The “death to” slogan began in Iran in the days of the Shah. It wasn’t enough to depose the Shah. They wanted “death to” him.
After the Shah died, gleeful Iranians evidently concluded that it was their sloganeering that killed him. They weaponized this discovery with other slogans similar in hateful meaning but not in lethal effect. Think “death to America” and then “death to Israel.”
Other countries such as Yemen joined in the chorus and expanded it. Soon it was “death to America, death to Israel and damnation to the Jews.” That was off-putting to Israelis, and also to Americans who were little comforted by the slogan’s absence of damnation to them specifically.
Israel and America weren’t the only nations targeted by these voodoo death wishes. “Death to the Soviet Union” was popular until the Soviets bought them off. And “death to England” came and went.
Sometimes they chant “death to” whatever Iranian revolutionaries happen to be out of fashion. And indeed, sometimes those revolutionaries do mysteriously die.
Then there was “death to Soleimani.” Oops, never mind.
Israel holds a special place in the Iranian death cult because they hate Jews. But it’s America that represents what they hate most – science, reason, tolerance and power wielded by others. And so, it is America that they’ve uniquely christened “The Great Satan.”
If Satan didn’t exist, they’d have to invent him. “Death to the bad guys” doesn’t have much of a ring. For people who think of themselves as religiously and righteously pure, Satan and death seem to be on their minds a lot.
“The Great Satan” slogan sometimes copulates with the “death to America” slogan to spawn something like “Death to the Great Satan.”
I know these slogans are not great literature or even catchy. Shakespeare, the Iranians are not.
Nor is the American left. The left has always advocated dishonesty and violence to achieve its Utopia. Saul Alinsky candidly preached methods in Rules for Radicals that one might charitably summarize as “the ends justify the means.”
But recently the left has gone further. Like Iran, it preaches “death to” its opponents. Sometimes this death is a metaphorical one. They cancel people they don’t like for decades-old transgressions like saying something politically incorrect. Sometimes they cancel their political column, but more about that in my next piece.
But other times the left wishes for a more literal “death to” its opponents. This is seen starkly in its approach to President Trump.
Purported leaders of American culture such as leftish Hollywood types candidly hope for death to Trump. Sadly, I can write that sentence without the metaphor-marking quotation marks around the two operative words. They are not being metaphorical.
They even fantasize about the mechanism of death to Trump. There’s beheading, shooting, burning alive, burying alive, exploding his head and, well, you get the idea.
Until they can effectuate their fatal fetish, the left name-calls Trump’s son “autistic” (even if he were, is that something to ridicule him and his parents about?), name-calls his wife a “whore” and name-calls citizens who vote for him “deplorables.”
Even the Iranians don’t delightfully specify the mechanism for “death to” their enemies. In fact, Iranians now contend that their many “death to” slogans were not intended literally. And even the Iranians don’t generally name-call the wife and son of their opponents.
As for Trump himself, the Iranians do tend to name-call him but with semi-comical tropes like their recent “son of gambling halls.” (I want THAT nickname!)
The American left can therefore congratulate itself on being more barbaric than Iran – a country that stones women for adultery, amputates the hands of shoplifters, throws gays off high buildings and executes children. You know, the sort of things the American left would like to do to Trump and his family.
How long before the left through its proxies like Antifa chant “death to Melania” and “death to Baron” and “death to the deplorables” who make up half the country? How long before they chant “death to America” which stands in the way of their Utopian paradise?
The rest of what used to be called Western Civilization is trying hard to entice Iran into, oh, maybe the 17th century or the 18th if we’re lucky. The left is making this a lot harder by joining them in the 9th century.
Now if you’re on the left, don’t tell me it’s all Trump’s fault. Trump is crude, but not barbaric. You’re stewing in your dark hatred not because Trump put you there, but because you’ve switched off The Enlightenment.
Glenn K. Beaton
Do think the Iranians will ever chant “Death to Aspen”?
Never! The Aspen Ideas Festival will invite a Mullah to be interviewed by Thomas Friedman and through softball questions inoculate Aspen against any criticism.
Unfortunately, Paul Krugman might not be available.
Here in Aspen, they basically chant “death to Vail.” That’s a head-scratcher over in Vail.
Its really…”Death to the Truth!!”
“The lie of the left that they’re pushing is that the truth is somehow cruel and harmful and that delusion will make us happy and free. That has never been true anywhere in history. “ Michael Knowles
I like your mention of “proxies.” I never thought of the analogy between Antifa and Hezbollah, but it’s perfect. I also like your last sentence although, sadly, the Enlightenment became the beginning of the end for Western Civilization, by gutting its religious basis. Currently the left hates Christianity far more than does Iran, which never had an “enlightenment” and for which Satan is still an meaningful entity.
Boil it down and the left is so intoxicated with its addictions and fantasy’s that they turn a blind eye to injustice and participate as knowing. The end justifies the means is a cop out used by lowlifes of all persuasions everywhere.
Glenn, this column on the “leftist” chants is excellent, as usual, appropriate, direct, unapologetic, thank you. We need this kind of reassurance!
However, and it could be our imaginations, it is longer than your columns for the no-good, obtusive, lib/lefty/”progressive”/moral relativist/subjectivist/humanist/secularist/Democrat idiots at the Times, and we are happy that you are now not limited in length.
But also, we also feel with this column that you have been totally unleashed, as unleashed as you might have been before! Thank you.
We are waiting enthusiastically for your “Sometimes they cancel their political column, but more about that in my next piece” column so don’t waste any time climbing those beautiful mountains,
Thanks, Luis. As for the length of this piece, it’s actually a little shorter than most of my old columns. But you’re right that it’s not leashed.
“Switching off the Enlightenment” is priceless. Best I have heard since my Enlightened spouse remarked that Trump “couldn’t pick reality out of a lineup”.
Just glad I found your next article!
Linguistic Note: IIRC, *Satan or *Shaitan carries the meaning “adversary” or “enemy”, not necessarily what English makes of *Satan as the opponent of G-d. Glad Powerline pointed you out, though.
BLUF: a Satan (an accuser) is a suicide because The Maker of All finds nothing in His Handiwork to accuse . . . He made it!
Ancient Hebrew has Satan/Sheetan meaning the accuser and comes to indicate the formal role of the prosecuting attorney in a legal case at least by the time of the Great Prophets. The underlying theological import of an accuser (Satan) being a bad guy doing evil is breathtaking indeed and entirely outside the circle of experience and expectation of all but the most sublime saints.
Prosecuting attorneys are reviled rightly not only for aggressive decisions but even more so for prosecuting at all. The reason: (1) human nature — indeed all reality — is divine and therefore blameless, and (2) where harm has been done, punishment can only reach the body, and sometimes the mind, neither of which caused the harm . . . improper impulses in the heart did that harm and no punishment can reach those save God’s own ways and means, which include no prosecutors, no Satans.
If we can ever take out a few ayatollahs at the peak of the pyramid, that whole 7th Century edifice of Shia Islam will collapse. A coup would have to be bloody enough to convince Iranians of its seriousness. They hate these spirit-crushers and would enthusiastically join in.
There’s reason to do a lot of ‘head-scratching’ these days. Here in glorious Georgia, the Moveon.org crowd has tried to organize protests to chant “no Iran war!”.
Apparently, they don’t understand what is going on now, or else they are aggressively promoting lies.
You can check out the sponsors of this charade here:
Late in the day, on November 3rd, 2020, democrats will cry and do and say unseemly things. One more time.
glenn eats hot dog shit. glad to see you lost your column you moron!
I could of course delete this obscene comment that is posted under a false name, but I don’t. Because it’s important for everyone to see the make-up of today’s American left.
“…they announced that they would replace me with another ….”
As Ralph Wiggum says; “That unpossible.”
Just spent a week in Dillon, and the people there are awesome. We will be back!
HOW does anyone who has morals and mentality want to live in Aspen, Colorado!!??
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