Recent events in Pakistan have raised awareness of the all too commonly obvious pitfalls of putting too much hope in one person, rather than allowing a simple self regulating system to run a social order of a people. The cowardly assassination of Benazir Bhutto is the vilest example of man’s continuing inhumanity to man. Regardless of now re-surfacing claims of the corruption of the Bhutto family and their political infamy, the bottom line is that, in 2007 with the existence of writ of habeas corpus, the right to accuse someone and their right to defend themselves against that accusation, no one deserves to die like this. It is simply uncivilized. And in 2007, even in Pakistan, no especially in Pakistan, there is absolutely no excuse for it. This is especially and all the more important for us as Iranians to pay particular attention to, as we of course, have been possibly the most susceptible and gullible people on the planet, eagerly and naively putting our collective faith in the slightest possible hint and rumor of a savior. We call them Pahlavans. And we are in effect, diseased by the “Pahlavan Syndrome”.
Looking back on our ever gloried past (and it gets more and more glorified as each year goes by), our history is nothing more than prime examples of ultimately failed Pahlavan-led social experiments. Not once have we EVER exercised our free will as a people. Not once. Historically those captors that knew this about us, would stifle ANYONE that even remotely looked like a Pahlavan.
Mossadegh? I’ll grant you he was the closest we came to rule by the people, but he was another Pahlavan to be sure. Even after years of house arrest, not one replacement took his place. On the day of and days after, few if any stood up in protest to object to the illegality of Mossadegh’s overthrow. After Mossadegh was done for, everyone (or at least more than didn’t) put faith back onto the timid, soft, Swiss-raised shoulders of an uninspired Shah. Until Khomeini came along, then we ALL jumped onto his bandwagon of disco era Shi-ism. I say ALL because the insignificant few who recognized the folly of Pahlavan-worship, are just that, a wholly (holy?) insignificant tiny minority.
As Bhutto’s example shows us, being party chair for life, not establishing ANY kind of leadership chain, and leaving no coherent legacy of her party’s policies or advocacy of issues, has it’s weaknesses. Just look at the result, out of all of the heroes in Pakistan no one better than Bhutto’s 19-year old traumatized son can be found to pick up the baton and charge towards a Musharraf-free Pakistan. Now that this latest “one with all the good ideas” is gone, it foretells the downfall of free choice for Pakistanis. The option of ridding themselves of a brutal, corrupt, and more importantly proven inept Napoleonic leader, has all but disappeared. It is unlikely elections can take place at all. Leaving Musharraf firmly and conveniently in control. The even more convenient lack of an autopsy (in 2007!) to explain the real cause of Bhutto’s death, all the more reason to mourn Pakistan’s great lost opportunity.
Bhutto was by no means the ideal candidate, but as many, too worried about being politically correct will only admit privately, it was a “good enough” next step for Pakistan, at least establishing something closer to elected civilian rule instead of decades of military dictatorship. But all the more clear evidence of how military in today’s world is utterly and entirely obsolete, given the tragedies and disastrous outcomes, using military force has caused in the world.
The best example of military obsolescence is staring us right in the face today. Virtually all experts agree, that the primary centers of Al Qaeda, and the Taliban are located between the borders of Pakistan (specifically, the tribal territories of Vaziristan), and Afghanistan (specifically, the Afghan tribal regions that border on Vazirestan, incidentally not 100 miles from Kabol!). This is also the most likely location of God’s other bad son, Osama Bin Laden.
Yet for some mysterious reason, the best and brightest military leadership in the world can’t seem to get this relatively simple job done. Not American nor any other military. Not even utilizing equipment that can distinguish an orange from a grapefruit from outer space. Not even with weapons so smart they do not even need men to operate them. Note even with soldiers so enthusiastically skilled in warfare, that they use beetles and bugs like relish on a hot dog, and can singlehandedly wipe out entire villages with a rock, some bubble gum, and a cell phone. And never mind all of that, with nuclear weapons so accurate they can turn this entire infested region to glass with the push of a button in Alaska, in 18 minutes! And still, with all of this holy power at their disposal, with everyone holding giant red cartoon arrows pointing and telling them “They’re Right Here!”, they still apparently cannot find this most obvious geographic container that holds the true gates of hell, from which the real Satanic Verses we hear today, whine from.
Maybe they are simply deafened by the screams of the Iraqi people, and just can’t hear (or handle) the truth.
But from all of this, what we as Iranians now need to learn and accept, is that we cannot apply a commonly found personal stress management technique, to run the bus system, international currency exchange, or even to control women’s fashions in Tehran. Especially when we know beyond any shadow of a doubt, that we really are smaller than a speck in the scientifically proven cosmic expanse of the universe, whose purpose and reality are too befuddling to fathom and digest. First of all, it is completely unholy and irreverent to the very reasonable concept of religion to impose religious rule on people as a whole, but then to have priests running around setting social, economic, and infrastructure policy, is far beneath their more important station and duty to help us individually (privately), to keep our sanity, stay good, now that the secret is out, and we all know the very daunting truth and surety of the physics and origin of space and time.
Priests are like therapists really, they help you deal with your own problems and reality by providing plausible deniability as you comfortably and voluntarily confide in them. The only difference is that priests think they actually work for God, while therapists think they actually are God.
While the death of Bhutto may be shocking to the world at this time. To me it is only another example of how my own country refuses to put aside useless hope for a consistently absent Pahlavan (or deity), and instead for a change, take the screamingly obvious step towards self rule, and rule through transparent accountability, rather than the ultimately flawed social religious experiments that defy their own nature and patent function, namely that you cannot take what is a personal voluntary moral governance of a man or a woman, and use it to govern all mankind.