A very well reasoned post, and a rational one in contrast to the jibberish to which it is meant as partly a response. But seriously, Mr. Kholdi, I wonder if a joke like Hossein Derakshan would need any time to be wasted to be refuted. IMO, he and his like are simpley not worth it. You knwo what "silence" is according to ou r proverbs, I'm sure. ;) (Then again, maybe Westerners as you say are still under the illusion that Hoder and his usual nonsense should be taken seriously. I actually find it hard to convcieve howthey could be so blind, but I have seen many surprising stuff before. If this is the case, you've got a point here.)
AIS: Not until a recent trip to the US for research did I become aware how much Iranian webloggers, and particularly Hoder are paid attention to, read, or discussed by Western Journalists and academia. Hoder receives a good deal of attention amongst many US/UK journalist/academic circles with a focus on Iran, and sometimes he is cited accordingly. What you call jibberish is not regarded as such by a good number of these people. Hoder's comments are often taken as authoritative. It is often thought that Hoder writes such commentary with an insider knowledge of the politics of the Islamic Republic. If Hoder had not published his comments on Iran Scan about Ganji so unfairly, I would not have bothered to respond. But when I realized that he is trying to reach a more global audience, I thought someone has to repond for the sake of the record. I am... [more at the permalink of the entry above]
Why is my comment removed? Is speaking against Khamenei against the 'free' thoughts on iran's editors' policy? I feel sorry for you guys, you are not any better than your elders in Iran.
Dear hajir, No comments have been removed from this thread. Please make sure that your comment was properly posted. We have a spam-detector in place that may perform less than desired some times, though this has happened only once. If the problem persists please email us at free at freethoughts dot org, and we'll do our best to address your difficulty.
My main problem with Hoder's argument is that he poses Ganji as a player of the game, and at the same time the ball being thrown around between other players, of the same game. I hope I can explain this contradiction. Hoder mentions that both the neo-cons and Khamenei are using Ganji for their own cause. For the sake of argument, let's assume this is true. Then we have a manipulative game in which Ganji is the ball being thrown around. Furthermore, neither his deteriorating health condition, nor his courage to stand for justice are characteristics of a player of a manipulative political game. Rather, his health and his courage are being abused by the real players (assuming there is even a game!). So to say that Ganji "has started a game in which.... the biggest loser would be himself" not only seems logically unsound to me, but also... [more at the permalink of the entry above]
Shahram Kholdi All of the comments blast this idiot. And I for one done consider him an authority any more than Juan Cole or Michael Moore. Probably only the LLL do. Oh, wait, that is who most journalists and academia are.
Dear AIS et al: I would like to cite the following two links from the Guardian both authored by Hoder (aka Hossein Derakhshan. These articles show that my concern about the necessity of a response, every now and again, to certain unruly analyses that are made by our Iranian world-renowned weblog activists: Both from the Guardian Newspaper on Wednesday 3 August 2005: No Che No Mao
I tend to agree more with hoder. I have no doubt that if Gangi was supporting Moeen, he would have never been released a week before the election. It was clear that anyone from boycott camp who decided to vote at the last minure, eventually voted for Moeen. Therefore, keeping those to boycott was the wise thing for conservative to do and they tried their best. I don't suggest any number or saying that ? milions didn't vote because of Ganji's call and that's actually not the fair question. But you can't simply say that Ganii had no effect. Ofcourse there are many other facors and no one says that reformists's lost is totally because of Ganji. Shahram, you seem to looking for mathemical proof for whatever Hoder has said. Ofcourse there is not such a thing.
I was very upset to see Hoder's writings on Ganji. Not because he is so stubbornly against Ganji's approach or even that his analysis is flawed, but because an old disease of thought is spreading along with his analysis, the desease of conspiracy theory. One of the major breakthroughs in the reformists' thinking in the early 90's was that they parted with the commonplace Islamic Republic conspiracy theory attitude. That was also one of the reasons they were successful in gaining back the power partially (and known now only formally) in 1997. Hoder has gone way back in the conspiracy theory thinking by his series of writings on Ganji's hunger strike. Of course, such conspiracy theories are invariably disappointing in their aim and their results. Hoder aims his bitterness at Ganji (he has written quite extensively in Persian about him) while glorifying the real evil in the house with... [more at the permalink of the entry above]
Yasser Jaan, First of all, we who read your weblog know that you are against what Ganji is doing and your objection is certainly coming from your disappointment with the defeat of Mr. Moin. You guys have been looking for, and I should say desperately so, someone or something to lay the blame of the reformists' defeat on, and I do not know why you cannot get over it. Stop this campaign of attempting to discredit those who are literally dying for Iran, please! I am grateful that Babak has posed such serious and intelligent questions, and I had them on my list, but lack of good writing skills in English prevented me from developing a more cohesive and exhaustive piece. Besides, now we here people say that in no country a hundred percent of the people participate in elections. OK, would you agree if at least half of... [more at the permalink of the entry above]
Babak, Answer to your questions: You may be right that Ganji may not be realeased solely because he was boycutt supporter. But I think the this motivated conservative to release him. They arrested him again because they didn't expect him to critisize khamenei that much publicly. What would happen if he remained on hunger strike? In a week to election, I would say nothing. They could have banned any visit and no one would realize anything. Don't forget he was on hunger strike a week before second round. What heppened then? Shahram, as I much as I shouldn't blame everything on Akbar Ganji, you can't blame everything on reformists. At the end, both of us are the losers. I have said it many times and I repeat that the coming of Ahmadinejad is partly because of the buycott camp, partly because of the reformists. Last point, not every opinion... [more at the permalink of the entry above]
Yaser, Why did a good chunk of the reformist activists themsleves opt for a boycott? Why did the student bodies call for a boycott? Is that to blame on their spontaneity or the poor performance of the reformist camp, both in Tehran city council (where they fell in for faction fights) and the sixth Majlis. The fact of the matter is that the head of the reform camp was so lagging behind that their own activists, who were the major connector to the people, became hoepless. Hoder himself took back his vote to Khatami in a dramatic post on his Persian blog. Moeen advocates, well exemplified by Hoder himself, failed to show what would prevent them from doing the same after voting for Moeen. The fact of the matter is that the boycotting side of the reformists (who would have voted for Moeen) was also created by Khatami's government.... [more at the permalink of the entry above]
I don't see why Ganji had to be released to send the message of boycott to iranian people! It's not like he couldn't talk from prison. I think the connection between his release and him boycotting the election is not logical. I strongly agree with Babak that his release was a pre-election show, something of the type of showing good movies during the election season to fool people and bring them to voting stations. In fact they arrested him afterwards because he boycott the election!
Would they release Ganji if he was supporting Moeen? My answer is "definitely no".
Dear Shahram (if i amy call you so), I see your point. Thanks a lot for preparing an English response to Hoder's diatribes. One thing that we should relate to his stances is the fact that he visited Iran and returned completely unharmed, he wasn't even detained. And all of this despite soem of the harshedt things written in his blog before against the hardliners. I wonder how this is possible? He has connection naturally, especially regarding his father who is close to the regime, and his current articles and posts could very well be serving a purpose. Anyway, i think everyone , especially those who know him personally, must react accordingly and change their attitude towards him until he publishes meaningful stuff. he is useful I think , so must be guided with rewards and no-rewards, you know like cookies and electric shocks used for laboratory rats etc.... [more at the permalink of the entry above]
AIS, Saying that hoder is one of them because he wasn't arrested in Iran is conspiracy theory:-)
Yaser, As I said we must present a sound theory when going to uncover a seemingly hidden agenda behind a move. Although you did not explicitly give your theory for your claim that Ganji would not have been released, had he supported Moeen (and so had he not supported a boycott), I can see it to be resting on the following two statements: 1. Hardliners were trying to lower the particiaption and so would use the call for boycott to this end. 2. They were very affraid Moeen would win the race. In my opinion, a theory based on these two statements is inadequate, and even false. First, hardliners' strategy seems to me to have remained the same in the past few elections. Ganji had called for a boycott long before these elections in his first installment of the Manifesto of Republicanism. So why did we not see him... [more at the permalink of the entry above]
AIS, Like I said, and Yaser is correctly highlighting, Hoder's rather trouble-free trip to Iran before the election cannot by itself be grounds for thinking he is acting as an agent of the system. What's your theory? Hoder's writing is very contradictory and usually intellectually poor. I for one think of him as a good populizer of internet journalism with good suggestions and a lot of energy, but a rather bad journalist himself.
Yaser jaan, First, I am blaming the reformists for every wrong move that they made, and they do not want to accept them as their mistakes. This is so especially when they failed to broaden their message so that it becomes in line with the legitimate, albeit "republicanist", concerns of people like Nouri and Ganji (who are definitely much closer to the reformists than Californian boycotters!). Second, your reaction is very interesting. Do you realize the more one wants to analyse the way you guys are trying to depict the whole issue, the more vicious and meaningless it becomes? Let me offer you a different picture. The way some of you guys, including Hoder, and I would say some "Ganji-blamers", understand this situation is like this: Proposition a-1: We do not "necessarily" believe that our rivals conspired against us, but, Proposition a-2: However: We are certain that they plotted... [more at the permalink of the entry above]
Babak, I am sorry, it seems you posted your comments when I was trying to get togehther some ohter people's pseudo-analyses. Anyhow, I simply second Babak's last comments right before mine.
No, what I am saying is not a conspiracy theory. before I get there, let me first clear what it is that I am sayng. I never said Hoder was an agent, that he has been hired, is paid, has a specific plan of action etc. Had I made such claims, then it would have been a conspiracy theory. What I am saying is that his going to Iran and coming back unharmed is not explained with the theory that Hoder is just a blogger with no connections to some factiosn of the regime. If you claim this then you should explain how he managed to do that although he had stated his intention of going to Iran in his blog beforehand and kept posting in his blog while in Iran (in english, but so what?), and while he was there one persian newspaper published the news as well.... [more at the permalink of the entry above]
Dear AIS: In all fairness, as far as I recall, Hoder has been candid about his background, rather sporadically, on his weblog. However, the way he offers "his" analysis begs to provide more circumstantial or otherwise evidence. That is why in my post I have explicitly asked what his evidence is, and whether he has some insider knowledge of the inner workings of the hardliner camp. It is puzzling that while world-class newspapers such as Guardian give Hoder such promotions, his Internet journalism is at the level of penny-papers (this is the British term for tabloid). There is also an ethical aspect to any journalism, good or bad, and with respect to the question of Ganji and Hoder's game theory, Hoder is slipping way far from that standard by his often cheap shots. It also reminds me of his analogy of Khamenei and Reza Shah a long time ago.... [more at the permalink of the entry above]
Dear Shahram, whether or not he was honest about his family background (I guess you refer among other things to an interview he gve to Behnoud), is really irrelevant here. the fact remains, he traveled to Iran and came back without any difficulty despite his usual diatribes. As if to add to the whole affair is his stupid reatrded stage play of "keeping it secret" for those who live abroad, like only writing in English in his blogs and blaming those who wrote about his trip to Iran in their weblogs, while at the same time he joins in demonstrations, his name is officially published in teh Moeen team that announced they were gathering in teh central sqaures of Tehran to talk to people and convince them to vote for Rafsanjani...I mean come on! These need to be explained. Do you have one? Afetr what you wrote about his... [more at the permalink of the entry above]
They are drwoning our historical heritage. The tomb of Cyrus the great will go under water when the new dam is ready for use next year. Of course they are doing that in purpose. Congratulations for those who wanted us to forget our history and concentrate solely on where we have come to be today. The construction of this dam, knowing exactly what it will cause was started in Rafsanjani's time and went on without even a hint of disagreement all through that whore Khatami's time. I just wanted to take this time and congratulate again the Khatami, mosharekat and rafsanjani pimps among us, who were very excited and concerned during this last "elections", for their mental abilities and great achievments of their anti-fascistic heroes, and their extreme concern nowadays that they show so vehemntly. god bless you all, you rae the jewles of creation. Just never forget to... [more at the permalink of the entry above]
Who killed this blog?
Maybe Ahmadinejad. He is "teer khalas zan". I suggest we all concede that the only way forward is to seek democratic regime change in Iran.
Irani, Becareful! you are saying blasphemy, according to the religion of whores and pimps of the regime, supporters of Khatami and his pathetic "reform" masked fascism, or waging campaigns to win votes for Rafsanjani (the one they now call Hashemi...in what ever they do they are pathetic!) This is the very same Rasanjani (oops I meant Hashemi) who also stated in Friday prayers while he was officially in charge about thrwoing an A-bomb over Israel and finish it. Back then it was no scandel, Rafsanjani was not an imbecile etc. etc. No matter how much you try to give them the benefit of a doubt,these reformist vermins prove themselves yet again the most disgusting and pathetic foulplayers and enemies of our people. I think this idiot Ahmadinejad is doing a great job now showing the true nature of this filth, and what he is doing was necessary after those... [more at the permalink of the entry above]
I thought this article made a brilliant reference the significance of Ganji: http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-irandemocracy/ahmadinejad_2981.jsp
In what respect are you suggesting the article by Nasrin Alavi proves the significance of Ganji vis-a-vis my critique of Hoder's analysis? Alavi says nothing, nor does she imply anything, on a causal relationship between Ahmadinejad's election and Ganji's call for boycott.
See . I told you he could be useful.