Thursday, September 01, 2016

Iran Election Diary

Chomsky On The Iran Protests

Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
U.S. linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky spoke to RFE/RL's Radio Farda on July 24 about the postelection unrest in Iran. A couple of choice quotes:

"There was an expectation that this election would somehow be different and there would be opportunities for change, which certainly a substantial part of the population wants. And those hopes were dashed. The election results, both the manner in which they were presented and the numbers that came out, really lacked credibility and many people thought they were inaccurate, so they rose in protest. But to predict such protests has never been possible, too many factors are involved. Nobody I know predicted it in this case."

"Putting aside the details of the election, about which we don't know much, the whole structure of the regime is oppressive and authoritarian, and undermines basic civil and other human rights. Protest against it is not only honorable but courageous, because it faces extreme violence."

Tags: chomsky,Iran

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Comment Sorting
by: Pakzad from: Paris
July 26, 2009 01:16
Your analysis is right. The Iranian peopl has a historic appointment with the DEMOCRCY but, during 179 years, never the victory ha come... This time we, all of us, must success because a new world will be his issue.

by: Catherine Fitzpatrick from: New York
July 26, 2009 20:48
Up until now, when Chomsky has talked about Iran, it's to rage about &quot;American imperialism&quot; and &quot;Zionism&quot; on the nuclear issue:<br /><br /><br /><br />So suddenly, he's discovered democracy and human rights as problems? Perhaps he'll connect up the dots to the lack of those, and the inability to trust a regime with nuclear aspirations.<br /><br />I've been trying to understand for awhile why it is that the American hard left, which is quintessentially represented by Chomsky, has taken up the latest Iranian students' cause. For years they blandly ignored human rights conditions in Iran, because that would involve admitting that in fact things eventually got worse after the Shah, which they were happy to see toppled. Awful things went on for years, thousands of people jailed, killed, and assassinated abroad, never enlisting much comment from types like Chomsky, because they were busy trying to show the Iranian government as a &quot;victim&quot; of the U.S. and Israel. So often, regimes with the same kind of oppression never elicit their protest, as they prefer to take out microscopes to look only at the U.S. and Israel and see them as the &quot;root of all evil&quot;.<br /><br />So...what's up? And I can only conclude that in the Iranian protesters, the left sees some sort of 'third-way' politics of the sort that says &quot;a plague on both your houses,&quot; and also sees that the people in this revolution have been critical of the U.S. and some don't seem to have any different opinion about Israel than the existing ayatollahs. Some Iranian bloggers have even falsely incited the idea that criticizing the regime for repression too much will &quot;play into the hands of American hostility,&quot; although...they can't really point to any real American hostility lately, except for what is legitimately the concern of the entire UN Security Council.<br /><br />I'm waiting to see how this pans out. For the first time, a hugely repressive regime that liberal human rights activists and democracy promoters have criticized for years has now also captured the attention of the highly-mobilized hard left, which usually sees everything only in ideological economic terms, and not through the concept of human rights liberalism. Will that help change things? Is it merely a temporary expediency? And how will it play out? I guess I remain skeptical about people who have newly acquired a conscience about tyranny only when it suits their aim to score larger hate-America and hate-Israel point..<br /><br />Some discussion on the issues of how bloggers v. journalists cover the problem of those who are said to be collaborating with the regime:<br /><br /><br /><br />My thoughts:<br />

by: Ken Fanning from: Florence, SC, USA
July 28, 2009 13:45
Noam Chomsky is a well known willing dupe and fellow traveler. Ms. Fitzpatrick has him pegged correctly as someone who wants to put his thumb in everbody's eye. RFERL would serve all concerned parties to ignore his comments and not give him a pulpit . . . unless he talking about a subject he knows something about, such as language.

About This Diary

Controversy continues to swirl around Iran's June 12 presidential election. Three candidates, all current or former senior officials, were looking to unseat incumbent Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who was deemed the outright winner within hours of the polls closing. RFE/RL correspondents follow the Iranian public's saga through dispatches of their own, as well as by highlighting some of the viewpoints emerging from Iran through Facebook, Twitter, and other online resources (in orange).

RFE/RL In Persian