A Guide For The Puzzled In The Affairs of Iran
Originally published in Arabic on 06-08-2006
Translated by Mohammad Dandan
In the Arabic language, there are two types of verbs; transitive and intransitive. The intransitive verb needs only a subject. You say, “Mohammad rose”, “Ali Stood up”, “Ossmaan shouted”. The transitive verb requires an object. You say “Mubarak murdered the Egyptians”. The verb here is “murdered”, and the subject is “Mubarak”, that is President Hosni Mubarak, and the object is “The Egyptians”. You say also “Mubarak plundered Egypt’s wealth”. The verb is plundered, the subject is Mubarak, and the object is the wealth, possessed by Egyptians, but plundered by Mubarak. Along the same format of transitive verbs, you say, “Mubarak corrupted the Egyptian political life”, “Mubarak wasted Egyptians’ dreams”, “Mubarak drowned Egypt in debts” and “Mubarak forged the elections”…etc….
Every verb requires a subject; otherwise it would not be a verb. In the Arabic language, the subject could be either known or unknown, meaning you do not mention his name because, either you do not know him or because you are afraid to mention it. So if you were in Egypt surrounded by State Security Officers, you would say “Egypt’s wealth WAS plundered”. The subject could be very well known, like the previous examples, or could be a prominent pronoun, like when you say “They plundered Egypt”. The subject here is “They”, meaning Mubarak family, his aids and the leadership of his governing party. Or the subject might be a hidden pronoun like “He had plundered Egypt”, the hidden pronoun or subject here is “HE”, meaning Hosni Mubarak.
Language is an evolving “being”, if we can borrow this term, which conveys messages about, and describes people, their actions and modes of thinking. Sometimes it describes the types of policies followed by some states. There are intransitive states (non-aggressive) concerned with improving their economies, raising their inhabitants’ standard of living, ensuring their well being and protecting themselves. Because they are intransitive (non-aggressive) states, usually they are peaceful. You will find this type in most of nowadays Europe excluding England. And there are other transitive states (aggressive), which live by the logic of force alone, disregarding justice. Those transitive (aggressive) states are of two types; a dictatorial type that practices its aggression upon its own people first, then outside its boundaries, given the opportunity. Another type is a liberal democratic which because of arrogance of power, it interferes in the affairs of others. Prime example is America under the leadership of the Neo Conservatives. It is noble of Super Powers to interfere to enforce human rights and to help the oppressed under tyrannical regimes, this is considered mutual cooperation in spreading what is good and beneficial, democracy, justice and lofty principles in our small universal village. Yet, for America to invade Iraq to spread democracy, at the same time that its allies in the Middle East are the worst of oppressors, she will be committing a grave mistake, the cost of which will be borne by its name, its reputation, its history and its value system. As a Super Power, there are moral obligations she has to uphold.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Neo Conservatives in America had to find a replacement enemy for them to contend with. Instead of them creating this new enemy, the theocratic regime ruling in Iran at that time, offered the Neo Cons. a golden opportunity by starting this feud through occupying the American embassy in Tehran, thereby contradicting all values, Islamic, human and legal, serving the Neo Cons. the best favor they could have hoped for. And that is how enmity started between two (Transitive) states, one the sole remaining Super Power, the other belongs to the third world, determined to spread its brand of Shiite Islam throughout the Muslim world.
By doing so, as if it was putting to practice an old Egyptian proverb since the Memluk period… (Going astray…yet insisting upon leading the prayers…By God this is pitiful)
Iran belongs to the transitive(Aggressor ) dictatorship
This type in turn is divided into two kinds, a kind that restricts its injustice and aggression to its own people, appearing to outsiders as peaceful, yet submissive and obedient to Super Powers. To this kind belong most if not all oppressive Arab regimes, in the forefront is Mubarak’s regime and Al Basheer’s in Sudan, who shoved his buddy At-Turaabi in jail, after burying his concept of spreading Sudanese Wahhabism throughout the Muslim world. The other kind of this specimen is the dictatorial kind, who in addition to suppressing his own people; he tries it on outsiders and interferes in their internal affairs under different guises: religious, like exporting the Islamic revolution (Iran), creed reforms (Saudi Arabia), Baathist, Arab nationalistic (like Saddam with Kuwait and Al- Assad, the father and the son with Lebanon), or propagandized, arabized, revolutionized, socialized, greenishized, populist-sized, grandiose-sized, Africanized, whatever-sized , as Qaddafi, Wonder of his Times, had us all entertained .
The oil upheaval, which came unexpectedly on the scene, was the common denominator among all those repressive (transitive) regimes, inside and outside its boundaries, and instead of using this bounty to improve their citizenry’s standard of living, they wasted that wealth in wars, corruption and conspiracy, and because of them, the Middle East became front page news in the world, not in accomplishments, progress or acts of charity, rather in evilness, disgrace, murder, bombardment, destruction, kidnapping, ransoms, massacres and famines.
Iran, and by that, we always mean the theocracy, stands out as a unique model among those transgressing dictatorial regimes, internally and externally. It claims that they are defending the oppressed Shiite throughout the Sunnite dominated Muslim world, yet it persecutes the minority Sunnite within Iran, especially the Arabs in the regions that once was Arabic, but was annexed at the turn of the last century. Even in its assistance to Arab political and religious organizations, to carry out its aggressive plots, it does not fully trust those movements, either for ethnic differences or sectarian ones. As a consequence to their policies, the Shiite Muslims, within the vast Sunnite Muslim Ocean, suffer a great deal from their oppressive regimes and from the Wahabi thought at the same time.
Iran, after its Khomenite revolution, did not do much for the poor and dispossessed, as in any other revolution, the new revolutionaries occupied the dwellings of those oppressors who preceded them, and the wealth was diverted to the pockets of the new saviors, while poor Iranians remained wrapped in black tatters in wait for the promised Mahdi (awaited Savior) to bring them the impossible justice. In the shadow of a lame democracy, the Iranians expressed their discontent with the elites’ corruption, by electing a simple man who camouflages the flimsiness of his experience with sectarian and political extremism, and that is how Ahmadinijad came to power, who does not know the difference between responsible political statements and wisecracks and jokes exchanged between commoners at coffee shops and clubs. President Nijad caused quite a stir of worldwide protests with his uncalled for statements that caused the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs to explain ,re interpret and sometimes, indirectly apologize for. Then came the straw that broke the camel back, when he positioned Iran in a confrontation with the international community over his insistence on uranium enrichment and developing Iran’s nuclear program.
The West thinks that nuclear power should not fall in the hands of a dictator, who rules by himself with no laws and regulations to abide by. A dictator who finds no one to stand up to him, in case of a decision which might affect and literally wipe out millions. An oppressor as such, can always disdain the lives of millions of his own people and others. He can, if he posses nuclear power, easily use it, as he easily uses his military and police force in quelling any opposition, in killing thousands of his people and in fomenting and starting wars with others. Saddam used poisonous gas in extinguishing the lives of tens of thousands of innocent peaceful Iraqi farmers. And Khomeini killed, or using revolutionary terms, sent to heaven, tens of thousands of young Iranians in the war with Iraq, he put them in front of regular units, to clear with their bodies mine fields. They rushed to those suicide missions, egged on by his fatwas promising them paradise. In a letter that instilled fear in the West, Khomeini wrote Carter, that we love death more than you love life.
This utter disregard for sanctity of human life is the culture of the Eastern tyrant, his intellectual provision and historical cultural heritage, that is why, he would not have any qualms about using the nuclear power if he had access to it, and that is why every one of them, tyrannical aggressors, aspiring to extend their sphere of influence internally and externally, vow to acquire that power, for no reason except to duel with those Superpowers that possess nuclear capabilities but do not use, for fear of nuclear retaliation, and because of restrictions set by its people and their representatives, and because of that sense of responsibility towards humanity. Since Hiroshima, America never used, nor any other state, used nuclear power, content to just improve upon it to deter others from launching an offence.
Israel which belongs to western culture and its democratic system, maintains a humble nuclear arsenal for defensive reasons. The West understands the reasons and motives behind Israel’s need for such a move. Security is the key to Israeli psyche. Because of historical factors (The Israelis, despite their low numbers, were the most among others, subjected to persecution and slaughter throughout history), and because of present reasons, for there are many a voice calling for their extermination, being a minority surrounded by large numbers of Arabs and Muslims who hate and despise them, the West recognizes the importance of a nuclear bomb for Israel, to deter those Arab tyrants from even thinking of overcoming Israel, if given the opportunity, and to induce them to acknowledge its right to exist. And finally, the West is certain that Israel will never use the nuclear option unless its very existence is threatened, otherwise Israel can and have defended itself using the same weapon that the Arabs have. The West also recognizes that Israel’s use of nuclear power will be disastrous even for Israel itself, because of its small surface area and because of the intertwining of its border with neighboring countries. That is the reason the West allows Israel to acquire nuclear power and prevents the other dictatorships from doing the same.
You might agree with the West in this regard or you might not, you might accuse this West of measuring with two sets of measures, but Iran with its nuclear policy, is the one that gives credence to the West’s argument.
The important question here is what is the motive for Iran to arm itself with nuclear power? She does not have enemy occupying parts of her land; rather it is Iran who is occupying Arab islands, its Arab neighbors are weaker than to demand their rights, they rush for its approval and not to anger her. Iran’s neighbors are not in a state of hostility with her. America’s dilemma in Iraq strengthened Iran; the removal of Saddam added a new magnitude she did not dream of before. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the creation of those republics with Islamic ties which are reviving their Islamic roots, added a new depth for Iran she can move about within its perimeter peacefully and politically for its advantage. Russia, with all its nuclear capabilities, is the friendliest among Iran’s friends. All geographical and political factors enable Iran to accomplish peacefully and easily all objectives; besides, Iranian oil allows her to extend its political influence as far as China and Japan eastward and Europe westward.
Therefore, Iran does not need nuclear power to defend itself against a lurking enemy ready to pounce on her; rather it needs it to disturb and annoy the “Greatest Devil”, America and its western allies, according to that age old conviction whereby the world is divided into two camps, the abode of faith or peace, and the abode of disbelief or war. Khomeini himself started this war by occupying the American embassy in Tehran, and by taking unilateral measures to foment this conflict since the breakout of the Iranian religious revolution in 1979.
It is normal for the West to feel threatened by the Iranian nucl">What the Iranian state is doing now, the Venerable Colonel Qaddafi of Libya tried in earnest and vigorously, although he was in no state of war with anyone, except that he put himself and his country in a state of war with everybody. He wanted the nuclear bomb as a medal to adorn his chest on the Arab and African level, and to tease the envious among the Arab leaders and to scare them when attending summit meetings. So when Brother Saddam Hussein was toppled and put in a cage for the world to see, the Venerable Colonel backed off, repented and came to his senses seeking pardon and forgiveness and declared surrender to Uncle Sam.
Nijad the Iranian proved Qaddafi to be better than him, since Qaddafi had some leftover sense, made him back off before it was too late .But Nijad the Iranian kept the world at bay with his tactics, instead of taking advantage of the situation in Iraq peacefully and politically to garner local and regional gains .The whole world now is against Iran who forfeited the compulsory duty and held on to the impossible, or at least to the supererogatory, non-compulsory.
Before hanging on and being dragged by these nuclear dreams, did the Iranian regime fulfill or accomplish a scientific, economic and social renaissance for the country and its people? Did it utilize its petroleum wealth? Did it take advantage of its agricultural, industrial and mineral output? It is of higher importance for the regime to uplift, to upgrade, to advance the country and its people by completely eliminating poverty, ignorance and disease, and to give every Iranian the opportunity to soar inside and outside his country, after we accomplish those lofty goals, we can turn to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, keeping in mind that, the advanced world started to abandon using it for the dangers associated with it, and the difficulty in getting rid of its waste, and the hardship in maintaining its reactors.
Regrettably, the periodic quakes that afflict Iran, exposes the other Iran to the world, where poor condition villages, disintegrating homes, prevailing poverty and local authorities who always get caught off guard with those earthquakes and never prepares for them, reek havoc on thousands of victims every time it happens because of limited capabilities.
Here we are forced, regrettably again, to pose another question, How can a backward country like that be determined to enter the nuclear club?
Here we are not only talking about human rights abuses, citizenship rights, inequity in distribution of wealth, the spread of poverty and disease, abuse of management, lack of transparency, the dominance of corruption and the sway of dictatorship, all the above is enjoyed by Iran and the Arab States together; but we are also talking about the absence of a certain scientific level and a technological culture that qualifies the Iranian Mentality to reach the desired nuclear level. This scientific and technological level is still far off for Iran, Pakistan and the rest of the Middle Eastern countries. This level is achieved step by step beginning with manufacturing locally an automobile engine all the way to the heights of scientific and technological advancement culminating with nuclear industry. By doing so, a country can recognize its dangers even in peaceful use, also for protection as a deterrent to prevent military aggression. It is a contemporary culture living the present, and working for the future, according to a secularist methodology that you cannot find, especially in Iran. Iran of today is still preoccupied with the murder of Al-Hussein in Karbala’ and what took place at Asseqeefa pledge of allegiance and at battle of Seffeen. It considers its religion is to back Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib against Abu Bekr, Omer, Othman and Mu’aaweya.To them, this is the basis of religion and life itself, not just a mere historical incident that went by. If your respectful self, got entangled with this past vanishing history, considered it to be a religion, a policy, a doctrine and the issue of today and tomorrow, you would not have enough time left to specialize in current scientific knowledge, including nuclear and atomic partition and its technology. If you messed around with atomic power, you would be like a child playing with live electric wires. There must be a scientific foundation, scientific methodology, and scientific culture that spread gradually through out the society by study and research, application and practice eventually leading to higher levels. This is what the West followed through its course of advancement for decades and for centuries. But this revolutionary jumping from manufacturing cart and bicycles to importing specialists and replacement parts to build a nuclear bomb or military vehicle, this will not create a scientific foundation. This “revolutionary skip and hop” in the scope of Technological knowledge is identical to the “revolutionary poverty” in the field of Economics .Iran and the Arabs, both are victims of those two types, poverty and jumping.
Finally…Perhaps what keeps the dream of reforming Iran alive and well; is the presence of some elite educated and enlightened Iranians, inside Iran and outside, leading in that effort is the Iranian Cinema and its excellence in international forums, at a time when the Egyptian Cinema, due to blessed (Mubarak), regress reached the abyss of decline.
In the movie (Children Of Heaven), the plot revolves around a boy and a girl, living with their parents in a small narrow room, in one of Tehran’s poor neighborhoods. The father is semi-unemployed, incapable of supporting his family. The boy took his little sister’s shoe to repair it, but he lost it. He was faced with a problem, for he could not tell his father, and his sister needed her only shoe to go to school. The solution was for him to give her his shoes to go to school ,waits for her to finish her class, gets his shoes and runs back to school late, subjecting himself to reproach for being late, never divulging the reason why. The sister found out that another girl in the school was wearing her shoes, so they followed the girl to retrieve her shoes; they found out that the girl lives with her blind father, a beggar. They went back embarrassed to ask for the shoes. The father takes his son along looking for work. Here, the brilliant director gives us glimpses about the other side of Tehran, its luxurious, splendid castles and its charming public parks. The boy enters a contest at school hoping to win the third prize; a pair of shoes. But because of his bad luck, he wins the first prize, a trophy; the boy did not even get the trophy, because the school principal kept it. The boy, the scholastically outstanding boy, lost all hope in getting the shoes. That was the end of the movie.
This wonderful, magnificent film representing Iranian Cinema, won prizes at Cannes film festival, for its simplicity, Sincerity and its human touch. It said plenty through its cinematic language without a single word in the script criticizing or blaming. He left it up to the viewer to say what the movie intended to say.
After watching the movie, I said to myself; wouldn’t it been better for president Nijadi to have bought a pair of shoes for the star of the movie, instead of the adventure of nuclear partition?
O my….. O my……What a pity…for a nation…to be the laughing stock of others….simply because of its ignorance.