For observers of the relationship between the powerful and the powerless, there is a moment of shock when we realize that the oppressed appears not only at peace with their situation, but willing, even grateful, towards their oppressor. We wait in vain for anger, instead there is patience, justification, even thankfulness.
Such are the dynamics of power, the relational trends between the oppressor and the oppressed. Children see their abusers as good and themselves as bad. Rape survivors turn rage at the attacker inward — into shame, self-loathing, and despair. Hostages protect their kidnappers. Cult initiates — decades later — find it painful to criticize the collective. Women find excuses for their battering partners.
And, apparently, a group of affluent Iranians beg the United States government for military occupation. [See poll]
In times of difficulty, frustrated by decades of watching as mullahs have plundered and murdered and succeeded, these so-called “political activists” raise their hands to the sky and pray for the powerful, the mighty, the all-knowing, to help them.
Only it is not to God that they pray. Perhaps decades of praying to God for political help has proven passé. These gentlemen are now at their knees, praying to American neo-cons in Washington. They are actively lobbying the Bush administration to initiate military strikes against Iran. Some have gone so far as to express hope that the United States military will occupy Iran.
The unfathomable is happening — Iranians are actively working for foreign military occupation. One reads the headlines and cannot help but think back to the Capitulation of 1872, when our illustrious Iranian leaders gave Great Britain complete control of Iran's natural resources in exchange for paid vacations and hush money. Even the British were surprised that we agreed — the British Foreign Office described it “the most complete and extraordinary surrender of the entire industrial resources of a kingdom into foreign hands that has probably ever been dreamed of, much less accomplished, in history.”
Here we are, in 2005, ready to give up even more. This time, the stakes are higher. We gamble not only with money and pipelines, but with human blood. Well, at least some do. The “pro-democracy activists” tight with the Bush administration can stay comfortable in their Los Angeles mansions while they barter the lives of unknown thousands in a land far, far away. Will they feel so righteous when CNN broadcasts pictures of child-corpses in Natanz? Will they feel like progressive pro-democratic activists when the headlines are not of Karbala and Tora-Bora, but of Rasht and Kashan?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but George Bush is no Santa Claus. He will not show up to give you presents of free elections, prison closures, and villas on the Caspian Sea in exchange for a few nibbles of chocolate chip cookies. The price will be high, not only in human lives lost, but in dignity and the absolute annihilation of any hope for meaningful political change in Iran.
To invite occupation of your homeland is not honor. To turn to a foreign military is not strength. To give the West all power is to deprive the self of any influence. These are the actions of a few short-sighted men with unknown aims, hidden financial agendas, and simple minds. These people have such little faith in their culture and history that they are willing to hand over the most precious right — the right of self determination — and become what is essentially a colony of the United States.
An American military operation in Iran will do more to hinder democracy in the region than anything the mullahs are capable of. Under pressure and the threat of foreign occupation, Iranians will do what all nationalists would do when the lives of their people are at risk — circle the wagons. Given the choice between prostitution to a foreign occupier or supporting (for better or worse or worse than worse) a government born literally of Iran, it is obvious what they will choose.
What type of nationalist openly invites war against his nation? What type of progressive prays for military strikes to devastate his own people? If successful, they will be giving terrorist regimes and the most extreme fundamentalists material for decades of recruitment and propaganda.
They will give the mullahs what they are starving for — a purpose for being, a reason to live, a justification for rule. And the people, meanwhile, will have no hope of attaining the most vital, necessary ingredients towards freedom: self-determination.
To learn more about the “activists” begging the Bush administration to strike against Iran, please watch some of the ranting lunatics on Iranian satellite television. Seeing is believing. Some of them even go so far as to interview shiny, happy Iraqis thrilled with the beauty and success of US-inspired democracy. The audacity, the simplicity, the utter stupidity will take your breath away. To learn more about true Iranian activism, pick up a biography on Dr. Mossadegh. At the very least, you'll stop believing in Santa Claus. [See Anti-war petition]