Bearing witness to a familiar drama

Not long ago, President Obama, in a phrase pulled from page 39 of his book of pious-sounding but meaningless cliches, pledged that U.S. would “bear witness” to the repressive actions of the Iranian regime. Yet as the regime has staged Stalinesque show trials of dissidents, Obama has instead averted his gaze.
Those who are bearing witness have noticed something fascinating, albeit inevitable: as the crackdown widens some of the very revolutionaries who launched the Islamic Republic find themselves wearing gray prision pajamas and signing bogus confessions.
Robin Wright, formerly of the Washingon Post and the author of several books about Iran, focuses in particular on Mohsen Mirdamadi, one the three ringleaders of the group that seized, interrogated, and brutalized American hostages during a 444 day period beginning in 1979. A former hostage described Mirdamadi as “particularly nasty.”
Wright says that, over the years, Mardamadi evolved into a reformer. She adds, however, that he remains unrepentant about the hostage taking. If so, he can rot in prison, as far as I’m concerned.
Revolutions always seem to end up eating their authors. Iran is proving to be no exception; it just took longer there.


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