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Iranian Alert -- DAY 26 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
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Posted on 07/05/2003 12:07:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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'Do I Have Life? Or Am I Just Breathing?'
The Washington Post
Iranian Women, Between the Lines
July 6, 2003; Page B03
Azar Nafisi knows something about using language and literature as a means of withdrawal from a hostile reality. Nafisi, now director of The Dialogue Project at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, quit her job teaching English literature at an Iranian university in frustration in 1995 and established a secret weekly salon in her home in Tehran. For two years, she and seven of her former students met to discuss forbidden works of Western literature. Her memoir of that time, "Reading Lolita in Tehran," was published by Random House this year.
When anti-government protests erupted inTehran last month, Outlook asked Nafisi to conduct an e-mail exchange with someone in Tehran. Nafisi chose a former student and close friend whom she refers to by a nickname,"Manna," to protect her. Their conversation touched on many topics: art, literature and, often, film. Indeed, Manna makes frequent references to movies from the West as she describes her feelings. She sees the black robe she is forced to wear as constricting her daily life no less than the censor's black screen that distorts the French film she describes seeing. But the subtext of their conversation is often political. Manna, whose identity is known to The Post, is necessarily guarded, mindful that the e-mails could well be monitored. For example, she refers to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami as "Superman," knowing that her former teacher, whom she refers to with affectionate diminutives (Az, Azi), will understand exactly whom she means. Excerpts:
Tomorrow I'm going to the movies to watch a film by Alain Resnais called "Night and Fog." I wonder why I have chosen this movie among all the French films shown these days in Tehran. Is it the title? I also wonder if, like the rest of the foreign movies that I have seen in this country for the past 20 years, it's censored. . . . The title . . . very much corresponds to the way I feel now: Something tells me I should send my next [e-mail using] another address. Not my real one. Something tells me to stop right now. At this dark moment of the night. And cover myself in fog. And censor my voice.
Dearest Manna jan,
. . . There you are, in the middle of demonstrations, and arrests and the unexpectedness of the daily life, and you write me not of these, not of the slogans used in the protests, the numbers arrested, the fear, the uncertainty or the hope, but of going to a film . . . .
Next to your massive sense of suspense and uncertainty, I feel so fake, so vacant. . . . Here [in Washington] I am in the proximity of the best museums in the world . . . I can go to the latest films . . . and what do I do all day? I read about those demonstrations.
. . . Instead of thinking of films that I loved so much, that I so religiously watched in Tehran, now I give interviews, and read interviews. [They ask me,] "Do Iranian people want Islamic democracy?" What is Islamic democracy? Is it not insulting to think that democracy is the property of a few Western countries? Do Iranian women like to be flogged for a piece of hair showing? If this was their tradition and culture, [would] they need to be flogged and stoned and jailed [to] implement it? Do Americans need the state [to] put a gun to their heads to carry on their traditions and culture: going to church, reading Mark Twain, or simply protesting against or for the war? Is this Islam?
. . . You do see my point: You live in Iran, but the atmosphere craves D.C., its films, its Degas[es] and Hoppers, and "Law and Order" and Jon Stewart Daily Show, and I live in D.C. constantly walking in the showers and thunderstorms of your Tehran.
. . . My highest point has been two interviews on NPR . [One] was about the concept of exile in literature, and Dmitri Nabokov also participated, bringing tears to my eyes, reading his father's poems, telling us what Nabokov missed of his country was the air and the trees and the skies of his homeland and more than anything else its language . . . And I talked about our own sense of exile at home . . . how they had transformed the air and the trees and streets and yes, the language of our homeland for us so that home was no more and will never be home again. . . .
Do they still use the word "reformists" [in America?] about some people here? . . . They're very much hated now. Do you remember all those devotees of our Superman's smile and white aba? He's no longer popular either. People curse him more than the hard-liners: "This government has cheated us," said a lady in the taxi yesterday. (You know that people usually have political conferences in taxis.) . . . At night they attack the youth, in the morning we see him smiling (still) on the TV screen.
As I told you in my previous mail, I went to the movies yesterday to see three documentary films by Resnais. While I was standing in the line, I heard some art students talking about a missing friend. He's been arrested a few days ago and they had not heard of him ever since. The first film, "Night and Fog," was about a concentration camp. Each moment of the movie filled me with horror. . . . The missing student was on my mind all the time. . . .
The second film was about "Guernica" -- emerging out of the cruelty of totalitarianism and celebrating the saving power of art. Each image in the painting shone against a dark background. Each shines before my eyes even at this moment. The last film, "Sculptures Also Die," was about African sculpture. In one of the sequences . . . the African women started a ritual dance. All of a sudden the whole screen -- except for the corners -- went dark. . . . This was not a part of the movie but a part contributed to the movie by the director of our Auschwitz! A new way of the censor. . . . That black piece moved from one side of the screen to the other . . . depriving my eyes of the beauty, of a part of a work of art, of a part of life.
I closed my eyes and suddenly . . . [saw] shots of my life. I remembered some 20 years ago, the first day that it was announced on the radio that veil was obligatory. That day, as a protest, I wore a delicate black lace which covered only a small part of my head. On the street, a young bearded man who was on a motorcycle -- perhaps belonging to the same gang which attack, hurt or even murder the students and people these days -- approached me and shouted: "Where the hell do you think you are? Champs Elysees? Cover yourself, bitch!"
Second shot: I was walking with my boyfriend on the street one night when another one of the gang stopped us to interrogate me about my relationship to this guy who was neither my brother nor husband. I remember how each moment of walking for us became an experience of horror for a long time.
Third shot: I was a student staying at the dorm. One morning at 6 a.m. I was startled [by] a loud noise. The guard . . . was knocking hard at my door in a way that I felt, Here comes the time of my execution! It was a letter: a warning from the Islamic Disciplinary Committee of the university. I was summoned because of the way I wore my veil.
I remembered and the black color was moving before my eyes. It has remained with me all these years. In "Night and Fog" . . . Resnais portrayed dolls and pieces of writing made by the prisoners in Auschwitz. "They wove dreams," said the voice-over. Wasn't I, too, weaving a dream, watching this film at this moment of horror and bloodshed in my country?
. . Do you remember when we were [both] in Iran we always complained how our story, our reality was narrated by someone else: the Islamic regime, the Western academics or journalists. . . . It is important that we tell our story, no matter how dark, no matter how filled with despair. I think the first step toward our liberation is to take back our voices from those who have confiscated [them]. Who else but people like you who have lived this revolution can point out that Americans and Europeans are wrong if they think they can have peace and stability in the [Middle East] without having stable and accountable governments answerable to their own people, who believe or at least formally accept a set of principles and laws.
[Iran's leaders] . . . are prepared to have political and economic relations with the U.S., what they are scared of is the fact that their own people demand freedom and security and democracy and do not want a theocracy no matter how "moderate." The Islamic regime's main fear is the fact that today veterans of its own revolution read Hannah Arendt and talk of human rights, and the children of the same revolution shout for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and none of them are buying the myth that their brand of democracy is essentially different from other forms of democracy the world over. Is it because some in the West condescendingly think that democracy is a geographical attribute and the property of a few countries and nations that they propagate the myth that people in the Muslim world have their own brand of democracy and human rights?. . .
Very dear Azar,
Your emphasis on "our own story," narrated by our own voice and not the regime or Western media made me search for this voice. This choked voice. And I felt so bad about this voice because of what it wants. I felt so ashamed of myself, for what I need is merely some basic ordinary things that are considered unimportant: watching a musical on a movie screen, going to an exhibition of Degas's ballet dancers, reading a book without censored parts, the right to choose not to wear the veil. This tiny need of deciding about my hair, which neither the hardliners nor the so-called reformists in this country care about. Perhaps they are even frightened of it. And some western eyes dismiss [this] as a part of "our culture." . . .
From the fictional world of arts choked through the censor to the reality I am living in, little by little parts and pieces of my life have disappeared. I remember Woody Allen once saying while editing "Take the Money and Run" that "I kept cutting the film down, shorter and shorter, throwing things away, throwing things away. Finally I had no film."
Do I have life? Or am I just breathing? I am a part of the "axis of evil" over there. And over here, [I am considered] some atheist in search of "American democracy" or what is called a "Muslim brand of democracy" over there. What I really want is to be an individual who is sovereign "over himself, over his own body and mind" (John Stuart Mill, "On Liberty").
. . . The reason in the West we are wrongly portrayed is because we remain silent and passive, or we are most vocal when we are demonstrating in the streets or talking politics. It is much easier to talk about hard-liners and moderates, to reduce everything to Khatami and Khamenei than to talk about the Iranian women's longing to feel the wind on their bare skin or the sun on their hair. But the truth of the matter is that what you think are your simple and insignificant desires are at the heart of these protests, and it will be these details, these urges for genuine freedom. . . that will cause this regime's failure.
I say this because although many of the protests are presented as purely political, they are in fact existential in nature: Millions of people have been deprived of their right to individual freedoms, they have been forced to forgo the pleasure of ordinary life: falling in love, walking down the street hand in hand, dancing, singing, wearing lipstick -- and this turns the protest against the regime into an existential confrontation: We are fighting in order to exist, not only for the right to be politically active. People like you . . . are the ones who can clarify this point for us: how one ends a day of fervent protests where the bullet that killed the guy a few yards away from you could have as easily hit you . . . to go and watch a clandestine video of, for example, Bergman's "Persona."
Where can we turn when we are caught by such extreme cruelty as that of a regime whose vigilantes throw protesters out of their dormitory windows, and an indifferent world that is too busy finding some saving grace for what is at best a moderate theocracy to pay attention to such horrific images? You turn to beauty, to the urge for a magical power that surpasses the banality and cruelty over which you have no control. That is why you will continue to seek out good films on your way home from a protest. http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org/cgi-bin/smccdinews/viewnews.cgi?category=5&id=1057430450
posted on 07/05/2003 11:56:35 AM PDT
(IranAzad... 4 days until July 9th)
Thanks for the list of contacts. I emailed them all.
posted on 07/05/2003 12:23:33 PM PDT
by Pan_Yans Wife
(Lurking since 2000.)
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
posted on 07/05/2003 12:29:34 PM PDT
(IranAzad... 4 days until July 9th)
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.
posted on 07/05/2003 12:45:57 PM PDT
by Little Bill
(No Rats, A.N.S.W.E.R (WWP) is a commie front!!!!,)
You may have posted this article in the past, but thought these particular lines were worth repeating at this time.
I hope it will help the students and other demonstrators, knowing that the "big guys" are behind them. (forget about Powell)
"The President, the Vice President and, even more so, the Pentagon support regime change," said a source who follows the internal debate closely. "But State does not want to meddle in Iran, so you have a big fight right now within the administration."
"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputies Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith are known to support regime change, although they have been much less vocal about Iran than Iraq."
(from FORWARD mag. article by Marc Perelman)
Good evening, Iran!
U.S. plans TV assault
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON - Adding a new dimension to its support for pro-democracy activists in Iran, the Voice of America is planning a nightly half-hour TV news show tailored for viewers in that country.
"By reporting what's happening in Iran today, we can help further the struggle for freedom and self-determination in Iran," said Kenneth Tomlinson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees most U.S. government-sponsored broadcasts overseas.
Recent U.S. statements in support of Iranian anti-government demonstrators have prompted charges of interference by Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.
He has insisted the U.S. stance has had the welcome effect of generating "greater national solidarity" in Iran.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the White House does not consider U.S. television news broadcasts into Iran to be interference in Iran's affairs.
"We think it is important for everybody there and everybody around the world to be as well informed as possible, and this is a case where we can help out with that," Boucher said.
The administration has become increasingly concerned about Iran's nuclear programs and sees widespread opposition in Iran to Islamic fundamentalist rule as a sign that change may be possible.
Boucher said U.S. officials remain convinced that the solution to many of the difficulties facing Iran are found in the reformist, democratic agenda backed by the protesters.
President Bush paid tribute last month to "those courageous souls who speak out for freedom in Iran" and urged Tehran to treat protesters with "the utmost of respect."
"They need to know America stands squarely by their side," he said.
The first VOA broadcast of the Persian language "News and Views" show will be Sunday from 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Scheduled to run through Sept. 30, the show will cost $500,000 to produce and will feature original news reporting from Iran. It will include world news roundups, analysis and cultural features.
The broadcasts will complement VOA Persian's daily radio service and Radio Farda, a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, youth-oriented radio program.
Originally published on July 4, 2003
Click Here For Source
posted on 07/05/2003 5:10:24 PM PDT
(IranAzad... 4 days until July 9th)
Guardian : A Future Poised Between Reform and Reaction
By Martin Woollacott | LONDON, 6 July 2003 |
Next week, on the fourth anniversary of student protests in Tehran which ended with many injured and at least one dead, thousands of demonstrators are expected to burst on to the streets of the Iranian capital. The regime is fearful and divided about the proper response, while the protest leaders are anxious that their show of force should this time have some genuine impact rather than subsiding without any visible result, as on so many previous occasions. Iranians in general are waiting, without much hope, for some resolution of the contradictions of their political system â and for an end to the paralysis which leaves them forever poised between reform and reaction, autocracy and democracy, international isolation and acceptance.
They have waited for such a resolution for years, but two significant changes, one domestic and one international, could mean that what has always in the past been subject to indefinite postponement may not be too far away. The domestic change is the coming of age of the generation born just after the Iranian revolution, men and women with no memory of the Shah or, except for childhood recollections, of the Iran-Iraq conflict. The international change is, of course, the result of the two wars that have put America next door to Iran in Afghanistan and now Iraq â a change which makes the two countries even more important to one another than they were in the past. Iran could possibly undo the Americans in Iraq, if it set its mind to it, while the US has new means, including conceivably military ones, of influencing events in Iran. Yet a military intervention, even a limited one against nuclear facilities, is the remotest of prospects.
What is likely to ensue is a wary sparring for advantage, within Iran and between Iran and the United States and Europe, as competing elements within the Iranian regime and in the Iranian opposition all look for American support. Whoever can play the American card in Iran, delivering at the same time security against the US threat and meeting the aspirations of a youthful population for a nation more open to the world, will win the political game there, at least for a time.
The emergence into adulthood of the generation of â79 is the culmination of a demographic explosion that has seen the population of Iran double since Ayatollah Khomeini returned in triumph from Paris. It has added to the mass of doubtful and discontented young people who have been at the center of Iranian politics since the early 90s. They have known nothing but the Islamic republic, but their experience of that republic, especially if they are middle class, is conditioned by their active alternative life as virtual citizens of the wider world, which they know through television, film, and the back and forth circulation of the huge and constantly topped up Iranian Diaspora in America, Europe and Australia.
Even the devout among them have their doubts about a regime whose credentials have eroded after years of exposure to the temptations of office, and after respected clerics have raised anew the question of whether it is theologically right that the clerical class should enjoy political power.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, said last month after a week of student protests that âdisgruntled peopleâ who allowed themselves to become âmercenariesâ for the Americans would be punished. But he and others know that shooting students in the streets, or even going beyond a certain limit in detentions, would be wildly counterproductive. The wily former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, projecting both moderation in dealing with protesters and a desire for dialogue with the US, shows that he knows that the key to political success in Iran is not to suppress the young but to satisfy some of their demands.
Because a romanticized America, in part a code for a more general opening up of Iranian society, has such symbolic importance for many of the youthful middle class, whichever Iranian leader can claim to have achieved an understanding with the United States would get a big lease on political life, for himself and the regime as a whole. In that sense, Rafsanjani is in competition with the much more genuinely liberal Mohammad Khatami, the current president, who promised so much but has been able to deliver so little.
He is also in competition with less flexible conservatives who may accept that some concessions to the US are unavoidable but still see America as an enemy that must be resisted everywhere in the Middle East. American leverage, therefore, arises much less from American military power than from the fact that almost everybody in Iranian politics probably wants to do some kind of a deal with them, or at least benefit from a deal done by others.
Some readiness to bend has therefore been apparent in Tehran. The UK Foreign Secretary Jack Strawâs visit adds to the evidence that the Iranians are prepared to allow the intrusive inspections of nuclear plants upon which America, with support from Europe, Russia and the International Atomic Energy Authority, has been insisting.
The French swoop on the Mojahedin Khalq network and reports that the Iranians are about to hand over a number of Al-Qaeda men to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt suggest some elements of a bargain are in place. (Although some think the French move is unrelated.) The Americans and Europeans also want, and probably already have seen, some reduction in Iranian support for groups like Hezbollah, or the use of its influence to moderate their behavior.
In the US the idea of inducing a sudden and total regime change in Iran has its supporters, perhaps including Donald Rumsfeld. Many of them set store on the opposition group connected to Reza Shah, the last Shahâs son. Broadcasts in Farsi from his group encouraged the student protesters last month. But few Iranians, however discontented, have any interest in a monarchical restoration, just as few had any time for the Mojahedin Khalq. Backing outside opposition groups is not a serious policy.
The real choice before America and Europe is a harder one. If Iran is ready for some kind of bargain with Western countries, a bargain which Europe, in particular, has been pursuing for years, should that bargain be done with an essentially unreconstructed regime, for whom an American deal would be the glue that would enable it to enjoy a few more wobbly years of power over an unhappy population? Or should we wait in the hope of a more radical transformation, perhaps based on an alliance between the more moderate segment of the regime and the opposition?
That may be wishful thinking, but it is worth a little time to find out how wishful it is. The best policies could lie somewhere between unwise attempts at regime change and support of the Iranian regime as it now exists. http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7§ion=0&article=28435&d=6&m=7&y=2003&pix=opinion.jpg&category=Opinion%22
posted on 07/05/2003 5:13:53 PM PDT
(IranAzad... 4 days until July 9th)
You turn to beauty, to the urge for a magical power that surpasses the banality and cruelty over which you have no control. That is why you will continue to seek out good films on your way home from a protest.
These e-mails are quite possibly the most powerful thing you have posted DoctorZIn. This is one of the reasons I'm so intent about this uprising. To be a woman, trapped in that grey world, must be unimaginably horrible. Not to feel the wind in your hair, or be permitted to see the beauty that others have created. Not to stroll through the park holding the hand of someone you love. They are deprived of all the things a woman holds most dear.
Thanks again for pinging me to these threads. I think everyone should be aware of what is going on in Iran today.
I agree that these emails are powerful and brought tears to my eyes. Everyone should read them not only to stand with those that want freedom in Iran, but to appreciate the freedom we sometimes take for granted here.
My hairdresser is from Iran. I have not seen her in over a month, and I was not following what was happening in Iran then. She's young and still has family there.
posted on 07/05/2003 6:02:26 PM PDT
Emails addresses for CNN staff are not correct.
Also for Washington Times.
Mine emails were returned undeliverable.
posted on 07/05/2003 6:38:26 PM PDT
(Take W-04........Across America!)
This Thread is now closed. Join us at today's thread at:
posted on 07/06/2003 12:15:07 AM PDT
(IranAzad... 4 days until July 9th)
To: DoctorZIn; Eala; ewing; risk; norton; RaceBannon; dixiechick2000; freedom44; fat city; ...
The situation in Iranian society is extremely messy.
No one believes the other one; everyone looks at another with doubt and suspicion. All people are scared of a massacre which unable them to join protests, or they are afraid of Economy. It is not the Shah era that all staffs and clerk were off the work but the Shah has paid them.
This is Islamic Republic who jails any one who stops working to show protests and will cut the salaries and wages. So that people are afraid to go and join demonstrations, Many also doubt about a vast and huge protest on 9th of July.
That is sad and universities are closed now. Without a foreign power intervention, we can not get to any result in Iran, That mighty power is just the USA and you, Iranians there. You should press the US Govt; to support these young men. That is all you have to do.
According to a secret poll which has been done by university of Tehran, more than 80% of Iranians want a US strike and more than 74% backed Coalition forces strike on Iraq. Iranians are tired of this system and regime. Moreover, Iran as one of the richest countries of the world has a poor society. Most Iranians say: We welcome the US aggression, let them take our oil and let us have freedom and good economy. That is awful for a country, which is 7000 years old and has never been ruled by any foreign force throughout the history... I am sorry for this country but have to say that I am one of the people of this society who want such an aggression.
People say: If the US could take Iraq in 21 days, they can take here in 21 hours as well.
One of my friends, Mahbanoo, who is a dentist, told me that: I will open my house's door and I will give the US soldiers candy and cold water. They are welcome and greeted. It is a big duty for all of us to get rid of the most dangerous and fundamentalist regimes of this sacred planet.
I have a personal idea on the Iranian TV stations in California and my idea is based on what I have seen or heard among my friends and classmates, It is that some people here are sorry to see that such people are leading or encouraging the new movement, I dont say that they are bad or good. I am saying that the new Iranian atmosphere needs educated, young, acquainted experts to deal with these high level demands from the young generation.
This Iran needs overhaul repairs.
This is my letter which I have sent to some of the medias DoctorZIn quoted in the last reply.
posted on 07/06/2003 4:22:16 AM PDT
Without a foreign power intervention, we can not get to any result in Iran
There is a danger in taking this position. Traditional Americans believe that liberty is bought and secured through armed revolt. It is an inborn urge that we say cannot be restrained. We look upon nations with oppressive governments as though the people themselves had something amiss with their own character. Americans would not tolerate the tyranny of Great Britain, and after much complaining and negotiating, took to violence and threw off the yolk of colonial power.
What does the American expectation of self-determination imply? There are three main factors I would like to convey.
First, it means that we are only likely to foment revolt or regime change in a foreign country on our own when that country has threatened us with a credible means of attacking us.
Second, it means that although we would like to export the American revolution far and wide, we may sometimes look to a cadre of firebrands in a given region or nation to make the first moves toward armed revolution before offering support. In Iraq, only the Kurds have been willing and able to step up and fight with us. The Shi'ites were necessarily cautious after we let them down in the 1991 Iraq war. Do you see the dilemma? You can not count on America to solve your problems. If you do count on us, our internal politics or our own sense of restraint may lead to your demise when we fail to come to your aid when you do rise up to fight.
Third and finally, revolution is a grave undertaking, and will lead to your own death and those of many others whom you love and hate. But it must be done if you want freedom. By the time you decide to make that decision, make sure you have considered your goals and determined that you are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Of the three above points, I am not a representative of the American government, so please consider my comments personal advice.
A revolution is unpredictable. Why did the American revolution turn out to be so successful, while the French revolution led to bloodbath and mayhem? What is common between the American revolution and the potential Iranian revolution of 2003? How will you be sure that your efforts will lead to a strong, wealthy society with the freedoms you demand?
The American revolution was lead by bright, unselfish citizens who had studied the best thinkers of the Enlightenment. They were Renaissance men who sat at the intellectual feet of John Locke, John Stuart Mills, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and others who established critical tenets of government that could benefit men rather than the other way around. You must work with your comrades and build a consensus about what is right and moral for the future of Iran. How do you want to deal with nationalism? How do you want to deal with religion? How do you want to handle property rights and self defense? How will government be formed so that it checks and balances itself once it is rebuilt? The American revolution has its roots in the English Gunpowder Plot
. Because the Crown had decided to form a state-controlled religion, Catholics and their sympathizers who wanted to worship as they pleased formed a rebellion. It failed, but the Pilgrims were the next to assert their right of free worship by coming to America. The rest is history. Iran must think carefully about separation of church and state. America is a "Christian" nation by the nature of its people, not its government. Nowhere in our constitution or our laws do we specifically require Christian traditions. We ourselves must guard against this, and many of us believe that the first steps toward the destruction of our democracy will come when men decide to legislate Christianity. True freedom to worship can only come when the state makes no effort to choose how one follows his own conscience. Will Iranians understand this finally? Will they realize that freedom can only come when men are not required to obey the consciences of others? This may be the most important lesson of the American revolt. Consider it well.
The French revolution was conducted for the right reasons, but cruel men usurped the leadership of the revolt and turned it toward their selfish aims. This can be true anywhere. Marxism is lurking everywhere. Religious zeal is always nearby. You must be ready with faithful adherence to a core set of high-minded revolutionary tenets during the course of the entire revolt, and afterward as well. Make them together with a few good writers and thinkers. Exchange them via E-mail, on websites, over tea and coffee. You must stick to your ideals, or else the revolution will be overtaken by those who care only for their own selfish goals and not freedom. Freedom requires responsibility and sacrifice, and without both of those, freedom quickly becomes anarchy and terror.
I'd like to summarize my comments: know that Americans may or may not help you. But it should not matter! Make your own revolution, and it will not let you down no matter what outsiders do. And as you revolt, choose your path carefully. Our founding documents have much from which you can take inspiration. But you must read them on your own, interpret them for yourselves, and write your own documents. Make your own speeches. Start your own militia with your own minutemen! Tell one, tell all that liberty requires sacrifice. Blood will flow like water before you are done, but the global freedom tree will grow taller when you are done, and your own tree of liberty will never fall once you have grown it up out of the fertile earth of Iranian self-determination.
Samuel Adams was one of our most firey thinkers. He always has inspiring words for would-be revolutionaries who are afraid to dare the unthinkable. I'll leave you again with yet another quote from a talk he gave advocating the Amreican Revolution
Will you permit our posterity to groan under the galling chains of our murderers? Has our blood been expended in vain? Is the only benefit which our constancy till death has obtained for our country, that it should be sunk into a deeper and more ignominious vassalage? Recollect who are the men that demand your submission, to whose decrees you are invited to pay obedience. Men who, unmindful of their relation to you as brethren; of your long implicit submission to their laws; of the sacrifice which you and your forefathers made of your natural advantages for commerce to their avarice; formed a deliberate plan to wrest from you the small pittance of property which they had permitted you to acquire. Remember that the men who wish to rule over you are they who, in pursuit of this plan of despotism, annulled the sacred contracts which they had made with your ancestors; conveyed into your cities a mercenary soldiery to compel you to submission by insult and murder; who called your patience cowardice, your piety hypocrisy.
Americans are watching, hoping, yearning for Iran to be free. But do not count on anyone but yourselves as you hurtle toward July 9th. The fire of freedom comes from within. Troop, arms, tactical support, and moral assistance can come from outside, much as we obtained from France. But the bulk of the revolution has to come from within.
posted on 07/06/2003 5:38:38 AM PDT
(Locke and load!)
I am in total agreement with you Sir,
But it is a fact that no one can ignore it; that is,
A change will not be happened unless a foreign force intervenes. I am not talking of military help now but I am talking about any other type of supports, any kind of that will be greeted by milions of Iranians. It is serious, Sir! Really serious, People are not weak here but they need support to move further.
Hope that I can express whatever necessary to draw your attention to that...
It is believed here that we need a big help and foreign support to remove this system.
posted on 07/06/2003 8:22:34 AM PDT
Someone has to tip the scales.
Someone within Iran.
When the protests have become more than a protest,
when the people are actually willing to move against their masters,
'outside help' will come.
However, outside help may not come in the form you desire.
Outside help cannot guarantee success or the right outcome.
These are risks that must be taken by the people of Iran
(or any other country in such a position)...
ultimately, this is self determination.
posted on 07/06/2003 9:03:26 AM PDT
To: Khashayar; norton; DoctorZIn
Hope that I can express whatever necessary to draw your attention to that...
You have my attention! If I were president, I would be willing to sacrifice thousands of American soldiers to liberate Iran. But often I am unrealistic. The solid fact remains that if it is external aid that tips the balance between protest and revolution, Americans would be criticized for meddling in yet another Islamic country's affairs. Moreover, unless Iranians are on fire with their zeal to bring an American style revolution, nothing Americans would do to tip the balance could promise success.
It is believed here that we need a big help and foreign support to remove this system.
I do not know what my government is doing, or what it plans. But until the Iranian youth is prepared to sacrifice itself the way it did 20 years ago in the Iran-Iraq war, only for freedom instead of some impossible religious utopia, you are going to be at risk of losing the revolution. When there is nothing but pure fire in your eyes, when your blood boils with passion for change, when you are ready to kill any agent who resists your will by force without a moment's hesitation, and when your own lives are worth so much less than the revolution that you don't hesitate to die for it, then you will succeed.
I write about selflessness, but I am selfish because I am not on a plane coming to work with you and bring you arms. Somehow I am right, though. We want you to live, and we want your generation to survive and help us bring freedom to a muslim country so we can prove to the world that it is possible. So fight to live another day, please! But protesting is not a revolution, and tyrants just laugh at crowds waving signs and burning flags. You must be willing to kill and be killed for a higher cause if you want an American style revoltion.
posted on 07/06/2003 2:50:31 PM PDT
(Live free or die!)
To: norton; Khashayar; DoctorZIn
Outside help cannot guarantee success or the right outcome.
Yes, and my father, who is a WWII veteran with a Purple Heart medal says this: until you have shed blood for freedom, you'll never understand what it means to be free. When you have given your own for liberty, when many around you have fallen in your cause, your commitment will be complete.
Do not doubt for one minute that President Bush also agrees with this philosophy. Men like my father are advising him now.
posted on 07/06/2003 2:56:18 PM PDT
(8Ps: Proper prior planning and preparation prevents piss-poor performance.)
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