This Saturday, a coalition of groups will hold an Iran Freedom Concert at Harvard. This concert, the organizers state on their website, "raises awareness of the Iranian government's human rights abuses and expresses solidarity with Iranian students seeking to end these violations. The coalition is non-partisan and does not take a stance on policy issues like foreign intervention."
I find it hard to believe such a visible, political event deems itself non-partisan or has no stance on the _one_ paramount issue facing Iran at the moment. I am not the only one transported to early 2003 with Cheney's recent threats about "meaningful consequences" to Iran.
Mana Kia, a friend and a grad student in History/ME Studies at Harvard, who co-blogs at No War on Iran has written an Open letter to the organizers that raises questions about the facts as presented by the coalition as well as their underlying assumptions and explicit goals. The drumbeat around the blogfires has been overwhelmingly positive about this event [see technorati] with the right-leaning blogs noting that this actually redeems those commie students at Harvard. It is, hence, imperative that questions be asked about this concert. I am excerpting Mana's conclusion but please read the whole thing:
Finally, I ask you, what happens to the principles of democracy and a free society when they are implemented through means which undermine their legitimacy? Do you end up with something that isnâ€šÃ„Ã´t democracy at all?
How many communists are there at Harvard, senator?!?
ha ha... another reason i'm glad i didn't go there. you would think that these harvard kids would be smart enough to do their homework so mana couldn't eat their lunch. oh well, if it's anything like the tibetan freedom concerts, there should be some killer bud.
Now that is what I call a great response! Ahmer Azam
she starts out with a conspiracy theory. there is no evidence for this claim, she uses it only as a polemical device. why not just say it? "these guys are wrong because i have a premonition that they take gov money!" then, with convuluted writing befitting of an academic in training, she challenges the group's independence; why not just say it? "this group must be in league with the gov, and since the government is wrong, so is this group" well, lets invert the questions. who finances your work? what are your political motivations for blogging so intensely? why are you allowed to claim moral high ground, and intellectual purity, while your opponent is not? and then finish with a leading question: dont you think such methods of debate are irresponsible because they disregard arguments, depending rather on (close to) ad hominem attacks? thats a pretty high horse she's riding. i hope she remembers to duck when she leaves the ivory tower