Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Guerillas with tenure

I have posted about Western self-hate many times (in fact, it is probably the main theme of this blog), so the quote below (from here) says nothing new. I just wanted it for the Irving Howe coinage.

The Western world is the only civilization in history whose intellectual class has embraced societal self-loathing as a mainstream ideology — even as we have single-handedly launched a global human-rights revolution that, to our everlasting glory, has liberated gays, women and a dozen other formerly persecuted groups from discrimination. In the Cold War, our ivory-tower “guerillas with tenure” (to cite Irving Howe’s phrase) didn’t sink our ship because the enemy was itself a hollow shell spouting an ideology nobody believed.

On the importance of Ahmadinejad, please read the comment by Hazar Nesimi to the post below. It includes the unlikely snippet that Iran has created "religious heavy metal". I'm not at all sure what to make of that.

Technorati tags: ,


Hazar Nesimi said...

Some music is officially sanctioned, and regulated through the Ministry of Culture, which was under Hatami's brother stronghold of liberals. Even nowadays, conservatives are not fully in control. Contrast this with situation in Saudi Arabia where no pop music concerts are possible.

Hazar Nesimi said...

The reasons I very much dislike Ahmadinejad are different from those in the west, and maybe similar to the views of Iranian conservative elite . I think he is endengering the future of Iran and my country (Azerbaijan) by his reckless and mad actions. However I think any leadership of Iran, theocratic or not, is a danger to my country. As I said I think he, given absense of foreigh intervention he will not be re-elected or will be thrown out. This does not, however mean triumph of democracy. Khamenei should get rid of him. Interesting thought though is who to replace Khamenei himself.

NoolaBeulah said...

Iran is different and it's a loss for everyone that they should be so isolated. I'm not saying that Iran must be democratic (even if of all the Middle Eastern states, it is the one that could best manage it).

It's just that there are two problems. Firstly, their funding and support for terrorism. That is a problem, but not insurmountable. It is containable given that Iran's economy seems to be getting weaker by the day so they will be more amenable to influence.

The second problem, however, is less easy to dismiss. If a regime that is internationally isolated, feels under constant threat and has within it elements that are basically irrational - if that regime gets a nuclear bomb and the means to deliver it (which I believe they already have), then you don't talk, you act. You're a fool if you don't.

Now personally, I find it difficult to conceive of using a nuclear bomb, and have to struggle to believe that somebody would. However, if I were in power, in Washington, Jerusalem or Baku, I would not be able to count on that.

If Ahmmdinejad goes, do you think the silly talk will go with him, or will there be others to take on his mantle?

Hazar Nesimi said...

Listen to this:


This is a typical "pragmatist" talk in Iran. Generals are ready but not irrational. I hope Iran under different leadership will be quiter and less belligerent, like under Khatami.Trouble is that some in Iran, religous or nationalistic, does not matter are paranoid., Many forget that even Shah had a lot of tensions with Gulf countries. This is my trouble with former empires with an agenda - they always want to extport it.