Rather than commenting on different blogs about certain subjects and responding to individual posts, I decided to post this blog to let others know my opinions and line of thinking with regard to those subjects. Hopefully this will stop name calling and questioning my loyalties, etc…I realize that I don’t have to justify my opinions but I choose to do so out of candor.
First and foremost is the issue of support of US or any outside force for the opposition groups in Iran.
I have always believed that any change in Iran should initiate and be carried out by Iranians inside Iran. For that to happen there is need for a unified goal and objective, which I assume is a secular democratic Iran in the form of a republic. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the current movement inside Iran lacks the unity of goal. I believe they are united AGAINST but they are not united FOR. The same dilemma we faced 30+ years ago. You hear Mousavi and Karroubi a lot, but I doubt if they stand for secularism. There is no such a thing as reformed theocracy. No matter how you twist it, it’s still a theocracy and therefore non-democratic. The secular movement is in desperate need of a visionary and strong leader (the likes of, Kamal Ataturk or Shahpour Bakhtiar, someone who is also gifted with Obama’s ability to move the crowds).
Is there enough time to build such unity? I have my doubts. IRI is fighting full force by raping, killing, imprisoning,….to stop formation of such unity. This is when the opposition needs outside support to buy the time needed to unite and educate. Many on this site have debated the form of such support. There will never be a “black” or “white” answer. I respect Fred a lot for his firm position about airtight sanctions. He makes a lot of sense in his posts when it comes to a free and democratic Iran. The only reservation I might have about the sanction is the following uncertainty:
Would such sanctions buy time and help freedom fighters unite faster when the masses are under pressure and make them more receptive to the message of secularism? Or would it push the masses towards IRI out of nationalism?
I don’t have a good feel for that. To me it’s a coin toss that eventually we have to face. The question is if now is the right time? On the other hand, we are racing against time when it comes to a nuclear armed IRI. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the slightest chance of success for freedom fighters is out the window the moment IRI makes its first Nuke. Just look at NKorea. Forget about Israel for the time being. I’ll get to that later.
I hope this brain-dump shows my position about outside support.
On the subject of debate over Middle East conflict and Israeli government I consider my views and opinions as pragmatic and realistic as opposed to idealistic. Before getting into the debate I need to state my assumptions and “givens”:
1- Right or wrong, the state of Israel was formed by the vote of nations around the globe with some specific boundaries. Those nations continue to recognize its existence.
2- Two-state solution is the only achievable target in this generation’s time horizon
With these in mind and the fact that I am a Jew, many of my comments have been attacked as pro-Israel policies and insensitive to Palestinian’s suffering. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I think Palestinians should accept some responsibility for the plight they are in. This does not mean that I support every action the Israeli government takes or everything IDF does. It simply means you have to accept realities and get on with your life.
Someone criticized this attitude by comparing it to watching a rape taking place and not jumping in to rescue the victim. As insensitive as it may sound, I’d rather see the rape victim live than jumping in and causing the victim to be slaughtered.
Palestinian’s cry for justice has focused on violence which idealistically you call it resistance. But, the reality is that this type of resistance has led to the rise of extremists in Israel. They built a wall and practically stopped suicide bombing in their buses, clubs, markets….then came throwing rockets into residential neighborhoods. The response was Gaza tragedy. Some may disagree, but I believe there is no proportionality in war. If you throw a stone at me, don’t expect a stone back. I will do anything that it takes to stop you from throwing again.
IMHO, the most effective fight shall come from within Isreal by Israeli citizens. Give them the security of peaceful existence and see how quickly Netanyahous disappear and Yizchak Robins rise to power. Let the demographics work for you. In the mean time, focus on building a new nation, with or without some pieces of land or some buildings. Why do you need an army? Look at Japan after Hiroshima. The whole world is willing to help you build that nation. To teach you child from the day he is born, that it is a good deed to kill an Israeli, will get you nowhere.
So, what’s wrong with peaceful co-existence. The kind of sympathy shown for Palestinians by many liberals around the world is counter productive. Those are the sentiments that give rise to Hamas and Hezbollah who in reality are the greatest threat to the existence of their own people.
I apologize for my limited vocabulary. I also apologize for not being able to attend to this blog as much as I want. I’ll be on the road the next few days.