I want to share an article by my friend Fred Andon Petrossians. He is an Iranian-Armenian, educated in Political Science. — Farshad , gooya.com
In one of his movies (“Love & War”, I believe), Woody Allen's character was praised by his “imbedded” partner for his sex performance. Of course in those old days imbedded partner was not a war reporter, but a sex partner sharing a real bed. Woody's character commented on his performance with these historic words: “I train myself when I am at home all alone.” I believe the Iranian opposition in exile could learn more from these words than any other democratic manual.
Thanks to the Islamic Republic's brutality and lack of sense of humour, Iranian political movements or parties found themselves in the West (assuming of course they survived execution and tortures.) We Iranians have every possible political movement found in Europe or the U.S. There are so much variety and so little differences when it comes to real things that Iranian groups remind us of shelf after shelf of cleaning products.
For this period of time Iranians have had in exile a King, a few Presidents, and a couple of Revolutionary leaders (please “by exile” read London, L.A., Amsterdam and other top Western places). Most of their activities have been limited to a few demonstrations per year and writing to human rights' groups to reveal the regime's crimes.
Anyhow, the Iraq invasion has revived hope in the heart of some opposition groups of overthrowing the Iranian theocracy. (Apparently Iraq's invasion creates an “Iran is next” attitude.) At present all these groups whether left, right, republican, royalist or Mojahedin Khalgh have something in common: Read their lips — DEMOCRACY.
They say they want democracy for Iran. So far, so good. After all, democracy is the sexiest word on a politician's lips these days. Everyone from the owners of Guatanamo to Iranian theocrats consider themselves a sort of messenger of democracy. I think only Bin Laden & Co don't use the word. (Maybe because it is too sexy!)
The Iranian opposition, who has spent years in the democratic West, fill Persian sites, radio programmes, TV shows, and journals, with this word: Democracy. But during all these years of being in Europe or the U.S., they have failed to organise a democratic front or union, a democratic get-together, or even a democratic barbecue against the Islamic regime. The question is how they intend to persuade Iranian people that they are able to establish democracy in a country without any sign of democratic action in exile?
Let's get back to Woody's story: He says he is good in bed because he trained alone at home. Imagine if Woody walked around his room shouting “SEX SEX SEX” without training. The outcome would be disappointing. Sex isn't a mantra, and neither is democracy. Without training themselves, the Iranian politicians can't be efficient when it's time for action. Shouting “SEX” doesn't really give anyone an orgasm.
The second thing — if Woody Allen hasn't learned to train himself all alone at home, how he could do this training in a crowded room full of noise and people running around. If Iranian politicians cannot train themselves during their peaceful time in the West, how they be able to do so in the post-Ayatollah era with all tensions that will surround them?
Maybe Iranian politicians are lacking Woody's imagination to do their training all alone, or maybe they are waiting for Rumsfeld or Cheney to train them. But this last one surely won't be in Woody's taste.