Monday, November 20, 2006

in politicians we trust

Twenty five years is an impressive milestone, not only we have tolerated the theological and religious regime of Iran, but also to have got used to exile and false promises by the leader of our host country for freedom.

Contemplating at the last twenty five years, there is one stunning resemblance in all American politicians. Any chosen subject has to have an election issue.

From the beginning, we all remember the famous phrase that president Carter put on the Shah of Iran in new year 1978, which called Iran “the Island of stability”, but less than one year, he sent Senator Bird to persuade the Shah to leave Iran to keep stability.

Then came President Ronald Regan, in spit of the fact that pretended to be Mullahs’ sworn enemy from his campaign trail all the way to the White House, He called Iranians “Barbarians” in number of occasions, sent Oliver North to appease the Mullahs and sell them more arms, so they could get more Iranians killed, and finally sent William Casey to toast a drink to Reza Pahlavi for his future victory while McFarland and North were negotiating arms deal with Islamic Republic in Tehran. Before the end of his term, He honored Admiral Ramsy for shooting down an Iranian passenger airliner.
His running-mate the honorable George Bush Senior (future president), in his appearance at the University of Western Michigan in October of 1980, He condemned Iranians of all sectors, regardless of their participation in hostage crisis of 1979-1981. It further led to more stress on the Iranian students already being crushed under pressure of the propaganda by Jimmy Carter for the American hostages in Iran.

Now time came for another election. The George Bush senior became the next president of the United States. He changed heart and condemned Sadam Hussein in 1990 after he invaded Kuwait. In his speech, President Bush condemned Sadam Hussein for eight years of war with Iran, for killing His Moslem neighbor brothers! It seemed that he forgot that a few years back when Sadam Hussein used chemical weapons on Iranian soldiers, he as the vice-president and the president Reagan moved to block the symbolic condemnation of Sadam Hussein by The U.S. Congress.

So, we started dealing with another president, this time a young energetic president from Arkansas named President William Clinton. In the gathering of the Iranian democrats in Los Angeles, he stood in front of over one thousand Iranians, thanked them for their support and warm reception. He opened his speech with a sentence in Persian and continued in English to indicate that Iranians deserved democracy in to their country, and condemned the mullahs for oppressing Iranian people since their inception of power( by his party predecessor President Jimmy Carter). Once again after so much hope, we became witness to the apology of Madam Secretary to Mullahs for the 1953 CIA coup in Iran (not that the Mullahs were really cared about late Dr. Mossadeq and CIA coup).

Again, we went through another election. But honestly, this time there was no hope. Because Al Gore administration would have been the continuation of Bill Clinton administration all over again. George W. Bush was obviously the follower of his father’s policies. So for the first time we went through an election with apathy, until it came September 11, 2001.

Now the United States became intolerant and tired of its bastard child namely, Islamic ideology. All of sudden, every heart in the Capital Hill and in the White House started bleeding for Iranian people, to live under such a oppressive terrorist regime of Islamic Republic. Therefore, we started watching the parade of Congressmen. Senators, Government officials, and the president demanding freedom for the Middle East and Iranian people.

What are we supposed to learn from all the inconsistencies? One day, Bill Simon (republican candidate for the California gobnatorial race in 2002) said in an interview with an Iranian radio, that he cared about the problems Iranians were facing outside their country and he related to their difficulties. His statement was not that obvious at beginning. A question did arise out of this statement in this context; when, he did not understand his own people and could not relate to the problems they were suffering from, how could he had understood Iranians and related to their problem? One point was obvious and this time the Iranians were a strong minority in California and their vote was crucial for an election.

One can easily see that deceit and hypocrisy is a major part of political election process in this country. The politicians in this country do and say anything to get them elected and make money.

According to the Time magazine, current and Previous Bush administration are so much involved with Saudi Arabia that they are doing anything to divert Saudi’s terrorist connection even in the light of over three thousand casualties of September 11, 2001. This is coming to one conclusion only, “money”. How is the money trailed, let’s see an excerpt from the time magazine:
“In 1997, Saudis donated one million dollars to the George Bush presidential library, and in 1999, Bush officially joined the Carlyle group, a private investment firm staffed by former officials from the Carter, Reagan, and Bush administration. Carlyle maintains ties to U.S. defense contractors, and Saudi Government.” This is in spite the fact that people in this country are threatened by terrorism, and 15 out 19 hijackers of September 11, were Saudi nationals, anti-US feeling is at all time high in Saudi Arabia, and hatred toward Americans are preached in Saudi Arabia daily.

As our friend (a respected journalist) always says that we have to learn the “games”. He is absolutely right. We have to know how to play with the political game machine in this country. Politicians in this country say anything before election. They took after any kind of issue that makes people interested, but after election business is as usual. We all remember the famous universal health insurance purposed by President Clinton in 1992 presidential election. He and his wife printed sample insurance cards for their election showcase, but to forget it shortly after election and not to mention it anymore, even in the next election. The second issue is “money”. It does not matter what one’s idea or need is. As long as one group or business can heavily contribute money either to one candidate or either of the two parties, politicians like Dian Feinstein (U.S. senator from California a sworn Iran and Iranians hater) can turn into “Aunt Betty”.

It has been more than a year, that all Iranian news media circulating petitions to be signed by Iranians for the support of Iranian students inside Iran demanding freedom. It is further requested that these petitions to be sent to American officials. Although it is a very noble gesture, without putting the equation of money and vote together, we will never put a dent on the American political machine with our agenda. We also have to understand that American politicians are neither our allays nor our friends. They are friends as long as money is flowing and ally as long as their interest is served.

So, before you bother yourselves with all those petitions, e-mails, faxes, or any other thing you are sending, there has to be a strong minority formed to have a political voting power. Then appealing to the Iranian community to raise substantial amount of money to hire lobbyist to represent our cause in Washington DC. Afterward, we can claim to be a political power in this vast machine, in order to be heard. Until such time, these politicians will never give us the time of a day to hear even what is good for them. Even with senator Sam Brownback pushing all those resolution against Mullahs, it is interesting to know that U.S. State department is still favoring taming the Islamic republic regardless of what kind of atrocities they are committing inside Iran.

If the history is any lesson, back in 1972, while United States was South Vietnams ally, Henry Kissinger was making deal with North Vietnamese to end the war without the south knowing about it. Does it sound familiar, when in 1978; President Carter was giving his full support to the late Shah of Iran, Ramsey Clark and George Ball working to make concession with Khomeini? Or even better, let’s review a portion of an article that was printed in the Time magazine on May 19, 2003 issue. “After Iran oil industry nationalized in early 1950s, a boycott started led by U.S. and Britain. Operatives paid off Iranian newspaper editors to print pro-shah and anti –Mossadegh stories. They produced their own stories and editorial cartoons and published fabricated interviews. They spread antigovernment rumors. They prepared phony documents to show secret agreement between Mossadegh and the local communist party. They masqueraded communists and threatened conservative Muslim clerics and even staged a sham firebombing of the home of religious leaders”.

Is there any striking resemblance of these events to the events of 1978, with the fire-bombing of a movie theatre, death toll exaggeration of clashes of the army with demonstrators, provocation of Army and police to shoot at demonstrators, printing of pro-Khomeini and anti-Shah stories, rumor of religious leaders being attacked and persecuted by the security forces, fabrication and circulation of a phony tape of the late Shah of Iran calling to start a civil war, and finally the nightly BBC propaganda?

President Bush in his 2003 state of union address said “Iranian people deserve to live in a democratic society”. Is he just wishing a good will for the Iranians or he is committed to do something about it? With another election in Iran and seizing the parliament by hardliners, it will be very interesting to see if The United States government will honor its original policy of democracy in Iran or sacrifice nuclear arms control and security of Iraq by actually dealing with conservative Mullahs.

At the end, it is worth mentioning one unconfirmed phrase from the late Shah of Iran to the late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat that said not to trust Carter administration. But he never realized that he could not trust any American administration. So as Kerry comes and Bush leaves, we do not know who is friend or foe.

BY: Dr. Allen Aria

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