|Can't be fooled again
It is illegitimate and cheap to compare one dictatorship with another
By Sana Aryamehr
May 28, 2002
Pro-monarchists are so militant in defense of their precious royals. But the truth
is, they're fighting for their elitism: their wealth, their ability to bribe public
officials, their resources for getting their stupid children into foreign universities
because they can't pass the concours in Iran. Actually, Iran's pro-monarchists, those
impenetrably nostalgic shahis, whether they want to accept it or not, are
quite identical to the pro-mullahs that run the country now.
Sometimes when I bother to listen to Reza Pahlavi (who, by the way, has a made-up
name designed to demonstrate superiority and patriotism. We all know that Pahlavi
was an ancient language, not a family name. It's the same with the so-called Windsors
of England: theirs is a fake name to cover the fact that their real family name is
German. Isn't it amazing how they're all in on it together?) for a few minutes, I
see that look in his eye.
No, I'm not talking about that scared, uneducated (unless
you count how his "high connections" got him into one of the best universities
in the United States) look of fear when he actually has to speak in public. I'm talking
about that look that says "Yes, yes YES!! If I manage to ascend to my glory
as ruler of people I don't care about, I can be rich, happy AND powerful again."
His eyes water with greed. But monarchists don't see that because their eyes are
blurred with the same affliction.
None of these monarchists care that rich little Reza's father stole millions of dollars
from the Iranian public so that he could live in luxury in the United States (and
in his various other properties around the world). Not one of the monarchists questions
the fact that in all his years outside of Iran since the revolution, Reza hasn't
done anything for the Iranian people. He hasn't set up a cultural center or any kind
of fund or anything to at least fake that he cares. He doesn't even care about his
own money, probably because it's limitless, otherwise he would have set up one of
these centers to benefit from the huge tax write-offs that come from charity-type
Despite his wealth and his undeniable access to the US government, he's done nothing
to support democracy in Iran. His only platform, his only goal for Iran is to regain
the throne. He has continued to fight tooth and nail for his "birthright"
(he is constantly reminding us of this supposed right he has to rule millions of
people for whom he cares pittance) to be king. And it is certain that once he achieves
his only goal, he'll continue the tradition of his father and grandfather: gradual
ascension to dictatorship, followed by endless robbery of the Iranian public and
culminated with executions and long-term imprisonments for anyone who cares to disagree
with such vagabond, anti-democratic policies (wow, the monarchy really does sound
like the Islamic Republic, doesn't it?).
I believe the last time someone said they would bring "democracy" to Iran,
they ended up forming the Islamic Republic of Oppression. Let us not forget that
Khomeini, like the Shah before him after he was reinstated to his throne (for the
second time) thanks to his British and American allies, said that he would not become
a ruler of the people, but would merely do as they wish. Iranians should keep their
eyes open for such rhetoric. We can't be fooled again and let history repeat itself.
Little Reza has been saying the same things.
Granted, the man has no intelligence, but at least he must recall certain critical
points in history. Surely he remembers what Iran did to his grandfather and his father
before him. Does he really believe he's got a chance? I'm not a supporter of the
present regime and I cringe when I see what has happened to Iran, but I accept reality.
Millions of Iranians fought and sacrificed and gave their lives to be rid of the
dictatorial, corrupt Shah who cared more for foreigners than for his own people.
That is worth a lot. The one sure thing about the Iranian revolution and the war
that followed it was that Iranians said loud and clear that they do not want a monarchy.
I respect that.
Today, monarchists go on and on about how great life was during the Shah's time.
Yes, compared to now, there were some things that were better under the Shah, but
it is illegitimate and cheap to compare one dictatorship with another. Besides, these
monarchists couldn't possibly comprehend the suffering of so many Iranians who lost
family members to political executions, who lived in poverty and who were constantly
being treated worse in their own country than foreigners were.
Who can forget the most blatant example of this discrimination: the Shah's elaborately
expensive display of his greatness during his ridiculous 2500 year anniversary celebration
of corruption. He wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on his tents and French
cuisines (apparently Iranian food wasn't good enough to celebrate Iranian history)
and his European fabrics and furniture. And he didn't invite Iranians. He invited
numerous "dignitaries", most of whom outright disrespected him by sending
lesser "dignitaries". For instance, he invited the Queen of England, who
declined in favor of Prince Charles, who also declined.
Sadly, the omnipotent power of monarchies is that their
damaging influence reaches far beyond the borders of the lands they rule with their
mighty gold. A Palestinian friend of mine told me last week that when the Shah was
kicked out of Iran, it made such a huge difference for Palestinians because he was
such a huge backer of Israel. I was shocked. I didn't know how much the Shah had
negatively impacted the Palestinian people. And look who Reza has become such good
friends with: the Bush Administration, a government that will go down in history
as the most destructive to Middle East peace and the greatest Zionist sympathizer
since Lord Rothschild himself.
Iranians will never forget how the Shah took Mossadegh away from the people, with
help from his American and British "friends" (of course, the Shah saw their
true colors when he was dying from cancer and was shipped all over the world so his
"friends" wouldn't be burdened with him -- the single biggest gift they've
ever been given in the Middle East). Some day, Iran will be a true democracy. We'll
have a leader who actually cares for us and not a bloodthirsty, power-hungry dictator.
The one thing we can be certain of, however, is that this leader will not have "royal