Ayende @ Rahien

My name is Oren Eini
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Notice: I am not going to respond to comments to this post.

Just an interesting observation, there are Bad Things currently happening in Iran. And overall, the only response that we see is a mumble here and there. Compare it to the reaction of the world to any incident in Israel in the last four decades, and I think that you can see the problem.

As far as the world is concerned, it looks like the Iranians are second class people.

More posts in "Politics" series:

  1. (22 Jun 2009) Iran
  2. (05 Jan 2009) Morality isn't math


Tom Pester

My family and I are concerned about the people in Iran and we hope that whatever happens will be better for the people and not for the few that only want power to use for their own goals. Lets hope this happens without unnecessary bloodshed. Yesterday we had a peaceful demonstration in Brussels that was prime news so my media is not ignoring it at all.


I know you said you dont want to respond to comments, but could you at least clarify on your article who you see as responding with a mumble. The media, politicians, or the general public?

Certainly here in Australia the situation is well covered in the media; with a story every night on the news since the elections.


Don't know about the "world", but the things going on in Iran have beein making headlines here in Europe since before the elections.

Morten Lyhr


I think the world sees an election/riots in Iran as internal affairs of the country. More over if the Western world interfears directly, this could be used by the regime against the demonstrants.

The world does how ever not see the Iraeli/palistine conflict as an internal iraeli conflict.


it's the usual reaction of politics to the internal problem of countries with a big economic powers that it's "we don't see and our economy will not have problem"

the same has been happened with china and tibet, russia and cecen, etc

i don't see a real similarity with israel and palestine that is a "war" between 2 "state" ("" becouse the things are really more complex...)


As already said here in the comments... It obviously depends on what you refering as "the world".

Here in Sweden (and I guess all Europe), the things happening in Iran has been top news the last week.

Michael Teper

Interesting to see how "the world" has already decided on a 2 state solution on behalf of Israel. :-/

Ayende Rahien

Nathan & Philip,

Try to compare that to the reaction during Solid Lead

Billy Stack

In Ireland, it has been the main news topic for the last week. However in my opinion, as Israel is a much more open country (i.e. journalism is generally not prohibited like in Iran), it is much more clear what is going on for Israeli related conflicts and hence more "mumble here and there"

The problem for me is even though there is widespread coverage of the Iran demonstrations at the moment, one can only speculate what is going on. All we do know is that innocent people are being murdered! - but IMO the world will just watch, but not act!!!

I strongly believe that sometimes that worlds countries treat some nations as "second class citizens" e.g. Myanmar regime, Darfur genocide, North Korea regime to name but a few.

That is why I am very critical of the UNs performance in the last 10-20 years...


Here in germany the current situation in Iran is a big topic. But as Billy Stack says..."the world just watch, but not act". This is very sad, but i think the posibilities are very limited.

The comparision with Israel is IMO true but not limited to Israel. If a country is strongly supported by the US, every action that takes place, shines in a complete different light.


Quite pointless commenting since you said you'll not respond to comments.

But the situation is quite different:

  • One is an internal riot against the head of state

  • the other was a country invading another country

Anyway, from what I saw in Italian media, the invasion of Gaza by Israel had the same coverage of the riots in Iran.

And what I see, is that the riots in Iran got much more attention from the normal people (look at all the supporting campaigns on the web, and gathering in front of Iran embassies around the World).

But maybe I didn't not understand what you are saying



Not sure what the point is you're trying to make but to quote from your comments and to compare:

  1. "Just an interesting observation, there are Bad Things currently happening in Iran." Replace Iran with Israel regarding Gaza strip.

  2. "And overall, the only response that we see is a mumble here and there." - the world mumbles on about two state solution, Israel continues to defy world regarding humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

  3. "Compare it to the reaction of the world to any incident in Israel in the last four decades, and I think that you can see the problem.". - Israel doesn't listen to the rest of the world, free press or not.

  4. "As far as the world is concerned, it looks like the Iranians are second class people." - replace Iranians with Palestinians.



In the UK, Iran is certainly being covered but hasn't been making the headlines as frequently as the rest of Europe; because of the recent MP expenses scandal.



Are you kidding ? I think you should read a little bit more on the history of the region since World War II... I'd suggest you look at the way Israel was created... And look at what happened to Palestinians when they were kicked off from Israel. What would you say if tomorrow I kicked you out from your land and put you in a camp in south Lebanon because no country wants you as a refugee...

Peter Morris

It's not comparable. Incidents within Israel are not carried out by the people of Israel.

For example. Civil unrest in India after an election is not the same as Indians orchestrating attacks on Pakistan.

Apples and Pears :-)


Did it ever occur to you why the isrealies hate media coverage? I mean you only hate coverage if you're doing something wrong, right? I wonder how would the isrealies feel if they trade places with the Palestinians. I bet then they would like to have as much as coverage as possible.


In my view, it is all about the US trying to break the regime internally. Probably, the next step would be the invasion in order to "protect the world from unstable Iran having nuclear bombs" like they did it previously in Iraq or just changing the regime like they did it previously in Georgia and Ukraine. It is the same scenario everywhere: lost elections, the opposition moving people to the streets, the media attack and after that they take the power. It is not about the people's freedom, it is about the geopolitics. The rest of the stuff about democracy and so on is nothing but a brain wash. Regarding the Israel and Gaza, I simply don't get why the Israel is not just conquering this little piece of land instead of loosing peoples life and spending time in useless attempts to build Palestinian State.

Alexis Kennedy


If by response you mean the media response, then as other commenters have pointed out, it's been global headlines. In the UK it is currently the leading headline, knocking our major domestic political scandals off the top spot.

If you mean a popular response to the repression of the Iranian government - then the difference is that in the case of Israel, there are very loud both pro- and anti-Israeli voices in the West. But both critics and supporters of Israel are, universally, critics of the Iranian regime. So there hasn't been very vigorous debate: but there has been a constant drumbeat of sympathy for the Iranian protesters.

If you mean a political response, then the US and UK government are wisely keeping our mouths shut because we are both so despised in the region that supporting the protesters would discredit and damage their cause.

Grimace of Despair

I was going to post a bet on when Oren was going to respond, despite his statement. But he already did...


I think what Oren means is that no one is blasting Iran for the current dealings as they would Israel ordinarily. Getting general 'unbiased' headlines about Iran is not the same thing as ourright hate speech against Israel. Obama is too concerned with making friends on every side to back anyones side.

Peter Morris


Because riots in streets are not orchestrated by the Iranian government. If they send out their army and start killing protesters all over the place I am pretty sure they will see plenty of negative press coverage.

Peter Morris

"As far as the world is concerned, it looks like the Iranians are second class people."

Actually I see it as the opposite. The press I always see about Israel is mostly about disproportionate retaliation, and the Palestinians are usually portrayed as the innocent party.

So I see it as

"As far as the world (press) is concerned, it looks like the Israelies are condemned more than others"

Gunnar Liljas

Alexis wrote:

"in the case of Israel, there are very loud both pro- and anti-Israeli voices in the West. But both critics and supporters of Israel are, universally, critics of the Iranian regime. So there hasn't been very vigorous debate: but there has been a constant drumbeat of sympathy for the Iranian protesters."

Well said. I think that's the real difference.


I think the situation in Gaza & Iran is somewhat different. Maybe a better comparison could be made with the recent Sri Lanka offensive where something like 7000 civilian deaths have been reported by UN, with scant attention from the western media.

In comparison with the passionate and biased reporting from Gaza, the news from Sri Lanka were presented in a objective, matter-of fact tone (antother war in a third world country, who cares?). To me it's obvious that the western media has double standards towards Israel.



This is the first I've heard of the Bad Things going on in Iran. Here in France, the "mumble" hasn't reached me.

João P. Bragança

Erik, it's not for lack of trying. Plenty of so called human rights orgs have been whining about the Sri Lankan offensive. The difference is in the leverage... they don't buy their weapons from western governments like Israel does, but rather China. Since the Chinese are merely concerned with their national interest, they aren't about to start exerting pressure on the Sri Lankans.

We in the west on the other hand have completely lost our minds. Every minor conflict on the other side of the planet is a human rights disaster. Any wiff of instability is met with pols stating that 'something must be done' (nevermind how 'something' should be paid for).

To paraphrase Reagan: The eight most terrifying words in the English language are, "I'm from Washington and I'm here to help." The best thing we can do for Israel (and the Iranian protesters) is to stay the hell out of their way and let them do what they need to do.

Khamza Davlatzade

Thanks Ayende, and other people for the understanding and support!



Completely agree with you! I didn't want to write anything in this topic at first, but have to support your point of view! There's nothing worse than "help" from imperialist governments, and somehow they are always ready to "help" troubled nations take care of their goods. Especially if these goods are oil-related :)

Someone Else

Here in Germany there is a lot of media response about what's currently going on in Iran.

Interestingly, there is a slight but notable resemblance between the tide of events after Iran's election and the protests that lead to the Fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago. They show the latter in TV currently, too, due to the 20th anniversary happening this year.


Sheesh Ayende. What sad sack of passive aggressive nonsense.

Stick to tech.

João P. Bragança

I don't mind helping other people as long as I get something out of it... which is something our leaders in Washington seem to have lost sight of.

A republic should represent both powerful oligarchs AND the people. Hence Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR). However it seems as if the interests of the two groups no longer coincide.


One word.... Perspective


As an Iranian geek, I thank you my friend. thanks for bringing this up. people of the world: we are just like you! we love watching star wars, we love jail breaking our iPhones, we love to play WOW with our friends. the media depicts an evil nation. we are just being held hostage by a brutal regime who wants to wipe the maps, it is not us. please understand us, please raise your voices to your governments to do something about this situation. up until now, the most other countries have done, was to put us under sanction and that my friends puts ordinary people under pressure not the well off government bastards. we need your help, just amplify our vice: WE WANT FREEDOM, WE WANT DEMOCRACY

Krzysztof Kozmic


The media are not depicting an evil nation.

The media are depicting evil leaders of the nation.

I wish you all the best on your quest for free (libre) democratic Iran my friends.

Waheed Sayed


You don't need the world governments. You need ur borthers and youself to sit down and figure out your way peacefully. Otherwise your enemies will be the winner. I hope you are not searching for Freedom and Democracy that Israel gave to Palestine OR what Americans gave to Iraq, Afghanistan and more to come. I hope you know and appreciate that your history, your nation, your religion and your culture is more valiable than jail breaking ur iPhone and playing WOW.

But I don't expect that u got that at all otherwise you won't be calling for Freedom and Democracy HERE, on our dear Israeli friend post, who wasn't thinking of you at all. He was thinking how poor his ppl, Media always bothers them while killing thier neighbors they don't like .. What a democrat :)

Mikael Henriksson

Hey, I totally agree! I have shown my support to the democratic process. Wish I could do more though



All Iranians want, is their votes being counted. If it wasn't rigged, there weren't those many angry people in the streets being shot at and still chanting "where is my vote". this is not a matter of "brothers solving an internal issue" this is a matter of robbery in broad daylight. this is a matter of democracy and freedom.

Freedom and democracy will not be given to us, that's why we are DEMANDING it, and are paying the price with BLOOD.

you seem to be Moslem, isn't it your book that says if two groups of Moslems kill each other, they both go to hell? Iran was invaded by Iraq for 10 years and one million people died from both sides, where was the "solve it between the brothers" attitude then?

where will my nation be with such a government which is pushing us back to the dark ages? a government which is not even following its own constitution?

for me my iPhone is important, for my sister, having the wind in her hair was a dream for years. isn't your Quran that says "there is no force in religion"? why are they forcing us to be good Moslems?

I'm 40 and I haven't danced in my life, I never had a chance to. My childhood was thorn between finding out where I can find tomato paste and learning how to walk in the streets so that I don't get beaten up by good Moslems.

With all due respect for your belief, I think religion is the worst thing human race invented.


What the hypocrisy…

Matter as usually in oil and nuclear weapon. Is this not obvious? But everyone speaks about the humaneness, freedom and democracy. I already heard this 100 times when Iraq was bombed.

You (through your leaders) simply fear, that nuclear weapon will appear in Iran. If in North Korea protests begin - they will be supported by the entire world under the mask of humaneness. If you actually want to show your humaneness you will focus attention on African countries, they have a lot of problems. Somewhere average life expectancy of < 32 years. And much more people die.


Some Uzbek

Hm... Seems lots of discussion about Iran problem... . But never saw this kind of discussion about Andijan massacre (Uzbekistan, en.wikipedia.org/.../May2005unrestinUzbekistan). Seems Uzbek people are 3rd class (if not lower) :))). Why? - Because cotton is much cheaper than oil? :)))

Waheed Sayed

@ Ali

I was going to send u my email to continue this chat without filling Ayende's blog with issues he may not much care about.

But when I reached your the last statement I got shoked & dropped the idea. RELIGION is the worst thing human race INVENTED?!!!

You know that even idiots who worship stones don't think that religions are something to be invented! Anyway, you are free but that means that you'll be questioned by who created you & believe or not there is ONE and Almighty One created you.

The greatest mistake of your government that it spoiled the image of Islam and made many ppl think that the problem is in Islam not in ppl who claim being Muslims.

About Iran-Iraq war in 80s, I remember I believed that It is completely wrong although I was very young and didn't even started using the Internet to express my opinions. But didn't democrate USA helped on that? check history & benefits ;) Does that make Christianity which is built on Peacefulness and love a bad INVENTED RELIGION !!!!! I must belame ur gov for ur corrupted ideas.

I think nothing to more discuss here and sorry If that bothered anyone. I'm out now.



Waheed, this tells me you've never read the Bible for if you had you would have known that man cannot possibly invent fulfilled prophecies that were written hundreds to thousands of years earlier. Do you go in public and profess to know a technology that you have never read? Worshipping stones? I think you're getting Christians and pagans confused my friend. One man-created religion doesn't mean they're all man-created. Please do some studying before you go out publicly defame something you obviously don't know much about.

Waheed Sayed


It seems one of us could not express clearly in English!

I never made a relation between worshipping stones and any monotheistic religion. I hope that is clear.

I admitted that Christianity is built on Love and Peace because I know enough about it, from its followers friends of mine. But true I didn't read the bible. I don't believe that makes me talking about something I don't know. Also, Quran mentioned many wonderful things about Jesus, Moses, Joseph, Jacob, Zechariah, and many others. So, I still believe that I know enough.

I'd like to make the image clearer, I do by myself first what I ask ppl to do. So, I don't judge Christianity by its followers who committed most of the wars and occupations in the new era and support many unjustified cases and were very biased against many nations. But sure I belame them for current international situations everywhere.

I hope one day everyone drops the preset and inhereted opinions

that has been corrupted by media for many decades for the benefit of some and to start thinking FREELY and LOGICALLY about what is the truth.


Its more an internal power struggle than a democratic movement with Mousavi and Ahmadinejad being the public faces of the Rafsanjani and Khameini factions.


What's interesting in the US is that, while the Iranian situation is getting a lot of press, it's also turning into an opportunity for House Republicans to completely slam Obama.

Apparently he's not doing enough to represent Democracy in the region...because it worked out oh so well when the last guy tried to do anything about it.


It's good to discuss how much press something gets while people are killed. Isn't it. And always there is this two letter thing called the "US" who starts and ends everything and seems to be the world center.

But to original post, I think the view is rather biased, maybe oversaturated patriotism is at works here. At first, different from Gaza, it is internal affairs of Iran and secondly, it gets A LOT of attention, at least all over Europe. And nobody seems to be singing praising gospel to current regime of Iran.



The first part of your comments are a bit confusing, the "who starts and ends everything and seems to be the world center" part especially.

The Brits have been meddling in that region a lot longer than the US

Sidar Ok

In Belgium and Turkey, Iran was the top news as well.

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