Honorable Ladies & Gentleman!
It was with great dismay that I, and many of my fellow Iranians in Iran and abroad, learnt of the regrettably widespread support by you in the U.S Congress, for the Resolution HR 362. This resolution which imposes a naval blockade of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to stop all shipment of refined petroleum products from reaching Iran and to inspect all vessels approaching or leaving Iran, is an act of war waged on our country and the Iranian nation.
If passed, this resolution, would be yet another instance in a chain of flagrant violations of international law committed by the US and a war crime under the United Nations Convention on Genocide, executed against one of the most peaceful nations on earth who has not attacked any other nation, at least, for the past two and half centuries, a nation that has suffered a most brutal eight- year-long war of aggression by the ruthless dictator, Saddam Hussein, with the full political, financial, intelligence and military support of the United States, including the provision of the WMD.
Whereas the surviving victims of Saddam’s chemical attack on Halabja in the Iraqi Kurdistan and on Iran (in which thousands of innocent civilians were massacred) are still dying in agony, and the US hireling, Saddam, was conveniently disposed of as the witness and the executor of such crimes after the US “Mission” was “Accomplished” in 2003, the main perpetrators are still at large to move on from the bloodbath in Iraq to a genocide in Iran.
From a teenage admirer of the US and its culture in the early 60s who was deeply saddened by the assassination of JFK, I, and many people of my generation, have grown disillusioned and disgusted with the iron-fisted policies of your country unleashing wars of aggression, waging coups and toppling democratically-elected governments all over the world, installing ruthless regimes in developing countries and giving your full blessing to the massacres of their peaceful political opponents (1953: Iran, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh; This US-engineered coup became the blueprint for many of the future black operations. 1954: Guatemala, president Jacobo Arbenz. 1965: Indonesia, president Dr. Sukarno, with more than a million people massacred, many on the basis of execution lists supplied by the US embassy in Jakarta. 1960s: Congo, Dr. Patrice Lumumba. 1960s: Greece. 1973: Chile, Dr. Salvadore Allende. 1976: Argentina; then Panama, Haiti … just to name a few. You well know that the terror list goes on).
The recent revelations by Seymour Hersh, in the New Yorker magazine, of the US Congress secretly funding of Bush’s request for 400 million dollars to escalate major covert operations in Iran involving assassinations, abductions, fomenting and supporting ethnic unrest and terror campaigns by such despised terrorist groups as MKO, to force a regime change, is a full circle since the 1953 US overthrow of the popular and democratically -elected government of Dr. Mossadegh in Iran. Under the circumstances, it is fully understandable why the US has exempted itself from prosecution under the International Criminal Court.
Honorable ladies and Gentlemen! The United States’ deeds towards Iran and the larger Middle East, rather than “promoting democracy”, have earned it the reputation of the “The Assassin of Democracy”.
We, the recipients of your terror, tie our hopes only on the conscientious efforts of the peace-loving and humane American individuals and organizations in the anti-war movement to open your eyes to the catastrophic consequences of signing on to resolutions which usher incalculable human suffering and war. The pending Resolution HR362 is a war resolution which would potentially conflagrate your manufactured conflicts in the Middle East and the chain of its uncontrollable reactions and reprisals would spread and burn the globe. Violence breeds violence, ladies and gentlemen! Learn from the history! Learn from your recent mistakes. Do not flare up an unending chain of hostilities, to then naively and cynically question: “Why do they hate us?”.
Perhaps a second go at Joseph Heller’s brilliant Catch 22 is a timely read. Remember Yossarion’s wonder at people on the ground raising their fists and shouting when he was flying up there only to do his job of bombing!! Let us not doubt for a moment that only acting wisely and humanely on the part of US statespersons would bring back respect and admiration for what US once stood for.
If your belief and love for “Democracy” and a “Free World” is sincere and genuine, then please respect the spirit of of democracy and the rights of other nations to live with dignity, to decide their destiny free of foreign interference, and to prosper as you do. A genuine celebration of your “Independence Day” would require celebrating the spirit of independence and respecting the independence of other nations too. Only God knows how, in the 21st Century, the US would have treated the poor Tom Paine whose “Common Sense” we have translated into Farsi and is just about to reach Iranian readers. If the American public and the US Congress do not reign in this ruthless hostility towards our nation, we wonder whether those who might escape becoming your “collateral damage”, would still be interested in reading on American ideals of liberty or whether they would rather spit us (the translators) in the face for propagating American “values” and “ideals”.
I sincerely hope that your wisdom, common sense and sound judgment would prevail over the elaborate false propaganda and agitations aimed at manufacturing a most vicious consent. This consent, if given, could not only devastate our lives, but would also, ultimately, be to the great detriment of the US itself.
Yours, with hope and in anticipation,
Mehrdad (Khalil) Shahabi, Tehran
Mehrdad (Khalil) Shahabi is a writer and translator, based in Tehran. His joint translations with Mir Mahmoud Nabavi (Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins and Tell Me No Lies: Investigative Journalism & Its Triumphs edited by John Pilger) have been timely additions to the political literature in Iran, well received and widely reviewed. His further works to appear shortly in Iran include a foreword to Common Sense by Tom Paine (translated by Mir Mahmoud Nabavi).