Shah or sheikh
the same job irrespective of who's in power
June 2, 2004
Fariba Amini's article on the abuse of human rights and particularly
the use of torture has a familiar message which is heard
from the sources who blame America for all the evil in
the world ["They
wrote the book"].
While Amini blames the US unequivocally for
the horrifying use torture around the globe, past and present,
she completely misses to trace the roots of the evil to the periods
before the 1960's. I wonder why?
Take a magnifying glass
and scan the article from top to bottom and you cannot see a single
reference to the state that revived the systematic use of
torture in the early decades of the 20th century and turned
it into an institution: the Soviet Union. In fact, was it
not for the little prayer that appears in the last paragraph of
Amini's article, it could well have been written as an opinion
piece for the communist Pravda!
One cannot deny the widespread use of torture by the military
dictatorships during the cold war era and by other totalitarian
states well into the present century. But the condemnation
of torture must be universal. Long before the installation of any
Western-backed dictatorship, the torture machinery of the USSR
and its satellite states was in full gear.
Amini is keen
to remind us of the alleged CIA devised torture techniques but
she shows no interest in extending similar credits
to the torture schools of the KGB whose methods were copied by
other communist states such as China. The products of these schools
were exported to countries from Cuba to Mozambique and had torture
despatched to North Yemen (war in Dhofar), North Vietnam,
Iraq, Afghanistan and the entire communist-bloc countries of
the Eastern Europe.
As a matter of fact, more than two decades
before Hitler opened the gates of his concentration to its
hapless inmates, Messrs. Lenin and Stalin had established their
forced-labour camps (Gulags) in Siberia.
With such appalling records on violation of human rights, sympathisers
of these communist states, namely the KGB-funded Tudeh party
and their off-shoot, Fedaeyan-e Khalq guerillas, continued
with their malicious dissemination of lies and misinformation
and in the process poisoned the minds of a nation against the
What is regrettable is that after passing of 25 years since the
installation of the tyranny of turban and sandal which presided
over a catastrophic loss of human life and resources
in Iran, hardly any thing has changed. Yesterday's Marxists
who are today's liberal nationalists, still remain fixated
on their old diet of falsehoods and fabrications.
in her attempt to implicate the Pahlavis in the
wrong doings that were committed in Evin, Amini touches
a point that is taboo for any self-respecting nation. She alleges
that the guards and torturers of the Islamic Republic were in fact
the former regime's employees on an extended contract. Whether
or not, it shows one clear fact: that regardless of who is
in power, there are still Iranians who are prepared to inflict
pain and injury on their fellow Iranians.
This is not any more
a question of shah or sheikh. These ordinary Iranians, some
religious fanatics, who are willing to commit the most hideous
acts of savagery against their fellow Iranians, would do
the same job irrespective of who is in power. The case of
Zahra Kazemi is still fresh in our minds.
The trail of horror started
with the Islamic slaughter of Shahpour Bakhtiar and his aide
Soroush Katibeh in Paris, went on with a similar degree of
barbarity carried out on Fereydoun Farrohkzad in Germany,
later continued with the savage murder of Forouhars in Tehran and
culminated two weeks ago in the public broadcast of Nick Berg's
decapitation in Iraq.
All, these murders and many more have
the hallmarks of the same zeal that has claimed the lives of
tens of thousands of our men, women and children behind the closed
of the Islamic Republics dungeons. Is it not, therefore, so unusually out of balance and proportion
to lament the treatment of the Iraqi captives by their captors,
be it as abhorrent as it is, while ignoring what is happening
in our own back yard?
Fortunately for Amini, she
is not alone in her partial position. This is exactly the
same stance adopted by no less than our Noble Peace Prize winner
Shirin Ebadi. She appears to have forgotten that her
prize was not awarded because of her stance against the US
war on terror nor for her criticism of the treatment of the
inmates in Camp X-ray.
Perhaps more than anyone elase, Ebadi has an
ethical obligation to draw the world's attention to the
litany of terror committed under the Islamic Republic in
the last quarter of a century. Or is it that she
and her sisters-in-arms have nothing better to do than
repeating the same anti-American chants that they have been
singing since the sixties and only find their identity in going
everything for which the US stands?
Time has come for our political activists and commentators
to shake-off their past and predominantly left-leaning sympathies
and see the world in a new light. There is no more a debate
the capitalism and communism. There is now a new monster
to manage, that of Islamic terrorism, and a new outlook is
needed to combat its tyranny.
goodbye to spam!