How do you spell independence?
Baffling double standards
By An Iranian
August 6, 2003
Over the past few years, there have been numerous
announcements of various indigenous weapons systems being developed
in Iran, the latest which is the Shahab 3 being deployed by the
Revolutionary Guards. While I commend the ingenuity and hard work
of my countrymen who are building these (albeit old technology)
capabilities in our country, I have come across some interesting
reactions whenever we hear about these things (or others, such
as the auto industry now vs pre-revolution). I have heard this "logic" from
many Iranians, and it is just baffling what a double standard we
can have. It goes something like this:
"The Shah was a western puppet and dictator
who made us totally dependent on the US, as we would only buy their
things and they
wouldn't give us the plans to enable us how to make it, and if
their people left all of their things we bought would be inoperable.
This government on the other hand, has made us much more independent,
(even though we might get *some* help from the North Koreans and
Chinese, and therefore we are more able to stand on our own and
not be puppet to those imperialist criminal Americans."
One cannot help but react with some very serious
1- If we were so dependent on the US, how could
our armed forces operate the most sophisticated US aircraft and
years in the face of embargo, purges, and internal strife? Did
we just send all the "Shah's puppets" home or to execution,
and suddenly some hezbollahi pilots and technicians appeared that
magically just operated this stuff with Allah's help? Or did the
North Koreans and Chinese come and hold our revolutionary hands
for us and get these things flying?
2- Is it unreasonable for US companies to not want
to give away military secrets? We had some weapons so advanced
that even NATO
didn't have access to, is the US imperialist for not just handing
over all the F-14's blueprints and secrets to us? Even the "downgraded" equipment
(in many cases this meant "not nuclear capable") was
way better than the competition's products.
3- Could it be that maybe, just maybe one reason
that the Chinese and North Koreans are willing to sell us technology
as well as
the goods is that the technology is 40-50 years old? That perhaps
if they actually had something worth selling that they wouldn't
need to give such a "concession" to get people to actually
pay money for their junk? The "downgraded" equipment
we got from the US 30 years ago is still much better than the junk
we get from China and North Korea today, even if we have the capability
to buy more of that junk ourselves.
I just don't understand why when the Shah would
buy the latest and greatest technology and expertise that money
could buy, he
was a "puppet" and buying "ahan pareh", and
it was only so he could collect some bribes. Even if he built factories
to assemble helicopters or aircraft, it is quickly discounted as "montage" and
not a "real industry".
But when the turban-headed "experts" (who
know so much that we should all copy and obey them) buy garbage
(that nobody other than Bangladesh and African countries would
buy), we are "independent"? Just because with it we got
the ability to make more of the same garbage ourselves? btw, I
wonder how much "commision" Mr. Rafsanjani and the other "experts" took
for themselves-oops- I mean for Allah- in these deals?
When are we going to realize that as late as 1965,
we were a very poor country with barely anything, and we were dependent
aid? In the 14 years that followed, we became one of the most advanced
and fastest growing economies of the middle east (as well as Asia),
and were well positioned to become a major player in petrochemical,
automotive, aviation, and many other industries?
We had the best
higher education in the middle east, and students who couldn't
study in it were able to go to the best universities in the world
and study. Many of those same universities today form the backbone
and core of our technical capabilities, they still produce fine
graduates who make us proud, and they had a lot to do with any
of the technical advances made in our country. We truly came
a long way.
With all this investment that happenned, and the
billions of dollars of foreign currency and surplus and oil industry
that the mullahs inherited, they are saying that after 24 years,
since we make low tech weapons and are able to refurbish and rebuild
30 year old aircraft, we are independent and on our own feet? Meanwhile
if Turkey or the Caspian basin countries challenge us in a region
which is the most vital for Iran in the coming century, we can't
do anything! What kind of strong independent country is this?
1975 on the Shatt-al-Arab. Iraqi tanks tried to cross and assert
control over the eastern side of the river (as they claimed they
owned due to historical agreements). The IIAF destroyed the entire
force immediately in a matter of 20 minutes. Most of us never even
heard of this incident. Iraq was then forced to sign the 1975 Algiers
accord, which they were only able to break once the mullahs came
to power and almost destroyed the Iranian Armed Forces.
surprised the entire world and were actually able to defend ourselves
with such huge sacrifice and dedication and sufferring, the mullahs
screwed up again. Once again they opened their big mouth and insisted
on going to Baghdad, without ever considering the question- "with
WHAT?" This directly resulted in the desperate and unconditional
support of most of the world for Saddam, making him the chemical
and biological monster that he became.
I would like to know, which of the two regimes did
a better job of keeping the peace and maintaining the security
of our country
against our foreign challengers and enemies? What should the Shah
have done with regards to the US? Just said to the US "Look,
I don't want to be perceived as a puppet, so I won't buy weapons
from you. I want to be independent like
Switzerland. I'll go make my own copies of Chinese copies of inferior
How well do you think that would have
worked? How long would we have lasted without American support
before the Soviet invaded us instead of Afghanistan? Would the
Soviets have even bothered with Afghanistan if Iran did not have
a strong military alliance with the US? In 1965, Iran was completely
dependent on the US for its defence (and just about everything
else). By 1979, Iran was the police of the region, and could
have resisted a Soviet invasion with quite a bit of force before
relying on US help.
For the past several hundred years Iran has suffered
from a weak military and central government and this situation
to lose the Caucasus and much of Central Asia during 2 Russo
wars during the Ghajars. I am not a monarchist, but I will
give credit where it is due. As an Iranian, I am thankful to the
for at least getting us through the cold war and the turmoil
of the middle east and the indo-pakistani wars (all around
war!!) without ever having to know the horrors of war and the
humiliation of defeat.
By contrast I will never forgive Khomeini
who gave us
the dubious distinction of having the longest (and one of
the bloodiest) wars of the 20th century, as well as the humiliation
and destruction at the hands of the Arabs. For sending 14
olds to walk on mines because he absolutely insisted that
we must have an Islamic government in Iraq. Of course his house
by anti aircraft weapons and his sons never went anywhere
the war front. Even Saddam's dreaded butcher son fought in
Furthermore, we are quick to condemn America since
it committed all these crimes in Vietnam, and other parts of the
so we should have nothing to do with them. But somehow we have
dealing with China, Russia, and North Korea, all of whom
committed GENOCIDE, in many cases against muslims.
at Russia in Chechniya
and Afghanistan and Georgia, or China in Tibet and Tiananmenn
square or against its own muslim population, or North
Korea who lets its
people starve while developing a huge army and nuclear
weapons to intimidate S. Korea. Not to mention France, who killed
1 million Algerians (that's right, muslims), and was one
allies of Iraq agains Iran. (remember the Super Etendards,
I am sick of double standards. If we Iranians cannot
agree and be united on anything, at least let's be fair and objective
we make our arguments.
I hope one day we have a democracy in Iran. But
democracy has prerequisites. It is very important for all of us
on this as the 50th
anniversary of Dr. Mosaddegh approaches. Democracy
not just elections and majority rules. It requires
checks and balances and above all, a certain culture.
allows debate and discussion between parties of opposite
views in a civil fashion.
I ask all Iranians in this
in our history to really look back and try to be
objective and be fair by applying the same standard to different
movements in our history.
May we one day have freedom, and may the truth come
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