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"When Will They Ever Learn?"

By Ali Parsa

There are great lessons to be learned about the downfall of the Republican Party that was mainly due to failure of Iraq War. Had the architects of Iraq war read the book The Art of War by Sun-Tzu, one of the greatest Chinese war writers in 400 B.C., they would have learned this invaluable piece of wisdom, "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win!"

Imagine how much money and how many American and Iraqi lives would have been saved if we did not ignore mankind's history and repeat it time after time in fighting most of our recent wars; Korea, Viet Nam, Gulf War, Iran-Iraq War, the so called "War on Terror", just to name a few and still contemplating to get into new ones!

The question is why do we allow a few extremists make a mockery of wisdom, insight, truth and above all, the American Ideals and values by venturing into unchartered territories without the knowledge of their culture, history, geography and other vital statistics, even pronouncing the name of the country in question during Information Age! The most ridiculous part of this tragedy is fighting extremism with more extremism. One wonders whether it is past the time when we call a spade a spade and instead of coining names lie "axis of evil" we admit that the universal Triangle of Evil with three words on its vertices; Hypocrisy, Ignorance and Arrogance and HIA as the acronym. As we know there is no shortage of ignorance even during Information Age. In other words ignorance knows no border!

While it is important to learn from those terrible mistakes, it is more important to cease the moment and congratulate the American public for their victory in the midterm elections. The loss of patience of erstwhile non-voting and apathetic but decent, generous and forgiving Americans and their record turnout in the elections was an indication of the fact that America was really heading in a worng direction and the people no longer wanted to subscribe to "stay the course" policies and archaic and un-informed decisions making in a dynamic country and a dynamic world.

The great American people did not react until push came to shove and their intelligence was enormously underestimated by the extremists. The extremists were on their way to take the word "people" out of the "government of the people" and establish a one-man rule that was defying the American Constitution, Bill of Rights and other unique privileges that are accorded to the people or individuals only in America.

What a great loss that would be for the world?

In a post-election interview on CNN, Tom Delay said, "We have not lost, the Democrats have won!" And when the president was asked for his reply was; "Well, I am still the Commander in Chief!" This was in atone that he meant he still does not give a hoot about the elections. Of course he changed his tone soon after that. And let us not forget Rummy’s remark right after his resignation or firing-we never know which, who compared himself to Winston Churchill as an icon of taking criticism and trying to go down in history as a statesman! I cannot go in detail into everything that will be the subject of history books

But, I do like to point out a few other take-home lessons from this defeat-temporary or long term, depending on our post-election vigil, of extremism and the victory of the people. Here are a few examples of how the so called Republican Revolution was out of touch with the reality even after their downfall:

While we should be careful not to take this victory of the people lightly, it is equally or more important not to become complacent, sit back and think the damages done to America will be repaired by themselves or by a few elected officials. We should be wary of the fact that although we Democrats have won, we still have some hawks among us who will continue to harbor the same philosophy that we just rejected. Those policies can take us back to square one and status quo and invite more disasters and defeats. We should try to find the facts and get involved, learn from history and go forward. We should do what our president did not do. When asked whether he reads books, he said, "I do not read books, I read people!"

We have to learn that alienation of other countries is the underlying cause of terrorism that necessitates the so called "War on Terror." In other words we are most unwise to create terror and then fight it! It is as silly as punching an innocent person in the nose for no reason and then use the person's defense posture as barbaric and uncivilized! We have to understand that the colonial mentality of the extremists does not work in the present global arena.

We must no longer destabilize our world by invading other countries with no reason or fabricated reasons of our own. We to understand that bullying no longer works and almost all people are decent and they only resort to terrorism as their last resort.

We have to recall our own history particularly where the founders of America were called terrorist by the colonial power they deposed. The people who are inducted into life of violence are the deprived generations of the lands whose resources were siphoned out when their parents were not educated and their rulers did not care in exchange to sustaining their rules. It is more ironic that we resort to the same methods of exploitation that even the former colonial powers have abandoned. While we justify our trespassing on other people's territory and calling them names such as "killers who hate our freedom and way of life," or impose tyrannical rules on them we have to remember that America is the nation whose Thomas Jefferson said, "resistence to tyranny is obedience to God."

With so many American people doing so many good things throughout the world and inside America we deserve a foreign policy that is base on the American Ideals and the will of majority of the people who are decent. The best news is that the people the extremists call "uncivilized" and killers still love the American people and are informed enough to separate the American people from unwise and mis-directed policies of the American government. To prove this, I am willing to take any American or any groups of Americans to the countries we call by divisive words such as "rogue nations" and bring them back safer than if they had toured some parts of America. Why do the extremists choose not to trust human nature that unless people are provoked they never show violent reaction. This is embedded in the American Ideals and the American value system. It is noteworthy that people of all other major powers tour any country without experiencing any antagonism and all rage is directed only on Americans and only if they have anything to do with the American foreign policy.

I hope that we have learned that "stay the course"

policy was only making the already bad situation worse by contributing to more violence. By ignoring history we are knowingly or unknowingly repeating it. Please read the following piece of history and see how the extremist policies matches it:

"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fever, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all their right unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know?

For this is what I have done and I am Caesar."

Domestically, we should yet quit another archaic "divide and conquer" policy and split this nation of immigrants along its seams and into its components.

Or, Bang more drums of war by blaming the immigrants for all of our ills and resorting to erect another China Wall at our borders in an increasingly interdependent world. America can ill afford to curtail the freedom of its citizens by Patriot Act and surveillance without warrant. Such measures are un-American and lead to self-destruction of America, to say the least. Almost all legal immigrants, and ironically some illegal ones have escaped tyranny and chosen America-Land of the Free for that reason-freedom and opportunity. Who is to say that they should be discriminated against because they did not come on May Flower! The overall and per capita contribution the immigrants relative to their number have been higher than average. They have been a source of new ideas, new energy and vitality and a breath of fresh air without whom America would not be America that is today.

As educated and informed public is an integral part of government of the people, we need to treat public education as a national defense instead of coining fancy names in the name of rather than for education.

Example is the "No Child Left Behind" that for most part has failed due to lack of funding. We have the wherewithal not to educate and inform our people but the whole world with a budget that would be like a drop in an ocean as compared with what we spend on weapons of mass destruction.

We have far less reason to fear an educated people. As Thomas Jefferson said, "enlighten people and tyranny of body and mind will disappear like evil spirit in the dawn of a day."

Speaking of funding we have to balance the budget and take our huge national debt very seriously. A per capita share of national debt of about $30,000 is indeed scary. This waste of resources and letting the future generations pay for it or the use of social security funds constitutes the best means of total bankruptcy and self-destruction.

We as Iranian-Americans are among the most educated and successful people and have a duty to get involved in searching for a new direction for America for the simple reason that we have vested interest in it. We have the responsibility to make this a better home for ourselves and our children and grandchildren for whom America has become a primary home.

While there are several groups among us who work tirelessly to promote good relation between America and Iran. Unfortunately or naturally there are also a few of us who are opportunists. They are in America only to make money and do not give a hoot about one country if they make their money in the other. They even go as far as promoting the what I call Iraquization of Iran forgetting that Iran belongs to all Iranians no matter where they live and no matter who rules it. I wonder how many of us know that after going through some 400 kings and rulers in our country we have still maintained our identities. I hope we are not unwise to throw the baby with the bath water, so to speak. We owe it to America, to the world and to ourselves to do all we can to reduce the possibility of making a living hell out of our world by continuing the present foreign policies.

Albert Einstein said, "I know not what weapons will be used in World War III, but I know that World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." It was his power of projecting the future when he uttered those words. Another great American, Ralph Waldo Emerson predicted a grim future for mankind when he said, "The end of human race is tht it will die of civilization."

The bottom line is that no gadgetry and sophisticated weaponry will make our world safe if they are made without considering ethics, wisdom, history and human nature.

For more on these subjects please visit my website.

... Payvand News - 11/18/06 ... --

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