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The Lingering U.S. Dilemma over Iraq..., and now Iran ?!

Author 8159
Message Rachel Eliasi-Kohan

The recent military, political and Congressional Accountability Office reports on Iraq and the recent congressional testimonies followed by the President's speech, justifying the continuation and expansion of the war, keeps the nation indecisively at a status quo, and as a result, in a precarious dichotomous quandary. The hastily ill-conceived de-Ba’athification of the early invasion era, that yielded most of the so called disgruntled insurgencies and violence, has now been replaced with re-Ba’athification and possible partitions that in essence, rewards the Saudi supported Sunni/Al-Quaida alliance that is responsible for the fatalities. Despite the dismal track record of the past five years which has cost the U.S. alone almost a trillion dollars, nearly a million lives including thousands of Americans, and six million Iraqi displaced refugees, and so long as we remain under the influential "special interest" third country lobbying groups in Washington and depend so heavily on oil, we must reluctantly accept the fact that the extended presence of our 100,000 military personnel and an additional several hundred thousand (no bidding and no law abiding), so called security contractors in Iraq, is a grave reality to grapple with for decades. The compliant American "sanitized and sensationalized" media that thrives on instantaneous ratings in its theatrical role-playing within the corporate conglomerates is not of much help but more of a problem as it continues playing the wrong end of the trumpet and beating the drum for waging yet another “pre-emptive” war, this time against Iran. In so doing, the media now cheers for President Bush’s faith based foreign policy doctrine that only employs the cowboy mentality of the old west, in much the same manner as trumpeted in the war against Iraq. Paradoxically, the congressional democratic majority, that are under more influence of the third country lobbying pressure, are in accord with the current administration on their staunch advocacy for waging war on Iran.

As an American with diverse Persian heritage (Judeo-Christian and Moslem with Zoroastrian traits) and like the unanimous majority of citizens of the U.S., Iran and Israel, I unequivocally oppose the current policies and rhetoric carried by all these governments. After having painfully witnessed the failure of both U.S. and Iran governments (and the concerns of Israel) involved, I have resolved in my mind how best one might proactively meet the needs and concerns of the people of both nations, the United States and Iran, to avoid another catastrophic war. In essence, the aspirations of both nations, as instilled in their constitutions and historical legacies, are essentially the same: To achieve a reasonably secure and peaceful life for every citizen. What both governments have not done or are failing to do, has increasingly undermined the basic natural and human rights of their constituencies. In the United States, habeas corpus and due process, as guaranteed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, have taken a regressive back seat to the hastily enacted post 9/11 Patriot Act and the zealous vigilance, surveillance and over-stretching of bureaucrats. There is, however, no indication to support the assertion that after instituting massive new infrastructures and wasting hundreds of billions of annual dollars that we are in any way safer. In Iran, the hopes of the Iranian people, who have struggled for home-grown socio-political and economic reforms, democracy and basic civil and human rights in the past 150 years, has, by and large, remained unfulfilled. While external hegemonies and threats against Iran are to be blamed in part for these shortcomings, there are also the internal powerhouses that thrive on exploiting outside interventions to their own ulterior motives thereby perpetuating nepotism, cronyism, injustices and human and minority (women, children, and ethnicity) rights violations.

As much as the 70 million Iranians yearn for the realization of their fundamental rights, and are displeased with the many aspects of Iran’s policies, nonetheless, they remain unanimously resolved in their staunch opposition to possible western hegemonic (military or economic) interventions against Iran. The four million Iranians in Diaspora, including the nearly one million Iranian-Americans-who have fled their homeland for fear of religious or socio-political persecution and as a result have paid dearly with their lives in the past thirty years-also express concerns and oppose invasion against Iran. The Iranians with a proud and culturally diverse nation, with a long glorious history several millennia in the making (despite having witnessed the lingering quagmires created in Afghanistan and Iraq), have remained pro-western, and also pro-American, even with the repeated U.S. meddling in, and rhetoric against their country’s policies since the 1950’s.

A novel mechanism might be a truly multi-jurisdictional comprehensive dialogue anchored on mutual respect and transparency, no pre-condition, and with full legal and peaceful participation and empowered leadership of the citizenry from both nations. Such a dialogue when carried out by ordinary citizens from all walks of life, including Americans of Iranian heritage and Iranians of American origin, would be a giant step toward re-establishing trust and confidence. The governments taking a back seat to such deliberations would then implement the recommendations of such a dialogue as a bilateral national people-to-people convention.

Deja vu all over again, those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it. As the “fear” factor of September 11, that has led to a myriad of “security” neocon industrial military complex, is subsiding, and our na’ivete is being replaced with reason, the informed Americans through the exercise of their voting franchise and paying taxes have begun asking the logical, nonetheless, challenging questions through grassroots tinkering to avoid revolution: Are we safer than September 11? Are we more credible as a Nation? Have we succeeded in instituting democracy in the Middle East? Have we sustained our own democracy as envisaged through constitution? Was it WMD or protection of human rights, or oil, which led invasion of Iraq? Have we reduced or expanded terrorism? Have we sufficiently tackled our domestic issues, namely healthcare, education, environment and natural resources, and sustainable economic development? How divided as a Nation are we and why?

Epitomizing, until such time that the United States critically reassesses the nation’s true objectives in Iraq and implements a genuine multi-jurisdictional political process by which American interests are synchronized with the aspirations of all Middle Eastern people for justice and peace, we Americans continue to sink further in the quagmire created in our “good” name. This has at its pinnacle the need for a maverick paradigm where the Shock Economic Doctrine, Military Industrial Complex, and an all out excessive consumer society, will give way to a saving nation strategy whereby efficiently benign by design responds to our technological needs and quality of life. The emerging national consensus supports the fact that after all, sustaining the super power status, in addition to military might and the proactive effective diplomacy requires recognition of other nations in their duly earned stature on plain filed. The American populace does not any longer give carte blanche to a powerhouse to commit wrong in their names. No more murder, torture, imprisonment of the innocents, violation of constitutional and human rights, infliction of pain and misery, and last but least the apprehension, anxiety and discriminations against soon to be one third of the Americans, naturalized or with strong immigration ties through (grand) parents on our watch. The Americans have now fully realized that the failed disastrous policy era of “Hitlerification” of a foreign political figurehead, in place since World War II, as the pre-requisites for de-humanization and subjugations of an entire nation is far over and obsolete. And last, by a loud and clear message to those profiteering war-mongers, neo-cons, lobbyists, and the so called out-sourced security and contracting firms, who collectively envisage troop redeployment to Iran as "face-saving" on Iraq: STOP THE NONSENSE. Stop expanding the corporate venture interests of the SELECT few. Hasn’t the nation paid painfully and dearly with lives, capital and loss of credibility for this ludicrous, self-centered agenda in Afghanistan and Iraq? As the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coalition Affairs Debra Cagan remarked, "In any case, I hate all Iranians," such reprehensively irresponsible rhetoric, as used by Saddam against Iranians and Israelis, can not any longer guide us for an effective foreign policy. In retrospect, however, we should be thankful of Cagan for having naively spoken her mind and the administrative doctrine out so blithely, as most administration officials would refrain from such blatant remarks, although they deep down feel and believe it in their “guts!” One can fool some people for sometime, but can’t fool them all, all the time. Let there be no doubt that the national conscience, through consciousness objectors to war and violence, and aggression and injustice, rising to an all time high, will prevent another catastrophe from happening in our names.


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Rachel Eliassi-Kohan is an American professor and thinker. Her cultural backgrounds, deeply rooted in her Persian heritage, is Jewish-Moslem-Christian-Zoroastrian. Her life-long aspiration is to envisage a just world where peace prevails for all (more...)
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The Lingering U.S. Dilemma over Iraq..., and now Iran ?!

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