June 21, 2009

Neda: A Lesser Evil is Still Evil

It seems like the talk of the blogosphere today is the death of an Iranian protestor, apparently gunned down with a shot to the heart by a Basij militiaman. It appears she is being prepared for martyrdom by the media for having her death captured on video [warning: graphic]:

She has been tentatively identified as Neda Agha Soltan, a 27-year-old philosophy student.

Perhaps Neda will become the symbolic martyr that Iranian opposition desires, but I'd caution the western media and my peers in the blogosphere. She is not a martyr for liberty and freedom. Neda is a martyr for a lesser evil.

No matter who eventually prevails, the Iranian government will still continue their drive to build nuclear weapons. They will still fund terrorists. They will still train terrorists in their country to kill civilians in Israel. They will still train terrorists to kill American soldiers in Iraq.

I'll say a prayer tonight for Neda and the other Iranians who were killed today, but pardon me if I refuse to fall into the trap of projecting my values onto a culture that all too often cheers when Americans die.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at June 21, 2009 09:09 PM

Do you know, after reading Spengler's post today, I almost have to agree.

And yet, when you hear the roar of so many in the streets --it's hard to ignore the visceral impact of -- you wonder how to interpret that primal urgency. Are we guilty of projection? Likely so.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at June 21, 2009 10:29 PM

I'll take the lesser of two evils, Bob.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at June 21, 2009 10:56 PM

True dat!

Only people who agree with me deserve to have their votes counted.

Posted by: Adriane at June 22, 2009 12:18 AM

I donít agree with you on this.

Our principles about freedom of expression and freedom of the press should be applicable to everybody, even to people who do not think like us.

If we are going to demand them for us we should be ready to demand the same thing for other people.

Donít forget that the free exchange of ideas bring about reform and more freedom.

Posted by: TF at June 22, 2009 12:30 AM

from what I have read, the "other guy" who may or may not have won the vote (and it's unclear that there was a stolen election) was the Ayotollah's (sp?) crony back in the the day of the Iranian Revolution. Another radical, just a different radical - so yes, you are correct and bold to state that the martyrdom is shallow - my words, not yours.
This is not a protest between freedom and tyranny, but tyranny and another tyranny. Much ado about nothing it seems.

Posted by: Jayne at June 22, 2009 01:16 AM

Perhaps Mousavi will be someone who can begin the process of opening up the Iranian nation to the bigger world of ideas. Sure, many hate the U.S. and have some good justification for that emotion. But when you are educated in an Islamic Republic, how balanced can that education be? Lets give them the benefit of the doubt. By the videos, photos, and blog comments, I don't think there is that big a divide with these brave young indpendent thinkers and the American youth.

The government of Iran is the problem, not the common man. The propaganda fed to the people does not give them any reason to trust or connect with Americans, or the West. Do not hold that against them!! These people are rebelling against the shackles of fundamental Islam, which they probably feel is excessive. That is not to say they are rejecting Islam, just not wanting to be subjected to an extreme government enforced version of it.

Posted by: bl at June 22, 2009 01:53 AM

This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 6/22/2009, at The Unreligious Right

Posted by: UNRR at June 22, 2009 08:36 AM

You're right, Bob, in that Mousavi might be the lesser of two evils, at least domestically. Internationally, there seems to be little difference between Mousavi and Ahmadinejad, especially with the mullahs in the background. Khatami is the guy, sort of, that people should be looking to as a "reformer."

At this point, the protests may be taking on a life of much more freedom, rather then just as one backing Mousavi. We'll have to wait and see.

Posted by: William Teach at June 22, 2009 08:47 AM

This uprising transcends Mousavi. It is a demand that their vote count. And it is a direct challenge to Iranís dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who provides this choice between "evil and a lesser evil."

By standing up to Khamenei, I contend that Mousavi is far better than just a lesser evil. His action has tipped the scales. The jig is up for Khamenei. No Iranian believes he is divinely inspired, and every Iranian knows no one elected him king.

Posted by: George at June 22, 2009 09:28 AM

I'm with CY on this one. We'll have to wait to see how this all plays out. Personally, I think it's very difficult for the western mind to wrap its head around the mindset of a fundamentalist islamic society. Like Bob says, if I understand him correctly, the protesters don't seem to be fighting for the same concept of "freedom and exchange of free ideas" that we westerners value so highly.

Think about the wars that have been fought in the name of "religion" in Europe in past centuries. Most of those wars weren't about "freedom". They were about which brand of Religious zealots would control the population.

As a Christian, I thank God that our nation's founders had the foresight to include in our Constitution provisions that clearly separate the roles of the Church and the state in our society. I realize that some people will argue with me on that topic. Nevertheless, it's a fact.

There are people in our very own country who would impose their brand of "religion" on all of us if they could and make their particular religious beliefs the law of the land.

Again, I think that the struggle that we're seeing today in Iran cannot be compared to what we think of as a struggle for "freedom". We have to face the fact that many parts of the world don't think like we do nor do their societies want our brand of freedom.

I suppose time will tell what the Iranian people, as a whole, really want. At this point, I'm not sure.

Posted by: Dude at June 22, 2009 11:01 AM

Two main things come to mind.

The straw that broke the camels back.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

The situation is at boiling point, this may be the catalyst needed to gain the all important first step towards a better freedom. Will it be all enclusive? No, will it be what we consider total freedom? No, but it will be the beginning. We can't let our guard down eiter way but it is a start.

Posted by: Retired Navy at June 22, 2009 11:25 AM

And it is good to remember folks, Gorbachov didn't think his set of little reforms to calm the people would lead to the end of the Soviet Empire, but it did. With support from the U.S. of course.

Posted by: Tyrconnell at June 22, 2009 12:13 PM

We can't know what if anything Neda stood for. Perhaps she left some writings that might tell us what she believed, but until then her death belongs to those who will make what they wish of it. She's now a symbol, for better or worse (and I suspect it will get much worse).

What we do know is the nature of those who murdered her - sheer evil. I'm not talking the bang-the-high-chair, piss-your-diapers tantrum lefties like to throw while denouncing their infantile view of evil, i.e. a Republican holding public office. Her killers are the kind of evil that means nobody holds public office, that no citizens have any rights because there are no citizens, only subjects. She was killed by the same state that dispatched children into Iraq killing zones to clear minefields. Actual evil, not "OMG somebody on teh Int4rw3bz disagrees with me! Fascist!" That is probably why Obama took so long to state thay maybe, just maybe (and I'm not meddling here, understand) it's not the best course for a government to murder its people. At the most basic level Obama and his socialist circle have no real quarrel with the underlying assumptions of the mullahcracy, only "concern" over a few of its tactics.

It isn't necessary to support whatever kind of twisted anti-semitic terror sponsoring state rises from the ashes to denounce the present one that randomly kills its own people to hold on to absolute power.

Posted by: Steve Skubinna at June 22, 2009 02:39 PM

According to her fiancee, who was interviewed by the BBC, she was not even political and had just gotten out of her car for some fresh air after being stuck in a traffic jam. We don't know her values of course, but it should not matter.

Just to play devil's advocate . What would this blog post be like if she had been shot by an Israeli soldier in Gaza or an American in Fallujah. Would you be trying to expose it as fake or even ridiculing the victim as was done with Rachel Corrie?

Posted by: Brian at June 22, 2009 08:02 PM

It is a mistake to assume that all people in Iran share the values of kililng Americans, building nuclear weapons and funding terrorism. Every county's citizens share diverse and conflicting views. I am sure Bob that you don't share the same values as Obama.

Posted by: Bob at June 22, 2009 08:11 PM

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Posted by: mbvfruwm at June 24, 2009 07:32 AM

what about you??,

Posted by: Kutcholis at June 27, 2009 11:35 AM

I suspect if you dissect any historical "martyr" you'd find they would not agree with their eventual place in history. Whatever her actual beliefs, it's what her death sparks that will ultimately matter (which, at this point, looks like nothing much as government goons have slaughtered enough of citizens to crush any further protests).

Posted by: DoorHold at June 28, 2009 02:42 PM