Saturday, February 5, 2011
Reflections on "Reflections in Exile"
Tonight, I was in a gathering where passages of this were read. I had totally forgotten it; had swept all those feelings under the rug too. But, that deep heart break I felt, when Iranian election was "stolen", came back to me ... and made me cry ... to remember a proud dream that fell on the floor; shattered.
Tonight, at this gathering, I listened patiently, to some British researcher, running Enduring America, to talk passionately about how "if he doesn't keep the stories of revolutionary blood and passion alive, then "they" (i.e. IRI fascists, or Mubarak) will win"! I listened to him to admit (and I am grateful for his honesty) that if people are not fed enough blood and passion, they get bored and stop caring and then "they will win" (i.e. the IRI fascists, or Mubarak) ... and as I listened to him, my own blood and passion began boiling over: "what the hell is it of your business to fight for a cause half a continent away, when you can in deed be fighting in your OWN nation, contextualizing YOUR country's [United Kingdom] role in supporting despots according to national interests and etc."
It is very noble to side with journalists, lawyers, writer, student activists, women activists, minority activists, unionists, and other groups in Iran and across the world, when they are beaten, jailed, tortured, kidnapped and silenced by coercion and intimidation. But what is missing from the pro-democracy dialogues and monologues about Iran, for example, are the following FACTS:
- that the PARANOIA and megalomania of self-assumed "leaders" such as Khamenehi is a reaction to, and feeds from, the discriminatory, hypocritical, invasive, interventionist and manipulating relations pursued by Western powers in Iran and elsewhere in the middle east.
- that this paranoia is exacerbated by SHAMELESS announcements such as the 'strategy' of carrots and sticks. How dare does the west assume, and treat like a rodent, a nation whose Mullahs and Despots have proven themselves not only resilient but cunning enough to engage America with two of their starkest enemies: Saddam and Taliban, in costly wars that have ensured the safety of Iranian cities.
- does the so called "democratic" West expect Iranian authorities to sit on their hands and allow what they can interpret as Americans and Saudi Arabians pursuit of the well-articulated agenda of destabilizing and toppling their regime?
- How is it that the national security of Americans permits Guantanamo detentions, and water-boarding torture, but the Iranian national security must be relaxed?
- And what about this whole nuclear issue? How is it that a country, with aggressive attitude proven in two wars launched against Lebanon in recent years, is entitled to Atomic bombs, is entitled to threatening a sovereign nation with bombing and destruction; but a non-proliferation signatory nation is pushed to abandon its nuclear research because someone fears it will trigger an arm's race in the region of 'mercurial juveniles?"
I can go on and on ... but the point that I am trying to make is this:
That fascism is always a reaction; is a form of retaliation; is a case of sadomasochism that develops in victims of abuse. Fascism is a reaction to abuse; it is in this way that it recruits its operators. Its functionaries are those whose rational faculties are more strongly damaged through chronic abuse.
I am not denying the militarist and economic agenda of the fascists who are running Iran today. But I believe EVERY despot and dictator has some version of world view that gives them the existentialist justification for the brutality they exercise. Forced to a corner, without air to breath, without flow, without light; this is how and why the IRI has rotten. For a cornered animal, the only way to survive is through violence.
So, I have a proposition, how about Enduring America going back to the initial intention of focusing on US's foreign policy, how about digging 'juicy' stories from Britain's recently opened National Archives, stories that can perhaps better contextualize and explain why the Middle East is unable to overcome its democratic hurdles? I understand that people want quick and dirty doses of heroism, and such web sites need ratings that will secure their revenues. But precisely because of this, I think their method of supporting Iran and Iranians is flawed and counterproductive.
Posted by Naj