Blog Feeds

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link The Party and the Ballot Box Sun Jul 14, 2019 22:24 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

offsite link On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan

offsite link What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Public Services Card: Some still forced to comply

offsite link Catholic Church: Dark influence still active Anthony

offsite link Tom Parlon launches new career in comedy Anthony

offsite link Presumption of innocence does not universally apply in Ireland Anthony

offsite link The poor standard of Irish political journalism Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Bolivia ? A Color Revolution ? or a New Surge for Latin American Independence? Sat Nov 16, 2019 18:19 | The Saker
by Peter Koenig for The Saker Blog Like Túpac Katari, indigenous Aymara leader more than 200 years ago, confronting the Spaniards, Evo Morales was betrayed and ?dismembered? by his own

offsite link Adam Schiff Whistleblower Impeachment Based on a Tweet from Poland? Sat Nov 16, 2019 18:09 | The Saker
by George Eliason for The Saker Blog Look at the date in the above screen-shot. Read the summary again after you pick yourself up from off the floor. Adam Schiff

offsite link Listen to Morales at the UN and see why he was overthrown by the Empire Fri Nov 15, 2019 18:25 | The Saker
This is Evo Morales’ UNSC speech of this Spring:

offsite link Militarization of South America, Coup in Bolivia and Argentina?s rapprochement with the Eurasian pow... Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:30 | The Saker
By Fabio Reis Vianna for The Saker Blog On October 29th, the Cycle of Seminars on World Economy Analysis, organized by professors Monica Bruckmann and Franklin Trein, received in the

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2019/11/15 ? Open Thread Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:30 | Herb Swanson
2019/11/15 11:30:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link US Holds China To Account For Human Rights Violations Sun Oct 13, 2019 19:12 | Human Rights

offsite link UN Human Rights Council Should Address Human Rights Crisis in Cambodia Sat Aug 31, 2019 13:41 | Human Rights

offsite link Fijian women still face Human Rights violations Mon Aug 26, 2019 18:49 | Human Rights

offsite link Saudi Human Rights Violation Fri Aug 09, 2019 20:41 | Human Rights

offsite link China?s LGBT Community Mon Apr 15, 2019 19:19 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

The Class Nature of the Iranian Regime

category international | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Thursday July 19, 2007 15:19author by Torab Saleth - Workers Left Unity Iranauthor email torab_s at hotmail dot com Report this post to the editors

featured image

The current Iranian regime, in power in the so-called "Islamic Republic of Iran" since the 1979 revolution against the Shah, continues to confuse many observers as to its true nature. The intrinsic confusion lies precisely in the fact that it is considered as a post-revolutionary regime.

You constantly hear the argument that whatever it is, and however bad and vicious it may be, it nevertheless is a regime which came out of a revolution against the Shah's dictatorship. Somehow, this mechanistic logic is then used to bestow a certain air of progressiveness upon a regime which for any observer with a little political sense is nothing but a semi-fascistic theocracy defending capitalism.

Torab Saleth is a member of Workers Left Unity Iran and is also a member of the Advisory Editorial Board of the journal Critique. Here, Torab provides an analysis of the class nature of the Iranian Regime.

Related Links: Iranian President’s Website | Outline of Iranian State Structure | Iran Should Cancel Televised ‘Confessions | Leading Iranian Trade Unionist Kidnapped | Jihad in the UK | Peaceful Protest for Human Rights | Successful launch of Hands Off the People of Iran in Ireland | Iran Leads the World in Executing Children | Iran continues mass expulsions of Afghan refugees | Iran continues mass expulsions of Afghan refugees | Irish Times Continues to Misrepresent Iranian 'Threat' |

Its apologists, since 1979, have constantly resorted to such simplistic devices to gloss over the brutal and backward character of this capitalist regime the like of which has not been seen in modern history.

What all the apologists fail to mention is the fact that yes, this regime did indeed come out of a revolution, but as the counter-revolution defeating that revolution, as a force which crushed the mass movement against the Shah's regime by establishing its own order even more reactionary than what it replaced. The very same force which is now, in front of the whole world, collaborating in the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq with the very same President Bush who is trying his best to send the entire Iranian society back to the middle ages. So this so-called post-revolutionary regime is simply a kind of counter-revolution that got rid of both the revolution and the Shah. It is now a well documented fact that by the middle of 1979, at the top levels of International and Iranian bourgeois circles, the powers that mattered, had reached a simple compromise: you get rid of the revolution we get rid of the Shah!

Let us also not forget, given the degree of participation by the masses, the Iranian Revolution of 1977-79 was one of the most important revolutions of the 20th century. During the four months leading to the insurrection in Feb 1979 there was a general strike involving over 4 million workers. Strike committees had sprung up everywhere and neighborhood committees were controlling most urban areas. On the night of the insurrection in Tehran alone it was estimated that more than 300,000 revolvers and machine guns were ransacked from various military arsenals and distributed amongst the population. No wonder, the counter-revolution that defeated it was also one of the most vicious counter-revolutions seen in recent history. The last Shah was justly called "The Butcher of the Middle East!" In almost 40 years of his rule around 500 political prisoners were executed. The new regime, in its first 10 years alone, and at the most conservative estimate, had already executed over 20,000 political prisoners, all leaders and activists of the 1979 revolution.

The historical results of this counter-revolution are also obvious for all to see. If during the last decade of the Shah's rule a group of around 100 families used state power to monopolize the entire Iranian economy, this has now been reduced to less than 60 families. If the Shah at least allowed some degree of docile yellow unionism to operate in his kingdom, this regime cannot even tolerate worker representation in a 3-partite system. Only Islamic Associations controlled by the local mosque or the local paramilitary group is allowed. The majority of the population in Iran is now officially under the poverty line. This is a country rich in natural resources, which has almost quadrupled its foreign exchange receipts over the last 10 years. With over 10m unemployment, wages have been pushed so far back that those who do find work have to do more than one job just to survive. Selling kidneys or even the whole body is now the largest source of income for the urban poor. Right now, there are tens of thousands of workers whose wages have not been paid for well over a year. There is absolutely no protection under the law for almost 85% of the work force. The rate of suicide among the Iranian working class is now higher than Britain during the industrial revolution.

As for its anti-imperialism, suffices to say that at least the father of the current US President knows this to be a sham better than any one else. The Islamic regime had absolutely no problem in negotiating a deal with US imperialism and Israel via George Bush the senior. Forget the anti-terrorist rhetoric repeated daily on the international media, every one knows without Iranian backing, USA could not have stayed in Afghanistan or Iraq until now. George Bush can blame Iran for its failure in Iraq, whilst the Iranian regime can blame the threat of war for suppression of all opposition at home. Just see how the nuclear crisis has helped both the Iranian regime to redeem itself in the Islamic world after its collaboration with US imperialism in the occupation of two neighboring countries, and US Imperialism in not only justifying its military occupation of the whole region but even increasing its presence and intensifying its threat.

But even these hard facts do not resolve the difficulty for the regimes apologists. Especially, when you consider the odd feature of the Iranian revolution that this very same counter revolutionary force actually participated in the revolutionary movement itself. In a way you could even say it took over the leadership of that revolution. But how can that be!?

There is of course the obvious answer that in order to control it and later crush it they had to lead it; and there is more than an element of truth in this. By channeling the mass anger against US imperialism and the new capitalist ruling class around the Shah into the backward blind alley of an anti-Western and anti-infidel ideology their own true reactionary class nature was well hidden from the masses. But the true reasons for this apparent contradiction lies at the specific character of the Iranian ruling class and the changes it underwent after the Shah's White Revolution.

It can be said that the revolts of the urban poor in 1976 and their many clashes with the military forces were the first signs of the onset of the revolutionary crisis in Iran. The fundamental feature of the Iranian revolution which makes it distinct from any other is the fact that less than a year after these first signs, say as early as 1977, in contradistinction to the progressive revolutionary masses combining workers, poor peasants, the shanty town dwellers, students, young women, and major sections of the national minorities, all demanding justice, freedom and independence in various combinations and degrees, there also appeared other "Islamic" masses well organised and led by a faction within the Shiite hierarchy in coalition with a powerful group of the bazaari merchants. This block consisting of a loose coalition of various religious bourgeois political currents from liberal Islamic to fundamentalists, had mass support within the traditional sections of the numerically significant urban and rural petty bourgeoisie and through its various religious networks and charity foundations linked to the local mosque could also mobilize support amongst the poor and the lumpen proletariat.

Soon this second force proved to be more powerful than the revolutionary masses. Indeed, if the leadership of this faction could have had its own way, there would not have been any revolution at all. It had already set up the secret Council of the Islamic Revolution that had successfully negotiated a transition of power from above with both the US masters of the Shah and the internal Royal Army and Security Forces. The insurrection took place because the commanders of the Royal Guard did not abide by this agreement and mobilised their units to crush the pro-revolution Air Force Barracks in the capital Tehran. In reaction to this attack, the air force technicians opened the arsenals to the population which led to an armed insurrection few hours later. The block which took power the next morning, not only saved the bourgeois state from an almost certain destruction but also hugely strengthened the reactionary forces by the addition of a multitude of new and permanently mobilised paramilitary groups like the Guardian Army of the Islamic Revolution (pasdaran) or the Mobilisation Corps (basij). It soon disarmed and crushed the revolutionary mass movement and beheaded its leadership. At first it collaborated with the liberal sections of the anti-shah bourgeois opposition but as soon as it had consolidated its own base it pushed all other factions out of positions of power and openly established a theocratic Islamic regime. This same block still rules Iran.

The reactionary content of its opposition to the Shah becomes clear when you briefly look back into the history of this conflict. Let us start with the clergy. The so-called Shiite hierarchy was historically a well-established part of the traditional despotic Asiatic State in Iran since the 17th century. It controlled amongst other things, education and the judiciary and it had its own extensive land holdings and its own source of taxation of the population enforced by armed gangs of collectors. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries a powerful faction within this hierarchy began to openly engage in politics and oppose bourgeois reforms of the state. You could say, they were the ideological grand parents of Khomeini. Amongst them were some of the most reactionary mullahs of the period. Some were openly associated with both the Russian and British imperialism. This group became very agitated against Mozaffaredin Shah (1853-1907) and vehemently opposed the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-06. Their now famous slogan was: No to constitutional legitimacy! Yes to Islamic legitimacy! In a way very similar to what happened in the 1979 revolution. They opposed the revolution because they were reactionaries and they opposed the ruling reaction because they were that part of the old reaction, which was being threatened with replacement by a new, more modern, or more bourgeois looking reaction. You could say similar to what took place in the catholic church with the break up into factions opposing or aligning with the new capitalist relations, a similar breakup was taking place inside the Shiite hierarchy. Alongside mullahs supporting constitutional reforms there were the fundamentalist who wanted more Islamic rule. Typical enough, British imperialism had agents in both camps.

Thus, the ideological forbearers of Khomeini were against the whole concept of citizenship or the right to vote and considered democracy to be a Western corruption designed by Infidels to destroy Islam. Although after the victory of the Constitutional Revolution, the leaders of this faction were hanged in front of the new parliament, the defeat of that revolution few years later strengthened this faction at the expense of the more progressive section. After the Russian revolution, the interests of British imperialism were better served by a centralized nation sate built from above, which could stand up against the Bolshevik threat. The establishment of Reza Shah and his state reforms brought this faction into direct conflict with the state. The fact that both Reza Shah and his son were Western backed gave this reactionary faction a new lease of political life. And also the fact that the progressive faction had either disappeared or been tainted as it had become part of the new Western state. This gave it enough muscle to threaten the whole hierarchy.

The last blow for this institution of the Asiatic State was the last Shah's so-called "White Revolution" which drastically undermined its role and prestige in Iranian society. The reactionary faction became so vocal that the leadership of the of the entire Shiite hierarchy had to give it lip service. In particular, they opposed the Shah's land reform as they were themselves one of the biggest land owners in Iran, they opposed the local government reforms as this undermined their local power base in the provinces and they were against the vote for women because it undermined their very ideological authority. Khomeini who led the revolt against the Shah's reforms was already a known figure within the Islamic circles before the CIA coup of 1952 which overthrew Mossadegh's government and brought back the Shah. He was already airing opposition to the "Western infidels" and had already published his essay, The Islamic Government. Simply because the hierarchy as a whole betrayed Mosaddegh and swung in defence of the coup, he remained quiet. The White Revolution gave him the chance to swing the hierarchy in favor of his own faction.

The second part of the block, the big bazarri merchant were also part of the ruling class for well over a century. At the time of the Shah's White Revolution they had complete stranglehold on the Iranian private economy. And do not think for a minute that this some how represented the Iranian version of the so-called national bourgeoisie. You could not get more comprador than them. This layer which traditionally had very close ties with the Shiite hierarchy willingly supported the 1952 coup. It was however fundamentally threatened by the Shah's proposed reforms. At the core of the Shah's "revolution" was the attempt at a limited industrialisation based on the production of consumer goods for the home market under license from foreign companies. This directly attacked the interests of the merchant layers. The government had already introduced import tariffs to curtail their activities. The new group of "industrial" capitalists which grew around the royal court gradually pushed the traditional section out of the ruling class and established its own hegemony over the Iranian economy. Although the bazari merchants still had access to enormous wealth and capital they had been turned into second-class citizens within their "own" bourgeois state. From then on they acted as the bankers for the reactionary faction inside the Shiite hierarchy.

As mentioned above, we had already seen this coalition in action against the Shah seventeen years before the 1979 revolution when they mobilised their base against the Shah's reforms. This movement was crushed by the Shah and its leaders (including Khomeini) forced into exile. When in 1976 the first signs of the structural crisis of Iranian capitalism became apparent, this coalition once again moved into action. In the absence of any other organised opposition during the Shah's dictatorship and in a situation in which both bourgeois nationalist forces under the National Front umbrella and the pro Soviet left led by the Tudeh Party had already proven their bankruptcy, the Shiite hierarchy with its huge network of mosques and well financed by the bazaari merchants soon took over the leadership of the protest movement and announced its own slogans and aspirations as the demands of the revolution itself.

The capitalist class, both nationally and internationally, immediately recognized and since then have supported this counter-revolution in so far as it had no other alternative for saving the bourgeois state. But this is in no way a normal capitalist regime. In a normal capitalist regime you probably expect two capitalists with equal amount of capital to get the same average rate of return. In the Islamic republic, however, one may loose his head whilst the other gets 10 times the average without even risking any capital! In the long run this regime has to change itself in accordance with the needs of the bourgeois state it is protecting. It is a paradox that probably only US Neocons can appreciate how far the Iranian regime has carried out its privatization policy. The only difference is that here they say we do it in our own Islamic way, i.e., as long as we are kept in power. The mafia like groups which have divided the national kitty among themselves are clinging to power at all costs. As the Iranian saying goes, you never get anything back from a mullah. The Shiite hierarchy is not like a military junta which may one day realize its time has passed and has to hand over to a more normal form of rule. We have already seen three waves of reforms from within the regime which have all ended up with the reformers getting a slap in the face. The logic of all reforms calls for the withdrawal of the mullahs from positions of political power. As soon as this logic becomes clear the more fundamentalists organize a new backlash. And as this gets repeated the necessity for its revolutionary overthrow is also becoming more popular. Both Khamenehii and Bush know as the storms of a new revolution are gathering strength, the "nuclear crisis" can provide them with the cover for plunging Iranian society into a state of permanent military curfew.

Torab Saleth
July 2007
torab_s@hotmail.com
Workers Left Unity Iran

First published on indymedia.ie

Related Link: http://www.etehadchap.org/english/
author by paddy garciapublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 18:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Beware those who speak ill of Iran. Its a well known fact that the CIA are funding opposition groups in Iran as its being softened up for invasion.
Remember Chile 1973? Cuba? More recently Venezuela, in all these cases the CIA backed opposition groups.
We must stand shoulder to shoulder with Iran against the REALLY backward forces of imperialism.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 18:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Who is funding you?

Why would you attack an article written by Iranian socialists? These Iranians make it clear that they oppose any Imperialist intervention in Iran.

I thinkk it very strange that you would align yourself with the fascist Iranian Junta.

author by Paddy Garciapublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 18:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So did the Iraqi CP and TUC oppose the invasion of their country. Now they are collaborating with imperialism and the puppet Iraqi regime and have become legitimate targets for the resistance.
Remember who the REAL enemy is.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 18:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The real enemy is the capitalists of your own country. Iranian socialists are best able to decide that. Are you saying that Iranian socialists do not have tthe right to overthrow a semi-fascist regime? Should iranian workers not have the right to form trade unions? You seem to say that no opposition is possible to the Iranian regime. This article is aclass analysis of Iran. You havent pointed to any errors in it.

Here is a statement by another member of WLU:

US-UK aggression in the region is indefensible, yet the Iranian government, which welcomed Bush-style ‘regime change’ in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is not in any position to take the moral high ground. Those sections of the anti-war movement which, in their justified outrage at US-UK warmongering, refuse to take a principled stand against the rightwing, obscurantist islamic regime in Tehran, are, however, doing considerable harm to genuine anti-imperialism.

Instead of acting as apologists for Ahmadinejad, they should mobilise not only against the aggressive threats and actions of the US and UK, but also against the reactionary, pro-capitalist political islamists in Iran - who are, of course, engaged in constant negotiations and secret dealings with imperialism


The Iraqi CP never really opposed the Imperialist invasion. But the Worker-communist Party of Iraq did and still does.

Hers an excerpt from an article by Houzan Mahmoud of the Worker-communist Party of Iraq :

As we know, war in Iraq was sold to the world as a mission to bring about an end to “terrorism”, to plant the seed of “democracy” in this part of the middle east, and to free Iraqis from Saddam’s country-wide torture chamber. And as we equally now know, this has been far from the outcome, with Abu Ghraib’s ghastly porno-torture images, mass imprisonments and the daily bombing and shooting outrages.

Meanwhile, a parliament headed by a Shia majority are currently intent on ruling Iraq according to a version of Islamic law, or Sharia. Apart from the horrors of growing Shia–Sunni sectarianism, a major concern is the effect this is having on women’s rights in Iraq.

Resurgent Islamists are pushing Iraqi women back into a corner. Having enjoyed greater rights compared to women in the region for years, Iraqi women are now being stripped of even their basic rights. The ability to choose their own clothes, to be able to love or marry whom they want to. Life’s simple things are all now under heavy threat.

It has been calculated that in the last three years in excess of 2,000 women and girls in Iraq have been subject to kidnap, rape or even death on the grounds of preserving so-called ‘family honour’.


Full article at: http://houzanmahmoud.blogspot.com/2006/04/my-article-wh....html

author by paddy garciapublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 18:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From Village website. Unfortunately you need subscription for full article:

Iran: ‘national security’ crackdown assisted by United States
Written by Anne McShane
Wednesday, 04 July 2007
Fashion Police victimTensions mount in Iran as a young population resists an increasingly repressive system. This latest dynamic, should it continue, will inevitably play into Washington’s hands and its Middle Eastern objectives.

As the summer heat intensifies in the dusty streets of Tehran, so too has the political pressure on those who oppose the Islamic regime. A state crackdown that began in April with the arrest of more than 150,000 for immoral dress has now escalated to a level of repression not seen for many years. Scores of students, trade unionists and women’s rights activists have been arrested and imprisoned for posing an alleged threat to national security. In the words of the Intelligence Minister, Gholamhossain Mohseni Ejei, “those who damage the system under any guise will be punished”.

The announcement by the US of the establishment of a ‘democracy fund’ to donate $66.1 million to unidentified NGOs has in reality been a gift to the Ahmadinejad regime. With inflation running at more than 20 per cent, the economy is in dire straits. Combined ...

author by paddy garciapublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 18:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You joking aren't you those reactionaries of the WPCI. Those who defended the publishing of the Danish cartoons and paraded them through the streets of London. Those who spoke at a "rally for free expression"
again in London which was organised bt the union bashers of the Freedom Association and the right wingers of the Liberterian Alliance.
Attendees at this sad event included a number of known fascists and Islamphobes.
Are these people really your allies pat?

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 18:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A very good article. Anne McShane is a member of Hands Off the People of Iran and is a supporter of Workers Left Unity Iran.

Info on HOPI at http://www.hopoi.org/

Here is HOPIs founding statement. It is supported by John Pilger, Noam Chomsky, David Norris, Ken Loach and many others.

No to imperialist war!
No to the theocratic regime!


OUR DEMANDS
We recognise that there is an urgent need to establish a principled solidarity campaign with the people of Iran. The contradictions between the interests of the neo-conservatives in power in the USA and the defenders of the rule of capital in the Islamic Republic has entered a dangerous new phase.

US imperialism and its allies are intent on regime change from above and are seriously considering options to impose this - sanctions, diplomatic pressure, limited strikes or perhaps bombing the country back to the stone age.

In Iran, the theocracy is using the international outcry against its nuclear weapons programme to divert attention away from the country's endemic crisis, deflect popular anger onto foreign enemies and thus prolong its reactionary rule.

The pretext of external threats has been cynically used to justify increased internal repression. The regime's security apparatus has been unleashed on its political opponents, workers, women and youth. The rising tide of daily working class anti-capitalist struggles has been met with arrests, the ratification of new anti-labour laws and sweeping privatisations. Under the new Iranian government, military-fascist organisations are gaining political and military strength, posing an ominous threat to the working class and democratic opposition.


Full statement at: http://www.hopoi.org/main.html

HOPI is supported by John Pilger, Noam Chomsky, David Norris, Ken Loach and many others.
Full list at: http://www.hopoi.org/supporters.html

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 18:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The WPI are socialists who oppose reactionary Islamists. The cartoons episode was being used by Islamists to gain ground. No religion should be above criticism or even mockery. I donr support censorship being imposed by religion.

Just as I would oppose any ban on The Life Of Brian.

I have fought a long time against the Catholic mullahs , I'm not going to surrender now to a bunch of Islamic mullahs.

Iranian and Iraqi socialiosts have the right to combat medieval muslims by whatever means they choose.

Btw Paffy, some of the cartoons were published on Indymedia as well. They were also published on The Blanket site by Anthony McIntrye. I suppose that makes them reactionary and Islamophobes as well.

NO gods
NO masters

author by paddy garciapublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 18:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I meant the WCPIs sister organisation in Iran.
Here is some evidence of their rampant Islamophobia.
http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/islamophobia-watch/20....html
What exactly is your agenda pat?
You have aproblem with Islam?
Do you prefer the western lifestyle, do you think its superior or something?

author by paddy garciapublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 18:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

More rampant bigotry from the so called "left"
http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/display/ShowJournal?m...=7529

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 19:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I see no Islamophobia on the part of the WP of Iran.

Why do you think that Iranians and Iraqis arent entitled to the same rights as us in the West? Heres what Maryam Namazie of the WP Iran has to say about that:
She demands to know how it is racist to condemn a 'vile political Islam' which has passed the death sentence on women for adultery whose 'crime' was to have been raped and which has blamed mothers for not satisfying husbands as the cause of child sexual abuse.

Criticising beliefs is not racism. Is it racist to condemn fascism, nationalism, capitalism, sexism, religion? Does a critique of fascism, nationalism or racism promote abuse against fascists, nationalists, and racists? … This is the pathetic whining of reactionaries who want to silence defenders of women's rights and frighten them into inactivity and submission.

Employing a strategy of discursive reversal she slaps the racist label firmly onto those who are most wont to scream 'racism' each time someone steps forward to defend women's rights against the theocrats.

Labelling women's rights activists as racists is a dim-witted ploy to justify and excuse women's status under Islam and political Islam, and deny women and people living in the Middle East and Iran universal rights and freedoms.

As a committed anti-racist she urges that the people in the Middle East, just like people in Europe, have a right to universal standards. Those who say otherwise:

do so because they want to maintain Islam. They want to justify it. Excuse it. They have an interest in safeguarding religion and political Islam. Or at best, they believe women in Iran and the Middle East are sub-humans who actually enjoy being segregated, veiled, stoned, flogged and dehumanised.

This is what Maryam, an Iranian Socialist Feminist has to say about the cartoons:
With the same anti-racist fervour she dismisses demands for apologies being made of those who published the Danish anti-theocratic cartoons, and in defiance of the fascistic mindset, boldly stated, 'in defence of free speech, secularism, and 21st century values, I too am reprinting the caricatures. I urge everyone to do the same.' She argues that ridiculing is a form of criticism, resistance, and a serious form of opposing reaction. She will hardly have missed the paradox as pointed out by Slavoj Zizek in the New York Times that, 'Muslims' only real allies are not those who first published the caricatures for shock value, but those who, in support of the ideal of freedom of expression, reprinted them.'

I'd like the offended Islamists - from the Islamic Republic of Iran to Islamic Jihad to the Saudi government to apologise; not for their backward and medieval superstitions and religious mumbo jumbo but for their imposition of these beliefs in the form of states, Islamic laws and the political Islamic movement. If any of them want to apologise for the mass murder of countless human beings in Iran and the Middle East, and more recently in Europe, for veiling and sexual apartheid, for stoning, amputations, decapitations, Islamic terrorism and for the recent brutal attack on Tehran bus workers and so on and so forth, just email me direct.

Full article at: http://lark.phoblacht.net/AM04040610g.html

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 19:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are just spamming the article with irrelevant links. If you go to the links you see attacks on maryam and Peter Tatchell because they defefend Womens rights and LGBT rights and they oppose medieaval muslims. If that makes them islamophobic then I'm proud be an islamophobe.

All religion should be mocked!

author by paddy garciapublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 19:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why is Islam the fastest growing religion among young European and American women then. Here is an example close to home:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/article620517.ece
Are they opressed? False conciousness?
For fucks sake these converts are not forced to do it.
Did you know that Iran has more women members of parliament than Britain and Ireland?
That mose Iranian doctors are women?
That most university students and graduates are women?
That women are prominent in every walk of Iranian society, much more than Ireland?

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 19:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But in Iran people dont have a choice. Women dont have a choice about how they dress. Workers dont have the right to join unions.

Socialists dont have the right to stand for election.

So opposing that makes a liberal!

Paddy you are beneath contempt. You support a Clerical Fascist Regime which oppresses women, gays, socialists and trade unionists.

author by paddy garciapublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 19:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So women choose to opress themselves by freely choosing an Islamic lifestyle?
You prefer the McDonalds, Coca Cola, drug taking, binge drinking western junk culture then?
You think its "liberating" for women and men to get pissed, vomit on the pavement and in buses, bare their tits and arses in public like you see on Saturday nights in Dublin and other city centres?

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 19:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm on the side of freedom. The side on which workers can join unions. The side where people get a free vote instead of "voting" for candidates chosen by the mullahs. The side where women get to choose how they dress, The side where women arent stoned to death for adultery. The side where gays arent hanged.

Its known as socialism.

author by paddy garciapublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 19:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From Socialism Made Easy by James Connolly:

"Let us take a case in point, one of those cases that are being paralleled every day in our midst. An Irish Catholic joins the Socialist movement. He finds that as a rule the Socialist men and women are better educated than their fellows; he finds that they are immensely cleaner in speech and thought than are the adherents of capitalism in the same class; that they are devoted husbands and loyal wives, loving and cheerful fathers and mothers, skilful and industrious workers in the shops and office, and that although poor and needy as a rule, yet that they continually bleed themselves to support their cause, and give up for Socialism what many others spend in the saloon.

He finds that a drunken Socialist is as rare as a white blackbird, and that a Socialist of criminal tendencies is such a rare avis that when one is found the public press heralds it forth as a great discovery.

Democratic and republican jailbirds are so common that the public press do not regard their existence as "news" to anybody, nor yet does the public press think it necessary to say that certain criminals belong to the Protestant or Catholic religions. That is nothing unusual, and therefore not worth printing. But a criminal Socialist - that would be news indeed!

Our Irish Catholic Socialist gradually begins to notice these things. He looks around and he finds the press full of reports of crimes, murders, robberies, bank swindlers, forgeries, debauches, gambling transactions, and midnight orgies in which the most revolting indecencies are perpetrated. He investigates and he discovers that the perpetrators of these crimes were respectable capitalists, pillars of society, and red-hot enemies of Socialism, and that the dives in which the highest and the lowest meet together in a saturnalia of vice contribute a large proportion of the campaign funds of the capitalist political parties."

author by Watcherpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 19:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Paddy gives an impressive list indicating that Iran is not as backward as the US and allies would have us believe.

"Women dont have a choice about how they dress" Do we?

" Workers dont have the right to join unions."

Here, as in the US, workers are being denied the right to join unions. Where are you living Pat?

"Socialists dont have the right to stand for election"

And they do here. The only difference is that they have a hard time getting elected due to the control of the system by wealthy. Explain Pat how in god's name have we been lumbered with the same government again? Stop pretending that we have a democracy here.

But keep up the Iran bashing, the good old GI's will soon arrive to bring enlightenment just as they have brought to Iraq.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 19:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Socialists shouldn't support captialist degeneracy"

So why are you supporting the Iranian junta? The worse capitalist exploiters are the junta.

Connolly would have supported the iranian workers against the regime. I doubt if he would have supported the stoning of women or the hanging of gays.

You really are a laugh paddy.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 19:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Here, as in the US, workers are being denied the right to join unions. Where are you living Pat? "

Unions are not illegal here. Union leaders atre not arrested and tortured.

"And they do here. The only difference is that they have a hard time getting elected due to the control of the system by wealthy. Explain Pat how in god's name have we been lumbered with the same government again? Stop pretending that we have a democracy here"

Whats your point? I didnt pretend anything. Are you saying that Ireland is no different from Iran? IRan is a capitalist country controlled by capitalist mullahs. In Iran the mullahs choose the candidates..

"But keep up the Iran bashing, the good old GI's will soon arrive to bring enlightenment just as they have brought to Iraq."

You are a pathetic fraud. I oppose any US attacks. You however support a fascist regime.

author by pady garciapublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 19:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Believe me Iranians of all political persuations, women, men, gay, straight will spill their last drop of blood against the yankee jackboot. It is the duty of socialists to support them.
Which side will you be cheering pat?
Why not direct your venom against Saudi Arabia, a truly totatlitarian and fascist feudal state, but one supported and armed by imperialism.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 19:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

its obvious that you didnt read the article or my comments. The WLU & the WPI will oppose any imperialist intervention. I will oppose the US but I will also support the socialist opposition in their struggle against the Junta.

This is really similar to the Malvinas war. Its a case of calling for the defeat of imperialism but also opposing the Iranian junta just as socialists opposed the British Fleet in 1982 but continued to support the Argentinian workers against the Junta.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 19:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes I oppose the Saudi regime. But you dont find any socialists cheering it on. Unfortunately the fascist junta in Iran has supporters on the left.

Paddy, why dont you form a solidarity campaign for the workers of Saudi Arabia?

I choose my own priorities on campaigns. I'm a bit busy at the moment with Choice Ireland as well as HOPI. Only so many things a person can do.

author by Commiepublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 21:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Do the people attacking this article really deny the reality of the reactionary nature of Iranian regime?

The Iranian regime needs to be overthrown by the Iranian people in a socialist revolution.

Of course there can be no thought of supporting the US & British imperialists if they attacked Iran, if anyone had any illusions in them then the experience of Iraq has well and truely shown that they are no friends of freedom from oppression for ordinary working people.

While I think the article somewhat overstates the degree of collusion between the Iranian regime and imperialism it is fairly clear that the Iranian regime is not anti-imperialist in any real sense. That said they might find themselves in conflict with imperialism just as Saddam did in Iraq because imperialism would like a more pliant regime in place. Not because the imperialists care in any way about the Iranian people but just the better to control the oil and geopolitics of the region.

If such a fight does occur between the Iranian army and US/British forces then we should have a side against the greater enemy of imperialism. But not because we have any faith in the Iranian regime but because the victory of imperialism would make the struggle for freedom even harder to achieve - as we have seen in Iraq. And it is only by recognising the greater enemy of imperialism that the Iranian people will be in a position to free themselves from their "own" reactionary regime at home.

author by Anne McShane - HOPIpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 21:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Having read through the earlier attacks on Torab's article all I can say is that those who try and justify what is happening in Iran cannot call themselves progressives, never mind socialists.

The Hands off the People of Iran campaign stands against imperialist intervention and also against the Islamic regime. That is we stand with the people of Iran who are struggling for their rights. Women in Iran are being arrested for daring to let their hair show. All you need to do is look at the countless blogs on the Internet for photos showing brutal attacks on women by the Fashion Police.

Maybe Paddy and others of the same view do not care about womens rights. But there is more. Women activists and trade unionists are locked up in prison and tortured for opposing the regime. Students are arrested and similarly tortured - and sometimes disappeared. Many activists have spoken out against US funding. They are anti-war and also anti-Islamic regime. They want their freedoms.

To paint progessive opponents of the Islamic regime as CIA agents is a pathetic attempt to justify giving implict support to a nasty anti-democratic regimes which is currently actively oppressing its people. The regime is not anti-imperialist - it simply wants to dominate the Middle East. And the US clearly does not care about the Iranian people. But we do. We must.

Anne

Related Link: http://www.hopoi.org
author by NoBalancepublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 02:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

it's worse in saudi arabia but where are all the anti saudi articles???. I smell a rat.

author by Commiepublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 07:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are plenty of articles written by leftists that expose the reactionary nature of the Saudi regime.

Clearly there needs to be a socialist revolution there as well, just as there needs to be one here in Ireland.

The article in question is written by an Iranian so it is not unreasonable for it to concetrate on Iran.

The article deals with a particular political problem that does not exist with Saudi Arabia as far as I am aware.

That political problem is that there are some on the left who in their desire to defend Iran from imperialist attack go too far and pretend that the Iranian regime is not visciously anti-working class.

While we must defend Iran against imperialism, including blocing with the Iranian state if it fights back, that should not mean pretending that the Iranian regime is in any way progressive.

The rat that you smell is those who are providing left cover for the reactionary Iranian regime and attack articles like this that merely tell the truth about its nature.

author by Watcherpublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 07:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The article in question is written by an Iranian so it is not unreasonable for it to concetrate on Iran."

How do you know this, Commie? Is he a National Socialist?

author by pat cpublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is little point in responding to individuals here, I'll just point out that the "lifers" have now come out in support of Iran, that should tell you something about it. If you are looking for fascists in Iran then you need look no further than the Iranian Junta. They fill all the criteria for fascists: they smashed and banned unions, they banned all opposition parties, they oppress their national minorities, they stone women to death for adultery, they hang gays.

What socialist could support a regime like that?

Oh, dont forget how the Iranian Junta treat asylum seekers:

A campaign to kick out Afghan refugees in Iran is continuing unabated. Between late April and late June, the Islamic Republic of Iran rounded up more than 100,000 Afghans working in Iran and dumped them on the other side of the border.

Expulsions of refugees from Afghanistan have been going on with varying degrees of intensity for the last two decades. They have been an integral part of Tehran’s policy of maintaining permanent pressure on Afghan refugees and workers resident in Iran. In 2006, Iran threw out around 146,000 Afghan refugees and workers.


Full story: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/83456

author by Aragonpublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"That political problem is that there are some on the left who in their desire to defend Iran from imperialist attack go too far and pretend that the Iranian regime is not visciously anti-working class.

While we must defend Iran against imperialism, including blocing with the Iranian state if it fights back, that should not mean pretending that the Iranian regime is in any way progressive."


Totally agree with this - supressing the truth will do nothing to prevent the war in Iran.

It's grossly hypocritical for Bush/Cheney or anyone promoting or supporting this war to pioint to the absence of democracy in Iran when the US is systematically attacking all of the advances that socialist movements had made in its own country.

The clear and present danger for all Iranian people is the planned attack on Iran on the basis of completely false allegations. This must surely mean that, for the time being, most effort should be devoted to preventing the war? Whatever the possibility of dialogue between Iranian socialists and fundamentalists, it will be destroyed in favour of the latter unless the reality of what the US/UK are doing is made a priority. It will be a primary objective of the US to ensure that any vestige of socialism will be eradicated if there is another invasion or any sort of 'regime change'. The preference will be for compliant, conservative fundamentalists - exactly as it has been in Iraq.

Of course it could be said that Iranian socialists are already, in effect, at war with their own government. But at least the Iranian government are not dropping bombs on them, destroying infrastructure or imposing sanctions that cause horrific suffering. To put it crudely, you wouldnt continue with a fist fight if you knew that a third party was aiming a gun at you.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Of course it could be said that Iranian socialists are already, in effect, at war with their own government. But at least the Iranian government are not dropping bombs on them, destroying infrastructure or imposing sanctions that cause horrific suffering. To put it crudely, you wouldnt continue with a fist fight if you knew that a third party was aiming a gun at you."

The Iranian government do drop bombs on areas where the opposition are strong. They murder trade unionists, socialists, feminists and national minorities who strive for independence or autonomy.

It is offensive to the Iranianian opposition to compare their conflict to a fist fight. Thousands of people are not slaughtered in fist fights.

Lets oppose all Imperialist intervention but let us also support the right of the Iranian socialists to overthrow the Junta.

No to imperialist war!
No to the theocratic regime!


author by Starkadderpublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 17:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Few would deny the brutal nature of the Iranian regime, but given the fiasco in Iraq, it seems unlikely that a US invasion of Iran would
liberate its people. The ideal situation would be for the Iranian people to rise up and overthrow their Mullahs. Whether this will actually happen is unclear.

author by Revoltpublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 18:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thje NWO is coming.I'm not supporting the current Iranian mullah regieme , and I'm cynical of any statists. BUT Isn't it obivous that a weaker Iran will herald an American/zionist invasion? Mossad, MI6, and CIA work together to destabilise the region continously in preparation for a war on it.

THEY have done this before and admit OPENLY to doing this! When the "democratic" allies do invade and set up their puppet state the socialists will get zero support and they will be left with a secular capitalist to contend with, which is the situation in every western capital right now.

For all its failings, Iran is the last dam towards world wide capitalist Globalism!. WAKE UP pat c!! Look at the bigger picture. You must put objective and rational thinking before falling blindly into a trap set up purposefully by the bankers and puppet masters that be.

author by Aragonpublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 18:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"When the "democratic" allies do invade and set up their puppet state the socialists will get zero support and they will be left with a secular capitalist to contend with, which is the situation in every western capital right now."

That's exactly what is happening in Iraq now. As mentioned in an earlier post - the massively increased level of violence towards gay Iraqi people since the invasion is being sponsored by the pro US Islamic factions. The report linked to below mentions the previous Iranian-based militia, the Badr as being responsible - and certain members of the pro US SCIRI too:

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m34645&hd=&size=1&l=e

This is exactly what will happen in Iran - the more extreme Islamists will be given carte blanche by the US. Whatever weak influence opposition voices have now will be destroyed.

author by Pat cpublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 19:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At the moment gay Iranians are stoned to death. Gays are certainly oppressed in Iraq but the law of the land does not sanction the hanging of gays. The oppression is carried out by Iraqi Islamic fundamentalists, the soul brothers of the Iranian regime.

Aragon why are you posting these sort of coments on this thread? The article was written by an Iranian socialist who opposes any Imperialist intervention. You may not intend to attack it just as you may not have intended the thread about Mansour but objectively you are undermining the position of the Iranian socialists.

If you really doubt them then why not contact the Irish Socialist Network or David Norris, Tony Gregory, Des Derwin, Noam Chomsky, John Pilger or Ken Loach. They all support HOPI.

author by paddy garciapublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 20:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree that gays in Iran can have a hard time. The Koran, unlike the bible states that sexuality is a private matter, who consenting adults choose to sleep with is nobody elses business.
Think you will find this the case in Iran. Its only when these acts are in the public domain they may be considered an issue. That applies with both heterosexuals and homosexuals.
Public displays of affection is the issue here not ones sexuality.

author by Mike - Judean Popular People's Frontpublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 20:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just because the Iranian regime are currently involved in a urinating contest with the UK/USA/Israel doesnt mean they deserve our support?

This "enemy of my enemy is my friend" mentality is what has the middle east in the mess its in in the first place.

If paddy garcia were around in 1944 would he be complaining about the nasty US/UK "imperialists" threatening to invade the benign German state and overthrow their peace loving government?

Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Palestine, Saudi, Turkey and every other state in the region are brutal oppressive places which need regime change. However Britain, America or Israel are in no position to deliver change until they have undergone the same process themselves.

Fundamentalism (whether Islamic, Jewish, Christian or otherwise) is the enemy!

author by Stonewallpublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 21:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Paddy garcia has really exposed himself now. Thousands of gays have been executed by the Iranian state since 1979, put to death purely because they chose to act on their natural sexual feelings. And you trivialise this by saying that gays "have a hard time", and excuse it by suggesting that it's their own fault for not keeping their sexuality repressed? You rotten, hateful, reactionary little bigot. I don't know for the life of me why you have such a big problem with the Bush gang, surely their homophobic bigotry would be very much in line with your own thinking. Expect to be confronted and sent packing if you take your bigotry off the cyber world and try imposing it in the real one.

author by Interestedpublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 22:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thousands of gays have been executed by the Iranian state since 1979, put to death purely because they chose to act on their natural sexual feelings.

It'd be nice to see a source for that, especially one which is believable. Hopefully any cases cited to make up the "1000s" will not be like the cause celebre recently in which it turned out that two you men were hung for rape as opposed to homosexuality. That didn't stop commentators like Doug Ireland from distorting the picture and retailing the US State Department's line. Maybe it'll stop other people with less of a tunnel vision. I'm sure the Iraqi gays being killed will take small comfort from the idea that their deaths are not legally sanctioned, and Iranian gays and non-gays will be delighted that another excuse to bomb them has been planted firmly in the minds of comfortable western "socialists".

author by Stonewallpublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 22:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Maybe you should ask them, you bigoted, homophobic troll:

http://www.irqo.net/

http://www.gaymiddleeast.com/country/iran

http://www.petertatchell.net/international/iranstatemur...r.htm

I'm sure gays in Iran will agree with your line that anyone who defends their rights is a stooge of imperialism.

It has to be said - you are actually insane, there's no other way of putting it. You are incapable of thinking, you are incapable of reading the arguments that people make against you. You have programmed your brain to play the following record "anyone who criticises Iran supports a US invasion la la la la la" and nothing will get in your way.

author by Fintan Lane - Irish Socialist Networkpublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 22:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I must admit that I'm a bit baffled by some of the remarks on this thread, particularly the one above. Are we supposed to suspend our critical faculties with regard to the reactionary right-wing Iranian government because the country is threatened by US imperialism? The Iranian people (those who will suffer if the US launch an attack) and the Iranian ruling elite are NOT one and the same, just as the people of the United States, many of whom are strongly anti-war, should not be confused with the Bush regime. So, one can easily defend the people of Iran against US warmongering without supporting the Iranian government.

It is disgraceful and deliberately misleading to claim, or even imply, that critics of the nasty regime in Iran are somehow encouraging a US attack. Pat Corcoran, HOPI and the ISN have repeatedly emphasised their opposition to US imperialism and have highlighted the suffering an attack on Iran would entail for the ordinary people there. It is simply dishonest to suggest otherwise. At the same, we haven't switched our brains off nor closed our eyes to the reactionary nature of the Iranian ruling elite. Any socialist who did so wouldn't have a shred of integrity.

Related Link: http://www.irishsocialist.net
author by paddy garciapublication date Fri Jul 20, 2007 23:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Heres what your mate Tatchell new bedfellow thinks of muslims.
Plenty about him and his mate Brett Lock on islamophobia watch.
They seem to be singling out muslims for special treatment.

http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/islamophobia-watch/ta....html

For the record I do not support persecution of gays as implied by stonewall.
My point is that there is some confusion about what happens to them in Iran.

author by Commiepublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 00:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So Paddy says - "My point is that there is some confusion about what happens to them in Iran".

Try doing a google search for "gays Iran" and see what you find.

The only "confusion" is in your mind.

author by Commiepublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 00:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In your responses to Aragon you seem to be painting the threat to the Iranian people of an imperialist attack as more or less equivalent to the current oppression inflicted on them by the Iranian regime.

Surely you recognise that the example of Iraq clearly shows that the sufferring of the Iranian people will be greatly increased if/when the imperialists invade. Not only in terms of the death and destruction that the bombing and invasion itself will cause but as Aragon points out in the even greater degree of Islamic reaction that will exist after the imperialists win, at least in terms that Iraq was a "win" - which given the balance of military forces and unfortunate impotence of the anti-war movement in the imperialist heartlands is the almost certain outcome.

This has a political consequence for socialists and progressives. If the imperialists do attack then they become the main enemy and to the extent that the Iranian regime is fighting back then we should have a side in this conflict between our two enemies - do you agree?

author by Revoltpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 02:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We must condemn all oppression of freespeech and individual expression and champion socialist revolution wherever there are those willing to implement it.

"If paddy garcia were around in 1944 would he be complaining about the nasty US/UK "imperialists" threatening to invade the benign German state and overthrow their peace loving government?

This is the problem with the judean mindset in general , you are opposed to war but support war.It is an unfortunate hangover from the banker sponsored ww2 fiasco in the frist place. The freemasonic american capitalists should never have invaded Europe in the first place in ww2( and are still here today).[in any case the two regiemes both national socialist and soviet communist were sponsored by american banks and wealthy jewish businnessmen].

I oppose all war , why can you israelis do such? Regieme change is the best possible solution from within any country as it reduces the most bloodshed. We are not for imperial war of any sort, Why is it so hard to grasp that?

I'm for rational objective thinking here. It is known that even israel has sold missles to the Iranian regieme, as have america and russia and others. Before Israel?America or Britain can touch Iran they should all undergo a serious housecleaning and revolutionary overthrow of their own repressive dicatorships , plus UK/US/Israel discard all Nuclear weaponary.

author by Revoltpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 02:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No one is supporting gay oppression ( or any other sexual expression) here - why the hell would we!? It also has to be stated that George Bush is numero uno homosexual so why can't you admit the obivious. His Yale initiation cermonies herald masturbatory pratices agmonst their peers. Skull and Bones male fraternity case in point. Bohemian grove and their famous liasions is another. Underage boys visiting the whitehouse. Male homosexual pornstars(and bohemian grove regular) hugging Bush in the whitehouse again on more than one occasion - photo op. This is no exagerration and there is more. The point is Bush participates in homosexuals acts.

Lets not be under any illusions here. Support your fucking war then , let them slaughter another 200,000 arabs in another senseless capitalist imperial war. Let them set up their federal banks just like in Iraq and afghanistan and not one step forward will be made for Socialism or freedom in any case. It will happen no doubt, and just like all the rantings of sadams oppression from concerned armchair socialists, we will see somthing far worse emerge in the chaos what will inevitably ensue from capitalist shitstirring. Again and again the cynics break with their principles conform directly into the mould of the establishment. Happy fucking days. Puppets, sub-puppets and sub-sub-puppets.

author by davekeypublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 04:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Check out this link, Bush's new directive against the anti-war movement:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6377

author by davekeypublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 06:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wonder could some of the posters here please explain what happens if the current theocracy in Iran is overthrown?

Given the current global war for oil how will this democratic republic with civil/women's/gay/union rights defend itself from the ensueing onslaught?

Will they just give the oil away and let the IMF, World Bank, and privatising wolves in the door?

How will this make life better?

author by Aragonpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 08:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's unfair to accuse Pat C of Islamophobia for pointing out the oppression of the Iranian government. I just question the wisdom of emphasisng that oppression to the extent that it is made to seem worse than the far greater oppression that is imminent - this is a critical point in time. It's not the fact of pointing out the oppression per se that is at issue - of course that should be challenged.

This is about timing.

The current emphasis is in danger of giving support to the war mongers who are using it to further an agenda that includes all the same oppression, worse even, PLUS will cause many more deaths among the same groups while completely destroying their country. There will be no autonomy for anyone in a post-war Iran. It's a question of current priority - would it not be better for sympathetic socialists to unite in opposing the war at this point in time. Opposing an imperialist war of aggression encompasses opposition to oppression of any kind - it does not dilute support for unionists etc to focus on stopping the war. The US are skillyfully using socialist voices in ways socialists do not intend. The truth can be used against itself to bring about even deadlier consequences - the title of this article is a gift to the imperialist propagandists in that context. Why play into their hands? If no war were threatened, if the tanks, bombs, soldiers, fighter jets, ships etc were not all massing in the Middle East; if Bush etc were not telling a pack of lies about Iran's nuclear activity and whipping up international hysteria on a false premise - it would be another matter entirely.

author by Commiepublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 08:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While you say much that is true I am unsure what the practical consequences are of what you are arguing.

Are you saying that because of the imminent threat of attack socialists and anarchists should gag themselves and not tell the truth about the reactionary nature of the Iranian regime and what it is doing to the Iranian people?

author by Aragonpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 09:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No, I'm saying that emphasising it at this point in time will not help - will likely increase the oppression in the long run. There has to be a space for tactics/strategy given what is very likely to be done to Iran. Oppression of gays and unionists in Iran is a given. Even the US military has been forced to acknowledge that there has been an extraordinary inlcrease in gay killings in Iraq since the invasion. The first thing to do is to stop the wreteched war so the same does not happen.

I'm trying to imagine what an Iranian would say - a person who is experiencing discrimination but who is also facing the possibility of a US invasion which he/she knows is going to make things ten times worse. I would rather my supporters outside Iran devoted their efforts to stopping the greater threat right now - particularly so if their loud protests on my behalf were being used to make the latter much more likely. I imnagine they might say something like this: 'I know you mean well and what you say is true but actually it's having the unintended effect of putting me in greater danger - you're fighting the wrong thing at the moment - that group over there need to be dealth with first. Now is not the time for this - I am more likely to die because of it. Please stop it for the time being and put all your energy into removing the bigger threat until it has receded.'

The hypocrisy of the US needs to be exposed when they use the oppression of Iranian people to advance the war - to pretend that they care. Violence against LGBT Americans has increased alarmingly since the neo cons came to power as the report below shows. That violence is as a consequence, largely, of Christian right wingers - fundamentalists in the same mould as the Iranian funddamentalists. Where are the prominent media reports about this hypocrisy? Unionism in the US has been rendered incredibly weak - and the history of violence against trades unionists there is well known. Hoffa was murdered.

http://www.planetout.com/news/article.html?2005/04/28/1

author by Commiepublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well I'm still a bit confused by what you propose.

You say "emphasising it at this point in time will not help" but then later when you paraphrase your imaginary Iranian leftist "Please stop it for the time being".

I don't mean to be pedantic but, while I might be convinced of the "emphasising" point, I certainly have trouble with the "stop it" argument.

I agree with you that it is necessary to recognise the US imperialism is the far greater danger and if an attack comes we need to take a side against them. But I don't see why that means we should stop telling the truth about the reactionary nature of the Iranian regime.

The problem with the HOPI campaign is that it won't come out clearly and say that in the case of an attack they would take a side with anyone who fights back against the imperialists, including the Iranian regime and its army.

The problem with the SWP anti-war movement is that it pretends that the Iranian regime is some kind of progressive anti-imperialism and spends time, like many on this discussion, in downplaying the crimes of the reactionary Iranian regime.

I think it is possible, and necessary, to continue politically criticising the Iranian regime for its crimes while at the same time being for a military bloc with them against the imperialists if the attack comes. Socialists and anarchists should always tell the truth - and that means saying both of these things.

author by paddy garciapublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We all know the shortcomings of the Iranian regime, but critising it at this point is playing into the hands of the imperialist enemy.
There are aspects of progressive anti imperialism to it such as hatred of America and the rest of the degenerate west, desire to destroy the racist, zionest, apartheid state that is Israel as well as supporting the resistance in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.
People like Hugo Chavez recognise this, that is why he is making an anti imperialist alliance with Iran against the common enemy.
Socialists have to get a grip, singling out Iran as a particulary nasty regime is doing excatly the same thing as our class enemy, and all the reports of nastiness especially with regards to women is much exaggerated.
When the yanks go marching in our revolutionary duty is to support Iran, and yes that means standing shoulder to shoulder with their government as well as the people. Any differences we may have is for another day.
Resisting the yankee jackboot is our first priority.

author by Commiepublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Would you please explain how "critising the Iranian regime at this point is playing into the hands of the imperialist enemy". I don't see why this is necessarily the case.

I'm afraid that I have to completely disagree that there are "aspects of progressive anti imperialism" about the Iranian regime.

Any "anti-imperialism" of the Iranian regime is completely accidental as a result of its own desires for power in the region which happens to be in conflict with the imperialist's plans - and there is certainly nothing "progressive" about it.

While I agree that we need to stand "shoulder to shoulder with their government as well as the people" this does not mean aliabing this reactionary regime which is exactly what you are doing when you say "all the reports of nastiness especially with regards to women is much exaggerated".

Of course it is true that persecuted Iranians and their supporters emphasise the crimes of the Iranian regime but that is true of the oppressed in every country around the world with similarly viscious regimes.

Our job is to tell the truth, not become apologists for the crimes of reactionary capitalist regimes even when they are under threat of attack by imperialism.

author by paddy garciapublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If enabling resistance to imperalism and zionism in the middle east isn't progressive, what is? What excatly is your problem here? Is it because you conform to a euro centric wiew of the world? If an organisation doesn't satisfy points 1-10 of the transitional demands it isn't worth supporting or what? My position is unconditional support for whoever is doing the business, unfortunately mass left forces are rather in short supply these days, especially in the Middle East. Cuba, and especially Che Guevara in their heyday did excatly the same thing in "exporting" revolution around Latin America and other places. Did you have a problem with this as well? If you did you must be the only person on the left thinks this!
Also don't forget Nasser in Egypt who skillfully challenged western hegemony in the region.

author by paddy garciapublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Iranian regime along with Osama bin Laden and elements of the Iraqi resistance, Hezbullah, Hamas, etc. may be total twats and include some backward elements. But hey, thats what we have at the moment, and until something better comes along they are OUR total twats and deserve the support of socialists.

author by Aragonpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Commie

You say 'if an attack comes' - then you will oppose it. That appears to be an inert/passive response to the war. The attack is already underway, sanctions, anti Iranian propaganda (some things are being said which are patently not true) etc etc. NB sanctions hurt civilians more than they ever do the ruling elites. The big difference between us appears to be that you don't seem to think you have a proactive role to play in trying to prevent the war or the greater oppression that would follow it - even though you don't want those things to happen. If you put yourself in an actively anti-war perspective then the tactic of challenging the war first and, if successful, subsequently resuming the challenge to lesser oppression becomes more obviously imperative.

These are not mutually exclusive tactics either - to challenge the basis for war exclusively at this point in time is also to challenge the oppression you object to. There is no denial of abuses involved in using discretion in choosing emphasis according to changing circumstances.

If you want to prevent war and greatly increased oppression then you have to think tactics right now as a matter of real urgency. So yes, I would imagine that oppressed Iranians would beg you to put down this argument now, despite the truth of what you say. It is ironic that well meaning socialists could end up causing a vastly increased number of deaths and increased persecution among the very people they are supporting on what in this transient context alone is a relatively semantic point. (I do not mean Iranian oppression is a semantic point.)

To find an anology that doesnt offend (I didnt mean to trivialise by using the fist fight v bombs comparison): suppose I have a life threatening tumour and another debilitating and painful condition and it turns out that the treatments for both are incompatible. Individually the treatments are good but together they are deadly. My only hope is to deal with the most dangerous condition first of all, if I am to have any chance of surviving to treat the other. That is where we are at with this. Shouting about Irainian oppression in isolation from all that is happening around it right now is going to make it worse. It has an appearance of putting your own sense of moral rectitude ahead of the best interests of the people you are trying to support - where the immediate danger is concerned.

Whether or not Iran is a progressive regime is as irrelevant to US intentions for Iran as it is to deciding the best tactics for preventing an unjust war and, crucially, far greater oppression. I don't know why the SWP would bark up that tree - it seems to be beside the point completely where socialism is concerned.

The opportunity for stopping another slaughter grows less by the day.

author by isn memberpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Aragon: "So yes, I would imagine that oppressed Iranians would beg you to put down this argument [about oppression in Iran] now,"

The arrogance and presumption in this statement is breathtaking! Earlier, Aragon even invented an "oppressed Iranian" person to plead for an end to criticism of the regime "at this time". Amazing how this fictional "Iranian" has views exactly coinciding with those of Aragon, eh? What an arrogance. If you can't find an oppressed Iranian who supports your western-centric position, then just invent one!

Socialists who ignore, or put to one side, the internal oppression carried out by the Ahmadinejad government are a disgrace and are, in effect, facilitating that oppression.

Yes, we need to focus on the threatened US imperialist attack, but not at the expense of those being brutalised in Iran. Judging by some of the postings above, there seems to be no shortage of people on this thread who would have argued that one should have suspended all criticism of Saddam and the Ba'ath Party in the lead up to the US invasion in 2003. Thankfully, only a few nutters on the left took that approach.

author by paddy garciapublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Going back to the gay issue. You will remember that gays were persecuted after the Cuban revolution. According to Castro and co. they were seen as part of the old order that they overthrew, and therefore part of the problem.
Batistas Cuba wasn't known as the "brothel of the Caribbean" for nothing. It was a truly degenerate capitalist state.
This was obviously the wrong analysis, and as a person of part Latin background I know how entrenched homophobia is in that culture, have have had many an argument defending gay rights with my otherwise progressive friends and relatives.
How did the left deal with the homophobia of the Cuban state? Not by demonising it in the way that Iran is being demonised at the moment. We declared support for the Cuban revolution and the gains it had made for its people, but at the same time making gay rights an issue when appropriate.
Same should happen with Iran, and I will say it again, demonising the regime at this time of need plays right into the hands of imperialism.

author by paddy garciapublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes I supported Saddam and the Iraqi peoples right to resist the imperialist invasion.
Saddam was a different person to when he was supported by the west. He had chilled out a lot by then and became a hero to the opressed masses especially in the Middle East for bravely standing up to the running dogs of imperialism.
Who would have supported "commie" ? The brits and yanks?
Saddam paid the ultimate price at the hands of imperialisms excecutioners.
He stands martyerd as a true hero of the Arab nation.

author by isn memberpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The 'left' didn't have a uniform view on Cuba in the 1960s (and still doesn't) and, then as now, there were elements on the left who had zero interest in gay rights. Gay rights are human rights, and gays suffering oppression and state brutality should receive the same priority from socialists as oppressed left-wing trade unionists. There should be no hierarchy in that regard and no downplaying of human rights abuses.

It's a bit odd to compare state-capitalist Cuba with Iran, but no matter. The only substantial similarity is that both are menaced by US imperialism.

author by Commiepublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 13:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So Paddy thinks the butcher Saddam who for most of his time as military dictator of Iraq was a pliant puppet of the imperialists is "a true hero of the Arab nation" - what a load of bollocks.

Of course it is the duty of revolutionaries to unconditionally fight alongside any reactionary leaders in the neo-colonial world against military attack by the imperialists - however unconditional does not mean uncritical. You want to give uncritical support to the reactionary Iranian regime and indeed go further and pretend that it is "progressive".

The Iranian regime, Osama bin Laden, elements of the Iraqi resistance, Hezbullah & Hamas may well be YOURS but they are not MINE. They are viscious enemies of the working class and it is just a coincidence that we have a common enemy at this time. They only deserve support when they carry out acts against imperialism and its puppets. They deserve to be condemned when they carry out crimes against working people. Just because we have a common military enemy does not mean that we should give them blanket political support.

Regarding the Cubans selective support for nationalist movements around the world it is fairly clear that this was at the behest of their Soviet masters. I would have supported it where it was part of fighting imperialist forces and their puppets but not for one moment would I have stopped telling the truth about the Stalinist regime in Cuba and its crimes against the working class.

Aragon - it is the duty of revolutionaries to tell the truth. Not to hide the truth.

You may well "IMAGINE that oppressed Iranians would beg you to put down this argument now" however that doesn't actually seem to be the case as the reports coming out of Iran about the opposition to the regime make absolutely clear.

I like your analogy but think it supports my position more than it does yours. Of course you have to deal with the most dangerous medical condition first of all. But does that mean that you should stop talking to your doctor about the less dangerous one and making plans for how to deal with that one after the first one is cured? You may want to do that but I wouldn't.

In what way is my position not pro-active in trying to stop the war? I stand squarely for a military bloc with anyone who opposes the imperialist invasion and building the biggest anti-imperialist movement possible (as opposed to the SWP's pacifist movement). The difference between us is not passivity vs. pro-activeness but over the question of whether or not to suspend political criticism of the Iranian regime.

Your argument that Iran is already under attack through economic measures and black propaganda is problematic as this is just the standard modus operandi of imperialism in imposing its will on non-imperialist countries and the logic of your argument would be that we would have to suspend political criticism of all capitalist regimes who imperialism was putting the squeeze on for one reason or another.

This is the politics of moralistic liberal guilt (which clearly motivates the Paddy's of this world) and I think you are in danger of falling into this trap as well.

author by Aragonpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 15:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm just trying to empathise with people living in Iran in the present situation. It must be terrifying to know that the US is hell bent on starting a war that threatens them so devastatingly. All I'm trying to do is to imagine what choice an Iranian person would make. It seems likely that at least a majority would prefer to pursue a strategy which, so long as it is necessary only, lessens the risk of well meaning people inadvertently expediting increased numbers of deaths and greater oppression in Iran. If we don't try to put ourselves in their shoes as things are right now then we are talking over their heads. If somebody has another insight to offer -great - I have no problem at all conceding to anything I may have overlooked. My significance to this situation is the same as yours, of course.

Maybe you are a better person than me and of course I might be mistaken - but I can only offer an honestly held opinion. Everyone here is genuine so far as I can see. There is no heirarchy of oppression as you say - only a greater risk of even more of it.

The central point in what I have said is that this is a very particular point in time - it needs a re-assessment of the best approach for this pre-war phase which takes account of US duplicity - a seriously aggravating factor for Iranians. Their struggle has taken on a different shape and significance - and one which forces them to make certain distinctions for the time being. If no war were being threatened, if their own plight was not being used against them then the approach would be exactly the one you are using now, imho.

The Iranians deserve criticism for what they are doing to homosexuals, unionists, women and other oppressed groups. They deserve to be seriously challenged for it, no doubt about that. Right now is a bad moment because it won't work the way it is intended to. Good timing is not the same thing as denial?

author by Aragonpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 15:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"But does that mean that you should stop talking to your doctor about the less dangerous one and making plans for how to deal with that one after the first one is cured? You may want to do that but I wouldn't."

Good point. Only if it is actually helpful to do so.

At the very least, let's emphasise equally loudly US oppression of minority groups - because it is so vital not to let the US get away with their cynical manipulation of Iranian oppression . It is this tactic which they are deploying all over world media which is the most lethal in terms of creating public acceptance and approval for the war - and then our friends in Iran will suffer far more.

Our condemnation at this time, if it really has to be made at the moment, should be at least equally damning of both, then?

author by isn memberpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 15:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The difficulty with your plea not to "talk over the heads" of those living in Iran is that you've gone one step further and, through an "Iranian" alter ego, you've elected to speak "for them".

Iran, like everywhere else, contains a medley of voices from the government official, who while damning US aggression implores us to fall behind the regime he represents, to the political dissident or harassed gay, who while against US imperialism has nothing but contempt for those who fall in behind the Ahmadinejad's regime, and so on. For most socialists (I hope), it is clear that the Iranian regime is no friend of trade unionism, the left, gays, or any movement for progressive social change. The ruling class in Iran is deeply reactionary.

The voices in Iran that I listen to most are those advocating human rights for all and progressive social change.

As to the faux-humility about me being "a better person" than you, please give us a break. Who knows, maybe I am. Who cares?

author by Commiepublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 15:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree.

However I'm not sure that every individual article has to cover every base and this is a discussion on a particular article talking about some of the crimes of the regime and its reactionary nature.

One of the main threads of the discussion has been between those who recognise the Iranian regime for what it is (that includes you and I) and those who are trying to paint it as not so bad and indeed even "progressive" (such as Paddy Garcia).

The other main thread has been over whether to side with Iranian regime if it fights back against the imperialist attack (everyone vs the HOPI people) and within our side of that discussion there has been disagreement over whether making political criticisms of the Iranian regime at this time weakens the fight against imperialism.

It would seem that you and I have a fairly similar analysis of this question though we would probably disagree on exactly how much emphasis to give to those criticisms.

author by anonpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 15:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well, I'm glad that's all sorted out! So, off you go to the real world and establish some sort of campaign or whatever to promote your perspective. Some chance!

That's the annoying thing about cyber-activism. Lots of intricate discussion, very little translation into real-world activism.

author by Aragonpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 16:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

( You don't know what my activism is. Or do you mean that your way is the only and best way? Is it wrong to try and find common ground with one another? I thought cooperative association was regarded as important. Talking things out seems to be a good way of doing that?)

ISNer - this is from an article by Nasrin Alavi, Iranian civil rights activist (rest of it at link below)

"Yet it is foolish to even imagine that Iran's youth are longing to be bombed into democracy. In the period before war with Iraq, it was not uncommon to see tens of thousands of people of various different currents on the march against the then-dawning theocracy. Under the blackout of war, the protests disappeared overnight. Most political groups were effectively gagged by being labelled as traitors. Many others recognized that their country faced a greater external enemy, and voluntarily took an oath of silence for the sake of unity. The reaction in Iran today will be the same: an armed attack involving strategic air-strikes by the United States will not provoke a popular uprising.

In December 2006, despite the government's crackdown, an extraordinary crowd of students participated in protests in many major universities around the country called "university is alive". A speech of a student leader at Tehran University was met with
rapturous applause as he said: "Our struggle is twofold, fighting against internal oppression and external foreign threats"; a sentiment that is echoed much in Iran these days.

Iranian Student Mehrad Vaezinejad recently wrote of a sense of being betrayed by Iranian leaders "and bullied, of course, by yours". Writing of childhood memories that are marked by war, he asks: "How, on this bloodstained earth, did I arrive at this troubling scenery yet again? Who authorized these warmongering fanatics in Tehran and Washington to test one another's nerves with a gun pointed at my head?"

In an open letter marking International Women's Day a group of prominent women's rights activists inside Iran recently wrote that: "On one side – with the absence of a democratic structure – we witness decisions being made on our behalf without our presence or the presence of our legitimate leaders. While at the other end we feel the circle of the siege around us increasingly tighten as we are threatened with sanctions and the nightmare of war." Yet adding that "despite all the pressures and obstacles the Iranian women's movement is now within its most enduring and active period in recent history."

Related Link: http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/needtoknow/2007/05/iran_civil_society_held_at_gun.html
author by Aragonpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 16:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A Bush backing gay man argues for loud condemnation of Iranian oppression and believes that the US war will liberate oppressed gays and others in Iran.

http://gaypatriot.net/2007/06/24/irans-crackdown-on-dis...ifies

He argues for the same tactic as others here - but believes it will make war more likely. It's difficult to see how he can ignore what has happened in Iraq.

author by isn memberpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 16:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Aragon, I'm sorry but I don't see your point. How does that provide support for your desire to temporarily shelve criticism of the repressive Iranian regime?

For more views on Iran and resisting US imperialism in a consistent and progressive manner, visit www.hopoi.org

...and that's me out of this increasingly circular discussion. I've stuff to do...bookshops and pubs to visit.

author by pat cpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 18:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The other main thread has been over whether to side with Iranian regime if it fights back against the imperialist attack (everyone vs the HOPI people) "

Sorry if I havent properly represented the views of HOPI and indeed my own views. I thought I had done so in an earlier comment where I compared the situation to the Falklands/Malvinas War.

If there is any Imperialist attack on Iran then HOPI calls for trhe defeat of the Imperialist forces. No is, no buts. Sink the US 4th Fleet, sink the US 5th Fleet. Sink whatever fleets they send.

Just as most of the British and Irish Left called for the defeat of British Invasion Force sent to the Malvinas in 1982. I well remember the frontpage headline in the paper Socialist Action: Sink The Fleet! But the left did not have any illusions in the Argentian JUnta, they saw for what it was, a fscist cabal. The left supported the Argentine socialists in whatever action they decided upon to continue the struggle against the fascist junta.

The same must be true of Iran. Socialists in the "West" must call for the defeat of any imperialist attacks on Iran. BUt there is also an onus on us to continue to support Iranian socialists in their struggle against the mullahs. The people of Iran will decide the format of any defensive war against Imperialism.

author by pat cpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 18:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"In your responses to Aragon you seem to be painting the threat to the Iranian people of an imperialist attack as more or less equivalent to the current oppression inflicted on them by the Iranian regime.@

I was unclear there. I was writing specifically about the plight of gays in Iran. Aragon seems to lack knowledge on that issue. I do not believe things could get worse for them. At present gays may be stoned to death, hanged, or thrown off a height. Thats all legal in Iran right now. I dont see how things could get any worse unless some new regime decided to burn gays alive.

And yes, gays were better off in Iraq under Saddam. But most of the oppresion of gays in Iraq comes from Islamic fundamentalists not from the state. Those Islamic fundamentalists are the soul brothers of the Iranian mullahs.

It is important to correct misleading imformation.

author by Aragonpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 18:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Aragon, I'm sorry but I don't see your point. How does that provide support for your desire to temporarily shelve criticism of the repressive Iranian regime?"

Well, maybe we ought to be a bit wary of promoting the same course of action as a neo-con who knows that by shouting loudly now about these atrocities it will hasten war. Are there any Iranian socialists who believe that war will bring freedom from oppression? Parking loud criticism in an attempt to prevent the war until it has been put out of the question might be a better approach for the time being.

Opposing the war fiercely at this point in time is to oppose the oppression in reality - it will stop things from getting worse.

author by pat cpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 19:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No Iranian socialists mentioned here are arguing for war. That should be obvious from the article itself and if not from that then from other articles and HOPI statements referenced in comments. I hope I finally maged to clear uyp any confusion on that issue where I called for the sinking of the US fleets. That is also the position of HOPI and the WLU.

Criticising human rights violations in Iran does make me a neo-con. The trade uionists of Iran want their plight publicised, the feminists of Iran want their plight publicised, the gays of Iran want their plight publicised, the oppressed national minorities of Iran want their plight publicised. Surely these organisations based in Iran who clearly oppose any US intervention deserve our support. If we dfont heed their call then we are siding with the mullahs.

author by Aragonpublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 21:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Of course none of the Iranian socialists are arguing for war. The point is what they would prefer us to do while the US is building the case for war. If they were worried that protests on their behalf against Iran would make war more likely would they ask us to stop for the moment and challenge the war agenda until that threat was averted. I think it is highly likely they might - I don't know.

I'm not saying you are a neo-con but you have the same strategy as some of them and yet you are using it for different things. It ought to give some pause for thought?

author by Commiepublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 22:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pat - you say "The same must be true of Iran. Socialists in the "West" must call for the defeat of any imperialist attacks on Iran. BUt there is also an onus on us to continue to support Iranian socialists in their struggle against the mullahs. The people of Iran will decide the format of any defensive war against Imperialism."

I read this to mean that you have no position on what socialists in Iran should do in the event of an attack by imperialism and you will support whatever the "people of Iran" decide. The problem being that the "people of Iran" will decide to do a variety of things, particularly in relation to the question in dispute - whether or not to take a side with the regime if it fights the imperialists. If I am interpreting you correctly this sounds like a bit of a cop-out.

author by Commiepublication date Sat Jul 21, 2007 22:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Aragon - you say with reference to Pat; "'I'm not saying you are a neo-con but you have the same strategy as some of them and yet you are using it for different things. "

I don't see how you can say Pat has the same strategy as any of the neo-cons. Can you name a single neo-con who says "Sink the US 4th Fleet, sink the US 5th Fleet. Sink whatever fleets they send" or calls "for the defeat of any imperialist attacks on Iran"?

author by Commiepublication date Sun Jul 22, 2007 09:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While I have profound differences with the simplistic/moralistic solution put forward by Paddy I think we would all agree that there is no place for this kind of attack as whatever the flaws in PC's political perpectives s/he is clearly motivated by a justifiable hatred of imperialism - a sentiment we all should share.

author by tomeilepublication date Sun Jul 22, 2007 15:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why couldn't the campaign call itself Hands Off Iran ? By doing that it would be including the people of Iran just as much as the clumsier title Hands Off the People of Iran does . The intro to the article speaks about “intrinsic confusion” as to the class nature of the Iranian regime , but calling yourself HOPI only adds to the confusion . The “people” of Iran include the bazaar merchants, the grand ayatollahs and the people hanging gays and adulterers from cranes surely.
What is missing from HOPI as a name is any reference to the defence of the Iranian nation and its right to exist . The article’s writer and supporting comments here start out from the premise that there is a need to separate the people of Iran from the nation of Iran. They confuse the Iranian nation with the Iranian state and they insinuate that support for Iran’s right to exist as a nation is the same as support for the murder of gays and trade unioinists by the Iranian state.
If in 1947 socialists had launched a campaign Hands Off the Palestinian People in which they emphasized the suppression of Palestine’s women and gays , wouldn’t that have suited the Zionists down to the ground when their aim was to seize the territory of the Palestinians? Don’t the Zionists continue to justify that seizure by pointing to the freedoms enjoyed by Israelis and the corruption of Palestinian leaders? “We support the Palestinian people - it’s the leadership they continue to elect that we object to” is the Israeli line and it seems to be the HOPI line in the case of Iran.
The US and its allies are preparing war against Iran at this very moment . They have specifically not ruled out the use of nuclear weapons in that war. Prior to it every attempt will be made to demonize Iran’s rulers - just as Iraq’s rulers were demonized to justify America’s invasion of that country . Before George Bush invaded Iraq he said he was doing it to "liberate its people from their cruel overlord”. The myth was put about that supporters of the Iraqi nation’s right to resist were apologists for Hussein and for the gassing of Kurds and the other crimes of Saddam regime. In perpetuating that myth today in the case of Iran the HOPI campaign is playing into very reactionary hands.

author by socialistpublication date Sun Jul 22, 2007 16:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why HOPI? Because socialists tend to focus on what is best for 'people' not 'territory'. Well, many on the libertarian left take that view. I accept we still have our fair share of state-socialists who think in terms of states and land rather than the welfare of the people inhabiting those chunks of territory.

author by Aragonpublication date Sun Jul 22, 2007 17:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"I don't see how you can say Pat has the same strategy as any of the neo-cons.?

Should have qualified that - I mean the same strategy in one respect alone - that of highligting the social abuses now - the neo cons are temporarily doing this concurrently as part of their strategy to bring on the war (ordinarily many of the same people are probably happy enough to see unionists and others suppressed - or are at at best indifferent).

There is therefore some critical overlap. My contention is that socialist groups who chose to highlight the oppression at the moment are reinforcing a temporary neo-con tactic with which ultimately they will help the neocons begin the war and thereby end up hurting Iranian people more. The neo-cons will drop any pretence at caring about suppression/oppression once the war has begun - they will have got their way. Clearly, It's not that socialist and rights groups intend this to happen but their words will have been twisted to help create a climate of acceptance and consensus that this war was justified. It's just one aspect of the neo-con strategy but a very potent one, nevertheless.

The war mongering phase we are in outside Iran isn't distinct from the internal situation in this sense. To say we will oppose one thing and then oppose the other too, if it happens, is to disregard the likely impact of what we are doing now. There is no diminishment of support for oppressed Iranian people in choosing to use tactics that are likely to serve them best. There should be no question of positively denying that these things happen or, worse, implying that things are rosy in Iran. But to be restrained for the time being because you might be more likely do more harm than good, and to put your effort where it is more likely to work might be better imo. All effort should be on stopping the war at the moment - we should be making much more noise about the utterly hypocritical and blatantly false military grounds on which Iran and all of its people are threatened?

author by Commiepublication date Sun Jul 22, 2007 17:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You say "The myth was put about that supporters of the Iraqi nation’s right to resist were apologists for Hussein and for the gassing of Kurds and the other crimes of Saddam regime. In perpetuating that myth today in the case of Iran the HOPI campaign is playing into very reactionary hands."

While I have significant problems with the HOPI campaign's refusal to say if they are for siding with the Iranian regime against an imperialist attack I don't think the above is accurate.

How is HOPI perpetuating the myth that supporters of the Iranian nation's right to resist are apologists for the crimes of the Iranian regime?

author by socialistpublication date Sun Jul 22, 2007 17:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Of course, this nonsensical notion (HOPI are allegedly assisting US imperialism) and much of this discussion is bizarre in the extreme, when one considers that, as far as I know, HOPI is thus far the only campaign group established specifically to highlight and combat the US threat to Iran. That's the MAIN thrust of the campaign. However, HOPI, because it is principled, refuses to turn a blind eye to the nastiness of the current Iranian theocracy, so opposition to that is also made clear. As it should be.

This discussion has occurred because of HOPI's existence. Who else is organising specifically in opposition to the threat to Iran? And I mean 'specifically'. Of course, AWI, IAWM, SP, ISN, SWP, CPI and Uncle Tom Cobbly oppose the threats against Iran, but this is the only group whse sole aim is to highlight the danger to Iran.

In the light of that, tomeile is just talking utter rubbish.

author by Mikepublication date Sun Jul 22, 2007 20:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So
1) Murdering homosexuals,
2) Branding rape victims "adulterers" and stoning them to death
3) Censoring books/restricting internet access/outlawing satellite dishes/banning music/closing newspapers
4) Persecuting entire ethnic groups
5) Building nuclear reactors (Especially in a country where oil costs less than water and theres enough to supply domestic requirements for hundreds of years)
6) Threatening to wipe another country (whatever its flaws) and its population (Jew and Arab alike) off the map
7) Issuing death threats against authors both at home and abroad
8) Denying the holocaust (when not expressing admiration for it)
9) Enslaving women
10) Brainwashing the population and torturing dissidents
11) Keeping your people in grinding poverty despite living on top of the fourth largest oil reserve on the planet
12) Sponsoring terrorism overseas

Can all be excused and overlooked on the grounds that it is not as bad as "imperialism" ?

But what of the Imperialism carried out against the worlds largest nation-without-a homeland (KURDISTAN) partitioned and occupied by its neighbouring states namely Syria, Turkey Iraq and (ahem) IRAN ????

author by Antiwapublication date Sun Jul 22, 2007 23:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The simple answer to mikes neo-con statement above is a stern no to imperial war. Woe to the globalist agenda that argues on the very same lines you do- you have revealed yourself. The 25,000 jews who live peacefully within Iran were recently given large monetary incentives to leave it by Isreali businessmen, to which they wholeheartedly refused. Simple fact: They enjoy living there.

6)Irans statments on "wiping israel off the map" was blown out of proportion by the western globalist media.The exact translation within context assumes that Israel as an illegitimate state should not "exist "as a name on map, as its true native territory belongs to the arabs and palistinians. This is a massive difference to "extermination". Your simply following the neo-con line here. Isreal is the most murderous country on the planet , given that no matter how many lives it takes it can use the immortal euphemism of "anti-semite" to silence any critics of its bloodthristy parasitical existence.

author by NeoConPuppetpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 06:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here's one solution:

How about writing more articles highlighting the human rights situation in saudi arabia instead (AFAIK it's even worse), (there aren't half enough such articles and I for one would like to know more). Then when the war drums stop, switch back to highlighting the problems in Iran. That way, you are doing exactly the same kind of good but not helping the neo-cons in their war propaganda effort. In fact you are bringing balance and highlighting the neo-con hypocrisy instead. Best of both worlds!

No question that there are problems In Iran. Just really bad timing right now.

There are currently lots of neo-con anti-Iran articles all over the web highlighting stuff like this (for all the wrong reasons). No need for even more of them at this point in time.

People who know the score and are against a war should find other fish to fry right now and would be better occupied in attempting to bring more balance to the current situation rather than unwittingly mucking in with the neo-con propaganda effort.

If Iran is attacked, Gays, union leaders oppressed women and innocent children will die along with the mullahs. and the survivors will be no better off afterwards. Probably a lot worse if iraq is any indication. Given the choice, personally I'd rather be oppressed than blown to bits or see my child blown to bits. How many people are suffering seriously from such oppression in Iran right now? ( I mean cases of torture / execution, etc. as opposed to people unhappy because of their inability to shag who they like openly or lack of freedom to organise to get enough pay for their days work,(try working for a US company!) or the freedom to get more education and have a nice career and wear sexy clothes in public. That stuff is all good but it takes a serious second place to severe physical suffering in my book ). How many innocent people would be killed if Iran was attacked?. How do the numbers compare?. So which cause would seem the most pressing right now?

No major argument with your position guys, just your timing. (However I do agree with the poster who said ye should call it "hands off iran" (HOI) not HOPI. More inclusive sounding and Better acronym too!)

There has been quite a few articles about Iran lately on indy (surprise surprise! but not one about saudi arabia.) In the interests of balance, How about more articles on religious fundamentalism / erosion of human rights / nuclear proliferation ignoring the terms of the NPT in the good old US and highlighting their rotten attitudes towards atheists / gays / unions there. They don't kill them (much) these days but neither do they make their lives easy. And now they can take your property away from you in US if you protest the iraq war. AFAIK You can still protest in Iran without them legally taking all your stuff and leaving you destitute. Ok, I'm sure it's shitty being an activist there (as anywhere) and bad stuff happens but it's not actually enshrined in law that they can fuck you over for being an anti war protester there, unlike in the US

author by Antiwapublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 06:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree with neo-con puppets above statement , most of the homofacists' crying about "oppression" in Iran amounts to mere whining and exageratted claims. Try being "blown to bits" literally rather than being overly concerned whether an Iranian is legally avowed to recieve his weekly hole on a saturday night Rama'man piss up. on a side note I concur with more exposure on Saudi policy, afterall it is in bed with third tier family agents Bush and first tier Rothschilds'.

author by Commiepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 08:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All very nice except you continue to say that things aren't so bad in Iran when in fact it is a particularly viscious regime that oppresses large sections of its own population in various ways. Why do you continue to deny this?

Your argument seems to be that because the imperialist warmongers are picking up on these real crimes of the Iranian regime, and inventing others that don't exist, we shouldn't tell the truth about the iranian regime, in fact that we should lie and pretend it is not so bad.

I do agree tht HOPI does flirt with making the mistake of picking up on imperialist black propaganda, such as when they accept the "wipe Israel off the map" quote that never actually happened and argue against Iran's right to nuclear power but for the most part they tell the truth about the crimes of the Iranian regime.

I am not a HOPI supporter and argue for resolute opposition to the plans of US/British imperialism to attack Iran, including siding with the Iranian regime, but I also believe that there is no reason to lie and cover up the only too real crimes of the Iranian regime.

The struggle for workers' revolution in Iran, throughout the Middle East, and here in the West, can only be done on the basis of telling the truth.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 08:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have been following thios discussion and seek clarification on the following.

Commie wrote,
"All very nice except you continue to say that things aren't so bad in Iran when in fact it is a particularly viscious regime that oppresses large sections of its own population in various ways. Why do you continue to deny this?"

Could he name a country in the west that does not "oppress large sections of its own population in various ways."

Why specifically is only Iran repeatedly singled out for criticism?

author by mepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 09:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I find the discussion on this thread really depressing and disturbing. The left is already united in opposition to US imperialism and is solidly against an attack on Iran. But it seems that principles go completely out the window for some, almost a case of my enemy's enemy is my friend. There is no contradiction between fiercely opposing the US threat and fiercely opposing the Iranian theocracy while fiercely supporting the people of Iran against both. The repeated suggestion that we should temporarily shut up about the oppression within Iran is the most unprincipled, cynical and disgusting thing I've heard in a long time. It seems Amnesty International has a better position on the situation than many left-wingers.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 09:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The repeated suggestion that we should temporarily shut up about the oppression within Iran is the most unprincipled, cynical and disgusting thing I've heard in a long time."

Where is this suggested?
By the way in order for a position to be principled it must consistent. Principled opposition to oppression will condemn it across the board, not just when employed by those that we, for some other reason, don't like. In Saudi they chop off heads for breakfast. When was the last time you saw a post highlighting that? When one country is singled out for repeated attacks like this, it becomes propaganda.

author by mepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are many states across the world where severe oppression occurs, including Saudi Arabia and Iran. Human rights activists do our best to highlight them all. The left - and I am of the left - generally 'acts in solidarity' with leftists who speak out from within those countries. Iran always had a strong left and Iranian socialists have been speaking out against the theocracy, so, unsurprisingly, some on the left in Europe have acted in solidarity with them. There have been fewer such voices, unfortunately, from within Saudi Arabia. In any case, what is the basis of your argument: because we don't speak out all of the time against every oppressive regime, we should speak out against none? Iranian progressives and socialists are asking for our support. Should we deny them our solidarity because it might confuse Western leftists like yourself? I don't think so. Principles are principles. Solidarity is solidarity. I'll leave cynicism to people like you.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm not aware of any state in the West that stones women to death for adultery, hangs gays or bans trade unions.

This thread is about Iran not Saudi Arabia. Nobody is stopping you from highlighting human right violations in SA on your own thread. Why not write a story about just that?

I cannot get involved in every campaign, I choose my own priorities. I have chosen to answer the call of the Iranian trade unionists and socialists. Why dont you form a solidarity campaign for SA trade unionists and socialists?

All you are doing here is derailing this thread.

This article was written by an Iranian socialist. Its about the class nature of the Iranian regime. In the article the author makes it quite clear that he is opposed to US imperialism and to any imperialist invasion.

Given the topic and nature of the article it is ludicrious to suggest that SA should be raised in this thread. If you wrote an article about water rates would you think it reasonable if someone demanded that you deal with Mobilephone masts, University registration fees, Tara and Rossport in the same article as well? And to raise ALL of those issues AND others in every article you write?

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"and argue against Iran's right to nuclear power but for the most part they tell the truth about the crimes of the Iranian regime."

Well, thats the position of Iranian socialists. I'm not aware of any Iranian socialist group that supports the idea of a nuclear powered Iran. I think its worth pointing out though That the WLUs position is clearly anti-imperialist but raises the awkward questions as to why the Iranian Junta would require a nuclear program.

As far as Iran's nuclear programme is concerned, unless we accept the wild accusations raised by Condoleezza Rice, it is clear from a number of reports - the latest from the International Institute for Strategic Studies - that Iran is still several years away from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. Of course, the main question that remains unanswered for ordinary Iranains is, why should Iran, with one of the world's largest oil and natural gas deposits, be so determined to pursue a costly programme of developing nuclear energy - first during the shah's time, when the UK and US governments were keen to sell Iran nuclear technology, and later under an Islamic regime that is constantly cutting and privatising all essential services because of claimed financial difficulties?
Yassamine Mather
September 23, 2005
http://www.iranian.com/Opinion/2005/September/Nukes2/in....html

Yassamine Mather opposes US & UK nuclear weapons as well as opposing the Iranian regime.

Iranian Socialist Yassamine Mather from HOPI presented a paper on Iran's nuclear programme at the Faslane academic blockade and conference held outside the Faslane nuclear weapons base near Glasgow in Scotland on June 27. Scholars and students from universities across the UK, Sweden, Spain and other countries took part in this event aimed at pushing for Britain to comply with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968. One of HOPI's founding members, Professor Bridget Fowler (University of Glasgow), was among those arrested at the demonstration.

Theres a fuller report of the blockade here:
http://www.faslane365.org/en/trident_academics_challeng...ament

Whatever about exactly the Iranian president said about wiping out Israel he did hold an international conference of Holocaust deniers and fascists such as Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

As for me not making clear what Iranian socialists shouldo - well I think thats hardly a copout, it should be very clear from what I have written that I think Iranian socialists should resist any Imperialist aggression or invasion. Thats what the WLU believe and I support them.

The voice of the genuine solidarity movement needs to be heard inside Iran. Any military attack, however limited, will only strengthen the regime and the most reactionary forces inside Iran. We cannot let this happen: we cannot let down Iran’s workers and students.
Yassamine Mather Weekly Worker 661 Thursday February 22 2007
http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/661/iran.htm

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yap yap yap yap... Iran Iran Iran Iran...

It seems the only people condemning the Iranian regime more than the Bush administration are so-called left wing activists who define selective campaigns as being more principled than broad condemnation.....

When your warblings cannot be differentiated from White House press releases then it is prudent to proceed with an air of concern and to evaluate what your criticisms will contribute in the long run toward the betterment of Iran.

Supporting Hands off Iran will prove to be pretty pointless when Iran is ablaze and a pro western puppet regime is instilled and the whole region destabilises into utter chaos. What will you guys do then, Shrug your shoulders? Go, Ah well, we supported the now DEAD leftists of Iran, our conscience is clear. What’s next?

Is this what so-called supporters of the left want? I am deeply suspicious of anything that comes out of Iran at this time. It is also deeply suspicious that anti-Iranian propoganda has been ratcheted up in recent months and appears to be popping up all over the place. Odd in a country that has tight Internet controls dont you think?

Nobody here seems to have thought this through and lapse into the familiar 'textbook' internationalism, bleating out well worn rhetoric without giving the consequences proper consideration.

This is astonishing considering what happened next door in Iraq and the history of US interference within Iran itself.

The US will attack Iran. It is inevitable and they will attack Iran on trumped up charges of Uranium enrichment and will then play the 'Freedom' card citing everything that has been spouted on this thread and many others by so-called western socialists. The media onslought of Iran has already begun.

Personal sniping and entrenched misanthropic one-upmanship serves no-one only the US war effort. It certainly does not qualify as support for Iran or its people.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"When your warblings cannot be differentiated from White House press releases then it is prudent to proceed with an air of concern and to evaluate what your criticisms will contribute in the long run toward the betterment of Iran."

Show me some Whitehouse releases that call for the sinking of the US Fleet. Show me some whitehouse releases which call for resistance against any US invasion.

You are obviously just a crank and a troll.

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hmmm, very big opinion of yourself there Pat. I was referring to EVERYBODY on this thread. Not just you. This thread has descended into the predictable who’s the biggest lefty with obvious attacks and sectarian nonsense. It is spun out for your own aggrandisement and has little to do with Iran, anti imperialism or indeed left wing thinking beyond the poppy cock you spout as a substitute.

I am suspicious of the anti Iranian diatribe both within and without. That’s my position. If you don’t like it. Tough shit. Deal with it.

I do not want what happened to Iraq to happen to Iran and I will not rabble rouse to that end to score a couple of lefty points on a poorly reviewed website.

I don’t need you to tell me how to think and I reject your dismissal of my opinion as that of a crank. I am obviously nothing of the sort.

Poor riposte mate.

author by Tonypublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What is this all about? The class nature of the Iranian regime. Surely not. No one with any degree of support on the left doubts for a moment that it is a capitalist regime.
So what's the real agenda. Even Pat C gets confused. According to him, in posts in this thread, describes it as
1 Fascist
2 Semi-fascist
3 Clerical fascist.
Well done Pat. Stalin would have been proud of you. Of course none of these descriptors is at all about the CLASS (remember that) nature of the regime.
Trotsky used fascist as a scientific term Pat C and others use it as a swear word.
The most intriguing question is the class nature of the Pat C- type.
He seldom (if ever) rails against the Saudi regime which is FAR more reactionary than the Iranian regime. Of course there is a difference. The brutal Saudi regime is an ally of the US. They therefore are more or less exempt from attack from the Pat C type of weasel.
The position of some of the left-wing opposition to the Iranian regime is important - if you live in Iran. If you live in the imperialist west the far more important task for you is to oppose your OWN ruling class. Forgot that, Pat, did you? You spout platitudes about opposing any US attack on Iran, but do your best to set the scene for it.
Is this about censorship of the Iranian left? No, not at all. It's about what the western left makes its central target. Pat makes it Iran.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But you are just a crank and a troll. The article is about the class nature of the Iranian regime. I doubt very much if you even read it. (None of those who are attacking HOPI even attempted to critique the article.) Or of the other pieces by WLU members in the comments.

You are attacking Iranian socialists who oppose US imperialism. However they also dare to oppose the Mullahs. That of course makes them US agents in your eyes.

I could suggest that you are being paid by the Irania Embassy but your comments are too silly for that to be the case.

You are just exposing your ignorance and general lack of intelligence.

Have a nice day.

author by mepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tell me something: how does this asked-for support for the Iranian regime (if a war kicks off) actually translate into anything useful?

The job of socialists is to call for the defeat of our own imperialist governments or the defeat of those whose sphere of influence we live within. Consequently, we should be campaigning against US imperialism and, if a war begins, mobilising for the defeat of US forces.

We will want to see them defeated.

However, why should that entail us whispering even a word of support for the current Iranian regime? Why should we say anything in support of it and what effect would that have except to undermine progressive elements within Iran? Is somebody suggesting that 100s of thousands on the streets against US imperialism will somehow become more effective if they baldly state their support for the repressive Iranian regime? What are you people on?

This call for quietism on internal Iranian oppression and for no solidarity with the left and others within Iran is just cynicism of the highest order. I would be interested to know which political groups are taking such a stance.

The ISN has made its position clear. Where stands the WSM. SWP and SP?

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Oh dear!
Is that it?

I am an agent provocateur because I disagree with you. Get the fuck over yourself.

You can suggest what you like but that does not make it true. Your opinion is not a milestone to which socialists must measure up to. You do not speak for Iran, its people, its 'Class' system or any oppression conducted by its government.

I am sick to the back teeth of thread after thread popping up attacking Iran with undue consideration that it fuels the US war effort and is inconsistent with other more nefarious regimes in the region that are more oppressive.

If you can’t present a concise arguement other than hysterical dismissals and tinfoil theories as to who or what I am then the threadbare nature of your position becomes

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The ISN has made its position clear. Where stands the WSM. SWP and SP?"

More sectarian nonsense and a real indicator as to the nature of your support.

Egotistical whataboutary posing as underpinned socialist opinion.

It is nothing of the sort.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have presented a concise argument. I made it clear that I oppose any Imperialist intervention in Iran but I also oppose the Iranian Junta. I support the positions put forward by Iranian socialists.

You however regurgitate the position put forward in Iranian Embassy Press Releases.

You choose to support the Iranian Government.

I choose to support the Iranian Anti-Imperialist Opposition.

I hope the above is concise enough for you.

Well if the above really was your last post then all I will say is have a nice life.

author by mepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Very unbecoming, but I'm sure you're impressing yourself.

So, what about my basic question? How will declaring support for the Iranian government assist the anti-war movement in Europe? Lets say we get a few million people on the streets, how will their hand be strengthed by us openly or tacitly supporting the repressive Iranian regime?

And, if you believe it would help, why didn't we take the same position in 2003 with regard to Saddam and his regime?

author by mepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My last comment was directed at "Iran for the Iranians" not Pat C.

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

“I have presented a concise argument. I made it clear that I oppose any Imperialist intervention in Iran but I also oppose the Iranian Junta. I support the positions put forward by Iranian socialists.”

That’s a position, not a concise argument. It is sheepish bleating and a default ver batum rebuttal to all and any who disagree with you. You think it gives your views gravitas yet betrays a distinct lack of cognitive reasoning if you are totally blind to the credibility it gives the US war effort at this time.

“You however regurgitate the position put forward in Iranian Embassy Press Releases.”

Really? Where? When?

Reactionary drivel.

“You choose to support the Iranian Government.”

Nobody is supporting the Iranian Regime. That is simply childish scalding and an attempt to define this in absolute terms. It is indicative of the hollow support you give Iranian Socialists when you cannot appreciate the irrational and somewhat disingenuous timing of all this anti-Iranian propaganda that is beginning to flood the west.
As I said, when they are dead, blown to smithereens by a million tones of US ordnance, will you sleep soundly knowing your support expedited their deaths?

“Well if the above really was your last post then all I will say is have a nice life”.

What is this preached nonsense?
Are you switching tack from rhetoric to pontification?

Like I said. Get over yourself.

author by tom eilepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 13:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You asked:
"How is HOPI perpetuating the myth that supporters of the Iranian nation's right to resist are apologists for the crimes of the Iranian regime?"

By carefully chosing a name that opposes the Iranian people to the Iranian nation , HOPI implies that support for Iran as a nation is equivalent to support for what they terms “a semi-fascistic state.”

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 13:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There you go again. You are incapable of independent thought.

What part of I support Iranian Anti Imperialists do you not understand? How am I a sheep because I support them but you are a cool guy because you regurgitate Iranian Embassy press releases?

There will come a time when when your beloved mullahs have been driven from power. I wonder if you will feel embarassed then or will you be supporting the mullahs as a government in exile?

Have a nicw life.

author by Commiepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 13:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Iran for Iranians says "I am sick to the back teeth of thread after thread popping up attacking Iran with undue consideration that it fuels the US war effort and is inconsistent with other more nefarious regimes in the region that are more oppressive."

Couple of questions about that:

Why do posts exposing the crimes of the Iranian regime "fuel the US war effort" if those posts also consistently argue for the defeat of any US attack on Iran? HOPI supporters, whatever their faults may be, always do this.

And which regimes in the region are more oppressive than the Iranian one?

Tony says that Pat makes Iran the central target - I don't know which posts you have been reading but Pat has made it clear that his main motivation is opposition to US imperialism and its planned attack on Iran. The difference is that he doesn't think this means you have to shut up about, or downplay, the crimes of the Iranian regime.

Pat says "I think Iranian socialists should resist any Imperialist aggression or invasion" but that isn't the question I asked you, or maybe I didn't make myself clear. I am asking what you think Iranian socialists should do in relation to the Iranian regime if it too resists the imperialists? Are we on their side, in a military/technical sense, while they do so?

Jim asks of me "Could he name a country in the west that does not "oppress large sections of its own population in various ways." and "Why specifically is only Iran repeatedly singled out for criticism?"

I cannot name such a country, but I was not arguing for Iran being special in this regard - my point was that there is a line of argumentation in this discussion that is projecting some kind of progressive anti-imperialism on to the politics of the Iranian regime. My point was aimed at the posts arguing that, like those of Paddy Garcia.

I think there is a simple reason why Iran, and its regime, is being discussed more than other countries, such as Saudi Arabia - and that is because it is threatened by imminent imperialist attack whereas those other countries are not.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 13:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"By carefully chosing a name that opposes the Iranian people to the Iranian nation , HOPI implies that support for Iran as a nation is equivalent to support for what they terms “a semi-fascistic state.”"

Nope. HOPI opposes the Iranian people to the Iranian Junta. HOPI has made it clear that they oppose any imperialist aggression against the Iranian Nation.

And yes, the current government in Iran is a semi-fascist one. What else would you call a regime which smashs the working class, bans unions, stones women to death, hangs gays, deports thousands of Afghans.

How would you describe the Iranian JUnta?

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 13:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

“Very unbecoming, but I'm sure you're impressing yourself.”

Utter twaddle.

“How will declaring support for the Iranian government assist the anti-war movement in Europe?”

Nobody is calling for support to the Iranian regime. That is a dishonest appraisal of what is being said here and is the common stance taken when the wisdom of your position is challenged.
‘With us or against’. Reactionary garbage more fitting Bush that so-called left wing activists.

“Lets say we get a few million people on the streets, how will their hand be strengthed by us openly or tacitly supporting the repressive Iranian regime?”

More of the same. Nobody called for the anti war movement to openly or tacitly support the Iranian Government.
Whipping up mass protest against the Iranian Government at this time is idiotic at best, simply sectarian posturing between various left wing groups at worst.

“And, if you believe it would help, why didn't we take the same position in 2003 with regard to Saddam and his regime?”

Are you seriously suggesting the left supported Saddams removal and US war mongering in Iraq? Furthermore are you suggesting Iraq is now better off without Saddam?

There is dishonest and then there is this.

author by Commiepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 13:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tom says "HOPI implies that support for Iran as a nation is equivalent to support for what they terms 'a semi-fascistic state.'"

I think it is clear that HOPI makes a distinction between the Iranian people and the Iranian regime - and this is mirrored in their refusal to say they will side with the Iranian regime if it resists the imperialist attack.

However I'd be surprised if HOPI in any way denies the right of the Iranian nation to exist, maybe Pat can clarify this.

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 13:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I will do nothing that can be used for US propoganda purposes. I will not expidite the slaughter of Iranians by singularly condeming the Iranian Government for actions many Theocratic Regimes in the Region are guilty of.

I am deeply suspicious of the timing of all this and of the increase in anti-Iranian propoganda popping up on Web sites in the west.

This is dismissed as Pro-Mullah and anti-socialist?? Astonishing. How can you argue with this kind of muppetry?

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 13:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

by me
" In any case, what is the basis of your argument: because we don't speak out all of the time against every oppressive regime, we should speak out against none?"

That's the strawman. I am making the point that Iran is being repeatedly singled out for attack here. There are far worse cases of oppressive regimes in the world and it looks odd that Iran are always the target. It is also worrying in the context that we have a lunatic with a big army that is straining at the leash to nuke the place and slaughter a few more million people. Any excuse will do.

"Iranian progressives and socialists are asking for our support."

To do what? Become cheerleaders for an invasion?

"Should we deny them our solidarity because it might confuse Western leftists like yourself? I don't think so. Principles are principles. Solidarity is solidarity. I'll leave cynicism to people like you."

And the last refuge of the confused-name calling.

author by Commiepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 13:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You say "I am deeply suspicious of the timing of all this" - given the threat of imminent imperialist attack on Iran it is completely understandable that there would be more discussion about Iran.

I find your line of argumentation about not criticising the Iranian regime very disturbing. This is exactly the argument used by Stalinists against anyone who criticised the bureaucratic anti-working class regime in the Soviet Union because it was being threatened by imperialism. It was a rubbish argument then and it is a rubbish argument now.

Revolutionaries tell the truth. The truth is that the Iranian regime is a visciously anti-working class one and it needs to be overthown. It is also true that imperialism represents a greater danger and if the imperialists attack Iran it will be our duty to side with any forces who resist that attack, including the Iranian regime. Both of these things are true and we need to say both of them.

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 13:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are no revolutionaries on this thread FFS.

This is cyber activism, chanted from the safety of the living room/ workstation or Internet cafe. Lets not get ahead of ourselves here.

You can spin my lack of criticism any way you want. I choose to condemn anti-trade unionism, anti gay rights et all on a Global level in the the true spirit of Internationalism. Not allow my political beliefs to be hi-jacked by a bunch of Neo-conservatives war mongers in furthering their agenda to attack Iran.

Its very simple.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 13:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"That's the strawman. I am making the point that Iran is being repeatedly singled out for attack here. "

The Iranian regime is singled out attack, not the Iranian people. Any US attack on the Iranian Nation is opposed.

"There are far worse cases of oppressive regimes in the world and it looks odd that Iran are always the target."

Iran is not always the target. Tead other stories on the newswire.

"It is also worrying in the context that we have a lunatic with a big army that is straining at the leash to nuke the place and slaughter a few more million people. Any excuse will do."

And HOPI is opposingany imperialist invasion. Whats your point?

""Iranian progressives and socialists are asking for our support."
To do what? Become cheerleaders for an invasion? "

Jim I dont believe that you are stupid so I an only presume that for whatever reason you are trying to defame these Iranian socialists. They have made their opposion to the US abundantly clear.

"And the last refuge of the confused-name calling."

Jim, you just called Iranian socialists "cheerleaders for an invasion? ". So I think you have some contradictions there.

author by Tonypublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 14:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What a supremely apolitical response from Pat C.
I say the about the class nature of the Iranian regime that it is capitalist.
Pat C responds “You are a troll”.
I ask why he and others spend far more time attacking the Iranian regime (an enemy of the US) than the far more reactionary Saudi regime (an ally of the US)
He ignores it.
The only acceptable position for the left in the west is to be for the defeat of the US regime by the Iranian regime.
Can’t you bring yourself to say it?
The simple point is that a defeat of the US and its allies by the Iranian regime would be a defeat of the major imperialist power, and would strengthen the left inside and outside Iran. Is that so complicated?
Does that mean we praise the Iranian regime? Of course not, but of course we look at the facts about the regime, rather than just accepting willy-nilly what the western mass media say about it. We can look the crimes of the regime directly, because we correctly identify its class nature. Capitalist. Say it. Face up to it.
The Iranian regime is the class sibling of the Irish, British, US, Saudi regime.
The people with a case to answer are those who prioritise condemnation of the Iranian regime over the US (and its allies such as the Saudi regime)
Pat C slides over (slithers over?) the fact that the Saudi regime (ally of the US) is far more reactionary that the Iranian regime. Why?
It’s you and people like you, Pat C, who have a case to answer.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 14:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"There are no revolutionaries on this thread FFS."

I wont be so big headed to call myself a revolutionary but the author of the article certainly is

"This is cyber activism, chanted from the safety of the living room/ workstation or Internet cafe. Lets not get ahead of ourselves here."

Nope. We get involved in campaigns in the real world. You are the anonymous cyber activist. No one knows what you really do. I have a track record as an activist.

"You can spin my lack of criticism any way you want. I choose to condemn anti-trade unionism, anti gay rights et all on a Global level in the the true spirit of Internationalism. "

Why wont you defend those in Iran who are fighting on those issues?

"Not allow my political beliefs to be hi-jacked by a bunch of Neo-conservatives war mongers in furthering their agenda to attack Iran."

How could opposing any invasion of Iran help the neo-cons to attack Iran?

"Its very simple. "

It certainly is. You havent a clue what you are talking about.

author by Commipublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 14:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tony, you make some good points against Pat but then finish by saying "the fact that the Saudi regime (ally of the US) is far more reactionary that the Iranian regime"

I'm afraid that is just not imperically true - these two regimes and the crimes against working people that they carry out are more or less equivalent. Why does your side in this debate continually downplay the true nature of the Iranian regime - you are just like the apologists for Stalinism, using imperialist aggression as a reason for not telling the truth about a reactionary regime.

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 14:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pat when Iran lies in ruin and the entire region is destabilised will you still claim to know what you are talking about? When The US starts bombing the Iranians in the name of freedom and anti-oppression will you still think your point of view relevant as those you claimed to be supporting are incinerated so that they might have a better chance at freedom.

I say you don’t know what you’re talking about bleating anti Iranian rhetoric without the slightest clue as to whom or what is listening. When the US drops their bombs in your name (and that is exactly what they will be claiming to do) I will then condemn you for your inflexible ridiculous so-called activism.

As for anonymity. I haven’t a clue who you are. The name Pat c means nothing to me and I suspect and a very large percentage of the population. More self aggrandisement?

Gloating about walking behind banners does not impress me or give your point of view any more credibility. It is simply gloating and very safe.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 14:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Pat says "I think Iranian socialists should resist any Imperialist aggression or invasion" but that isn't the question I asked you, or maybe I didn't make myself clear. I am asking what you think Iranian socialists should do in relation to the Iranian regime if it too resists the imperialists? Are we on their side, in a military/technical sense, while they do so?"

Its a difficult question to answer. What they do would very much depend on the objective circumstances on the ground. In some areas, factories, where they are strong they would be able to agitate openly for unconditional defense of the Iranian Nation but that the mullahs were no to be trusted, that they needed to be replaced. The nature of the war to be fought - whether you call for a peoples army, again it depends on the circumstances. Especially on the timeframe.

But if the invasion actually occurs and guerilla wars results then I'm sure that no socialists would be supporting any movement to return the mullahs to power. The fight should be very much for a socialist Iran.

"Are we on their side, in a military/technical sense, while they do so?"

I presume you mean the mullahs. Yes, inso far as we call for the defeat of the US. But what we are really supporting id the Iranian people against US Imperialism.

Being realistic though I dont see how we would be in a position to support the Iranian people in any military/technical sense. We could propagandise, raise funds for relief and for the socialists.

author by mepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 14:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What an interesting moniker you have! Care to explain what it actually means? Your posts are consistently Western-centric and focused on what would make good propanda (in your blinkered view) for the left in Europe. "Iran for the Iranians"? You have no idea what that actually means and have even less interest in seeing it come about.

You continue to misrepresent what is being said on this thread, repeatedly insinuating or even claiming that HOPI, and others offering solidarity to the Iranian socialists, are actually ignoring the US threats against Iran. Are you incapable of reading? HOPI is primarily focused on opposing the US imperialist threat. That is the same for virtually every contributor to this thread.

The problem lies with the left-wing cynics who would have us abandon Iranian progressives to suit a black-and-white "anti-imperialism" being pushed by some Stalinist and Trotskyite groups in Europe. As somebody else pointed out, this is the same rubbish that elements of the left used to go on with during the Cold War - turn a blind eye to Stalinist crimes because the greater enemy is Western imperialism. Never again.

No pasaran.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 14:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Pat when Iran lies in ruin and the entire region is destabilised will you still claim to know what you are talking about? "

What part of I Oppose Any US Invasion do you fail to understand?

"I say you don’t know what you’re talking about bleating anti Iranian rhetoric without the slightest clue as to whom or what is listening."

No. What you are saying is that the Iranian Socialists dont know what they are talking about. You obviously think you know more about Iran than they do.

"When the US drops their bombs in your name (and that is exactly what they will be claiming to do) I will then condemn you for your inflexible ridiculous so-called activism. "

Not in my name. I oppose US aggression. As do the Iranian socialists. No knows what you really stand for.

"As for anonymity. I haven’t a clue who you are. The name Pat c means nothing to me and I suspect and a very large percentage of the population. More self aggrandisement? "

No. I've been posting here under that name for more than 5 years. Its my real first name and the first letter of my surname. A fair number of activists would know who I am.

"Gloating about walking behind banners does not impress me or give your point of view any more credibility. It is simply gloating and very safe."

No gloating on my part. You must have little idea of what activism entails if you think it just means walking behind banners.

I do have a 25 year track record of activism. Hmm, maybe I am entitled to gloat about that, just a little.

But you are the safest of all. You are the real cyber activist. What have you ever done? I guess we'll never know.

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 14:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

“What they do would very much depend on the objective circumstances on the ground. In some areas, factories, where they are strong they would be able to agitate openly for unconditional defense of the Iranian Nation but that the mullahs were no to be trusted,”

Pat, you are all over the place with your thinking. Who is strong in the factories? The Left, the Unions? I thought they where brutally oppressed and not allowed to exist.

Do you really have a clue as to what is happening on the ground in Iran?
Now you are calling for unconditional support for the Iranian Nation (which includes the mullahs) in the face of a US attack?

You are not one to preach about consistency pat, that’s for sure.

You also state that you would be on the side of the Mullahs insofar as calling for a defeat of the US.

What was that bullshit you where spouting about the enemy of my enemy…

Away with you you fool…

You’ve done more damage to your own position than anyone else could.

author by Commiepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 14:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Given the anonymous nature of the Indymedia posting system no-one can make claims about anyones activism in the real world. The arguments we make here can only be judged on their consistency, internal logic and references to events in the real world.

The problem with Iran for Iranians, and all others arguing variants of the "don't criticise the Iranain regime - that just plays into the hands of the imperialists" is that they continually misrepresent the HOPI position. Only a simplistic Stalinist approach to politics could argue that any criticsm of the crimes of the Iranian regime equates with support to the imperialist's war mongering.

I disagree with HOPI, and agree with you, on the question of whether it is necessary to side with the Iranian regime if it fights back against imperialism. I disagree with you, and agree with HOPI, that it is necessary to tell the truth about the crimes of the Iranian regime even when that regime is threatened by imperialism.

A revolutionary response does both of these things.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 14:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Pat, you are all over the place with your thinking. Who is strong in the factories? The Left, the Unions? I thought they where brutally oppressed and not allowed to exist."

There are a small number of plants where the independent unions are strong . If you dont know this then you know little about Iran.

"Do you really have a clue as to what is happening on the ground in Iran?"

Yes, so would you if you read whats on the HOPI site.

"Now you are calling for unconditional support for the Iranian Nation (which includes the mullahs) in the face of a US attack?"
"
Yo are incapable of joined up thinking thats why you find that odd. In the article that starts this thread that was clear. How many times have I said that I opposed any US invasion?

"You are not one to preach about consistency pat, that’s for sure."

No inconsistency on my part. Just read my comments thropugout the thread.

"You also state that you would be on the side of the Mullahs insofar as calling for a defeat of the US."

Put it in its proper context old boy. Only a child trys to use a few words out of context. I oppose any US invasion but if it takes place then the Iranian socialst should IMHO attempt to turn the war into a class war.

"What was that bullshit you where spouting about the enemy of my enemy…"

I never used any such phrase.

"Away with you you fool… "

Thats just childish abuse which says more about you than it does about me.

"You’ve done more damage to your own position than anyone else could."

Nope. All you have done is tell lies and attempt to distort my views. You're not very good at it though.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 14:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"disagree with HOPI, and agree with you, on the question of whether it is necessary to side with the Iranian regime if it fights back against imperialism."

commie you directed these comments to IFTI. How exactly do you disagree with HOPI on this?

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An over simplified view commie. But an honest and engaging one none the less

No-one says that HOPI is being misrepresented. All that is being said is the danger is real that anti Iranian propaganda will be utilised by the neo-cons to further their case for war. Do you deny that?

All that has happened on this thread is that attempts have been made to draw out exponents as to which particular brand of leftism they subscribe to An honest examination is not taking place and some here are gloating and trying to browbeat others by attempting to measure their activist dicks.

I condemn ALL oppression. I wish to do so in a cohesive embracing manner that does not single out a particular regime for particular attention, especially under the present circumstances.

I think remaining silent overtly is the best policy WRT Iran at this time. We can condemn oppression universally and still not take away from any oppression happening within Iran.

Iran and what happens within its borders are a matter for the Iranians.
The nationality of oppression is irrelevant. It is an affront to us all.

Showing solidarity with Iranians and all oppressed nationalities can still be done without doing the neo-cons work for them.

author by Commie - Pat Cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You say: "Being realistic though I dont see how we would be in a position to support the Iranian people in any military/technical sense. We could propagandise, raise funds for relief and for the socialists."

I agree that is what we could primarily do in Ireland, however the question of taking sides is a very important one in any propaganda produced, just as criticisms of the Iranian regime are. And you are an internationalist and therefore have a responsibility to have a programme that takes positions on questions and actions that happen outside the boundaries of the geographical nation state you happen to live in.

Of course it is true that "What they do would very much depend on the objective circumstances on the ground" but any such tactical considerations, which in some places might even allow quite close collaboration with less reactionary rank-and-file units of the Iranian army, should be understood with a general strategic framework. I think that general strategic framework is that to the extent that any forces, including the regime, are fighting the imperialist invaders then any revolutionary forces in Iran would seek to militarily bloc with them to whatever extent that was possible, the revolutionaries would certainly not "take advnatage" of the imperialist invasion to attack any other forces who were fighting back. Of course at no time would this mean stopping telling the truth about the reactionary nature of the regime.

I am still not clear whether you agree with that general perspective or not.

Socialists are always fighting for a socialist revolution and would never support any movement to return the mullahs to power - unlike in 1979 when much of the left did exactly this and painted the mullahs as revolutionary anti-imperialists, preparing the way for the bloodbath that followed.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Iran and what happens within its borders are a matter for the Iranians."

Exactly and the article here is written by an Iranian socialist. HOPI was founded by Iranian socialists.

"Showing solidarity with Iranians and all oppressed nationalities can still be done without doing the neo-cons work for them."

No rational/intelligent person would suggest that HOPI are doing neocons work. Its an outrage to smear Iranian socialists in this manner.

author by Commiepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"commie you directed these comments to IFTI. How exactly do you disagree with HOPI on this?"

My understanding, perhaps incorrect, is that HOPI do not clearly state that they would have a side in a conflict between imperialism and the Iranian regime. See other post that goes into this more fully.

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pat c response to my post is as tiresome as it is predicable.

I could have posted almost verbatim your pick and choose answers as you’ve used them countless times before.

In short its an assorted collection of, Read my comments, Read HOPI, I oppose the US blah blah…

“That’s just childish abuse which says more about you than it does about me.”

In particular is a phrase that must have the relevant keys worn thin on your keyboard….

What is new is this particularly obtuse statement:

“I oppose any US invasion but if it takes place then the Iranian socialist should IMHO attempt to turn the war into a class war.”

Pat has now graduated from Armchair activist to Armchair General…ho hum

Does Pat advocate Iranian socialists fight the Mullahs and the US at the same time?

author by Commiepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Iran and what happens within its borders are a matter for the Iranians." is a meanless and anti-internationalist statement, for both of you to make.

Iranians will take all sorts of different positions on relations with the regime, from outright opposition and support to the imperialists through to uncritical fanatical support for it's Islamism. Clearly our opinions on what should happen in Iran will influence which of these different perspectives of the different groups of Iranians we support.

Iran for Iranians - I guess we will just have to disagree because I don't think that remaining silent on the oppression in Iran helps anything. It is of course necessary to make any such criticisms within the context of forthright calls for the defeat of imperialism and the necessity to militarily side with the Iranian regime if it fights the imperialist invaders. I think that by doing so we get around the problem you see of a danger that the imperialists will use our arguments to whip up support to their war mongering and also avoids the danger I see with your your position of giving back-hand political support to the mullahs.

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"No rational/intelligent person would suggest that HOPI are doing neocons work. Its an outrage to smear Iranian socialists in this manner."

Spare me your feigned outrage.

You are dishonest and a spin merchant. Let me spell it out for you. You and western so called lefties like you are doing the neo-cons work for them. They will cite all your criticisms of Iran as further reason to invade. It has all been played out before with Sadam.

author by Commiepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Your statement "I oppose any US invasion but if it takes place then the Iranian socialst should IMHO attempt to turn the war into a class war." is mixing up tactics developed for dealing with an inter-imperialist war (revolutionary defeatism on both sides) with those developed for attacks by imperialists on non-imperialists (revolutionary defencism)

author by mepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Iran for the Iranians: "They will cite all your criticisms of Iran as further reason to invade. It has all been played out before with Sadam. "

Ah, we're getting down to it now! So, we should have stayed silent on Saddam as well?

Pathetic. I hope you don't go around misrepresenting yourself as a socialist.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

“That’s just childish abuse which says more about you than it does about me.”
In particular is a phrase that must have the relevant keys worn thin on your keyboard…."

Eh no, You used childish abuse. I pointed it out. Dont try and wriggle out of it.

"“I oppose any US invasion but if it takes place then the Iranian socialist should IMHO attempt to turn the war into a class war.”

Pat has now graduated from Armchair activist to Armchair General…ho hum"

What do you mean by that? What sort of Iran do you want? A perpetual Religious dictatorship?

"Does Pat advocate Iranian socialists fight the Mullahs and the US at the same time?"

If you bother to read my previous comments rather than picking out phrases at random, then you will see what I stand for.

1. I believe that the mullahs should be overthrown by internal Iranian action.

2. I oppose any US Invasion or agression towards the Iranian People.

3. Following on from point 2 I therefore call for the defeat of any US military acts against the Iranian People.

4. If the invasion actually takes and the US are "victorious" then I would say any guerilla war from then on could not be waged in support of the old regime. I would imagine that the iranian socialists goal would be a socialist republic.

See, not everything is simple. When you are talking about imperialist aggression things get a bit complex. Especially when the Imperialist aggression is directed towards a Theocratic Dictatorship.

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes we are getting down to it aren't we.

You seem thoroughly satisfied with the situation in Iraq if you come out with such ribald apologist bile....

Maybe if we did keep our mouths shut about Saddam in the build up to the invasion Iraq wouldn't be awash with blood.

What a crass and disgusting position to hold.

author by Commiepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Does "3. Following on from point 2 I therefore call for the defeat of any US military acts against the Iranian People." mean that you are for a military bloc with all those who are fighting the imperialist invaders, including the Iranian regime? Or are you for fighting the imperialist invaders and the Iranian regime at the same time, irrespective of the fact that to do so would undermine the fight against the imperialist invaders?

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"No rational/intelligent person would suggest that HOPI are doing neocons work. Its an outrage to smear Iranian socialists in this manner."

Spare me your feigned outrage. "

Nothing feigned. Yiu are smearing Iranian socialists.

"You are dishonest and a spin merchant. "

I havent told a single lie. You cannot seem to stop spouting distortions.

"Let me spell it out for you. You and western so called lefties like you are doing the neo-cons work for them. "

How? We call for opposition to any US attack. How could that be supporting the neo-cons? I'm sorry but I'm starting to doubt your sanity.

"They will cite all your criticisms of Iran as further reason to invade. It has all been played out before with Sadam"

Thats nonsense. Do you think the neocons are not aware of these crimes committed by the mullahs?

Are you saying that Iranian trade unionists, feminists, gays, socialists should stay silent about their oppression? They ask us to publicicise the crimes of the Iranian Junta.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm going to have to look at some of the points you make in more depth. Just letting you know I'm not ignoring you. Back on them later.

author by mepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear oh dear, your fingers are clearly on automatic at this stage! What ARE you on about? Where have I indicated satisfaction with the disaster that US imperialism is inflicting on Iraq?

I'm glad to see, though, that you are at least consistent and took the same attitude to Saddam's vile regime, i.e. no criticism coz they're threatened by US imperialism. I'm sure Saddam's victims, just like those leftists in Iran today, appreciated your "consistency".

It is this sort of garbage that provides the pro-imperialist media with ammunition to describe the left as contradictory and anti-democratic. It is vile cynical politics.

So, support the Iranian theocracy, support Saddam...and expect to convince people that you have human rights as a central concern as you attempt to mobilise a mass anti-war movement? Yeah, they would rightly see you as a hypocrite.

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 15:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No Pat, I’m smearing you. You are the self absorbed spokesperson for all things Iranian and you have taken it upon yourself to shout from the rooftops that Iran is and only Iran is oppressing its citizens.

The Neo cons are well aware of what goes on in Iran. Bu they are a largely discredited outfit with little or no sway with public opinion. Now they will point to your anti Iranian position high-jacked and use it to inject credibility to their attack.
Well done.

I'm sure the Iranian Socialists will love you for expediting their homes being destroyed and their society being bombed into the Stone Age.

Keep your reactionary rage fuelled activism mate. It is irrational self opinionated nonsense like that that is of no assistance to anyone.

Your hypotenuse for waging war post invasion is also flawed as you assume socialists will be the ones doing the fighting. They will in fact be an infinitesimally small faction within the wider resistance and will therefore be unable to direct any Class war. The chaos that will ensue will be rudderless and more conducive to a more fanatical theocracy being installed under US supervision as happened in Iraq. Socialism will be ruthlessly crushed and put back decades.

That is the reality, not your worker inspired revolution. It will not happen if the US invades. It will only happen if Iraq is stabilised (somehow) and the US doesn’t invade Iran.

You seem to hope the US invades so some sort of revolution can exploit the madness and win a socialist victory for Iran. Such dangerous ill formed fantasies will end up killing millions and could descend the whole region into a blood bath. The imperative is to prevent at all costs the invasion of Iran. Anything else will be a slaughter without justification.

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 16:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Me', seriously, are you Pat C?

You slander me with this ridiculous charge that I am supporting the Mullahs and then expect me to take anything you say seriously?

Anyone reading this thread can clearly decipher your spin and will reject it as such.

See ya now.

author by mepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 16:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No, fraid not...Pat C and me are distinct entities. What about you? I know you're a muppet but are you a puppet?

Anybody reading your contributions to this thread can make up their own mind about your basic argument, which is that we should turn a blind eye to the actions of vile regimes if they are threatened by US imperialism. The 'greater good', etc. etc. It's as Western-centric a position as you could get. And I seriously do hope you're a member of some screwball organisation because I would hate to think of you peddling this unprincipled garbage to your friends as 'socialism'.

Try thinking outside your European box for a moment. Might do you some good.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 16:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"No Pat, I’m smearing you. "

At last! You admit the truth! But you're not very successful. A 4 year old wouldnt be taken in by your ravings.

"You are the self absorbed spokesperson for all things Iranian and you have taken it upon yourself to shout from the rooftops that Iran is and only Iran is oppressing its citizens. "

Well actually Iran is oppressing its citizens, thats the truth. Iranian socialists and trade unionists want that fact spread. I'm not self absorbed, merely attempting to be an internationalist.

Perhaps you think that Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, Ken Loach, David Norris and Tony Gregory are also agents of the US. They are also supporters of HOPI.

"I'm sure the Iranian Socialists will love you for expediting their homes being destroyed and their society being bombed into the Stone Age."

I can only assume that you are deranged, a crank or a troll. You keep repeating the same lies. I oppose any US attack.

"Keep your reactionary rage fuelled activism mate. It is irrational self opinionated nonsense like that that is of no assistance to anyone. "

No. Its the position of Iranian socialists. You just regurgitate the press releases from the Iranian embassy.

"You seem to hope the US invades so some sort of revolution can exploit the madness and win a socialist victory for Iran."

That proves you are mad. I have made my position clear, made it clear that HOPI opposes the US biut still you come out with such ravings. For your own sake I hope you get the help you so obviously require.

author by Tonypublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 16:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At least one can debate with you, comrade Commi. You say in response to my comment that the Saudi regime is far more reactionary than the Iranian:
"I'm afraid that is just not imperically true - these two regimes and the crimes against working people that they carry out are more or less equivalent. Why does your side in this debate continually downplay the true nature of the Iranian regime - you are just like the apologists for Stalinism, using imperialist aggression as a reason for not telling the truth about a reactionary regime."
Well is it really not empirically true?
In Iran there are severely repressed trade unions.
I Saudi Arabia they are dead.
In Iran a majority of uni students are female,
In Saudi Arabia women are not even allowed to drive cars.
In Iran there are active organisations of women
On Saudi Arablia there are none.
In Iran there are (severely repressed) organisations.
In Saudi Arabia the socialist organisations are completely underground.
And of course the Saudi regime is an important political and miltary support for US imperialism.
In Iran the (admittedly vicious) nature of the regime happens to set it against the major world imperialist regime.
As a perceptive comrade once said - the US and Iran are cheeks of the same arse - but someone has come between them"
Nothing comes between the US and the Saudi regime.
The Saudi regime will only be defeated by a progressive (with all the confusions that that phrase implies) alliance. The Iranian regime can be defeated by progressive organisations, burt only coopted by the US type regimes.
Think about it comrade.

author by Commiepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 16:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Done a little research - shouldn't have written before checking my facts.

You are correct - Saudi Arabia is a qualitatively less democratic/more reactionary regime than Iran.

It would be a very good example to use in any propaganda against the war to show the complete and utter hypocracy of the US imperialists.

However I don't think this means I should change my position of revolutionary defencism of Iran in case of an imperialist attack, which includes criticism of the crimes of the Iranian regime.

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 16:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You keep running for cover and hiding behind the names of men far greater than yourselves. Are you that unconvinced by your own arguments that you cannot stand on your own two feet and simply state what you believe?

Again, although you may not think it the case, you are aiding and abetting (unwittingly or not, it is irrelevant) US war mongering by singling out Iran for your criticism. You are the one who cannot think for yourself due to your rhetoric continuously being framed within the confines of cliché and formulaic sweeping statements that read like a bullet point manifesto rather than thought out considered opinion.

I see you largely ignored what I said about Iran post invasion. Such realities are somewhat unpalatable to idealists but it amply demonstrates your sterile and rigid argument and its inability to deal with truths.

Iran’s pious population is ignored. The true make up of a post invasion resistance undetermined and poorly understood.

Yours and 'me's pigeon holed facile understanding of Socialism transposed onto the Iranian people as if you know what is good for them.

Its nonsense.

author by mepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 16:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think it's pretty clear who believes what at this stage and I'm certainly not going to be persuaded to adopt a policy of quietism on the Iranian theocracy. Oppression is oppression.

The point about Saudi Arabia is a good one. It's a case that should be highlighted more. Unfortunately, unlike Iran, it doesn't have the same immediacy because of a lack of contacts with leftists and progressives there. These should be developed. With regard to Iran, it's very obvious why is being focused on - the principled left has always opposed the repressive theocracy there and now that the country is more in the news, as a result of US threats, the left's concerns are more visible. However, you're off your trolley if you're unable to see that the central thrust of HOPI and most of the comments above is on opposing US imperialism. The question is how we do this in a principled and consistent way. Turning a blind eye to oppression is not principled.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 16:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"You keep running for cover and hiding behind the names of men far greater than yourselves. "

No, I dont. I'm pointing out that HOPI has the support of these people. Who oppose the Iranian Junta and also oppose Imperialism.

"Are you that unconvinced by your own arguments that you cannot stand on your own two feet and simply state what you believe?"

No. And I have statted what I believe in. All I get from you is hysteria.

"Again, although you may not think it the case, you are aiding and abetting (unwittingly or not, it is irrelevant) US war mongering by singling out Iran for your criticism. "

Look, the Iranian socialist and trade unionists ask for support, I give it to them. I dont se how that is supporting US warmongering. Especially since I make it clear that I oppose any US aggression towards Iran.

"You are the one who cannot think for yourself due to your rhetoric continuously being framed within the confines of cliché and formulaic sweeping statements that read like a bullet point manifesto rather than thought out considered opinion."

That sentence is meaningless. People can read my comments and make up their own minds as to has the better thought out position. But afaiac you are mindlessly supporting the Iranian Junta.

"I see you largely ignored what I said about Iran post invasion. Such realities are somewhat unpalatable to idealists but it amply demonstrates your sterile and rigid argument and its inability to deal with truths."

Because it didnt make any sense. Anyway I'm not going to get into the world of hypotheticising about what might happen. I dont know and neither do you.

"Iran’s pious population is ignored. The true make up of a post invasion resistance undetermined and poorly understood."

In your opinion. But I am more concerned with the part of the population which is not pious.

"Yours and 'me's pigeon holed facile understanding of Socialism transposed onto the Iranian people as if you know what is good for them."

No. Once again I must point out that I am supporting the views put forward by Iranian socialists. You are merely putting forward your open view filtered through Iran Embassy releases. I have met Iran socialists. How many pious Iranians have you met?

"Its nonsense."

Yes. Your ravings are just that: nonsense.

author by Tonypublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 17:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks Commie
It's rare indeed to find someone to find someone on this site who can read and acknowledge their mistakes - and we all make them.
If there seems to be a chance of a sensible dialog uninterrupted by bigots I would be honoured to debate with you.

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 17:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

“No, I dont. I'm pointing out that HOPI has the support of these people. Who oppose the Iranian Junta and also oppose Imperialism”

Really, is it unreserved support? Has caution been expressed by these people that unqualified criticism of the Iranian regime is counterproductive?

I think you’ll find they have. A 4 year old (as you put it) would clearly see the danger of having your argument usurped and proposed as a case for war, if it is not part of a wider agenda (which Chomsky and co. clearly have) and qualified within a context of Anti-oppression that is universal.

Is HOPI part of an umbrella organisation?

“No. And I have stated what I believe in. All I get from you is hysteria.”

All we get from you is HOPI rhetoric. With little or no substance on your behalf and very little fleshed out expanded thinking which would demonstrate a solid understanding. Mantra is not argument asd is much closer to hysteria than what you laughably consider it to be.

“Look, the Iranian socialist and trade unionists ask for support, I give it to them. I dont se how that is supporting US warmongering. Especially since I make it clear that I oppose any US aggression towards Iran”

So you keep saying, but there are many ways to show support and solidarity. Using a megaphone and singling out Iran for HR abuses at a time when a mounting media and political campaign is flooding the airwaves is disconcerting and plays right into the hands of those who would advocate invasion. Your inability to see that is shocking. Your dogged denial that it is even a possibility suggests you are too myopic to even consider debating on the subject.

Calling me ‘mad’ in light of this is somewhat amusing.

“That sentence is meaningless. People can read my comments and make up their own minds as to has the better thought out position. But afaiac you are mindlessly supporting the Iranian Junta.”

It isn’t meaningless if you can think for yourself. As for your accusation that I support the Iranian Junta that is merely spin and quite transparent. I have never said any such thing. You are extrapolating an 'either/or' position which is clearly how you deduce such off the wall conclusions. Devoid of nuance and indicative of a very rigid apoplectic mindset.

“Because it didnt make any sense. Anyway I'm not going to get into the world of hypotheticising about what might happen. I dont know and neither do you.”

It made a lot of sense, you just refuse to recognise it.

As for hypothesizing, we have in Iraq a conclusive and very accurate model of what will happen if Iran is invaded. I would prefer the status quo in Iran for the time being as opposed to over half a million dead. That is the position of rational normal people. Or do you disagree?

“In your opinion. But I am more concerned with the part of the population which is not pious.”

This is another one of those inconvenient truths that unreconstructed Stalinists cannot grasp, that over whelming majority if the Iranian population is pious. You have now admitted their concerns are irrelevant. Clearly democracy means nothing to you.

“No. Once again I must point out that I am supporting the views put forward by Iranian socialists. You are merely putting forward your open view filtered through Iran Embassy releases. I have met Iran socialists. How many pious Iranians have you met?”

Back to the nonsensical 'I’ve a bigger activist dick than you'….

“Yes. Your ravings are just that: nonsense.”

So speaketh the unapologetic undemocratic Stalinist. Excuse me if I find your posts objects of humour from now on rather than informed or of any importance.

author by Observerpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 17:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A thought experiment here, for a moment. For many decades, there was a regime in Russia which brutally repressed its people, massacring many and imprisoning many more. Among those opposed to it were US and British Imperialism. Stalinists mostly argued that Russia was actually an earthly paradise, but when they could admit that there were some 'flaws' they urged people to ignore them, because it was 'playing into the hands of US Imperialism.'

Others argued that one should, of course, any US or British attempt at invasion etc., BUT that it was also necessary to oppose the crimes of the ruling elite in Russia, which after all had a huge oppresive impact on the people there.

Were those who kept quiet about the crimes of Stalin, in the name of anti-Imperialist sentiment, correct to do so? Or did they simply render themselves complicit in a terrible crime?

Which position was right? And are there parallels with this bad tempered argument about Iran?

My own view is that socialists should oppose all oppressive regimes. This argument about 'playing into the hands of'' simply comes across to other peopel as hypocritical, since it means denying what to others is perfectly obvious - eg that the Russian regime was dreadful, and in this case that the Iranian regime is also dreadful. I do not see how you can build support for radical ideas on this kind of basis.

author by Iran for Iranianspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 17:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A disingenuous analogy in this regard and wholly inappropriate.

The US/USSR cannot not under any circumstances be compared to Iran/US.

Unhelpful.

author by curiouspublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 17:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You'll have to explain that. Why is Observer's analogy not appliciable? Seems about right to me.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 18:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"“No, I dont. I'm pointing out that HOPI has the support of these people. Who oppose the Iranian Junta and also oppose Imperialism”

Really, is it unreserved support? Has caution been expressed by these people that unqualified criticism of the Iranian regime is counterproductive? "

Why not actually read HOPIs statements? Its obvious that you didnt even read the article which started off this debate.

"I think you’ll find they have. A 4 year old (as you put it) would clearly see the danger of having your argument usurped and proposed as a case for war, if it is not part of a wider agenda (which Chomsky and co. clearly have) and qualified within a context of Anti-oppression that is universal."

But HOPI makes it quite clear, as do I, that any Imperialist aggression must be opposed. Chomsky and others have signed up as supporters of HOPI, they do support your whitewash job for the Iranian Junta. A 4 year old would realise that.
Is HOPI part of an umbrella organisation?

“No. And I have stated what I believe in. All I get from you is hysteria.”

All we get from you is HOPI rhetoric. With little or no substance on your behalf and very little fleshed out expanded thinking which would demonstrate a solid understanding. Mantra is not argument asd is much closer to hysteria than what you laughably consider it to be."

I have stated exactly what I believe in. You see any criticism of the iranian Junta as some kind of treason.

"“Look, the Iranian socialist and trade unionists ask for support, I give it to them. I dont se how that is supporting US warmongering. Especially since I make it clear that I oppose any US aggression towards Iran”

So you keep saying, but there are many ways to show support and solidarity. Using a megaphone and singling out Iran for HR abuses at a time when a mounting media and political campaign is flooding the airwaves is disconcerting and plays right into the hands of those who would advocate invasion"

No it does not. You undermine the possibility of building an anti war campaign by trying to hide the Iranian atrocities. The Iranian trade unionists and socialists want these atrocities publicised. Thats what they say.

." Your inability to see that is shocking. Your dogged denial that it is even a possibility suggests you are too myopic to even consider debating on the subject."

Tell that to the Iranians who ask for public support.

"Calling me ‘mad’ in light of this is somewhat amusing."

I can only doubt your sanity when you continue to spread lies when its clear that HOPI, the Iranian socialists and I oppose US aggression towards Iran.

"It isn’t meaningless if you can think for yourself. "

But theres no evidence that you do. You just attsack anyone (even Iranians) who criticise the Iranian JUnta.

"As for your accusation that I support the Iranian Junta that is merely spin and quite transparent. I have never said any such thing. You are extrapolating an 'either/or' position which is clearly how you deduce such off the wall conclusions. Devoid of nuance and indicative of a very rigid apoplectic mindset."

But its the logic of your position. You attack those who criticise regime. You even attack Iranians who ctiticise the regime. Given the abuse handed out to me by you its reasonable for me to conclude that you support the Iranian Junta.

"It made a lot of sense, you just refuse to recognise it. As for hypothesizing, we have in Iraq a conclusive and very accurate model of what will happen if Iran is invaded."

What happens in Iran wont be the same as Iraq if an invasion took place. Iraq was a Secular Dictatorship. Iran is an Islamist Dictatorship. Theres no ground for an even more severe Islamic state resulting. Whats more likely is a secular led resistance. But thats just my opinion. Anyway as I said neither of us know what might happen.

" I would prefer the status quo in Iran for the time being as opposed to over half a million dead. That is the position of rational normal people. Or do you disagree?"

As you know I oppose any US invasion. But Its not an either or. I would prefer to see the Iranian Junta overthrown by internal forces.

"“In your opinion. But I am more concerned with the part of the population which is not pious.”
This is another one of those inconvenient truths that unreconstructed Stalinists cannot grasp, that over whelming majority if the Iranian population is pious. You have now admitted their concerns are irrelevant. Clearly democracy means nothing to you."

I'm not a Stalinist, Stalinists spread lies like you have done since your first comment. Democracy means everything to me. But apparently not to you. The present Iranian regime is not a democracy. All candidates for parliament or president have to be approved by the mullahs.

The majority of Iranians may well be believeing Muslims but that does not mean that they support the extreme form of Islam imposed by the Iranian Junta.

“"Yes. Your ravings are just that: nonsense.”

So speaketh the unapologetic undemocratic Stalinist. Excuse me if I find your posts objects of humour from now on rather than informed or of any importance."

You are the Stalinist. You smear and lie. I think any rational person would doubt as to whether you are in full possession of your faculties.

author by .publication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 18:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here is the response of Iranian socialist Yassamine Mather of HOPI in an interview in Resistance, July/August 2007 (the Irish Socialist Network paper) when asked about the likely impact of a US attack:

"I think any form of attack would be disastrous. The more hard-line sections of the government will use it to increase repression and they’ve already done so over the last few months. Imagine if there is even a limited military attack, everybody will feel that repression a lot more. Sanctions have already had a terrible effect on inflation and it’s the poor who are going to pay for the inflation in Iran. The rich, the people who are supposedly the targets, have already removed their money to wherever the sanctions can’t affect them and the people who are going to suffer are the poor. Most people in Iran are united on one thing: they just don’t want a military attack, however limited, because they know that this will be used by various other forces for the worst."

author by tom eilepublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 18:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

you wrote:
“I think it is clear that HOPI makes a distinction between the Iranian people and the Iranian regime "

Yes , HOPI does make a distinction between the Iranian people and the Iranian regime ,but confuses Iranian national rights with the Iranian regime’s usurpation of those rights . The defence of Iran against attack from the US does not in any way mean support for the regime. It does entail defence of Iran’s right to its oil and gas reserves though.
The people who set up HOPI specifically and deliberately chose the title Hands Off the People of Iran so as to distinguish the people of Iran from Iran as a sovereign independent nation . Otherwise they would have called themselves Hands Off Iran .

You could say its just a name ,but don't forget these are the same people who gave us the Danish cartoon provocation two years ago. Hands Off the People of Iran they now say but should watch out that the Iranian people don't get their hands on them.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 18:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Yes , HOPI does make a distinction between the Iranian people and the Iranian regime ,but confuses Iranian national rights with the Iranian regime’s usurpation of those rights . "

Nope. HOPI understyands exactly what it says.

"The defence of Iran against attack from the US does not in any way mean support for the regime. It does entail defence of Iran’s right to its oil and gas reserves though."

And if you bothered to read the original article then you would know that HOPI defends Iran against US attack. Actually you are just deliberately lieing. because the position of HOPI has been made clear many times.

"The people who set up HOPI specifically and deliberately chose the title Hands Off the People of Iran so as to distinguish the people of Iran from Iran as a sovereign independent nation . "

Thats a lie and you are not going to achieve anything by continuing to peddle the lie. As HOPI say it is to differentiate the people of Iraq from the regime.

"Otherwise they would have called themselves Hands Off Iran ."

But then people might have thought we supported the mullahs. In any case ypur opinion is irrelevant. HOPI has chosen its name. If you really feel strongly about it then you could join HOPI and lobby to have the namre changed.

"You could say its just a name ,but don't forget these are the same people who gave us the Danish cartoon provocation two years ago. "

Thats not true actually. Its a red herring.

But if you want my own opinion then I dont believe that The Life Of Brian should be banned. Equally I dont want Islamic Fundamentalists to have the right to decide what appears in the media. But thats an old battle and you are not going to refight it here.

"Hands Off the People of Iran they now say but should watch out that the Iranian people don't get their hands on them. "

Perhaps you mean agents of the Iranian Junta? Cerainly not the Iranian socialists or trade unionists.

Number of comments per page
  
locked We are currently not accepting any more comments on this article.
 
© 2001-2019 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy