Monday, July 25, 2005

Ganji: Hero or loser

Hossein Derakhshan, Editor: Myself: The writer, also known as Hoder is considered to be by many to be the father of Iranian blogs and a reformist. Please read my response, below.
The more the American right puts more investment in Ganji by its unprecedented support, the more the Islamic Regime would become determined in taking care of Ganji.

Only a dead Ganji would give Mr. Bush a unifying symbol for the future phases of their desperate efforts to change the regime of Iran from outside. That's why they are all loving him so much. Because a dead Ganji will not be able to have nuanced opinions and could easily be hijacked by the neoconservatives for their own agenda.

The authoritarian regime of Iran is smart enough to keep Ganji alive and to use him for their own future plans; the same way they did when they saw hfound him a keen supporter of boycotting the last presidential elections. (They released him for a few days and allowed him to do as many interviews in defence of the boycott strategy, which was partly the reason for Ahmadinejad's win.)

Ganji, in my mind, has started a game in which the only winner will again be Khamanei and the biggest loser would be himself -- and of course Mr. Bush. They would keep him alive and will find a way to discredit him or make him ineffective by sending him to exile for, perhaps, 'medical purposes.' They are good at this. They've done it for almost three decades.
A personal response to Hoder:

Your belief that the American right prefers a dead Ganji to a living one is false. It is also sad, because it reveals a total misunderstanding of the American right.

I understand this misunderstanding is shared by many reformist blogger's. But you as an Iranian living in a free country, have much greater access to the ideas of the American right and are therefore in a position to know better. If you were to read or meet with U.S. policy makers or scholars of the American right you will discover we are not what you assume.

I have been publishing the news on Ganji for years now and I have never met nor published anyone on the American right who fits your caricature. Visit my website, read the articles and comments on Ganji and you will discover that those on the American right genuinely support the Iranian people in their quest for real freedom and democracy in Iran. A free Iran would be our friend not a threat.

You may be correct in thinking that Ganji’s support by the American right is keeping him alive. That should be a good thing. But your assumption that the American right prefers a dead Ganji is false on its face. If the U.S. wanted a dead Ganji as a unifying symbol, why are those on the American right increasing up its support for Ganji? The fact is that a living dissident is a much more powerful symbol for Iranians to emulate.

While you seem to have a low opinion of Ganji, I have admiration for the transformation of this man. He has come a long way from his origins with the regime. While I may not share all the fine points of his political ideology, I admire his courage to live his convictions. Would he make a good leader for Iran? I don't know, but that is for the Iranian people to decide.

The American right believes in the power of ideas. This is why we are encouraging the spread of democratic ideals around the world. We long to see leaders in Iran emerge that have freedom to consider and debate the critical foundational ideas necessary to creating a nation that will ensure a free and democratic future for Iran.

The American right does not fear Ganji’s ideas. Ganji is a man pondering those ideas. He is asking important questions. We would love the freedom to discuss these ideas with individuals like him and all who are seeking a better path for Iran. But to do this he must be free and certainly alive.

I hope you will reconsider your assumptions of the American right. Consider well who your friends and enemies are.