a Big Mac looks good, but...
November 1, 2004
Slater Bakhtavar has an awesome name, but a terrible
Bush? Yes!]. I am
sitting here kind of baffled as to
how to even begin to give a respectful
critique of this factually suspect piece. The first of many problems with this
article is that Slater makes broad and careless arguments without even bothering
to back them up:
"Those who would replace President Bush are
working to... shore up the enemies of America and the Iranian
populace, the extremists in control
of Iran. To them, nothing matters more than taking power in this country,
they have to
prevent democracy from taking root in Iran."
This is a groundless and naïve argument to
make. I've actually read about Kerry's strategy for Iran and I
thought that I'd throw in this quote from johnkerry.com:
"For too long, America has not led, and Iran's
program has advanced. Let me say it plainly: a nuclear-armed
Iran is unacceptable. I believe we must
work with our allies to end Iran's nuclear weapons program and be ready
to work with
them to implement a range of tougher measures, if needed. Developing
an international coalition enhances our influence by ensuring
that all nations are united in
the effort, leaving no room for Iran to play allies against one another."
Thus, Kerry calls for international cooperation
and action; in addition, he cited the Syria Accountability Act
as a possible model for action towards
say that the Democrats will support "any radical group" for
political gain is an outright lie; once again, Slater doesn't bother
to back up what
he says, just the same as when he says Kerry condemns support for Iranian
student protestors. Is this being factually careless or deliberately
Next, Slater's argument about Republican foresight
for the USSR: Democrats
and Republicans alike were against the Soviet Union, but the Democrats
advocated an approach based on supporting human rights and the Reagan
the US budget on useless projects like Star Wars.
Truth be told,
Europe is not exactly the model of democracy for the rest of the
world: many of those former Soviet republics are riddled with corruption,
some are thinly disguised authoritarian governments.
President Lukashenko recently fulfilled a bid to change the constitution
and run an unlimited number of times for President, while simultaneously
his critics and opposition leaders in what is shaping up to be another
Peru under Fujimori. In fact, perhaps the only growing sector of
are EU subsidies and mail-order brides.
Slater's obvious lack of understanding or knowledge
about US history or the Democratic platform doesn't come close
to his historical amnesia
much harm was
done to Iranians under Republican governments. The C.I.A. coup
against Mossadegh was carried out under Eisenhower; Reagan presided
and started to
go senile right around the time he had to go on trial and testify
for that despicable act. No amount of love letters from L.A.
President Bush erases those actions.
The "historically" Republican Iranian-American community that Slater
is undoubtedly part of and refers to in his article is the same community that
had to run for its life because basically all the groups involved in the Revolution,
Muslim or leftist, and yes, 'mainstream' Iranians too, were going to take
By no means would I say that Iranian-Americans throughout
America are mostly conservative when one looks at the Midwest,
Bay Area, or New York
area. My personal opinion is that if anybody is "shoring up" or creating
enemies for the US, it's the guy who sat around picking his nose in the Oval
Office before September 11th before declaring a war similar in philosophy to
our enormously successful "war on drugs".
One last point: these articles suck. The doublespeak
of Iranian Bushies is almost as good as the doublespeak coming
from Bush himself.
do Iranian Republicans
believe the stammering promises of known liar who makes policy
decisions based on prayer rather than pragmatism? (See New York Times
a Doubt" 10/17/04)
Bush's campaign preys on the
fear of Americans, and it seems on the desperation of Iranians. So people like
Slate get easily
excited, suspend disbelief and try to whip up support for a man who has promised
paradise in Baghdad and has delivered us Fallujah instead.
The most annoying and deliberately equivocal rhetoric of this guy is at the
end of his article.
After spending 10 odd paragraphs singing of the rapture
Iranians and Bush, Bush's positions, and painting static and flat superficial
stereotypes of Democrats and "the Left" (Slater's political boogeyman),
Slater comes through with "Don't get me wrong I'm against direct foreign
intervention in Iranian politics."
Don't bury your head in the sand
and stick your disclaimer at the end. If that is the case, the 990 words
that sentence are deceptive filler and unnecessary. Slater's political
advice to the Iranian community is the rhetorical equivalent
of a Big Mac; sure
it looks good, but it's full of shit, and not so good for us Iranians.