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When they invade Iran
Maybe then you'll care

May 12, 2004

Some people tell me how they don't care about politics or how politics doesn't affect them. Apparently, the outcome of the basketball playoffs or the next sale at the mall is more important than the rest of humanity's well being. The selfishness of such a position is disappointing and disheartening to say the least.

I'm not going to nor should I have to enumerate on the plethora of reasons why you should care, that's for yourselves to figure out. Nevertheless, I wish to comment on one case that will affect and give you reason to care.

Iran is currently a prime target of "regime change" by the colonial engineers in Washington. As Professor Noam Chomsky has pointed out, Iraq is merely a footnote in this colonial adventure, while Iran is the "grand prize".

Particularly if you are Iranian, the question is what are you going to do about it if God forbid your country is invaded and occupied? Will you idly stand by and sellout? Will you betray our nation's proud record of resistance? Will you betray the sacrifices and blood of the shuhada? Or will you fight to preserve that record? And protect the country's sovereignty and honor? That is the question.

Despite one's views on the ruling government, the nation's independence should not be jeopardized under any, I repeat ANY circumstances. You cannot "install" a democracy. If you did, of course, the resulting government would not be a democracy. There cannot be democracy without independence.

The Islamic Revolution in Iran was not fought for in vain and the current regime is a work in progress. Whatever "problems" Iran may have, they are and should remain internal. Intrusion by an external power, which harbors nothing short of ill intentions, will only perpetuate them. This intrusion in the form of military aggression cannot in the very nature of things produce a stable result.

If history is to provide any lesson it is that of the overthrow of our country's first democratically elected leader Mohammad Mossadeq in 1953 by the CIA. This event paved the way for 25 years of the Shah's brutal dictatorship and the suppression of all political parties. The Shah's notorious secret police SAVAK, which mastered torture techniques from their Israeli (Mossad) trainers, also inflicted psychological trauma on the Iranian populace, which still reverberates in Iran to this day.

The paranoia and conspiratorial political outlook shared by many Iranians is a direct result of these legacies. Moreover, look at the insecurity and disaster that has been created in Iraq as a result of the American occupation today (you would have thought they would have learned some lessons on occupation from the Israeli's or maybe Occupation 101 wasn't being offered).

Take a close look at the pictures of torture in the Abu Ghraib prison and note that Rumsfeld testified that there are much worse pictures and videos that have yet to be seen. This is the democracy that Bush was talking about. How insulting! If this is what is meant by democracy, then we are far better off without it.

The last thing we need is for this occupation to be extended to Iran, particularly since it's the only credible and legitimate government in the region (a crucial point emphasized by all serious academic scholars on the region). The arrogance of these colonialists must be stopped at our borders!

Furthermore, what's interesting to note is that Iran fought the real war of liberation against Saddam's regime back in the 80s and against the Taliban in the late 90s at a time when they were both being backed by America. And now Bush has the audacity to speak about these regimes and their violations of human rights. All this coming from, excuse my French, a cowboy who says the Geneva Conventions don't apply to the "war on terrorism" (even Hitler would be impressed if he were alive today). But what's new? They didn't apply to the natives whose land they stole and massacred either or the millions of people they stole and enslaved from Africa. And today it is our turn.

They not only slaughter and abuse the Muslim world, but insult us and call us "savages," "fundamentalists", "terrorists," and the so called "Axis of Evil." As Professor Hamid Algar has noted "America's military presence is metastasizing throughout the Arab world to the point of malignancy. Isn't it curious that Muslims are the ones under pressure to proclaim that their religion is the "religion of peace'?" Moreover, the encirclement of Iran by the United States has now been completed with the fall of Saddam Hussein. I tell you this is too much and I am simply sick and tired of it all. My patience has run out.

What is even more distressing is how many Middle Easterners have fallen victim to this form of psychological warfare. Some have even apologized for the acts of the perpetrators of 9-11 as if they were somehow responsible. And let's not forget how many felt compelled to ride the waves of jingoistic patriotism by slapping a huge sticker of an American flag on their car or displaying a flag in front of their home after 9-11. What do you have to say now about your "Support the Troops" sticker? Supporting them is antithetical to supporting human rights as reinforced by the recent pictures and daily footage from Al-Jazeera.

Witty remarks aside, I ask that we all remain vigilant and educate ourselves and others on such matters, for our sake and for our children's generation's sake. I don't think the world, let alone this country can sustain another four more years of this ideologically driven administration.

Lawrence Reza Ershaghi, B.A. Political Science, University of California, Irvine. Currently Candidate for J.D. at Chicago-Kent School of Law >>> Feaures in

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By Lawrence Reza Ershaghi



Book of the day

Hegemony or Survival
America's Quest for Global Dominance
By Noam Chomsky

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