Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Archive: June, 2009

POSTED: Friday, June 26, 2009, 10:45 AM

Yesterday I did an interview on Iranian women's role in the current upheaval with Mary Glenney who hosts a radio program dealing with women's issues on WMNF-FM in Tampa, Florida. I just wrote a column on this subject on Friday.

I promised that I would post the website for the remarkeable One Million Signatures campaign which hundreds of women have been conducting in Iran since 2007 in an effort to press their parliament to revise laws that discriminate against women. Many of their leaders had been jailed even before the current revolt, but they are bound to have been inspired to fight on as they watched the central role of women in the last few weeks. The current regime may try to ignores that fact, but it will continue to haunt them. 

The website is:http://www.we-change.org/english/ and I suggest that you watch the short video that describes the women's efforts. It should inspire an international campaign by women's groups in support of greater rights for Iranian women, no matter who is in power.

POSTED: Friday, June 26, 2009, 10:35 AM

  Iran has been mounting a bizarre campaign of agitprop, trying to cast the blame for death of the 26-year-old student, Neda Agha-Sultan, on a foreign hand.

   Horrific scenes Neda's death, filmed by a cell-phone camera, have spread round the world by YouTube, and she has become the icon of Iranians' struggle for justice.  Fearful of her power in death, Iranian officials and state-run media have accused: a banned (cultish) opposition group of exiles, known as the MEK, a BBC correspondent who was deported (I kid you not), and, of course, the CIA, for her killing. The latest regime version, put out today, is that one of the opposition demonstrators shot her down.

   The fact that the regime keeps putting out different stories shows how nervous it is about her legacy. Iranian officials have forbidden her family to hold a memorial service, and there are reports they have kicked her family out of its apartment.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 8:21 PM

Jonathan Tannenwald @ 8:21 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, June 21, 2009, 1:41 PM

Will those, like Sen. John McCain, who continue to compare Iran's upheaval to the 1989 uprisings in Eastern Europe, please read some history.

There is no comparison between the two cases. Eastern European dissidents were wholly and unabashedly pro-American, and called for US support. And they were united among themselves in wanting to throw off the domination of their country by an outside power - the Soviet Union. 

Iranian opposition leaders ARE NOT calling for US support, because they know it could be fatal, and would not help them in their efforts. Most of them are nationalists who would reject any Western interference. The leaders of the opposition are part of the governing elite who want change, not revolution.

POSTED: Friday, June 19, 2009, 12:11 PM

   One of the more startling commentaries on what Obama should do about Iran has come from Paul Wolfowitz, former Deputy Secretary of Defense under Donald Rumsfeld.

    Wolfowitz was a prime architect of the Iraq war, believing democracy would come easilly to that country. In Nov. 2002 he told me in an interview that post-Saddam Iraq (following our ouster of the dictator) would be like post-liberation (World War II) France. In other words, a DeGaulle figure - in this case Wolfowitz' friend Ahmed Chalabi, would return to Baghdad, as DeGaulle returned to France after liberation, and would be welcomed by millions en route. Then Chalabi/DeGaulle  would establish democracy and the Americans could go home.

     This stunning lack of comprehension about Iraq's history, culture and politics, should make Wolfowitz modest about prescribing policy for Iran. But no, this time he compares Iran to the Philippines, where US backing for people power helped oust Ferdinand Marcos.

POSTED: Thursday, June 18, 2009, 5:53 PM

I've gotten criticism from two directions on my Wednesday column in which I said that - even though the Iranian election s was stolen -the United States should not publicly endorse the Iranian opposition.

Some question whether the election was really stolen. Several emailers referred to a Washington Post op-ed which cited a poll claiming President Ahmadinejad had a 2-1 lead over challenger Mir Hossein Musavi.

Here's my reply: The Ballen-Doherty poll was taken three weeks-one month before the election, when Musavi had just announced as a candidate (Iran election periods are short). His entire momentum built after the poll was completed.

Moreover, many questions have been raised about that poll since the WashPost piece appeared; more than half the respondents failed to identify their favorite candidate for the pollsters.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 2:02 PM

     Those of you who are as mesmerized as I am by ongoing developments in Iran, probably know that the best way to get fresh news right now is via Iranian citizen submissions to Twitter and YouTube.

     Foreign journalists have been kicked out or banned from covering street demos, and the regime is trying to crack down on internet, twitter, websites, etc., but film clips and info is getting through. Much of it isn't confirmed, but you can get a sense of what's going on.

      I'm listing below some of the best web sites I've found that are compiling clips, emails, tweets, and other info emerging hourly:

About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. Over the past decade she has made multiple trips to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Israel and the West Bank and also written from Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and China. She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter