November 11, 2013

Roger Cohen, "Bibi’s Tired Iranian Lines": Again, "Iran Is Not Totalitarian"

Jeffrey Grossman

After telling us throughout the first six months of 2009 that Iran is not totalitarian, i.e., until his bubble was burst when Supreme Leader Khamenei savagely quashed Iran's Green Revolution, Roger Cohen is again seeking to spread his delusional hogwash. In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Bibi’s Tired Iranian Lines" (link), Cohen, who doesn't speak Farsi, would have us know:
"It is not just that the world has now heard from Netanyahu of the imminent danger of a nuclear-armed Iran for a very long time. It is not just that Israel has set countless 'red lines' that proved permeable. It is not just that the Islamic Republic has been an island of stability compared to its neighbors Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not just that, as Rouhani’s election shows, Iran is no Nazi-like totalitarian state with a single authority but an authoritarian regime subject to liberalizing and repressive waves."

Iran is an "island of stability"? And just what was the Green Revolution all about? Has Cohen already forgotten the death of Neda, who was shot dead by a Basij militia member?

Have the conditions of Iran's Kurds, Baha'is and Sunnis improved?

Has Iran stopped hanging homosexuals?

Has Iran stopped stoning to death women accused of adultery?

I suggest that Cohen read a September 23, 2013 letter written by Ayatollah Hossein Bourojerdi from Iran's notorious Evin Prison to the General Assembly of the UN ( (my emphasis in red):
"Please accept the greetings of this humble imprisoned cleric, who writes to convey himself to you from within a prison cell which is surrounded by a cruelty and brutality called religion and faith. It is many years that the hands of the claimants of Islam have captured me and held me hostage. They have wasted my youth, my life and health, and  now, as you come together for this global event, in order to inform each other of the hidden pains and concerns of each others communities, it is apt that you should focus on the ills that invade the contemporary world and the abused rights of the innocent and helpless.

I sit here, at the start of my eighth year of captivity; jailed by a religious dictatorship and charged with defending the freedom of though, speech and expression and refusing to align with tyrants who forcibly lord over Iran. 
I am under severe psychological and fatal physical pressures, while millions of my fellow compatriots live in the most horrific conditions, oppressed and violated, throughout Iran. 
I have been honored to act as an advocate who echoes the public protests against the ruling phalanx of autocrats. Has the time not come, for your assembly to demand that these brutal totalitarians respond to how they dare to speak of Bahrain, Syria and Palestine, under the guise of sympathy, when they have plundered and stolen the wealth and national income of every Iranian, rendering them impoverished and putting them in the ultimate financial and economic crisis?

If the humanitarian authorities of other countries are truly sensitive and serious about affording people around the world, their civil rights, and they really listened and heard the cries emanating from our country, these dictators would never dare to continue their shameless violations and their blatant rampage to destroy Iran and Iranians to the alter of their despotism. 
This regime’s steely guards do not permit one iota of criticism and protest by the average person who is in desperate need. 
The Iran that has been endowed with the greatest natural and national wealth has been fleeced and is now wanting for even a normal life. If you were really aware of the statistics of our destitute and deprived, you would not hesitate to intervene. It has been thirty five years that this so-called revolution, was established in this strip of Asia and despite all the grand vows that were made by its founder, nothing but pain, chaos, crisis and suffering has become the daily norm of our people’s lives.

I plead with all my being, from each and every one of you to focus your gaze on that which goes on inside Iran and scrutinize the actions and blatant human and civil rights violations of this regime."

So, Roger Cohen is again telling us from New York that Iran is not totalitarian, whereas Hossein Bourojerdi is telling us from Evin Prison, where he recently suffered a heart attack and went untreated (, that Iran is indeed totalitarian.

Is it any wonder that I trust Hossein Bourojerdi more than Cohen?

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