Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Iran Simmering: Watch Ganji

Akbar Ganji may die soon, imprisoned in a hellish Iranian jail by those who used to be his revolutionary cohorts. Ganji is on a hunger strike and is not doing well. If he does die, he will be more than just a jailed dissident dying in an Iranian jail -- that happens daily, no doubt. His will be a very symbolic death that will be noted by Iranians struggling to be free.

Ganji has a high profile because he once was a leader of the Iranian revolution. Arab News' profile contrasts him with recent presidential candidate and reformist Mostafa Moin:

Unlike other in-house critics of the regime, Ganji has succeeded in liberating himself, morally and intellectually, from his Khomeinist illusions.

Moin, for example, pretends that Khomeinism is a pure and beautiful ideal that has been sullied in practice. Ganji, on the other hand, has no doubt that Khomeinism itself is the root cause of all of Iran’s sufferings in the past 27 years.

Moin is like Mikhail Gorbachev, who, even in the final moments when the Soviet Titanic was sinking, was trying to fool himself and others with a vision of “ pure Leninism.” Ganji, however, is like Boris Yeltsin who, although a member of the Soviet Politburo for years, at one point realized that the Bolshevik Revolution had been “ the greatest tragedy in the history of the Russian people,” and said so publicly.

Moin wants to reform a system that is unreformable. Ganji wants a new system that is as distant from the one in place as possible. All this means that while Moin is no threat to the establishment of which he remains a privileged member, Ganji is.

The best solution to the Iranian problem is an Iranian revolution, because -- if it went right -- it would not only remove the Mullahs from power in near-nuclear Iran, it would cut a major funding source of international terrorism.

Ganji's life, if he's freed, or death, if he's not, could be a significant catalyst.

h/t Jim