Sunday, November 27, 2005


When a man lies, he murders some part of the world. ~ Merlin, Excalibur

Sometimes a lie can go down easily, as if it were truth. One way of doing this is by taking a little lie, wrapping it and hiding it well within a body of truth and then offering it in the marketplace of ideas as a solid whole. Some people do this on purpose; others do it out of ignorance, but it is always effective. It is especially effective when one has a large demand for one's product, and I am thinking specifically of a new article by Amir Taheri, one of the Western media's more widely read commentators on the situation in Iran.

The lie is well-hidden within the article, "How Long Can He Pedal?" , so let me point it out for those who might miss it:

"Ahmadinejad, however, has not closed down any newspapers, at least not yet. Nor has he ordered the arrest of any journalist or academic — again at least not yet."

This is a lie, but it passes easily as part of a solid whole because, for one thing, the rest of the article is very good. But mostly it passes so easily because the West has ignored, ignores, continues to ignore the struggle of the Kurds under Iranian occupation. Just this summer, the long-suffering Rojhilat Kurds rose up yet again in response to the murder and desecration of one of their brother activists, in a report carried on :

The police brutality came to light when Shovaneh's body was returned to his family for burial. The police put him in a coffin that they nailed closed. The police forced the parents to sign a paper swearing they would not open the coffin and that they would bury their son that night.

Friends forcefully opened the coffin and photographed Shovaneh's body – the gruesome photos were then posted on the Internet. The photos are deeply disturbing. The mullahs have no hesitation to be brutal to their own citizens, while betting the world will never see their crimes. The mullahs have been protected because common decency in the civilized world often lacks the courage to show the world the graphic results of such terrifying state violence.

Reports coming out of Mahabad suggest that Shovaneh was shot in the leg and that his torture included cutting open his chest all the way to his stomach – while he was still alive. Residents there claim that acid was thrown on Shovaneh's back. The severe lacerations to his body and the swelling from being dragged in the street by the police car, or from beatings at the police station, are evident from looking at the photographs of the body.

The photos referred to in the WorldNetDaily commentary, quoted above, can be found here:

The uprising thus began in Mehabad, a city of great historical importance as it was the location of the first Kurdish Republic for a short time after the Second World War. But the uprising was not confined to Mehabad; it quickly spread throughout Iranian-occupied Kurdistan with public demonstrations and closures of businesses and accompanying brutality by pasdarans. As of this date, the repression continues and this is where Amir Taheri's two-sentence aplogetics for Ahmadinejad falls into the realm of "The Lie."

I found an update on the situation in Iranian-occupied Kurdistan in my email inbox this week, courtesy of PDKI. I am grateful to PDKI for this notice because, without it to refresh my memory of the events of summer, and the continuing situation, I might have missed Amir Taheri's two sentences which were packaged so nicely for Western consumption. PDKI states :

The brutal suppression by the regime has reached all layers of the society including intellectuals, journalists, students, workers, teachers and even human right activists. Some other examples of recent violation of human right by the Islamic Republic regime are as follows:

Closure of three Kurdish language publications ( Ashti, Aso, Payame mardome Kurdistan) and arresting the editor and their journalists accusing them of publishing separatist articles. Their real crime was publishing the news of the demonstrations in cities of Kurdistan and exposing the brutality of regime in dealing with these demonstrations.

In another PDKI statement , from October of this year, we can see more evidence for the case of Ahmadinejad's oppression:

Closing of Asso and Rojhelat Kurdish- Farsi newspapers that were accused of publishing anti-regime topics and news. A press violence court against journalists Mohammad Sadegi and Adnan Hosseini is on going. A variety of of cultural centres are threatened to be closed down.

The internet cafes are accused of immoral usage of internet. In Marivan 5 Internet service providers were closed down by the security forces of regime and the data on the computers were checked.

It is clear, then, that newspapers have been closed and many have been arrested, including journalists. The question of the shut down of internet service providers is intimately tied to the idea of "journalism," because the free flow of ideas, news, events and thoughts is no longer confined to a journalistic "elite," with their claims to "objectivity," especially in matters concerning the Middle East.

And that brings me back to Amir Taheri. . . Is he lying by omission? Is he merely ignorant? Does he really not know what has happened in Iranian-occupied Kurdistan? Or is this a purposeful lie? Does he not consider that Kurdish media is worthy of notice and, in this case, is at the mercy of Iranian brutality? If Kurdish media is not worthy of notice, why is it shut down? Or does it not matter at all that this brutality is directed against the Kurdish people?

Once upon a time, in 1979, there were hopes among the Rojhilatî that things would change, that Kurds would have new opportunities and, perhaps, a measure of autonomy with a new regime, especially after the betrayal of 1975 . Subsequent history has proven that these hopes never stood a chance. Iran is no different than Turkey with respect to the fanatacism displayed at the mere suggestion of any perceived threat to the "territorial integrity" of the Iranian Empire and this includes the idea of Kurdish autonomy within that empire.

If Iranians and the West want to overthrow the mullahs, I wish them good luck, but do not expect that the next revolution will be obtained with the help of Kurdish arms and sacrifice, because Iranian and Western interests are not Kurdish interests. It is better for Kurds to wait for that moment of chaos that regime change will bring, and then take advantage of it for the sake of Kurdish interests.

However, I will make a prediction. The moment that the West begins to take notice of and complain about the atrocities of the Teheran regime against the Kurdish people, when it suddenly becomes concerned about the abuses of the human rights of Kurds, then we will know that the next revolution is about to take place.


Dara Sor said...

Cunning... Thank you...


Mizgîn said...

Ser çava û her bijî!

Philip said...

I think the Rojhilat Kurds have much bigger enemies than Amir Taheri. I saw his essay as simply an analysis of high-politics in Teheran, and in no way an "apologetic" for Amedinejad.

He has been the #1 supporter of freedom in the Islamic countries, and is hated with sulfuric fervor by the Iranian regime.

Philip said...

"Some people do this on purpose; others do it out of ignorance, but it is always effective."

A "lie" must always be knowing and intentional. A person cannot "lie" thru ignorance--that is simply an "error."

Mizgîn said...

philip, error can also lead to the murder of someone, or even whole peoples, on the other side of the earth. Does he know that there is a place called Kurdistan and that a portion of it is occupied by Iran? What I would like to know is how much freedom Mr. Taheri is willing to support for Kurdistan.

philip said...

That is a fair question.

Based on his many columns that I have read, I believe he is willing to support complete freedom for Kurdistan!