Tehran’s butcher goes to work


Iranian jurist Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran’s general prosecutor, has been put in charge of interrogating jailed protesters and opposition members involved in demonstrations against the rigged June 12 presidential election.

Mortazavi played a direct role in the torture and murder of Canadian Zahra Kazemi while she was in Iranian custody in 2003. I wrote about Kazemi’s murder in detail after traveling to Iran in 2004 to secretly meet with Iranian democratic activists who were jailed with her. That article can be found here.


Tehran’s butcher goes to work

  1. Worse still, at my neice’s assembly, which I attended with her, they were singing ‘The Universal Soldier’
    Which, if you may recall, goes ‘he’s the universal soldier, and he really is to blame, his orders come from far away no more’
    As the granddaughter, sister, and partner of soldiers in the Armed Forces, I was offended.
    This was at 9.00. At 11:00, I went to a local secondary school to attend the service there, where they played ‘Let it Be’, whilst flashing pictures of the Canadian soldiers who have died in the last year. It was moving, and far more, in my opinion, fitting.

  2. This line of thinking would be far more resonant with me if

    a) the collective judgment about the times war must be fought wasn’t so spotty; and

    b) a certain segment hasn’t tried to turn support for troops into support for military policy.

    It’s a shame it has to be that way, but as a wise soldier once said, so it goes.

  3. “Some parents cried as their children sang “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “One Tin Soldier,” “Where Have all the Flowers Gone?” and “Imagine.”

    They were fortunate that I wasn’t in attendance at that ceremony because I would have blown a gasket. Imagine is a homage to communism and is entirely inappropriate at memorial for our war dead while the other 3 songs are little better. The only music that should be played is Last Post or Taps because they are morose and allow for solemn reflection. Teachers are freakin’ clueless, nice to know that our children are in capable hands.

  4. I don’t believe that the war veterans themselves would take such exception to children singing during a ceremony to honour them. Almost any song has potential to become an anthem for an age or a memory.

  5. Truemuse, surely we can agree that songs honouring the war dead shouldn’t be anti-war, at least not without acknowledging the sacrifices of soldiers. Never Again, our How Different Can We Really Be? Are appropriate… songs wishing for peace are appropriate. Songs that lack solemn reflection are not.

  6. WWII is hardly the standard by which to measure war. The good old days of genocidal dictators bent on world conquest aren’t coming back, and in fact hardly existed before Hitler.

    What we honour on Remembrance Day is not those who died in a just war but the devotion of soldiers who joined up regardless of whether the war was just or not. The sacrifice of millions in WWI is no less important because they died in a stupid, unnecessary, unnecessarily brutal war; in fact it’s all the more poignant. One has to be able to hold in one’s mind the fact that war, as such, is appalling and stupid and that it sometimes has to be undertaken.

    I hate all this focus on Afghanistan on Remembrance Day. The Afghanistan conflict is in no way, shape, or form parallel to the world wars or to any national war. It is a war of policy being fought by elite professionals. That’s fundamentally different from a farmer with a rifle in a trench.

  7. A dead kid is a dead kid. The photos of the dead in the last year- too many were 21, 23. One was 19. Surely we can honour the boys and men who were, after all, just doing their job.

  8. Yes, Sophie, I do agree with you. It is very important to choose the music and the flags carefully.

  9. Hey Micheal et al…. Well I don’t disagree that N11 might not be the best day for sloganistic anti-war-ism in song or otherwise…both of Mike T.’s points definitely resonated with me. And I thought the point that is constantly brought up in pro-war sloganeering (see Bush re Iraq) is that we have to fight to protect our basic freedoms, like say the freedom to pick songs for N11 that some of feel less then suitable?

  10. Thanks for your work on Ms Kazemi, and your work now. What happened to her is still not widely enough known.

    Of Mortazavi ever left Iran would the Canadian government ever seek his extradition….because it sure would be worth it.


    A young Iranian student has arrested the world's attention in her dying moments. Neda has energized a revolution.

    The emotional connection has moved Western leaders to respond, and Obama has been kicked off his mark.