No one doubted that Iranians could be handsome and “love their children too.” The problem was that the people in the pictures didn’t speak for their tyrannical regime and the regime didn’t speak for them, nor did it represent their interests. They themselves were hostages to insane policies of their unelected leaders. Many Iranians would surely prefer to be liberated and live in the modern world rather than be sacrificed as human shields by the mullahs pursuing a medieval theology. It was nothing short of depravity to showcase sanitized images of the victims in order to sustain a regime that brutalized them.
I don’t begrudge the photographer for not including my comment in the released video. But I was proven right when ten months later the same Iranians — looking much like the models in the exhibit — poured into the streets of Tehran and other cities in massive anti-government rallies, often risking their lives, to protest against the ugly mullahcracy.
That surely shattered any illusion of peaceful unanimity put on by the regime’s propaganda. Perhaps Mr. Loughlin may do some good by moving his Iranian pavilion to the White House lawn to give Barack Obama “the sense that something beautiful is in jeopardy,” because the U.S. president seems to have chosen to remain uninformed.
Reportedly the Iranian dissidents expected to receive support, or at least encouragement from the American president. But the “warmonger” Bush is no longer in office, and the “peace-loving” Obama isn’t interested in rocking the boat, flexing American muscles, or doing anything else that might upset the established leftist narrative and pigeonhole him together with Bush, Reagan, and other “imperialist villains” of yore. Stuck in the parochial past and learning about the outside life from myths, Obama prefers his Iranians sanitized and united behind their own America-hating government, as the old leftist legend says they should.
In contrast, the democratic government of Honduras isn’t attempting to put on a show of unity. The Honduran society is openly divided, with a small minority of leftist protesters clamoring for the return of the would-be dictator. Yet the “unanimity” trick is still being played against the Hondurans — not from within, but from outside its borders — as leftist leaders and sympathetic media are trying to present the handful of local Marxists as ones who speak for all people. A pretense that, to them at least, provides a moral justification for their demands to restore Zelaya.
But Honduras has a history of standing its own ground and defending its sovereignty. Researching this story, I interviewed J. Michael Waller, professor of International Communication at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C.:
“The Left has always had a grudge against this conservative and anti-communist nation,” explains Waller. “Leftists never had a chance in Honduras, because the locals would invariably kill any Cuban- or Soviet-trained radicals who would try to set up a revolutionary movement. The United States or CIA had nothing to do with repressing the Left there; the Hondurans proved perfectly capable of doing it on their own.”
And yet, according to the Guardian, Obama’s support of Zelaya is motivated by his perceived guilt for “the United States’ long history of supporting coups against Latin American leftists.” At the same time, renowned U.S. constitutional lawyer Miguel Estrada, who is a native of Honduras, has no such qualms. Having real — not mythological — knowledge of Honduran people, history, and law, Estrada is convinced that the Honduran military and Supreme Court acted within their rights. The only problem, he says, is that instead of deporting the pajama-clad Zelaya to Costa Rica, “they should have just put him in jail.”