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(Hard) reality check
Iranian people will regrettably be FORCED to see the importance of regime change exactly as they were FORCED into realising that Economic Globalisation



Kia Atri
November 5, 2005

I am sure you have all heard the phrase 'Useful Idiots' rightly or wrongly attributed to Vladimir Illych Ulyanov (a.k.a. Lenin). The phrase is used to describe the naïve souls in the Capitalist West who- though decent people- are by and large the best spokesmen for Soviet misinformation in the West. The misinformation which chooses to turn a blind eye to the otherwise suspicious quarantining of a whole nation on promise of an unattainable and idealistic utopia. Which utopia is rich in intellectual justification with elaborate theories but weak in putting bread on the table of its inmates known as Soviet citizenry. Which misery they (the U.I.) will be loathed to understand for fear and hatred that they have of the Liberal Democracies they live in.

Well in Iran we do not so much have 'Use-FUL Idiots' as 'Use-LESS idiots'. And believe you me they come in all shapes and sizes, with all manner of academic achievements to their credit. They come bearing all ideological baggage of a yester-era filled with political clichés and false pretence to some high-minded respect for political evolution.

One has to feel literally ashamed of falling foul of their analytical probity. One that is incisive in its supposed respect for facts. They are aided and abetted by the here and now too. They take up an exalted position of penning essays against the might of the American bully who wants to cajole Iran into Democracy (perish the thought). Which Democracy that bully (afore-mentioned America) has itself denied the Iranian people. And when you have useful idiots in the West such as Dr Albright who give ammunition to their useless counterpart who could fault the voracity of their exalted opinions.

Before we split hairs between the suffixes 'ful' and 'less', let us take a scholarly journey into the writings of Dr. Rabii of International University of Iran whose analysis graced our Pan-Iranian panorama otherwise known as The plea not to Bomb us into democracy was laser guided undoubtedly for those hapless American Statesmen in whose hands our collective futures supposedly lie.

Well of all cyber scribes penning tracts in the Diaspora, this one certainly needs no convincing that once invited the foreigner is unlikely to have the best interests of the Iranian nation at heart. After all Iran is being ruled by Iranian looking foreigners now and how happy are we today? Before I get any letters calling me a sell out or stooge of the West or 'Sarsepordeh' let me just reassure you: 'Please George no can do'.

No my problem is not the perspective invasion of Iran by the Bible Bashers of Neo-Con land; not least because the possibility of that this side of Iraq insurgency is remote, Ahmadinezhad or no Ahmadinezhad. No my problem is the idea that says and I quote:

'True, that segments of populations prefer to see a regime change no matter what the consequences might be, but serious defenders of Human Rights and life-long freedom seekers believe differently'.

The confusion here is the one that separates the noble ideal of regime change with one that says Defence of Human Rights and the struggle for it is a separate issue from changing the regime that abuses the very same Human Rights we are here to defend. It is a pathetic attempt at excusing away a system that is endemically at fault in creating the conditions of abuse in the first place. And what would one call the dismantling of legal institutions and suppressive apparatus behind it if not regime change?

Our commentator reassures us that what was observed last June in the sham elections of Iran was a mandate granted by the people and reinforcing the opposition of the Iranian people to any ideas of regime change:

'the Turkish Secular Model and the Iranian Islamic Model have been dominating forces at play in the entire political landscape of the Middle East, Central Asia, the Caucuses ... . the latter appears to be more in tune with the will of the masses. The result of the latest presidential election in Iran is an obvious manifestation of the strong popular support for the latter model'.

The good Doctor later on insists: '... . In fact, one could argue that the election choices were even more diverse and more real than those witnessed in much of the world democracies. No realistic mind could argue that the choices offered by the main presidential candidates in Iran were any less pronounced than those offered by the presidential candidates in, lets say, the USA. No third party, independent, woman, black or minority candidate has been able to enter the American presidential race to date. Yet, Ahmadi Nejad came out of nowhere and won a landslide election against all odds in Iran.  How can we explain this other than attributing it to a deep undercurrent shaping the political infrastructure in Iran?'

There is absolutely no point trying to tell the good doctor that: No free and fair elections have ever been held in Iran post 1979 for us to know what the 'masses' really want if given a REAL choice between REAL candidates. There is equally no point trying to tell our good commentator that a choice between 7 candidates, three of which are die hard Islamists, another two of whom are die hard Islamists too and the other two can also be classified as die hard Islamists, is not what one could call diversity (kindly stop calling Mostafa Moin a reformer he is a joker for all deck of cards).

Equally useless in reminding the good doctor is the view that what ever one says about the inaccessibility of the levers of power for minorities the US system is not imbued with draconian vetting procedures that seriously disbar even members of the ruling elite from entering the race never mind those who would be called secular. If there is an endemic problem it is not with the American Democracy itself but the cultural inequity that is at play; these things take time to evolve. Still in the US there is a Black General who can scale the heights of power given his celebrated accomplishments on the battlefield and a Black woman Security Advisor who may well be a future president.

No less noteworthy is the fact that in a host of Western Democracies a number of women from Margaret Thatcher to Angela Merkel can achieve political office, yet in Iran the verdict of a woman is worth half that of a man. If our good Doctor's mind was not preoccupied with Politically Correct baggage he would have paused to open the pages of history to learn (heaven forbid if such thing is allowed in Iranian intellectual circles) that Benjamin Disraeli was a Jew and he also happened to be the Prime Minister of the UK in the 19th Century. What would be realistic is to admit that with the IR continuing its odious rule in Iran no such progressive tendency as seeing a Jew rule Iran is likely to happen this side of Mahdi's long awaited gig at the Empire. So I think that it is probably time that our good University Don toned down his tirade a tad.

And what is the reason for the accomplished commentators in the West systematically getting things wrong when it comes to analysing the results of elections in Iran- and thus wrong footing the Western Policy makers? Our good doctor provides the answers:

'One of the main reasons for these misinterpretations or misunderstandings lies in the fact that the underpinning economic development factors have been for the most part discarded or ignored. ... The current political discourse is in direct correlation with the emerging economic pluralism ... Certainly, no deprived, nor any disadvantaged felt any pressing need or immediate urge for pluralism, tolerance and alike'.

I see, so when the Iranian youth who number some 70% of the population and who are highly educated but face the prospects of remaining unemployed in their young lives, and are gulled into voting Khatami, they are not disadvantaged at all? Or let me see now the women who vote for the aforementioned joker for the disgust of living as second-class citizens in their own homeland are not disadvantaged? Or could we be talking about the highly advantaged minorities in say Kurdistan or Baluchistan who would not be seen dead in one of those things they call voting stations of the IR? I don't know, this not so highly advantaged cyber scribe is living 27 years away from his homeland and has failed to see the latest Islamist fad.

To argue that it is Economic Pluralism in IR which has wrong footed the analysts is to miss the big picture by no less than a mile. The reason why analysts are wrong footed, if wrong footed at all, is a combination of two reasons: the absolute monopoly of power and the dissemination of disinformation designed to sustain this monopoly. It is precisely because there is no pluralism of any kind that the regime is able to control not only the way power is exercised but how the contours of that power are perceived.

Every thing is in purdah: women are in purdah, prostitution is in purdah, consumption of alcohol is in purdah, addiction is in purdah, AIDS is in purdah, the accounts of Foundations which duplicate the role of some ministries but act as fiefs for the State terrorists are in purdah, even Interest Rates are in purdah. Interest Rates exist in all but name and under a gamut of moral and ethical red tape in a variety of forms. Which practice has accorded the same moral probity to Usury as Seegheh has done to prostitution.

This is information asymmetry (to use an Economic jargon) gone wild. This is a Republic of disinformation designed to keep the power of the insiders by access to premium intelligence. This is a regime of parallel lives, parallel ministries, parallel moralities, parallel armies, parallel egos and parallel fiefs. This is not pluralism but factionalism, it is not pluralism but turf politics practiced in the Bazaar and now superposed on public lives. In a system such as this, information cannot flow unimpeded and when information is this constrained Democracy and pluralism cannot prevail. Observers do not miscalculate into error but are surprised into error. They read things correctly up to stage n-1, it is only in traversing into stage 'n' that things go awry.

You do not believe me? Well ask those sour grapes otherwise known as Karrubi and Rafsanjani. It is unprecedented that they would break the code of silence and complain that there has been cheating in the general elections that brought our primate of a president to power. Which code of silence they never broke when Rafsanjani himself rode to power on the back of shameless rigging and corrupt malpractices in his terms as president. Where did all those votes for Ahmadinezhad suddenly come from in the second round? Does any one who is not an IRI insider know? Well apparently Rafsanjani, Moin, Khatami, and Karrubi know; so much so that three out of four of them have threatened to quit the regime. Again their threat has turned out to be hollow not least because if any such move is made against the system some uncomfortable beans will be split which might seriously embarrass the interlocutors.

Economic pluralism? Apparently giving a choice to the Iranian people of bribing them by State handouts or creating Rafsanjani's crony Capitalism is Economic pluralism is it? All of this in a regime that for the past 8 years if not more has made every attempt to reverse the constitutional impediments- of its own making incidentally- in creating a Free Market economy. This is what we call Economic pluralism! And by all accounts it is this pluralism that has afforded such legitimacy to these elections. Which elections incidentally here-quoted Dr Ebaadi has herself called a sham and undemocratic to the point of boycotting it. Sorry but I think I am missing a trick here.

The bombs that are going to explode in Iran are not the napalm bombs of the Americans in their supposed bid to cajole Iran into shameless democracy. The US is much maligned over its fiasco of a policy in Iraq to be able to muster any political support- not to mention military might- and attempt another misadventure. The proliferation activities of the IR are also much shrouded in the same Information Asymmetry that we talked about above. The possibility of a one off or two off attack by Israeli or US jets is likely to be counterproductive given the dearth of intelligence. The only official option that remains now is the use of Economic sanctions. Here too the Chinese and Russians are less likely to be compliant given that the former are presiding over an Economic resurgence and the latter an Economic malaise. The West too has enough Capitalist rope sellers to sell noose to the executioners of the IR. The US is likely to be dragged into a Cold War with the IR which is likely to be protracted and long.

No the incendiary around the necks of our blighted nation is not a napalm bomb but an ethnic time bomb ticking away in those peripheral regions like Kurdistan (some would call these Disadvantaged areas, but don't let me disturb your peace my good doctor). Apparently in this new Cold War against the loopy system of IR the latest purveyors of 'divide and rule' are no less eminent people than Dr Ledeen et al who obviously believe that the best way to aid Iranian Democrats is to fragment Iran at the hands of treacherous orgs like the Kurdistan Democratic Party. The latest sham conference by AEI is full testimony to that. Still for those of us souls in the silent majority like myself who predicted this some two years ago and who witness the painful spectre of seeing our predictions come true the Red Herring of the US bombers changing regimes in Iran is another diversion attempted by our commentators.

The chances are that when some one utters:

'This is particularly true about the CIA led Coup of 1953 toppling the popular nationalist leader Premier Mosadegh followed by the autocratic rule of the Shah. This has been viewed as the final blow to the democratization process in the whole Middle East and the Iranians are not ready to forgive and forget this tragedy'.

... And that same some one does not know or does not want to know that by the time the Americans removed Dr Mossadegh there was no Parliament in Iran and that same Parliament (the highest office of Democracy) had been dismantled by the PM in a highly rigged Referendum. Democratisation had already stopped in its tracks. So much misperception about historical events and party politics paraded as facts are what has plunged our country into the abyss.

The Iranian people may not want to understand these uncomfortable facts; after all if one of their best educated does not, what compulsion would THEY have to do so? No, the Iranian people will regrettably be FORCED into understanding facts. They will be FORCED to see the importance of regime change exactly as they were FORCED into realising that Economic Globalisation is a fact of life that they cannot eschew.

In exactly the same way that they were FORCED to understand that picking unnecessary fights with the big boys in the hood for 444 days is a gamble entered upon at their own peril. A lesson lost on our primate of a president. So now they have to endure the possibility of an ethnic time bomb so that they can understand that the IR is a luxury they can ill afford and jumping on election bandwagons of the biggest group of misfits this side of the Reich and the Dumas is not an option. I do however grant you that: our people are not exactly the quickest on the uptake.

Khaaneh az bast veeraan ast
Khajeh dar naghsh eyvaan ast

For letters section
To Kia Atri


Book of the day

The Pursuit of Pleasure
Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian History, 1500-1900
by Rudi Matthee

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