Commentary Magazine


Topic: Jane Fonda

Re: Leveretts Revealed

In case you thought Michael Crowley may have gotten it wrong (really, could any two supposedly sophisticated people have willingly revealed themselves to be pawns of a brutal dictatorship?), or in case you thought the Leveretts really hadn’t gone down the rabbit hole of shillery for the butchers of Tehran, think again. They have their own blog, a CONTENTIONS reader informs me. This particular post should be read in full, not so much for the suck-uppery for the University of Tehran or for giddy flattery bestowed on its students, who put American students to shame, tell Flynt and Hillary Mann. No, that’s sort of par for the course for the pair who find Tehran the happiest place on earth. Rather, it is this bit of jaw-dropping propaganda, putting Jane Fonda circa 1972 to shame, which deserves a gander:

Shortly before we arrived in Tehran, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the Islamic Republic is turning into a “military dictatorship”.  As we drove around Tehran, we looked hard to see a soldier anywhere on the street but did not see a single one—except for a couple at the entrance to the Behest-e Zahra cemetery just south of Tehran, where many of the Iranian soldiers killed in the Iran-Iraq War are buried.  Over the years, we have spent a lot of time in a lot of Middle Eastern capitals.  We have never been in one—including in Egypt and Israel—that has fewer guys in uniform on the streets than in Tehran right now.

Brutal military repression? What military repression? Amir Taheri, writing recently and not under the thrall of the Tehran regime, reminded us:

The pro-democracy movement had promised that last Thursday, the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, would be a turning point for the cause of freedom. But Mr. Khamenei’s regime contained the mounting opposition.The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) controlled Tehran with the help of tens of thousands of club-wielding street fighters shipped in from all over the country. Opposition marchers, confined to the northern part of the city, were locked into hit-and-run battles with the regime’s professional goons. An opposition attempt at storming the Evin Prison, where more than 3,000 dissidents are being tortured, did not materialize. The would-be liberators failed to break a ring of steel the IRGC threw around the sprawling compound…

For the first time the regime had to transform Tehran into a sealed citadel with checkpoints at all points of entry. The IRGC was in total control. Code-named “Simorgh,” after a bird in Persian mythology, its operation created an atmosphere of war in the divided city. Warned that his life may be in danger, Mr. Khamenei was forced to watch the events on TV rather than take his usual personal tour.

Foggy Bottom isn’t exactly home base for aggressive Iran analysis. But really, it’s well accepted at this point that the IRCG has infiltrated and is now controlling government ministries. But the Leveretts, surrounded by evil, see and hear and speak of none.

The comments below the Leveretts’ inanity are worth a read. One of the Leveretts’ readers remarks: “As far as your jab on Iran being a militarized state — only a fool would have derived at the Clinton’s comments and more importantly the actions of Sepah in the past years that what was meant was that if one drives around Tehran with a government guide s/he will see tanks and soldiers! … Are you two really analysts or politicians?” Hmm. Propagandists, I think.

UPDATE: Clifford May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank on terrorism and Islamism, reacts to the Leverett’s observations: “It is astonishing that people who consider themselves political scientists have concluded that the Revolutionary Guards are not in control because ‘as they drove around Tehran’ they didn’t see in many soldiers in the streets. One wonders: If they had visited the Soviet Union in the 1960s and not seen members of the KGB in the streets, would they have included the USSR was not a police state?”

In case you thought Michael Crowley may have gotten it wrong (really, could any two supposedly sophisticated people have willingly revealed themselves to be pawns of a brutal dictatorship?), or in case you thought the Leveretts really hadn’t gone down the rabbit hole of shillery for the butchers of Tehran, think again. They have their own blog, a CONTENTIONS reader informs me. This particular post should be read in full, not so much for the suck-uppery for the University of Tehran or for giddy flattery bestowed on its students, who put American students to shame, tell Flynt and Hillary Mann. No, that’s sort of par for the course for the pair who find Tehran the happiest place on earth. Rather, it is this bit of jaw-dropping propaganda, putting Jane Fonda circa 1972 to shame, which deserves a gander:

Shortly before we arrived in Tehran, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the Islamic Republic is turning into a “military dictatorship”.  As we drove around Tehran, we looked hard to see a soldier anywhere on the street but did not see a single one—except for a couple at the entrance to the Behest-e Zahra cemetery just south of Tehran, where many of the Iranian soldiers killed in the Iran-Iraq War are buried.  Over the years, we have spent a lot of time in a lot of Middle Eastern capitals.  We have never been in one—including in Egypt and Israel—that has fewer guys in uniform on the streets than in Tehran right now.

Brutal military repression? What military repression? Amir Taheri, writing recently and not under the thrall of the Tehran regime, reminded us:

The pro-democracy movement had promised that last Thursday, the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, would be a turning point for the cause of freedom. But Mr. Khamenei’s regime contained the mounting opposition.The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) controlled Tehran with the help of tens of thousands of club-wielding street fighters shipped in from all over the country. Opposition marchers, confined to the northern part of the city, were locked into hit-and-run battles with the regime’s professional goons. An opposition attempt at storming the Evin Prison, where more than 3,000 dissidents are being tortured, did not materialize. The would-be liberators failed to break a ring of steel the IRGC threw around the sprawling compound…

For the first time the regime had to transform Tehran into a sealed citadel with checkpoints at all points of entry. The IRGC was in total control. Code-named “Simorgh,” after a bird in Persian mythology, its operation created an atmosphere of war in the divided city. Warned that his life may be in danger, Mr. Khamenei was forced to watch the events on TV rather than take his usual personal tour.

Foggy Bottom isn’t exactly home base for aggressive Iran analysis. But really, it’s well accepted at this point that the IRCG has infiltrated and is now controlling government ministries. But the Leveretts, surrounded by evil, see and hear and speak of none.

The comments below the Leveretts’ inanity are worth a read. One of the Leveretts’ readers remarks: “As far as your jab on Iran being a militarized state — only a fool would have derived at the Clinton’s comments and more importantly the actions of Sepah in the past years that what was meant was that if one drives around Tehran with a government guide s/he will see tanks and soldiers! … Are you two really analysts or politicians?” Hmm. Propagandists, I think.

UPDATE: Clifford May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank on terrorism and Islamism, reacts to the Leverett’s observations: “It is astonishing that people who consider themselves political scientists have concluded that the Revolutionary Guards are not in control because ‘as they drove around Tehran’ they didn’t see in many soldiers in the streets. One wonders: If they had visited the Soviet Union in the 1960s and not seen members of the KGB in the streets, would they have included the USSR was not a police state?”

Read Less

A Cure for the China Syndrome

Do you remember The China Syndrome, the 1979 flick starring Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas, and Jack Lemmon, about a nuclear-power plant gone fahkahkt whose debut in theaters happened to precede by a matter of days the Three Mile Island nuclear-power-plant disaster, which released deadly radiation into the atmosphere for thousands of miles, killing off plants, animals, trees, bugs, vermin, and hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting Americans busily going about their lives unsuspectingly not suspecting a thing?

Well neither do I. But the synchronicity of those events, I believe, went a long way toward putting the kibosh on nuclear power in this country, opening the doors for decades of nice clean fossil-fuel emissions.

Well, now that the French have paved the way for President Obama to advocate the employment of domestic nuclear power, none other than China Syndrome star Michael Douglas has announced that he supports the president in this. (h/t Big Hollywood)

I wish these people would make up their minds. How am I supposed to know what to hate if these movie-star actor-types can’t stay the course for more than 30 years?

Personally I believe going nuclear is a mistake. Granted, all those alternative forms of energy – wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, thermal, thermals with the feet in them – couldn’t produce enough energy to fuel a haiku. But that may be a blessing in disguise, because fostering the notion that there is a relatively cheap and abundant supply of energy only motivates people to do things, and doing things is the No. 1 cause of all the world’s problems in the first place. Why O why can’t people just stay in their assigned spaces and sit quietly, hands folded?

If only we could encourage people to stop doing things, then our energy-consumption dilemma would solve itself and we wouldn’t have to take our cues from movie-star actor-types to begin with.

Nothing. It’s our only hope.

Do you remember The China Syndrome, the 1979 flick starring Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas, and Jack Lemmon, about a nuclear-power plant gone fahkahkt whose debut in theaters happened to precede by a matter of days the Three Mile Island nuclear-power-plant disaster, which released deadly radiation into the atmosphere for thousands of miles, killing off plants, animals, trees, bugs, vermin, and hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting Americans busily going about their lives unsuspectingly not suspecting a thing?

Well neither do I. But the synchronicity of those events, I believe, went a long way toward putting the kibosh on nuclear power in this country, opening the doors for decades of nice clean fossil-fuel emissions.

Well, now that the French have paved the way for President Obama to advocate the employment of domestic nuclear power, none other than China Syndrome star Michael Douglas has announced that he supports the president in this. (h/t Big Hollywood)

I wish these people would make up their minds. How am I supposed to know what to hate if these movie-star actor-types can’t stay the course for more than 30 years?

Personally I believe going nuclear is a mistake. Granted, all those alternative forms of energy – wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, thermal, thermals with the feet in them – couldn’t produce enough energy to fuel a haiku. But that may be a blessing in disguise, because fostering the notion that there is a relatively cheap and abundant supply of energy only motivates people to do things, and doing things is the No. 1 cause of all the world’s problems in the first place. Why O why can’t people just stay in their assigned spaces and sit quietly, hands folded?

If only we could encourage people to stop doing things, then our energy-consumption dilemma would solve itself and we wouldn’t have to take our cues from movie-star actor-types to begin with.

Nothing. It’s our only hope.

Read Less




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