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Rock the vote
The silent majority needs to roar to life and jump in and mix it up


Lance Raheem
May 26, 2005

Well, well, well ... the Guardian Council has approved a whopping handful of candidates to stand in next month's presidential elections out of the more than one-thousand hopefuls who had registered their candidacies. If there is a single person on this planet who is surprised by this then surely they must have been stranded on a deserted island for the past twenty-six years.  

If nothing else the Guardian Council's announcement will give our community just  one more thing to talk about. We have become a nation of talkers. In all humility, I have to admit that I was wrong when I said all we do is talk for I have learned in the past few weeks that we walk too ["All we do it talk"].

When I heard about the "Iran Freedom Walk" to the White House, I thought hell yes, now you've got the mullahs running scared. I bet they were shaking in their shoes just thinking of all of those who walked across the Pennsylvania and Maryland countryside to Washington D.C.   Hell yes, why didn't someone think of it sooner ... a walk-a-thon ... that's the ticket!?

The only thing that our more athletic brothers and sisters accomplished with their multi-state walk for freedom is to give both the farmers living along the route they walked and the mullahs in Iran a good laugh. If you've got balls enough and want to walk somewhere to show your love for Iran and your dreams for its freedom, how about having your Freedom Walk from Bandar Abbas to Tehran on the road that goes straight through Qom? If you do that then you'll have my respect, but Pennsylvania and Maryland ... not a chance in hell. 

What some of us forget though is while we are talking and walking in North America, Europe, Australia and Dubai, Iran continues to slide further into the hellish abyss of shit that it has been trapped in for nearly three decades. We can do something, however and that is not to boycott the presidential elections, but rather to rock the vote and I mean really rock it! 

Forget those people who urge voters to stay home. This is exactly what the mullahs want. They will be happier than pigs in shit if 50% of the voters stay home. All they need to be able to claim some legitimacy for themselves and their regime is go get 50% + 1 of the eligible voters to vote. They can easily get that many people. All they have to do is take buses into the villages and hamlets throughout Iran.  With the promise of 5,000 tomans and a free chicken dinner, they'll have no trouble filling every seat with poor, hungry and uneducated Iranians who will be more than happy to do their religious duty by voting for Mr. Rafsanjani while at the same time quieting their hunger pangs.

If you think I'm crazy, just think about it for a moment. How many of you have seen the big, "Marg bar Amrika" rallies that the IRI organizes every once in a while.  I, like most of you, have seen them on television on many occasions and even once when visiting relatives in Tehran I saw one with my baba bozorg at Azadi Square. Who are the people who attend these rallies? People who've been bussed in for the day with the payment of a few thousand tomans and a box lunch. The silent majority just stays home and away from these little-get-togethers.

I disagree with those who advise others to stay home on Election Day simply because our nation has been lied to and victimized by the ruling establishment. Of course, Iranians have been lied to and everyone in the world knows that, but staying home isn't the answer and neither is wholeheartedly embracing the role of victim anymore. We as a people are very good at blaming others for our miseries. We have for centuries relished in being victims. Victims of bad rulers, victims of foreign powers, victims in religious matters ... we are the best victims in the world or so we think. We think everyone is our enemy, when in fact we are our only real enemy.

We are victims only as long as we continue to allow ourselves to be victimized. My father told me something long ago that I think is appropriate here. He said, "If someone wrongs you once, shame on him, but if he wrongs you twice, shame on you." We have had twenty-six years of the establishment wronging our people over and over and over again. It's long past time that we stop being victims and stand up for ourselves. The only way to do that is to rock the vote and rock it hard.

Walk-a-thons, referendums, talk of invasions or sanctions are not going to free Iran - that is clear. If every eligible Iranian voter and even those too young too vote will pick up a rock on Election Day and violently hurl it at anyone participating in the process that would be a wonderful. The only thing better would be if the intended target were actually hit.  Next, pick up a ball bat and knock the hell out of  a mullah, a Revolutionary Guardsman or a Basiji thug. Start throwing fire bombs at schools, government buildings and police stations. If chain-swinging Islamic thugs on motorcycles appear, get your own chains and swing back. Who knows, maybe you'll hit one hard enough to kill him! 

Iran does not have a shortage of people who are willing to lead a brave charge against tyranny. Iran's problem is that we have a shortage of people who are willing to follow the first guy.  We usually leave the poor guy who was brave enough to go first to swing alone from the gallows if he is caught. We just look the other way and keep out mouths shut. The silent majority needs to roar to life and jump in and mix it up. Anarchy is contagious and if enough people will rock the vote with rocks and bats and Molotov cocktails on Election Day, the Iranian people can achieve the freedom that they have hungered for since the days when they stood up against bullets and tanks to bring down the King of Kings.  

No more begging people to stay home or crying that Mr. Khatami lied. It's time to shit or get off the pot. It's time to kick some ass. There are far more decent Iranians than black reactionaries.  Good decent, hardworking Iranians cannot afford to remain quiet and law abiding anymore because their silent submission only lends legitimacy to the regime. If the young conscripts in the army and ordinary policemen see that the people are voting with their fists, most of them will not have the stomach to fire on the crowds rising up for freedom. As for the Revolutionary Guards and Basiji ... they will either skulk away like the cowards that they are or they will fight to the death which so many of them richly deserve. Give it to them.

For twenty-six years Iranians have been voting with their feet. That is why we are scattered throughout the world today. The time has come to stop voting with your feet and running, its time to vote with your fists and take the country back. If Iranians keep leaving the country at the rate they have been for the past quarter of a century, the only ones left in another quarter of a century will be the those covered in black and beards. Rock the Vote and Rock it Hard!

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Book of the day

The Strangling of Persia
A Story of European Diplomacy and Oriental Intrigue
by W. Morgan Shuster

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