By Clifton Ross
Dear Mr. President Amadinejad,
First of all, greetings and peace to you and the kind and generous people of Iran whose culture has given so much to the world, enriching us with your ancient wisdom and culture. If respect for our elders is a traditional value of all the people of the world, then we North Americans should look the elder cultures of the Middle East, particularly the Persian culture of Iran, with reverence and respect and with an eagerness to learn from your ancient ways.
Thank you for your insightful letter to my so-called "President" Bush (I say "so-called" because you must know that he "won" the presidency in 2000 and 2004 by fraud in Florida and Ohio, respectively) but unfortunately the man to whom you addressed the letter seems to be incapable of appreciating your words because he is unwilling to listen. Jesus suggested that we not throw our pearls before swine, and such advice might be relevant here. Could I humbly suggest that in the future you address your correspondence to the North American people rather than to the usurpers of power who many of us in the world feel are lower than swine, since swine are not known for lying, deceiving and coercing other swine into criminal acts of genocide and wars of aggression? I think that, if the polls are correct, 70% of the North American people would agree that Bush should be removed from the office he fraudulently occupies, and they might be willing to listen to you. I suggest that they would be a more willing audience with ears to hear what you have to say.
I will not be quoting your letter since you are fully aware of what you wrote and anyone who wants to read your letter can find a (mediocre) translation of it and read it for him or her self. Here in Venezuela we have the benefit of receiving Telesur, the television network sponsored in part by the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela, which offers a more generous and accurate summary of your letter in news broadcasts. In the U.S., on the other hand, the media are only quoting your words out of context to manipulate the truth and distort your message and so I believe North Americans, given that the war criminals controlling their government are now threatening Iran and "leaving all options on the table," have the obligation to read that document for themselves. I am certain that everyone in the world would benefit by their doing so.
I am writing to you not to criticize your decision to enrich uranium, since it is your right to do so according to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (even though I personally believe the Iranian people would be better served by more benign solar or wind energy). I am writing, rather, to express my love and solidarity for the Iranian people who are facing baseless, unprovoked aggression from my government and to offer an apology on behalf of the people of the United States of America in response to your first step toward dialogue.
Like a growing number of people in the United States, I don't feel that diplomacy should be left to people who don't understand its basic principles. As a North American living in Venezuela, I know first-hand that if one treats a stranger with respect, one will be respected; if one treats another with kindness and an open, trusting heart, one will encounter kindness and an open trusting heart. Humility, moreover, is an essential quality in one chosen to do the work of a diplomat. Those, such as Mr. John Bolton, Ms.
Condoleeza Rice, Mr. Richard Cheney and the others, haven't the least idea of any of this -- to the contrary. Their arrogant conceit guarantees that there won't be any possibility for dialogue and, I suspect, this is precisely what they want. These, who pretend to be our rulers, with their arrogant, hypocritical cruelty and barbaric policies toward the nations of the world, don't represent us.
We in the United States live in profound ignorance and self deception. We somehow are convinced (by deceptive media following the lead of a deceptive government) that the history of relations between Iran and the U.S. began in 1979 with what many feel was an insult to our national dignity. I'm speaking, of course, of the taking of the U.S. embassy and the fifty two "hostages."
What North Americans don't generally know is that, 26 years before, in 1953, the U.S. government, out of that same embassy, overthrew your democratically elected president, Dr. Mossadegh and imposed the dictatorship of the Shah. Out of that U.S. embassy intelligence operations were carried out to continually undermine your national sovereignty and help implement the cruel repression of the Shah. That was what was behind the outrage expressed in 1979, a justifiable outrage against our anti-democratic, one could say, fascistic policies toward your country.
They were similar to our same policies toward Guatemala about that time and dozens more democracies we overthrew to impose dictatorships favorable to our empire.
Those who overthrew your democracy in 1953 and set up the cruel dictatorship of the Shah and who have arrogantly refused to acknowledge their crimes are the same ones who today threaten you once again. They do not represent us and in fact have betrayed our nation and our deepest, most cherished values of democracy, self determination of nations, anti-imperialism, freedom and solidarity, all values for which we, the people, fought and died in our Revolutionary War in 1776.
Cowards like Mr. Bush are happy to send our youth to murder hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and to die themselves, but this same Mr. Bush hid from the butchery of Viet Nam when he was called to do the dirty work himself many years ago. He chose to hide out in the National Guard and didn’t even honorably complete his term of service there. Mr. Bush has proven that, unlike the brave men who resisted the draft on the moral grounds of opposition to imperialist wars, he evaded service out of cowardice:
look at his actions now in Iraq, the actions of a coward.
It is a psychological law that those who refuse to acknowledge their own shadow will cast it upon their neighbor. And so they accuse Iran of violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty when, in fact, it is they who are in violation of the treaty when they refuse to disarm and destroy their WMDs and threaten to use them against a peaceful country like Iran. The only nation guilty of the crime of using nuclear weapons against civilians are those who unleashed them against the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If anyone should be refused the possession of nuclear arms it would be them. But the world cowers before their supposed power. All the world but a few countries such as Iran, Russia, China, and Venezuela, where I have been living for the past year. There are people, and governments, who recognize that the U.S. is, indeed, a paper tiger, a senile empire in dramatic decline that doesn't warrant the respect it refuses the world. Presidents like Hugo Chavez show that there are still leaders in this world with a commitment to moral principles and a courage that allows them to stand by those principles and I have had the honor to witness that commitment and courage first hand, not only in the President of Venezuela, but also in its people.
Mr. President, I hope the Iranian people know that there are many of us in the U.S. who have signed petitions of impeachment against the criminal mob occupying the White House, and petitions for peace with Iran and withdrawal of troops from Iraq. In the end, the Iranian people and the North American people have the same enemy: the lying fraud who claims to be the President of the United States. We, the people of the U.S., the people of Iran and all people of good will everywhere in the world, must unite our hope, strength and wills to fight until he and his criminal associates are removed from power.
On behalf of American Christians (which includes hundreds of millions from Alaska to Argentina), those free thinkers of no religious faith, but of great good will and kind, humble and loving hearts committed to peace and justice, I offer my solidarity to you and to all people committed to the struggle for justice and peace as they battle the U.S. empire in its crusade against the people of the Middle East. Your victory against the Empire will help liberate us from the oppression of our empire which has stolen our wealth and used it for murder, genocide, repression, the domination and occupation of your peoples and many other people around the world. We know that we will never be free nor enjoy democracy until our empire is destroyed because it enslaves us as surely as it does the people of Iraq at this very moment. How can anyone believe that North Americans are made more secure through the slaughter of Iraqis? How can anyone believe that the Iraqis are better off now than they were under the ruthless dictatorship of Saddam Hussein? We have removed and evil man and replaced him with the devil himself in the form of an irresponsible occupying army ruling arbitrarily through genocide and terror.
Thank you for your courage to speak truth to power and, representing the historically aggrieved in the situation, that is, the people who suffered aggression from the U.S. for over fifty years, to reach out first to attempt to end hostilities between our countries.
May you repeat the words of Jesus as you regard our government and our people who support it: Father forgive them for they know not what they do.
Finally, may you and your children live in the peace of God and enjoy God's loving blessings for centuries to come.
(Clifton Ross is a poet currently living in Venezuela. Last year he was one of two representatives from the U.S. in the World Poetry Festival of Venezuela)
... Payvand News - 5/13/06 ... --