|Just another show
Allow President Bush to do his job
By Bageh Torsh
February 15, 2002
I also watched President Bush State of the Union Address. With regards to Iran,
he said: "Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while
an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom." He never said
anything derogatory about the Iranian people, never called them "enemies of
the U.S." as you suggest in your letter to him ["Please
In fact, over and over, U.S. officials have reiterated that the U.S. has nothing
against the "Iranian people who deserve a better regime." Since the establishment
of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, Iran has been the leading exporter of hate
and terror and no one has experienced this more profoundly than the Iranian people.
I am happy that Alan Hale's experiences in Iran have been positive. But do not make
the mistake of confusing the people with those "unelected few" who continuously
repress our people. Behind a facade of electoral process and bogus claims of an Islamic
Republic remains one of the world's most oppressive regimes and the number one enemy
Candidates for elected office, especially the presidency are carefully screened.
They are only allowed to run on proof of indisputable allegiance to the established
theocracy and its leadership. Even after they are elected, their decisions on subjects
that matter most are systematically reversed by non-elected bodies such as the Council
An array of policy makers like Bill Clinton, Richard Haas and Senator Specter, buy
into President Khatami's reformist label. In more than four years as president, he
has not even tried to make significant changes to a system in which he has vested
interest. His western supporters say he wants to make changes, but is prevented by
the "radical" faction and the "supreme" leader.
But as time goes by, it becomes clear that President Khatami and Ayatollah Khamenei's
relationship isn't a struggle at all. It is just a another show to fool the people
into thinking that they have a chance at reform. William Saffire explains it beautifully:
"...it is more like a well-choreographed political dance designed to stymie
Over the past 18 months, Khatami's government has closed more than 50 newspapers.
Last December, police seized thousands of satellite dishes, which remain illegal
despite Khatami's promise four years ago to legalize them when his supporters won
a parliamentary majority, something that happened 22 months ago. The judiciary has
recently declared all privately-owned Internet Service providers illegal.
A trial last month for 60 members of the Iran Freedom Movement remained closed to
the public despite it being potentially the most important political trial since
the Islamic Republic's founding. The elderly defendents face a possible death sentence.
Many reformists are already languishing in prisons. Former Khatami advisor Abdullah
Nuri and leading reform journalist Akbar Ganji, for example. Yet Khatami is silent.
Ali Akbar Mohtashemi is among Khatami's most loyal supporters in parliament. He is
also a founder of Lebanese Hizbullah. He played a leading role in the 1983 bombing
of the U.S. marine compound in Beirut. When questioned, those who carried out the
explosion in the Khobar Complex, clearly mentioned training and finance by Iran.
Imad Mughniya, who is responsible for a string of hijackings and embassy bombings,
including the attacks in Buenos Aires in 1994, is a key figure in the Islamic Jihad.
He has enjoyed asylum in Iran.
Most recently, there is the "fabricated" 10 million dollar shipment of
arms from Iran to Yasser Arafat that no one seems to know anything about, as well
as the arms and money supplied to an Afghan militia commander in Western Afghanistan
in order to help opposition to the interim government in Kabul.
And just today, the so-called arrest of suspected Al-Qaeda members in Iran, which
is nothing but another ploy to conceal the true nature of the government. The prisoners
are probably a bunch of Afghani refugees and nothing else.
"Negotiations" as you call it, Mr. Hale, do not work with the most active
state sponsor of terrorism. I, the writer of this letter, cannot put my real name
on it for fear of persecution. How do you propose I negotiate this?
The Iranian government, before the revolution, although far from perfect, was a government
at peace with its neighbors and respected within the international community. The
Iranian people want secularism, freedom and economic opportunity. It is time, civility,
dignity, tolerance and sovereignty for which the land of Persians was known for so
many centuries, be restored.
With all due respect, Mr. Hale, it is the naivete and overly-liberal mindset of policy
makers as well as people like yourself, that the rogue and criminal regime of Iran
has survived for over twenty years. Allow President Bush to do his job.