Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The aggrieved

A reader has been good enough to have offered anonymously a poignant and sardonic objection to my defence of Mr. Ganji which I though particularly instructive to ponder over—this especially for those outsiders who continue to pay lip service to the tragic if only to pursue their own political ambitions more unencumbered.

So in the following heartfelt protest we have what may be fairly characterised as variation on the themes of the Oresteia and Antigone all rolled in one:

“I cannot take this anymore, so here I go ... I am coming out of the closet ..... Yes I am one of those who does not give hoot about Ganji.

I am going to just compare him with my own brother and his situation; barley out of his teen when he got arrested, for months nobody knew where he was and when we finally saw him his own mother could not recognize him. He could barley walk but
the first thing that he said was that the others have it worse. Got a 10 years sentence and spent over 8 years of it all over the place but mostly in hotel Evin and finally was hung in Gohardashet. His body was got dumped in a shallow mass grave somewhere in "Lanat Abad” and as they say got eaten by animals. No petition and call to UN and asking for mercy.

Now let’s look at Ganji.

As we all know he was part of the murderous Revolutionary Guards all that time and for all I know he could be one of the people who arrested my brother, tortured him, broke in to my house, disrespected my family, caused it to broke apart and tortured my mother for over eight years and finally broke her heart that she never recovered. For all I know he could be the same person who pulled the rope and let my brother dance in the air. For all I know he could be the guy who heard his neck snapped and broke, for all I know he could be the one who dumped his lifeless and broken body in a ditch.

After spending over eight years in prison all we have from him is a handful of heavily censored and blacked out letters, no pictures (propped and from
every angel) or any long ass manifesto full of I I I I and ME ME ME. ( read the same crappy quotes that you have from him, how many I's and me's?)

So, if Ganji is the one as described above, I hope I get to him one day and I am not talking about truth and reconciliation commission here, and if he is not the one.....well your hero, the one that makes you blush, the one that stayed with RG during and past the summer of 88 is still a piece of shit that as soon as he gets a chance will try to shove his stupid god and religion down everyone's ass.

So, damn him, damn his religion and damn his cause which is nothing more than making a hero out of himself.

So, I am out of the closet now.

I am grateful for the personal perspective because such stories are important to tell, retell and to remember regardless of our political disagreements. Revolutionary upheavals take a brutal toll on all involved and the Iranian revolution has been no exception. It has devoured some of our bravest, most dedicated and idealistic youths.

The ones who did their best under difficult circumstances with little or no experience and with the hand that were dealt them; those audacious enough to have fought for what they believed in at the time. None who lived through the period have gone unfazed given those unsettling years.

In one sense, it is terribly difficult to argue with the man. What is there to say that would appease or sooth him? It is particularly difficult since the fundamentals of his quarrel with this murderous Islamic Regime are also mine.

If he had been a tad less enraged or even a more careful, thoughtful reader, he might have noticed some of the difficult subtleties involved.

For those of you, though, who have been reading this blog for a while, the themes, events and places he alludes to are easy to recognize.

They are what lie at the root of most of what has been written here, as well as the reasons for those omnipresent references to some ancient texts. Those earlier years of intense brutalities-- which in certain sense has never ceased--of the civil war, war and regime consolidation-- -were formative events for many and what is narrated by our commenter naturally constitute the core of almost every one of the many obsessions you have seen me struggle with for the past 2 years.

There have been haunting pictures we have lived with posted in this blog. We talked about the curse. I have told you about what is called La’nat Abad (the Precinct of the Damned) and the need for the respectful handling of the bodies of the fallen—especially those of the “enemy”. You have seen insistence upon proper burial for the dead. Essential, it has been argued, to the core of the very definition of our humanity, and having to do with respecting the solemnity of Death itself.

And naturally also the source of many warnings against the repulsive practices of defiling corpses and the dangers posed to the very foundations of a given society by the rhetoric involving (muslim) corpses and pigs.

The evens that recently have become more popularly known as the Summer of 88 have also been featured in this blog. And alas, even those repeated “jeremiads” against torture and the protests against extracting forced confessions themselves have been motivated primarily by the events the man so mournfully reminds us of.

So, yes, it is difficult to quarrel with the man because this Islamic regime has a despicable history that must not be forgotten. A recent report by the Human Rights Watch has reminded us yet again of the responsibility of some of the leading figures of this regime for those barbarities that has so battered and bruised so many over the years.

And one way or another, there must be justice.

But a quarrel we must now have with this man.

Assuming that Iran or many of us even survive the reckless gamble of this reigning imbecility coupled with the frenzy that is being whipped by the likes of our illustrious thug-in-a-tie with pretensions to decorum, aided by some of his more bigoted disciples, the shape of the society that shall emerge does depend primarily on the outcome of some much too persistently avoided soul searching.

So, we’ll be focusing on the man’s note more carefully in the next few posts here. What we are after is to show more clearly the outlines of an attitude that has been amplified in the note due to his anguish; although, it should best be approached as a culturally determined outlook on life that constitutes one of the most difficult-to-overcome impediments to the emergence of a saner, more humane polity in Iran today.

I will argue that behind this seemingly radical and uncompromising attitude lies a not-so-thought-through habit that is not only deeply debilitating politically, but also most instrumental in perpetuating the destructive rule of the Islamic regime.

It is, indeed, this attitude itself that has left the society susceptible to the lure of the likes of Mr. Carl Schmitt. In retrospect, it was simply a matter of time--as if a match made in the heavens finally came to bear its most mature monster.

And ultimately, I will argue that unless this attitude is dealt with and checked, Iran will remain the pathetically dysfunctional society that it has always been no matter how often there are bloody regime changes or reform movements--from above or from below.

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