Thursday, December 30, 2004

Iranian bloggers torture

From time to time I don't scan Instapundit before I surf. I know that one mention from him will insure plenty of coverage for the link, so anything I might add is of no importance. Besides I don't care to be in a "me, too" chorus. Instapundit is big and the posts are fairly short. It is likely that a good many people who read Glenn Reynolds faithfully will miss or skip over items that don't personally connect.

In this case, though I will add my two cents. I'm referring to the importance and mistreatment of Iranian bloggers. Jeff Jarvis, always on top of anything technological and someone with a very long shadow, says "spread the word" about the mistreatment of Iranian bloggers. That is what I am doing. Like many others I have blogged about this several times, so this is old news, but every time another piece of the story surfaces, it needs to be publicized as much as possible.

The political will of any population is like an amoeba, forever changing shape. That is true of the American political will, I know. After the WTC attack I watched helplessly as our leadership deliberately and successfully seized the moment to direct the American political will, aiming it first at Afghanistan, then to Iraq, successfully coupling Saddam Hussein, a secular dictator, with Osama Bin Laden, a radical religious fundamentalist. These two natural enemies of each other have been so completely bundled together as one that the average man on the street in America will tell you that they are practically brothers, that together they represent the same kind of evil and the reason that we are fighting a war in Iraq is to defeat them.

Never mind that one is in custody, his country in a shambles, and the other is in hiding (where we cannot find him) with his political and organizational influence emasculated. Those current facts are now lost in some ambitious military effort to...I'm not sure what. Whenever the current "mission is accomplished" celebrates a bulls-eye, another red blanket is waved at the bull, a lot of cloudy murmuring is started about security and threats and enemies, and we are off in another direction with a chip on the shoulder, itching for the next opportunity to take out another threat. Political will is not as mysterious as one would imagine in the hands of skillful leaders.

Whatever might be the shape of an Iranian political will remains a mystery to me. I sense that a critical mass has been building for some time that will result in a political upheaval, with the forces of modernity, technology and freedom challenging the tightly controlled, theocratic stripe of Islamic fundamentalism that runs Iran. It is important to remember, however, that the same kind of man-in-the-street ignorance prevails there as it does all over the world. At this point, there is likely no more interest in issues there as outside Iran. It is naive to think otherwise.

The case of Sina Motellebi exemplifies how pressure from the international community can result in a change in policy, however small, in Iran. I have not taken time to put together a bunch of hyperlinks in this post, because my time is limited. But I urge the reader to take the Jarvis link as a starting point, google the name Sina Motellebi, do some personal research and get on board with raising awareness of the Iranian political situation in general and the Iranian blogging community in particular.

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