So 5 minutes ago
Rants and media criticism from Eric Deamer (a guy in New York)

Tuesday, June 24, 2003  

There's a great round-up of today's Iranian news by who else but Jeff Jarvis. He links to this at, an encouraging essay by Shahla Azia from Tehran. Its a wonderful piece which describes a real breadth and depth of support for the protests, and the anti-anti-Americanism of the protesters themselves. The most beautiful moment of the piece is this quote, which Jarivs rightly highlights as well:

Accusations of American backing actually have given courage to the demonstrators. Unlike the streets of Paris, Berlin or Berkeley, anti-Americanism is not fashionable in Tehran. The regime, having adopted it for the past twenty-five years since the Islamic Revolution, has beaten the life out of it.

There's no helping a little gloat that even writers in Iran know that some American college towns are hotbeds of Anti-Americanism. The piece also firmly makes the point that American encouragement and the words of support from president Bush have emboldened and sustained the protestors, contrary to those who say we should keep our mouths shut, because America only can only make a mess of things anywhere else in the world.

posted by Eric | 8:40 AM

Monday, June 23, 2003  

Everybody is linking to this piece by Mark Steyn on Iran today, and for good reason. Its a clear, succinct statement of principle as only he can write.

This is what I believe real journalists call the "money graf":

It was Ayatollah Khomeini who successfully grafted a mid-20th century European-style fascist movement onto Islam and made the religion an explicitly political vehicle for anti-Westernism. It was the ayatollah who first bestowed on the United States the title of ''Great Satan.'' And it was the ayatollah who insisted that this Islamic revolution had to be taken directly to the infidels--to the embassy hostages, to Salman Rushdie and, ultimately, to America itself. Twenty years ago, there was a minor British pop hit called ''Ayatollah, Don't Khomeini Closer.'' He came too close. And the end of a regime built on his psychosis is good news for Iranians and Westerners alike.

Its important that he bring this up, because this points to a reason why ending the regime of the Iranian clerics is so key which is seldom discussed: the centrality of the Iranian Islamic Republic to the Islamo-Fascist worldview. The Islamic revolution is the biggest success in the history of the Islamist movement, the moment at which the concepts of a few radical intellectuals and terrorists languishing in Egyptian prisons were brought to fruition in the real world.

The continued existence of the Islamic Republic of Iran provided sustenance, inspiration, and material support to the followers of Sayyid Qutb. As well as being the boldest and most effective state sponsor of terrorism, Iran is also a supposed example of the rightness of Islamist terrorists' ideology. If the Islamic Republic falls from within, it will announce conclusively the failure of Islamo-fascism just as the fall of the Soviet Union announced the failure of Marxism, Leninism, and Stalinism.

posted by Eric | 7:56 PM

The best source for all news of Iran (and Iraq for that matter) is of course Jeff Jarvis's Buzzmachine where he posts daily on Iranian topics. He has a way of sending along the best links to Iranians all over the world who write in English and then quietly stepping out of the way and letting them do the talking which is quite nice.

A really good source which he's often linking to is of course Editor, Myself, Hossein Derakshan's English website, which Andrew Sullivan also hyped in this post. This post by "Hoder" is an attempt at making a comprehensive list of all Iranian bloggers who write in English. I have checked out almost all of the links. Some of them are not current but its a good start.

This one is interesting because its a response to a specific request to write a website about the protests in English. This is the blog that has the translation into English of the song
that is used at all student protests. Read down to find it. I'm having trouble getting the permanent link to work. Anyway, its a really charming blog, written by a 15 year old in Canada.

Blogs of War is another great American site for following this story. Check out the links, and what I find to be the most attractive proposal for a "Free Iran" button for your blog that anyone has come up with.

Many have pointed to this as a good "roadmap" of factions in Iranian politics. Its a good place to start.

What becomes clear from reading anything like this is to universal revulsion that all seem to feel for the MKO, the group which France just cracked down on. It kind imagine that this was a good faith effort in the war on terror on France's part though. Given their recent behavior, it seems most likely that it was an attempt to appease the Mullahs.

posted by Eric | 1:53 PM

I'm preparing to go into full "flood-the-zone" mode on Iran, but in the meantime I can't resist expressing an idle thought I had. Would "Won't Get Fooled Again" be a good theme song for the Iranian democracy movement? I know, I know. Its really a song of (very) cautious optimism at the ascendancy of a brand new regime, and it would have been a lot better, and a lot more timely, in 1979. But still, its just such a sweeping, symphonic, driving, martial, rocking song, and at the outro part when Daltrey's singing "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss" I think its dead on for the current situation. The other problem of course is that the students already have some great anthems in Farsi, and the attempt to graft a Western, English language rock song onto their indigenous movement perhaps smacks of Ugly Americanism. On the other hand, as I'm of the same school of thought as Comrade Hitchens, Dennis Miller, Paul Berman, et al, in seeing Western Liberalism as being the most revolutionary force on earth, I think that hearing a great rock song blaring over a noisy student protest, would be the mullah's worst nightmare in the best possible sense. And, its by an English band. Whether this idea is picked up anywhere else, this song by the Who, made in a completely different context, will always be my personal soundtrack for the Iranian Student movement. Its what I hear as I go around the web, trying to sign petitions, and to gather as much information as I can. I'll certainly be hearing it on July 9th. I hope the mullahs will too.

posted by Eric | 10:18 AM
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