W is for War - with Iran
Open letter to Iranian-Americans
July 22, 2004
Are you sitting down? Bush wants war with Iran.
If that sounds a bit simplistic, that's because it
is. I used that phrase because that's the kind of
simple-minded ideology we are force-fed by the Bush
administration and friends. This is precisely why it
is so dangerous for Bush to be given four more years
in office. It's not a straight formula and there are
many other factors involved, but the bottom line is
that Bush is bad for Iran and Iranians no matter where
I'd like to begin with the premise that war with
Iran would be wrong and undesirable. However, I know that
there are those among the Iranian Diaspora who prefer
just that out of some misguided notion that killing
thousands of civilians, destroying countless buildings
and infrastructure will bring peace and democracy to
our beloved land. Nothing could be further from the
If and when there's threat of serious military
action against Iran, the vast majority of the
population will forget any desire for "democracy" and flock to
the Mullahs to defend the country. This in turn will allow Khamenei, Rafsanjani
friends to consolidate power even more, especially given the escalation
of economic constraints the US is sure to bring about.
The results would
The universities would close, so would the borders. People would be forced
back on rations and young people would once again be volunteering en-masse
their country. The Islam-versus Satan rhetoric and Friday-prayer speeches
would once again be respected and used to mobilize the whole nation against
People will risk their lives for "Esteghlal,
Azadi, Jomhourye Eslami." And can you really blame them? Faced
with the choice between being an Islamic Republic with limited rights
being an American
colony ruled by Mariam Rajavi, which would you choose?
Some Iranian readers
are undoubtedly too young and others were already out of the country,
but the fact
is that the Islamic republic didn't start out so "Islamic." Khomeini
was an old man with many flaws. But from day one he stressed separation
of religion and government which, by the way, is emphasized in traditional
His original government was to have a non-religious president AND prime
Indeed the first elected governments post-revolution
WERE non-religious. Look
up Bani-Sadr and Rajai, the IRI's first two presidents. They were
no Mullahs. What happened? War happened. The invasion of Iran by
Saddam Hussein, supported
by the majority of the Arabs, almost all Iran's neighbors and both
superpowers allowed the most extremist elements of the revolution
to take control.
Under the guise of "national security" they took away people's
rights and put in place Islamic safeguards. They did it, they said, because
they had to:
Iran's survival was at stake.
It's no surprise that the beginnings of a
democratic movement that swept the nation in form of popular and
student protest happened
when they did. Given the removal of the Saddam threat, the opening
of relations with Europe and Clinton mainly ignoring Iran, the
Mullah's could no longer
justify their grip on power and the people became emboldened and
pushed for further freedoms. Things may not have been moving fast,
but they were moving.
Is it a coincidence that
shortly after US response to 9/11 and "axis of evil",
the popular movements for democracy were significantly damaged
in Iran? I think not.
This exactly what
will happen under a second Bush administration. It's unlikely that
he would actually invade Iran but he wants to make the IRI as weak
as possible for
intervention. Even the Neocons know that Iran, at the moment, is
impossible to invade logistically or politically.
They know that
the American public,
the Republicans will not go for another costly invasion, this time
against a much bigger country with 70 Million people. It's not
even USA's style
to do it
at this point. The Pentagon would likely increase military pressure
to weaken Iran and gather intelligence. This is what happened to
the end the Iraqi army was so weak and the economy in such shambles
that the war was cakewalk. It turned out exactly how US would've
wanted it except
hundreds of thousands died in the mean time under the US backed
sanctions and then the war itself. Only people with no heart or
conscience or perhaps
connections would support this kind of misery on the people of
Thus it's little surprise that the MKO is pushing
hard for US belligerence against
Having the most powerful network of Iranian lobbyists in Congress
and the most support from the US government, they would be in a
an Iranian "Chalabi" or "Alawi." Some members
of the house foreign relations committee have repeatedly backed
MKO - or
the more politically correct "National Council of
Resistance" (same people) - from the list of state department
terrorist organizations and to support
their armed "struggle" against the IRI.
It's very typical
of the US to choose the one organization with no support inside
Iran as a
front. What about
the recent noise from 9/11 commission regarding Iran's involvement
with Al-Qaeda? I believe that this is blown out of proportion by
Bush's PR machine
to score political points and keep the issue alive for a post-election
action against Iran. The claims themselves are ridiculous and should
be viewed with
extreme skepticism as professor Abrahamian recently said on Democracy
Now with Amy Goodman.
Iran was at a state of near-war with the
allies before 9/11. Osama Bin Laden hates the Iranian Shiite establishment
just as much as the US. If he couldn't forge a relationship with
the Arabic speaking
Sunni leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, there's no way he would be
in bed with the Pasdaran. Iran was supporting the Northern Alliance
who was killing
The most damning evidence seems to be the fact that
these terrorists went to Iran "without receiving a stamp in
their passports." Anyone who knows anything about the regions
is aware that people smuggle in and out of Afghanistan all the
time. The majority of
of Afghan refugees who are in Iran now don't even have passports!
Billions of dollars in drugs are smuggled into Europe every year
Does this mean if the smugglers don't have stamps
in their passports than Europeans are collaborating with them?
easy to sneak
in a country in the Middle East, use a fake passport or bribe the
officials at the
border. Almost everyone knows these things. Everyone, except the
majority of the American people it seems. And that's all that matters.
get me wrong
or call me a "Hezbollahi" please. I'm not a defender
of the regime and count myself among those who support unconditional,
democracy in Iran. But such a situation can't and won't be brought
about by the United
States, we must
realize this. The last time US tried to bring "democracy" to
Iranians, it supported Saddam Hussein, a bloodthirsty tyrant at
the cost over one million
lives, mostly Iranian.
Let's not forget that Saddam couldn't accomplish
anything if it wasn't for the US. Let's not forget that the bloody
Iran-Iraq war would
not have happened or would've likely been settled much earlier,
had the US supported actual peace in the region. Let's not forget
wouldn't have been
able to consolidate power had it not been for the war. And let's
not forget that it was these very same people who did that to Iran.
The same exact
are now running the country supported killing of Iranians under
the Reagan administration: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Wolfowitz
and Bush's father.
Now, they want your vote
to bring "democracy" to Iran. I'm under no illusions
that Kerry or the democrats are ultimately any better for Iran.
But at least I know
want another war. Bush does.
Qumars Bolourchian is a freelance writer
photographer living in California.
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