Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Islamist Stalinists

They say history repeats itself and we come across this time and time again. Each repeat is similar but it has its own flavour to it. I am amazed at all the similarities between the 1979 revolution in Iran and the Bolshevik coup in Russia in 1917. In both cases power was hijacked by an idealist group of people who viewed their ideology as so great, so righteous and so above all else that any atrocity was justifiable for the sake of the 'ideology'. The ideologies between the 1979 revolution in Iran and the Bolshevik coup in 1917 are not the same of course, yet the patterns of behaviour are cast from the same die.

In the same way that it happened in the Soviet Union, the thirst for power turned the original founders against each other, criminal characters who had not even been part of the revolution, squeezed themselves to the top and in the name of the ideology started eliminating the very people who had formulated and fought for these ideals. Trotsky, Rykov, Bukharin, Kamenev, Zinoviev were the equivalents of today's Montazeri, Nabavi, Nouri, Hajjarian and now with the news of yesterday's arrests at Karroubi's office, even Ayatollah Beheshti's son. Some may say why are you so surprised with the arrest of Beheshti's son, they even killed Ayatollah Khomeini's son, Ahmad and none of Ayatollah Khomeini's children are siding with the new elite, but despite the hearsay nothing is proven for certain that Ahmad was murdered and none of Khomeini's children are incarcerated, even Hossein Khomeini was under house arrest and not officially in prison.

Ayatollah Beheshti was a pillar of the revolution, there is a university named after him, streets are named after him, he is mentioned all the time as the martyr of the revolution by the terror of the counter-revolutionaries, I seriously thought they would never dare arrest Baheshti's son, Alireza but they did yesterday.

The similarities with Stalin's takeover of power and reign of terror does not stop with just the show trials and assault on the founders of the revolution and former comrades however. The role of 'useful idiots' outside the country and the state propaganda against the opposition exiles is also bizarrely similar.

When the Polish government in exile called for investigations into the Katyn massacre of Polish officers, Stalin's propaganda machine accused the Polish government in exile of colluding with the Fascists against the Soviet government and workers and peasants. In the same way, Ahmadinejad's propaganda machine has accused the opposition of acting in the 'foreign led scenario' when they have called for an investigation into the terrible abuses against the post-election detainees.

For the useful idiots in the West, the 'interests' of the workers and peasants in the heroic Soviet Union was so above all else that any atrocity was justifiable and calls for such investigations was tantamount to siding with the capitalists and imperialists. Iran's useful idiots in the West also dare not push for such investigations against Human Rights abuses. As an SWP member in a meeting in SOAS told me 'For us what is paramount is not human rights abuses in Iran, its the anti-imperialist struggle'.

In the 1940s, Joseph Davies, a wealthy lawyer from Wisconsin, and a personal friend of President Roosevelt, was the equivalent of today's wealthy Flynt Leverett, Haleh Afshar and Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich type characters. Davies wrote a book about his experiences as ambassador, Mission to Moscow, which was later made into a Hollywood film in 1943. In the film, Stalin was portrayed as the father-figure for the Soviet Union and Stalin's human rights abuses were glossed over as necessary for the security of the state [how familiar does that sound?]. It took a decade for people in the West to see it as a crass pro-Soviet propaganda but it was sadly hugely influential at the time it was shown in the cinemas and Joseph Davies was a hero of the Western Communists who had told the 'truth' about what was really going on in the Soviet Union.

Another similarity is the appeasement of dictators by Western leaders. Aware of the terrible human tragedies, Western leaders usually see only their short term interests and decide to appease the likes of Stalin. In 1943, the British government swiftly tried to stifle the protests of the Polish government. Churchil even wrote to Stalin and promised to 'silence' the Polish papers about the Katyn massacres.
When the Iranian political prisoners were massacred in August/September 1988, Western leaders either remained silent or like the Tory Douglas Hague called it a 'necessity'.

There are tons of similarities but there is one major difference. The soviet propaganda machine at the time of Stalin was no way near as huge and sophisticated as Ahmadinejad's propaganda machine is now, nor was it so well funded.


B@rdia said...

Good job as always, I totally agree with you that the propaganda machine of Ahmadinejad is complicated, and this is why I do believe that it is led by West or east. Do you remember the chant in the beginning of the IR revolution?
Not West , Not East, Only the IR.
This means for me that they wanted to hide the main roles behind it.

Sohrab said...

Except the Soviet Union, at its apex, was an industrial powerhouse. Our idiot regime doesn't have anything but a limited supply of petrodollars to use to buy off people and finance its repression.

Winston said...

Iranian regime has entered its most dangerous phase yet

Anonymous said...

All that is happening is teh criminals pushing each other off the boat that is the stinking andsinking Islamic Republic. Beheshti had he lived would have been one of the worse criminals of this murdering dictatorship. It was a blessing taht he was killed early and if his son is now behind bars that is where he belongs.