Iranicons are so desperate, unimaginative, and
fixated on the idea of 'changing' Iran that they overlook exactly
who their champion is
November 5, 2004
Something momentous has just happened; the ramifications of the
election are larger than any one man and will set the course of
world events down a decidedly dangerous path. To me, this election
was never about John Kerry or George W. Bush; it was a referendum
on the neo-conservative roller coaster that the current administration
has put the world on.
I don't feel many people share that
outlook, because this was a bitterly divisive contest and the election
demonstrated that there were not many undecided minds out there.
The simple truth is currently, there are slightly more people in
the United States who feel George W. Bush is qualified to lead
the nation than those who disagree.
Within the Iranian-American community, there is also a marked
divide; those who deeply oppose Bush's policies and plans for Iran,
and those neo-conservatives (Iranicons) who enthusiastically and
blindly cheer them. I deliberately choose the word 'blindly' here
because these Iranicons are so desperate, unimaginative, and fixated
on the idea of 'changing' Iran that they overlook exactly
who their champion is, close their eyes to the holes in their reasoning,
or dangerously ignore those facts altogether.
A friendly reminder:
These people just helped to elect a man who opposes affirmative
action, gay marriage, vital life-saving medical research and who
opposes a woman's right to choose what is best for her life
and health--George W. Bush has no qualms about interjecting his
fundamentalist religious views in making the decisions that affect
the whole of society (Iranians are already well acquainted with
that kind of leadership).
These people just helped to elect a man who started two wars
in four years, orchestrated one of the greatest shams in American
politics (deliberately and falsely linking 9/11 to Saddam Hussein),
who never served in combat yet lusts for conquest, a man who sees
nothing wrong with raping less powerful nations of their sovereignty
and dropping bombs indiscriminately over the Middle East.
they elected a man who with Osama bin Laden as a faithful partner,
has done more than anyone else to polarize 'the West' against
the Middle East and fuel the ranks of religious fundamentalists
on both sides; a man who when asked to admit his mistakes, refuses
and justifies his decisions by simply saying he "prays a
lot" and that the presidency "is hard."
Enough about Bush - there are enough accounts that show the
current president of the United States for the dispiriting, arrogant
creature of privilege and delusion that he is. I am more concerned
with these ever-more emboldened Iranicons, who genuinely bewilder
me with their tunnel-vision views and the belief that Bush actually
gives a damn about the welfare of Iran and Iranians.
or not, these Iranicons are self-deprecating cultural evolutionists,
believing that political change must be prescribed from the outside,
and that Iranians are incapable of taking affairs into their
own hands. This is a view that must be critiqued, and I invite
to write on this topic as well. What is also disturbing is the
fact that they are twisting information, generous in exaggerating
support for their views, and invent absolutely false positions
and labels for their opponents.
Here are facts that all their tricks cannot change: The United
States has invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, has little evidence
in the way of success, and left those two countries in shambles.
of thousands of people killed, billions of dollars in damages,
armed bandits on the loose who capture and kill international
aid workers, and no end in sight; this is what you want in Iran?
In the long term, if history is a reliable guide, let's venture
US objectives to be as follows: the plan after regime change is
to secure energy resources and rapidly transition a still-underdeveloped
Iran to a free market economy (in essence, dooming it to second-tier
status in the deeply segregated world economy).
is a common condition in which the state has little control over
its affairs, outside actors largely dominate the economy (and
as a result, will dominate Iranian social institutions), and the
unequal distribution of wealth is greatly exacerbated, causing
new social cleavages.
This is at odds with the simplistic
scenario promoted by Iranicons, in which Iranians will have
a say in the form that their government will take after US intervention.
I offer only the most superficial analysis of this phenomenon,
but again, is that what you want in Iran?
This is not to say that the current situation in Iran is any
more desirable; the economy is in shambles, and people are desperate
for a change. The systematic suppression of political, social
political expression, the crushing social restrictions, and police
state that characterize Iran today must be changed and must not
In fairness then, let us not downplay and deceive ourselves on
who exactly Bush is, the fact that he has a history of saying whatever
is needed to garner support for his decisions, is absolutely incompetent
in international diplomacy, and that he refuses to accept criticism
for his many mistakes.
Let's not act as if we speak for a
nation's desires when we sit in privilege and comfort a world
away, and let's not pretend that Iran's considerable
problems will be solved by invading the country, killing many
innocents while finding few who oppose you, and subjecting it to
colonialism. It won't work.
Social and political change can occur in different ways, and
to not explore other options at best illustrates the painful lack
of political imagination on the part the Iranian diaspora community,
and at worst exposes its opportunistic and self-hating sides.
trusting George W. Bush to deliver Iran to freedom is accepted
as the most attractive option, we have surrendered all dignity,
self-respect, and sanity. Perhaps for the Iranicon, those qualities
were never strongly established in his/her character.
Iran is no
damsel in distress, and Bush is certainly no dashing hero; those
who disagree and almost certainly will email me their vitriol should
head to a nearby recruiting station and go enlist in 'liberating
Iran' and see how much devotion they earn by shooting and
killing their countrymen.