When I created the “What ancient form of execution would you LEAST prefer?” test, my American naivet? was showing. Considering a news item I saw today, some of them really shouldn’t be called “ancient.”
In Iran, they’re scourging to death children as young as 14:

14-year-old boy ?flogged to death? by para-military police in western Iran
Tehran, Nov. 25 – New information has come to light over the sudden death of a 14-year-old schoolboy in western Iran, who died after being flogged for ?eating in public? during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan.
Kaveh Habibi-Nejad died Nov. 12 and was buried in the cemetery of the Kurdish city of Sanadaj on Nov. 13, according to his death certificate.
The new information is the official report by the coroner?s office in Sanandaj. The report states that the boy died ?as a result of brain hemorrhage, after the back of his skull was fractured by a blow from a hard object?.
Eye-witnesses had previously reported that Kaveh lost consciousness while being flogged by agents of Law Enforcement Forces, Iran?s paramilitary police force. They said they believed he died because ?the metal cable being used to flog him hit his head?.
Flogging young men and teenagers in public for a range of offenses such as drinking alcohol or eating in public during the fasting season is common in Iranian cities. (Link via Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi)

Odd that I didn’t read about this in the Philadelphia Inquirer. They always keep me informed about U.S. atrocities at Guantanamo, including a recent case involving a woman running her fingers through a prisoner’s hair. But flogging a 14 year old schoolboy to death with a metal cable for a food crime? Who cares?
(You’d think they could have at least used a sjambok or something less lethal.)
MORE: Here’s Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi on the Iranian reaction to Michael Moore, and Fahrenheit 9/11:

After 25 years of living in a virtual concentration camp, Iranians have become exceedingly socio-politically savvy. Moore?s anti-American propaganda did not attract anywhere near as many viewers as the Mullahs had hoped for. Tehran?s despots had hoped the film would challenge the Iranian people?s favourable notion of President Bush and promote John Kerry.
But Iranians are too smart.
A group of 12 university students, for example, composed of both men and women who had seen the film, collectively wrote me and signed an e-mail which said: ?Wow, this guy complains that Bush lied once. What would this windbag do if he lived here where our president lies to us once an hour??
Another comment was: ?This guy gets to publicly accuse Bush of lying and becomes famous and adored worldwide. We, here, complain about some decrepit and inconsequential government lackey and we not only go to prison but some of us get death sentences. He ought to thank his lucky stars he lives in a country where he?s allowed and even encouraged to be this obnoxious??
Someone else quipped: ?If he thinks that the U.S. is so bad, he?s welcome to trade places with us?since he?s so forgiving of brutal Middle Eastern dictators!?
Another young man said: ?They are showing this film to erase from our minds the idea of America being the great liberator; maybe Americans themselves don?t appreciate what they have but we sure do!?
Another comment was: ?Outside such pathetic ideological schemes, Moore?s fixation to reprimand and castigate his own society is so great that he is BLIND to the fact that our ancient land and society cannot be regarded and dealt with in the same fashion; therefore he has fallen pray to the Mullahs for whom he is nothing more than a tool to discard when his mission for them is completed.?
My father, Siamak Pourzand, a 75-year-old Iranian journalist, film historian/critic/promoter has been a political prisoner since November of 2001 in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where he has experienced severe torture. During this time, not one member of the self-involved, international film community, to whom I reached out about his plight, responded. When in the fall of 2002 I called Michael Moore?s office, (like I did many other Hollywoodites) I was told: ?Sorry, but Mr. Moore is too busy AND just can?t get involved in these types of matters because we can?t be sure who you are and what your agenda is.?

Hmmm….. Moore’s been awfully busy lately. I wonder if that’s why he didn’t have time to condemn the flogging to death of the fourteen year old boy.
Or, the hanging of a 16 year old girl by a religious judge who personally put the rope around her neck? How about this 13 year old sentenced to be stoned to death? Is Moore too busy and “can?t get involved in these types of matters” because he can?t be sure who they are and what their agenda is?