In the blog, Behnam Zare was executed without prior notice, we learned of yet another young Iranian executed for a crime he allegedly committed when he was fifteen years old. What made this execution particularly sickening was the fact that neither his lawyer nor his parents were notified prior to his execution.
I read with dismay the comments of many posters to that blog lamenting the fact that all Iranians in the Diaspora do is talk instead of taking concrete action to help those suffering in our homeland. Their comments reminded me of an article that I wrote a few years ago on that very subject. I would like to reprint the article below because it expressed my views then and it still expresses my views.
I hope that future generations of Iranians will find a way to forgive those of us in the Diasora for all we failed to do for Behnam Zare and thousands upon thousands of our other countrymen murdered by this bloodthirsty regime over the decades.
All we do is talk
Iran will soon be free?… You know what? I don’t believe it anymore
May 3, 2005
As far back as my memory will carry me, I can recall not only my mother, but just about every other adult Iranian that I have ever encountered saying the same old things and engaging in the same old rhetoric about Iran’s future liberation. I know that by expressing my opinion, I will be opening the door to much criticism by many in the Diaspora, but if I can withstand my mother’s indignation, then I can accept whatever scathing responses that my opinion’s invite from other’s in the worldwide Iranian community.
Before I begin, however, I would like to make it clear that I am neither an academic nor a geopolitical expert in way, shape or fashion. In truth, I’m a teenager who has spent his life listening to every Iranian adult that he’s encountered saying the same things regarding Iran and its future.
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone speak of the about the next revolution that is just around the corner, yet has never seemed to materialize, I would be a millionaire. I could count the grains of sand in a desert more easily than I could count the number of time I’ve heard adults say that Iran will “soon be free”, or “next year Iran will be free”, or “freedom for our nation is on the horizon”. I have heard these things my whole life and you know what? I don’t believe it anymore. I refuse to hold my breath waiting for a revolution that seems to be as improbable as pulling a rabbit from a hat.
I have watched and listened to the adults in my community “talk” this problem to death for the entire 13 years of my life and I know that my mother has been talking about it for much longer than that because me elder sister heard the same things growing up. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk … that’s all people seem to want to do. It’s as if they believe that talking this problem to death will solve it. It won’t!
Listening to the same tired old speeches from the same tired old faces day after day after day from the myriad of southern California Iranian TV stations has made me weary. It is the same kind of manure that is being beamed from Iranian satellite stations in London as well. When I visit my baba borzorg in Tehran, he watches these people on his satellite TV and just laughs. He says he’s heard them saying the same old crap everyday for years. He doesn’t believe a word they say and you know what? Neither do I. I don’t believe anything that I see on Iranian television anymore.
Moreover, I don’t believe my mother and I don’t believe any other adult who wants to talk about Iran’s liberation from tyranny, while so few seem willing to lift a finger to do anything to make it happen. Certainly their hearts are in the right place, but as with all things in life … actions speak louder than words. The cold hard truth is that the Iranian Diaspora, especially in North America, has grown fat and comfortable over the past quarter of a century.
The Iranian-American community slaps itself on the back every chance it can because it has become the most prosperous ethnic minority in the United States over the past 25 years. I say, whoopti-damn-doo! Who cares? The majority of Americans could care less about the achievements of Iranians in America. In fact, the majority of Americans now consider Iranians in the country to be American. I have listened to my mother, her friends and the “stars” of all the pathetic California-based Iranian TV stations beating the same old drum about Iran’s coming liberation until it makes me sick.
Is it any wonder why more than half of all Iranian men between the ages of 15 and 29 want to emigrate from Iran as Masoud Kazemadeh and Shahla Azizi point out in “Life and liberty“? Hell, I’d want to leave too if I heard everyday just how great was to live as an expatriate. Can anyone blame our countrymen in Iran for being selfish and looking out only for themselves when we ourselves are unwilling to live amongst them and endure the hardships that they face? Do we have the right to point fingers at them for failing to fight for their freedom when we ourselves are unwilling to risk life and limb to topple the tyrants who have enslaved our people and our nation? I think not.
In my humble and inarticulate opinion, nothing I’ve seen in my short life is as hypocritical as the Diaspora asking our countrymen and women inside Iran to risk all for freedom’s sake when we are prepared to risk nothing. We say our nation will be free, but we do nothing in real terms to secure its freedom. We point fingers at our brothers and sisters who have not been lucky enough to escape tyranny’s clutches for not having given their blood so we can return home.
We sit on the sidelines in our comfortable homes, counting the money in our fat bank accounts, talking, talking, talking or writing an endless number of articles, but doing nothing to break the chains which hold our nation in bondage. We debate whether or not America should intervene in our country, we debate whether the United Nations should impose sanctions on our country, we talk about national referendums and we talk about uprisings which never materialize. All we do is talk.
While we are talking, more and more time slips by and our community’s children and grandchildren are being born in other nations and slowly being assimilated into other cultures. Many young Iranians today can’t speak or read a word of Persian and many have never stepped foot in Iran.
Unless we awaken from our slumber soon, there will be nothing of our country left worth going back to. Unless we collectively decide that we are going to take our country back from the thugs that have scattered us like leaves in the wind in countless nations around the world, then we ought to just stop talking and get on about the business of leading our lives in North America, Europe, Australia or wherever in the world today our people call home.
One thing I am convinced of is that trying to reform the un-reformable or to fix the unfixable is no longer a viable option. Those people who today enslave the Iranian nation have nothing in common with the Iranian people. They are blood thirsty tyrants who in all truth are more Arab than Arabs. They will never compromise or submit to the will of the people. They are the true believers and they will fight to the death to keep absolute power in their hands and only in their hands. They have nothing to lose by turning the streets of Iran into rivers of blood if necessary because they know that the Iranian nation will exact painful retribution on them if they lose their grip on the nation’s throat.
The time for talking ended long ago. Nowadays when we talk about freedom, no one listens. It’s as if we talk about freedom only because we like the sound of our own voices. We should forget about foreign invasions, economic sanctions, national referendums and debating or talking about freedom … if we are really serious about ever seeing Iran free from tyranny.
The only thing that is going to free our people and our nation is to rise up and fight these dirty bastards. We ought to do unto them as they would do unto us and which they have already done to so many of our countrymen. Sure people will die, but isn’t it better to die standing on your feet than to live on your knees. This government must be violently put to death; for that is the only way to make sure it never raises its ugly head again. It is the only way to deal with animals that stone women to death, rape and hang girls (and boys), beat, torture and kill university students, sexually assault and kill middle aged women photographers, murder members of religious minorities and just about anyone else they may take a dislike to.
If someone tried to steal our wallets, we would fight them. If someone tried to steal our wives or daughters, we would savagely rip them apart. Should our reaction be any different when we are talking about our homeland? Have we grown so comfortable over the past two and a half decades that all we have left are empty words, broken promises and unfulfilled dreams for our beloved country?
I have told my mother that if she really believes Iran will be free someday, then she must stop simply talking about it and be ready to do her part to make it happen. In a few years, after I finish high school, I hope that I have a chance to make some small contribution to the liberation of the land of my ancestors. My mother always tells me that I should be careful about talking this way, so I will stop here, but I hope the day will come when I am given the chance to do more than just talk as so many of the leaders of our Diaspora have done for twenty-six long years. I hope some of you agree with me that there’s been enough talk and now it’s time to act.