Sunday, January 27, 2008

Remember the Days of Free Speech in UK?

The ripples of the 1979 Islamic revolution did not just extend to Iran and the Middle East region. Freedom took a set back in Western democracies too.

There was a time when entertainers and writers weren't scared of fatwas against their heads and the BBC wasn't scared of offending the terrorists. Here is a sketch from the Not the Nine O'clock News comedy team which used to be shown on BBC2 in the early 1980s. The program launched the careers of now established British comedy icons, Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith, Griff Rhys-Jones and Pamela Stephenson.

Can you imagine the BBC showing a sketch like that now or even show a repeat of this sketch:



Perhaps those who helped engineer this calamity, should have realised the dangers of a fundamentalist state with billions of petro-Dollars at its disposal.

14 comments:

Hidden Author said...

You think the USA and the UK should fret over the fact that a Third World nation is dominated by an Islamic Republic? Well so do I but I think that the Iranians should be even more concerned. And by concerned, what I mean is: why don't Iranian expats use their freedom to form a liberation army to coordinate rebellion against the Islamic Republic? Certainly such an army would be a bigger threat than writing illicit pamphlets? I can just imagine what the mullahs quaking in fear: Oh no, the opposition is *complaining*!

Azarmehr said...

That is a very childish suggestion.

Hidden Author said...

Why?

Winston said...

Political Correctness is killing the western world from within.

saggezard said...

I agree with hidden author, why? There is not any trustworthy movement , the time for a liberation movement is overdue, but a liberation army is definitely going o be labeled a terror group.

barmakid said...

Hello All,

Can I just jump in and remind those who may be unfamiliar with U.S. history that it was an "illicit pamphlet" entitled "Common Sense" that jump-started the American revolution. The esteemed author that anonymously published this revolutionary document is today known to us by the name of Thomas Paine.

To the hidden author, as much as it nettles me to agree with Azarmehr(shookhy mekonam ham-vatan:), your suggestion is quite childish. In any case, there are liberation armies that exist outside of Iran (most prominently, the MEK) and they are quite impotent. Although it sincerely dismays me to acknowledge the futility of Iranian expat efforts, it is the utter reality. But that is not to say that we should be inactive, for apathy is indeed venomous to progress.

Furthermore, the Iranian expat community is so divided - ideologically and religiously - that it is seemingly impossible to unite them behind a shared cause (just take me and Azarmehr as an example:)). Also, any expat community that does get financial and media support are those in tune with American/western interests.

Last thought: the active expat community (if you can even call it a community) is mostly comprised of older Iranians who are generally stuck in 1979, so to speak. Unfortunately, they are disconnected from the reality in Iran today and therefore promulgate anachronistic agendas that will gain no traction inside Iran. Yet, I respect them and will continue to do so.

cheers,
barmakid

Azarmehr said...

Unlike Barmakid, it does not "nettle" me at all to agree with someone on some issues when I disagree with them on most others issues. That's the nice thing about debate and discourse, its very boring debating with someone who agrees with you all the time! what's the point?!

Ok that was the easy part. How can I convince Hidden AUthor and Saggezard that a Liberation Army is a childish suggestion and wishful thinking?

How many Iranian ex-pats do you know who are willing to give up the comfort and luxury of their lives in the West to join a Liberation Army? Suppose you manage to round up 10,000 - bloody optimistic estimate :) - then how many of them have had any military training? who will supply them and which neighbouring country will host them? Suppose you manage to get $500 million in fundraising for this liberation army - ridiculously optimistic - still be a long way away from billions of petro dollars IRI has at its disposal. I give up, I can't even be bothered to waste my time writing about it.

In the last 28 years many examples of these "Liberation Armies" have already been tried and failed miserably. MeK was mentioned by Barmakid, and Sarbedaran who took over the city of Amol for a few hours in 1981 is another example I can think of.

WHy they all failed will be a long article and not suitable for a comments section on a blog. Let me just tell you however that it is easier to kill than to change someone's mind and enlighten them. The way to bring about change is by informing Iranians, giving them confidence that they can win, peaceful civil disobedience, confronting those who befriend the clerical rule in Iran, and helping those who are confronting the mullah rule inside Iran.

Liberation armies, even if successful, often bring about another dictatorship just by the very nature of them being a military force. To win by military ways, you have to be more brutal than your enemey, we don't want brutality to win, we want goodness and light to win over evil and darkness. We don't want to conquer Iran, we want to conquer the hearts and minds.

saggezard said...

To change minds and win hearts, a major requirement is a uniting charismatic leader. We do not have a Gandhi, an opposing ideologies are continuously being poisoned by the regime. I believe today the uniting force is the idea of cleansing, that is cleansing Iran from Islamic authority and establishments. It is inconceivable for a civil disobedience movement to bring the Ayatollahs to tears, the Ayatollahs do not function that way. A peaceful protester is simply labeled Corruption on the earth and enemy of god. In regard to previous movements, with a few exceptions, there are solid signs that movements such as MEK itself and satellite talking heads have support and financing from the Ayatollahs, what better way is there when a ruling class controls the life blood of its most prominent opposition groups. Iranians are thirsty for any solution, there is room and motivation for debate on serious movements against the Ayatollahs, including civil disobedience and radicalism.

Azarmehr said...

Well in fact it has been much more difficult for teh Islamic Republic to deal with peaceful protesters. Compare what happens to dissidents now with what happened to the supporters of the armed groups in the 80s.

Also I don't understand in the last sentence you contradict yourself. SO are Iranians more keen on civil disobedience methods or a liberation army?

in any case As I told Barmakid, I don't stand in anyone's way who opposes the regime, whether they want to oppose like Kadivar or whether if they want to start a Liberatiion Army. I just know myself where I fit and where I feel comfortable and genuine.

barmakid said...

Hello,

The regime supports the MEK? I find this to be utterly false.

The liberation army you seek are the cadres of unarmed students and laymen INSIDE the country. And Azarmehr makes a good point about peaceful protesters and armed resistance. Given the prevalence of media outlets, it's harder for the regime to justify there actions against peaceful protests than against armed resistance.

In any case, I do not support instigating a revolution. I am against any sort of revolution and the violence and unpredictability that accompanies it. I have explained my reasoning to Azarmehr more elaborately in previous posts.

We have to proceed in a less emotional and more rational fashion. We don't want history to repeat itself.

Cheers,
barmaki

Azarmehr said...

Yes Barmakid, we don't want history to repeat itself and appease the mullahs again, trust jebhe melli and nehzat Azadi idiots and let reformists waste another 8 years and disappoint the Iranian people with their empty promises

saggezard said...

I would also love to see a peaceful solution to the actions and rule of the Islamic establishment, I would not benefit in anyway if the Ayatollahs were removed by force or otherwise. I just do not see real civil disobedience working against the regime. In regards to my last sentence where you suggest I contradict myself, I clearly state that I seek debate on the viability of a peaceful civil disobedience movement or armed struggle, only in such debates can people come up with a fare conclusion. What I am worried about is that Iranians will continuously be suppressed and violated and finally we see Iran sliced with a Sashimi knife into pieces, and then it will be too late for us to have any useful debate on this subject.

In response to Barnakid's question on MEK support by IRI: there is evidence that Fallahian and Saeed Emami had built links with the MEK as a form of containment, in fact their French counterparts were shocked by the links. So nothing is inconceivable.

saggezard said...

I would also love to see a peaceful solution to the actions and rule of the Islamic establishment, I would not benefit in anyway if the Ayatollahs were removed by force or otherwise. I just do not see real civil disobedience working against the regime. In regards to my last sentence where you suggest I contradict myself, I clearly state that I seek debate on the viability of a peaceful civil disobedience movement or armed struggle, only in such debates can people come up with a fare conclusion. What I am worried about is that Iranians will continuously be suppressed and violated and finally we see Iran sliced with a Sashimi knife into pieces, and then it will be too late for us to have any useful debate on this subject.

In response to Barnakid's question on MEK support by IRI: there is evidence that Fallahian and Saeed Emami had built links with the MEK as a form of containment, in fact their French counterparts were shocked by the links. So nothing is inconceivable.

saggezard said...

I would also love to see a peaceful solution to the actions and rule of the Islamic establishment, I would not benefit in anyway if the Ayatollahs were removed by force or otherwise. I just do not see real civil disobedience working against the regime. In regards to my last sentence where you suggest I contradict myself, I clearly state that I seek debate on the viability of a peaceful civil disobedience movement or armed struggle, only in such debates can people come up with a fare conclusion. What I am worried about is that Iranians will continuously be suppressed and violated and finally we see Iran sliced with a Sashimi knife into pieces, and then it will be too late for us to have any useful debate on this subject.

In response to Barnakid's question on MEK support by IRI: there is evidence that Fallahian and Saeed Emami had built links with the MEK as a form of containment, in fact their French counterparts were shocked by the links. So nothing is inconceivable.