Below is a piece written by a friend of mine — let's call him Jam Hakim — from Iran, just before Friday's presidential election. To me it's nothing but a masterpiece, depicting the saga of Iranian intellectuals during the past twenty some years that culminated in the confusion over the election. — D.A.
Those who have witnessed the events of the past 26 years and have experienced the ups and downs of this period would all agree that we are again on a very important threshold of our history. Another word, this is the time that history is in the making.
I, personally, attended a political rally this afternoon and the fans of both candidates were present. Both sides were feverishly discussing their points of views.
No doubt, our society once again is charged and polarized. On the one hand, you have a man out of wood, that thanks to the Sepah, Basij and other para military circles and contrary to all the polls reading s was able to hit the very top. But, nevertheless, we should not forget the very fact that, he IS actually presenting the common people's outcry for justice, especially those of the lower classes, the poor and the mobs. He has become the symbol of the masses' frustrations toward the establishment. As they say, he has been able to conquer the heart s and minds of the masses and the mobs.
Isn't it pathetic?! and yet so ironic, that in essence what he is trying to say is exactly what the left and the intellectual have tried so hard for the last 25 years to assert. The only difference being that they were all demolished and destroyed whereas he is getting to become our president!
Corruption, poverty, the social gap, incapacity, etc… now are the main teams on this guy's political platform. Unfortunately the masses and the mobs that are very much frustrated by the existing situation do not have the political insight to realize that what he says is beyond his capacity to deliver and what they'll end up with is more poverty, and more depression and dictatorship. On the contrary, to their eyes, Rafsi IS the system and is basically responsible for their misery and deception.
So in a way, the charged and frustrated masses think they're acting in opposition to the establishment, and see in Ahmadinejad a person who wants to bring positive changes and an end to corruption. They say he belong s to the poor and the masses, and that he will stand against all the wrong doing! They also depict the supporters of Rafsi as the rich, the hopeless intellectuals, and those big fat government managers who have enjoyed the mullah's rule at the expense of the poor and the deprived!!
Isn't it astonishing?! What an ironic situation! On the other hand, what is more painful is that now the left and the intellectual political parties unanimously see in Rafsi a rescue shelter. They say, to avoid the downfall we must find shelter in the arms of Rafsanjani. This is why I see this period so unique and important. A period of catastrophe and humiliation.
To simplify the issue, you may say a little Taleban man is chanting the wise words and wants to save his fellow countrymen, and the ignorant masses, out of despair and frustration, are going to bank on him. On the other side, the liberals and the so called Democratic parties, inside and outside of the system, have been scared to hell and are advocating for Rafsi as a survival kit, as if they have completely forgotten that the present situation is only and only due to their own fault and their own past failures. As they say, we have to choose between the bad and the worst!! The other day, Hadi, Pedar drew a nice Persian Parallel for this situation. He was saying: There is a Vail in hell, that to survive from Aghrab e “JARAR” you must find rescue with “MAAR e GHASHEYEH”!!
I don't know much about snakes (Maar), I remember Mammad agha had a book of snakes, may be he should enlighten us a bit on this type of snake!!
To round up the long story, maybe if you are a party member of any verity from liberal to left this would be the most viable alternative in front of you. And in fact, this is exactly what they have done in Iran. Almost all of the political parties from the center to the left have strongly advocated a vote for Rafsi, explaining the least you can gain is that you will avoid further setbacks. Therefore you are urged to vote for Rafsi. But, what if you're not a party member or at least don't adhere to their value system? What if you are an anarchist!!
Or what if you are just a person that cannot close his eyes and disregard the man's past actions? What if you can't forget that this man and his corrupted gang are responsible for most of the dark periods of our past and present history and he alone is responsible for most of the atrocities this nation and this people have endured all these years? What if you cannot close your eyes to the fact that during his presidency, only 8 years ago, his security minister, namely Fallahian, was the most notorious butcher of his time and under his leadership most of the cruelty and tortures were inflected upon our people, let alone the fact that corruption was also officially indoctrinated during his era.
I may even go further back, as the man himself in his autobiography confesses that he was part of the team that planned and acted on the assassination of Prime Minister Mansoor during the shah's period. So, as you can see, the man is a born terrorist!! And we were hoping for the day that he would be taken to a court of justice and be tried for all his wrong doing, and now instead they're asking us to vote for him as our next president!!
Now, the intellectual and the political activists say he has changed and has rehabilitated himself. They continue to say that he wants to have another chance to undo his past and leave a good name for himself. This, in fact, was his campaign motto, “Rafsanjani of 2005”. They go even further and say, given the present situation, if anyone is capable of bringing fundamental changes to IRI's constitution, it is him and no one else. And finally they say, he is a moderate and is the only one that can hold the fanatics back, and so on and on …
Well, what they say just might be true and they might have a point there!! Especially if you sense the seriousness of our time and of our national interests. But again, a dear friend was saying even if that be true for him, this is not going to work out since he is part of a larger corrupt and ill fated crowd that he is bound to work with.
To make the story short, My proposition to this awkward situation may be best said by a line from Ferdosy. He says: “BeYa Ta JaHan Ra b Bad Masporim”. And in this respect I will not be scared off by those who try to make a little Ben Ladden out of this jerk, Ahamdi Nejad. I believe we may see worse in front of us and maybe this will be the inevitable final destiny of Islamic Regime.
This election either is going to be rigged like the last time and with the help of Sepah, Basij, and the charged impoverished mobs, and most likely will put Ahmadinejad as this nation's next president, (which in this case Khatami deserves special congratulations!!) or the already hopeless and lost liberals of inside the republic will be able to organize the middle classes, the more educated, and line them up under the banner of a fight against repression for an overwhelming vote to Rafsi. Either case is not promising for our people and for our nation. Therefore, as far as our standing is in this awkward situation, we will not bear the shame of willingly going and voting for a man for whom we once had a dream of taking to a court of justice for all the atrocities he inflected upon our people and our country, and hence we will abstain.