A Philosopher's Blog

Death in Iran

Posted in Politics by Michael LaBossiere on June 25, 2009
Neda's photo - June 20 Iran election protest i...
Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

The state run news has acknowledged that people are being killed in Iran, and the best known of these is Neda AghaSoltan. The current official line is that she was shot by mistake. According to a CNN report, it has been claimed that “the marksmen had mistaken her for the sister of one of the Monafeghin who had been executed in the Province of Mazandaran some time ago.”

This explanation is hardly reassuring. Even if it is true, this would indicate that the government has authorized street executions. Neda was shot even though she was unarmed and not involved in any threatening behavior. This certainly suggests that the marksman was told to kill the sister of the executed Monafeghin on sight rather than apprehend her. This is rather worrisome. After all, women in Iran are required to cover themselves, thus making recognizing individual women more difficult. Perhaps other women have been murdered in the streets simply because they happen to look like someone else the government wants to kill.

It is also possible that the sniper shot was a terror tactic. After all, one way to “persuade” people to stay of the streets is to randomly shoot people who go out. Doing so is not as costly as mowing people down in large numbers and can be quite effective. Of course, the obvious risk is that shooting innocent people does tend to outrage people. Also it can create martyrs and they have a special power in Iranian culture.

It might also be the case that her death was purely a mistake-a random act of violence or a stray bullet. Perhaps an investigation will sort things out. Perhaps the government will lie. At this point, we do not know.

Of course, none of that matters now to her. Whatever the reason for her death, she will never see another day, she will never finish her degree and she will never get married. All that has been stolen from her. That is what oppressive regimes do-they steal what is most precious from their people. This is why, of course, such regimes must meet their ends.

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11 Responses

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  1. T. J. Babson said, on June 25, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    I wonder if Obama is still willing to meet “without precondition” with the leaders of Iran?

    From the CNN/Youtube debate:

    QUESTION: In 1982, Anwar Sadat traveled to Israel, a trip that resulted in a peace agreement that has lasted ever since.

    In the spirit of that type of bold leadership, would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?

    OBAMA: I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration — is ridiculous.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 26, 2009 at 11:26 am

      I think that the conditions have changed. Obama would probably still be willing to meet with Iran’s leaders, but the conversation would probably not be to their liking.

      Iran’s president seems rather upset that Obama has been critical of Iran’s actions. Apparently he thought Obama would just let Iran do whatever it wanted. Of course, some folks in the US thought the same thing.

      The Iranian government might be rather worried about actually talking with the US. After all, imagine the effect on the current regime if they no longer had America as an enemy? How would they justify much of what they do? Oh, wait…they would still have Israel.

  2. magus71 said, on June 26, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Oh, now Iran is a bad place.

    I love the lib idea that we haven’t REALLY tried to talk to these kinds of regimes. What a bunch of boloney.

    Talk means nothing to these people. The smart ones amongst us seem to have figured that out three decades ago.

    Jimmy Carter is not smart…

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 26, 2009 at 11:33 am

      Iran has been a bad place a long time.

      Talk means something to almost all human beings. Many of the Iranian people seem quite interested in talking to the rest of the world and becoming part of the world community in a meaningful way. The hardliners do not, of course, want that to happen. After all, they draw much of their power from being able to cast the situation as Iran vs the Great Satan.

      Even the Supreme Leader has expressed willingness to improve relations with the United States.

      Now, if we just want to be cynical and pragmatic, the more practical leaders in Iran would have a lot to gain by improving relations with the United States. They would no doubt be quite willing to talk.

      Carter is a smart guy, but he did make some poor choices as President. There are, of course, many ways to be smart (and more ways to be dumb).

  3. magus71 said, on June 27, 2009 at 1:59 am

    In what ways will the Supreme Leader try to make things better? I can’t wait to see.

    • kernunos said, on June 27, 2009 at 9:15 am

      Executions I’m sure. ‘Two executions help the medicine go down, the medicine go down……..’ Marry Poppins anyone?

  4. magus71 said, on June 27, 2009 at 9:29 am

    I can’t believe we’re still talking about talking. Just let them have nukes and be done with it.

  5. kernunos said, on July 2, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Talking gives the enemy more time to plan and snicker.

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