Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Clinton: Iran Becoming Military Dictatorship

[Guest Post by Jeff Perren]


File this one in the "ya think?" folder.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Monday that the United States feared Iran was drifting toward a military dictatorship, with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps seizing control of large swaths of Iran's political, military, and economic establishment.
So, during the past 30 years, when has it been anything else?

Ok, I grant you that there are technical differences between that and a totalitarian theocracy that rules by ethical guilt induced by a soul-killing religion coupled with the ever-present threat of coercion by Revolutionary Guards. But, as Ira Gershwin might have it, potay-toe, potah-toe.

Personally, given the choice between an 870 AD-style dungeon and a 1970s Chilean jail, I might have to flip a coin. But that's just me.

[Cross posted at Shaving Leviathan.]


  1. Slightly off-topic, but talking of Chile....

    I was in Chile for a while during the terrible 1970s and just a couple of months ago I went back for a holiday.

    Those people I spoke to who lived through the aftermath of Allende, his overthrow and the Pinochet regime seemed to have have healed, miraculously, although nobody tries to deny the horror of it all and they say 'nunca mas (never again)'.

    In the modernised basement of the Presidential Palace itself there is a huge wall-sized photograph of a person being tortured which forms the entranceway to a permanent photo exhibition cataloguing the military's reign of terror. It is very very moving.

    I got a sense of a country which (in self-help speak jargon) 'owns' its recent history without avoidance or excuses, but is keen to move on and learn from the recent past.

    Its amazing what wounds can heal sometimes.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Mr. Mann. It is amazing how a little capitalism can go such a long way.

  3. I don't think it is a question of capitalism vs anything else, Jeff, actually. I was commenting on humanity's amazing (in some cases) ability to move on.

    Chile and its people have suffered much worse in its recent history than we have EVER experienced in NZ.

    In the aftermath of the military takeover, literally tens of thousands of people were held in concentration-camp like conditions in the Santiago FOOTBALL stadium ffs, and probably 1000 were executed more or less on the spot. Countless thousands more people (maybe 10,000) were tortured to death or simply 'disappeared' in the years following.

    All this has happened within recent LIVING MEMORY - and are Chileans wallowing in it and endlessly wailing on and settling old scores? No.

    Of course, they don't have the stupid fucking Treaty Grievance Industry to fan the flames like we do.

    We have literally no idea here about suffering - but I do agree with your point about the stupidity of arguing whether or not Iran has 'become' a military dictatorship yet!


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