Kitty Genovese Lies Dying in Tehran


In March of 1964 a young, Italian-American woman, Kitty Genovese, returning from work, was brutally murdered while her neighbors watched from their windows and did nothing as she begged for help.  Kitty screamed out, “Oh, my God, he stabbed me!  Please help me!  I’m dying!” Watching from their windows no one responded. The only attempt to help was from one witness who shouted from a distance, “Let that girl alone.”   The assailant scurried away as Kitty lay there stabbed, bleeding and pleading for someone to help her, no one did.  The observers shut their windows and dimmed their lights as the mortally wounded woman staggered toward an apartment lobby.  Realizing that no one would come to her rescue her brazen attacker returned and continued to stab Kitty to death.

The onlookers opened and shut their windows repeatedly during the incident, finally shutting them as a dead Kitty lay inside the front door of a Kew Gardens, New York apartment lobby.  Not one of the thirty-eight people who witnessed her murder called the police, no one came to her aid, they watched from their windows as she was cut down by a twisted, psychopath killing to quell an uncontrollable urge.  It wasn’t until 4:00 am in the morning that a friend of the murdered woman found her and called the police.  Two minutes later they arrived to find a lifeless body sprawled out on a cold, tile floor.

Kitty Genovese’s name symbolized the, “…dark side of national character,”  and America’s failure to get involved.   It stood for apathetic, anxious, estranged, self-centered Americans whose fear of being implicated outweighed their moral core.  American voyeurs hid behind their shades and peered out into an alley as a sharp switchblade cut an innocent woman to shreds  and stole her life.  Those who watched retired to their beds pulling the covers over their heads and pretending they were unaware that a young girl lay  bleeding to death in the foyer where they  picked up their daily mail.

Fast-forward forty years, an unjust election thrust young Iranians into the streets in protest.  People are beaten by Ahmadinejad’s hooligans.  Pro-democracy protesters are slain as they scream for “help.”   The streets of Tehran have been turned into an alley similar to Austin Street in Kew Gardens where Kitty Genovese was overcome and eliminated by a merciless thug.  In the windows, watching the injustice is the United States of America, which was once the greatest champion of democracy on the face of the earth.  Barack Obama, leader of the free world cautiously yells to the alley below in a barely audible voice, “don’t worry…we are watching what’s happening.” Obama’s presence is palpable, like those who witnessed Kitty Genovese high above the alley where she died.  He, like they, just watch.

Winston Mosley, Kitty’s aggressor, knew no one would stop him.  He chose women because he considered them weak and he knew they could be easily overpowered.  In Iran defenseless, pro-democracy reformers are an easy target.  The Basija Militia attack with axes, daggers and other crude weapons as Obama positioned in the window above the street peruses the landscape. He cautiously stands back as the blood of freedom fighters, viciously clubbed and axed to death in clear sight, drenches the streets.  Obama ruminates over the political ramifications of his next oratory statement, while pro-reform protesters fight and sacrifice their lives for the right to exercise what he pledged to defend and uphold.

Iranian youth, the most supportive of the United States of all Muslims living in the Middle East, are being left to die as Obama shouts puny warnings from the window above the street halfheartedly proclaiming, “I strongly condemn these unjust actions.”  Searching for hope the young pro-reformers are desperately attempting to make eye contact with the one in the window but find him lazily balanced on the windowsill smoking a cigarette and blowing smoke rings into the evening air as they yell, “Please help us!  We’re dying!”  Arms reaching skyward, eyes pleading for help…Obama winks at the Iranian government and then turns away.

Much like those who hid in the shadows as Kitty Genovese died are those who refuse to realize that the enemies that beat the pro-democracy protesters with batons are the Winston Mosley’s that long to murder both Israel and the United States if unlucky enough to be cornered in a dark alley.  Moreover, their plan is to sabotage us in the future and like Winston Mosley have a specific objective and plan as they stalk in the shadows.  Mosley, like Iran, was relentless returning to finish  Kitty off, unafraid and moved more by his desire to see her dead than his fear of the consequence.  Winston Mosley was an enemy to Kitty as well as those watching her die, as is Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs enemies to the protesters, Israel and the United States.  Their enemy is our enemy and closing the curtain and turning our back on their plight won’t save our lives if Winston has his way.

Obama’s anemic response is similar to those who were asked why they didn’t take action while Kitty still had a chance to survive.  He justifies a cool response by elevating lofty rhetoric in the place of measured action. Standing  in the window, like the thirty-eight who watched Kitty die, Obama is “…appalled and outraged by the threats, beatings and imprisonments.” Yet, like them, he has walked away not wanting to get involved.  Obama has openly admitted that he is not interested and will, “…not at all interfere in Iran’s affairs.

As pro-democracy youth fight for their lives and the life of their nation an American president has pulled the shade down and failed to call for help from the international community like those on Austin Street who failed to call the police.  For all they knew Kitty and Winston could have been having a lovers’ quarrel providing an excuse as to why the disconnected, shadowy figures watching from the windows ignored her blood curdling screams.  Obama too has attempted to justify his lack of intervention in the righteous cause of helping to save a nation from despotic tyranny.  His insipid excuse, “…the Iranian people are trying to have a debate about their future.  Some in the Iranian government are trying to avoid that debate by accusing the United States and others outside of Iran of instigating protests over the elections.”  Doesn’t Obama know that a debate fought with bullets, batons and billy clubs is like a lovers’ quarrel where an unrequited kiss is met with a switchblade?

As a result of Obama’s standoffish, disconnect from a democratic revolution 2009 has its own poster-child symbolizing the result of failure to get involved , her name was Neda Agha-Soltan.  Neda, about the same age as Kitty Genovese, lay dying in the street with a bullet in her body, put there during a rally by Iranian plainclothes security or militia-sanctioned assassins.    Global citizen, Barack Obama has responded by reminding the world that everyone, “…knows that there’s something fundamentally unjust about that.”  Peering like a voyeur  at Neda as she died in the street, Obama quickly drew the curtain over the window and focused instead on more up-beat self-serving agendas. As Neda’s heartbeat gently slowed to a halt and her beautiful brown eyes went dim, in one breath Obama coldly changed the subject from her untimely death to clinical clean energy and universal health care…sort of like turning from the window as Kitty died and changing the channel on the television set from Perry Mason to I Love Lucy.

Forty years ago, the case of Kitty Genovese touched on a fundamental aspect of the human condition, “…our primordial nightmare.”  In almost half a century nothing has changed!   The question broached then still remains and is applicable on both an individual level and on an international level, “If we need help, will those around us stand around and let us be destroyed or will they come to our aid?”   Barack Obama’s response to the Iranian pro-democratic revolt has sent an even stronger message to the world than it has to Iran and that is that the America, who once sacrificed blood and treasure to to further the cause of democracy, cannot be counted on to defend  liberty, while Barack Obama is president.

As democracy breathes its last in an alley in Iran, beaten and stabbed by the Winston Mosley of repressive totalitarianism, who will come to their aid? Obama, willfully turning his back on the hope for freedom in Iran, leaves democracy dying like Kitty and Neda, in a pool of their own innocent blood.


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  2. Ben

    Jeannie, Well Said! What a strong statement you make and strong condemnation of “citizen of the world” Obama who looks on as not only Neda Soltan is brutally murdered, but, democracy itself lie bleeding in the wake of “the Leader of the Free World” ‘s inaction. Great essay! I hope BHO gets to read it!! Something to think about!

  3. Yvette

    This makes me sick…………..I would of ran to her defense and this is the saddest thing I’ve heard of here in AMERICA…..Where are the balls of the men that just stood and watched, Chicken shit they are…..I’m a girl and I would of fought like hell to get them of of her, BASTARDS, even the women, what a joke they are as well……They must of been illegals and or criminals scared of being found out about……STILL, I would of tried to help her and do away with the dirty rotten bastard that killed her……

  4. ddland45

    There’s only one BIG problem with your analogy, Jeannie. And I think you already know what it is. The Genovese murder was something that neighbors RIGHT ABOVE THE SCENE OF THE CRIME could have easily intervened in by either calling the police or just going downstairs and doing something. There were no local, municipal, state or national borders or laws to violate.
    The internal affairs of a SOVEREIGN nation are not as easily affected by a simple call to the local police, right Jeannie? Imagine the Republican response to a foreign nation like, say, Cuba or China, if they had decided to intercede in the Civil Rights movement during the 1960’s, when THOUSANDS of Nada’s were beaten, bloodied, jailed or shot dead in the street by the state and local governments.
    What would the response have been by our populace to any “outsiders” attempting to interfere in the internal affairs of the UNITED STATES? You already know the answer to that, don’t you Jeannie? It’s easy to sit here and ridicule this Administration for its “non-action” concerning Iran’s INTERNAL unrest, forgetting that it wasn’t too long ago that this “shining house on the hill” was guilty of the same attrocities to surpress democracy for some of its people.
    Would you have accepted foreign troops or “defenders of freedom and liberty” marching in from Mexico to help all the Nada’s dying on the streets of Selma and Birmingham? Would you have expected our leaders to bow to the will of the world community as they condemed our harsh crackdown of our people struggling for equality and freedom?
    Of course your answers would be “HELL NO!”, right, Jeannie?
    What should the world community have done about that, Jeannie? What should the world community, as you would have the Obama Administration do now, do to stop the unjust violence in a sovereign nation?

    • jeannieology

      ddland…wow that really hit a sore spot with you — must have been true ddland!

      You know what ddland? Something more than “pass the cream” would be in order here…only problem is Mr. Government is, “between a rock and and hard place” because if he criticizes the Iranian government…he jeopardizes his own governmental authority — and you know what ddland? Can’t have that! He doesn’t ever want anyone dictating to him (no pun intended) if he decides a crackdown is in order here in the states. Mr. Government will side with “government” even if the government he sides with is making its point, ddland, with bullets and machetes…

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  7. The President and the whole world are standing by watching these Islamic thugs in Iran beat and kill there fellow counrtymen to death. The President is like the bystanders in the Kitty Genovese case who closed there windows and pretended that the did not hear her loud screams for help while, see was being killed on the streets of New York . Where is the President Obama and United Nations after seeing the pictures of NEDA being shot a killed by these thugs in the streets of Tehran. This is truly, a shameful day in world history.

  8. Laura

    ddland45: There is one BIG problem with your analogy ddland…neither side of the civil rights movement in our country regarded the ultimate destruction of Israel or say Mexico as the goal of the struggle, right DD? If either side had that determination then the intervention of Israel or Mexico would have been in order, right DD? The second BIG problem with your analogy ddland is that we are right above the scene. In the highly technological world we live in we are up close and personal to the current happenings around the world. The US was receiving on the spot video from Iranian youth adept at electronic technology. So we were in fact “right above the scene of the crime,” right DD? The third BIG problem with your analogy is that while it wouldn’t help to call the “local police” Barry could encourage the world community to ban together to denounce the actions of the Iranian officials, whether secular or religious, and instill even stricter sanctions against them, right DD?
    The internal affairs of a sovereign nation need not be interfered with unless its results have a direct effect on someone else, right DD? While Iran is a sovereign nation their agenda is the destruction of Israel and the US. Therefore, we do have an interest in what happens. Barry could call upon the international community but instead he held a luau!

  9. ddland45

    Wow! I get more responses here than at FAUXNATION! So let’s debate:
    Jeannie, you’re not supposing that a violent “crackdown” is coming in this nation are you? Who is “Mr. Government”? Obama? You’ve really let all this right-wing fearspeech warp your sense of reality.
    Let’s talk rational, Laura. Let’s say Obama came out from the start condeming the results of the election and and pledging support for Mousavi. We still don’t know FOR A FACT if the election was rigged (though I believe it was). For the sake of argument, let’s say the Mullah’s allowed a complete re-count and Mousavi actually lost, even by a slight margin. Now, with egg on our faces, America can either admit it’s reaction was pre-mature (to which conservatives would spin this as Obama’s “hasty inexperience”), or he can do what has been done by past Administrations, save face and maintain our skepticism of the vote, which makes the current situation worse by re-enforcing the image of America as a Western colonial opportunistic foreign power, trying to overthrow a legitimately elected leader, kind of like what happened in 1954.
    Let’s say, for argument, that Mousavi won after the re-count by an equally slight margin. Ahkmadinejhad is out, but the Mullahs are still calling the shots and still in control of Mousavi’s domestic and foreign policies, as well as how our meddling and how such a victory will be spun to the religious masses in and outside of Iran.
    Pro-Ahkmadinejhad/anti-American rallies would replace the ones going on right now. Do we then take the hypocritical position and call for “law and order”?
    Sanctions are still an option available to punish Iran for continued human rights violations. So is dialogue. Stricter sanctions ALONE will not improve the current situation or the safety of Israel. Sanctions only steeled the hearts of the radicals and made the Middle East more dangerous. Punishing the moderate majority and throwing up conditions for interaction will only increase the recruiting power and volitility of radicals and make it more difficult for the those moderates to be heard. History has shown us this.
    Affecting the foriegn policy of another nation can’t always be done with force, Laura. We can’t create a more Israel-friendly Middle East by reverting to past policies that only helped isolate Israel from its neighbors. Continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity. You cannot defeat ideas with bullets or machete’s. You need a better idea.

  10. Laura

    ddland…your let’s just say arguments exhaust me…

    No one said that Barry had to endorse anyone…what was mentioned was that he said nothing while the country he wants to have a dialogue with is busy shooting and clubbing their citizens over their protest of a rigged election. No one said that he has to try and change their policies (except the ones that say it is okay to shoot and club people who disagree with you).

    As far as dialogue…I would not sooner dialogue with that insane meglomaniac than I would with an inmate in a mental ward who was convinced that he was Jesus Christ…some things are just futile from the get-go. While the Obamatrons in the US sit enthralled as every verbal utterance that comes forth from Barry’s mouth surely you don’t think for one second that Ahjma gives two hoots what he has to say…

    The ME is dangerous with or without sanctions. Sanctions just help to not bestow upon rogue nations any benefits from the world community…act like an outlaw and you get treat as such. Sanctions did not make Iran any more or less dangerous…they were and are dangerous all on their own.

    No one said anything about force, ddland. Your right that ideas cannot be defeated with bullets and machete’s and no one said that the US should. It’s too bad Barry didn’t have what he was born with to tell Iran that!!!

  11. ddland45

    Laura, sorry for “exhausting you”. Let’s keep the dialogue repsectful anyway.
    The situation is what it is in Iran. President Obama, as well as Great Britian, have already been “characterised” as having “endorsed the opposition” by the Iranian government, and like you said, Ahmadenijad probably doesn’t care what Obama says, but your assertions that Obama “said nothing” is not accurate. He has addressed the violence since the 15th.
    If you’re suggesting that dialogue isn’t possible, then what message are you sending to the moderates? What are you saying to the people who see (or are being brainwashed to believe) the U.S. is “unwilling” to work towards peace?
    I have not ruled out tough sanctions against the government of Iran, but you must know that since we have no diplomatic relations, any sanctions that impact the economic infrastructure of Iran will hurt the very same people who are being persecuted now.
    The pre-eminant focus of this Administration should be preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons and continuing to encourage communications with moderates in the Arab world, not just in Iran but other countries in the region. We must work with Russia and China to cut off the flow of technology, including blockading North Korea, to prevent Iran from gaining such a weapon as long as they pose a threat to Israel or any other country.
    I believe that America must continue to influence, through our approach to the Muslim world , the youth of the Middle East, who seem ready to embrace a different way of life (not necessarily abandoning Islam). They see that violence isn’t the answer and I believe they know that Israel isn’t going anywhere, but there must be a Palestinian solution.
    One way to do this is to change our image in the Middle East as being “one-sided” towards Israel. Initiating dialogue with moderates in the Arab world DOES NOT weaken our ties or support of Israel, in fact, it strengthens it and reduces animosity towards Israel. Communication weakens radicals, who may lash out in desperation in the short term, as we are seeing in Iraq right now, but for the long term, only dialogue, only a willingness to listen (not necessarily agree) will curb violence. History has proven that people turn to violence when they have no voice and no other options.
    To your last statement, a few excepts from the President’s Cairo Speech:
    “America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere….”
    “…No matter where it takes hold, government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who hold power: you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy.”
    This is so much better than the name-calling on other sites…..

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