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Friday, July 10, 2015

Millions in Iran Chant "Death to America": Care to Admit You Were Wrong, David Ignatius?

More than three months ago, David Ignatius wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Deal or no deal, the Iran talks have borne fruit" that Obama's failed negotiations with Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei in Lausanne have reaped measureless bounty. Ignatius declared:

"Whatever the endgame produces, it’s useful to focus on the process of negotiation itself, which is nearly as important as whether there’s a sustainable deal.

First, there is the fact of U.S.-Iranian engagement. For more than 18 months, Iran has been in direct talks with a power it once demonized as the 'Great Satan.' Iranian hard-liners certainly remain, but the nation that chanted in unison 'Death to America' is probably gone forever."

"[T]he nation that chanted in unison “Death to America” is probably gone forever"? I subsequently had the following email exchange with Ignatius, beginning on April 1:

Dear David,

You write in your most recent opinion piece, "Deal or no deal, the Iran talks have borne fruit":

"Whatever the endgame produces, it’s useful to focus on the process of negotiation itself, which is nearly as important as whether there’s a sustainable deal.

First, there is the fact of U.S.-Iranian engagement. For more than 18 months, Iran has been in direct talks with a power it once demonized as the 'Great Satan.' Iranian hard-liners certainly remain, but the nation that chanted in unison 'Death to America' is probably gone forever."

In fact, as recently as
10 days ago, Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei responded to chants of "Death to America" by declaring "Of course yes, death to America."

Best regards,
Jeffrey

. . . .

Ignatius's reply:

My point wasn't whether he would chant it but whether Iranians would chant "in unison" behind him. Answer: probably not.
. . . .

Dear David,

Sorry, but you're wrong. You did not go to the
link. In fact, this is exactly what happened a mere ten days ago: Iranians were chanting death to America as Khamenei spoke.

Jeffrey

. . . .

Another example of hundreds of thousands of Iranians chanting "Death to America" a month and a half ago.

Jeffrey
. . . .

Dear David,

FYI, "Death to America" was again being chanted throughout Iran today [April 3] during prayer services.

Best,
Jeffrey

. . . .

Ignatius's reply:

You miss my point entirely. What I said was that the NATION will never again chant it in UNISON. There will still be fanatical hardliners but they are beginning to be outliers.
. . . .

I didn't miss your point. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians (including women – not hardliners) in Tehran responded to Rouhani's speech celebrating the 1979 revolution by chanting in unison "Death to America" a month and a half ago. Two weeks ago, tens of thousands of Iranians chanted in unison "Death to America" while Khamenei spoke. Today, "Death to America" was chanted in unison in mosques throughout Iran (as reported in Farsi: http://farapress.ir/fa/news/314444 [this web page was subsequently removed by Iran]). Are we to understand that all those attending mosques are "hardliners"?

This entire notion of "fanatical hardliners" versus "moderates," e.g., Rouhani, is a myth. As you no doubt are aware, executions in Iran have surged since Rouhani became president.

As you are also no doubt aware, Rouhani bragged during the 2013 presidential election how he had lulled the West into complacency while radically expanding Iran's nuclear weapons development program (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjbrqPK-BBg [access to this video has now been restricted]).

There are those who are hoping that Khamenei will die from prostate cancer and be replaced by a "moderate." But these people fail to take into account the control wielded by the Revolutionary Guard upon Iran's economy. They are not going to roll over and die.

Jeffrey


I didn't hear back from Ignatius.

Well, three weeks ago, as reported by The Times of Israel, Iran's parliament chanted "Death to America" after 199 of the 213 lawmakers voted "to ban access to military sites, documents and scientists as part of a future deal with world powers over its contested nuclear program."

And today, millions took to the streets throughout Iran to observe al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day, and I decided to send Ignatius another email:

Dear David,

In case you missed it: As reported today by The Times of Israel:


"Millions of Iranians took part in anti-Israel and anti-US rallies across Iran on Friday, chanting “Down with America” and 'Death to Israel.'

President Hassan Rouhani attended but did not speak at the main rally in Tehran, which coincided with seemingly deadlocked nuclear talks between Iran and world powers led by the United States.

. . . .

Some protesters in Tehran burned Israeli and American flags. Posters showed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi King Salman and US President Barack Obama in flames."

If you go to the article, you will see a picture of an effigy of President Obama on fire.

And from The New York Times:


"“Those who think that even after a deal we will open our borders and change are very, very wrong,” said Hamidreza Taraghi, a political analyst close to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. For Friday’s Quds Day rallies, the annual protest against the Israeli occupation of Palestine (Quds is the Persian name for Jerusalem), Iran’s Coordination Council of Islamic Propaganda released the preferred slogans on its website on Tuesday.

“Please shout the messages of all the times, which are ‘Death to America,’ ‘Death to Israel,’ ‘Death to global arrogance,’ and ‘Death to international Zionism,’” the website read."

Not the Iranian "NATION"? "Never again chant it in Unison"? "Fanatical hardliners . . . are beginning to be outliers"? Again, you might want to reconsider.

Best,
Jeffrey

I patiently await Ignatius's reply.

1 comment:

  1. Endless patience?

    America is currently news-obsessed over the Confederate Flag, and Sanctuary Cities.

    Ignatius probably thinks Iran's "hardliners" are paid extras in a CIA-funded psych ops movie...


    ReplyDelete