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Save your ‘gift of democracy’
An open letter to President Bush

H. Saftar
April 10, 2006

President Bush;

We are the Iranian nation! A nation of history and culture; a nation of honour and courage and a nation that smells ancient and looks old. When Abraham Lincoln was laying the corner stones of the Unites Sates of America, we had thousands of years of history behind us.

In these thousands of years we have contributed to humanity in ways not measurable; the world’s first and largest empire, mathematics, medicine, music and mysticism, astronomy, the tax system, the postal system. The greatest and oldest poets, the most marvellous architecture and a passion for life which is hard to supersede. From the wine you drink to the bathtub you bathe in, they were all invented in Iran. You can therefore understand why we walk with our heads held high and hearts which pump not just blood, but a supreme passion for our nation.

This passion and pride is passed from father to son and from generation to generation. Our father’s memories are as vivid for us as, it was for them, and will be so for our children as it is for us. We carry our history in our hearts not in textbooks. Any Iranian will tell you about Alexander, Genghis khan, or the Arabs attacks, as if it happened yesterday.

Mr President!

The Iranian nation does not forget! What your country did to our fathers, we will not forget, and anything you do to us, our children will not forget. One half of the Iranian people are under 25. Yet they know full well who was behind the 1953 coup d'état which killed democracy in Iran, who supported Saddam to kill two million Iranian people, and who turned a blind eye when he chemically bombed our people.

These young people are the future policymakers in Iran. The future generation of governors, officials and businessmen. If you are the self proclaimed advocate of democracy and the savour of the Iranian people, we want to ask you: what kind of American foreign policy is this, that you are alienating an entire generation of Iranian policymakers before they even have the chance to come to power? Is it in the interest of the west to further deepen the roots of mistrust into our souls? How can you expect any future democratically elected government of Iran to be your allies when their youth was spent under existential threats from the Americans?

Do you seriously think the masses in Iran – no matter how opposed to the current government- are going to give back power to feeble 25-year exiled residues of the dictatorial Shah regime? or worst yet the pathetic MKO terrorists who betrayed and sold-out the Iranian people to Saddam or slaughtered Iranian women and children in the shrine of Imam Reza? To think these people are representatives of the Iranian people is in par with thinking that the murderers of the Texas chainsaw massacre are indicative of all rednecks, or that the Nazi fascists reflected the mentality of the average German! No Mr. President! These clowns that have encircled you have nothing to do with us, and rest assured that any future government of Iran will be of the youngsters who will – under your present policies- grow up to think of America as nothing more of a mindless bully that caused their suffering time and again.

Mr President!

Maybe you are right and we are “hijacked by a group of clerics”. Maybe our leaders are theocratic illogical idealists, and maybe we are, as you had the audacity to utter in your axis-of-evil speech, ‘uncivilised’, but what about the US? Is death and destruction the best this superpower can do? Is this the epitome of your civilisation? The peak of your vision and the pinnacle of your thoughts? Does the collective wisdom and intelligence of all the Harvard and Yale graduates (and the dropouts) who litter the corridors of power in the Whitehouse not enough to devise a plan and course of action which doesn’t require threats of force?

Do Americans have no foresight, virtue of wit, or possess patience? What is the American psyche about, dialogue or destruction, engagement or entrapment, ‘an eye for an eye’ or the fortitude to transcend? How do we define barbaric and who is a Berber? Is it not someone who sees force as the means of dealing with issues? Could you not outsmart the Iranian government? Are a bunch of mullahs so clever that you are left with no alternative but give tongue-in-cheek threats of force to this ancient and peaceful nation? How dare you foster such ill-intentions?!

Mr President!

Since you came into power it is thanks to you and only you, that far from being safer, the world is now a much more dangerous place, and far from being more democratic, there is so much hatred in the world that fundamentalism has found its fertile soil to grow. Far from being a pragmatic superpower, you have exposed the weaknesses of the American empire for the world to see and your popularity rating is the lowest of any president. Every two out of three Americans does not support your views, policies and judgements. For these ‘achievements’, we and the millions of Americans who live below the poverty line with no access to healthcare, would like to offer you our sincere congratulations! You can either add Iran to your wretched resume of failures, or open direct dialogues and diffuse the situation.

This ancient nation is worried and concerned about the future. We want peace in the world and especially in the Middle East. We want to see progress in the world, development and cultural evolution, not death, destruction and ethical devolution. This means no weapons for anyone, not us and not you. No one has the monopoly on morals; there are no moral high grounds, not least for the US with its bleak record of human rights, slavery, assassinations, bombings, killings, torture, invasion of other countries, showering Vietnamese with nerve gas, and not to mentions the quarter of a million innocent Japanese people who were nuked to ashes.

Mr President!

Maybe for you “there is only one thing worse than military action, a nuclear Iran”, but for us, the Iranian people, there is only one thing worse than being ruled by the mullahs; its the ‘gift of democracy’ you gave the Iraqi people on the back of the Tomahawks. We neither want that, nor want to see an Abu-Ghraib fast-torture franchise in Iran. We therefore would like to donate your empathy for the Iranian people, to the resident of New Orleans who still have no where to live.

In the Iranian revolution people chanted “Independence, freedom, Islamic republic”. Maybe some of us didn’t exactly get the freedom, and maybe the Islamic republic didn’t quite turn out the way some had hoped, but you can bet your last dollar that –as then- our independence and sovereignty remains firmly lodged at the very top of our minds. Nothing unites us like our national integrity and anyone who attempts to violate our motherland, remotely or minutely, will be met by the tenacity of a proud nation who will cast their differences aside to guard their sovereignty and independence. Perhaps, had it not been for the ineptitude of our own leaders, we would not reach this situation. Nevertheless, it doesn’t means our response and resolve will not be just as united and uncompromising as before.

Mr President,

this great nation cannot be forced into submission by threats from you or anyone else. There is a thousand year old Iranian saying which goes “If Iran shall not be, then so not be my body”. If you want the loyalty of the Iranian people, you must give this ancient nation the respect it deserves, not belittle its sprit and will. God bless.

With regards
An Iranian

letters section
H. Saftar


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