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Khatami's last chance
Hasn't the time come for Khatami to stop this ridiculous game and once and for all call it what it is?

By Mani Farhoomand
November 20, 2002
The Iranian

As I was surfing the TV channels to find a decent piece of news programming to watch (something that can only be found on BBC News these days) I came across CNN International, a channel that , in my opinion, has long lost its credibility especially because of its obvious warmongering and cruel bias against Palestinians. To my pleasant (yet cautious) surprise it was a program on the student demonstrations in Iran.

The distinguished guests: Amir Taheri (conservative monarchist intellectual); Rob Sobahani (university professor who's pro-monarchy and has made no secret of his pride in being a citizen of the "greatest nation on the face of the earth", i.e. America) as well as a fellow named Aryo Pirouznia, a spokesman for the "Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran" (a monarchist organization).

I didn't know whether to be furious or surprised at CNN's diverse choice of panelists, but again nothing on CNN surprises me anymore. CNN once again showed its true colors by selecting a group of panelists who do not represent the whole of Iranian community and did not even once disagree with one another during the whole program.

Moreover, our beloved monarchists spent the whole hour to propagate against Hashem Aghajari (it's amazing how much Shahollahis and Hezbollahis have in common ) and the whole student movement they claimed to be so knowledgable about and represent.

It was this charade on CNN that reminded me of the historic times we are living in. A second revolution is coming and the people who are cleverly taking its lead are the monarchists and their American friends.

It's a tragedy that we always seem to be repeating history. We had a revolution (albeit one that was betrayed) and forced the old dinosaurs out. Despite all this, slowly but surely they are resurging as the only popular alternative and the whole responsibility for this dangerous development lies solely, I repeat solely, on the shoulders of President Khatami.

Kahatmi (let it be said that I never believed in him) was suppose to bring us "the era of transparency, responsibility and accountability in Iran", he was supposed to confront the establishment and reform it (or bring it down) from within instead he has only vowed to name the true enemies of his "democratic reforms", his adversaries, or as he calls them "shadowy forces".

How is it that every two-year-old in Iran knows the names of these "shadowy forces" yet they remain shadowy in the president's mind? Why is he hesitant to point fingers? Hasn't the time come for Kahatmi to stop this ridiculous game and once and for all call it what it is?

What shadowy forces? If Khatami is referring to the Vali-e Faghih (supreme leader Khamenei) and his gang of thugs, we all know their names. The real mystery for us though is not their names but rather Kahtami's own conduct in the last five years.

How can an intelligent man like Kahtami keep deceiving, smiling, and promising while these "shadowy forces" imprison his closest allies and kill the hopes of a generation so desperate for freedom that many of them would welcome the return of a corrupt monarchy, or even worse an American military intervention, over the current system.

In my opinion, Khatami has proven to be a weak, incapable human being who simply looks the other way while his "civil society" has become a big prison where every citizen is a either a suspect, a prisoner, or a dead man.

In the eyes of the Iranian nation, Kahatmi's integrity, honesty, and reputation has all but vanished. Yet at this critical junction of Iran's history, Khatami and his comrades have one very last chance: They can either prolong the survival of a failed system for a couple more years followed by another bloody revolution or they can leave the failed system and join the domestic opposition forces (nationalists, religious-nationalists, socialists, and other independent groups) to ensure a smooth and non-violent evolution to a democratic republic with no contradictory adjectives or Vali-e Faghihs attached .

Khatami and his comrades have a historic choice to make. They can either give in to democratic demands of the masses and become part of history's brave men (like Mossadagh and his comrades) or go into the garbage bin of history by effectively handing over the country to those who want an American satellite-state like Jordan with a savvy king who talks about tolerance, freedom, and democracy on CNN but violently oppresses his own people back home. There is no third way for Khatami. This is his last chance.

Does this article have spelling or other mistakes? Tell me. I'll feex it.

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By Mani Farhoomand

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