January 29, 2001
Like any other king
I could not agree more with your article ["Citizen
Pahlavi"]. Reza Pahlavi claims that he is not going to make the
same mistakes as his father, and is looking for a referendum. I visited
his website a few weeks ago and browsed through the messages he had posted.
It is clear that there must be heavy censorship. I did not find a single
substantive massage that can be considered critical of his stance. It seems
that all messages have been filtered to include those full of adoration
and praise. Not much different from the time of his father.
Subsequently I sent a message to Mr. Pahlavi telling him why he has
lost my vote, should a referendum be held today. Here is an excerpt:
"You had 20 years to win the hearts and minds of Iranians. What
an opportunity, particularly with the resources that was left at your disposal.
Iranian community centers you could have built with assistance centers
for newcomers. Scholarships you could have offered to the needy students.
"You have done nothing to diminish the misery of hundreds of thousands
of Iranian refugees stranded across the world. Many outside Iran are languishing
in situations in need of legal help with no assistance in sight. Have you
witnessed the Iranians in the mountains of Turkish villages gathering wood
to keep themselves alive?
"I can go on for many pages but I will not bore you as I know you
impatiently want to inform me of all the sporadic, unimpressive help you
have given and offered.
"It is only recently that you have felt comfortable to communicate
with your compatriots from behind the veil of technology. Before, we only
read about you in the gossip columns elaborating excesses of you and your
family, attending multimillion dollar weddings and various shady financial
deals by those around you."
As expected, my message never appeared in his forum and he never responded.
Mr. Pahalavi is no different than other kings looking for subjects that
drawn them in flattery and blind admiration. Iranian people have arrived
at the same conclusion as the great English man Thomas Paine who expressed
his views in Common Sense: "The palaces of kings are built
on the ruins of the bowers of paradise."