Hamoon aasho, hamoon Kaasseh
Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame
November 30, 2004
In 1997, I was one of the 26 million people who saw
no other exit strategy for the Islamic Republic but through internal
Rafsanjani was nearing an end of an 8-year run on power where he
had consolidated his forces, money and strength. The intelligence
ministry was a feared entity not unlike the SAVAK 20 years before
it. Clinton administration was non-confrontational and the world
was looking to end the impasse with the Islamic Republic.
The end goal of mine and the 26 million others who voted for
Khatami was to create a division within the regime and to somehow
exploit the division for the benefits of Iran.
The end goal was sincere. But the method to get there and the
tools used were inadequate.
Rafsanjani/Khamenei coalition soon crushed the movement. They
destroyed the student movement violently and closed more than 70
news papers. The forces behind this change were dispersed, sent
to prison or fled the country.
The tools used to make this change were either destroyed and
were proven to be incapable.
Looking back, we can learn one thing from what happened: Rafsanjani
and Khamanei will use any force necessary to stay in power. To
unseat them, they need to be confronted. Confrontation needs to
be non-violent; however, a confrontation and a forceful exit nevertheless.
To the politicians, academicians, intellectuals and writers who
made up the 2nd of Khordad movement and who let me down, who let
the students down, who let Iran down: Fool me once, shame on
you! Fool me twice, shame on me!
Some of those same leaders, the self-claimed intellectuals and
philosophers once again want you and me to follow them down a path.
This time, their plan is once again with a sincere and respectable
goal of a civil and democratic society, but again there are some
flaws in this plan.
Their plan is to gather all people and force
the Islamic Republic to hold a referendum to change the constitution.
And once the constitution is changed, ask Mr Khamenei and Rafsanjani
to politely step down per requirements of the new constitution.
They are really hyped up about Step 1) Referendum. They also
talk about Step 2) Changing the Constitution. But for Step 3) there
is not much talk.
They're just assuming that Mr Rafsanjani and Mr Khamenei
will say: "Thank you very much, it was nice to be your leader,
but now since the constitution has no role for me, I will step
down as requested."
An Iranian referendum cannot be vague on its wording in regards
to democracy and freedom. It cannot only hint at separating religion
from state. It must be direct and to the point. The referendum
must be forceful and include the elimination of the Islamic Republic
and the separation of religion from governemnt.
The leaders of
this movement have a decent plan, without being able to see two
steps down the line. The weakness of this plan is both in lack
of planning for the steps down the line, as well as its inability
to look at the world around and distinguish the position of Iran
today as compared to 1996.In today's world, the Islamic
Republic is at a dead end.
The political pressure for the nuclear
issue is immense. The economy, unlike 1996 (at the end of a 6 year
borrow and spend boom) is at a halt with no serious hope for a
rebound. Taliban is gone in the East, Saddam is gone on the west
and replaced by American forces. And lastly, an American president
who's made "Greater Middle East Plan" a central
goal of his administration has just replaced his dovish Secretary
of State with the architect of the Soviet downfall.
With all this going on, some are calling for a referendum where
steps 2 and 3 are not only unclear, but unknown, not clearly planned
and a source of easy manipulation by the Islamic Republic.
If I sign this petition, I will be pushing for a plan with no
clear outlines of what needs to be done and if I get fooled again
with an incomplete plan, Shame on me!
may force IRI, just prior to the presidential elections and as
a last option, to drop its opposition to barring candidates
from running and allow someone like "Mohsen Sazgara",
one of its sponsors to run for president. Then what, "Hamoon
aasho , hamoon kaasseh..."
This article is from my weblog, fassihi.blogspot.com.