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Get off your chair
I hear the footsteps of an imminent attack

Nazy Kaviani
January 30, 2007

I am sick.  I have all the physical symptoms of a large scale food poisoning.  I double over in pain and sit down like that.  What did I eat?  Where did I pick up this virus?  I haven’t eaten anything, and I haven’t left my apartment for 24 hours.  What is wrong with me?  I slowly begin to realize that I’m not physically ill.  Something sinister and powerful is eating away at me, making me feel this way.  What is it?  It downs on me swiftly and irrevocably.  I am sick because I think.  I am sick because I feel, I worry, I fear.  This is the plight of all Iranians who have a conscience and mediocre sensibilities.  Something really serious and ominous is taking shape and happening and there is nothing we can do; or is there?

I live in a state of schizophrenia, swinging between the deep feelings of love and responsibility for Iran, feeling indignant and angry at anyone contemplating attacking Iran, or keeping it from growing and prospering, and yet, feeling helpless and angry at a regime that has made Iran both the ghoul and the laughing stock of the world, bringing humiliation and indignity to us, and at the same time, snatching our brightest, smartest, and most fearless countrymen and women and checking them into solitary confinement, executing our youth in bright daylight and constantly scheming of ways to downsize, control, and suppress thought, life, and happiness.

I hear the footsteps of an imminent attack; I see all the signs because I am relatively articulate and literate enough to read, analyze, and understand; yet I am paralyzed with the knowledge that many of the behaviors displayed by the Iranian government are indefensible.  I want all the accusations and claims against Iran to be untrue, so that I can start or join a movement to tell the world that this is a conspiracy, but in my heart I don’t trust those in power in Iran to be telling the whole truth; I have heard and seen too many lies and too much hypocrisy, so how can I stand behind them?

It feels like sitting in your house and finding your neighbors knocking at the door, complaining about your delinquent nephew’s breaking their windows and acting irresponsibly.  Part of you wants to defend your kin, and part of you knows that he is capable of a lot of what they say, and you don’t trust him.

To anyone out there who shares the same feelings, I suggest getting off that chair, writing, talking, and taking action about this.  As is evident from the efforts many Iranians have made inside Iran to change things and to bring about reform, the Iranian government resists any change or reform.  This resistance will continue until the people of Iran, who have made great strides to learn and to grow, are ready to change things for Iran.  The natural course for this change might take years, but it is inevitable. 

Furthermore, as is clearly evident in Iraq and in Afghanistan, the fruit of a US attack on those countries wasn’t an overnight democracy, only incalculable catastrophe handed out almost overnight.  We may not be able to do much about what is happening in Iran, but we may still be able to do something in the US.  There might still be time to write to representatives in the Senate, the Congress, and to the elected officials in the White House, to curb the insanity and to stop any plans to attack Iran.  Talk to each other, exchange ideas, get organized, read, think, and write.  Do your share for peace.  I can assure you, if and when the attacks happen, you will feel even worse than you may do today.” Comment

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by Ali Gheissari and Vali Nasr


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