Sunday, February 4, 2007

Laura Secor's Reports

Thanks to Homeyra I came across two articles by Laura Secor in the New Yourk Times and another in The New Yorker Magazine.

I highly recommend them, but here are samples:

From the New Yorker

Later that day, I went to see a man who is perhaps Iran’s most famous and most endangered dissident, for whom the stakes of Ahmadinejad’s victory were unimaginable high. Hashem Aghajari, a historian at Tehran’s Tarbiat Modares University, is a popular her in Iran, especially among students. revolutionary religious intellectual, Aghajari had lost a leg fighting in the Iran-Iraq War. But in a 2002 speech in Hamadan, the city he’s from, Aghajari called for a reformation of Shiit Islam and proclaimed that Muslims were not “monkeys” who should “blindly follow religious leaders. He was convicted of apostas and sentenced to death by hanging.
In June, however, Aghajari insisted that he was not in despair over Ahmadinejad’s victory. “I’m optimistic,” he said. “The people of Iran should experience this period so that things go better in the future. If the people hadn’t experienced theocracy, they would still be waiting for it. But now that we have experienced theocracy, there is no future for it here.”

And this from the New York Times has a funny and familiar resonance to it. I wasn't sure if she was talking about Bush or Ahmadinejad:

By mid-January, Ahmadinejad’s isolation even within his own faction was complete: 150 of 290 members of parliament, including many of Ahmadinejad’s onetime allies, signed a letter criticizing the president’s economic policies for failing to stanch unemployment and inflation. A smaller group also blamed Ahmadinejad’s inflammatory foreign-policy rhetoric for the United Nations Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Iran. As if that were not enough, an editorial in Jomhouri Eslami, a newspaper that reflects the views of the supreme leader, accused the president of using the nuclear issue to distract the public from his failed policies. Ahmadinejad’s behavior was diminishing popular support for the nuclear program, the editorial warned. The Iranian political system seems to be restoring its equilibrium by showing an extremist president the limits of his power.


bijan said...

Good stuff. Thanks!

Hassan said...

You don't have an email in your profile, but here is something for you and your readers. The beautiful Iran that we do not see much, in a call for peace:

2 min video - music by Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)

F2H said...

"Ahmadinejad’s isolation even within his own faction was complete: 150 of 290 members of parliament, including many of Ahmadinejad’s onetime allies, signed a letter criticizing..."

It's ironic you say that you weren't sure whether they were talking about Bush or Ahmadinejad. Around the time of our elections, after the Democrats took the House, I read something about the waning support for Ahmadinejad. I was tempted, at the time, to write a post about that very thing. Let's hope that these shifts in the balance of power eventually have a positive effect for our countries.

naj said...

Hi FtH, good to see you here.

Ahmadinejad won his campaign on economic promises, not ideological ones; and now that his true face is up, his star's going down!

The neoconservatism in the America, however, is a more sophisticated monster; and requires much harder work to unface.