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Faith No More

08 Jul 2009 01:1233 Comments
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7 July 2009

There is too much blood. Too much blood on the streets, too much blood on the news, on Facebook, in emails. There is blood everywhere.

My friend, a 26-year-old student, was on the streets last week. She's now home with a broken arm and a broken leg. And the only reason she's home and not at the morgue is because she had a deodorant spray in her bag.

"I saw hell right before my eyes last week," she told me. "You can never, ever imagine the sight of a huge man beating you to death."

Fighting on the streets is now useless, as the military might behind those who orchestrated this charade is just too strong, and their mercy non-existent. They will not hesitate to kill more people, to arrest more dissidents, to take out the eyes and break the backs of more young people.

But despite all this, the claims of the mainstream media are once again irrelevant. This "regime" is not "counting its last days," nor is it going to evaporate. Ahmadinejad will be the president. Ayatollah Khamenei will be the Supreme Leader. Everything will return to business as usual in Islamic -- notice the absence of "republic" -- Iran.

June 19, 2009 will be the anniversary of this newly established state.

Why the June 19th, and not the 12th? It will not be the day of fraud we will always remember, but the day the supreme leader of the country stood up on the most sacred platform of the Islamic state -- Friday Prayers -- and cemented that fraud; approved of it; and sentenced us protesters to death and silence.

I am 25-years-old, and until that Friday, I always believed the man we call the "Supreme Leader" knew what he was doing. He gave a preposterous speech after the chain murders nearly a decade ago calling the victims "insignificant folks." I took it in and thought he had to do it so as not to widen suspicion of the regime's involvement. He gave a terrible speech after the attacks on students 11 years ago and though I couldn't contain my anger, I kept quiet. He silenced the parliament members who wrote a historic bill on print media. And I only scowled. He silenced them again during the widespread fraud that took place during the seventh parliamentary elections, and I shut my mouth. I may have had VERY STRONG reservations about the operations he was running, but I thought that in the end, he was on the side of his people. But no more.

A generation of young people, those who were born after the revolution, who remember no Shah or Mossadeq, have been severely damaged both mentally and some physically by recent events. And we are not only the Westernized students living abroad, or the residents of North Tehran. The Islamic state will continue to be backed by popular support in the face of a foreign adversary, but inside, it will never feel the same again.

Sounds like a simple enough conclusion, but we are angry and petrified. For those of us who have gone through this metamorphosis, it feels like degradation. Despite all its shortcomings, we always believed that this system had our best interests at heart. Not having that to hold on to any longer is quite a frightening thing.

So the question is: Where do we go? And how do we channel this ANGER?

Mousavi himself is pondering these issues, and said in a recent gathering with university professors:

"[The most dangerous thing right now] is a feeling of hopelessness that may prevail over some, especially the younger generation. We need to do our best to keep that from happening. Our entire history cannot be summed up by these four years, and our entire people are not defined by one government alone."

"This movement will not have one leader. Mr. Karoubi and I, along with Mr. Rezaie and a large group of intellectuals and activists, we are going to get together and talk this out. But this movement cannot be defined by one person; it is only representative of a struggle within the people, and it must stay and be guided by them."

But we have no power. We can't fight on the streets. We can't hold the rights to a newspaper. We shouldn't fight outside our own borders. We must be wary of all internal and external parties who can misuse our anger to their own advantage.

Times indeed seem very grim.

Already, less than a month into these demonstrations, many of my friends are tired and weak. They just want their normal life back. I completely sympathize.

But this is just the beginning. This is not the time to be tired or depressed or paralyzed.

No matter how much you abhor the acts of a mass of young people 30 years ago, their resilience and strength was admirable. They withstood years of persecution and brutal confrontations. We must both learn from them, and outsmart them because they already know all the rules.

Adding to our quandary is that we have no real leader. Our leaders have always either come from the privileged classes (such as Mossadegh) or were accidental. Mousavi is an accidental leader, as was Khatami before him. There is no handbook. This will be a movement in the making and we will write the rules as we go. We will face harsh confrontations, but we must go on knowing the alternative is too grave to bear.

One thing we know for certain: This isn't a fight that will end tomorrow or next month. It is not a fight that any group or party can fight alone. The path is uncertain, the road ahead quite bleak. But my generation, born on the sidelines only to watch and obey, has now been given the opportunity to write its own history, to tell its own story. And to the best of our ability, we will.

It's going to be the most glorious story -- and one that has just begun.

Copyright (c) 2009 Tehran Bureau

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33 Comments

Could Rose have been more self-serving in her comment above? Please delete this comment khoharam, it is not deserving of publication on this fact-oriented site. While Rose makes some cogent evaluations of the situation, self-serving rhetoric only serves to "turn off" the very people she wishes to influence. You always catch more flies with honey than with torshi, and using our struggle to advertise your celebrity or services is inappropriate.


If we expect the rest of the world to take the Iran Azad struggle seriously, it cannot come paired with comments such as this.


Respectfully,

Azar Shirazian

Azar Shirazian / July 7, 2009 10:46 PM

No revolution can succeed simply by declaring what they oppose, but rather what it is for. The first act the American revolutionaries performed was creating a document established a statement of general principles, the Declaration of Independence.


Under monarchy, all property and all people are the possession of the king. They have no rights but only privileges. The Declaration nullified this by stating that individuals have the same rights as kings, because rights are established by the creator, whether that creator is defined as Jesus, Jehovah, Allah or AhuraMazda. By doing this, the American revolution challenged the monarchy on metaphysical grounds.


Iran is at a crossroads. It has correctly identified the Islamic regime as a dictatorship. What it has not done is identify the problem, which is the social and individual dictatorship that Islam itself creates. Until it does that, the result can only be a new form of islamic tyranny, failure or defeat. The lack of leadership in Iran for the revolution is simply proof in itself of the totalitarian nature of the islamic dictatorship.


May god bless the people of Iran. I think you must find guidance from Iranians living abroad, for only they have total freedom of expression. After 1400 years, perhaps it's time for a Persian Renaissance.

jc butte / July 7, 2009 10:51 PM

JC Well put. I totally agree. Perhaps it is time for the Renaissance.

Scott Sheperd / July 7, 2009 11:06 PM

With all due respect Scott and JC, there is no need to teach Iranians about democracy, or the American constitution for that matter. Despite being cut off from the world for long periods these last 30 years, Iranians know a lot more about us in the the rest of the world than we collectively know about them. They already have a constitution. It was fought for over a hundred years ago, exploding in 1905 and ending in 1908 with the granting of a constituion and representative assembly by the Qajjar dynasty. The Constitutionalists are the inspirational root of today's reform movement. Right now, seeing what the opposition has risked to try to get their legally enshrined rights is teaching the rest of us about democracy.


This is the msot thoughtful piece I've read post-election. I have no advice for you, Author. You know what you're doing. It is a small consolation, but the world has fallen deeply, painfully in love with you all.

DDD / July 8, 2009 1:02 AM

where do you go from here? Do healing work for yourself. And then lets march for peace. http://www.theworldmarch.org/ . The second writer is correct. A revolution must stand for what it wants, not what it opposes.


I am in the U.S., and honestly seeing all the young people in Iran stand up against injustice was moving and inspiring to me. We fight our own battles here, everyday. I am a person of color, and the U.S. gov't does not make it easy for us, despite whatever privileges we are granted as "citizens" in this country.


Everyday we witness people being incarcerated because they stand up for justice. Mothers who are deported and taken away from their children. We still have political prisoners on death row. Our leaders were also shot to death during the 60's and 70's and our communities were inundated with cocaine and liquor stores in the 80's and 90's. But the new generation is also taking hold of the pen and writing this story. I send you prayers of wisdom and strength. When I march, write, sing, and paint in the name of peace, I do it with you.

ana / July 8, 2009 1:31 AM

Americans seem to be completely bamboozled. Obama says he is not against Islam.


But uou say you are against Islam. So why are you fighting for Karazai's Islamic Republic in Afghanistan? Why have you established a regime in Iraq run by Islamists?

Why are you supporting the most Islamist regime of all in Wahabbi Saudi Arabia?


If you're so confused, why can't you just stop interfering in the rest of the world and leave us in peace. We have to live with the cosnequences of your confusion, and we measure these in the dictatorships you support and the mess you leave behind everywhere you go.


Leave the Iranians alone. They don't need your advice.

Nazih Musa / July 8, 2009 2:51 AM

This article was beautiful and painful at the same time. From the usa, we are saddened to see that the tyrants have flushed so many great and brave people back into their homes because all they care about is their own power. Or, have outright 'exterminated' them for peaceful protests which are every humans right on this planet.


How dare these self righteous Dictators of the world think that in this day and age, they will continue to prosper and control citizens thoughts, beliefs, apirations making them feel like they are insignificant! You who demand Democracy and freedom are NOT insignificant...do NOT lose hope.The world heard you loud and clear and we know you are hurting. There has to be a 'next step'. It must be a well organized, unexpected leap to freedom!

So many young Americans have no idea or care about how much work and sacrifice was involved in the American Revolution. But the way the world is now...without horse and pony...we have a war of communication through every device modern people own.No one can stop you from telling the truth as they could in the old days.


Here is a timeline for our revolution if you are interested. It should not be near as difficult in our world of instant knowlege. Eventually, the entire free world will have to come to your aid.


Remain Faithful my friends. You are young and though have seen much sorrow, know that a free society sees much sorrow as well. It still amazes me how wherever you go, 10-20% of a population controls the other 80-90%. Part of that is that our free souls it is most difficult to live with causing deadly force. In this link, it appears that for those "times" it was necessary or we in America would not be free.


Cultivate your seeds of freedom. They will grow. Not over night but gradually and citizens against your cause will gradually see how beautiful the seeds are when they are in full bloom.


Rose, shut up. You are a person promoting yourself.


Freedom and Peace to our Iranian brothers and Sisters.


"It is in the depths of our despair that our character is built" (my mother:)

http://www.ushistory.org/DECLARATION/revwartimeline.htm

The man or woman "in the mirror" / July 8, 2009 2:51 AM

Thank you jc butte for a thought provoking composition. I concur; there needs to be a devised document outlining the principles of governance and the goals of the liberation movement. I am of the persuasion that, considering the utter failure of the theocratic system in our country (which I did support steadfastly in distant past), we need to evoke the ideology, principles, and doctrine which has glorified our nation at different eras in history. My feeling is, once such hindsight is utilized in earnest, the populace will realize the term 'Islamic Republic' is an oxymoron.

Iran is the birthplace of human rights, and Iranians are proud and patriotic children of Cyrus the Great. The system at the helm in our capitol today is not in any way, shape, or form patriotic. Iran today is ruled by a mob that is a defacto occupying entity, thus our ancestral soil is under a brutal occupation. It is only through subscribing to this reality that we can carve a unified path toward victory.

Iran is a religious nation, but in the past 3 decades spirituality has been hijacked by those whose demeanor is flagrantly contrary to beliefs and teachings of the faith. Iran of the future (God willing very near future) will be one in which religion, spirituality, and faith will play constructive and positive roles in a truly free society. Iran of the future will be a haven for all faiths and creeds, and the measure of patriotism will be the love one bears for Persian soil and the reverence for a compatriot.

Farshad / July 8, 2009 3:28 AM

Whenever I read comments by people like JC, however well-intentioned they are, I have to worry about how Iranians, if they're reading it, are likely to respond. Sometimes, we Americans get so high off of our own self-satisfaction living in The Greatest Country On Earth that we forget others may have their own idea of what works best for them. Has it ever occurred to him that quite a few people both inside and outside the Green Wave might actually WANT to live under Islamic rule, and actually DON'T feel an American system of democracy suits them? They certainly don't want an iron-fisted dictatorship - who does? - but I'm guessing Iranians would define their ideal society quite differently from Americans - which is as it should be.


The only way I would ever "intervene" into this whole process is doing whatever I could to prevent brave and principled people from being ground into dust by thugs. But I guess I just can't help feeling like that.


No doubt, this is going to be a long, painful struggle, and there will be plenty of people on the outside hoping they can benefit from whichever outcome prevails. I would only say that tyrants rejoice when their opponents feel demoralized and isolated from the rest of the world. The fact that others, even your "enemies," can believe in your struggle should be a source of strength. It's all one big human struggle against tyranny, and when one group of people wins, we all do.

Impboy / July 8, 2009 4:22 AM

There are far too many of us who have had a boiling anger growing up inside of us, eating up our very souls, yet we quell this anger for there is no other solution, for there is naught we can do other then stand in the streets and yell prayers and "death to dictator" chants. But that is no solution for the long run, it is in no way a road to finding our Free Iran, and that in the end is what we yearn for. We have sat by idly long enough, we have done nothing but sit for more than two decades, and now is the time to stand, and I don't speak of standing in the streets against the Basij, to get murdered and bloodied, no, I speak of a true stand, a stand against tyranny and abuse, a stand against the rights we never had, and a stand for the rights we as a people must have.


As it was said in the article above, we have always had accidental leaders, we have had men who despite being strong, control no real power or loyalty between the people. We do not follow musavi because he is a very intelligent and strong leader, we follow him because he is there and is trying his best to help us. I am not in any way trying to insult this great man, all I am saying is that we need a true leader, like Khomeini. Many of the young generations might find this man to be the root of all their misfortune, yet this is in no way true. Khomeini was what Khamenei in many ways isn't, he cared for his people first and before all else, he was not a strict leader who forced people into doing things against their will, and if he were alive till this day, he would have spat on the face of all the so called Islamic leaders that we have in iran right now.


What I am trying very hard to say here is, we need a leader. We need a long-term goal and objective, and we need plans and strategies to achieve these goals. We cannot simply stand in the streets and spew out our anger, no, we must all unite and stand against the true nature of our distress and rage, only then may we truly hope for our much awaited freedom.


Let us all pray and hope that this leader will be found, and our country shall be free once more.


-M.E.

M.E. / July 8, 2009 5:43 AM

Great Text, hang in there. Tyranny does not usually go quietly.

atlatl2 / July 8, 2009 5:49 AM

The people in the free world hear you, and are with you. You have our support to help free the people of Iran from tyranny.

nomoredespots / July 8, 2009 5:51 AM

Just keep the flame of hope going friends. Changes will come some day, and there are support and friends outside Iran as well. There are those who couldn't stay family and friends, and those who can't tolerate dictatory regimes. There are a lot of people that would like the current leadership of Iran gone 4ever.

Henrik / July 8, 2009 6:16 AM

I agree with jc that in order to succeed, a revolution needs a clear scope. An alternative to the current system needs to be drafted to provide a clear vision of what is being fought for, not just against. I'm sure there are plenty of people on the sidelines who would be more willing to join the struggle if only they had a vision of its positive outcome. I would disagree, though, with the statement that Islam itself creates a social and individual dictatorship. Any religion, when empowered by the state to enforce its archaic "laws", can have that effect, not just Islam. That's why it's important to have a secular legal system, free of religious influence.


In any case, the movement will not get far without growing in number of active participants, and that can only happen through a well organized information campaign. Even if it's true that the majority of Iranians are unhappy with the current system, it's painfully obvious that most are too fearful to openly dissent. That's why at this point the Revolutionaries need to work hard to convince those people that the risk is worth the reward. The drafting and widespread distribution of a document outlining the rights being fought for is crucial at this point, and I would suggest starting with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for inspiration.


Furthermore, since Khamenei has made it clear that basic inalienable human rights and the Islamic Republic cannot coexist, any illusion of reform within the current system should be discredited. The people sitting on the sidelines hoping that the next elections will bring a turn for the better must be made aware that this will never happen under this Regime, and that every minute they wait, the Regime only gains strength.


Another consideration that needs to be made is that having lived through a violent revolution in recent memory, many Iranians, especially of the previous generations, may be fearful not only of the current regime's crackdowns, but also of the violence and bloodshed that would accompany and follow a new revolution. These fears need to be addressed. It must be made very clear that the human rights being fought for will apply to everybody, and there will be no retaliatory cycles of violence.


Of course, the Revolutionaries must also lay out a plan for how the country will be governed once the current regime is overthrown. To many, the thought of anarchy and chaos is much more frightening than a repressive dictatorship.


All of this just to start off with. There is a lot of hard work to be done, and most of it not on the streets. Of course forms of protest must continue, like the shouts of Allah Akbar from the rooftops at night, but I see no point in losing the brave few to Basij beatings before a clear plan is set forth, and a more general consensus for action is reached among the people.


P.S. Azar is right, Rose's comment is completely self-serving and she should be ashamed for taking advantage of the events in Iran for self promotion. I wouldn't go so far as deleting it, though. Freedom of speech means even batsh*t crazy conspiracy theorists seeking to get rich off of the desperation of others get their say, and the rest of us can respond as we please.

ItalyOut / July 8, 2009 7:52 AM

I have started to take down some of the more ludicrous and inflammatory comments. Some will slip by. I don't always have time to read them before publishing.

tehranbureau / July 8, 2009 10:05 AM

@teheranbureau,

In the past other groups of students have faced the same predicament, one of those groups has written a couple of leaflets. Perhaps those will provide you with some inspiration.

http://www.whiterosesociety.org/WRS_pamphlets_home.html

Weisse Rose / July 8, 2009 12:54 PM

My heart bleeds for the people of Iran. I am sad that you are beaten and killed by your government for standing up for what you believe in.

Beth / July 8, 2009 12:56 PM

Just to add to what Farshad said, the Cyrus cylinder of Cyrus the Great is believed to be the world's first declaration of the rights of Man.

DDD / July 8, 2009 1:17 PM

To the above commentors, thanks. I would like to offer a bit of clarification. Yes, I am American. Yes, I agree that many foreigners know more about America than Americans do about foreign lands, including that foreign land known as the United States.


I believe the American revolution wasn't perfect. It did not abolish slavery. It did not grant universal allodial property rights, but instead granted the state the power of eminent domain, and it's been all downhill since then.


But I do believe the US can be a model for Iran. The US constitution and federalist model would be well suited to a large and diverse country such as Iran. Convert the provinces into states. Apportion the oil wealth to the states. Have a weak central government that guarantees individual rights and defines narrow powers to it. Just add one final amendment to its' bill of rights, which says "and we mean it."


Then don't make the same mistakes we have, or two hundred years later you'll have to go through the whole thing again, as we need to do, should this generation of americans find anything approaching the courage in the face of tyranny that the Iranian people are demonstrating.

jc butte / July 8, 2009 6:06 PM

The way I see it, we've never had a successful uprising because we've never had a collective group of Iranians who were willing to stand up against the regime. On June 13th that changed. For the first time in 30 years Iranians from all walks of life took to the streets in protest. This was the first step.


The problem (as many of you point out) is that even if we were to successfully remove this regime what next? Not only is there no viable alternative, but there are too many self serving organizations waiting for an opportunity to get their hooks into Iran. Between the Mojahedin, the Pahlavi Dynasty, and the many many other groups out there Iran is probably doomed to face an even mightier foe if this regime falls (at least that seems to be the trend, since the Shah as evil as he was is still a saint compared to the Islamic Iran).


So we really face two major issues here. First, how to do topple this regime. A regime that responds with bruit force and violence at every opportunity. We can respond with flowers, but lets face the facts here people... non-violent uprisings (as those seen by way of Ghandi and MLK) are only effective if the regime you are rising up against has some shred of humanity. When there is no humanity, no amount of peaceful protest will appeal to the emotion. Now peaceful protests may catch the attention of the outside world, but what good is that? The UN is effectively worthless (I give the UN a vote of NO CONFIDENCE), and individual nations will not respond because it is not in their interest to do so (this includes the US). Many nations have economic ties with Iran, and other nations stand to profit from the sale of weapons to neighboring countries who fear the infamous Islamic Regime (HELLO US & RUSSIA WE KNOW THE TRUTH).


The only way to topple this regime then is by force. Now I know what some of you are thinking. This will lead to more bloodshed. But what you fail to realize is that blood is spilled every day in Iran. Not to mention how much longer can Iranians go on "living" (I use that term loosely) under such pressures? What the people of Iran need to do is finish the revolution that was started in 1979. They need to take up arms, and fight the regime. Such actions couples with economic strategies (boycotts, and strikes), and the outside world's unwillingness to recognize the current regime will eventually lead to the downfall of this regime. It is a long and arduous process, but it is the ONLY way.


We then need to change the name of the country back to IRAN, remove the islamic emblems from the flag, and hold a new and valid election under a new (not revised) constitution. Where do we get this constitution you might ask? Well, we had one when Mossadegh was prime minister. We can start there, and build on that.


I think what Mousavi is doing with creating a new political party is a good start. This political party will gain momentum if the "vulture groups" I mentioned above drop their ideologies and join the movement for regime change. Some of those groups are well armed and funded (Mojahedin). They could actually be of great use to this movement if they could appeal to the Iranian people more.


Well, that's my two cents... and maybe a couple of quarters and a dollar coin as well.

Daryoosh / July 8, 2009 9:33 PM

I am a middle age Iranian that was a college student at the time of revolution. The fundumental question that had divided Iranians had been, "Does the Islamic Regime have the capacity to reform itself?" . Depending on how you answer this question, you will behave differently. I have always believed this regime does not have the capacity of reform. Although, I have to admit that have not been all that successful to convince the rest. In fact I was amazed how much the younger generation believes in this regime. How successful the "reformers" have been in hiding the true face of this regime. But Iran has now completly changed. I think most Iranians feel this regime can not be reformed. We cannot trust this regime to perform an honest election. This regime has a flawed Laws which is not even followed by the regime itself.

It was so difficult to argue these simple statements in the past 30 years. But it is no more. They are "Obvious".

I am too old for another revolution, however the young generation has finally arrived. Leaders will emerge once people had cleared their heads and know Wat they actually want.

shahin / July 8, 2009 9:51 PM

Shahin, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but nobody is thinking of a revolution. In fact, I'm hoping that my generation will be a lot smarter than the last one who bestowed us the IRI with their idiocy.


This is not about whether the IRI can reform ITSELF but whether WE can reform IT.


THAT is the path my generation has chosen, and that is why the street fighting has stopped! We need time to sit back and evaluate the mess our fathers made and think of a long-term plan.


I don't know what that will be ... but it will most certainly not include another bloody revolution.


Even if our fathers may be hoping for one.

Pedestrian / July 8, 2009 10:14 PM

Daryoosh, excellent post. I agree with everything you wrote.


Shahin, you and I must be the same age. I was a college student from 1975-1980. I knew many Iranians who had scholarships from the Iran gov't to study in the US and thus had an interest and somewhat of an understanding of the revolution. Like them I was sickened when it became Islamic, instead of Republican.


Pedestrian, I think you are mistaken. The regime cannot be reformed, if for no other reason than that those who have power will not relinquish it. It amazes me that anyone in Iran would even think it worthy of reform, but I am a foreigner so there is doubtless much I don't understand.


Very interesting discussion regardless. One of the best I have yet seen on current events.

jc butte / July 8, 2009 10:50 PM

Pedestrian,


I am an Iranian who was against shah but was never for Khomanei or islamic government. I saw its ugly face in summer of 79 when hezbolahis started their crack down & was in streets of tehran facing them like you were last week. I respect your take and your desire not to have "another bloody revolution". BUT the proplem is your path of wanting to "reform IRI" could be as big of mistake if not bigger than brining in mullahs after the 79. Their idealogy does not respect your rights to freedom in any shape or form. No matter how much they mask it, this whole thing must run as a dictatorship. As you've seen, any time there is a movement towards freedom they will meet it with deadly force. That's who they are. They can NOT be reformed because freedom is completly against their belief system. It remains to be seen and there will be many factors involved but if your generation's choice will in fact be what you mentioned I really don't see any way to freedom for Iran. This regime is rotten from the inside and it does require force to bring it down. Unfortunatly that means many more people getting hurt. That is the choice your generation needs to make. Live under a tyranny or sacrafice precious life for freedom.

mardekan / July 9, 2009 12:09 AM

Shahin - I agree with you. I believe this regime is by definition incapable of reform. Any modifications made to the current regime, if they are significant, will in effect signal the end of the current regime and the beginning of a new system. Now if Pedestrian is right and the new generation does not want a revolution, than I suspect the regime change will have to come in a softer format (hence the push for the "velvet revolution").


Pedestrian - I hope you do not blame the generation before you for the current regime, as they did not want this regime. They wanted the removal of the Shah and a democratic system put in place. That is in fact how the new government in Iran started in 1979-1980. It was in 1980 that the Islamic Republic suddenly grabbed hold of the nation and that is when everything changed. So remember that you are simply carrying on a 30 year struggle for freedom. That struggle never came to resolve. It is now up to your generation to achieve closure.


By the way, I am 33 years-old myself, so I am in between the generations. I remember the revolution. I remember the chants on the roof tops in 1979. I was young, but I remember.

Daryoosh / July 9, 2009 12:12 AM

You say: "A generation of young people ... have been severely damaged both mentally and some physically by recent events."


True. Only way they can overcome this hurt, and all the hurt and humiliation of these years, is to fight back. You lay down now and you'll be a broken soul forever. An old Persian saying: "if you are destined to lay in the grave, laying in bed is not doable anymore.

No turning back now.


By the way, I do not agree with your making monsters out of security forces, no matter how poetically. They are scared beyond your imagination. They fear our numbers more than we fear their guns.

manesh / July 9, 2009 12:25 AM

Pedesterian,

The capacity of any regime for reform is independent of our WILL. It is part of its nature. Example of systems that can reform themselves: United States! It has many problems, but it is reformable. Civil Right movement in America is an example of reform movement. Legislation and Court Rulings has come out of this reform movement. Today an African-American is the President of this country because of this reform movement.

Example of systems that don't have capacity for reform: Soviet Union! Any minor openning turns into a great treat for the entire system and it finally collapes on its own weight. The Clerical regime in Iran doesn't have the capacity for reform. It has two paths:

1-Step back and let the people choose. It will collapse if they choose this path. (with less bloodshed).

2-It will brutalize its own people and confront the rest of the world. It seems to have chosen this path. This will lead to radicalization of people. It is only natural (independent of your WILL).

By the way, demonstrations have stopped because people have been beaten, Not because they are pondering whether or not they want to have another revolution again!

shahin / July 9, 2009 6:02 AM

A Letter to the Iranian People


My Fellow Iranians:


For the past thirty years, those of us whose love for the "true Iran" and the Persian heritage has remained free of stains inflicted upon our souls by the descendants of the Arab conquers of the Arabian Peninsula, have witnessed the depletion of our treasury, the destruction our culture, and the murdering of our youth by the followers of an ideology who cares very little or none for human dignity. Just as their master deceiver (Khomeini) filled the naive and thirsty minds and hearts of the Iranians with lies and promises of an "Islamic Republic", human rights and respect, and economic equality, his pupils Khamenei, Rafsanjani, Khatami, and Ahmadinejad, have proudly fulfilled his dream of deceiving the Iranian people into believing that Islam and democracy can actually coexist. He must be dancing in his grave with the result of the so called Presidential election, and could not be any prouder of his legacy of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

With 1.2 billion believers, in 44 of the 194 countries in the world, Islam is the second largest faith. Ironically, since the founding of this religion nearly a millennium and a half ago, not one of these countries has been able to establish, promote, and nurture a political system that would even slightly resemble a democracy. More importantly, this "dark age" belief whose roots are so deeply embedded in the nomadic tribal traditions of the Bedouins of North African and the Arabian Peninsula is inherently incapable of granting individual freedom to its people. The recent Arab conquers of Iran, following the tradition of their ancestors, without any regard to the human dignity of the Iranian people, have continued the path (set forth by their master deceiver) of destruction of Iran and its cultural heritage. Iran meant nothing to Khomeini, nor does it to any of his pupils. Ahmadinejad, having just stolen the presidential election from his rival (Mousavi, the "accidental leader" of the movement) is the poster child of this barbaric regime whose thirst for power has resulted in the importation of commanders of the Lebanese Hezballah to quash the freedom movement in Iran and to kill our Nedas. What we are witnessing in Iran right now is nothing short of what our ancestors endured at the hands of Omar and his thugs. The killing of the innocent freedom seekers in Iran today is no different than the annihilation of the entire population of Iranian towns and villages by the Arab armies nearly a thousand and a half ago. Words spoken by the head of the Revolutionary Guards ("we will crush the movement") are the words uttered by Omar at the eve of invasion of Iran. The taking of the wounded from the hospitals today is the repeat of the public display of the bodies of the brave Persians who refused to live under the oppression of the Arabs yesterday. Just as a leopard is incapable of changing its spots, so is the nature of this brutality. The Arab conquerors, the Mongols, the Nazis, the Khmer Rouge, the Serbian nationalists, and the Islamic Republic of Iran all have the same spots. Many times in the past, they have appeared in different locations, but their presences have resulted in the same agony, despair, destruction, and human suffering. Omar, Genghis Kahn, Hitler, pol pot, Milosevich, Khomeini, Khamenei, and Ahmadinejad, are the children of Cain whose hunger for power drove him to madness and the slaying of his own blood. Streets and the back alleys of Iran today are filled with the cries of ghosts of innocent freedom seekers of the ancient Iran, the Jewish Ghettos of the Nazi Germany, Kosovo, Neda and her likes, and every soul whose voice was once silenced by oppression. The events of the past few weeks in Iran have revealed the true nature of the Iranian regime to the world. The EU and the U.S. can no longer claim their neutrality. These countries must seize their dealings with a regime whose future is as clear as the printed history of their own pasts. The typical "lip service" to the Iranian people is no longer the option. The wait and see attitude is not acceptable. We owe it to our fallen heroes to carry their legacy until total freedom from this oppressed ideology is achieved. We must continue to engage others in this discussion. This is our fight, but it is a fight in which others much at stake. We will continue to fight against the butchers of Iran with our pens and our voices until the day when the world will once again recognize that the motto of Iran is Good Thoughts, Good Words and, Good Deeds.


Forever Iran


Masood Nazemzadeh

Massod Nazemzadeh / July 9, 2009 8:22 AM

Masood,

"The Arab conquerors, the Mongols, the Nazis, the Khmer Rouge, the Serbian nationalists, and the Islamic Republic of Iran all have the same spots."


You left out the Americans - why? Could it be that you are really an American spy dedicated to the overthrow of Iran and the institution of American Imperialism in Iran.


You show your true colors Masood - an agent of the evil America.


Forever Iran -- Death to America

Radical Guy / July 9, 2009 11:52 AM

Peace from Canada


May less blood be shed


I have no clue who is honest in your country but its sad to see young people die, even for noble causes.


Here is west we try keep religion separate from law because we have found evil ppl love using the name of God to suit their interests.

ricky / July 11, 2009 11:09 AM

Massod Nazemzadeh, Well said. You are a very intelligent and educated man.

Radical Guy, You ignorant goat hearder. No intelligence at all. Raised on hate and anger and probably does not even know why. Who here really shows their true colors ?

gm / July 13, 2009 10:28 AM

There are still many Americans who lived through both the Ant-Vietnam War protests and the Civil rights campaign of the 1960s and early 1970s, who can relate to the condition of Iran's young protesters. Americans have grown forgetful and assume it doesn't happen here, but it does. Let them count the dead on blanket hill at Kent State University and watch thos being beaten by police using clubs at the 1968 democratic convention in Chicago.

The right to peaceful protest is universal. Those of us who believe in the necessity of peaceful dialogue about vital issues know that power protects itself first using the totally discredited means argument to deny light from falling on their activities. If the Iranian student protesters are like us a Weather Underground look-a-like will emerge to fight the IRI's tyrannical rulers with fire

Richard Kadas / July 13, 2009 4:06 PM

To The Tehran-Bureau:


It is difficult to say what exactly happened in the election of June 12. Most in the West and those "reformers" in Iran argue that the large turnout surely means there was fraud because why would so many come out to vote but to protest. In fact, it could be that the masses, and remember most people in Iran are still of the lower class, came out to support someone they believe looks out for them for the first in decades. Maybe the majority, who are devout Shiites and poor, see in Ahmedinejad, a brave and tough leader who stands up to the secular West and also makes their personal lives better through the programs the President created to help them. Intellectuals, the rich of North Tehran, and westernized students may make up a substantial group, but it does not mean they make up the majority. The majority in Iran is made up of religious people, the lower class, workers, the middle class, and military and security related individuals. Assuming Ahmedinejad lost the middle class and a majority of the Westernized youth and the rich that does not mean he lost the election. He still could have won by landslide.

Ultimately this is a battle between secularists and religious. Neither side is wrong, they just have a very different belief system.

peter costa / July 16, 2009 7:26 PM