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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


May 15, 2000

Revolutions made by idealists

I write to respond to K. Hoseini--who rightfully has written her thoughts on the matter. I agree that we are all entitled to our opinion and to agree or disagree with the opinions of others. However, I do NOT agree with calling passion and idealism "pie in the sky", nor can I tolerate your twisting of an argument made by Maziar Shirazi into what you call verbose, ignorant, and it insinuating a false sense of nationalism. The fact that you do call someone else's passion "pie in the sky" speaks rather loudly as to who left or would leave "when the kitchen got hot."

I read your letter--I read the letter by Mr. Shirazi, I read the letter by Rastgoo and also the one by Sarwary. I looked at the train of thought that followed each person's response. Just to be fair, I feel if you are inspired to attempt pointing out someone else's ignorance, you should be aware of what they are saying before you label them. Obviously Maziar has inspired you to write something, but I really cannot identify the purpose of your response to Maziar--is it to slam his cultural pride? Is it to defend Khomeini and his actions during that era? Is it to correct something he said? His argument is not only sound, but powerfully articulate and provokes reaction. To be honest, I don't think you really understood it.

Nowhere in Shirazi's letter does it say that the Iranian government started the war with Iran--he said and I quote "the war was actually spurred on by Khomeini and his mollas." I do not know if you understand that statement (seeing that you used the word verbose wrong, its only fair to question how much you DO understand), but it is in fact true. After the recapture of Khoramshahr, there were quiet negotiations to end the war. Khomeini DID in fact reject ending the war after Iranian lands had been recovered, opting to fight until "victory and the annihilation of the infidel Saddam." Khomeini, called the Iranian nation "a quiver of arrows"--that means he saw the nation as dispensable. Do not attempt to divert ANY attention from that fact and the fact that Khomeini had the power to end that war much earlier. To do so, in your own words, is to make black and white colored--in my words, repugnant.

My next point is that Shirazi's letter was written in response to someone who supported the closing of the only public forums somewhat representative of the mood of the country. So why are you so venomous in your attack? Do You support the closing of the newspapers as well? Is fighting for the right to SPEAK "pie in the sky?" Shirazi's letter was written in defense of students trying to take an active role in determining their lives--lives which have been predetermined by a group wholly out of touch with the mood in the country and entirely self-interested and propped up by a massive police state apparatus. Take that away and see how long this regime stays on its feet.

"Iran has big problems now." Perhaps the economic rebuilding of Iran you speak of would be facilitated if the current regime did not spend upwards of 14% of the GDP on arms, and an incalculable amount of money supporting its Pasdaran regime and the archaic bonyad system which impedes economic reform and investment. And for you to call Iran a democracy is to be simply naive, at best. The current Iranian state, as designed by its architect Khomeini, is based on the velayat e faqih, or rule of the Supreme Leader.

Who is the Supreme Leader? He is a poorly cloaked version of what the Shah was, a tyrant thug with unaccountable powers and loyal thugs. Only this government has religious vestments and Russian guns instead of a crown and an American made throne and M-16's. That is not a democracy, no matter what the label on the Constitution says. It is a totalitarian state. Perhaps it is you who owes the library a visit, look up verbose while you are there.

Finally, you say "the people are saying certain things that should be relegated to the public domain, and others to the private." Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't trying to express the opinion and beliefs of 80% of the nation (based on a rough estimate of Majlis election results) who decisively voted for change something that should be SCREAMED at the top of your lungs?

Maziar wrote that letter in response to someone who defended closing the mouthpiece of the people and the people who did it--are you opposed to that? Should the ability to dance to music and the ability to walk with someone of the opposite sex or to walk uncovered in the sweltering summer heat be discourse limited to the confines of the home? Should expressing frustration with the rampant unemployment, state sponsored terror, inflation and corruption be something relegated to dinner talk? Most importantly, is holding the people who impose this hated system accountable something one keeps private? Perhaps it is to you, who sees idealism as "pie in the sky" ranting.

I suggest that instead of satisfying you own ego with the trifling response you wrote attacking someone who cares about these issues, you might want to think what it is that you are saying. And rather than tear people down to your level of defeat and pessimism, you might want to encourage idealism from young Iranians in this country and especially in Iran. Sorry if this was too verbose for you--but let me leave it at this: Revolutions are not started by the cynical and embittered, they are in fact started by people who have "pie in the sky" passions.

Zendeh bashan entezarhayeh bozorg!

Roozbeh Shirazi


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