Archive for September 11th, 2009
From the London Times, reports of the torture and beatings of many protesters:
Ardeshir — not his real name — is one of scores, perhaps hundreds, of detainees who have been raped and tortured by their jailers in the past three months in what appears to be a systematic attempt to break their will. Mehdi Karoubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, the defeated presidential candidates, accused a regime, which claims to champion Islamic values, of raping opposition supporters.
Times continue to be tough for those seeking reform, as reported by Dr. Fatemeh Keshavarz of Windows on Iran. The battles include cyber-battles, as reported by Dr. Keshavarz, who provided this information in a mass emailing to which I subscribe:
All signs point to the fact that difficult – and decisive – days may be ahead in Iran. But the good news first. For years, Iranians who are ranked as number four bloggers in the world, have been prevented from visiting the sites that the Iranian government has considered containing information contrary to its interests and filtered. Those who devised creative ways to break the filter and get into such sites, are usually in danger of being found and subjected to jail and other punishments. What is most amazing is that the Iranian government considers the existence of undesirable websites as “foreign interference” in its internal affairs.
But there is also some good news of a new work-around to avoid detection and capture (and, often, torture):
Well, this state of affairs may have been ended once and for all. Using Google, an Iranian by the name Mehdi Saharkhiz has come up with an internet tool which he has called the “Green Machine.” The Green Machine! Good News for the Greens in Iran
Here is the site that gives you instruction for downloading the Green Machine. According to Mr. Mousavi’s facebook, after you download the Green Machine, you can visit any website – filtered or otherwise – without being detected.
Comparisons of the disaster of 9/11 to Pearl Harbor break down in the aftermath. What I remember is getting a phone call from my wife to turn on the news, any news, and then seeing the images on CNN. I then called several people, including some on the west coast, early as it was.
It was a binding experience.
Then the silence of the skies for next few days. All planes grounded. We don’t pay attention to all that background noise until it disappears.
And I remember wanting to strike back.
But at who?
I am not a reflex pacifist. I do not believe in turning the other cheek as an automatic gesture. The world, in the aggregate, does not yield to such gestures until much blood is spent, and disgust comes to the aid of the peaceful intent. Strike at me, hurt my family and friends, threaten my home, I have no compunction about the use of violence.
But not thoughtless lashing out, flailing, blind retaliation. That does less good than the habitual use of peaceful surrender. If we were to find these people, we needed to be smart about it, and move carefully. When caught, punishment must be determined accordingly.
That was not to be. I watched our so-called leaders turn this event into a justification for major abuse globally. The sympathy we had from the entire world evaporated as the United States began stomping around acting like a pissed off child whose lunch money had been taken by a bully. But we were not small and weak, so embracing the automatic response of schoolyard tactics resulted in calamity. I was horrified by the unfolding nightmare of the Bush years, all done supposedly in my name as a citizen.