Home > Political > Iran: Initial Thoughts

Iran: Initial Thoughts

The most important, fascinating thing happening in the world right now is clearly the fallout from the Iranian “election” in which the notorious isolationist anti-western president Mahmoud Ahmedenijad has claimed victory over the more moderate and western friendly green-party candidate, Mir-Houssain Mousavi. Victory was declared even before a single vote was counted, and the final number given was a 63% to 34% landslide. Seeing as how polls indicated Mousavi was leading Ahmedenijad by 54 to 39 in the final poll before the election, that even the biggest victories in American elections have not exceeded 20 percentage points, and that all indications prior to the election were that Ahmedenijad was clearly losing credibility among the people, it’s probably safe to say that these results are completely fabricated and that Supreme Leader Khamenei simply decided beforehand who the winner would be.

Now, as young Iranians who had been led to believe that they had a legitimate, participatory government are confronted with blatant fact that they actually live in a fascist dictatorship, they naturally find themselves just a little bit peeved. And because Iran is not America, where disillusioned leftists do nothing more than bitch about things with their blogs and their Twitter, when people are upset with an oppressive government they actually take to the streets and start causing havoc. That is, in fact, their only option, and if I were there I’d be out tossing rocks at cops too. This is a genuine, bona-fide revolution, the likes of which Iran hasn’t seen since 1979, and it’s really fucking encouraging to see. I say that with full respect for those protestors who have been killed in the madness—they are true martyrs, and I can’t help but envy them for having had the chance to die such an honourable, meaningful death.

It’s way too early to tell what the eventual fallout will be. There are so many different possible outcomes right now that I’m literally on the edge of my seat to see what happens. This will carry enormous consequences not just for Iran but for entire Middle East and therefore the entire world. Will Ahmedenijad and Khamenei have enough brute force to suppress the protestors, execute their political enemies, and spend the next few years continuing on the road to violent and possibly nuclear confrontation with Israel and the U.S., thus setting off World War III and the apocalypse that all the right-wing nuts are praying for? Will efforts by the chairmen of the Assembly of Experts, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, to remove Khamenei from power and hold an actual election succeed, thus putting Mousavi in power and setting Iran on a course of diplomacy and cooperation with the rest of the world? Will any one of a hundred other possible outcomes be the case? Whatever happens, this may well turn out to be one of the most significant events in human history, coming as it does on the heels of a historic address by the first U.S. president in decades to genuinely reach out to the Muslim world in support of peace.

More Arabs seem to support that vision of peace than most Americans assume. This story needs as much coverage as possible because the very fact that it’s happening ought to shatter the stupid bullshit stereotype promoted by the right-wing for so long that all people in all middle-eastern countries are Islamic fundamentalists who want nothing more than to see Americans die. Well, guess what? Iran, one of those “axis of evil” countries, is actually filled with people who when given a choice would take the olive branch the president is extending and cooperate with the international community. It’s the government of Iran, led by a crazy right-wing nut called Ahmedenijad, that’s fighting a holy war for his own twisted purposes, not the people.

You know, I seem to recall that not too long ago everyone in the Middle East assumed that all Americans were crazy Christian fundamentalists who wanted nothing more than to see Muslims die. Then we had an election, and they learned that the “evil empire” is actually filled with people who when given a choice would extend an olive branch to them and invite their cooperation within the international community. It was the government of the United States, led by a crazy right-wing nut called Bush, that was fighting a holy war for his own twisted purposes, not the people.

So can we please, for the love of Buddha, just put a stop to this black-and-white thinking once and for all? Can we please get beyond the days where we declare an entire country an enemy of the United States? Can we finally start drawing distinctions between these brutal, illegitimate regimes and the people they victimize? Not all Iranians are bloodthirsty Islamic extremist America-haters, so maybe bombing that country into oblivion, as I’ve heard so many conservatives calling for over the past decade, is not the proper solution to the problem. Maybe it is the problem.

I can’t wait to see how the conservative media spins this into some kind of huge failure on Obama’s part. They’ll somehow find a way to blame it on his speech and point out that under Bush, the government of Iran may have been evil, but at least it was stable. It’s Obama’s naivety and inexperience that caused this mess, just like everyone warned he would. Either that or it’s part of his secret plan to destroy Israel. Actually, why not both?

What they’ll ignore is the most obvious conclusion that can be drawn from this—that the key to achieving peace in the Middle East is not through armed conflict and constantly providing more reasons for the people of these countries to hate us and vote for the parties that most forcefully express this hatred, but by taking the soft, diplomatic approach and reaching out to the hearts and minds of the people themselves until it no longer becomes possible for a stable, anti-Western isolationist regime to exist. If the people are on our side, they won’t accept governments hostile to us, and they won’t tolerate extremist groups plotting to kill us. It’s the most obvious fucking thing in the world, but there are still ignorant assholes out there who refuse to get that, and no matter how clearly reality stands in contrast their point of view, they will never give it up.

Luckily, the right-wing war-mongering hawks are now the minority in this country. If we can make them the minority in every middle eastern country, we might just have a chance.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.