I’ve been asked multiple times by people why I don’t support Iran’s Green Movement, or why I’m so cynical about it. First off, contrary to the conclusion you might make after reading this list, I wholeheartedly support the civil rights movement in Iran, especially the one led by the younger generation, and whether it be called the Green Movement or the progressive movement—it’s my life’s passion. I wear a green bracelet every day to remind me not to forget about my brothers and sisters in Iran. I support the green sentiment (the color green in Iran has just espoused human and civil rights associations). Also, I’m not cynical. I’m realistic. I’ve studied Iranian history and politics for a lot of my life. I want the best for my people, and it’s important not to let ourselves get all emotional and tralalala happy about a potential overthrow. Here’s my laydown on the Green Movement.
1. It was awesome in 2009 to see people getting together and risking it all against a tyrannical government. People were united, they were in solidarity with one another, they were fearless. However, the 2009 riots were largely reactionary. Reactionary politics are dangerous. For the Green Movement to base itself solely on hatred for the Isalmic Republic won’t get anyone anywhere. And its base of support is slowly factionalizing and diminishing.
2. Don’t underestimate the power of nativist and nationalist sentiment in Iran. Nationalism in Iran has become so closely tied with religion and conservatism, that when one adopts one, they very very often adopt the others. Lately, people in Iran are pretty pissed at America and Israel. Pissed. Fed up with other nations undermining their sovereignty. During these crises, people tend to unanimously cement themselves to their nationalistic ideals and even if they are unaware of it, become more conservative and even a little more supportive of the Islamic Republic. And the IR knows exactly how to play the game. They play this up. It works swimmingly for them.
3. Blind support of the Green Movement is a cop-out for people, espeically non-Iranians who don’t want to take the time to analyze the very complex and messy politics of civil rights and Iran, and come up with a complex solution to the complex problems. It’s never black and white, but that’s especially the case with Iran. The bad guys aren’t easy to identify, and neither are the good ones. I’m tired of seeing these naive people who have read one article Hamid Dabashi (who, by the way, is kind of a prick) praising the Green Movement and suddenly they pump their fists in the air yelling “Yeah, Green Movement woohoo!” It’s not that simple, and I’m annoyed by it. It’s a disservice to Iranians.
4. Which leads me to a bit of a funny story: when I tell my family in Iran about how much my peers love the Green Movement, they laugh and roll their eyes. “So the Americans, as usual, think they know what’s best for us.” I find that reaction to be a good summary of how people regard the situation — “Trust us, it’s not that simple, guys.”
5. Revolutions are bloody. Coup d’etats are bloody. It’s all bloody and I hate the romanticization of all of it. Stop chanting “revolution in Iran!” It’s insensitive to the people in Iran that have actually experienced and been scarred by revolution
Again, I feel like emphasizing that I really do support this difficult to define “Green Movement”. It’s inspiring and hopeful. I just really hate when people jump on this bandwagon without knowing how multi-faceted this issue is.
so i love this person’s eloquence???? yes read this, this is good stuff to consider when it comes to Iran’s political and civil rights situation, especially for non-Iranians who are not exactly nuanced in the complexity of Iran, so read it