Search Engine video podcast: Free Hossein Derakhshan, even if he's kind of a jerk!

Search Engine's Jesse Brown sez, "Canadian/Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan has been held and tortured in a Tehran prison for over a year, without being charged. Both the Canadian and Iranian governments seem content to let him stay there. The media has also largely forgotten his case. Hoder's imprisonment begs the question: do we only fight for the freedom of dissidents whose beliefs we agree with?"

JESSE BROWN: Free Hoder (Thanks, Jesse!)


  1. When we only fight for the freedom of dissidents whose beliefs we agree with, we lay bare the fact that we really don’t believe our arguments or our principles.

  2. Wonder how much he’s Hearting Tehran these days lol

    Look… Lets be honest here. He knew damn well going into Iran with a Israeli Passport stamp was asking for trouble & he got it.

    And as for Canada not doing much… Well… When you give someone a black-eye, it makes them less likely to lend you a hand when you need it.

  3. Poses the question. Raises the question. Begging the question is something quite different.

    I know the language is always in flux, and I am old and crochety, but it would be nice to retain a few useful distinctions. For, like, discussions of logic and stuff.

  4. People pick and choose all the time. Whether it is the person who is a vegan for “Moral reasons” who wants to save animals, but doesn’t care about the slugs killed to provide lettuce, or those who work to free some folks and not others.

    Most people just don’t seem to be wired to love everything and everyone with equal passion…which makes sense. Yes, it is wonderfully altruistic to try to help everyone all the time, but it isn’t very realistic. We all pick and choose what actions we take, whether it is what charities to give to, or what rallies to attend.

    We are certainly far less likely to choose those that we disagree with or that have taken an adversarial attitude. Everyone has a limited amount of time and energy…so we choose to focus on what really matters to us.

    It isn’t so simple a matter as “we really don’t believe our arguments or our principles,” but more of a case of spending what time and energy we have in a fashion as we believe to do the most good.

    Now, the fact that the Canadian government is willing to let one of its citizens rot in an Iranian jail cell? That’s certainly a frightening thought…and is something I never thought I’d see happen in Canada.

    This video is a solid appeal on the most basic of levels. One that folks can get behind. It isn’t about a dissident…it is about standing behind a Canadian citizen. That is something that every Canadian should be able to stand behind.

    I suppose it all depends on what is important to the people of Canada.

  5. I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Or at least I would, it’s just that my schedule’s kinda full right now.

    Good luck to Hossein Derakhshan, and good luck to the tens of millions of other people in the world who are also the victims of horrible injustice.

  6. @Moriarty his support of Iran’s religious regime, Ahmadinejad himself and Iran’s nuclear arms ambitions.

    1. Really? I know nothing of this person except what I just read on Wikipedia, but there are some lengthy quotes that make it seem like he’s a liberal secularist who wants to democratically depose Ahmadinejad and bring peace and understanding with Israel. The defense of nuclear arms ambitions and of the existence of the regime seem to be rooted in the same thing, a desire for Iranian self-determination rather than puppet statehood.

      But then, all I did was read the Wikipedia page, so I assume others know more/better.

  7. All arguments aside, I don’t think that Canada generally helps it’s citizens when they’re jailed by a foreign government. Tons of Canadians end up stuck in Mexican prisons, or hell, even in American prisons without any help from their government(not to mention the ones that the US or Canadian government ship out of Afghani or Iranian prisons themselves).

    Seems like more of a general policy issue then a personal one.

  8. I too am curious regarding the allusion to disagreed with beliefs. There seems to be an assumption here I’m missing. His statements seem fairly reasonable other than naivete regarding Israel and a willingness to be used for zionist propaganda which may be forgivable considering the repressive Iranian regime he is criticizing.

  9. Jesse covered this issue back in November of last year. Then he gave it a 20 minute treatment in audio form. It’s a good expansion of this video and can probably explain better what’s been going on for those who are confused.
    The Blogfather Pt II

  10. It ‘blows my mind’ that people still fall victim to the nuclear psychosis bogeyman and ‘gut’ their own rights and freedoms (re: McCarthyism) when a foreign culture they know nothing about reaches the level of industrial development that the US and Canada reached in 1944.

    Hossein Derakhshan is rotting in an Iranian prison, his dilemma spotlights the reason we cherish the foundation stone of the enlightenment, the central plank in this great counties constitution, “Habeas Corpus”. It’s Latin for ‘bring the body’ (the accused man) to court.

    It’s the seed of an idea that has lead to a court system that allows accused a chance to confront their accusers. Contained with-in the concept is the idea we are all (with-in the religious sensibilities of 1566) children of god, or these days, created equal, and thus have the right in court to break down the logic our accusers have used to frame their belief that we are guilty – to seek to find the truth – .

    It is law now that in all consideration of law, the science around any given issue should be brought to court proceedings in order that law makers and judges create and sustain better law.

    In this, the age of the late Renaissance, at the zenith of democracy, of which we are a product, I find many of the comments above righteous, short sighted. Flippant ‘let ‘m rot’ comments because he thinks this or that are a sorrowful disheartening and scary reveal of the ignorance of our way of government works that these comments are supposed to be defending.

    Evelyn Beatrice Hall (1903) in an illustration of the great Voltaire (1694 – 1778) wrote:

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,”

    Understand it and live it.

    We are our only hope. Support yourself, support the rights of people including (and even though he may be a jerk) Hossein Derakhshan.

    Michael Holloway

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