Sunday, June 24, 2007

Iran by Night

[posted by Callimachus]

UPDATE: And a great, big, fat "never mind." According to Ali, New York Times now says it got the story wrong. Not that the pictures aren't still disturbing, but it's a different kind of disturbing -- I guess, as long as you don't get worked up about cops abusing and humiliating people while arresting those who probably are guilty of something. Which we all know is never a concern of the leftish side of the spectrum.

So we're left with a false alarm that nonetheless let people act out their inclinations while it lasted. One of the curious things, to me, is how many people chose to see this and respond to it through the Malkin version, not the Ali version, though both were mutually linked. Maybe it's easier to talk to extremists than to more complicated realities.

* * *

Ali Eteraz, who does not want anyone to invade Iran, nonethleless wants you to see what the regime there does to its own young people.

Welcome to Islamic Theocracy. Phallocentric, every last one of them. Here is a police clusterf*ck. When Giuliani’s thugs did this kind of crap in NYC every Muslim was pissed. Now American Muslims are sitting around talking about Neo-Con appropriation.

Go and see.

And of course he get slammed for it in his comments section:

These duplicitous peon tools of the Bush administration have no sense of justice. They are a blind mob of imbeciles who support American_Israeli aggression no matter the cost of lives or American good will. Fringe lunatics.

Where do you stand, Ali?

How about "for what is decent, against what is dehumanizing and repressive?"

UPDATE: And of course the push-back on this from the anti-war left is directed at the little Philippina lightning rod, not the realities.

Complete with what purports to be a balanced presentation of photos of Iran abuse and photos of Abu Ghraib abuse -- two from Iran, three from Iraq, but lo and behold, as least as of right now, the Iran photos are just empty boxes with error messages.

Here's the attempted justification:

Let me be the first to tell Ms. Malkin that being concerned for human rights, really and truly concerned does not depend on the color of the victim's skin or their religious background. It is an absolute moral position. This is not something Malkin can understand, because her outrage is purchased.

Fine, but then the next sentence takes all that "absolute moral" stuff back by claiming the Abu Ghraib terrors were so much worse and the outrage spilled over them so much more justified -- apparently because of the nationality of the people committing them.

The reason there was so much national outrage over Abu Ghraib is because in the pictures shown, there were not masked Iranian police committing atrocities, rather, they were US soldiers committing atrocities. And the horrors depicted are stunningly graphic and obscene on levels I cannot even comprehend. I hope she understand the difference, but that would be asking too much of her and her ilk.

And this is from a self-professed "journalist."

As for the "these photos vs. those photos" discrimination, she passes on the invitation to run the Muhammad cartoons:

Now, I am not for censorship, but I am not for pure hate garbage either. I do not agree that the cartoon should have been censored, but I can understand the argument from the other side.

Yes, but the issue here never has been censorship. You're not a government entity; you have no power to "censor" anything. It's about you as a journalist. And you just told us plenty.

She then goes on to cite a more intelligent anti-war, anti-Iraq response to the Iran pictures, from someone whom she claims "reads this latest Malkin entry much the same way I do," yet says things she never says and makes arguments she seems incapable of framing on her own.

All that being said, I don't go for the bullying tactic used often by Michelle M., and others on all sides, of calling attention to something going on in the world, then saying anyone online who doesn't weigh in in opposition to it is essentially for it.

Doesn't work that way. I don't pretend to be publishing a complete picture of the world here, and if you're getting all your news and views from me, please don't. I write about what interests me enough to waste time writing about it. I write about what I know well enough to feel my opinion on it is worth you wasting your time reading it.

Other than that, I know there are very important things happening in the world -- economics of globalization, immigration debate, "partial-birth" abortion, drug-resistant bacteria, failed states in Africa -- that I simply have nothing useful to say about because I am too ignorant. When you know you're ignorant, keep your damned mouth shut and listen. Or else ask honest questions.

Now if a blogger or news source had staked out its identity entirely on the issue of human rights, and ignored the situation in Iran, that site could rightly be called out for it. Or if, as in the case above, a blogger claims to have elevated an issue to the status of an "absolute moral position." That's an invitation to bypassers to poke for the hypocrisy. The rest of us, I suspect, can be cut a break.