"Seriously, This Again?"
The most annoying of all possible arguments:
“In hundreds of conversations I’ve had with Iranian intellectuals, journalists, and human rights activists in recent years, I invariably encounter exasperation,” writes Danny Postel in Reading “Legitimation Crisis” in Tehran: Iran and the Future of Liberalism, a recent addition to the Prickly Paradigm pamphlet series distributed by the University of Chicago Press. “Why, they ask, is the American Left so indifferent to the struggle taking place in Iran? Why can’t the Iranian movement get the attention of so-called progressives and solidarity activists here? Why is it mainly neoconservatives who express interest in the Iranian struggle?”
Obviously, most Americans simply don’t take a ton of interest in events abroad at all, which is a fairly unfortunate trend. Among those people who do take such interest, there’s simply no sign of indifference on the left to conditions in Iran. See, for example, Human Rights Watch’s Iran page. Or Amnesty International’s Iran page. The AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center does stuff on Iran. So does the Feminist Majority Foundation. In short, roughly every organization on the left that you would expect to deal with human rights conditions in Iran does, in fact, speak out on Iranian human rights issues and try to improve them.
Here on this blog and others we’re also seeking to prevent a war with Iran that, as Garance Franke-Ruta points out, will, among other things, have the consequence of crushing the Iranian reform movement. Maybe I can write the “why are liberals such apologists for North Korea?” version of this book — I don’t have evidence to back my claims up, but, hey, who needs evidence?