Molotov Cocktail


The letter N has a funny story about Iranian revolution of 1979 and her grandmother's involvement in making Molotov Cocktails.
The story reminded me of the revolution years. I was a child back then, but I vividly remember everything: the enthusiasm, the hope for the future, and the hatred toward Shah. "Har gohi biyaad behtar az ine!" ("Any piece of shit would be better than this one") This was what he said repeatedly in those days. A few years later he regretted saying that. Not because he wanted the Shah back, but because he —like many others— understood how wrong the policy of "anyone but Shah" could be.

When overthrowing a government is the only goal —and nobody knows what is going to replace it— it is not a surprize to see it replaced with another "piece of shit."
The painting: "Molotov Cocktail" by Alexander Kosolapov. More details here.


  1. good point...
    but then the dictators supress any other alternative, so its them or the vague future... and the dictators would play the shitty future card to scare the public of the consequences of their removal and make them content with the shitty present.

    if u were back in 1979 iran, what would be ur position...?

  2. I always support finding the ways to reform the existing system, unless the system itself closes ALL the doors. In 1970's Iran there was no way for any reform in the system, but there were ways to reform it in 1977, when under Carter's pressure the Shah began his "Open Political Space" policy. Unfortunately it was too late. People were fed up, and the Shah was too stupid to understand the necessity of a radical change in his policies. He was not only a coward tyrant, but one of the dumbest dictators ever existed.

    Another example would be today's Egypt: Mobarak is a dictator, but not anyone like Shah, Stalin or Hitler. There are publications in Egypt that criticize the government to some extent, and there are movements that want changes in political system. To me any kind of reform through these institutions is more productive than a radical change through a revolution. With the exception of a few countries, I think any radical change in Islamic countries results in another dictatorship (possibly an Islamic one) or civil war and chaos.

  3. in fact i was asking this because of where egypt is now...

    many bloggers discussed this point...
    would we push for change if we know that it would bring islamists to power?

    some said they'd prefer 50 yrs mubarak over a day under the isalmists...

    others just said" "enough!" and are willing to take the chance... and maybe the secular leaning opposition that is fighting for reform will be rewarded by the public for their stand...

    others said they think people have to learn the hard way... and islamic state is some sort of destiny... if majority of people wnt it... then only dictatorship or time can stop that...

    some optimistic people think that there will be true democracy and the islamists can be elcted in and out of power and they will be just another political player....

    iran in the 70's resembles egypt to some extent. except that in egypt it's very unlikely that there'll be revolutions, or violence...

    funny thing is that most of egyptians aren't aware of presence of irani opposition... they genuinely believe that the regime is popular and that iran is a great success with a democracy... and that its a strong country that will develop nuclear weapons and stand against the us and israel...

    but i digress!

    so, what do u think?

  4. Case in point: Che Guevara. Who gave Cuba Fidel Castro, according to the same policy.

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  6. 1.
    Is "Islamic regime" Egypt's destiny? I am sorry to hear that. That would be quiet a catastrophe. Maybe Egyptian public needs to be educated about the daily life in Iran and the experience of 27 years of Islamic dictatorship.
    "iran is a great success with a democracy"... Don't the Egyptians see that in Iran there is no one in power other than the clergy members? What kind of democracy could it be that doesn't allow the others to participate in the elections?
    With all the disdain I have about the religious movements everywhere in the world, I think in a real democracy the religious political parties should be free (like anyone else) to participate in the elections. All these bans on their activities makes them more popular. With the exception of Iran, majority of people in the Middle East believe in the Islamists. Even in Iran the moderate forms of Islam still are popular and work like the opposition against the brutal Islam of the establishment. If we really believe in democracy we should respect people's opinions and people's choices and support their freedom of speech. To me events like what happened in Algeria is a disaster for democracy and secular movement in the Islamic world.
    There are problems here:
    One problem is that if the Islamists gain the power do they respect the democratic rules or not. The Islamists who came to power in Iran showed that they don't. But we need to remember not every Islamic group is like them. For instance The Freedom Movement in Iran is an Islamic group who is very much pro-democracy. The group is respected among the seculars, and very much hated among the extreme fundamentalists.
    There is another thing we should remember: the incompatibility of Islam itself with human rights —at least in its existing form. Islam is clearly and openly against the equality of people's rights based on their faith, gender, position, and many other things. Is it going to change? I hope it does. Islam in its traditional form is very much difficult to deal with. It needs to be adapted to today's world if the Muslims don't want it to die.

  7. if u were to write a letter to the egyptian people (i asked N the same thing but she said she isn't old enough :) )telling them about 26 years of irani revolution and islamic state... advising them as they are in a place u can't go back to anymore... what would u tell them?

  8. Mohammed,
    What you want me to do is like asking me to write a book!
    I love to do that. There are many things I want to say in that letter. If I write such a letter are you willing to translate it into Arabic and post it on your weblog?

  9. of course i'm going to translate it...
    i'm planning to write an article about different view points on islamists coming to power ( i can translate it to u f u r interested) followed by "letter from iran"...
    thanks alot!

  10. Ok, ... I need more time though. You see, it takes me a long time to write a few lines here in this blog for a few readers I have. Imagine how long it takes for me to write a letter for the entire Egyptian nation!

  11. sure...
    but i must warn u that not all the entire egyptian nation read my blog :)


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