Letter to Mr. Akbar Ganji: On Letter to America
By Daniel M Pourkesali, Leesburg, Virginia
I read with interest your earnest
appeal in "Letter to America"  posted in Washington
Post today. I appreciate and share many of the views you've expressed and the
necessary measures needed to ease tensions between Iran and the United States. I
also fully understand your lingering bitterness and bias against Iranian
government which is a natural reaction to your unjust and gratuitous 6-year long
incarceration. What I found perplexing was your total lack of acknowledgement of
the human rights violations you so vehemently abhor by the country your letter
Akbar Ganji's Letter to America - My
brief journey to your beautiful and amazing country began in New York City with a
symbolic hunger strike in front of United Nations headquarters. Its purpose was
to bring to the world's attention the plight of political prisoners in my
country, Iran. We demand that all political
prisoners in Iran be freed. I am certain that you
appreciate our desire for freedom; it was, after all, the main principle upon
which your country was founded. -Washington Post
The history of the
States did indeed begin with the establishment
of a civilized nation under a Constitution. But the American people also
demanded and eventually received the Bill of Rights which guaranteed that the
new government would not trample upon their newly won freedoms of speech, press,
and religion, nor upon their right to be free from warrantless searches and
seizures. These privileges were referred to in the Declaration of Independence
as "unalienable rights." They were also called "natural" rights, and correctly
described by James Madison, fourth American President and one of the original
contributors to the Constitution, as "the great rights of all mankind."
If you had an opportunity to keep up
with or catch up on world affairs, United
States in particular, in the last few years, you would be
shocked to learn that those very rights are under attack and flagrantly violated
in America today.
Forty days after the
September 11, 2001 attacks, U.S. government shoved through and Congress passed,
with virtually no debate, the USA PATRIOT Act  giving the government the
power to access medical records, tax records, and information about the books
its citizens buy or borrow, and the power to break into their homes and conduct
secret searches without telling anyone for weeks, months, or indefinitely.
Just ask Mr.
José Padilla, a U.S. citizen,
who was arrested by authorities on May 8, 2002, at Chicago's O'Hare airport
and held incommunicado without due process. Or Mr.
Esam Hamdi another
American citizen captured in Afghanistan in 2001 by the U.S., labeled
"illegal enemy combatant", and detained for almost three years without any
charge. Or hundreds of other persons who were swept up, detained, or sent to
secret CIA prisons  overseas to be tortured and interrogated. Don't these
acts, by your own definition, make the current ruling American regime also
irresponsible and dangerous?
It is nice to see that you are
promoting direct talks and taken a position against outbreak of another war
against what you've correctly described as a large and populous country like
Iran which would only lead to further destabilization of an already disturbed
region, thanks in large to unwise military adventurism on the part of US/UK and
their ever-shrinking coalition of the bribed.
Mr Ganji, your well-intentioned
letter is addressing the people of a nation that are being scared into giving up
their liberties in exchange for security; and where some are slowly waking up to
the reality that the very government you're pleading for help to address human
rights violation in Iran, is doing everything to suppress those same rights both
within its own borders and at other gulags and detention camps set up across the
world at the expense of its own citizens.
cheap--Addressing the UN General Assembly, Mr. Bush proclaimed that "the goals
of this country is to help those who feel hopeless, to spread liberty, and to
enhance prosperity and peace", while his administration has done everything to
destroy hope and undermine freedom by bringing war and terror to many, and
financial peace to few.
peace and security are universal values that promote stability and worth
protecting. Prosperity is the fruit of such permanence for all to enjoy and
should not be limited to a
closed circle of affluent war profiteers.
Let's hope that your
call to peace does not fall on deaf ears and America wakes up
to its folly and once again upholds the basic principles it was founded
About the author: Daniel M
Pourkesali is a member of Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention
in Iran http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/
... Payvand News - 9/23/06 ... --