Blame does not solve any problems
August 27, 2001
The recent discussion surrounding the hot topic of war and peace in the
Middle East has not only shown us why the peace process has stalled, but
also where Iranians in general stand and why. As it is apparent from the
majority of opinions and letters, Iranians have a great degree of animosity
towards Israel for a variety of reasons, founded or otherwise.
Furthermore, as emotions run high, there is ample evidence provided for
the fears and insecurities that both sides of the political divide feel,
in effect justifying all defensive aggressions. We have come to accuse,
judge, convict and in some letters out-right threaten Israel with nuclear
warfare that by all accounts we don't yet posses.
Little wonder that the other side should feel worried and hide behind
even bigger walls (and geographically strategic places such as the Golan
Heights) and feel more aggressive in this insecurity.
While many have genuinely tried to lay bare all the difficulty and the
pain and suffering they themselves have experienced or seen on TV and read
about on the internet, the more accusatory and outraged letters are also
very telling, not only of the reasons for their emotional positions, but
as justification for their adversaries' violence.
At times they have even sided for the breakdown of communication and
talks and demonstrated how the cycle of violence can so easily spin out
of control even by those who do not live within that violent environment
day in and day out. It is very easy to understand the degree of outrage
that leads to killing of not only fellow human beings, but also the bomber
himself. Many are clearly at the end of their tethers and the letters sent
to this magazine only testify to this.
We have demonstrated our willingness to propagate all sorts of conspiracy
theories accusing Israel now of monitoring our communications (in a public
forum such as the world wide web) -- whenever an attempt at dialogue is
made -- and of wanting to extend their territories all the way to the Iranian
plateau. No doubt there are similar defensive-aggressive discussions on
the other side as well. Whenever someone speaks about (for)giving and peace,
those who are excited by war and domination shoot him down. Remember Prime
Communication and discourse can simply not take place without some degree
of friendliness, and a show of good faith. And this will not be achieved
through the repetition of age old differences and animosity.
It is in that light that I have written for, and continue to advocate
friendly engagement, and against an emotional search for someone to blame.
In this, there is of course no argument whenever one side or the other points
out the other's atrocities or tries to show the baselessness of these acts
of violence. There is no winnable war; and there is no emotional logic.
It is good to see that some of the more responsible third parties try
and reinitiate dialogue. In this, no matter how hopeless this anger and
violence may seem, the efforts of Aussenminister Fischer of Germany is admirable.
And if you excuse my taking his words slightly out of context, I think President
Khatami of Iran is also on to something when he advocates a "dialogue
I am not advocating agreement with atrocities that go on in the world.
But at the same time punishing these atrocities and trying to achieve justice
through payback would only lead to furthering of violence. There is nothing
good or evil in itself, and people do things because of their fears and
These factors can be traced in a person's life or a nation's history.
And at the end of the day, blame does not solve any problems. There is no
question that the abused abuse ad infinitum. To suggest otherwise is to
essentially accuse a group of being evil, and this is what leads to conclusions
such as the "Endloesung", or the "Final Solution" to
the question of Jewry in Europe as decided by the Nazis.
But to come back to the national interests of Iran: clearly peace in
the Middle East -- no matter who threw the first stone and who is responsible
for the big bang -- could be the only real interest in relation to the Arab-Israeli
conflict. Apart from that, Iran has not been able to play a major role either
for or against the interests of United States, Nazi Germany, or the other
major superpowers. The only country Iran is a serious threat to is Iran
itself through her unsound political positions.