It appears my logic (1+1= 2) does not match up with a blogger. What a surprise, considering that the far-right’s broad brush strokes, particularly regarding political Islam and Iran, tend to be completely opposite of my worldview.

In a long blog post this author attacked my refutation of the meme that Ahmadinejad and Mousavi really did not present anything different, as far as policy goes regarding the US. I am told I am an “apoligist” [sic] and a “propagandist” because I was intellectually honest enough to write a post describing what benefit Mousavi offers opposed to Ahmadinejad.

(Oh, and I am vulgar too because I said that people who don’t understand the intricacies of the IRI’s history should “shut the hell up”…. I still do think that…)

This blogger, who identifies with the terrorist MEK group, appears to be an Israeli sympathizer who thinks he is blowing the whistle on ‘radicals’ (even Israel won’t go so far to ‘officially’ work with MEK). These type caught in their echo chambers like to see things in a strictly Manichean fashion, of good vs. evil. This is a strong draw for the simple minds that get locked down, thinking only in dichotomies, failing to see that really everything happens in the middle, not on the fringes. In fact, Israel itself knows this, as through the years, regarding the Islamic Republic, it has acted in several different ways, balancing a realist foreign policy with it’s periphery doctrine, sometimes even selling arms to Iran to help them face Israel’s closer proximity threats, such as Saddam’s Iraq. If of course things were so black and white Israel and the IRI could never have cooperated, as both are supposed to be the complete opposites of course.

Also, before the election this blogger was already whistle-blowing on Mousavi’s early career as prime minister, setting the stage for a new bogeyman since his, and other neoconservatives, ideological lines requires a bogeyman to uphold this binary, thesis-antithesis model, that helps Israel detract from its own repression of human beings (one doesn’t have to be an “apoligist” to agree with that). In fact prominent AIPAC speakers and Mossad’s chief openly admit that Ahmadinejad is better for Israel’s stance on Iran.

So really it wasn’t that my blog post was somehow too light on facts or that I truly am a Mousavi “apoligist”, it’s that he already agrees with the Israeli hardline (read: AIPAC) view that has worked in the past under Netanyahu: Get US policy makers focused on the Iranian “threat” and the Palestinian problem will take a back seat.

(It should be noted that this view of continuing the status quo regarding Palestinians falls flat on actually realizing a peaceful and legitimately safe existence for Israel and its people, while I do understand that a long, awful history of antisemitism makes it understandably hard to discuss this subject in a calm or dispassionate way, I believe that safety and security of Israel actually hinges on a new emphasis on finding solutions rather than bringing the scenario even closer to actual apartheid.)

With that being said, he is correct about Mousavi’s rhetoric against Israel during his premiership and his antipathy, as the sitting prime minister, to Khomeini’s mass executions. Never in my post did I EVER exonerate Mousavi for past actions as an IRI insider, nor did I lionize him as some savior. What I did was show the differences between Mousavi and Ahmadi in the light of how they present IRI foreign policy to the west, and there is a wide gulf between the two.

And if said blogger can find anything fanatical this supposed radical, artist and architect, turned reluctant politician has actually said or done since Khomeini’s charismatic authority ruled the days of the early revolution (the last 20 years!), please present them. As I showed in my legitimate Patrick Tyler Wa-Po article which he doubted (doesn’t pay for you people to have LexisNexis or something to look these old articles up?) even then Mousavi did not sanction adventurist foreign policy, such as that desired by Ahmadi.

If you believe, as many do (including me more and more as I realize the IRGC and the Mesbah-Yazdi ideology have completely hijacked the direction of the IRI from the ever-rationalizing revolutionary founders Rafsanjani, Mousavi, Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, etc., etc.) that the IRI is dead-set on acquiring a nuke, then you should feel more comfortable with a pragmatist than a radical to try and balance against this.

What scares pundits like my detractor is that they see Islam as scary, and think that if it’s stamped velayat-e faqih, this somehow means backwards, anti-western, government. While only focusing on what is different, whether we like that difference or not, what in turn they fail to see is the discursivity of Iranian Islamic history, and the political representations that have been fed through thousands of years of history and interaction with the west and others which has shaped the worldviews of certain peoples, including those of the Islamic Republic, whether reformist, principle-ist, neofundamentalist, or whatever. Therefore even leaders who believe in saving their past ideologies through a reformation of the system from within, through his own republican ideals, cannot actually be a positive player.

Mousavi is trying to reconcile his view of the Islamic Revolution with that of the issues he believes were starved out of the system by power and greed, rather than via its natural progression, and he sees a pragmatic foreign policy as one important point.

The IRI is not black or white. It is not evil nor moral. It is a state, after its own interests, some of which conflict with ours. But in this state system of sovereignty set up for us, we will come into contact with those other states’ interests, and must therefore interact with them. Do we want to deal with an Ahmadi, whom my detractor calls a supporter of genocide, or a Mousavi, who the best my detractor says was the prime minister during Khomeini’s ordered assassination of political “dissidents” 20 years ago plus or who helped begin a nuclear program to balance against Saddam’s Iraq in the 80’s, and has since spoken the language of change, political openness, and realist foreign policy regarding the IRI’s intentions (deep breath…)?

Seems pretty easy to me (and most serious analysts on the right and left)… And thankfully the current administration, though I cringed at Obama’s calling of Mousavi and Ahmadi the same, has realized this bankrupt neocon line should sit on the sidelines for awhile.

Now, back to actually trying to understand and truthfully analyze the complexities of the Islamic Republic.

Ackerman’s great take on what Mousavi offers:

The west has nothing to fear from Moussavi’s restorative attempt to reconcile Islam and republicanism in and of itself. Obviously the Iranian government has its interests and desires and we have ours, and they can conflict. But Moussavi’s rhetoric, in this important speech at least, is not filled with the anti-western demagoguery that marked Khomeini’s and marks Ahmadinejad’s. The opposition movement is not a movement of “liberals” in the way that some inwardly-focused American writers lazily imagine. But that doesn’t mean that the reformist syncretism that Moussavi offers adds up to an effort that western liberals, intellectually, can’t support. What it means is that Iranians are working to redefine their Islamic Revolution, not abandon it, and do so in a way that favors openness and justice and freedom.


~ by The Common Man on June 23, 2009.

2 Responses to “Detractor”

  1. Folks, seem my response at

  2. tks for the effort you put in here I appreciate it!

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