Cute won't cut it
Reza Pahlavi should fly to
Iran ASAP and join ranks with those who have decided to stay and
June 13, 2005
Reza Pahlavi, the son of former shah of
Iran, staged a symbolic three-day
hunger strike this weekend to show solidarity with Iranian political
prisoners from his house in the suburbs of Washington DC. How cute!
expats have not only managed to strip ourselves from any credibility,
but we have managed to make a mockery of the struggle of Iranians inside of
the country. We expats take advantage of any opportunity to attach ourselves
to grassroot movements inside Iran for publicity and political advantage.
Credibility comes from action. In the world of multimedia
and instant access to news and information, talk has become cheaper than
ever. People have become
politically savvy and pretentious catchphrases are identified and dismissed
as soon as they hit the airwaves. Nobody believes words unless it's
backed by action.
Reza Pahlavi has become a poster child for everything
that is wrong with
us expats. He is ineffective, uninspiring and opportunistic.
If RP wants any standing with Iranians, he needs
to put his life where his mouth is. He should not ask Iranians
do anything he is not willing
do himself. That's what separates leaders from talker. That's
what separates doers from bullshiters and that's what inspires people
to follow. RP needs to make a believer out of us. And he can accomplish
that by going
to Iran and fighting like a man. You want to move us? Fly to Iran ASAP
and join ranks with those who have decided to stay and resist.
He most likely
will be arrested at the airport and shipped to Evin (a prison that his
father built) where he will be slapped, beaten and harassed by
government agents. From the prison he can fight the most effective
of his life -- one thing that he has not done so far.
He will not be executed
by IRI since the international pressure by his neocon friends
will be too great and consequences too devastating for
to do him any harm.
Inside Evin he can learn what hardship and
torment is; that builds character; that separates men from boys.
He also can show the world
and most importantly
Iranians inside the country that expats are more than a group of
BMW-driving, rambling idiots who live in comfortable million dollar
homes and plan
for freedom and democracy in Iran over a drink of scotch and Cuban
Great men have moved Iranians throughout
history. Men such as Ghaem Magham Farahani, Amir Kabir, Mossadegh,
the Ayatollah. These
men moved us by what they did not by shooting slogans over airwaves
They moved us by getting down and dirty with no regards for their
lives and respect for their well-being.
I challenge Reza Pahlavi
to fly to Iran immediately and fight the fight of his life like
all the men and women inside the country
who are putting
they have on the line and I for one will become a believer and
maybe even a comrade in arms.
Siamack Baniameri is the author of The
Iranican Dream, (Virtualbookworm.com Publishing, December
2004). Also see Iranican-Dream.com.