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Hitchens on Iran: Don’t Call It An Election

June 16, 2009

You can disagree with Christopher Hitchens, but he knows how to turn a phrase…and paint a picture:

[f]or a flavor of the political atmosphere in Tehran, Iran, last week, I quote from a young Iranian comrade who furnishes me with regular updates:

I went to the last major Ahmadinejad rally and got the whiff of what I imagine fascism to have been all about. Lots of splotchy boys who can’t get a date are given guns and told they’re special.

It’s hard to better this, either as an evocation of the rancid sexual repression that lies at the nasty core of the “Islamic republic” or as a description of the reserve strength that the Iranian para-state, or state within a state, can bring to bear if it ever feels itself even slightly challenged. There is a theoretical reason why the events of the last month in Iran (I am sorry, but I resolutely decline to refer to them as elections) were a crudely stage-managed insult to those who took part in them and those who observed them.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 17, 2009 12:35 am

    As bullish as Hitchens is on foreign policy (he’s been a consistent hawk on Iraq, although a consistent critic of its management), he is most often right when it comes to laying aside the “soft touch” usually used when describing events in the middle east.

    And yes, the man can certainly turn an effective phrase or three.

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