Long history of betraying our own people and our friends
By Mansoor Lotfi
June 3, 2002
Dear Ms. Sabety,
This is in reference to your article, "Today,
I am a Palestinian: I am ashamed of being an American". You are a very
elegant and persuasive writer and I read almost all your articles. I regret that
my writing is not as eloquent as yours, however, I must tell you that while you write
well, a fundamental attribute you lack is loyalty and devotion to a country that
gave you refuge during your time of need.
I am an Iranian-American who obtained American citizenship 6 years ago. I was only
20 when I was jailed and tortured for 1 year by the Islamic regime (the most compassionate
and merciful) because of what I wrote about Ayatollah Khomeini. After what should
have been a temporary release from jail due to UN Inspections of overcrowded jail
conditions, I fled to Pakistan where I lived as a refugee for 1 year.
I finally came to America through political asylum. Once here, I was given the opportunity
to go to school, get a job, and plan for my future. These basic rights were denied
to me in my own country by my own people, but were granted to me by a country that
I shouted was my enemy during the revolution.
We Iranian have a long history of betraying our own people and our friends. Instead
we take sides and praise others who are not so much of a friend. Most of us Iranians
give our loyalty to those who attacked us rather than defended us. For example, we
don't know much about R U Barzan, Babak, Mazyar, Sattar Khan, and Baghar Khan. Yet
we praise Alexander, Changize Khan, Ali, Hassan, and Hossein.
You remember the amount of help we gave to Arafat during his visits to Iran, yet
during the Iran-Iraq War he took sides with Saddam. He called Saddam his BROTHER
and called us his Iranian friends. So it would seem normal for you to say you are
ashamed to be an American. It is in our blood to betray our defenders when things
do not go our way.
Just reverse the situation. Imagine you were to let
one million desperate Americans come live in Iran. You provide them with the same
opportunity as you have yourself. You help them to settle down and you educated them
(American style not what we do to poor Afghan refugees).
Finally, they strive to become citizens of Iran so they can benefit from all the
opportunities available to them in their new home country. After all you have done
as a nation, would it not seem absurd that simply because of international policy
that the majority of Iranians agree on, one American guy comes and says, "I
am ashamed to be Iranian". Wouldn't you be heart-broken by it?
Despite everything I went through at the hands of my own government and society,
I am never ashamed of being Iranian. However, as an American citizen, I am never
ashamed of my new nationality; it is after-all the country that gave me refuge in
my time of need. I may disagree with some of the American policies in action, but
I will not be ashamed of being American.
At the end, if you are still ashamed of being an American, I will be more than happy
to buy you a one-way ticket to where ever you want to go. How about Palestine controlled
territory? This would benefit us both because it will help you to be happy, while
allowing me to pay my debt to America. Further it will help one person out of the
millions of the millions of people waiting in the line to get closer to his/her dreams
here in America.