Is International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran turning Neo-con?

When I first this piece about Green infighting, it really saddened and upset me. I am Green – because I believe that the struggle in Iran can be best won if it is seen as a civil rights struggle. And no thinkers have put that in words better than Professor Hamid Dabashi and Hadi Ghaemi of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

That’s why I was so upset to see that Rudi Bakhtiar – who works for Ghaemi – had attacked author Hooman Majd, also a Green.

But everyone makes a mistake. And we all lose our temper every once in a while. So I hope Bakhtiar apologizes to Majd and puts this behind them.

But that one mistake has now been turned into two mistakes.

On July 7 in London, Bakhtiar spoke at the uber-neocon think tank The Henry Jackson Society. Named after Senator Henry Jackson, who is considered the father of neo-conservativism, the society represents everything that is wrong with neo-con foreign policy. (Neo-con war criminals like Perle and Wolfowitz met when they worked for Henry Jackson!)

Most of the Greens in London loathe the The Henry Jackson Society because they remember how the “think tank” helped push Britain into the Iraq war, and because it has championed bombing Iran for years.

So I was pretty shocked when a friend told me that Bakhtiar and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran was speaking at the Society.

Just to give you an idea, war-monger Bill Kristol spoke at the Society a few weeks before Bakhtiar. A week after her, there was a presentation for the Friends of Israel Initiative. Earlier, Iranian charlatans like Amir Abbas Fakhravar spoke at the Society.

I am not saying that these people should be silenced. But I just cannot see why any real Green would want to be associated with them. It’s not that it is such a disaster that they spoke at the same place – it’s that the place has the agenda of promoting war and imperialism in the Middle East. So speaking there isn’t an innocent act – it’s a statement.

I am the first to defend the Greens. But sometimes we also have to be self-critical. We need to do some soul searching. Clearly we have fallen a bit short. But we shouldn’t get desperate. And we shouldn’t lower our standards.

Splendid organizations like the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran need to be led and represented by people who have the judgment to lead.

Everyone can commit a mistake. But this is becoming a pattern.

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