Alex Blaze

Gays being executed on video in Iran... really?

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 20, 2009 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement
Tags: Barack Obama, CNN, Iran, Iraq War, LGBT

Yesterday I saw a video making the rounds in the LGBT blogosphere, purportedly of gay men being pushed off a building in Iran as punishment for homosexuality. First Gays without Borders posted it, then Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin did, Bil ran it as a YGST video yesterday, then I saw it on Ex-Gay Watch.

Immediately suspicious because of both the institutionalized scare-mongering about Iran in the US and the fact that no one had a link to a news source discussing the video, I left a comment on the blog post at Gays Without Borders asking them for their source (that blog post has since been deleted without explanation, and they never responded to my comment).

Well, this morning Jim updated his original post and wrote another to say that the video was not of a gay man being sentenced to death by being thrown off a building in Iran, but was instead from a CNN report in 2003 on Saddam Hussein (the irony of that fact, I'm sure, escapes the gays who want to see the US *ahem* "take action" on this). Ex-gay Watch (an awesome narrow-focus blog that does amazing work following the ex-gay movement) posted a correction and apologized. Bil has yet to update his post, but I posted a comment telling him that they found out that video was fake. Gays Without Borders just scrubbed their site of the fact that it was ever there.

So, question: why are some gays so willing to believe anything they see about how awful homosexuality is punished abroad? Why aren't they even willing to ask the basic questions (like "What is your source?") when someone tells them they have something as extraordinary as a video of men being thrown off roofs as punishment for their homosexuality?

According to Jim, the video was found at the French-language site "Iran-Resist.org." Here's the text that accompanied the video (after a few videos of a gay-friendly, Jewish French politician being interviewed by Iranian TV):

Iranians have trouble hearing condemnations of their complacent attitude in the face of a terrorist-pimp regime, but we call on the gay community to call out this traitor who dances fine at Pride but then goes back in the closet in front of the dirty mullahs!

According to Sharia, mullahs eliminate gays by pushing them into the void. This Arabic video shows this sort of execution; watch these poor people who are really trapped.

[Translated by me]

Ummmm... yeah, when anti-Iranian sentiment is always a threat when discussing the central Asian country, a statement like that lets us know just what's motivating their presentation of this video. (And, as this post goes to publish, Iran-Resist.org still hasn't corrected their explanation of this video.)

Ex-gay Watch and Box Turtle Bulletin both corrected their original posts, which is a good thing. I can see how either would see the video, believe Gays Without Borders's explanation of it, and want to repost it to share, because if the story was true then it's an horrific crime against humanity. But why was their natural skepticism thrown out the window when it came to this item? Surely the lack of backstory at all to the video should have been enough to make some people skeptical.

And why would Gays Without Borders repost a video without disclaimer from such an obviously racist website?

Here's Jim's explanation of the video's actual source:

However, thanks to Steven Milerton we've been able to confirm that the video appeared much earlier in a 2003 CNN report, which showed troops from Iraq's Fedayeen Saddam throwing soldiers off the roof in order to "instill discipline."

In 2003, the US was just starting the war in Iraq. News media did their part by discussing human rights abuses in Iraq to justify America's naked resource grab, and Lou Dobbs played this video of Saddam Hussein's intimidation techniques that involved throwing people off buildings.

While we don't have any money to start a war now, it is kind of... appropriate that gays are participating in another round of condemnations of a nation that Bush lied about to try and make Americans scared enough of it to start another war.

But in a few decades, when America's ready to start spreadin' democracy again, will gay human rights abuses be the new excuse to invade in the same way feminism and human rights were cynically used to justify an invasion of Iraq? If so, will gays be ready to oppose that perversion of our movement?

Update: While not entirely related to this post, in other Iranian-American relations news today, Obama released a statement for Persian new year:

I don't know much about Iranian culture, but I do know that they have the same sense of cultural superiority and pride in their civilization that the French and Americans do, except they're far less secure about others recognizing it (Americans don't seem to have much trouble believing everyone thinks we're awesome... and lots of people outside of the US do). So good on Obama for hitting the "great Iranian civilization" notes.

And, as Michael Crawford said when Obama said he'd sign the UN declaration against the criminalization of homosexuality, this is a clean break from the Bush years. These sorts of things go hand-in-hand. The US can't have leadership on human rights issues by just condemning other nations. It has to reach out with some olive branches as well.


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Anthony in Nashville | March 20, 2009 11:18 AM

I think it's easy to assume the worst about the lives of LGBTs outside of the USA (specificially Africa and Asia) because those places are generally portrayed as not being as "evolved" as the US. I also think it reflects an underlying fear about the threat of violence familiar to many of us.

Everyday Transperson | March 20, 2009 11:54 AM

"So, question: why are some gays so willing to believe anything they see about how awful homosexuality is punished abroad? Why aren't they even willing to ask the basic questions (like "What is your source?")"

Answer: More than likely, for the very same reason as you did when posting that unfounded and overgeneralizing comment about a certain trans person's comments in Mr. Browning's article. To quote from you "What is your source? "

Simple, crony influence and status quo retention....

Its no different here............

Your comment here doesn't even make sense, ET.

I said:

I came over to this thread to read what Bil meant by how trans people criticizing every little thing allies do and not being at all encouraging, but all I'm seeing is Everyday Transperson being like that (and s/he's always like that) and everyone else having none of that.

It's good to see.

And I stand by that. Four people disagreed with you directly and no one went along with your criticism.

I also doubt that "crony influence" and "status quo retention" had much to do with this video catching on or being posted around the internet. Maybe you want to expand on that?

Okay, so you are using consensus to justify attacking ET.I can think of plenty of places where you can find four people to disagree with a homosexual poster.

But that does not make said homosexual poster wrong, it just makes you arrogant enough to assume that four folks can judge a person so completely.

It must be very gratifying to you to see an unpopular trans person held to the coals for hir views. You certainly stand by saying so, don't you?

That is a very privileged attitude, and it is inappropriate in the extreme for someone who purports to be interested in trans lives.

You usually write good stuff, don't fuck it up by gloating over a trans person being shunned. It is very uncool, seeing as how we have so little voice anyway.

Thanks for posting criticism in the form of a "don't fuck it up" threat. As you can tell from this post, which was partly about diplomacy, that's probably the best way of changing other people's behavior.

Okay, so you are using consensus to justify attacking ET.I can think of plenty of places where you can find four people to disagree with a homosexual poster.

Please reread the exchange. That's not what I was saying. ET asked me what my source was when the claim I made in my comment was that it was inaccurate to portray the conversation on that thread as general agreement with ET. My "source," then, was the reality that everyone disagreed with ET.

It doesn't make ET right or wrong. What makes ET wrong, to me, is the fact that I disagree with his/her approach in that thread.

Everyday Transperson | March 20, 2009 2:56 PM

Lyssa, thank you and I will be in touch soon...

Mr. Blaze,

I realize that this post is about videos of gay executions in Iran, and as such, I am not going to veer off topic to engage in personal drama debate with you here.

I will say briefly, however, that I would encourage you to truly sit down with yourself and see how your commenting answers the very hypocritical answers in your writing, especially since they are clearly being influenced by your elitist cronies...........

"It doesn't make ET right or wrong. What makes ET wrong, to me, is the fact that I disagree with his/her approach in that thread."

Yes, but would you have REALLY disagreed with the approach had Mr. Browning or Ms. Stablers cronies not jumped in on the anti-ET bandwagon to attack me ???............I didn't think so.

Concerning sources, I would encourage you to
research other positive comments I've made on articles here, one in particular on the article you yourself wrote about Trans students in schools, which if I'm not mistaken stated that it was both an excellent point and an excellent article...... Quite a contrast to your statement of

" but all I'm seeing is Everyday Transperson being like that (and s/he's always like that)" ................Hmmm, how quickly we are to make sweeping overgeneralizations and forget those positive comments at the influence of the status quo....

So to close, I say this very exchange is a prime example as to the answer to your question

"why are some gays so willing to believe anything they see about how awful homosexuality is punished abroad?"

Please don't make this out to be anything less than your own hypocrisy.......

Thank you for your time.

ET, this isn't about anything recognizable anymore other than the fantasies playing out in your head and the need for you to write me into them. I suppose I should be flattered that you would create an alternate world in which me, Bil, and Meghan Stabler live together in some sort of Three's Company-esque crony apartment, but actually I'm just annoyed.

I've never met Meghan, or even had email contact with her. So saying that she and I are cronies is even more silly than saying that Crystal Waters and I are cronies (since I met Ms. Waters once in a nightclub). Bil and I get along great, but if you look at the original exchange, I was actually saying the opposite of what he was saying. He didn't say anything about you. I did.

But really, I'm more concerned about the alternate universe in which I'm an LGBT elitist, when you don't know the first thing about me. First of all, those folks in HRC and the Task Force, etc., don't give a shit about me. I'm nobody to them, and that's fine with me. I live on the other side of the pond right now, and I have enough friends as it is, thank you very much.

Secondly, you keep on saying that TBP is some sort of LGBT elitist hotspot, when all we are is a group of people who write. People who like what we write come back to read more. That's it. If you want in on the "elite" world of LGBT blogging, please feel free to go to wordpress.com or blogspot.com and start your own blog for free. If people like what you say, they'll return to read more, and maybe, one day, if you're lucky, someone will appear in your comments to call you and everyone who reads your site elitist whenever they can.

Send me the link when you start it, and I'd be happy to call you an elitist. :)

Threat? Are you serious? You do have an active imagination. Please don't draw me into any fantasies about you being persecuted by trans women. That issue is best addressed by medication, not dialog.

That said, I take you at your word when you say "it's good to see" a transperson being excluded. Unlike you, I take what folks write here seriously, and I believe that they believe what they write. So do a lot of other folks, and it's very easy to attack transpeople.

As you can see, you have a lotta pissed off transpeeps here. So, before you go writin us all off as cranks, go read up on the "tone argument" at your favorite anti racism site, and educate yourself.

There is nothing in that exchange that detracts from reading what you wrote as gloating. Nothing. And I am not so foolish as to say what I did without following a damn link.

Knock it off. Just stop the gloating. No threats, just stop. Go take a deep breath, and come back and apologize for the gloating, instead of being the problem by denying what any reader here can see.

You have a voice here that many transfolks do not have, and you need to be extra responsible about how you deal with trans anger. Quite frankly, you fucked this one up, and you need to make it right.

Trans folks are angry at being shat on so much. The Internet often gives us a voice that would be impossible otherwise. This often makes for some explosive exchanges. Deal, and learn. Maybe even get some respect and empathy from where we are coming from.

Anything less is just hiding behind your privilege. And I see what you write here. You are better than that. Please don't fuck up a good thing by gloating. Apologize, and try to understand where the rage comes from.

If you want to know more, drop me an E note. Surprise me, wow me, show me what you're made of.
Or not...your choice.

Aidan Tharp Aidan Tharp | March 20, 2009 4:00 PM

Lyssa,
A few comments to what is below:

You have a voice here that many transfolks do not have, and you need to be extra responsible about how you deal with trans anger. Quite frankly, you fucked this one up, and you need to make it right.

You too have a voice, and as far as I can tell you use it often right here on the blog. What is "trans anger" I figure anger is anger, how is trans anger different from anyone else's anger?

Trans folks are angry at being shat on so much. The Internet often gives us a voice that would be impossible otherwise. This often makes for some explosive exchanges. Deal, and learn. Maybe even get some respect and empathy from where we are coming from.

I am very uncomfortable with you feeling that you have the right to speak for all trans people. While it is true the internet has given many marginalized populations a voice which to speak I do not believe that means these voices or discussions need to be "explosive" or, the word I would use to describe your exchanges, hateful. The language you use and the attitude you present in many ways is not asking for or deserving of respect. Respect must be given just as much, if not more than it is asked for.


This is about hypocrisy, and the decision of some here to gangbang an unpopular trans person.

What's worse, is a person who has done it is usually on top of these things, and has it together.
But not today. He needs to own his shit, so we all can move on. But his ego and privilege are holding us all back here.

If you cannot understand trans rage, then you need to educate yourself. Google is your friend.

Please educate yourself as to the "tone argument" as a silencing technique, and understand why oppressors like yourself use it to derail and deny when they need to work extra hard to hear trans voices.

I speak for me, and no one else unless I name em. Quit makin strawman arguments, and stick to the point.

Google "trans rage" before you make too many self serving assumptions.

Aidan Tharp Aidan Tharp | March 20, 2009 5:00 PM

I goggled "trans rage", the name of a blog came up, so I am still not sure what you are speaking to.

I also question your comment for its own set of assumption.

Please educate yourself as to the "tone argument" as a silencing technique, and understand why oppressors like yourself use it to derail and deny when they need to work extra hard to hear trans voices.

I am not trying to silence you with an argument about your tone. You should speak your mind, but there are better ways of going about it than being hateful and disrespectful. As for the "oppressors like yourself" Your own assumptions need to be worked out. As a transperson and an activist I work very hard to listen to other transpeople and I pray that they are heard. Alex and Bil have let allowed your comments and are not trying to silence you or deny your voice. As you can see your voice is very visible. I am also not sure how my comment on "trans rage" was self serving, it was more a question of clarification.

Furthermore, your mention of:

This is about hypocrisy, and the decision of some here to gangbang an unpopular trans person.

Your use of gangbang is just wrong. Gangbanging is a serious form of sexual violence and should not be equated to people disagreeing with you.

Gangbanging also refers to street violence, and I felt ET was being unfairly targeted here.
I understand the sexual reference, and I am also speaking as a survivor of same. I DO know the difference, and I have the scars and oddly healed ribs to prove it.

When I have posted here, I have been fairly well treated. But between seeing red at an earlier HRC post, and the happening on someone gloating over a trans person being silenced, well, it was way too much for me to take in one afternoon.

I have already said something here I will regret to the day I die, I seriously doubt we can hear each other at this point, and I doubt my ability to bring what I need to this conversation.

As far as trans rage, here's a link to start:
http://birdofparadox.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/gender-activism-begins-with-gender-rage/

There are many others.

You should know it is not easy to read so called LGBT activists talk about organizations and events and activities that have a well documented history of excluding folks like me.

And my rage comes from seeing trans lives lost. So it is as real as my friends who no longer stand by my side.

I see a trans person attacked, and I am compelled to act.

You have my email, and I will be around. Since Bil is now threatening legal action, you might consider taking this conversation to email. I, for one, would feel a lot safer.

Lyssa,

Your apology is both appropriate and well given. Thanks. I'll pass it along to Samir.

As for the rest of the ET thread - let's just give it up. ET has a poor history with most contributors and editors after simply criticizing anything and everything with little regard to facts.

It's completely off-topic to this thread and shouldn't have been posted to start with.

So can we call a truce? Everyone stand down.

Everyday Transperson | March 20, 2009 7:27 PM

Mr. Browning,

I am hereby requesting that you stop the retaliation and slandering of me on this blog both individually and collectively.

As I had said before, I am sorry if you and other authors can't accept literary criticism or a different point of view, but your constant harassment, scapegoating and bullying is as you say "not acceptable".

I hope you realize that targeted retaliatory comments like this only add fuel to the fire, are VERY unprofessional for an editor and truly don't make a sincere effort to come to a common ground.

I am respectfully submitting this request and I hope that it is returned with the same respect it was given.

Thank you for your time.

Everyday Transperson.

RWW
WAB
FCC


Agreed.

Truce sounds good. We'll save the white transman issue for another day, Bil. It is already well documented elsewhere, by sharper minds than me, and in far graeter detail than a single web server can accommodate.

Bil, how about you? Or are you still hot and bothered to get a Latina transwoman jailed?

I'm sure the cops (and my male cellmates) will just love my curvy, Spanish, preoperative ass.

Think it over, and drop me a line.

Aidan Tharp Aidan Tharp | March 20, 2009 8:53 PM

Lyssa,

Yes I am white, and I know that puts me into a privilege position, but I also am a transman living in rural Indiana. I have my fair share of problems, I'm not going to argue that my problems are worse than yours or say that yours are more legitimate than mine.

Transpeople are thrown under the bus, they are ignored, they are beaten and harassed and whatever else gets thrown down the pipe. But Bilerico tries to bring these issues to light. Everyone is human and mistakes happen and will continue to happen, which is sad but in the end unavoidable.

So truce it is.

Accepted.

Thank you
I have one more issue, though.

Please look back to your lecturing me on the use of "gangbang" as a word. Had you known my history, would you have still lectured me in that manner?

If you would, then I have a challenge for you. I would like to meet you someday, and hold your hand to my breasts. I want you to feel where the bones have broken, and then healed, making a hump.

I want you to hear me describe those five men, and what they did, and well, what I remember anyway.

And then walk that five miles to a friend's house from that dark alleyway, darting from street to street, hiding in case they came back for more.

Listen as I bribed a friend to take me to the hospital, and be patient since we are talking in fast street-slangey Spanish, and I give him what I have to pay for the ride.

Then, I want you to hear the "thump" as those double doors in the ER cube pop open on their own, as if possessed by some force greater than the automatic box that controls them.

I want you to try to keep your head as pandemonium erupts, and the ER types blow their cool, and rush me in.

And I want to see your face, as I fade out on the gurney in the cube, tellin me all I need to know about that word.

So, I ask you, are you equal to that task? Are you competent to take my azz to school on that issue?

You tell me, since you seem real eager to tell me all about oppression.

As you can see, you have a lotta pissed off transpeeps here.

Actually Lyssa, I see you and ET that are in the thread nattering on about this. I see Aidan, a trans man, telling you you're full of it.

I don't think that would qualify as "a lotta pissed off transpeeps."

Just sayin'.

If you want to send me an email, feel free.

Re gloating: I'll cop to being condescending, but not gloating. They're two different things, and condescension's one of my trademarks, especially when there are people in the comments who make no sense.

I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on trans-rage. I'm not an expert on trans issues, I'm just a queer boy with an opinion. I've never made myself out to be anything more than that.

I'm not trying to silence anyone with a tone argument. I'm not saying that ET's tone is wrong, I'm saying that his/her argument is wrong. Factually wrong. In several places. I pointed them out. And he/she doesn't seem to care, so I think that we can all learn to get along in a world in which ET's wrong.

Sometimes entire groups of people disagree with one person. It doesn't always mean that it's group-think, it doesn't always mean that the person is speaking truth to power, and it doesn't always mean that people are just mean-spirited. Sometimes it just means that that person is wrong. That's the case here.

if only I had your email...

Anyway, you phrased yourself a lot better here just now.

I also agree with you. That said, you have a fine piece of critical analysis here. This analysis just might have stopped the latest Iraq War, had anybody been as invested as you are.

Thanks for stopping and taking those few moments to clear things up between us. It really helped. You write good things here, and it would be a shame to see them get lost in the noise

Drop me a note, since I don't have your email. lyssak al cox.net Trust me, and drop me that note.

So, question: why are some gays so willing to believe anything they see about how awful homosexuality is punished abroad? Why aren't they even willing to ask the basic questions (like "What is your source?") when someone tells them they have something as extraordinary as a video of men being thrown off roofs as punishment for their homosexuality?

It's probably easy to take at face value because of the atrocities that Iran has committed in the past like executing 16 year old kids simply for being gay and hanging people, not by causing their necks to break and being relatively quick, but by slowly raising them up with a crain while they suffocate.

I dunno, the history of false reports of people being executed just for being gay in Iran actually made me more skeptical, not less.

Yes, homosexuality is a capital crime in Iran, but there are still lots and lots of reports of executions for homosexuality that turn out to be false (like this one or the big one about the two teens in Mashhad a few years back).

Even if it's easy to believe, that doesn't mean that people should believe it based on nothing other than an obviously racist blog making a claim.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | March 20, 2009 2:18 PM

Alex, the sort of critical thinking you're advocating here (and bravo for that, btw!!!) has been in increasingly short supply in the US. Look at the lead-up to the Iraq War.

I attribute its absence to the decline in the quality of public education, the rise of right-wing shock radio, and the corporatization and centralization of the American news media.

The American people follow the media’s lead: Condoleeza Rice told Charlie Rose this week that the Bush administration never tried to link Sadaam Hussein to al Quaeda and did Rose challenge the blatant lie? No!!!

Exactly what I was going to say, Brynn. When "journalists", whose job is to check sources and verify facts can't even be bothered to do so, why do we think that everyday Americans - gay or otherwise - will? With a few notable exceptions (YAY AMY GOODMAN!!!), I just assume that everything I see or read - whether on someone's Facebook page or on CNN - comes with a standard 20% chance of being bullshit.

Which is a rambly way of saying that I don't think this has anything to do with some gays wanting to think badly of other countries and everything to do with all of us just blindly believing whatever drivel we're fed, even when it has no basis in fact.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | March 20, 2009 3:43 PM

Maybe I should have added the corporatization of the American public as a factor, too. People pay more for name brand goods, be they shoes, Levis, hats, jacket, purses, bags, you name it. In other words, we often pay a premium to display a corporation's logo on our persons. As a society, we have come to hand over our cash and our trust to companies whose only goal is to make as much money off us as they can. When we so readily accept their ubiquitous advertising, is it any wonder we also unquestioningly swallow their "news"?!

That's the connection I'm trying to make, and you made it so much better. Thanks, Brynn. :)

This isn't about this one instance. This is about the fact that Americans are fed propaganda against certain countries and cultures, and the fact that we're being fed that propaganda means that we have to be even more vigilant when we're discussing those countries and cultures.

Just like in Iraq, when we were being fed propaganda about Iraqis. Since Iran is so frequently and dishonestly demonized, we have to approach information about that country with some skepticism.

Alex : It is true that most U.S. gay bloggers and sources immediately demonize Iran, though I'm not going to criticize them for that. What I could never understand is the omnipresent gay condemnation of Israel and support for the Palestinians! (But I'm certainly not trying to drag you/us into THAT debate). I guess the safest way to live is to take every bit of information with a small grain of salt.

I agree with all that in general, Brynn, but let's be fair and admit the "left-wing" sources are full of lies and falsehoods too. (Look at the NY Times!) EVERYbody out there is out for an agenda. We have to kind of find the truth in the middle of it all.

the truth still is, though, that LGBT people are being executed and imprisoned in a number of countries. we advocate for each other nationally and across state lines. i think it's important that we do it internationally, too. yes, the US definitely gets pompous when it talks about rights abuses in other countries - and it's not just the government, it's also NGOs that are setting the tone. yes, there is an assumption of superiority.

seeing that video, i want to advocate for the person in it. it does not matter to me that they are not LGBT. serious rights abuses, regardless of why they are perpetrated, deserve a response. i'd like to see a greater international response when rights are abused in the US, too.

i agree that critical thinking and questioning are important, and the media does use these incidents towards political ends, but neither of these things should be an excuse for looking the other way on rights abuses.

the truth still is, though, that LGBT people are being executed and imprisoned in a number of countries. we advocate for each other nationally and across state lines. i think it's important that we do it internationally, too. yes, the US definitely gets pompous when it talks about rights abuses in other countries - and it's not just the government, it's also NGOs that are setting the tone. yes, there is an assumption of superiority.

seeing that video, i want to advocate for the person in it. it does not matter to me that they are not LGBT. serious rights abuses, regardless of why they are perpetrated, deserve a response. i'd like to see a greater international response when rights are abused in the US, too.

i agree that critical thinking and questioning are important, and the media does use these incidents towards political ends, but neither of these things should be an excuse for looking the other way on rights abuses.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | March 20, 2009 4:59 PM


The video isn’t a fake, it's just not what it was originally thought to be. If anything the Iranians, who toss people off buildings and hang them from cranes are far harsher than what’s shown in this video. When I first saw the video and passed it on I said it was not known who was involved and what it depicted because we had no proof.

GWB no longer features it although there is an ongoing discussion about what is depicted.

Gays Without Borders is the key site for news about GLBT groups around the globe. Most of it comes in the form of announcements and press releases. It played a key role in the defense of Medhi Kazemi and Pegah Emambakhsh. Its blogroll is the Who's Who of international GLBT sites. They're currently featuring the defense of Mehdi N., a 29 year old facing deportation from Germany to certain torture and death in Iran.

The Iranian people are the only ones who can terminate the Ayatollahs regime by revolutionary means. Short of the use of nukes, the US no longer has the ability to attack them or even to hold on to it’s current conquests in Southwest Asia and will sooner or later face the same fate they did in Southeast Asia.

Obama's clear intent in South Asia is to try to impose US military hegemony in an effort to control its oil, gas, and petro-chemical industries. He's staying in Iraq, ramping up the murder of civilians in Afghanistan and bombing Pakistan. That’s a clear continuation of the Clinton and Bush’s policies.

The are a very large number of documented cases of Iranian Gays and Lesbians, trade unionists, students, women and unemployed young people being tortured and murdered by the Ayatollahs regime. Here's a link to Peter Tatchell’s piece on the situation - http://www.redpepper.org.uk/Support-the-Iranian-people-oppose

Obama's 'initiative' towards the Ayatollahs is just window dressing for his murderous policies in South Asia just as his support for the UN Declaration against the Criminalization of Homosexuality is window dressing for his flight to the right. Neither are clean breaks with Bush, just diversions from his policies of war, doling out trillions to the rich and anti-LGBT actions like torpedoing our chance for same sex marriage in California and elsewhere. They are clear continuations of the Clinton and Bush policies

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | March 21, 2009 4:23 PM
'President Barack Obama followed in the footsteps of his predecessors today, renewing the annual sanctions that ban US companies from trading or investing in Iran. Obama cited the “continuing and unusual and extraordinary threat” posed by the Iranian government, which he declared “contrary to the interests of the United States in the region.”

President Obama has repeatedly made vague promises of some sort of diplomatic effort with the Iranian government, at the same time as his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has declared that the US doesn’t expect them to accomplish anything.

These particular sanctions began with an executive order by then-President Bill Clinton on March 15, 1995 and have been renewed annually since then as a sort of public affirmation of American animosity toward the Iranian government.'

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/03/12/obama-extends-iran-sanctions/

The video is not a threat to world peace. Obama is.