‘Here is your revolution!’

December 29, 2009 at 8:40 pm (anti-fascism, blogosphere, Iran, Max Dunbar, religion)

Now, a blog is not a rolling news service, and Socialist Unity can write about what it likes. And yet, like Gene, I find it curious that a blog dedicated to revolutionary socialism can’t find the space to offer support to what looks increasingly like an actual revolution, unfolding while the whole world watches.

You say you want a revolution, comrades? There it is, in the streets of Tehran and other cities throughout the country. This is, as regime apologist George Galloway might put it (in another context) ‘The real deal.’

I recall in late 2002/early 2003 listening to antiwar activists saying things like: ‘Of course Saddam is a psychotic dictator – but getting rid of him is a job for the Iraqi people, not the Americans.’ And, earlier on: ‘Of course the Taliban are fundamentalist killers and there is a good humanitarian case for their overthrow, but getting rid of them is a job for the Afghan people – not the Americans.’

Now, in 2009, people in Iran are doing their best to get rid of the theocratic oppressors, and with no real concrete help from cowardly Western governments. From a significant part of the antiwar left: just silence.

The regime cracks down. Image via the Guardian, which is also carrying out a project to identify the people – over 1,000 – who have been arrested or murdered by the Islamic Republic since the election of June 12.

14 Comments

  1. FlyingRodent said,

    Go, Iranians! Hooray!

    Will that do, or should I take my shirt off?

  2. Jenny said,

    and of course, there’s the back and forth shit between Yoshie and Lenin here:

    http://leninology.blogspot.com/2009/12/new-iran-protests.html

    I personally think this is strong evidence of the protests not being set up: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/01/AR2009110101705_pf.html

    Yes, as Yoshie pointed out the guest is addressing a neo conservative institution,but he defies their expectations too and seems in favor of his country’s soverignty.

  3. Philip Cross said,

    He has awoken!

    Newman uses the threat of American action as a cover for defending the regime, I think: http://www.socialistunity.com/?p=5051

  4. Ian said,

    Nothing on the Socialist Worker site yet. Stuff on the IMT and the CWI site.

  5. maxdunbar said,

    Philip

    Stroppybird actually sent me that SU piece via Facebook. I’ll just lazily copy and paste what I replied to her:

    Same old same old, dressed up in policy wonk speak, and recycling the standard Iran myths:

    1) That we’re about to invade (Andy and his mates have been saying this since 2003 and it looks less and less likely by the day)
    2) That Ahmadinejad is a hero of the working poor – this has been successfully disputed, in fact Lenny did some good posts on that; and in any case would a few farm subsidies make up for autocracy, corruption, the killing of dissidents?

    It just seems that Andy is trying to have it both ways: trying to get vicarious pleasure from the street demonstrations while retaining support for the Islamic Republic.

  6. Jim Denham said,

    The most depressing aspect of Lenny Seymour’s blog is the coments from the likes of Yoshie, Masoud and other supporters of the Iranian regime. Even John G comes over as progressive on this, describing these stooges as respresenting “Stalinism without Stalin” (now where has he borrowed that phrase from, I wonder?).

    But at least Seymour is unequivocally on the side of the protestors, even if (for some unaccountable reason) he allows the stooge/agent Yoshie not just to comment, but to post on his horrible “Tomb.” Nooman, over at “Socialist Unity” isn’t even clearly in support of the protestors, while not having the guts to simply follow his instincts and suppot tye regime: as Philip Cross notes(above #3) this increasingly degenerate Stalinist seems to want to have it both ways ways.

    Oh, and how about the following hilarious (but also seriously worrying) comment on ‘”Socialist Unity”:

    “Isn’t it about time for a new international of progressive parties and organisations led by countries such as Iran, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Zimbabwe, and with supporters e.g. from this blog, Die Linke, the Parti de Gauche, the Workers Party (Ireland), Respect, the CPB, etc.?

    We could all achieve so much more together than just writing on blogs.

    Comment by An appeal for unity — 30 December, 2009 @ 2:57 pm ”

    Talking of Stalinists and totalitarians, we must never forget the Graun’s resident public school stalinist Seumas “Posh Boy” Milne who has a typically revolting column today

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/dec/29/decade-global-crimes-crucial-advances

    which for some reason doesn’t mention Iran alongside China, Russia and the Iraqi and Afghani “resistance” in its list of progressive world forces… but we know where “Posh Boy” stands from his comments back in June:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/18/iran-elections-us-foreign-policy

    I especially like the public school educated Posh Boy’s sneering at the “gilded youth” of the Iranian reform movement…

  7. maxdunbar said,

    Read Dave Osler’s piece – he’s good on the idea that Iran’s people should put up with being shot in the street, tortured, hanged etc as long as the welfare payments keep coming.

    http://www.davidosler.com/2009/12/ahmadinejads_mature_democracy.html

    ‘When Newman notes that ‘general subsidies have been a big part of the welfare state in post-revolution Iran’, risibly painting Ahmadinejad as some kind of Persian Polly Toynbee, he forgets that all modern states have some kind of welfare element. He might as well maintain that Hitler operated a pretty neat job creation programme, and offered soft loans to unusually fecund German mothers.’

  8. maxdunbar said,

    Also, Chris from HOPI tears Andy apart in the SU thread.

    This is just essential reading.

    http://www.socialistunity.com/?p=5051#comment-172830

    There are some so many errors in this article.

    Your biggest mistake is seeing Ahmadinejad and the militarist faction as somehow maintaining welfare and state control over important industries. Ahmadinejad’s populist slogans which gained him support from the poor and rural population were hollow. He has continued and quickened the pace of privatisation and the creation of temporary contracts and jobs. “In early September 2006, Mahmoud Jahromi, Iran’s Minister for Labour and Social Affairs, declared that currently 65 per cent of Iranian workers are on contracts, and that if those working in the construction and transport sector were included that the figure rises to 85 per cent. Ominously for Iran’s workers, in the same interview he predicted that over the next two to four years all workers in Iran would be put on contracts.” This quote is from a study on how the governments policies are affecting workers at Iran Khodro and the working class in general in Iran, it was written by David Mather, Yassamine Mather and Majid Tamjidi and was printed in Critique Journal but can be accessed here: ‘Making Cars in Iran: Working for Iran Khodro’ : http://www.critiquejournal.net/carsiran.pdf Apart from Hand Off the People of Iran’s (HOPI: http://www.hopoi.org) extensive coverage of workers statements and struggles, the IMT affiliated Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network (IWSN: http://www.iwsn.org) has excellent English language coverage of workers struggles in Iran. These struggles always become a political struggle, whether it is over the non-payment of wages or arbitary changes in contracts. It is also wrong to think that Mousavi would abolish the limited welfare provision that exists in Iran anymore than Ahmadinejad would, as if the mass movement that has been sparked because of the fraudulent elections would give up on the minor welfare policies that exist.

    The working class and the poor in Iran, on the whole do not support the government of Ahmadinejad, and if you were in any doubt you just need to wonder whether the upper and middle classes of Iran are millions strong? Because millions, possibly up to 6 million in Tehran alone have been on the streets at major demonstrations over the last few months. I would also question whether we should be up for trading freedom of association, press, assembly etc for small welfare provisions?

    Your article also misses completely the processes that were unleashed by June protests, we have gone from a movement that was simply calling for a re-run or inquiry into the elections to a mass movement against the Islamic Republic itself. It is also an error to say that the green movement wants to open the door to the imperialists, one of the most common slogans at the demonstrations is ‘Independence, freedom, Iranian Republic’. You should note Independence means an independent state not controlled by the Imperialists. What is left of the organised working class in Iran has supported the protest movement whilst criticising Mousavi et al and writing unequivocal anti imperialist statements.

    The greatest threat to the restoration of Iran as a client state is the crushing of this movement and the democratic aspirations of working class and majority of the population. The Islamic Republic is not a consistent anti-imperialist force, it welcomed and cheered on the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and does anyone remember the Iran-Contra affair? The only consistent and reliable anti-imperialist force is on the streets of Tehran, it is the working class, that is who we must support not the clerical hierarchy. This is not a colour revolution. There is no “win-win” situation for the majority of Iranians unless the entire regime is overthrown.

    Another error Andy makes is on military support for Ahmadinejad and the government. Over the last few weeks the military and security forces have begun to crack and fracture. On December 7 soldiers at Qom airbase and other smaller garrisons protested in solidarity with demonstrations taking place on National Students’ Day, in the recent protests the first division of the special forces refused orders to shoot protestors and many police refused to attack protestors, taking drinking water from them. And to top all of this off sections of the army have stated that they will not participate in the crushing of the protest movement if ordered to by Khamanei.

    Andy is also wrong on whether Israel can hit Iran’s nuclear sites without US support, Israel has recently carried out refuelling and long distance manouveres, which was successful. Haaretz looked at the chance of success if military action was pursued by Israel alone: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1085619.html

    Now, what kind of socialist would call Iran a democracy, let alone a ‘mature democracy’? Maybe the widows of the thousands and thousands of murdered communists, trade unionists, social democrats, gays, bisexuals, lesbians and trans people should be comforted that their family members were killed by a ‘mature democracy’. You should rename your blog Andy, you are no socialist. Marxists would also defend a mass movement for the widening of democracy whether Ahmadinejad won the election or not, surely moves to undermine the oppressive apparatus that exists and invades all areas of Iranian peoples lives is positive?

    The tasks at hand for the movement in the UK are very clear. It is of the utmost importance that the anti-war movement takes on a serious campaign against sanctions, HOPI launched the only national campaign against sanctions that could be taken up by STW and others, we must win the argument that sanctions are not a soft option but are stepping stones to military action and they destroy working class struggle through impoverishing the masses. An attack on Iran is on the cards in the next 12 months, just like the mass murder in Gaza, it may come when we are not expecting it. Alongside our primary anti-imperialist tasks we have to support, investigate and at times critique the mass movement and its tendencies in Iran. This means publishing the statements and stories from our comrades, raising money for workers organisations and socialist organisations.

    Andy, what you have written is ill-informed. We have written extensively on the movement, what is actually happening on the ground and how imperialist threats and sanctions impact on the mass movement. You should have a look at these articles:

    27 December: Iran’s bloody Sunday: http://hopoi.org/?p=933
    Fighting over the corpse: http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/798/fightingover.php
    Student protests accelerate regimes collapse: http://hopoi.org/?p=850
    Show trials and apologetics: http://hopoi.org/?p=594
    The Iranian elections and the crisis: http://hopoi.org/?page_id=31
    Facts on Mir-Hossein Moussavi: http://hopoi.org/?page_id=38

  9. Jenny said,

    This was just posted in the lenin’s tomb comments:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HC14Ak04.html

    Considering this was from a “special correspondent”, I have doubts of its legitmacy.

  10. maxdunbar said,

    And another thing.

    When it comes to the Glorious Resistance of Iraq – the Ba’athist/Al-Qaeda faction who kill civilians, aid workers, trade unionists, and blow up mosques – Andy’s crowd say things like ‘we cannot afford to be choosy’ and ‘by any means necessary’.

    When it comes to the pro-democracy protestors in Iran, the response is more qualified and lukewarm: ‘In so far as the Iranians protesting on the streets wish to remove the more oppressive aspects of Iranian society yip yip yip’

  11. Sarah B said,

    @Jim – the comment you quote is a joke (“Isn’t it about time for a new international of progressive parties and organisations led by countries such as Iran, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Zimbabwe, and with supporters e.g. from this blog, Die Linke, the Parti de Gauche, the Workers Party (Ireland), Respect, the CPB, etc.?). It was discussed on HP and the joker owned up.

  12. johng said,

    Stalinism without Stalinism, is entirely my own invention and borrowed from anywhere.

  13. Rosie said,

    Johng – is there a “not” missing in your last comment? Or have you taken up some form of Dadaism?

  14. entdinglichung said,

    from http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/06/selling-iran-ahmadinejad-privatization-and-a-bus-diver-who-said-no/

    “The IMF has hailed this process describing Iran in a 2007 position paper as, “Managing the Transition to a Market Economy.” The Fund has had a constant presence in the country since 1945, surviving even the turbulent 1979 Islamic Revolution. IMF officials have employed the usual equation of debt and technical assistance to enforce their pro-market agenda. The next phase, according to IMF planners, of market transition is to “curb the growth of internal demand” through the reduction of state subsidies. Ahmadinejad’s Central Bank appointee, Al-din Hosseini, indicated a shared sentiment, “The government plans to implement a strategy that involves significant reforms, the most important of which is the reform aimed at better subsidy system” (IMF Meeting, 10/13/08).”

    also good: Azad Khayani: Iran : l’homme de Dieu et des privatisations

    Marg Bar Jomhuriye Eslami!

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