Tuesday, November 19, 2002
When in doubt, don't trust the Times: An editorial in today's New York Times makes some interesting characterizations of the political situation in Iran. Expect the American Enterprise Institute's Michael Ledeen to take the Times to task, but I'll give you a previewof what I think he'll say.
The Times editorialists state that students are protesting the sentence imposed on Hashem Aghajari for its brutality -- 74 lashes, followed by 8 years in jail, followed by hanging. The reports I've seen, from Ledeen and others with more credibility on Iraq than the Times editorial page, the students were protesting the charge of guilt and its assault on free speech. What the Times neglects to mention is that Aghajari was sentenced to death for "insulting Islam."
The Times also suggests throughout that Iranian President Mohammad Katami is supported by the people, when, in fact, he is seen as a failure by the common people. If not as a co-conspirator to keep the people repressed.
The Times urges Iran's ayatollahs to allow reform bills to go through the rubber-stamp parliament. It is uncharacteristic of the Times to be so naive. Misguided, yes. Naive, no. The Iranian system cannot reform itself. It must be overthrown.
The Times isn't helping the Iranian people with its ignorant suggestions.