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Does Being Anti-War Mean Supporting the Status Quo?

 

This is not an article; rather, it is an opinion poll. Frequenting this site and other Iranian sites, I've noticed that anyone who does not support a war with Iran or who expresses anti-war, liberal ideas in general is cast a doubtful eye by some Iranians and labeled. Why is this so? 

 

My opinion is that there is no black and white, especially not in sociopolitical matters. It's too hasty to label every Iranian liberal as a regime sympathizer and every Iranian conservative as a true Iranian patriot. Those, in my opinion, who don't believe that liberalization can be achieved without war and violence have little understanding of politics or history. But that is just my opinion, and I'll cease to express it for fear of being labeled. 

 

Why do I hold an anti-war opinion? Because Iran is weak. A war would mean Iran's disintegration and heavy civilian casualties. And because Iranians must determine their own course in history. It is asinine to complain about foreign interference and recall Iran's history with foreign powers and yet call for war or a foreign policy that embraces confrontation. It makes one no different than like-minded warmongers on the other side.

 

Can anything be expressed in the Iranian community without labels? Is this why our people have such a hard time being united or determining their own path? Is it because freedom of political expression has never been part of the Iranian experience- be its consequences manifested on a real level (thrown in prisons, tortured) or on a more benign level (labeled, shunned, gossiped about)? These are questions we must answer as a community. We are not like the Jews who are united and support one another. We are very quick to division and being judgmental. We aren't coherent, and each one of us believe he or she is right, in a very black and white, us-vs-them, either with us or against us type of way.

 

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sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

I would like to see such scholars/writers as Hamid Dabashi, Amir Taheri, Abbas Milani, and Ervand Abrahimian on this site giving their two cents about this cultural problem of ours. I especially want to see what Amir Taheri has to say about this. Anyone think it is possible to get them to open an account? Parsi didn't hesitate.

alimostofi

Ali Mostofi Astrology, Current Affairs. Princeton Class of 1981. Iranian.com member since 2005 http://iranian.com/main/member/alimostofi.html http://iranian.com/mostofi.html

Dorood SS

If I were to ask you, "is it appropriate to attack Taliban in Afghanistan?" you would most likely say "yes", because they can be proven to have killed Afghans.

If I were to ask you "Is it appropriate to target Hezbollah?", you would probably say "yes", as we can prove that they have killed Iranians.

In both instances the leader of Taliban or the leader of Hezbollah would have to face justice in The Hague.

But the world press and organizations mix Iran with Hezbollah on purpose. The problems we have is, ironically speaking, with the press. They are the criminals in all this. They have completely misrepresented Iranians. They have mixed Iranians with Hezbollahis on purpose.

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

Thanks for the comment!

alimostofi

Ali Mostofi Astrology, Current Affairs. Princeton Class of 1981. Iranian.com member since 2005 http://iranian.com/main/member/alimostofi.html http://iranian.com/mostofi.html

You are welcome and Happy 2013

SoosanKhanoom

akaDarya With life as short as a half-taken breath, don't plant anything but love. - Rumi

Are you kidding me ? Having other voices on this site to only be gang raped by Sarbazaneh Imam BIBI ? LOL

I think Trita should not even be bothered with this site either... this site has many silent and moderate readers but they, unfortunately, do not step in and as the result, it's sadly stocked with the rude radicals who just like their twin brothers, Al-Qaeda, are hijacking the entire forum as they did with the entire world ... They are like weeds .. popping out from nowhere in every corner of planet IC obsessed with NIAC bashing ...

I really do not know what is it that NIAC is doing but whatever it is it must be something really good to have these radicals so pissed off....I am worry for their health too ... They are here bashing NIAC 24/7 ! Like all their problems in the world inside and outside of iran will be solved if tomorrow NIAC will be dismantled ...
and it will ... do not worry ... AIPAC IS AT IT TO WIN IT ... you guys save your energey for something else !
Seriously !

masoudA

masoudA

Dear Darya - politics is not for everyone......maybe you should wait until you know a bit more....

masoudA

masoudA

Sayyad - Scholars? Teaching Islamic/Middle Eastern Studies at George Soros granted Departments don't count as scholar in my book. These are a bunch of old leftists who helped the west in bringing the Shah down and are now being compensated and used further to keep Iran down. Before you know it the idiot TP will get a phd and start teaching ......despite having no qualifications.
BTW - Sayyad Sha'er - Khodeti dadash.

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

TP already has a Ph.D, not sure if he's teaching though. I also don't know what you mean by khodeti dadash. What am I? These are famous Iranian professors and writers. Taheri is Shahi, that's why I wanted his opinion. Thanks for your opinion, though!

NasirKhosrow

Nasir Khosrow Poet, scientist, philosopher, mystic and traveler

Any person or any organization which seeks to rally the political, military and economic power of a foreign country against their own native country is a fifth columnist and so a traitor to their own native country. There is no ifs and or buts here. The pro-war or pro-sanctions position of organizations and individuals among the Iranian diaspora especially in the US is in no way shape or form a pro-Iranian position or exonerates this position because of any perceived or actual problems with the present Iranian regime. These people may delude themselves, nonetheless when all is said and done these people (such as Dai, Fred, Anonymous Observer, et al) are all agents of the foreign policies of the United States and Israel and are therefore enemy combatants of foreign powers ranged against the people of Iran and its government and so are national traitors and nothing less than this.

And it makes no difference what the nature of the present Iranian regime is. The bottom line is that the pro-war/pro-sanctions crowd in the Iranian diaspora community are agents of the governments of the United States and Israel because these policies only hurt the Iranian people. Given this, in so far as national security is the prerogative of any national government, such persons who are actively working against the national security of the Iranian nation from the United States and elsewhere should be treated as enemy combatants and traitors.

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

I agree that it is betrayal in a sense, but this is their experience. Many clamoring for war have moved overseas and sit with memories of 30 years ago and because those memories were very violent, they want the same violence to define the future of Iran under a new regime. This is the result of cultural estrangement. I don't agree however, with them being treated as traitors. We are all Iranians. We all need to see what is wrong with our culture and help our brothers and sisters to put aside their extreme ways.

NasirKhosrow

Nasir Khosrow Poet, scientist, philosopher, mystic and traveler

There is nothing wrong with Iranian culture. It has no more and no less problems than any other culture, and in some ways it is far superior a culture than what passes as the mass consumerist existential death that is promoted as culture in the West these days. The problem in Iran today is its polity and the policies pursued by its consecutive governments under the Islamic Republic. That is not the culture.

I have no problem with people being critical with the current system in Iran because I myself am mercilessly critical of it. But where I draw the line is when Iranians begin to systematically organize against the national security of Iran rather than the regime in power. That is a definition of treason. In the United States or any other Western country anyone advocating and organizing for military invasion or aggression against their country would likewise be treated as a traitor and dealt with under US federal laws of treason against the national interests of the USA. People such as Fred, Anonymous Observer, Hasan Dai and similar are nothing more than the Iranian version of the same. These people are foreign agents systematically engaged in treason against the national security interests of Iran.

This comment was removed by the Iranian.com Staff for violating our Commenting Standards

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

You're right, but I argue that the problem is cultural as well. Governments and politics are the manifestations of culture regardless if they are democratic or authoritarian. There's a reason why Iran has been under authoritarian rule of some sort for thousands of years.

faraway

faraway

I agree with Nasir. Authoritarinism, I suggest, is hard wired in all humans from an evolutionary biological stand point. Just study the social-behavior of chimps...At any rate: here is a good book on American Authoritarinism:

John Dean referenced Bob Altemeyer’s work extensively in his 2006 book, “Conservatives without Conscience.”

In case you wanted to dig deeper, your link is http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/...

Altemeyer explains: “This book is about what’s happened to the American government lately. It’s about the disastrous decisions that government has made. It’s about the corruption that rotted the Congress. It’s about how traditional conservatism has nearly been destroyed by authoritarianism. It’s about how the “Religious Right” teamed up with amoral authoritarian leaders to push its un-democratic agenda onto the country. It’s about the United States standing at the crossroads as the next federal election approaches.”

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

I'm actually a big fan of Altemayer. Did my college capstone research on him and helped a professor amend one of his theories regarding Right Wing Authoritarianism and Social Dominance Orientation. I'll look into his new book. Thanks for the link.

My main assertion was, on the spectrum of authoritarianism, some governments are more, and some are less (more libertarian or "democratic" colloquially).

NasirKhosrow

Nasir Khosrow Poet, scientist, philosopher, mystic and traveler

All forms of government end up as authoritarian eventually. The point of view that has democracy as immutable and unchangeable is a fallacy. America itself is no longer a democracy (arguably also never was to begin with) as learned pundits such as Chris Hedges have been demonstrating lately.

Culture is, on the other hand, a very fluid phenomenon and can adapt to many situations as well as encompassing many things. Problems with polities and authoritarianism usually cannot be attributed to a cultural factor alone, unless one makes a given ruling class the manifestation of a given culture in its entirety - which is untrue.

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

Of course all forms of government are authoritarian, government by its nature is an authority. But some forms are more blatantly authoritarian, i.e. compare Iran's government to the British government. There are more social and political freedoms in the latter as well as socioeconomic mobility opportunities. I'm not attributing it alone to a cultural factor, just saying it holds the same weight as political and economic reasons for Iran's circumstances.

NasirKhosrow

Nasir Khosrow Poet, scientist, philosopher, mystic and traveler

The British establishment are one of the most ruthlessly authoritarian and fascist establishments in the world -- and have been that way for a very long time. Compared to them the mullahs in Iran look like flower-power anarchists.When in Iran under the IRI has the establishment had the power to take people's children away from them on the most flimsy bases as the British system and its social services does quite regularly? When in Iran has mass surveillance been on the level that exists in the UK today? When in Iran has there been such systematically engineered economic disparity as exists in Britain today? When in Iran has a single square mile had this much unchecked political and economic power as the City of London Corporation does? Also, the power invested by consecutive British governments on the UK police and law enforcement far exceeds anything done in Iran. People may be blinded by there hatred of the mullahs and the IRI, the but fact is Britain is not what is claimed of it.

Make no mistakes, the UK is a fascist police state of the first order. Compared to it, the IRI is a haven of freedom. And the US is not far behind the UK in its fascism.

The problem with Iranian culture is not Iranian culture. The problem is a lack of appreciation by individuals of this culture who believe the grass is always greener on the other side.

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

Okay Nasser, thanks for your opinion.

fullback

fullback

The Author of this article and a whole lot of people must understand and recognize the Fact That Iran is a Country under Occupation of the ISLAMIST. from any angle one looks at the Rulers in Iran you clearly see how this regime treats and conducts its daily activities in a manner synonymous with an OCCUPYING FORCE. How to deal with this is only through WAR.

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

Diplomacy is the key to this cultural evolution. If we learn that diplomacy and argument with logic can actually change things on the ground, we will as a culture move slowly towards accepting non-manipulative argument and peaceful means of dissent. We were so close in 2009 to evolving, we just need to continue it. Many people died in MLK's movement or were imprisoned, just as in Gandhi's movement. We need the patience to accept that and not stoop to the other side's level. Instead we don't have patience, we're like a boiling pot, any little increase of heat will blow our tops off.

Diplomacy is the best way, and its easier than we think. We just need to stop being such an extremist (yes, with or without the IR, we are extremists; in fact the mullahs took advantage of our dualism and extremism to ascend to power) culture. We need to learn to be civilized and that is not through war. You think Libyans are ready for democracy? Let me tell you when I saw the guy putting a knife into Gadhafi's butt, I knew from that moment that Libya will continue living in its nightmare.

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

I understand your viewpoint, but how is this assertion any different from the mullah parast's war obsession? It's only the flipside of the same coin. Iranians need peace, not constant upheaval. We haven't attacked another country in 200 years because we are too busy attacking ourselves.

choghok

choghok Your enemie's enemy is necessarily not a friend.

The good and bad (dualistic) mentality is very Iranian into its core. We have the oldest dualistic religion in the world (Zarathustra) so being dualistic is somehow printed in our DNA.

As matter of fact I did not understand the world dualistic coming from Iran since I thought there can't be any other way.

In USA also Dualism is very strong like Democrats and Republicans and prochoice and prolife, NRA and antigun movement and so on. But in Iran once you are on the other side you either end up dead or in jail.

Outside Iran we keep this tradition alive by name calling, character assassination and other verbal attacks, if we had power we would have probably done more to each other.

Another cultural thing we Iranians do have is that we do not speak for ourselves but by behalf of always a big majority of Iranians. The argument "90% Iranians want this" or "We all know that Iranians do not want ..." is very familiar to everyone in Iranian.com, but what is the fact behind these statements? These are only a way to win an argument without having any facts or truth.

The correct but hard way is to use logic and common sense analyzing situation in Iran.

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

Dualism is at the root of Iranian regression and problems, and it's pre-Islam. This is one of the aspects I was talking about in Iranian culture that prevents us from going forward; the inability to see the gray area in anything and the extremism of taking up arms for something that is either black or white. This is in our DNA, lol. If only we can see past this, and its up to Iranian scholars educated in the West where this cultural tendency is mitigated to lead Iranians out of this borderline personality tendency.

farhangpooya

farhangpooya In all situations, in or outside power, social problems require social solutions (در همه شرايط، در حاكميت و يا خارج از حاكميت، مشكلات اجتماعى راه حل هاى اجتماعى طلب مى كنند)

جنگ طلبان نوكر صفت و مزدور ميدانند كه اكثريت قريب به اتفاق مردم ايران با پشت سر گذاشتن تجربه هشت ساله جنگ ايران و عراق، و پيامدهاى حمله نظامى به أفغانستان و عراق و ليبى شديداً ضد جنگ و خواهان دموكراسى، آزادى مى باشند.
اين جنگ طلبان انتظار دارند كه بعد از فشارهاى اقتصادى نأشى از تحريم ها مردم به خيابان ها ميريزند و خواهان تغيير رژيم مىشوند
در چنين شرايطى اين مزدوران با حمايت مالى و نظامى كشورهاى مرتجع عرب همچون قطر، عربستان و ... و اسرائيل و نئو كان هاى امريكا و محافظه كاران اروپا جنبش آزادى خواهى را همچون سوريه به يك جنگ كور تبديل مى كنند، ايران را قطعه قطعه مى كنند، تسلط خود را بر مناطق نفت و گاز و ... حاكم ميكنند و بقيه مردم را به حال خود ميگذارند.
در چنين شرايطى ما به حضور و وجود يك كمپين دموكراتيك كه با شيوه اى مدرن بتواند مانع چنين سناريوى وحشتناكى شود نيازمنديم. كمپينى كه راى مستقيم افراد حقيقى و نه مجازى ساخته و پرداخته لابى هاى جنگ طلب باشد. چنين كمپينى ميتواند به يك بازوى قدرت ايرانيان خارج تبديل شود، خواست هاى ايرانيان داخل را منعكس كند و با جلب حمايت افكار عمومى در اروپا و امريكا عليه جمهورى اسلامى مبارزه كند و مانع تسلط قدرت هاى زورگوى جهانى شود و با تلاش هاى پيگيردموكراسى و آزادى را در ايران بر پا كند.

This comment was removed by the Iranian.com Staff for violating our Commenting Standards

masoudA

masoudA

Proof? for TP to be a self serving bum and nokar? Just up to 2009, he distanced himself and NIAC from human rights issues in Iran!!! If you are an Iranian/American and have no human rights issues with Iran under Islam....then you are just American.

jirandoust

jirandoust

How about these XYZ substitutions:

IRI is criminal. Iranians hate IRI. APAC supports war on Iran - so does MEK => Iranians don't trust either one => so they rally around IRI

IRANLOVESISRAEL

IRANLOVESISRAEL Shlomo would love to entertain you and your significant other at his Kabab-Hammoom parlor in your next trip to Tel Aviv.

IRI choob to sorakh Israel kard for 34 years. IRI supported Palestinian suicide bombers for 34 years. Israel hates IRIR => Israel wants war on IRI. This has nothing to do with Iranians though!

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

Exactly, my point summed up in a good logical sequence. All the warmongers fail to see that they are continuing to imprison their own people. It's like a double whammy- strengthening of the regime + bombs falling on their heads. It ends in civil war and partitioning. Then these same tazahori Iranians will cry about their motherland right after Iran is partitioned and occupied by NATO forces.

IRANLOVESISRAEL

IRANLOVESISRAEL Shlomo would love to entertain you and your significant other at his Kabab-Hammoom parlor in your next trip to Tel Aviv.

This has got nothing to do with being pro-war or anti-war.

Here is the simple logic.

IRI is criminal. Iranians hate IRI. NIAC supports IRI => Iranians don't trust NIAC.

Now you can replace NIAC in the relationship above with XYZ organization and it still holds true!


sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

The post isn't about NIAC.

NIAC is a side discussion.

This is about Iranians who see death and destruction of their country as a better alternative than diplomacy and liberalization.

The USSR fell the same way the IRI will fall if diplomacy is given a chance. Most of the Iranian people want and deserve better than this. A war will kill many of them and drive most of them into the regime's arms. Why does anti-war and pro-diplomacy have to be equated with NIAC, and then equated with vatan-forushi?

IRANLOVESISRAEL

IRANLOVESISRAEL Shlomo would love to entertain you and your significant other at his Kabab-Hammoom parlor in your next trip to Tel Aviv.


Amoo saYyaD Jon, I have never met any genuine Iranians who would wish death, destruction and war upon other Iranians. In fact, all of the Iranians of level-headed nature prefer gradual elimination of IRI and its ideology through death by aging!

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

I hope what you are saying is correct, but there are people who support war with Iran that are Iranians themselves- sanctions are considered war, blockading ports are war, etc. What has been going on is war and no diplomacy, it's been over thirty years and neither side has opened up to talk. They keep one-upping each other by proposing conditions neither side will accept knowing fully well. They are both benefiting from putting the Iranian people through this rollercoaster.

faraway

faraway

who are these Iranians who want death and destruction of their country??Who are they on this site??

NasirKhosrow

Nasir Khosrow Poet, scientist, philosopher, mystic and traveler

Anonymous Observer, Fred, Divaneh, Shazde Astollah Mirza, Faramarz, Hasan Dai, et al.

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

I hope you don't read my words angrily, I actually like you.

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

The ones who want war and foreign intervention, who support MKO or AIPAC, who want more sanctions, who want the regime forcefully removed with help from the outside. They want something that really equates to death and destruction. Diplomacy is the route to regime liberalization and eventual change. It's happened many times in history with belligerent regimes.

You didn't answer my question, where did I make the pro-NIAC anti-war connection?

faraway

faraway

You are a very affable guy and I like you. I value your feedback on IC. However, I am surprised that you have chosen to defend NIAC in a round about way.

Again, name those Iranians who are pro AIPAC or pro war on IC??

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

I'm not defending NIAC! I'm not agaainst them either. I don't know enough about them to make an opinion, I just saw people talking about the anti-war and it made me think of Iranians who want war.

masoudA

masoudA

Dear Seyed -
In dealing with a dictatorship which is capable of mass killing its own citizens - the military option must always remain on the table........Being anti war is no new notion and does not take a genius to understand the disasters of wars...who likes wars? The catch is not to let your anti war sentiments be used by IR to feel safe in committing crimes against Iranians. Same applies to us, we must never allow our hate for IR, to be used by warmongers in the west who constantly look for new places dumping their old and useless arsenals and make money…..

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

Sayyad like hunter, I'm not seyyed or even Muslim LOL.

But I see what you mean, the military option can always remain on the table. But I want to offer a counterpoint to that- with the military option always on the table, the regime has the excuse to do whatever it wants in defiance of international law and will continue to solidify. If war was such a good option and such a clean way to start fresh, why has the US, the world' most powerful military force, refrained from doing anything for over 30 years? You'd think the world's most Anti-Western regime would get taken care of swiftly by the US military, but it hasn't and prospects for war keep going down.

Yet at the same time, whenever they talk of war, the regime hardens its grip on the Iranian people. Bush talked of an axis of evil, and in turn, Ahmadinejad came to power. Fire does not put out fire, in my opinion.

tetrapharmakos

tetrapharmakos

This regime will not go anywhere unless there's a decisive armed struggle against it. Does it mean that any hostile action would be able to uproot it? Of course not. the nature of "the coveted war" is immensely critical. Not all wars are equal in substance. I, for one, am against any military action which has the potential of tearing our country to pieces, no matter what either NIAC or AIPAC thinks. says, or does. In my opinion both of these two organizations are against the true interest of Iranian people.

sayyad.shaer

Sayyad Sha'er visit: www.sayyadshaer.com

Any war can dismember Iran. Iran is on the verge of falling apart. Look at its military- it's the weakest force in the Middle East, and the regime has to lie to make its military look good. Baluchi and Kurds are trying to separate and with enough funding they will (I actually think the Kurds separating is an inevitability, but that's another point). The thing is, Iran is too weak to even sustain a civil war like Syria.