off to secret locations and got down to the nasty business of breaking limbs, heads and spirits by raping the youth of our country, these treacherous idiots cheered on the theocratic regime by spreading the propaganda swiftly provided by the regime.

Now, the treacherous dolts are being shown to have been totally comedic idiots (if, unfortunately, not so tragic in consequences). The reality is unfolding clearly enough. The nuclear conference/negotiations are the forum giving the theocratic dictatorship its world acceptance; we watch the negotiations take their respective turns of now friendly handshakes, now half-veiled threats, now pats on the back given by varying-level imperialist countries participating in the charade ... All the while slapping the Iranian people in the face; the safety of hundreds of thousands of people living in and around Bushehr never even thought of. It's all about details to do with a face-saving way for the Islamic Regime of Iran to become a bed-fellow with imperialists openly, and with all the proper protocols afforded them, and to get the charade over with once and for all.

The clueless idiots have been warning (for FIVE YEARS, mind you) of 'imminent attacks' being prepared by the U.S. and/or Israel. As it turns out, the Iranians are preparing for the last rounds of the negotiations and the final act of this charade is revealing the true nature of the relationship deemed ideal for imperialists to have with their theocratic partners-in-crime in the Iranian government.
* * *
Very recently and right after all the naked violence unleashed by this fascistic regime against the entire civil society in Iran, some clueless idiots were discussing an opinion poll of what Iranian people think about their government; a poll conducted over the phone from Washington, DC, an 'opinion poll' which concluded that a whopping 81% of the population supported Ahmadinejad!!!

What clueless fu**ing idiots. As if the Iranian people had not just expressed (and continue to express every chance they get) their real opinion about their government by taking to the streets in millions (shouting, "Death to the dictator!") even while knowing fully well the consequences.

Now ... Sometimes I truly wonder about this world we live in. I wonder if people even understand the word 'dictatorship', or fascism of a religiously clothed kind. Or have they been so thoroughly brainwashed that they cannot even SEE a dictatorship even though thousands of pieces of evidence are in existence (just YouTube 'iran protests') documenting countless horrid examples of a dictatorship in action; evidence of events that are very, very recent?

There are plentiful video clips showing the Iranian security forces shooting from rooftops at the people below, some even showing dead bodies; there are video clips of the security forces smashing up buildings, cars, going into people's private residences and violently threatening women and men inside their homes, in their courtyards; there exist numerous video clips of huge and massive demonstrations, as in, million if not hundreds of thousands' strong; we have hundreds (by now) of testimonies of physical torture and senseless beatings, psychological torture, rapes as well as threats of rape, and in one case, that of Taraneh Mousavi, we know that the 'security' agents group-raped her, and after she died of internal bleeding (due to the fact that the 'security' forces removed her from the hospital they had delivered her to, after group-raping her), these very pious security forces burned her body to cover up their horrendous crime. In short, there are thousands of pieces of evidence of the barbarity of this regime that has imposed itself on the people of Iran for thirty painful years, and all that evidence is not enough for some 'leftists' to conclude the same thing a majority of Iranian people have known with their blood, sweat, tears and their children for thirty miserable years.

To get back to the opinion poll, so after the courageous uprising of the Iranian people against this abject barbarity ruling over them, some U.S.-based polling trading post friendly with the government of Iran picks up the phone and calls one thousand people or so in a country of seventy-some million people, to get a gauge on the 'Iranian national mood'.

Let's put aside for a moment the miniscule nature of the 'sample base', which in and of itself is laughable as an indicator of any nation's mood regarding the local-national government; a highly complex and fluid category in even the freest and 'most stable' of societies.

Imagine you are one of the Iranian samples, and you receive this rather strange international call, in Iran, in the aftermath of all the horrors you just witnessed first hand, of things done to people who had peacefully expressed disagreement with the government. You have just witnessed what the government does to anybody who dares voice a dissenting idea. Additionally, you are well aware of the fact that the government has some of the best technologies with which to listen in on everything going on, thanks to the Chinese and the Russian benefactors of the regime. At least that is your assumption, and it is a safe one if you understand the kind of society you live in. Given that it is a phone conversation on your registered phone and that the government keeps pretty good tabs on things like that, you take it for granted in fact that any critical opinion voiced by you about the government, over this very recordable phone line, comes with a well-documented and operational probability of facing at least some harassment, and quite possibly arrest, senseless beatings, possible rape, or dying of 'meningitis' in prison (as in, from the repeated pounding you will receive to your cranium, from truncheons in skilled hands of paid thugs, a death that will be reported by prison authorities as, 'death from meningitis').

So, now, you tell me, dear reader, what kind of answers would you give to this person who claims is calling you on behalf of some 'polling agency' in 'Washington, DC', or whatever? Knowing that the government is particularly interested in international calls. And, again, fully aware of the price of an out-of-line answer.

But of course even this picture, painted as it is, cannot possibly drive home the point to the fools who talk about 'opinion polls' conducted with regular people in Iran as if they were talking about a poll taken of Vermonters' attitudes regarding their lovely green state.

What is one to tell such people? When reading their utterly ugly garbage or having to discourse with such people, I feel like I am talking to some insane teenager going through intense identity and anger issues. There is no logic to engage with. There are only unrelated series of non-sequiturs arranged in sentences and paragraph arrangements. But no sense at all comes of any of it. This fascistic theocracy is made out to be 'just another normal state', which can only lead us to conclude that the 'normal', for these people, is pretty bleak.

One idiot says 81% of people support the coup regime. Another one chimes in, 'The left in Iran should be addressing the 81% that support Ahmadinejad!', proving that not only do they not understand the Iranian society or the state in the slightest bit, they don't even know the meaning of the word 'dictatorship'. If you ask them, though, they KNOW (oh, boy, do they!) that THEY live under the dictatorship of Capital, and they can recite entire treaties by Marx and Lenin on the subject. Yet ... yet, they like to pretend to be completely blind to a most vicious dictatorship of religious men and their bazaari mercantilist allies (not even 'progressive' industrialists), that is based purely on violence, oppression, fear, terror and regional bullying. These 'leftists' are, for all cognitive, psychological and social purposes, insane. They are simply insane and therefore incapable of distinguishing between actual reality and their own hallucinations-cum-beliefs (narrations, etc.). The other side of the description of insanity -- endlessly doing the same and expecting different outcomes -- applies to them as well.

The whole lot of them should go to hell right along with the fascistic thugs they support. They can all hold hands in their respective circles in hell, lick the gunk off each other's faces, and watch the butt-ugly faces they loved to give succor to while alive in this hell on earth. They can all go and make love to themselves for all eternity. Politeness is bunk! Go love yourselves, you miserable wretches!

My loveable Iranian comrades tell me not to waste heartbeats. I should listen to them. I will. But the rage for these traitorous self-lovers dirties my blood too much, and some spilling of guts becomes necessary once in a while. How long are we supposed to take insults and just turn our faces? How long should we stand by while getting kicked in the head not just by fascistic regimes and their paid goons but by 'leftists'? What the ...! What an unloved-up, f'ed up, screwed-up world these idiots live in and impose on others!

And that is the true mark of a clueless idiot. All they can do is make life even more miserable for anybody they can stick it to. Just like the right wingers they love to hate.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Citizen Journalists v. Regime Thugs

This is a great report from Revolutionary Road, with many links to video clips, on the national protests against the coup regime held on Student Day (Nov. 4 / 13 Aban).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ehsan Fattahian Executed

This is from Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAIran), and is the translation of Ehsan Fattahian's letter from his prison cell, before he was executed on November 11, for 'fighting against god'. It is noteworthy to mention that according to the witnesses present at the execution, Fattahian did not allow his executioners the last laugh, and kicked the stool from underneath his feet by himself.

Rest in Peace!

I Never Feared Death: The Plight of Ehsan Fattahian
(published by HRAIran, on November 9, 2009)
The last glimmers of the dusk sun
Are showing me the path on which to write;
The sounds of leaves under my steps
Are telling me “let yourself fall
And you will rediscover the path to freedom.
I never feared death. Even now, as I feel its odd and honest presence next to me, I still want to smell its aroma and rediscover it; Death, who has been the most ancient companion of this land. I don’t want to talk about death; I want to question the reasons behind it. Today, when punishment is the answer for those who seek freedom and justice, how can one fear his fate? Those of “us” who have been sentenced to death by “them” are only guilty of seeking an opening to a better and fair world. Are “they” also aware of their deeds?

I started my life in the city of Kermanshah, the name of which has always been on the tongues of my compatriots for its greatness; the city which is called the cradle of civilization. As my thoughts were developing, I came to see and feel the injustice and discrimination; an injustice that targeted me not only as an individual but also as a member of humankind. I went in thousand different directions to find out the reasons behind injustice. Alas, they had made the arena so closed for those who were thriving for justice that I could not find my way in. I immigrated to another arena outside the superficial boundaries to find answers to my questions. I became a Komeleh guerilla in order to find my stolen identity. Yet I never separated from my first home, and once in a while I returned there to renew my memories. And then one day, they found me during one of my visits, arrested me and put me in a cage. The greeting my captors reserved for me from day one convinced me that my fate would be similar to those who had walked before me along that road: torture, fabricated charges, biased court, an unjust and politically motivated verdict and finally death.

Let me put it this way: after being arrested on July 20th, 2008, in Kamyaran, I was taken to the Intelligence Ministry’s local office. A few hours later, as I was blindfolded and chained and could not see or move, a person who introduced himself as the deputy prosecutor began questioning me. His questions were irrelevant and filled with made up accusations (let me remind you that it is strictly against the law to interrogate people in places other than courts and tribunals). This was the first of many interrogation sessions I had to face. The same night, I was taken to the Intelligence Ministry’s provincial headquarters in Sanandaj, where I had to attend the real party: a dirty cell with a disgusting washroom. The blankets had not been washed for years. This was the beginning of three months of going up and down the hall from my cell to the interrogation room, always being beaten along the way. The honorable interrogators were so keen to get a promotion or make a bit more money that they accused me of all kinds of bizarre things, even though they knew of the falsehood of their accusation. They used every means in their power to prove that I had taken part in armed operations. In the end they could only prove that I had been a member of Komeleh and had taken part in propaganda activities against the regime. The 10 year sentence handed by the initial court is good proof that I only had one charge. The 1st branch of the Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj sentenced me to 10 years in prison, to be served in Ramhormoz Prison outside Kordestan. The political and administrative establishment in Iran has always been in favor of centralized policies, but, apparently, in my case, they had decided to reverse course! Recently provincial appeals courts have become the judicial authority to rule in cases related to political prisoners, even in capital punishment cases. Capital punishment cases were the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. So, the Kamayaran prosecutor objected the initial ruling, and, surprisingly, against Iranian law, the 4th branch of the Kordestan Appeals Court changed the 10 year sentence to a death sentence. According to Article 258 of Iranian Criminal law, appeals courts can only issue a heavier sentence when the initial sentence is lighter than the minimum punishment required by law. The indictment presented by the prosecutor stated the charge as Moharebeh (enmity against God). The minimum punishment required by law in similar cases is 1 year in prison. Now, be the judge yourself and compare the 10 year prison sentence (served in exile) with the minimum required to see how illegal, unlawful and political the death sentence is.

Let me add that, shortly before my sentence was changed to the death sentence, I was taken from Sanandaj prison to the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center, where I was asked to make a false confession on camera, show remorse for the actions I had not committed and reject my beliefs. I did not give in to their illegitimate demands, so I was told that my prison sentence would be changed to the death sentence. They were fast to keep their promise and prove to me how courts always concede to the demands of intelligence and non-judicial authorities. How can one criticize the courts then?

All judges take an oath to remain impartial at all times and in all cases, to rule according to the law and nothing but the law. How many of the judges of this country can say that they have not broken their oath and have remained fair and impartial? In my opinion the number is countable with the fingers on my hand. When the entire justice system in Iran orders arrests, trials, imprisonments and death sentences with the simple hand gesture of an uneducated interrogator, what is to be expected from a few minor judges in a province that has always been discriminated against? Yes, in my view, it is the foundation of the house which is in ruins.

Last time I met in prison with the prosecutor who had issued the initial indictment, he admitted that the ruling was illegal. Yet, for the second time, it has been ruled that my execution should be carried out. It goes without saying that the insistence to carry out the execution at any cost is a result of pressures exercised by political and intelligence groups outside the Judiciary. People who are part of these groups look at the question of life and death of a prisoner only based on their own political and financial interests. They cannot see anything but their own illegitimate objectives, even when it is the question of a person’s right to life - the most basic of all human rights. How pointless is it to expect them to respect international treaties when they don’t even respect their own laws?

Last word: if the rulers and oppressors think that, with my death, the Kurdish question will go away, they are wrong. My death and the deaths of thousands of others like me will not cure the pain; they will only add to the flames of this fire. There is no doubt that every death is the beginning of a new life.

Ehsan Fattahian,
Sanandaj Central Prison

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Iranian People's Movement Continues to Challenge the Coup Regime

Our people are not cowed. They fight on. They continue to challenge the regime and continue to throw it off balance, at every opportunity. They have rendered the regime illegitimate and continue to drive that point home. We salute our courageous people!

One of the new slogans raised on the streets, on the 30th anniversary of the seizing of the U.S. embassy in Tehran: "Khamenei is murderer; his guardianship null and void!" (Khamenei qhaateleh; velaayatesh baateleh!"

Among the slogans that have stuck since Quds Day: "People, why are you sitting around; Iran's turned into Palestine!" (Mardom, cheraa neshasteen; Iran shodeh Felesteen!"


Also: "Russian embassy is a den of spies!" ('Sefaarate Roosiyeh, laaneh-ye jaasoosiyeh!"

People singing the revolutionary song, Yaare dabestaani-ye man (My School Friend):