This Is What A Dissident Looks Like

I am anti-war, but I take a great interest in the affairs of other peoples, especially ones who live under dictatorships. I am frequently in touch with many activists around the world and believe wholeheartedly into putting my meager resources to good work when it comes to delegitimizing regimes.

Below is a Facebook message a friend sent to me after I asked him to write for an arts and culture webzine I edit:

LoL! pseudonym?!! Dude I have been in prison for 2 month and I’m pretty sure they will find out who am I… that’s not the problem. I think there was a misjudgement in your sentence…. There is a big difference between the us government and Islamic Republic. Yes both are think that they are above the law… But the washington Government tries to be above the law and there are so many filters upon them. also there is some kind of utilitarianism behind it but here they ARE really above the law and everybody is his own boss and also most of the time their deeds aren’t logical even for their own benefits… iran is a very special country! So Strange… If you come here you will love most of people… you’ll love the big culture and so on… but when you stay a bit more… you will be shocked by government and even people. They are so kind and friendly but they are the biggest liars! They seem so intelligent but they are so stupid too! there are so many things that I can’t really explain them… In general the government doesn’t like people like me and they’re waiting for the day that me or everyone like me do sth like that and imprison us. ahh… I really like to work with you but I can’t… really sorry

Damn.  Not much more to add to this, except I’d invite readers to think about the role that our government does play in the affairs of other states.  Are sanctions going to really be felt by the regimes, or the people already being oppressed by the regimes?  Same thing with war: does anybody benefit from bombs falling on their children? On their places of work?  On their roads, and bridges, and churches,  and schools, and hospitals?

Here is a picture of my friend just after being released from prison. Hasn’t lost his sense of humor!

Nobody is denying that the Iranian regime is awful, but what the libertarian tends to stress is that the longer we fight somebody, the more we become like them.  Hearken back to my friend’s observation about “filters” on the U.S. government and connect that to the current Long War on Terror.  Are the filters he alluded to being eroded or strengthened?

2 thoughts on “This Is What A Dissident Looks Like

  1. We all live under regimes, ok they come in different packages, but all are alike once the wrapping is removed. The difference today is that we are becoming more aware of this fact.
    Be happy, be quiet and all will be well … Notice and complain? … all will not be well. I fall into the latter category, as I believe you do too. So we do what we can until they come for us!

  2. Great main point. There seems to be a logic to the Long War that slowly erodes our liberties. Same dynamic happened with the Cold War of course. There’s a quote from Hannah Arendt (in On Revolution I think), where she essentially says that America would have developed a secret service and national security state simply as a product of being a world power- the fact that the Soviets were our particular rival wasn’t the true reason behind those developments. That certainly seems vindicated by the American experience since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Please keep it civil

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