Forward not backward
Unlike the Neoconservative-infested Republican
Party, the progressives in this country do not need to resort to
fiction, seasoned with innuendos, to drive their points home
November 1, 2004
After reading "President
Bush? Yes!", I felt compelled
to respond. I do so because I strongly sense
that it is time that our people in the United States wake up to the genuine
political make-up of the Bush Administration, as well as to realities facing
our collective political maturity here in America.
article resonates the standard partisan rhetoric so consistently emanating
from this administration, albeit customized for
group (the evolving intellectual diversity of our group notwithstanding).
Bakhtavar states upfront: "As the American electorate
enters the last couple of weeks before the 2004 presidential elections
American left are stepping up their
propaganda war against President Bush."
How is simply summarizing this
president's dismal four-year economic and foreign policy record to the
American public considered propaganda? Can any of the facts about a net job
trade, account and budget deficits and an alienating effect abroad (over
90% of the world opposes Bush) be proven false (the necessary criteria for
No, unlike the Neoconservative-infested Republican Party,
the progressives in this country do not need to resort to whole scale
fiction, seasoned with innuendos, to drive their points home and
garner (read: retain)
amongst the already stupefyingly distracted electorate.
He continues: "The
closer the election gets, the more desperate the left gets in their
attempt to undermine President Bush's presidency
and his doctrine
for a free, democratic Middle East."
Free and democratic to whom?
Certainly not the people living there.
It is rational to expect that
true, functioning democracy in this day and age, *anywhere* in
the world, must accompany a peoples'
This assumption is certainly no different for the oil-rich regions
of the Middle East, the Caucasus, South Asia, Africa and South
based on this
assumption, viable democracy in any oil-rich nation in the Middle East will
most likely conflict with core US "strategic interests" in that region,
as it apparently does in other oil-rich parts of the world (consult Venezuela).
I.E. it will devolve into an oil grab, with a hoped for installment of "client-state
status" from the US.
A cursory study of the US/UK treatment of Dr. Mossadegh
should be adequate to drive home this point, and said historical
lesson remains as pertinent to geopolitical realities today as
it did in the 1950s (possibly
more so considering the dissipating state of known global oil reserves).
then reminds readers of Reagan and Eastern Europe as an example
of presume export of democracy. Suffice it to say
that Eastern Europe was a different game vis-a-vis US strategic
interests than was/is the Mid-East (hint: no substantive
oil or natural gas reserves there...just a buffer against the then
Bakhtavar states: "The Iranian-American community
must understand that these vocal critics of President Bush are
to the Iranian populace.
in order to achieve their
agenda they will back any radical group including the hard-liners in
Iran. Some of the financial fuel for this agenda comes from US
organizations that have questionable ties to the Iranian government
and millions of dollars to disperse throughout the Iranian-American
What "agenda" is Bakhtavar opaquely referencing?
The agenda of replacing a catastrophically poor performing administration
with a better informed, sober
and credible one? The agenda of trying to prevent full-scale, multi-regional
warfare and a further drive towards domestic and global fiscal
Iranian progressives seek to prevent a fiscal quagmire
from occurring in this country as well as prevent an ill-advised
attack on the
ancestry. The Bush administration has blinders on to the ostensibly
cataclysmic ramifications of either solely performing, approving
of, or acting in
concert with, an attack on or invasion of Iran. Such an act would
not be an isolated
incident a la the Israeli attack on Iraq back in the early 1980s,
as it would necessitate further actions involving a full regime
change as well.
Despite the salivating that such a prospect of
regime change presents for the myopic,
tragically uniformed and politically codependent Iranian-American
populace in the US, the realities of the matter are much more
complex. Such an attack on Iran might very well be the modern
equivalent of the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand
in 1914, as
a conflict that would
destabilize the region and spiral into a wider global situation.
Nations and Unions such as Russia, China, India and
the EU have gone on the
record in opposing
such a strike, and informed, seasoned strategists such as Zbigniew
Bzrezinski, General (ret.) William Odom and others have advised
against such acts
(preferring that Europe lead on the matter of containing an
Iranian government through diplomacy and possible use of sanctions).
fact, there may be signs that the Bush Administration is starting
consider the admonitions
of the latter experts regarding Iran because even *they* realize
the delicacy of the Mid-East and scarcity of US resources. These
that the hopeful yet electively uninformed Iranian-American supporters
of the Republican Party
must come to grips with.
Also, why does Bakhtavar rely on conjecture
and outright lies to try and attack those Iranians who choose to
back the Democratic
Would he care
to elaborate on the "questionable ties to the Iranian government" that
he implies the Iranian backers of the Democratic Party readily
Or is Bakhtavar tritely content to leave the accusation
as a dangling
well that our community is unfortunately highly impressionable
to rumors and conspiracy
theories due to our demonstrable political immaturity (domestically
and abroad)? Provide tangible, substantive proof for Bakhtavar's
serious allegations, or kindly
refrain from regurgitated, Neocon-spoon-fed propaganda.
Further, I would hope, nay insist, that Bakhtavar and other
Iranians choosing to side with the Republican Party stop channeling
Ledeen and Richard Perle in Bakhtavar's arguments and public stances,
as the latter crew of Straussian NeoCONservatives hardly retain
the best interests of our
peoples here or abroad, let alone the best interests of the rest
Kindly consult the following for the
backgrounds, true ideological roots and thus, true motivations of
Separately yet relatedly, before Bakhtavar and others resort to vaguely, nefariously
and insidiously accusing Iranian Democrats of working in a monetary capacity
with the government of Iran, Bakhtavar should be fully aware that Richard Cheney's
former corporation, Halliburton, as well as G.E. and Conoco Philips, continue
to deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran through their diversified subsidiary
Bakhtavar refers to "the historically Republican Iranian-American
community", implying that our people should collectively continue
to remain in said partisan camp without explaining the whys and
hows of said party's current platforms... platforms that differ
significantly from the Republican Party of old. This is NOT the
Republican Party of Nixon nor even of Reagan.
Again, I highly suggest
Bakhtavar investigate the nihilistic Machiavellian roots of Neoconservative
ideology [a great place to start, book-wise, is Shadia Drury's
Strauss and the American Right"] before equating this
administration with those of Republicans past.
Bakhtavar continues: "Using propaganda,
fear tactics, hysteria and sometimes outright lies [the Iranians
on the Democratic side
have] scared the Republican
Iranian-American community to the side of John Kerry."
First, those Iranian-Americans
who are attracted to the Democratic Party and the progressive side are proud
Americans who are also cognitive, educated and sober. They are NOT tired,
politically impotent, and culturally distracted sycophants
who are anxious to garner transitory
approval from a patently clandestine domestic political force that shrewdly parades
itself as a broad-based, all-inclusive political base (read: the current
Second, "propaganda, fear tactics and hysteria" is
the definitely relied-upon M.O. of the Neoconservatives who "advise",
nay drive, the Bush presidency. Case in point is the very blog Bakhtavar
which is practically devoid of informed economic or geopolitical viewpoints
from here or, especially, from abroad. Said website, as well as the magazines
it relies upon, are shouting boards for the bloated, fear-driven-and-fear-triggering,
manipulative and shrewdly misleading modern Republican shouting machine.
Bakhtavar states that Democrats claim "Iranians are too backwards
to accept democracy", as well as "To [Democrats], nothing
matters more than taking power in this country, even if they have to
prevent democracy from
taking root in Iran".
Such statements, especially the latter, should
in actuality be aimed at Republican Party Neoconservatism, which only
sees democracy as
a means towards an elites-vs.-"vulgar masses" end, holds a core
disdain for Liberalism, Modernism and the Enlightenment, and disturbingly
favors the use of religion as a tried-and-true political tool for keeping
masses" in line.
Neocons are more inspired by the thoughts of Carl
Schmitt, Martin Heidegger (his early 1930s thoughts endorsing the Third
Strauss and Niccolo Machiavelli, rather than those of Thomas Paine,
Thomas Jefferson or James Madison.
Again, kindly consult
here, or better yet, consult the writings of Neoconservatism's
philosophers themselves (Leo Strauss, Michael Ledeen, et al). [Marx
thought religion was "an opiate for the masses" and
thus was bad; NeoCONs believe it is indeed an opiate, yet also
believe that the "masses
need their opium". Hence, witness the broad, faith-based domestic
transformations before us].
Thus, I tend to wonder whether the Straussian
Neoconservatives that drive Bush's foreign and domestic policies
aren't, in actuality,
mullahs in Iran because of the latter's use of religion to maintain
control. Interestingly, and despite its seemingly ironic inanity
counter-shrewdness, Iran's ruling mullahcracy nonetheless recently
Bush for another
No, the average student in Tehran knows more about political
philosophy than the average student in Los Angeles. The average
information-hungry, humble and increasingly aware female student
in Iran can better tie together
the nuances of Enlightenment philosophies, economic and political
reform, and an authentic, evolving Iranian national identity (with
it's core, trust me) than can a Kobe & Britany Spears-citing,
BlackCats-hip-hop-quoting, Westwood-cruising, hair-dying-plastic-surgery-embracing Iranian-American
student in the US.
The former phenomenon can be attested to through
a rudimentary review of blogs and other websites emanating out
of Iran; the latter phenomenon
can be attested to through, well, take Bakhtavar's pick: LA-based
Iranian TV and radio; an average afternoon walk down Westwood Blvd.;
or a visit to various bland-cultured
Importantly, those Iranian-Americans in the US who are
attracted to the progressive side embrace the burgeoning, formerly
cited, miracle of Iranian
intellectual sobriety, rather than the cookie-cutter, two-dimensional
caricatures of Iran and Iranians posited by the Neoconservative
spin-machine (more than
this caricaturing later, in response to Bakhtavar's comparison
of Iranian-Americans to Cuban-Americans).
The Islamic Republic of Iran is a repressive,
paranoid and increasingly disastrous form of government that
is further alienating the land of our ancestry and origin from
the rest of the world.
In other words, Iran's is a Neoconservative government.
Bakhtavar to take a look at the instincts of mullah Neoconservatism
and compare it to the increasingly
rabid form of domestic Neoconservatism in the US, in light of the
Bakhtavar will realize why Iranians did not
flee the Islamic Republic of Iran to
the US in order to be housed under a different brand of Neoconservatism.
No, we came here to embrace Liberalism and Modernism. The true
then, whether of Iranian descent or otherwise, thus seeks to ***conserve***
said Liberalism alongside their unique cultural traits.
a key distinction that Iranian-Americans must realize and embrace
in order to mature politically
in the US and, in turn, assist the true economic and political
liberation of Iran, rather than reverting to a sheepish appeasement
of Iran as another
potential "client-state", rich in oil and natural
gas for any variety of conglomerate-based "liberalization".
is also not a request for Iranian-Americans to side with the Democratic
Party in full, just as it is not a request for
abandonment of the
Republican Party by Iranian-Americans. It is rather a clarion
call for replete political maturity where our people can awaken
to political realities here and abroad
and choose our political affiliations with sobriety and ultimate
cultural fidelity in mind, rather than relying on others' interpretations
and foreign politics for us (read: Neocons). Spouting preposterously
conspiratorial vitriol about a mainstream, Brahmin-bred, Establishmentarian
candidate does not achieve those ends.
A related caveat: Jewish Americans manage to join both Republican
and Democratic parties (as well as other domestic parties) while
a core fidelity
to their culture, language, and religion and to the sanctity of
Israel. Said diversified and longstanding approach has garnered
them in the US while benefiting their nation of cultural origin
in the Middle East.
Why should it be any different for Iranians? In this light, Bakhtavar's
article, by urging complete Republican Party membership
by Iranian-Americans, takes us backward,
Regarding domestic politics in Iran, Bakhtavar promotes an ultimate referendum
in Iran, as do I and others in our Diaspora, stating: "My
point is that we should let the Iranian people choose whatever
that choice may be, but they certainly deserve moral support in
having that choice. Therefore, this
election season I merely ask Bakhtavar to reason through and seek
the truth. Don't let bias steal Bakhtavar's vote."
again, in agreement regarding the above statement, all the more
reason to reject Neoconservative manipulation of our
people in favor of transparent, sober, evolved support alternatives.
Few issues are more critical to our people either domestically
Neoconservatives in America haven't the slightest clue
on what to do strategically with regard to Iran; we would not help
enrolling behind them
Case in point, Bakhtavar conclude: "My guess
is that if the Iranian-American community understood the issues
similar to the Cuban-American community, over
70% would support President Bush." That is, I guess, the core
of the problem -- Bakhtavar think as the current neophyte Neocon
strategists do, lumping together Iranians, Cubans, Vietnamese,
Koreans and Venezuelans in this country
as one, big collective group of knee-jerkily frustrated ex-patriots
who couldn't care about any other issue in their voting patterns
(I.E. health care, fiscal
prudence, Medicare, energy independence, the environment,
libertarian values and others), let alone in their views of how
to approach their lands of origin from within the United States.
Well, the world is not
a video game, unlike the view of it from the Neocon perspective.
Iranian-Americans' adoption of warped Neocon thinking is tragic,
as said thinking begs sober analysis.
Such habits only further our state of political co-dependence
and impotence in the United States.