Death with a smile

This summer season’s nationwide public execution tour has a strange new twist to them


Death with a smile
by Shahriar Zangeneh

A strange trend is unfolding in the Islamic Republic of Iran. True, it would have to be incredibly strange phenomena to be considered as strange in the context of the Allah-land. And yet there it is in color photographs, even in professionally produced videos alongside the grainy mobile phone-video variety from different parts of the country.

It is not the depiction of usual suspects; world class rampant addiction, prostitution, government priced and administered human organ trade or upper thirty percentile rate of unemployment.

It is not the encroaching possible military confrontation in conjunction with the ever tightening international economic sanctions--all the while the regime is on a goodwill spending spree in Venezuela, Cuba, good old client state Syria and Nicaragua on top of bankrolling half a dozen subservient foreign militias/gunmen rackets.

It is not, by now rehashed, old sad story of a major oil exporter not having the wherewithal to build low tech refineries ergo rationing fuel. Nor is it the frivolously lavishing scarce funds on full production cycle of dual use fissile material for the not yet operating foreign built nuclear power plant and yet boasting of “advanced indigenous nuclear technological knowledge”.

The advent of a new uniformed “Morality Corp” tasked to oversee populace’s adherence to heavenly prescribed mode of conduct which includes dress code barely worth’s the mention. It is none of those or a laptop full of other listed oddities that are modus operandi for the Islamic Sultanate.

It has to do with this summer season’s nationwide public execution tour that has a strange new twist to them. Let’s quickly go through the process of elimination again. It is not the novel idea of using mobile construction cranes to hoist the soon to be stiff(s), the Islamic Republic’s version of a macabre road show minus the trinket concessions.

It is not the mixed nature of the victims, meaning not religiously sanctioned related man and woman being strung up alongside each other. Although one has to admit to the equality of sexes in the Islamic Republic even though this is the only manifestation of such equality.

Of course being the Islamic Republic it cannot let a woman go to grave without taking full advantage of the last chance for discharging its misogynistic venom on her. This point is quite clear in the recent footage of the three victims in Tabriz where moments prior to hoisting of the crane a man steps forward and adjusts the hand and foot shackled woman’s noose, slanting it which keeps the victim alive longer than the normal quick crushing of the larynx would allow. In this instance the other two male victims die almost instantly becoming motionless whereas the dangling woman twists and turns for quite a long time before succumbing to sweet mercy of death.

It is not even the specter of menacing looking black clad masked uniformed “officers” haphazardly toting submachine guns, circling around like school of sharks on a hunt in a fish pond. Nor is it the revolting callousness of parents having their small children in the audience witnessing the procedure as nonchalantly as watching a Mickey Mouse cartoon. Mesmerized people craning their neck and jockeying for a better shot with their mobile phone cameras a la Oscar night fans around the red carpet isn’t it either.

It is none of that, or a host of other repugnant maladies the ruling Islamists have inflicted the nation with. Rather, the seemingly mundane atmosphere and more to the point the smile on the face of some of the young victims just prior to the end is the oddity.

The Islamic Republic’s archipelagos of dungeons, routine lashings, on the fly executions and occasional rapes and stonings are loosing their fright factor; the Islamists should woe the day more and more desensitized people embrace death with a smile. The golden rule is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.