Persian Courage

Assigned Reading: Sharif University Student to Khamenei: Why Can’t Anyone Criticize You?
(FROM: Persian2English)

What many Americans don’t understand about the Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979 is that – in the beginning – it wasn’t purely Islamic. The Iranians who opposed the Shah’s despotic regime came from the left, right, and center of the political spectrum:

Other opposition groups included constitutionalist liberals — the democratic, reformist Islamic Freedom Movement of Iran, headed by Mehdi Bazargan, and the more secular National Front. They were based in the urban middle class, and wanted the Shah to adhere to the Iranian Constitution of 1906 rather than to replace him with a theocracy, but lacked the cohesion and organization of Khomeini’s forces.

Marxists groups — primarily the communist Tudeh Party of Iran and the Fedaian guerillas — had been weakened considerably by government repression. Despite this the guerillas did help play an important part in the final February 1979 overthrow delivering “the regime its coup de grace.” The most powerful guerilla group — the People’s Mujahedin — was leftist Islamist and opposed the influence of the clergy as reactionary.

Many clergy did not follow Khomeini’s lead. Popular ayatollah Mahmoud Taleghani supported the left, while perhaps the most senior and influential ayatollah in Iran — Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari — first remained aloof from politics and then came out in support of a democratic revolution.

In this respect our own President and the original Supreme Leader of Iran have a lot in common: they each pulled off a successful con of their respective nations. The Persian people voted for hope and change in 1979, but the change they got wasn’t what most of them had in mind. Sort of like what we’re going through in the United States these days, although so far to a much lesser degree.

And – as the widespread street protests after the most recent election showed the world – the Iranian people are getting tired of it. The one-time revolutionaries of the 1970s have become the counter-revolutionaries of the new millenia, and a new generation of Iranian youth are rising up to challenge their autocratic overlords.

Consider Mahmoud Vahidnia – a Shariff University student and winner of the International Math Olympics. When the current Supreme Leader (Khamenei, not Khomeini) came to hold a conference with students it was supposed to be like an Obama town hall: only pre-selected friendlies allowed. But when Mahmoud got his chance at the microphone his questions were not friendly. Here is a partial translation of his comments:

Why can’t anyone criticize you in this country, isn’t that ignorant? Do you think that you make no mistakes? Why have they made an idol out of you that is so unreachable and that nobody can challenge? I have never read an article about your performance in any newspaper because you have shut down all the media that is against you in the country. Why does national TV show all the events untruthfully? For example all the events after the election. Why do you support them [national TV shows], when everyone knows they are lying? Since the president of national TV is directly selected by you, then you are responsible for all this.

That is what I call courage, and my prayers go out for Mahmoud tonight. According to Persian2English’s blog post, the rumor is that he has already been arrested.



  1. Gail B says:

    "What is this world coming to?" is a question heard all our lives. the problem is that the question is no longer about how guys wear their pants these days, the way girls dress more like adults, or even teenage pregnancy.

    The question today is about whether we can survive the attack from within by an illegal immigrant and his Chicago thugs and keep the Republic of the United States of America as we have know her all our lives.

    One of the White House correspondents asked much the same question of Obama-Soetoro just a couple of months ago that Mohmoud asked.


    Attention all:

    I have no choice but to put in place a new commenting policy here at America's Right. Details will come in a day or two at the most–as if I don't already have enough on my plate–but the first facet of the new policy will be a rule that all comments must be germane to the topic being discussed in the AR post in question.

    I work my ass off to try to build credibility. I interview congressmen. I forsake my other responsibilities to spend time on formulating new material. And, yet, when I meet with prospective employers, I do not even mention this Web site which consumes so much of my time and my life. Why? Because as proud as I am of the work that I do and that Robert and the others do, more and more it seems that America's Right is becoming a repository of mindless, conspiratorial bullshit.

    Gail, did you read the contents of the link you just posted? Did you? This is a time when our efforts should be spent in the real world, connected with reality, working to insist that real legislation that could really bankrupt this country be defeated. This is a time when we must stand up against a slide into totalitarianism that goes far deeper than the President of the United States. This is a time when we must work to build and maintain credibility. And yet it's stuff like this, complete bullshit grounded in not a single shred of beyond-circumstantial evidence, that destroys those efforts.

    This is an excerpt from that link:

    "Obama is a Muslim. The word Muslim is used in this writing to describe an armed invading force with the mission of destroying the United States Constitution, slaughtering you and your children and subjugating survivors. Muslims intend to take over America as part of their War to conquer the world.* *Obama leads the Muslim invasion force as a foreign born domestic enemy. Obama’s Muslim invaders are augmented and reinforced from several quarters. All of Obama’s supporting forces are bent on the destruction of America.* *Your failure to act at this moment ensures open combat in the streets. You’re gonna get more people killed! It may mean the death of America.* *Trust me, it will be one helluva fight.* *Pass the word. Your life, the lives of your children and the life of America depend on it!* *Obama is my sworn enemy! Make him yours!* "

    It's complete insanity. Are you people so consumed by hatred as to divorce yourselves from fact-based reality and ignore the actual threats facing this nation? Obama is leading the invasion? Come on, people.

    I'm done with this kind of nonsense here. Done with it. I don't want to see another link to any of these lawsuits. I don't want to see another allusion to nonsense.

    We have facts on our side. We have reality on our side. And yet people insist on ignoring the truth and looking under every stone for fabrications.

    Credibility is at stake. I will no longer sit by and allow the open forum for ideas that I've sponsored become a free-for-all for Alex Jones-inspired malarkey. Go sell it at his site. Because if it is continued to be sold here, I'm folding the place up.

    We're trying to do good here. And yet I'm ashamed to tell people about this site because of the stupidity they'll find in the comments following decent, fact- and philosophy-based commentaries.

    Get a grip, folks. All of you. We have truth, fact and reality on our side. Get acquainted with fact, not fiction. Know reality, not hyperbole. Or go someplace else.

    – Jeff

  3. whats_up says:


    President Obama is not an illegal immigrant, how stupid are you really? Give me a break with this nonesense, if you have any proof that he is an illegal immigrant by all means show us.

  4. Gail B says:

    How about some American courage?

    Comment No. 5 is an email from a Marine at Fort Hood, in which he details what happened.

    Other Americans who have left comments have a tone of desperation.

  5. Boston Blackie says:

    Thank you Robert for sharing this with us, I had not heard this before. I fear for the safety of Mahmoud, we may never hear from him again. Until leaders across the world stand up and support these martyrs, Iran will continue to do as they please. I am still shocked that there was no universal outcry over the murder of Neda in full view of the world. I pray for their safety.

    Jeff, Thank you bluntly speaking your mind. This is your site, it is because of you and the other fabulous contributors that any of us visit. You do the work and we get the benefits. Sorry for making your already overloaded life even more taxing. I for one will not be upset if you ever find my comments insulting or offessive and decide not to post them. That has never been my intenet and I hope others agree with me.

  6. Gail B says:

    Yes, sir.

    Now I will go tend to my bleeding rosterium.

  7. Rix says:

    Jeff, I do remind you that "cospiratorial bullshit" is what originally got me onboard. And I think it's about time I'll follow your advise and go elsewhere. You'll hold onto your delusions of 2012 comeback, and I'll hold onto my Russian passport.

    Good-bye, AR.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Bye, I have leaves to do anyway.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Good article, Robert–thoughtful and well written without being pompous or "heavy" in anyway.

    As for the Obama (non)birth certificate issue, I've always maintained that I don't know what to think. I do know that I can't find definitive proof of his origins, including a document with Obama's birth hospital and the name of the attending physician. I can provide that information about myself without hesitation; he should be able to do that, too.

    America's Right was an important voice early in the COLB controversy. To a large extent, AR's following was built on that issue. If you've now discovered definitive, verifiable evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii–factual evidence of the sort I've described–then publish it.


  10. Anonymous says:

    Rix is right.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If it ever came to it, I would wanna fight alongside Rix.

    Whats_up, just have him show us the damned birth certificate, not that it matters since is Daddy is Kenyan British. Good Grief.

    Don't cave Gail, just because Jeff is adorable.

  12. Anonymous says:

    poor guy, he probably faces death sooner or later, and with the people that we have at wh that are siding up with the oppressors, i bet nothing would be mention on part of the gov.
    anyway they way they react to media that thinks differently,is the same way at the end that these opprressor govt.s behave

  13. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    The British thing–Leo Donofrio's argument–is wrong. I discussed it last year. He's just wrong, folks, and he wasn't even doing a good job arguing that he was right.

    Look here:

    The court has picked that argument apart. Persuasively. Give it a rest, and get back to reality.

  14. Rix says:

    Jeff, you could as well say: "Congress vetted him; give it a rest, and get back to reality". The court, as much respect as I have for it, consists of frail and often old people who can have their own opinions and aren't immune to wealth and intimidation. I would care significantly less if the suit were dismissed ON THE MERITS rather than a technicality. The way Obama hides his past begs for a conspiracy theory, and "the birth certificate" is of the tamest sort. Have you ever wondered, for example, why Obama's relatives are kept away from the spotlight in an affordable (or worse, Kenyan) slum while he can easily raise enough funds to feed half the Kenyan population? Plus, it's not that the birth certificate is the ONLY missing document…

    You know when I understood that the rule of law is gone? When a case like Ricci vs DeStefano needed a 5-4 majority in the Supreme Court. If a similar case were brought thirty years ago anywhere outside San Francisco or Boston, the judges would laugh their heads off. They'd still do – at our idiocy.

  15. Revolvr says:

    What is happening in Iran is amazing. It is NOT just civil unrest. In Shia Islam, the Ayatollah is the spiritual leader much like the Pope. And like the pope, he is considered to be infallible.

    Likewise, Islamic Laws are believed to be God's laws, not the laws of Man.

    Thus, to question Islamic Law, and to question the Ayatollah, is in effect, blasphemy. And a very serious crime.

    This is a spiritual rejection of Islamic Law and their pope. It is much more than civil unrest as we in the States would think of it.

  16. JEFF SCHREIBER says:


    You need to read the opinion before commenting.

    1. The geniuses who filed the complaint didn't bother to learn about the electoral process, and didn't know the difference between a candidate and an elector.

    2. The court acknowledges the distinction between the Berg/Taitz approach and the Donofrio approach, and substantively shoots down the latter.

  17. Rix says:

    Jeff, I have actually read the court's arguments, agreed with them, and believe that Donofrio's case doesn't hold water – but to shrug off the whole Birth Certificate issue off as "conspiracy theory" is a betrayal of trust that many AR's readers placed with you.

  18. Anonymous says:


    You have to admit that hiding your documents make things very suspicious. Obama needed to reunite the country after the election, like every other President has done. He didn't, and still does not. Part of that is denying access to records.

    Full disclosure!


  19. Anonymous says:

    When you post watch what you say, this blog is posted on my resume'…… hey that rhymes.

    Back to TOTUS for me.

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