Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Persia's Promise

By Paul Iddon

Even the most optimistic among us cannot help but to feel cynical in light of recent developments over the course of the last few months. With the Iranian economy in shambles, the regime in Tehran continuing to murder young Iranians for the smallest of what they deem “offenses”, and the looming threat of an attack on the country's growing ability to develop nuclear weapons and the possible escalation of a war that may engulf the entire region one finds the mere idea of optimism as palpably and delusionally naïve. Nevertheless one is reminded that throughout history it was through the more devastating and dire of circumstancest that the most humane of things happened and ultimately prevailed.

Right now the people of Iran are being strangled by international sanctions because of the policies of the brutal regime that rules over them. The majority of those suffering are the ones struggling to make ends meet, are wholly innocent people who just want to live their lives without violent intrusion. They don't want to and would never dream of harming another person. Their goodwill and resolve is evidently not reflected in their regime, which has consistently undermined them in front of the world and made their lives tremendously difficult. That regime drowns out their desperate pleas for help with its propaganda outlets, which constantly points the finger elsewhere. Which tries to use the genuine compassion its citizens have for the likes of the discriminated Shia majority in Bahrain to masquerade as if they stand up for truth and justice. When that regime in itself is a corrupt minority 'kleptocracy'. A 'kleptocracy' that has turned Iran into an obscurantist theocracy and away from its traditional history of promulgating equality and tolerance of other peoples and religions. If that Persia were allowed to prosper then the Iranian peoples heartfelt compassion for the oppressed of Bahrain and other minorities of the region could be translated into a sober foreign policy that could positively influence these countries, and help them change their ways for the better of those oppressed. For the real underdogs.

Instead we have a regime that manages to undercut all these good deeds and make Iranian people look, in a lot of impressionable peoples eyes, like a bunch of backward bigots. It's hard to think of a similar example of criminal billionaires so palpably plundering their country's wealth, culture and enormous potential whilst pretending to care about inequality elsewhere. The stifling hypocrisy would be almost laughable if it weren't so serious.

I often speak warmly of Persian culture and civilization. As ancient as it is one firmly believes that the values inherent in the likes of Cyrus's Cylinder is still very relevant. The tangible heritage sites of that old empire may be eroding away due to time and neglect, but the simple intangible values inherent in Persian culture is something that will never truly go away. No matter how much it is neglected, degraded or distorted. It is in dark times like these that such inherent truths become wholly relevant. It is in times of despair, when people are driven to limits they did not know they are capable of reaching that they realize who they truly are. What it truly means to be a citizen of a country and what responsibilities a true patriot has. To tell the truth in times of mass deceit, and stand firm and steadfast in defending it from systematic campaigns of defamation.

History teaches us time and again that it is the few who tell the truth, and the manipulated masses who distort it. The most supposedly civilized countries of their days in Europe attest to this rule. The large right-wing element of French society that through antisemitism and bigotry harshly discriminated and sought to degrade the Jewish people after the false charge leveled against Alfred Dreyfus (these were the same elements of French society that would later collude with the Nazis and consequently send Dreyfus's son, among many others, off to die in the Nazi camps). Similarly, in times of great difficulty and uncertainty, Germany, one of the most progressive societies in the world quickly devolved into a fascist police state that used its many abilities not to go forth and prosper but to go forth and kill millions of people. The diaries of Victor Klemperer serve as a great source of education for anyone who wants to see what is essentially the day-by-day documentation of how the most advanced of societies can be rendered into the most backward and barbarous in a relatively short period of time.

There are countless examples of this, suppressed peoples and cultures reemerging against all odds. The Irish people suffered hundreds of years of oppression and cultural suppression. Half the country's population was gone (mostly through immigration) and a million perished in a horrific famine, the survivors of which were left beggared and impoverished. Yet from that, and after six-hundred years of Anglicization and official denial of that islands heritage did a cultural revival take off in less than a generation which ultimately led to that country's succession from what was then doubtlessly, in most peoples minds, the most powerful and immovable empire in the world.

In World War II the people of the city we now know as St. Petersburg were subjected to a brutal military siege at the hands of the Nazis. The sieges intent was to starve the city's residents, and it did indeed success in starving a large part of them, reducing them to sheer abjection and many to depraved and animal like acts to survive. Yet in the midst of this several citizens, starving, cold, feeble, half-dead, mustered together the last of their inner strength and dressed in what was left of their best and went to see a live orchestra of Symphony No. 7 “Leningrad” as if everything was still normal. As if a society of law and order was a tangible reality and not an obscure and abstract idea. It was revealed years later by veterans on the German side who were besieging the city that once they picked up the orchestra on their radio, they knew that was it, they would never break the spirit of the Leiningraders.

Disenchanting as the situation in Iran may be today, with the looming threat of war, the repression and the sanctions one can see latent comparisons to the cases I just outlined. In the broad overview of things and in the worst and most despicable of outcomes, that one doesn't dare to even imagine or speculate about, one knows that in the end these people I speak warmly of will win. Their spirit may be a dying and almost extinguished flame, but it is still a flame. The Persian people have thousands of years of history and civilization behind them that will ultimately overcome any criminal obscurantists and we are continually obliged not to lose faith in the goodwill and resolve of these genuinely good people. Persia may seem to be awash with despicable and traitorous hucksters at present, but underneath all that exists a people whose heritage will prevail and will enable Iran to take its rightful place among the nations of the world, where it can teach others and be a force for good, for its own people, and the people of the world.

As for today's seemingly ubiquitous loud voices that are making excuses for the regime in Tehran today. They will be mere footnotes in the history books along with the criminals they are shamelessly trying in earnest to exculpate.


Anonymous said...

"Their goodwill and resolve is evidently not reflected in their government, who have consistently undermined them in front of the world and made their lives tremendously difficult. That regime drowns out their desperate pleas for help with its propaganda outlets"

an insult to all Iranians so the people are suffering from western sanctions but they should blame there government not any foreigners for trying to develop nuclear weapons and so deserve the sanctions

that's what you wrote

Anonymous said...

"Instead we have a regime that manages to undercut all these good deeds and make Iranian people look, in a lot of impressionable peoples eyes, like a bunch of backward bigots. It's hard to think of a similar example of criminal billionaires so palpably plundering their country's wealth, culture and enormous potential whilst pretending to care about inequality elsewhere. The stifling hypocrisy would be almost laughable if it weren't so serious."

what's this supposed to mean borderline psychotic in your hate

for all the faults of the Iranian government its still functions far more efficiently and stable and most of representatively then most governments around the world

comparison to your factually nonsense here

nothing but a Zionist would write what u write

Mark Pyruz said...

Paul, the Iranian economy is not in "a shambles". It is being stressed by an externally directed economic war directed against it, yes. But don't fall for the MSM hype that it is in a shambles.

Please read the writings of economic professor Djavad Salehi-Isfahani at Virginia Tech University for better insights on Iran's economic situation.

Paul Iddon said...

No, that is what you wrote.

Didn't even imply in that quoted sentence, or anywhere else for that matter, that the Iranian people deserved the sanctions, nor have I ever been in favour of them, let alone in favour of the crippling ones being implemented at present. I think they are both aggressive and regressive acts on behalf of the west that should be scrutinized.

I think saying that the Iranian government 'functions far more efficiently and stable [than?] most of representatively then most government around the world' shows you're the one who cannot be possibly serious.

As for implying I am a Zionist, typical way of a regime apologist to divert the issue under discussion.

@ Pyruz

Agreed on your point that it is being stressed by the economic war being leveled against it. The overall effect this war is having on Iran is certainly debatable.

I'll check out his writings on the matter, thanking you.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt, that that the regime is genocidal in its stance towards the Persian heritage of Iran and it seems that hurting the Iranian people, who carry that heritage, is the only common denominator they are sharing with the 'West' ...

Anonymous said...

This regime cares more for dead people in Iraq than people living in tents freezing to death in Iran.

The fascist Islamist theocracy spends $5000,000 on useless trinkets for Karbala in Iraq and gold plates domes for them.

While our people are starving and sleeping in sub zero conditions in tents.

That's where Iran's money is going too.
Hamas,Hezbollah,Lebanon,Syria,Assad's regime,Iraq,etc etc....

Anonymous said...

no thats you wrote and implied anybody reading it would understand that

you didn't write oh by the way i dont think they deserve the harsh sanctions

even if you wrote that your statement would still be contradictory and suggest the west is ok to do it under its choices

you obviously write things without thinking of facts because you hate the Iranian government so much

most of your article and articles are filled with factless repeated venom which anybody with some basic knowledge of iran and the political system no matter what your politics is will see this clearly

"i hate the regime its so bad its the worst thing in the world if you dont get rid of it theres no hope anything is better then them and they are responsible for all bad things"

jist of your article

someday you should define this "regime" try that

youve restored to the worst lies so iran is a kleptocracey now youve lost the plot, yes never mind how obama was relected by the money of people who got government money few years earlier and when he leaves office like britains tony blair every company will give him million dollers for free because he gave them loopholes and money

yes khamaneis is a multi billionaire and so is ahmedinijad they live a lifestyle with palaces

you actually know nothing about iran

the reason people should be against the regime that you claim to want will produce a kleptocracey like most liberal government of the last twenty years, imagine iran at the of hands of most likely a pro-western persian nationalist dictator who claims to be a liberal

oh yh irans had one already right he was called the shah

since you have no connection but a westerner who hates the iranian government more then say caring about climate change or even putting things in wider perspective in the international and human dynamics because that would be taking a balanced outside perspective

only a likud zionist could put this much effort in to ranting away like this

i am an apologist for the situation not the "regime" because any regime that you imply from your writing is dangerous would be lot worse for the peoples future prospects

Paul Iddon said...

@ Anon 2:43 PM

Did I write it or imply it, which is it!?

Pointing out innocents are being hurt by such policies is an indictment of the policies in itself.

Name on thing I said that is "factless".

What lies have I written?

The Iranian regime can be classed as a 'kleptocracy' and its unelected leader as you said lives 'a lifestyle with palaces'. Just as the Shah no? The last kleptocrat whose overthrow I think was a good thing, no? Yes? Maybe?

I'm a Likud Zionist now, is that a promotion from my initial position as just a Zionist?

You're an apologist for the present situation, the roots of which stem back to at least 1953, the year of a imperial intervention that has in the long term stolen from the Iranian people what could have been a prosperous future for Persia.

That is the situation you're actually apologizing for, shame on you!

Unknown said...

Great piece!

It is good to be reminded that there is always hope despite the dire circumstances.
Let's hope that Iran will realize some of the good fortune we all hope for while our generation is still around to witness it.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what the writer of article want to say ?

Unknown said...

@anon 6:33
Just let it go! It's ok!
Move on to less complicated writing.

Anonymous said...

Dr Kedar - Nuclear Iran


Anonymous said...

Anon 6:33PM

I agree with your statement, let them pamper and...themselves in their illussions...

Anonymous said...

Dr Fazeli MD,
It seems comments that do not conform to your standards(liking) are not published !!I'll post it again:
this blog is so much better when you post less It would be even better if you comment less as well!
(talk about freedom of Expression you seem to be a hot advocate of It!)

Unknown said...

Wishful thinking my friend!
Btw I enjoy reading your tantrums.