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.Washington has never recovered from the loss of Iran—something our intelligence services never saw coming.The overthrow of the Shah, the humiliation of the embassy hostages, and the laborious piecing together of tiny shreds of paper from classified embassy documents to expose America’s venal role in thwarting democratic movements in Iran and the region, allowed the outside world to see the dark heart of the American empire.Washington has demonized Iran ever since, painting it as an irrational and barbaric country filled with primitive, religious zealots.But Iranians, as these street protests illustrate, have proved in recent years far more courageous in the defense of democracy than most Americans.Where were we when our election was stolen from us in 2000 by Republican operatives and a Supreme Court that overturned all legal precedent to anoint George W.Bush president? Did tens of thousands of us fill the squares of our major cities and denounce the fraud? Did we mobilize day after day to restore transparency and accountability to our election process? Did we fight back with the same courage and tenacity as the citizens of Iran? Did Al Gore defy the power elite and, as opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi has done, demand a recount at the risk of being killed?President Obama retreated in his Cairo speech into our spectacular moral nihilism, suggesting that our crimes matched the crimes of Iran, that there is, in his words, “a tumultuous history between us.” He went on: “In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government.Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S.troops and civilians.”2 It all, he seemed to say, balances out.I am no friend of the Iranian regime, which helped create and arm Hezbollah; is certainly meddling in Iraq; has persecuted human-rights activists, gays, women, and religious and ethnic minorities; embraces racism and intolerance; and uses its power to deny popular will.But I do not remember Iran orchestrating a coup in the United States to replace an elected government with a brutal dictator who for decades persecuted, assassinated, and imprisoned democracy activists.I do not remember Iran arming and funding a neighboring state to wage war against our country.Iran never shot down one of our passenger jets, as did the USS Vincennes—caustically nicknamed “Robocruiser” by the crews of other American vessels—when in June 1988 it fired missiles at an Airbus filled with Iranian civilians, killing everyone on board.Iran is not sponsoring terrorism within the United States, as our intelligence services currently do in Iran.The attacks on Iranian soil include suicide bombings, kidnappings, beheadings, sabotage, and “targeted assassinations” of government officials, scientists, and other Iranian leaders.What would we do if the situation were reversed? How would we react if Iran carried out these policies against us?We are, and have long been, the primary engine for radicalism in the Middle East.The greatest favor we can do for democracy activists in Iran, as well as in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, and the dictatorships that dot North Africa is withdraw our troops from the region and begin to speak to Iranians and the rest of the Muslim world in the civilized language of diplomacy, respect, and mutual interests.The longer we cling to the doomed doctrine of permanent war, the more we give credibility to the extremists who need, indeed yearn for, an enemy that speaks in their crude slogans of nationalist cant and violence.The louder the Israelis and their idiot allies in Washington call for the bombing of Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions, the happier are the bankrupt clerics who are ordering the beating and murder of demonstrators.We may laugh when crowds supporting Ahmadinejad call us “the Great Satan,” but there is a very palpable reality that has informed the terrible algebra of their hatred.Our intoxication with our military prowess blinds us to all possibilities of hope and mutual cooperation.It was Mohammad Khatami, the president of Iran from 1997 to 2005—perhaps the only honorable Middle East leader of our time—whose refusal to countenance violence by his own supporters led to the demise of his lofty “civil society” at the hands of more ruthless, less scrupulous opponents.It was Khatami who proclaimed that “the death of even one Jew is a crime.” And we sputtered back to this great and civilized man the primitive slogans of all deformed militarists.We were captive, as all bigots are, to our demons, and could not hear any sound but our own shouting.It is time to banish these demons.It is time to stand not with the helmeted goons who beat protesters, not with those in the Pentagon who make endless wars, but with the unarmed demonstrators in Iran who daily show us what we must become.The fight of the Iranian people is our fight.And, perhaps for the first time, we can match our actions to our ideals.We have no right under post-Nuremberg laws to occupy Iraq or Afghanistan.These occupations are defined by these statutes as criminal “wars of aggression.” They are war crimes.We have no right to use force, including the state-sponsored terrorism we unleash on Iran, to turn the Middle East into a private gas station for our large oil companies.We have no right to empower Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestine, a flagrant violation of international law.The resistance you see in Iran will not end until Iranians, and all those burdened with repression in the Middle East, free themselves from the tyranny that comes from within and without.Let us, for once, be on the side of those who share our democratic ideals [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

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