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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Andy Martin on the murder of Neda Agha-Soltan and the civil war in Iran.

Martin says the “Mafia Mullahs” and their “Basij” are an embarrassment to Islam

Andy Martin on the murder of Neda Agha-Soltan
Andy Martin
Executive Editor

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Andy Martin on the death of Neda Agha-Soltan and the continuing conflict in Iran

Martin says the “Mafia Mullahs” are an embarrassment to Islam

“The doctrine of unintended consequences” has finally caught up with the Mullahs.

Memo to John McCain: shut up

(PALM BEACH)(June 23, 2009) Of course I have watched the video of the young woman Neda Agha-Soltan assassinated by Iranian gangsters acting at the behest of the “Islamic Republic.” Truly, the bullet that killed Neda was the shot heard round the world.

Obviously, the Iranian government has lost control of its own storm troopers.

As I always remind my readers, I do not view events in Iran from an unemotional perspective. I lived through firefights and killings in Iran. Although my events took place three decades ago, the current violence has brought them to the forefront of my consciousness.

And although I am a critic of the Iranian government, I view the Iranian people with great affection. My exposure to Shi’a Islam is also quite unique for an American: few have traveled as I have to the four holiest cities of the Shi’ite religion: Qum and Meshad in Iran, and Najaf and Karbala in Iraq. (You can see a picture of me in front of the mosque in Karbala at

And so as I try to sort through the violence of the past few days, and the flatulent rhetoric of Senator John McCain and his senatorial publicity addicts, my emotions are intertwined with my memory.

All Abrahamic religions celebrate their martyrs. In my own Christian religion, the early theologian Tertullian wrote that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”

I would not be surprised to find Ms. Soltan’s blood become the seed of a second Iranian revolution.

Shi’a Islam is particularly focused on martyrdom. Being in Qum during Muharram, I observed the faithful beating themselves with chains as a symbol of remembrance for the martyred Imam Ali.

Can one person’s brief life and brutal death make a difference? One person who is now described as having been “nonpolitical?”

Indeed she can.

First, a word about a double standard. Our eyes do not deceive us. If the martyr has been a man, particularly a man with a scruffy beard, his death might not become the icon of a new revolution. But Ms. Soltan was strikingly beautiful. Yes, there is a double standard. Indeed, others were slaughtered last weekend. Only one image will be fixed in time forever: Neda. The camera loves beautiful images.

The cowardly sniper who fired into a crowd may have killed an innocent bystander. But he also created an image that will endure in Iranian culture and history. The “doctrine of unintended consequences” finally caught up with the mullahs. After slaughtering tens of thousands of their own people during the past three decades, a single life snuffed out has become the martyr that will demolish their demonic “republic.” Allah Akbar.

The fate of the “Islamic Republic” is sealed. The religious junta is doomed.

It is impossible to predict whether the regime will fall sooner, or later. Truly that is in God’s hands. But the mullahs will be swept off the face of Iranian government and returned to their proper place of worship because of a single shot heard round the world: the bullet that killed Neda Soltan.

The theocratic experiment has not only failed, the experiment has embarrassingly failed. The “Mafia Mullahs” have disgraced Islam. Murdering peaceful demonstrators, or innocent bystanders in the case of Neda Soltan, is a disgrace to any religion. Creating “Basij” storm trooper cells that prey on their own people is disgraceful. Is this the “supreme leader’s” interpretation of Islam? His revelation from God? For shame.

In Tehran, I used to chuckle at the envelopes we still used at the Intercontinental Hotel, celebrating the “Pahlavi Dynasty.” The Pahlavis lasted fifty years; the mullahs only thirty (even if they hang on a little longer). Only Ozymandias could appreciate these characters.

The Pahlavis fell because they would not kill their own people; the mullahs will fall because they are willing to kill their own people. Sadly, the Iranian people have been victimized through both Islamic and secular dictatorships.

This week I called the conflict in Iran a civil war. Will anyone deny that fact?

Tonight Neda lies in a cold grave.

And somewhere in the Ayatollahs’ arsenals, among the boxes of bullets and racks of rifles, some sane man must be asking himself: “Was this God’s retribution? We killed an innocent woman. Blood is on our hands. We have sealed our fate.”


Some quick thoughts. I voted for Senator John McCain for president. But he should really give his media addiction a rest. His ideas on how to deal with Iran are seductively enticing. Emotionally, I agree with him. Yes, we should be on “the right side of history,” the latest catch-phrase of cable TV bobblehead conservatives. But McCain is wrong to state that what worked against the Soviet empire in the 1980’s is the only template that respects “history.” Sometimes, common sense tells us to keep our mouths shut; not because we don’t sympathize with the efforts of a proud nation to shuck off the slime of a vile dictatorship, but rather because we are powerless to influence the outcome and could negatively impact the result by intemperate blather. With all due respect, Senator McCain, please shut up. Sometimes knowing when to hold your tongue places you on the right side of history. Your need to give your insatiable appetite for TV a rest, and actually read some history.

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Andy Martin is a legendary Chicago muckraker, author, Internet columnist, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He has over forty years of broadcasting background in radio and television and is the dean of Illinois media and communications. He is currently promoting his best-selling book, Obama: The Man Behind The Mask and producing the new Internet movie “Obama: The Hawai’i years.” Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of

Martin comments on regional, national and world events with more than four decades of experience. He has over forty years of experience in Asia and the Middle East, and is regarded overseas as America’s most respected independent foreign policy, military and intelligence analyst. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York. He is an announced candidate for Barack Obama’s former U. S. Senate seat.


His columns are also posted at;
[NOTE: We frequently correct typographical errors and additions/subtractions on our blogs, where you can find the latest edition of this release.]

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Blogger Solidus said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Solidus said...

- During Muharram the Shiite Muslims mourn for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, One of the sons of Imam Ali. (Of course he is a martyr in Shia’s perspective)

“… some sane man must be asking himself: "Was this God's retribution? We killed an innocent woman. Blood is on our hands. We have sealed our fate.”

- The paramilitary Basij and IRGC(Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps) and also the majority of Police officers keep allegiance to Mr.Khamnei the supreme leader because he is appointed as “Vilayate Fagih” by the Iranian constitution, a position that Shia doctrine defines it as someone who is the representative of the last Imam of Islam. This is how the Islamic Republic of Iran has legitimized itself by religious means and the ones who are faithful to Mr.Khamnei believe that they are carrying the will of Allah on the earth so that they will never ever regret about any atrocities they’ve been carrying out.( See how disastrous it is to live in Iran with people of such mentality).

12:49 PM  

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