Recently on a couple of blogs I posted on problems I have with NIAC, it has become apparent that some of you want to know what I want NIAC to be or do.
Obviously like any arrogant writer who wants to be popular and famous amongst readers and the internet, I have my own ego-based opinions. Lots of them. Let’s face it no one writes privately. Every writer is motivated to become popular. Success is based on traffic, eyeballs, likes, +1s, Tweets, (especially those Re-Tweets!), downloads, send-to-a-friends, and ultimately purchased books, and dream of all dreams adapted screenplays, leading all the way up to a personal meeting with Angelina Jolie.
This, in variations, is the real motive.
As a reader, you hope that somewhere in that personal mission of success, there might be a hint of thought, a spark of an idea, and the smallest chance of some intellectually stimulating debate. Or that it made you smile or possibly to laugh. OL.
OK enough confession.
By the very nature of civic participation, what I want NIAC to be/do, is irrelevant. By the very claim that NIAC makes in its logo and its very name, what I want, or my opinion, or ideally my vote, is that it should be washed cleanly against your opinion, and others in the Iranian American community. The community NIAC claims to represent. But in fact doesn’t. How could it? We technically don’t exist. Even the 2010 US Census doesn’t know!
Still today, in spite of all the democratic and populist gains made in the history of this world, centuries after “The Age of Reason”, NIAC has now put Descartes before DesHorse. Then backed it up and run over him again, just to make sure he isn’t still kicking. (Note to Anonymous Observer: In this punny phrench philosopher metaphor, we are Descartes)
This is how I feel. My opinion is irrelevant. By ignoring basic common civic organizational structure, rules of participation, and decorum, NIAC has ignored the very simple step of Community Authorization to Proceed.
Yet insists audaciously to it’s target audiences (politicians, and lawmakers and various nefarious others) that it has that authorization.
When, and this is a rare request, the audience stirs from their Obama-Coma (Oboma?) and surprisingly asks about credentials, NIAC coughs like a curmudgeonly elder statesmen in Queen Victoria’s parliament,
“…Well sir, that is a bloody well insulting request, and of course we have it, but nonetheless another prime example of why you know so little about the delicate machinations of the Persus-Iranus Plateau, middle east crisis… Israeli-Palestinian conspiracy… Shiism vs Sunnism… cum som nombre di mi padre… harrumph harrumph… and GOOD DAY TO YOU SIR!!!”
Or some shit like that.
We don’t ever know. Apparently keeping minutes of conversations for public scrutiny (just in case) like all failed self-appointed Iranian organizations we’ve all volunteered on, isn’t high on the list. Even if it is prescribed by the 501c(xxx).
So, what I want? My Personal Persian Peccadillo? Simple. I want NIAC to do what it needs to do (I’ll gladly help!), to acquire the authorization of the “Iranian-American Community” (the ones actually inside the US) to proceed with the business that the Iranian-American Community deems worthy, important and best of all for NIAC, FUNDABLE.
That may very well be, to be the lobby for the IRI as has been alleged, never proven, but often and highly rumored, apparently sued over and won. By a lisping idiot no less. Another unauthorized self-appointed well intentioned sad deviant.
Side-Bar-Note: NIAC-jaan, ever heard of the IABA? They are the Iranian-American Bar Association, or a good source for decent lawyers. Even Free sometimes! Use them the next time Trita gets into it with Hassan. NIAC-IABA, IABA-NIAC. See how well engaging with the community works!
I don’t honestly know. Maybe, just maybe, I am totally off in what I want NIAC to focus on as an IA. Maybe it is true, and the majority of IA or Los Angeles County IA (because like it not, hate LA or love LA, prefer DC over LA, that is where over half of us live now), want NIAC to really work hard on MEK de-delisting. They might even want cool internet movies with dramatic impending doom music tracks, hyping the dangers that the “Camp Ashraf Home for Revolutionary Retirees” poses.
As an IA, seriously, nothing the MEK does is an issue I care that much about. Maryam’s headscarf does concern me, but apparently, thanks to NIAC, so far I can’t tell her in person. I do know that Iran cares deeply about the MEK being de-listed. And actually, that’s kind of great for me personally, as an IA who does not agree with Iran’s form of governance. But again, don’t feed my desires, wash my opinion with yours and everyone elses. Then decide what to do about the MEK de-listing.
Because I could be totally wrong. Thanks to NIAC not doing what they need to do though, there is no public forum for us to debate this and then direct the collective right action to NIAC.
What NIAC Should do next:
NIAC should take ALL of the grant money they have received and instead of funding whatever they have funded themselves to do, need to build and establish active, working , self maintaining community organizations across the US in the top 10 major Metros that IA live in (LA, OC, SF Bay Area, Portland/Seattle, Houston/Dallas, Chicago/Detroit, NY/Boston, DC, and OK Ramin! Atlanta!) in order to accurately poll and feed up the chain, the accurate psyche of the IA community. When NIAC deems an idea to do, it should present that tot eh community organizations through to the Community for approval, authorization and most importantly proper funding.
To be fair, this is really hard to do. Much harder than the walk from K street to Capitol Hill. Almost impossible even if you are lazy and like to give up or do things you can do easily instead of the hard thing you should do. Almost. If you use Iranian failed techniques (like renting out overpriced Hyatt ballrooms). If you use normal American civic organization techniques, it is quite easy. And low cost (like booking the local community center for free). Then NIAC would know what to do, what to actually lobby for, and finally what to really advocate. Most importantly NIAC will finally understand WHO THEY REPRESENT. (and have enough money to do it properly)
I have no problems with Trita Parsis head (His hair?, another matter), qualifications, passion, and intent. I even like his faint British accent. In spite of what has been demonstrated, none of the selfless staff are totally useless. Everyone is useful in some way. They are if anything, understaffed and underfunded. Something interfacing with the larger IA community would easily resolve. More staff, more funding, more involvement and tapping the pulse.
As it stands now, and I have said this before, NIAC is a largely harmless, members only politics club. Or in the case of the elite members who send in the annual check, a country club.
NIAC is neither National, nor does it reflect the IA in A, nor is the concept of a Council adhered to. It is out of likely necessity, a one-man show, driven by the automatic sanction and approval of the likely apathetic elite members, who are too bored with making money to care about the details, and just want Trita to continue to impress them linguistically. And comp them tickets and A-list entry to events in which prestigious politicians and diplomats might hover.
Or, the classic failed 90’s era iroony “lead and dey veel follow” approach. Unfortunately we’re done with that. Lead and Follow rents the apartment right next to Tyranny who is keeping us up all night with their incessant techno music. “Oons! Oons! Oons! OOns!”
NIAC ain’t no community representative, that’s fo’ sho’. Us cotton pickin’ ‘rayneeuns in the sticks (or California and outside DC), ain’t gots no cause for complainin’ or axin’ too many ques-chuns, we best be gettin’ back to the plantayshun, befo’ massuh Parsi come back and beat the ‘tarnation out of us… ‘agin.
So I guess after all the flowery prose, this was all debatably just an elaborately written plea for emancipation…