[ExI] left on iran

Adam Raizen adam.raizen at gmail.com
Fri Jun 26 11:43:05 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 12:31, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> So why does the US left seem to have a strangely muted reaction, instead of
> what I would have expected, raving apoplexy?  The press seems to strike a
> puzzling neutral stance.  Where is Hollyweird Inc?  Where are the
> feminists?
> Where is the speak-truth-to-power crowd?  Where are the washed-up movie
> stars getting air time telling the world about how evil is the Iranian
> government?

I am rather suprised by the charitable explanations given so far. I would
have thought that my cynical explanation was obvious, so maybe I am totally
off base.

I would say that the reason that the left is not especially supportive of
the Iranian protesters is because that could be construed as supportive of a
neo-con agenda of regime change in Iran by force (or even if it's not going
to lead to military or even diplomatic action against the Iranian regime,
it's still construed as supportive of The Enemy), and domestic political
battles trump supporting oppressed foreigners. In fact, I would add that
ultimately the main reason that almost anyone is interested in supporting
oppressed foreigners in any event is to play out domestic political battles
(this goes for both the right and the left, and everyone else too). Not
consciously, but ultimately that is the major underlying psychological

This is also the reason why the left is not apoplectic about genocide again
blacks in Sudan. The right likes to play that one up because it's Arabs
doing the genocide, so that dovetails with their "Arabs are evil terrorists"
shtick. The left doesn't want to play into their hands and give them some
rhetorical/moral ammunition for the Global War on Terror, no matter how bad
these particular Arabs are.

Of course, these thoughts are almost never conscious, but unconscious ideas
motivate behavior in surprising ways.

Adam Raizen <adam.raizen at gmail.com>
Timendi causa est nescire.
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