lundi 22 juin 2009


There are experts out there but a lot of us are pretty much in the same place when it comes to Iran - a foggy situation where things are often not what they seem (the BBC fake footage, the Nada killers), a country about which we do not know a great deal but about which it seems clear that some American plan appears to be being played out.
Three points that stick out -
1. Who to support. You've got to bear the crushingly obvious with repect to this. Over in the comments box at LT for instance there's been an extraordinary amount of traffic and theoretical analysing of who the left should support. But what on earth does 'support' mean here - logistical support, air support or just millions of working class organised into militias? It's academic and theoretical support that is 'at stake' - important enough but let's not think that our posistion towards the tumultuous events in Tehran and throughout the rest of the country actually have any material impact. Secondly - the left is stuck between two unpleasant options - if the idea of support means anything - giving (theoretical etc.) succour to an incumbent regime that, face it, is not ideologically to our tastes, yet enjoys significant working class support in Iran or being accused of 'US stoogism'. Then, there is the religious aspect to this and the anti-semitic nature of the regime (the willful misrepresentation of Ahmadinejad's 'wipe Israel of the map' remarks notwithstanding) which all count against 'us' defending the regime. (Imagine these verbs actually being required of you in a proper material sense - weapons, orders and flinging yourself against hordes of US you support the Iranian government now?!) Then again - taking this either/or predicament at face value for the moment - who would want to support the anti-government forces of Mousavi, that butcher of the left and obvious US sock puppet - but someone who has mustered popular support that has taken to the streets and has physicaly confronted a less than wholly democratic government.
The 'a curse on both your houses' approach is a comforting one but bourgeois - in the end one need not support the regime wholeheartedly but one can manifestly oppose the clear and present Western interference in Iranian internal affairs and resolutely stand up against any military option. That has to be opposed and not just with puny million strong days out in London - but this time with active, disruptive and violent measures. A military strike against Iran would signal a declaration of war on all working class people in the world, in the current international economic and political circumstances.
2. The elections - it is far from clear whether there was a significant amount of voter irregularities in the elections. It was certainly less obvious and meaningful than the stolen elections of the US. So if in doubt in a conversation about who to support it does well to think of it in those terms - just who is using (cardboard) democracy-ideas to stir up instability when closer to home those same 'cherished' democractic values are flushed away. Another point is that the 'revolt' itself is made up mainly of middle class element "It is no secret that many of the demonstrators come from the upper middle class, for whom the priority is not primarily democracy (and certainly not social justice), but the extension of their social privileges, which are currently restricted by the clerical regime." Further, where was the similar media outrage, forensic coverage and calls for action when bloody Israel was murdering Palestinians?
Finally - 3. Learn from the chaos - it will be visiting you any time soon..........