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Neda Agha-Soltan


Neda's very public death has resonated all over the world and as a result it has galvanized the support of millions of people for the Iranian protesters and their fight against their government's repression and tyranny. If you haven't seen the video of Neda right after she was shot and lay dying on the street, it is an important, albeit extremely difficult, video to see as it shows that a tyrannical government will not hesitate, even for a moment, to snuff out its country's most vibrant, promising young lives in order to maintain control of its citizens. But the thug who shot her didn't see Neda's vibrancy or promise. He didn't even see her humanity. He just saw in her a threat to the government's power that had to be destroyed.

A point that has been repeated a number of times is that she, just like her name, which means "voice" in Farsi, is giving voice to the uprising. The LA Times has information about who she was and the impact she had on those who knew her:

"She was a person full of joy," said her music teacher and close friend Hamid Panahi, who was among the mourners at her family home on Sunday, awaiting word of her burial. "She was a beam of light. I'm so sorry. I was so hopeful for this woman."

Security forces urged Neda's friends and family not to hold memorial services for her at a mosque and asked them not to speak publicly about her, associates of the family said. Authorities even asked the family to take down the black mourning banners in front of their house, aware of the potent symbol she has become.

But some insisted on speaking out anyway, hoping to make sure the world would not forget her. Neda Agha-Soltan was born in Tehran, they said, to a father who worked for the government and a mother who was a housewife. They were a family of modest means, part of the country's emerging middle class who built their lives in rapidly developing neighborhoods on the eastern and western outskirts of the city.

Like many in her neighborhood, Neda was loyal to the country's Islamic roots and traditional values, friends say, but also curious about the outside world, which is easily accessed through satellite television, the Internet and occasional trips abroad.

The second of three children, she studied Islamic philosophy at a branch of Tehran's Azad University, until deciding to pursue a career in the tourism industry. She took private classes to become a tour guide, including Turkish language courses, friends said, hoping to some day lead groups of Iranians on trips abroad.

Travel was her passion, and with her friends she saved up enough money for package tours to Dubai, Turkey and Thailand. Two months ago, on a trip to Turkey, she relaxed along the beaches of Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast.

She loved music, especially Persian pop, and was taking piano classes, according to Panahi, who is in his 50s, and other friends. She was also an accomplished singer, they said.

But she was never an activist, they added, and she began attending the mass protests only because of a personal sense of outrage over the election results.

Today John McCain spoke about the resistance in the streets of Iran and Neda's death and the impact it has had on that resistance:

Update: This is obscene. The White House is still inviting Iranian diplomats to the White House to celebrate, get this, Independence Day. Can you imagine the scene on the Fourth? Iranian diplomats, representing the current Iranian government that killed Neda and many others in cold blood for assembling and protesting the apparently fraudulent election, hanging out and laughing it up with Obama and company over barbecue. Ace has more on the White House's shocking incompetence and, in many ways, cruelty.

Jammie Wearing Fool:

Should be an interesting Fourth of July. The Norks will be lobbing a missile at Obama's home state of Hawaii while at the same time some morons from the State Depeartment will be breaking bread with Iranian diplomats.

What the hell is going on here?

Excellent question. I don't think even Obama knows. Are you retching yet?

If not, then maybe this will help. Are you a Siemens or Nokia customer? You may want to reconsider patronizing those companies. It seems they sold the Iranian government the technology to spy on their citizens' cell phone calls and text messages.


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Comments (16)

Confederate Yankee <a href=... (Below threshold)
George Author Profile Page:

Confederate Yankee makes an excellent point that the Iranian opposition leader, Hossein Mousavi, is merely the lesser of two evils and certainly no beacon of hope against repression and tyranny. We need to be careful about what we wish for.

A follow-up post cites some evidence that supports his suspicions.

I would like to believe that this uprising will bring good changes to Iran. This hope may be mere wishful thinking.

I could well be wrong on th... (Below threshold)

I could well be wrong on this - but after the people of Iran turn out one government-supported hardline bastard, they could be giving a rather subtle message to Mousavi that he's serving at their pleasure, and what happened once could happen again.

OOHbama apparently never ev... (Below threshold)

OOHbama apparently never ever met a Muslim he
could loudly berate for ANY reason, including
national security. He's one of these passive-
aggressive twits that will excuse anyone
EXCEPT those of us who would challenge HIS
right to autocratic rule. It's easy for him
to crap on America. We're a push-over for
a glib carney-barker who rules the airways
and promises the moon to the moochers among

Sometimes, in the cosmic pl... (Below threshold)

Sometimes, in the cosmic plan it seems that
the "wrong" people die...at least, at the
wrong time. Remember that sometimes the
"wrong" people are elected. Obama comes
immediately to mind.

What the hell is that? Neo... (Below threshold)

What the hell is that? Neoconbic-pentameter?

"Security forces urged N... (Below threshold)

"Security forces urged Neda's friends and family not to hold memorial services for her..."

Somehow, I don't think "urged" is the right word. Security forces shoot and kill a beautiful young girl and then they merely "urge" her parents not to hold memorial services for her at a mosque and "ask" them to take down black banners?

Right. Here, pull the other leg.

Was it the police or foreig... (Below threshold)
peter gill:

Was it the police or foreign agitators who fired the shot?

Whether Mousavi is falls un... (Below threshold)

Whether Mousavi is falls under "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" is not the relevent point about what's going on. The point is young Iranians WANT to choose and have a say in who governs them, and the anti-Mullah factor is emerging beneath this exposition of universal desire (freedom). We liberated a country next door which now holds elections. You can't tell me that has not had an effect on Iranians who'd like some of that freedom. Yet President Omama doesn't even hint at free Iraq. He should be supporting daily the aspirations of the Iranian folks openly screaming for "hope and change"--our president is a disgrace and a coward.

Anyone attending a TEA part... (Below threshold)

Anyone attending a TEA party protest on July 4th should wear something green in support of liberty and those who bravely took to the streets in Iran. And especially for Neda. She deserved better.


Obama is a chickhawk. What ... (Below threshold)

Obama is a chickhawk. What a weak leader. ww

All you neocons here bashin... (Below threshold)
Dee Dub:

All you neocons here bashing Obama have proven why you deserve to be gnashing your teeth in the political darkness. You want our president to loudly and self-righteously proclaim our indignation at the Iranian election? That might make you feel better, but every Iranian knows it was the U.S. that overthrew a democratically elected government there and installed a dictator (the Shah) whose secret police were just as bad or worse than the mullahs. Obama is playing it exactly right, the Iranian youth are responding to his great speech in Cairo. So very glad McCain is not in charge!

the Iranian youth are re... (Below threshold)

the Iranian youth are responding to his great speech in Cairo


Hey einstein, why do you suppose all those protest signs are in english? Oh wait, must be to let Obama know they heard his Cairo speech (Didn't it remind you of FDR or Churchill?) ...LOLOL.

Neda Agha SoltanA cr... (Below threshold)

Neda Agha Soltan
A crushing sadness
lays across my chest
Your story told a
thousand times a day
So many others who
face the same duress
I can only hug my child
in remembrance

Abeer al-JanabiYou w... (Below threshold)

Abeer al-Janabi
You were 14 years old
when soldiers sent to your land
by Dubya looking for phantom WMDs
raped you and killed you
along with your entire family
and 6 year old brother
and burned down your house
to hide their vile crimes
against humanity

No Wizbang article was posted
about your death

They told us pinko commies to
shut up
un-patriotic traitors
they have no problem, however
with using this woman
to score cheap political points

shame on them

Dee Dub, (Why does your nam... (Below threshold)

Dee Dub, (Why does your name sound familiar?)

All you neocons here bashing Obama have proven why you deserve to be gnashing your teeth in the political darkness.

If you don't actually understand what a neocon is, you may want to avoid using the term. I am always amazed how people lump terms together in order to misrepresent the audience they are addressing. But, that's okay, you might as well go down swinging.

Clearly, Obama is out of touch with what this attack on an innocent woman really means. This quote from the New York Times:

"While this loss is raw and extraordinarily painful, we also know this: Those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history." PRESIDENT OBAMA, on Iranian demonstrators, including a 26-year-old woman who was shot on a Tehran street.

On the right side of history? She was caught in a crossfire of gang style symbolism, and Obama is unwilling to address what really happened. He chalks it up to the history books without even wondering why Agha-Soltan was murdered in the streets of Tehran. Either that, or Obama wants to make our decisions for us on how we should feel about such a heinous act. I, for one, will not allow him to wash over this with his speech to gain political points.

Ryan, You read ALL o... (Below threshold)

You read ALL of the archives did you?






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