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Life In A State Of Suspension

Opinion article by Mehrangis Kar (source: Rooz Online)

There are times when life under a suspended sentence is more painful than actually serving the sentence. All those who have experienced this know it. But it is perhaps rare for a nation to be living under suspension and go through daily life feeling insecure not knowing what decisions to make and how to actually live the day through so that the suspended sentence against it may not actually be implemented. Perhaps those in the international community who have enacted a sanctions regime against Iran expect Iranians to pour into streets and shout “Death to the Islamic Republic” and topple their rulers so they would not have to face a foreign military attack.

From the day the government of Iran decided to put the nuclear policy on its agenda, the Iranian nation has turned into a condemned criminal with a suspended sentence. When a person is sentenced to a punishment but the execution of the order is suspended so that if the offender commits a similar crime again, the punishment would be imposed on him in addition to the punishment of the new offence.

The message in the news is that the option of a military attack is on the table and available. Governments and officials who say this like to separate the fate of the Iranian government from that of its citizens. They insist on punishing the regime - not the people - and strive to present fairness in this approach of separating the nation from its rulers. They put the nation at a crossroads: Act to topple the regime or face military attack. They may or may not know that the regime in Tehran has crushed the Iranian nation which does not have the oomph to question things. This regime is at odds with the accepted norms of governance prevalent in the world. Its actions are clearly suppressive and provocative in the region. This is an imperialistic regime which does not know how to manage its own house, i.e., Iran. It is an imperialist thirty for power that merely usurps the wealth of this nation and engages in colorful bluffs. But it receives nothing in return. It only distributes and remains fanatical. It is in love with displaying power. It has managed to remain in power by suppression, economic pressure and pressure people and keep them in suspension. Unlike other imperialists, the citizens of this one lack any welfare and economic benefits and live in fear. From the places to which the regime sends its soldiers it does not bring money, precious stones or gold. Paradoxically, it takes these from this very nation and sends them abroad. It is in fact a reverse imperialist. We all know this well. Still, the recent comments by a Revolutionary Guards commander - specifically general Jaafari - reconfirmed it when he explicitly revealed that the Ghods Force was active in Syria which he said was active in preventing crime, even though he added that the force’s presence in Syria was not military! An announcement like this can only bring the heart of a nation whose heartbeat is now a dependant variable of the country’s foreign exchange and coins closer to death. This is a regime that murders its own nationals and sends troops to another country to prevent the population there from being murdered!

But why does this general send such a sensitive message to the world at this time? Did he not know that if there were still some individuals and governments around the world who did not believe, or did not want to believe, of the official military presence of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Syria, his remarks would prompt a reevaluation of their judgment and policies towards Iran? Has a major secret about Iran’s intervention in deepening the regional crisis been exposed prompting policy planners to preemptively reveal the secret? Governments that till now judged Iran through abstention votes or uncoordinated policies will now change course. Do they now have a choice but to get closer to the policies of the West towards Iran? Undoubtedly general Jaafari knows this better than we do but if he does not then he belongs to that group of people in the Islamic Republic of Iran that represent another version of man in the world of politics: someone who presents himself to be anti-imperialist and anti-exploitative but who further endangers the nation that he is holding hostage and what is astounding is that this will not bring any long-term benefits even for himself!

IF Iranians inside the country had the opportunity they would have liked to ask the general, who most certainly has served in the country’s warfronts during the war years with Iraq and who must have felt ecstatic when American forces toppled Saddam Hussein: “Since the Ghods Force is part of Iran’s military establishment and because of its very name asserts to export the revolution and which spends the empty food tables of Iranians outside the country, how did this force enter another country (and in this case the country of Syria) without being a military force as you claim? Was it disarmed upon entry? How did it acquire the right to enter another country? Is it the regional imperialist? Has Bashar Assad invited the force into his country? Without the permission of the United Nations of which Iran is also a member.

Ok, if everything the general says about the Ghods Force is true and the force is there on a humanitarian mission to protect the lives of the Syrian people, then why does he not officially recognize the right of Iranians too to ask other governments to come to Iran to protect human rights in Iran and prevent Iranians from being sent to prison? Or at the least, why does it not allow Ahmad Shahid, the UN special human rights rapporteur, who also happens to be a Muslim, to come to Iran and prepare his mandated report for the Human Rights Council as an exercise to improve the human rights conditions in Iran?

With his remarks, general Jaafari has opened a new chapter in political tensions for Iranians between Iran and the world community. The point I am making is not that why did he reveal the military involvement of Iran in Syria, but rather that I wish that he and his colleagues had not involved themselves militarily in Syria. Even if we assume that the West is at Bashar Assad’s throat, what does it have to do with a regime that wants to make a point with the international community about having the right to nuclear energy and in this process has suspended the lives of the Iranian people? Will Iranians who have gotten up in the morning and are on their way to the world of foreign exchange dealings and commodity trading not lose their narrow faith in the future and in the prevention of a military strike which is on the table of the decision-makers even before they have their breakfast because of these remarks? It appears that the general has in fact committed suicide out of fear and if this is not the case then we must believe that a new imperialist power which is outstripping the older imperialists has been born. But even if we accept this possibility, then this is the question that should be asked by us since those in Iran have no means to raise their questions:

What kind of an imperialist power is this that its citizens are struggling for their next meal? What good is an imperialist power if it does not bring bread and water to its citizens? What purpose is it pursuing by military and non-military interventions in other countries? Just to invade? An imperialist power whose citizens are in a state of suspension and may at any time be the victims of orders of others has no use for its citizens. An ineffective imperialist will only bring a catastrophe. It will commit suicide. But I wish it would only kill himself, not others along the way.

The ship needs a different captain, because the possibility of a different policy with this one is only a pipe-dream.

... Payvand News - 09/30/12 ... --

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