This weblog is written by Cyrus F.
You can contact him at email
Channel 4 (UK) asks: How do you mark the 30th anni...
The monstrosity of ideas
President Obama?
Rhetoric as Thinking
Atri Hits the Nail on the Head
Hypocrisy and Human Rights
The Economist: On Iran, Higher risks
Economist: Men of Principle
Iran's Record Worsening
Arafat, Castro and Che ...
@ del.icio.us/libiran
13 August 2006
20 August 2006
27 August 2006
03 September 2006
10 September 2006
17 September 2006
24 September 2006
01 October 2006
19 November 2006
03 December 2006
25 March 2007
01 April 2007
08 April 2007
15 April 2007
29 April 2007
13 May 2007
20 May 2007
27 May 2007
03 June 2007
10 June 2007
17 June 2007
24 June 2007
08 July 2007
15 July 2007
05 August 2007
30 September 2007
14 October 2007
21 October 2007
02 November 2008
08 February 2009
BR "Blogroll Me!"

technorati search

» Blogs that link here
» View my technorati profile
"Join a conversation with the world's leading minds."

A Democratic Iran
American Islamic Congress
A Reasonable Man
The Atlantic Online
Blogs x Iranians
The Economist
Daniel Pipes
Free Muslims Coalition Against Terror
Girl on the Rights
Iranian Woman - زن ایرانی
Jonathan Derbyshire
Little Green Footballs
Setting the World to Rights
The Spirit of Man
TCS Daily
Winds of Change
CC License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Powered by Blogger
Liberal Iranian
Liberal as in Liberty and Freedom. Iranian as in Cyrus and Ferdowsi.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Rhetoric as Thinking
Ganji, Iran's most famous dissident, has substituted rhetoric for thinking.

technorati tags:
Akbar Ganji, "someone who spent six years in Tehran's Evin Prison on a bogus charge of endangering national security," has published a column in the Washington Post (translated from Farsi) to clarify "why Iranian pro- democracy forces oppose the $75 million the U.S. government provides to aid civil society in their country."

But even the very title and the starting point is presumptuous. First, why should Ganji think he can represent such a vast group of people as "Iranian pro-democracy forces"? Second, why is being an Iranian democrat taken to be synonymous with "shuning foreign aid"? What, then, are Akbar Atri, Ali Afshari, and countless other activists? Ganji also claims that in any Middle Eastern country other than Iran people would choose fundamentalists in a free and fair election. Why? This is pseudo-intellectual nonesense! In fact, this statement has already been proven wrong in Iraq. But the problems with Ganji's piece are much deeper than this.

After a string of incongruous expressions of facts and opinions-dressed-as-facts about the situation in Iran and the Middle East and what people want or don't wan't, he reaches the following culminating point:
So here is our request to Congress: To do away with any misunderstanding, we hope lawmakers will approve a bill that bans payment to individuals or groups opposing the Iranian government.
This rhetorical request has a deeply sensational tone. But it is a foolish thing to say, void of any logic. Why should anyone hoping to help a group of people (Iranian pro-democracy forces here) ban transactions with them? How could such outright blocking of aid possibly help?

But it gets even worse. Ganji charges the (collective) West of helping Iran's government to restrict and filter the Web. (This, of course, confounds private companies with governments, but that's a minor offense.) Then, he proceeds to say that all Iranians really need is free media and TV,
The support we need at this point has nothing to do with funding the regime's opposition but with aiding Iranians in the quest for independent media and accurate information.
Mr. Ganji's piece is apparently in response to an earlier op-ed by Michael Rubin. But he seems not to have read it:
The congressional appropriation has grown from $1.4 million in 2004 to $66 million this year. Of this, $36 million disappears into the coffers of Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. The State Department applies an additional $5 million each to visitor exchange programs and to translation of its Web sites into Persian.
VOA Persian and Radio Free Europe (Radio Farda in Persian) are perhaps the closest things accessible in Iran to free media with wide coverage through their radio and TV programs. Mr. Ganji has used VOA's platform several times already to reach his fellow Iranians. Now, he wouldn't want them off, or would he?

Labels: , , ,