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August 21, 2004Top

* Not bad, Evil!

In your response [Reason to be proud] to Pesare Gol [Proud of what?], you mentioned that: "There is very little - if anything - that the IRI has done of which one can be proud in this I agree with you." However, this could be further from the truth. Yes, revolutionary Iran, and the IRI it produced in the early days was nothing to be glorious about. However, during these 25 years the government has accomplished many things that the previous regime could not.

The most obvious is the literacy rates of women. Because of the religious laws put in place in schools, more "traditional" fathers were more willing to send their daughters to school. Many traditional sectors of society became more educated and received many opportunities that were previously not available to them. We now have 60% female population in Universities in Iran (only 40% male), while during the time of the Shah females constituted only 22%. Because of this rise in literacy rate amongst women, women also began filling up more occupational positions, breaking the bonds of previous traditional patriarchal views of women in society.

Iran now has its first female mayor, and because of the religious nature of the government, a female in such a position is not questioned by the traditional sector of society. If we had a secular government in place, many traditional and religious sectors of society would complain that "women should have no place in governing affairs". However, since the government calls itself an " Islamic Republic", the traditional and religious sector do not question this and accept it. This boosts up the moral of women who also have dreams of running for such positions.

Yes, while a sector of society which was secular prior to the revolution was penalized a bit with the enforcement of the hijab, a larger more traditional and religious sector benefited greatly. Women in the traditional sectors (and you must remember that in 1979 the religious and traditional sectors were much larger than the secular sector) were given new opportunities since the new opportunities were legitimized by the religious government. (voting rights of women is an example.

During Shah's time the religious and traditional sector would yell and scream about this, however women voting now is seen as the norm) Another big achievment of the IRI is its slow move toward independence on basic needs. Because of sanctions and previous history of manupilation by foreign powers, the IRI was forced to slowly make itself self-suffecient on many commodities. While until a few years ago Iran was the biggest importer of wheat in the world, it is now self-sufficient in wheat production. The same goes for MANY goods that Iran produces now for domestic consumtion.

The Shah spent a lot of the nation's wealth on "military toys". During the Iran-Iraq war we saw how useless these modern gadgets were without the spare-parts that were not sold to us. Since the revolution, Iran has now been building spare parts to keep its military up-to-date and in good condition. It obviously isn't as sophisticated as 1st world nations, but for a country of its capibility under US Sanctions it is a big deal.

Also, during the Iran-Iraq war, the government showed great resolve and power in dealing with the Iraqi invasion of our territory. Many people claim that the IRI has sold itself to the "Arabs", but I don't ever recall Iran giving any concessions to the Arabs (Iraqis). It fought until the last breath, until the US bombed our civilian planes and our ships in the gulf.

Also, their is another thing we must be proud of. Six Arab nations launched a war against Israel in 1967 to free the Palestinians and lost miserably in 6 days. The Shah, against his own morals, sided with Israel rather than those oppressed and struggling for freedom.

However, when Israel invaded Lebanon in 1980, the IRI helped create and fund Hezbollah to help Lebanese people liberate themselves from occupation. Hezbollah has been the ONLY organization to successfully defeat Israel and cause it to withdraw. And yes, you might say "Hezbollah is a terrorist organization," however it is NOT branded as such by the United Nations. It is only branded that by the US and Israel (one's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist).

Because of that help we provided, we now have a proxy army in Lebanon (and partly Syria) which is one of the reason that Israel and US can't easily invade Iran.

When Bosnian Muslims were being MASSACRED by Serbian Christians the whole world just watched while a GENOCIDE was occuring. No one came to the aid of the Bosnian Muslims EXCEPT the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC of IRAN. Even though the United States KNEW that a genocide was happening they continued funding the Serbian Christians to continue their massacres. Just listen to Milosevic rant about how he received US support for his activities.

Yet, the IRI, despite world sanctions, smuggled weapons to the Bosnian Muslims to help them fight the Serbian Christians that were raping and murdering their people.

These are things that the IRI has done positively. Obviously the U.S. won't mention these facts when it talks about Iran, because it only makes the U.S. look bad.

Let's not forget that last year the United Nations awarded I.R. of Iran an award for the best sexual education curriculum in the world. It even mentioned in it's report that the "United States could learn a few things from the Islamic Republic [of Iran]" Yes, the IRI made a mistake in the early years of the revolution to ask for massive child-bearing, causing a massive baby boom that the economy could not handle. But in the past 5 years, the efforts that they've made has brought Iran's birth-rate and population growth rate to FIRST WORLD NATION standards.You might think that from everything I've said that I'm some IRI supporter.

However, I could write you an e-mail with a LOT of things the IRI has done wrong and hurt our nation. However, everyone already writes those and you can just read one of those articles to see what IRI has done bad.

However, it is UNJUST to say that the government ruling Iran is "only Bad". That is what Hitler said about the Jews. It is the world-view of the Bush Administration that the world is divided only between GOOD AND EVIL. However, the world is not BLACK AND WHITE. It's not gray-scale either. It's in full color. We must accept that. Every nation does good and bad. It is only fair that we mention the good next to the bad to show that we aren't reactionary and just as bad as those whom we criticize.

Khodah Negahdar,

Dariush Abadi

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