Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The summer of 88

“He thinks of his parents and the friends he never sees.

He dreams of his beautiful country with its high mountains, forests, rivers and deserts.

Most of the time, he prefers not to think, not to dream.

"I cannot continue on living if I remember," he explains. "But, if I do, I want it to be useful, I need to bear witness for those who have died.

"This is my second life — a life I shouldn't have. I feel I was given this second life to tell the whole world what happened in Iran in the summer of 1988."”

Read the rest of Veronique Mistiaen’s chilling tale of what happened in Iranian jails as witnessed by Payam. (Link via Payvand.com)

And for those of us inclined to think nothing of this because of the victims’ political views, it helps to remember the “surreal”—if, in retrospect, somewhat natural— alliances of those years.

Some were busy being supportive of the Iranian regime’s intransigent continuation of its war efforts disguised as a defense of God, Islam and Country.

Others were Saddam’s best friends having made a killing from the sale of so many types of chemicals and other conventions weapons while also content to “promote Democracy” by strengthening all the Arab “Freedom Fighters!”

The other great political divides back then in Iran were the issues of the rights of national minorities-- in particular the riddle of the “Kurdish question”; civil liberties; the rights (if any) of women, students, workers and prisoners, and the relationship between religion and the state. These questions determined how anyone would be categorized.

“You just don’t get it, do you?” was the retort of choice that summer. That and the omnipresent charges of “naiveté,” and “idealism.”

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