Mr. Secretary, You Are Wrong!
July 05, 2003
Iran va Jahan
During his radio interview last Thursday, Secretary of State Colin Powell, in an unusual departure from his careful and measured manner of speech, seems to have created major confusion and dismay among the Iranians opposed to "Mullaharchy" in Iran. The timing of these particular remarks are most unfortunate because they fall on the eve of July 9th when on the occasion of the annual commemoration of the bloody suppression of the student uprising of 1997, there will be renewal of massive protests inside and outside of Iran. On the other hand, the same unfortunate remarks, according to Reuters has created boastful pontification by the IRI mouthpieces: " Iran on Friday welcomed remarks by Secretary of State Colin Powell saying Washington should stay out of an Iranian "family fight" and hoped the United States had learned its lesson not to interfere in Iran's affairs." The same agency quotes IRNA - the official IRI news agency - which has quoted Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi as saying. : "There are some signs in Powell's remarks they are accepting reality,"
Mr. Powell's unfortunate and for the most part, perhaps, misunderstood remarks, should be scrutinized in a full and detailed manner at a different occasion. However, two issues - one minor and one major - seem to need immediate attention and clarification. Let me first attempt to clarify the less important point. It is a mistake to assume, as it is implied in Mr. Powell's remarks, that the demonstrators are supporters of Mr. Khatami and this is a power-play between the two factions: the so-called reformists and their conservative rivals. There were as many anti-Khatami slogans and statements, as witnessed and reported by the international press, at these demonstrations as there were anti Khamenei's. During these two weeks of heroic national uprising in Tehran and many of the provinces at least 6 people were reported killed, more than 10,000 imprisoned and/or injured. If they were supporters of Mr. Khatami why did he not say a word in their defense? No Mr. Secretary, those who demonstrated represent the overwhelming majority of the Iranian people who have irrevocably rejected both factions of the regime.
The most unkind and insulting part of the Secretary's remarks are the main subject of this column. Where Mr. Powell refers to the struggle of the Iranian freedom-fighters for over-throw of the religious fascists as a "family" feud - implying that these terrorists are part of the "family" of the Iranian nation - he is worse than being misinformed or misguided - he is wrong!
Secretary Powell is obviously a very busy man. He has proven himself to be an outstanding soldier and commander as witnessed during the war to liberate Kuwait. As Secretary of State, he has exhibited exceptional skills, the most obvious recent examples being the 14-0 vote of the UN Security Council in support of Allied continued actions in Iraq and the promising prospects of the Road Map strategy for the on-going peace process in the Middle East. As the man put in charge of the US foreign policy by President Bush he has to manage the global diplomacy of the world's only remaining supper power - this means, for the most part, crisis management and policy formation - implementation practically in every continent. The degree of attention and intellectual requirements for the job with all its pressures and time limitations seem obvious. But, are these sufficient reasons and good excuses for making such damaging remarks at such a crucial period in the history of the Middle East? And not to distinguish between an "evil" regime and the a noble, freedom-loving nation victimized by its oppressors?
Mr. Secretary, have you not been told that ever since their inception those who are ruling Iran today have chosen not to be part of the Iranian nation, its history, its culture and its traditions? Ask them this question or read their so-called "Constitution.". They do not even believe in nationhood. They wish to reduce every citizen, every woman and man, to a token, to an instrument to be used in their ultimate "nightmare" of creating the Islamic Uma. Their Constitution clearly calls for the exporting of the" Islamic Revolution" world wide. Their motto at their so-called "Friday-prayers" is "Death to America!" Doesn't this ring a bell, Mr. Secretary? In their system people are not free individuals, independent citizens with rights and obligations as free humans. For them people are no more than, and no different from, animals. They are there to be ordered around, ruled over and slaughtered, amputated, imprisoned and disposed of whenever necessary.
Kindly take a good look at their record over the past twenty-five years. At no period in the recorded Iranian history any government or any dynasty has imprisoned, killed and maimed as many of its citizens as they have during the past quarter-of-a-century. How could anyone call this regime part of the "Iranian family?" The so-called elections that you refer to have been nothing but shams. There is not a single political party allowed to function in Iran. There are more journalists in jail in the Islamic Republic of Iran than in any other country on the face of the globe. When Mr. Khatami was elected, on both occasions, out of hundreds of candidates less than five were "allowed" to run. Last December in the latest electoral show, in a country where voting is compulsory, only less than 12% percent of the eligible voters participated.
No Mr. Powell, they do not represent the Iranian people and they are not members of the "Iranian family." They are aliens to us, to our nation, to our culture and to our traditions. They are - and they behave - like an occupation force. Would you have called the leader and the members of the National Socialist Party in Germany part of the German family? If you are really looking for the members of their "family" and their closest kins you may have to look elsewhere. Perhaps you should take a look at the prisoners in Quantanamo, at those who on a daily basis are targeting the young American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. You may want to look for them among the followers and homicidal bombers of Jihad, Hammas, Hizbullah and similar terrorist-cultist groups.
Shaheen Fatemi teaches economics at a university in Paris. http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news_en.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=07&d=05&a=4
The people of Iran have the right to deturmine their own government and they have the right if they disagree with their present governmant to reorder it to the benefit of the majority of the citizenry, Colin can stuff it.