Once again Mr. Zarrabi has assumed the duty of responding to my article. Once again this gallant gentleman has taken up the grave responsibility to enlighten young and na´ve patriots in the sophisticated ways of international politics. And on and on the trashing of Israel and America goes, while our nation continues to suffer under the tyranny of the stone-age theocrats of the Islamic Rpublic. It is interesting to note that of the seven different categories of outcomes of Dr. Sahimi's "Great Revolution" that I list in my article, including a savage war, devastated economy, a desperate nation of refugees, ruined international reputation, hopeless and immoral social relations, tyrannical leadership, arbitrary justice, and the merciless suppression of free speech and free expression, Mr. Zarrabi chooses to take issue with only one, dealing with my claim that our cities are filled with AIDS-infected prostitutes and junkies. Does this mean that he acknowledges the rest of them to be true? And if so, why quarrel over one that has become so apparent that even the regime's leadership has admitted to be a major social problem?
Mr. Zarrabi asks, rhetorically I'm sure, if I have ever gone to Iran to "interview and catalogue" any of the prostitutes and junkies. Well, I guess you got me there, Mr. Zarrabi. The answer is no, I have not catalogued any of them. But, in my frequent trips to Iran, I have observed two things very clearly. First, that the number of young women walking the streets at all odd hours of the night, along with cars filled with young men stopping in front of them to pick up what seems, even to my inexperienced eyes, to be prostitutes are noticeably increasing every year. Of course, I must admit that I never thought of stopping in front of any of the young ladies to ask them if they were infected with the AIDS virus. I didn't think that it would be in good taste, and never thought that I would need the documentation in my political debates with you. But, the problem has become so embarrassing to the "regime of faith" that some of their stone-age "thinkers" finally came up with an "innovative solution", and guess what Mr. Zarrabi. They proposed opening up whore houses in every major city to bring at least a certain measure of control and disease prevention to this ever increasing problem in the "nation of faith." The second piece of evidence of social decay that you cannot help but notice in Teheran is that the only billboards that are getting larger than the fading gigantic pictures of the "leader of the Islamic nation" and those of the martyrs of the 8-year war are the billboards with psychedelic images of how harmful and devastating drug use is to young lives. By the regime's own admission, there are at least 2.5 million known drug addicts in our major cities, with "ecstasy" as the hallucinogenic drug of choice among our youth.
The debate continues, and Mr. Zarrabi wonders how old I was when the "unimaginable bloodshed" took place in our nation. Well, I was almost twenty one, though I fail to see the relevance. What difference does that make? How old should I be, Mr. Zarrabi, to be horrified with atrocities? Twenty one is as good as any age to feel sorry for a nation that you love, to commit suicide in front of your eyes. And then I had another 24 years to see my country at war, politically isolated, economically devastated, and socially degraded. Is that old enough for you?
Mr. Zarrabi claims that my "views have always reflected Israel's interests and agendas." Well, what can I say? Maybe I have wised up and stopped letting the truth bother me, even if it is spoken by the Israelis. If Israel is against the tyrannical theocracy in Iran, I see no reason why I, or any other Iranian nationalist, should feel shame to agree. If Israel is against the development of nuclear weapons by the religious zealots who have hijacked our nation's security, then I assure you that they will find enthusiastic allies in me and a great majority of the Iranian people. Just visit the numerous internet web sites of the Iranian community. Among my favorites (aside from Payvand, of course) is one set up by the famous Iranian writer/historian, Masoud Behnoud. He was among those who advocated persistently giving chances to the liberal factions of the clergy. Although this true blue nationalist has still not completely broken down and admit it, but you can clearly see in his writings that his hopes are fading away and is slowly, but surely, giving up on his belief of ever achieving freedom by peaceful means in Iran. What is surprising even more is the reaction by the readers, mostly from Iran. More than ninety percent of their comments are plainly saying that they have given up on the reformist movement and will no longer stand for any kind of clerical rule, reformist or fundamentalist. They want secular democracy, and they want it now. A more extreme attitude, unfortunately, is reflected in Ebrahim Nabavi, the beloved Iranian satirist's comments . In his recent open letter to our figurehead President Khatami, Mr. Nabavi openly admits to looking forward to an invasion of his beloved country by the armed forces of the United States to bring an end to this suffocating tyranny. That's not all. Couple of months ago, right before the failed election of the municipalities, a letter signed by Batebi and Mohammadi, our imprisoned heroes, was smuggled out in which they demanded that the nation boycott the local elections and refuse to be manipulated by this farce any longer. There's no need to get into the detail of what Akbar Ganji believes. Just read his "Republican Manifesto". Are Batebi, Mohammadi, and Ganji reflecting the Israeli interests, too? Is Ebrahim Nabavi a mouthpiece of the Jerusalem Post? Is the majority of our nation who gave a resounding "NO" to the reformist and fundamentalist alike in the last elections all Zionist agents? So tell me Mr. Zarrabi, just whose views do you, Dr. Sahimi, and the rest of your friends think that you represent? The " . . . many scholars of Iranian and Middle Eastern studies, with much more historical knowledge, hands-on current experience, seniority and academic tenure, who disagree with Mr. Moshfegh"? Maybe so. Because, you certainly do not represent our nation and their yearning for democracy and freedom.
Mr. Zarrabi and his circle of "tenured professors" invite our people to be patient and slowly achieve their freedom by going through economic prosperity, first. I'd say hurray, but where is the beef? He claims the beef is missing because of the embargo imposed on us by the United States. But, the embargo by the United States is nothing like the economic strangulation that Mr. Zarrabi is claiming as the cause of our desperate economic conditions. The Europeans, the Japanese, the Koreans, the Russians, and the Chinese have always been willing to trade with us. It is the total incompetence of those nincompoops in our current leadership, who care more about lining their own pockets and wreaking havoc in the region and the world that has lead our nation to this disaster.
The Iranian people have patiently given more than enough chances to the "rational" factions of the clergy to achieve democracy calmly and peacefully. It may surprise you to know that I was among the very people who not only voted for our figurehead President TWICE, but encouraged everyone that I knew to do the same and strengthen the reform movement by our votes. It is not that our nation is impatient, it is just that they want to see progress toward freedom, not falling further behind and backsliding the way our gutless reformers have done for six long years. How many generations do they have to wait?
You know Mr. Zarrabi, I suppose when you are riding your well-tuned Harley in the beautiful highways of southern California it's not that difficult to invite those who are suffocating under the leadership of Seyyed Ali Khamenei to be patient. It is very easy for Dr. Sahimi, Dr. Meshkati, Dr. Zahedi, and the rest of these "tenured polfosols" to sit here in L.A. and Berkeley in their ivory towers, write their papers, trash the greatest democracy in the world while enjoying the freedoms that it guarantees for them, and at the same time invite our people to be patient. Dr. Aghajeri was sentenced to death for one-tenth of what Dr. Sahimi wrote in his ten-page article. Where was Dr. Sahimi when Dr. Aghajeri was sentenced to death? How come we didn't hear a peep out of him with half as much passion as he displays in his article trashing America and Israel? Ariel Sharon, as fascist as he is, has not been responsible for condemning Dr. Aghajeri to death. Where were all of you when Forouhars were carved up in their home? Where were you when Mohammad Jaafar Pouyandeh was strangled by a piece of rope and his body dumped in a back alley? Where is your article when just yesterday fifteen members of Nehzate' Azadi are condemned to long prison sentences? How much denial are you going to allow before admitting that addressing the Israeli-Palestenian conflict is not our national priority, and the enemies of our nation are not in Tel Aviv? How long?
I suggest, Mr. Zarrabi, that you and your friends take your heads out of your sand boxes and stop giving these wrong addresses to divert the attention of our intellectual community from our true enemies. I repeat, our true enemies do not reside in Tel Aviv; they do not live in Washington, London, Moscow, or Beijing; they are in Tehran, jailing our students and academia, murdering our national heroes, plundering and wasting our national wealth, ignoring our votes, and stifling our every expression of freedom.
About the author:
Mohsen Moshfegh was born in Tehran in 1958. He completed his Doctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering at UCLA in 1988. He lives and works in the Bay Area in a major construction firm.
Questionable Loyalties -By Kam Zarrabi
The future of Iran, Reza Pahlavi's role, and the Israeli conspiracy theories -By Mohsen Moshfegh
Iran's Future: The Relevant and the Irrelevant? -By Kam Zarrabi
Has Reza Pahlavi sold out Iran? -By Mohsen Moshafegh
Is Pahlavi Pulling a Rajavi? -By Iraj Pakravan
... Payvand News - 5/16/03 ... --