February 13, 2001
The chronology of the early events that shaped the revolution ["Memory
lane"] this morning helped clarify some aspects of where I stand
vis-a-vis this life-defining moment in our history.
I was reminded of why I first supported the revolution and why -- despite
much personal damage inflicted on my family and myself by the IRI -- I
still admire the late Ayatollah Khomeini and am proud of the truly popular
revolution that we, Iranians, made.
This is not to say that I believe in the theocratic regime that still
rules autocratically to this day. Nor do I condone the unlawful acts that
took place after the departure of Bakhtiar -- or the insipid continuation
of the war with Iraq that went on for too long.
But, when I read the story of the revolution I cannot help but feel
a certain admiration for Khomeini, the one personality who stands out for
acting consistently and honorably at least in those first stages of the
revolution. No wonder we all rallied for him (or most of us anyway).
Bakhtiar appears as vacillating as the Shah. And no one else had the
popular backing to discourage the Americans from staging a coup. You cannot
tell me that any Iranian, no matter what their personal loss, would want
TWO American-led coup's within half a century in the modern history of
One cannot help but be proud of the fact that the American government
and General Huyser could not intervene simply or mostly because of the
popular nature of the revolution.
Our revolution did much to end arrogant armchair coup- d'etating by
the super powers. Ours was a great popular revolution and we should all
be proud of that.
Now, the revolution did take a wrong turn and the government today is
as guilty as the Pahlavi regime was before ["Happy
anniversary"]. But our ability to rise as a people should not
The memory of the Iranian revolution should be an inspiration for the
continued struggle for freedom and justice in our country, like the French
Revolution in Europe many years, and indeed decades, after the Reign of