The National Review Is Screwing Over Brave Iranian Protesters...For a Second Time

Always a strong performer in the 'Contradictory-and-Imperialistic-Ramblings-on-Foreign-Policy' Awards, the National Review has really outdone itself this time. We’re talking cream of the crop stuff here.


What put them a nose ahead of the rest? A front-page link to this little morsel, from a WSJ op-ed today titled, "An Alternative Nobel."

Suppose this year's Nobel Peace Prize had gone to the scores of Iranians now on trial for having protested the fraudulent re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last June. For the three defendants who were sentenced to death over the weekend, a Nobel might have made all the difference in the nick of time. At a minimum, it could have validated their struggle.

Obviously, the problem is not in the statement. Giving the Nobel to Iranians would have held immense political significance. It would have both spotlighted the courage of dissidents and served as a subtle critique of Ahmadinejad. It may indeed have even "validated" the struggle to a degree.

No, the big insult here is the messenger. Directly following the Iranian elections, the National Review was chief among the media outlets rabidly advocating American intervention/interference in the country. They essentially spearheaded a campaign (one buttressed both by the Weekly Standard and the Washington Post) to relegate Iranians to a sort of helpless role within the America’s media narrative: "Without our help, they are doomed to suffer under this oppression forever!" went the braying punditry.

NR’s Jonah Goldberg was perhaps the worst perpetrator. In a June 17 piece, he classified Iranians as "huddled masses…yearning to breathe" (as if their wheezing wasn’t due to decades of U.S.-sponsored meddling) and asked Obama to "lift a finger for democracy." Really, just a finger? That’s all it would take?

The underlying assumption of Goldberg’s argument was that the U.S., simply by virtue of its status as a "colossus," was in a position to reach down and pull up a battered Iranian populace. Our indisputable superiority in all things democratic (though, bizarrely, Goldberg seemed to think we are not even maintaining our democracy that well) allows us to act on behalf of Iranians, because let’s face it. We know what’s best for everyone.

We don’t.

Anyway, the same jackasses who were advocating the essential suspension (or erasure) of Iranian sovereignty four months ago are now whining about how these courageous people have been robbed by President Obama of their rightful recognition.

Hmmm…wasn’t it that same recognition folks on the Right were working so hard to destroy this summer?

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.