The Actor and The Mullahs
Written by Wesley Yang, the article is about the French philosopher Michel Foucault,who, in 1978, "went to Iran as a novice journalist to report on the unfolding revolution. His dispatches — now fully available in translation — shed some light on the illusions of intellectuals in our own time."
Considering that Sean Penn, fuckwit turned journalist, is now in Tehran to cover the "election" for the San Francisco Chronicle, and that he and the Hollywood fuckwits he hangs out with have a propensity for supporting dictators, such as Castro, Saddam and now the Mullahs of Iran, the article seemed rather timely and relevant. Here are some excerpts:
There is a long tradition of Western intellectuals going abroad to sing the praises of revolutionaries in distant lands and finding in them the realization of their own intellectual hopes.
But the irony of Foucault's embrace of the Iranian Revolution was that the earlier intellectuals who had sung hymns to tyrants tended to share a set of beliefs in the kind of absolutes — Marxism, humanism, rationality — that Foucault had made it his life's work to overturn.
Anderson says that the debate over these 25- year-old writings has relevance when some leftists focus more energy on criticizing an administration they scorn than on speaking against a radical Islamist movement that also violates all their cherished ideals.
"It's not that radical Islamism is getting a pass from Western progressives and liberals, but it is the case that many are not being critical enough," says Anderson. When certain polemicists are spreading simplistic ideas about "Islamo-Fascism," he continues, "there's a tendency to say that this isn't so. But the fact is that while radical Islamism has many features and faces, everywhere it is antifeminist, everywhere it is authoritarian, and everywhere it is intolerant of other religions and other interpretations of Islam."
A recent article in the New York Sun talked about bombings that occurred this week in Iran, killing 8 people. The mullahs are trying to convince the world that the bombings are the work of "separatists".
A New York-based Iranian activist, Banafsheh Zand Bonazzi, said yesterday that she suspected the bombings were the work of the regime, with the goal of vilifying opposition movements and America. "The mullahs are using this to get regular Iranians to think the opposition is in favor of separatism," she said. "They are trying to vilify the regular anti-regime activists. The nature of the Iranian movement has never been about violence or terrorism or physical confrontation. This is why the activists have engaged in civil disobedience."
Banafsheh Zand Bonazzi and her husband Elio are both writers, activists and Middle East Pundits. I am privileged to call them both my friends. Banafsseh's dad is the father of Iranian cinema, and until recently, was a political prisoner in Iran.
In a soon to be published article for Front Page they posit some interesting questions and food for thought:
How come Mr. Penn did not show interest or was not approached by Global Exchange to visit Iran while the University Student massacres of 1999 was taking place and how come he wasn’t sent over when Iranian intellectuals, artists, filmmakers, journalists, etc. were being assassinated and when our women were being sold in advertised sex-slave auctions in the Persian Gulf nations?
(Apparently Global Exchange had the audacity to respond that they only organized trips to Iran for people who just observe)
Observe??!! We don’t need observers with a political agenda and hardcore chips on their shoulders against their own societies, to come into to our ravaged country to interpret the nature of our struggle! Our people get NO attention from the world media no matter how much we demonstrate our misery and what little media coverage Iran gets is riddled with the ignominious interpretations of western journalists that seriously downplay our reality to fit into their own ideological piegeonhole; the Iranian journalists who are writing for foreign press have to curb the truth so that they are not dragged of to prison… What little press Iran does get, now has to be taken over by Mr. Penn…who wants to use the backdrop of the jumble that is Iran as yet another forgettable photo op.
Today Mr. Penn, another “novice” journalist with an agenda that’s entirely irrelevant to the reality of Iran and Iranians, is visiting Iran in a crucial moment. The last few weeks have seen an acceleration of anti-regime activities, mostly unreported by Western mainstream media.
Last week alone, prominent journalist dissident and one of the emerging leaders of the movement against the regime, Akbar Ganji, who is a political prisoner and like many other prisoners was released for a week on a medical furlough went missing; two thousand people chained themselves to the gates of his house and this went unreported by the western media. He has spent 5 years in prison for linking senior figures in the regime to the killings of journalists and intellectuals that occurred in the late 1990s.
Women’s groups lead by the beloved poetess Simin Behbahani (who is now also emerging as one of the leaders of the anti-regime movement) gathered in front of the Tehran University to protest gender apartheid and the violation of Woman and Human Rights in Iran, while denouncing the bogus National Elections that Mr. Penn is to cover for the San Francisco Chronicle.
The goal of left-wing radical groups like ANSWER and Global Exchange is to legitimize the elections in Iran as popular and fair, and to condemn the support for the anti-regime movement given by President Bush and his administration as yet another imperial attempt to expand American influence at the expense of an elected government.
Iranian bloggers and student leaders inside Iran, however, have informed us that in spite of any agenda, Mr. Penn’s presence in Iran is having the unwanted (for the actor and Global Exchange) effect of galvanizing the youth in its stance against the Mullahs. If a movie star of the caliber of Sean Penn is in Iran, the young Iranians say, this means that Iran is important, and the eyes of the world are on Tehran. This is a great chance to let the world know how despised are the ruling clerics. We can indeed expect a more frantic activity organized by the opposition movement between now and the day of the elections, even if such anti-regime endeavor won’t be reported by Mr. Penn.
As the wonderful Iranian writer, Afshin Molavi wrote in his Open Democracy blog entry on Saturday: “I wonder how Sean Penn will see things. Will he honestly portray what he sees? Or will he be blinded by his hatred of President George W. Bush to fall into the trap many a good leftist falls into: defending the Islamic Republic to take a jab at Bush. Progressives in America consistently fail to side with the forces for democracy in Iran because it might just seem too, well, Wolfowitzian or, worse, Rumsfeldian.”
In another interview, Banafsheh makes another extremely important point:
The Islamist establishment that unfortunately today governs that country is not interested in making the best possible deal with the West. It's only interest is in the destruction of the infidels and their corrupt.
I hope that Sean and his gang of terrorist supporting, dictator loving Hollywood fuckwits, the MSM elites, and all those on the LEFT, are paying attention to what the Iranian people want: FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY. Sitting down and making nicey nicey with Mullahs hellbent on destroying the infidels, which include Sean Penn and the above mentioned fuckwits, will NOT WORK. Thinking you can shake hands with terrorists and come to some kind of rational compromise speaks to the "lefts" unabashed ignorance.
Maybe the collective voices of Iranian women protesting AGAINST their subjugation by the MULLAHS, will finally break through the ignorant, myopic, cognitive dissonance that exists in the Hollywood intelligentsia, the MSM elites, and the left wing pseudo intellectual self appointed "progressives".