So now the Tehran show trials begin with the usual 'confessions', the usual smears and the usual lack of a defence. The people charged here are representatives of those referred to by people like Seumas Milne in The Guardian, as 'gilded youth'. You know, people like Neda Ahgha-Soltan. Far too gilded.
That is also reflected in the western media, whose cameras focus so lovingly on Tehran's gilded youth and for whom Ahmadinejad is nothing but a Holocaust-denying fanatic. The other Ahmadinejad, who is seen to stand up for the country's independence, expose elite corruption on TV and use Iran's oil wealth to boost the incomes of the poor majority, is largely invisible abroad.
That's what the man said.
There have always been apologists for show trials. Stalin had his apologists here. But then people like Milne would have approved of the trials, or lack of trials, of people like Mandelstam and Isaac Babel. There isn't much difference. The people and causes you don't like are represented by those charged; the people and causes you do like are represented by.... well, it doesn't matter who, as long as you can go on believing that those charged represent what you think they represent.
It's a kind of spiritual toadyism. By his logic so far Milne should defend these trials. He must do if he is to be at all consistent. We shall see whether he does. (Mandelstam and Babel mutter in the background.)