Friday, July 17, 2009

Not 'Death To Israel,' Not 'Death to the USA,' But 'Down With Russia'.

. . . In reference to Ahmadinejad's friend, Vladimir Putin, and what a refreshing change of slogan it is. The protests in Iran continue:

Tipped by the good Potkin Azarmehr.


Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

I would guess Putin's friendship is founded mostly on petrodollars he gets for weaponry and assistance on all things nuclear. Still, it stinks.

2:28 AM  
Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Michael Totten wrote:

"Iranians like to shout "death" at countries and governments they oppose. "Death to America" and "death to Israel" have been staples of the bombast belted out by hard-line ruling authorities for three decades. "Death to the dictator" is a recent addition to Iran's political discourse.

Even more recently, enemies and opponents of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Ali Khamenei began chanting "death to Russia" and "death to China" to counter the regime's incessant bleatings of "death to America," and to highlight the Islamic Republic's alliance with Beijing and Moscow"

I'm wondering, then, which is a more accurate translation "Death to Russia", or "Down with Russia"?

If the first, then I would be less happy about it, since replacing the wish for the death of one nation with another's is not exactly progress. If the second cry is correct, then I think we can begin to hope that we are witnessing a real transformation into a democratic mindset among the protesting masses.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Sohrab said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Sohrab said...


Iranians use "marg bar fill-in-the-blank" which means "death onto..." It is sometimes translated as "down with ..." especially by state media seeking to mitigate just how harsh it sounds.

I agree with you that -- regardless of who's shouting it and whom it's directed at -- the phrase reflects poorly on the level of political maturity in Iran. That immaturity is, in turn, the product of life under an authoritarian government which thrives on friend-enemy rhetoric (a la Carl Schmitt). We may not see its disappearance until Iran has transitioned to secular democracy.

[Sorry for the deleted comment - I needed to edit.]

10:25 AM  

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