Ok which country am I in?
Iran or the U.S.
November 12, 2004
Recently I spent twenty wonderful days in Iran, my
motherland. I saw my family, my aunts and uncles, and all of
I grew up with these nice people around me and I need to see them
every time I go back.
I heard about their hardships and
daily difficulties of providing for their families. It is not
easy, I gathered. When
I was asked
about how it is in America, my response was always that it is
very much like the Iran in the 60's and 70's.
If you worked hard, there are opportunities.
One of my cousins,
who seemed a lot more intellectual than I imagined, filled
me in on a lot of different issues. Some as ordinary
as every day life and it's difficulties but most about
the inner working of the government in Iran and how it conducts
to stay alive. It was quite amazing to hear him in what he
had to say about the government.
He is quite a womanizer, from what
I gathered. So most of his personal tension and problems with
the government fell into that
category. He would be caught with a woman, who wasn't
his wife, sister, or a close relation; the law of the land does
not allow sexual relationships outside of marriage.
He told me a stories like about
the time he picked up a woman from wherever and officials
entered his apartment
him. In more than one occasion he would have to pay
someone off so he wouldn't have to serve time.
But throughout our
laughter about his "sheytooni" he would start talking about things
far more serious.
He told me a lot about how the Iranian government conducts
its business and it was hair raising -- until I got back
to the US and
tried to read the Patriot Act II.
day I came up with this scenario:
I'm sitting in my apartment with
flyers all around me. My computer is filled with files of articles
have written or saved emails.
for the most part, is not to overthrow the government, or
a regime change, but to simply modify it to the point that
digestible by most of the population, especially when it
comes to human and civil rights.
2:00 pm, there is a hard knock on the
door. I ask who it is and the raspy voice at the other end orders
me to just
door. They just want to ask some questions, they say.
I open the door and two rather large men push the
door with me hanging on it and a couple more barge in.
angry, defensive, and my adrenalin kicks in, wanting to defend
myself. "Who the hell are you and what
the hell do you want"? I ask angrily and loudly. "Just
sit down and speak when spoken to," one of them says. He
seems to be the leader.
"We represent the government of (fill in the blank.....
Iran, Guatemala, Columbia, Sudan, U.S.), (hang on, yes US,
I'll explain in a bit). We're here to ask you some questions."
I'm cut off immediately.
"But what? Speak
when you're spoken to," says the leader.
I am wondering
whether they have badges, or why they don't have uniforms.
When I finally get to ask them that question, they tell me that
they don't have to show me anything. They put handcuffs
on me, won't allow me to call anyone or leave a note.
Block my neighbors to see or hear anything, and push me into
a car and
whisk me away.
I open my eyes in a prison cell and upon repeated
screams finally get a guard to answer me, "What? What's the
you? What do you want?"
want to know where I am and like to make a phone call. I
also want to speak to my attorney."
The guard laughs
at me and informs me that there is going to be neither phone
calls nor an attorney. I'm here to stay and
no one knows for how long.
"What are the charges?" I ask.
he replies with this nasty grin on his face, like, you're not
going to get out of this
one for a long time.
"Treason? Me? I love my country!" say.
that's what they got you in here for," the guard answers with
the same grin.
Now, the right-wing, ultra religious government doesn't
take shit from anyone and its agents can enter anyone's home
without prior authorization by a judge, without a search warrant,
any reason whatsoever. All they need is suspicion and upon
they have the power to incarcerate without an attorney,
letting his/her family know where he/she is, and keep him/her
for as long as they want.
Am I in Iran, where the far right government, without
any concern for human or civil rights of it's citizens, could enter
your home, take you away and put lock you up for as long as they
feel necessary without informing anyone? Or
am I in the US, where according to Patriot Act II, almost
the exact same thing can happen here?
What's really funny is that
Iran calls America the "The Great Satan"
calls Iran part of the "Axis of Evil". Both sides are
dedicated to and believe in God. They claim God talks to them and
guides them in running the government.
similarities between Ayatollah Khomeini and George W.
Bush are amazingly great. Here are a few:
had a problem with language. Khomeini's published speeches are
used in Iranian gatherings as a source for jokes. Here in America,
comedians rely heavily on "Bushisms" or else they
would have to write
Both men are as far to the right of the as you can
get. Both, are/were very religious. Both hear or heard God
Both were really not educated. Khomeini always referenced
Islam to justify his actions, and Bush has "National Security"
to fall back on -- and let's not forget "Terrorism".
Act II was passed after a quick revision done by Ashcroft at
3:00 am, so they could have it in
of the people who signed the bill had a chance to read
it. They would never have a chance. Each page has multiple
to specific cases in our court systems and if anyone
read, even a little bit about that specific case, they
be able to finish reading the bill in their lifetime.
A human being can not live long enough to read the
Yes, there are many differences between
Iran and US, when it comes to many, many things. But did you
ever think that
Iran, for whatever reason, and end up in
a country that is not really that different?
Patriot Act II gives
the government absolute power in monitoring one's activities.
Your phone, email,
office, and travel patterns can all be monitored
without anyone's permission, specially not yours!
am old enough to have not forgotten the feeling I had, when I
lived in Iran, about being watched.
be telling certain things, and overall, watch
my back and watch what I say.
It was a strange feeling. A feeling
of hopelessness and helplessness. A feeling one gets only when
few ways out.
This is the price to pay if you
want to live in this country.