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Militaristic Approach to Political Competition

By Reza Ghabishavi (Source: Asriran News; translated By: Iran Review)

security forces in Tehran, June 2009

During the past few months, the Iranian society has been plagued with breathtaking and unprecedented tensions among domestic political factions with each political faction using all at its service to make rivals retreat and have its own way.

However, the main issue which adds to the problems and makes them increasingly complicated is political conduct of certain groups.

Those groups, which reveal more of their immoral means as tensions grow, take an absolutist approach to political competition considering themselves as "totally good" while calling their rivals "absolute evil." They consider themselves all white and their rivals totally black.

As a result of that approach, militaristic behavior has found its way into political interactions.

In a military conflict, firstly, every part considers itself as totally right and, secondly, they do their best to totally annihilate the opposite party.

That total annihilation is usually achieved by killing military forces of the other party or demolishing its vital facilities.

Also, in addition to military sectors, civil sectors of the hostile country are targeted. Even when taking part in an international conference, they do their best to obstruct diplomatic gestures of the hostile country. Alternatively all economic, agricultural and trade sectors are targeted in order to totally disable the enemy.

Of course, nobody criticizes this behavior because according to an Arabic proverb "everything is permissible in war and love."

Unfortunately, we have been witnessing militaristic behavior dominating political interactions over the past months and instead of the rules of political game, the norms of military war prevail. They are trying not just to marginalize their political opponents, but to totally and completely eradicate them! To do this, they attack everything which is related to the opposite side one way or another.

The question, however, is can this militaristic approach to treating opponents within political framework of the Islamic system be considered appropriate?

Is it ethical to try and prevent political opponents from making a living? Are we allowed to forbid transport of our opponents or his supporters? Can we deprive opponents and their supporters of their legal rights stipulated in the constitution and ordinary laws? Can we ignore all moral and legal principles in our effort to eradicate the opposite party?

Perhaps this would be possible, but the dangerous consequences of such an approach for the whole country, the ruling establishment, and the revolution should not be ignored. The Iranian people follow different political tendencies and they should be allowed to live and work within the framework of official laws.

About Iran Review: Iran Review ( is the leading independent, non-governmental and non-partisan website - organization representing scientific and professional approaches towards Iran's political, economic, social, religious, and cultural affairs, its foreign policy, and regional and international issues within the framework of analysis and articles.

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