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September 11, 2003

The day the world changed
Arash Jalali  [info|posts]

Lower Manhattan on 9/11/01
So many stories have been told and written about the horrendous events of Sept. 11, 2001. Like any other significant event, its coverage and analysis spanned over a very wide spectrum of thoughts and viewpoints. The war mongers' in the White House and their supporters linked it all to the (axis of?) evils who want nothing more than the demise of freedom and "freedom loving nations", the religious fanatics branded it as the next wave of the Crusade, some went to such great lengths to link it to the Jews, some put it in the same category as the assassination of president Kennedy, and yet some even tried to flatly deny that it ever happened.

I do not intend to add any more to the above list of theories, although I suppose I do lie somewhere in that spectrum myself. In this posting, I shall discuss the ways I think the world changed after 9/11, and whether in my view those changes were for the better or for worse.

Safety and Security
After 9/11/2001, the U.S. government set up a new department for homeland security. Many countries, especially western countries stepped up their security measures to "protect the safety of their citizens" and they generally became more security-conscious than before, but is the world really a safer place now?
There have been two wars since 9/11, more deadly terrorist incidents such as those in Russia and Indonesia. Lives are still being lost every day in Iraq. The situation in the Middle East has gone to the verge of total collapse several times and both sides of the conflict have taken unprecedentedly extreme actions against each other. Far too many countries are known to have started or resumed their nuclear weapons program ever since. U.S. is planning to develop a new generation of nuclear bombs. It is indeed becoming a more dangerous world to live in every day.

Freedom
I here take freedom to mean the civil liberties in the west where freedoms are usually taken for granted. Many of the events that took place after 9/11 were somehow linked to or interpreted as measures taken to protect (or eradicate) western style of freedom. President Bush kept telling his people that the terrorists want them to give up their way of living as a free nation and urged them to continue to live (spend ?) like before. Ironically, his administration proposed several bills that further restrict civil liberties. A radio broadcast corporation in the U.S. was actually accused of making a list of "banned songs" including John Lennon's song "Imagine". The songs of a group of Texan singers were taken off the air by some radio stations with the excuse that their criticism of President George Bush for invading Iraq hurt their audience's patriotic feelings.

Racial and Ethnic Hatred
Imagine a person being kicked out of a plane before takeoff simply because he looks Middle Eastern and that other passengers do not feel comfortable flying with him. Three years ago, this would have guaranteed a huge fury among civil rights activists not to mention a multi-million dollar law-suit. Not quite so after 9/11. It is now OK to treat every one with suspicion based on their looks. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty unless you don't look right.

Respect and Tolerance
Through the many encounters that I have personally had with ordinary people from western countries, I had this feeling they are not as well informed about Iran as I expected, given the fact that many knew it only by reputation, as a state that harbors terrorism. Some didn't pronounce the name "Iran" correctly. Some didn't exactly know where it is, or had very wrong perceptions about life in Iran, nonetheless they were invariably polite and respectful. They were almost always able to draw a line between the government and the people. The culture has somehow changed. Terms like "freedom fries", "freedom kiss", and "Trashganistan" are just examples of how intolerant and disrespectful attitudes have become. This lack of respect and the inability to make a distinction between the people and the governments has left many people of the world hating each other. Americans are as much the victim of this hatred as any other nation and this I believe has been one of the aftermaths of 9/11.

I think the world has changed a lot since 9/11 and I think it has unfortunately been for worse.

Comments
Senior Grad at September 11, 2003 07:14 PM [permalink]:

Dude, I thought you said you live in Iran! You seem to know (and care?) a lot more than we who live in America do!

Damn internet. ;-)

yaser at September 11, 2003 10:00 PM [permalink]:

After Sep 11, US government has reallized that for their own benefit, they should first support democracy in the middle east and then resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict and I think they are trying to do that. Therefore in the long run, the consequences of what happened in 9/11 would be actually positive for the whole world.

An Iranian Student at September 11, 2003 10:15 PM [permalink]:

It is a fact that the world has become a more dangerous place, but I fail to see why this is because of the Bush government's policies in the aftermath of 9/11.
The fact is that in the past two or three decades there has been an ever growing wave of more and more fundamentalist ideas, political actions and terrorism-widely ignored and sometimes even helped by many Western governments. Especially during the Clinton administration this 'hiding the head inside snow' reached a peak unrivalled since the years before the second world war. What we see today is the result of letting hatred, bigotry and religious fascism grow unchallenged for all these years.We are in a war, wether we like it or not.
What amazes me most in Iranian posts on this subject is the way they ignore the importance of what has been accomplished in the past two years. We more than many other people must be thankful for what has happened both in Afghanistan and in Iraq. For their people' sake and for ours. Now we are also much closer to achieving a real democracy than ever before in the past 25 years.
It is one thing to hear such anti-Bush rhetoric from european Villepinists, since the last thing they care about is the suffering of the poeple in regions like the middle east-they are only interested in showing to the world how anti-American they are and how cool that is. But to read such things from Iranians who suffer under tyranny and who have much more immidiate enemies than the 'Yankees' to deal with is frankly unintelligible to me.
Maybe we should start suppporting those who act in our favour and against those whose actions harm us, instead of this tradition of leftist idealisms, for a change.
Your hypothetical airplane story is as impossible today as it was before 9/11, by the way.

Arash at September 12, 2003 04:11 AM [permalink]:

Senior Grad my man!
I do not think I know or care more than those who live in America, especially people like the ones participating in this forum who are generally more well-informed and conscious than typical (non-native) residents in North America and Europe. Also, exactly because of things like the "damned internet", our world has become more inter-related than ever. I might not have to worry about getting on a plane in Iran but those were just examples. So were the stories about the Italian professor refusing to referee an allegedly American paper. It just shows this inability to draw a line between government policies and the people can even affect world-wide scientific communities. It is, in my view, a very regrettable consequence that transcends geographical boundries.

Yaser,
I guess we just have to wait and see. I really hope that things work out the way you see in the long run. I wish I could be an optimist.

Dear Iranian Student,
I did not mean to put the whole blame on president Bush's policies and I do respect your view that what led to 9/11 might have been a consequence of ignoring the rising hatred and fundamentalism in the world prior to 9/11. I do however believe, that the number one element that fuels fundamentalism in the world is the feeling ,or sometimes even the illusion, of being oppressed and deprived (of many things including respect and wealth) by the so-called big powers; and that, my friend, is why I think things went astray after 9/11. The U.S. government policies and attitude towards the rest of the world actually feuled this hatred even more, so much so that even Europeans, who cannot exactly be categorized as deprived nations, started to develop anti-American sentiments. This is exactly what oppressive regimes as well as fundamentalist anarchists like Bin Laden need to convince their followers that ramming a plane full of innocent people into a building and killing more than 3000 people is not only alright but also a deed worthy of praise and reward in heaven.

As regards being "thankful" for the war in Afghanistan or Iraq, well my friend, first of all I simply cannot be thankful for any war. Second, I do not believe "Villepinists", as you call them, are particularly concerned about our well-being any more than Mr.Bush is, nor do I frankly see any reason as to why anyone other than ourselves should be concenred; and third, I do not consider "Yankees", again as you call them, my enemies but I seriously doubt their government's methods as well as motives for invading Iraq to be solely out of concern for restoring democracy in the Middle East.

I would also very much like to know what you mean by "suppporting those who act in our favour and against those whose actions harm us". Are suggesting that we should actually invite the idea of U.S. invading Iran ?!!

Finally, my story was not hypothetical, my friend. You can read about it here if you are interested.

saoshyant at September 12, 2003 01:04 PM [permalink]:

Arash,

Would you please clraify, if not emphasize, that you are not blaming the victim for the crime of the criminal?

This is just a friendly reminder. People of the United States are as much victims of the unintendended and intended consequences of policy options of their "elected" rulers as the people of the Middle East. Also, there is not justification for hatred. I cannot believe that anybody who claims to be oppressed can be given a card blanche to go on a revenge ramapange because he or she has been wronged.

First, as Robert F. Kennedy said: "Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live."

While I do not see how one can justify the US's out of proporition response, I do not believe that the Al'Qaeda or anybody has to be insinuated as justified for what they have done. I am not a pacifist. But if you are arguing from the point of view of universal humanism and you are indeed against all wars, or violence to a broad extent, that is the stance that I view more appropriate to be explicitly taken by you.

The Iranian Student is making a fair point in terms of the unintended consequences of anybody's actions. For the people who live under the tyranny, less tyranny or even a chaos instead of tyranny for a short while, may mean freedom. They may not be happy with the course of action taken, but some of them may feel that they were, one way or another liberated. This is what I take from Iranian Student's comments.

When I was in Javaadiey Tehran in 1993, couple of university students who were were unhappy with the regime told me if they get killed during an American against the Islamic Republic, they consider it as "getting killed by friendly fire". This is tragic, in my opinion. But we cannot speak paternalistically, if not arrogantly, if some people are so poor and frustrated that they are looking for a saviour, whoever it might be. Some people like you may believe that indeed you have the power to reform and introduce regime in what others cannot wait for to happen in 50 or 75 years.

What, I hope, we should do is to remind them of RFK's point of gaining wisdom and using it as a guide. We have to remind all that getting upset and reacting terroristically or awaiting for vehement violence, from abroad to save them, might have more tragic unintended consequences. We might appeal to them to overcome their emotion and resort to wisdom.

Of course, the story is a completely different one when one is philosophically in favour of any armed intervention when it comes to deal with genocidal regimes (I am not speaking about Weapons of Mass Destruction, just the intervention by force when a regime is actively killing a good portion of its peoples en masse).

Having said all the above, "Tragedy should be a tool for the living to gain wisdom not a guide by which to live." Robert F. Kennedy (1925-68 assassinated.)

Arash at September 12, 2003 02:54 PM [permalink]:

Dear Saoshyant,
Let me offer some clarifications:

1-I certainly did not ever say or imply that the people of the United States are to be blamed for what happened on 9/11 and I absolutely agree with your reminder. Quoting part of my own posting: "Americans are as much the victim of this hatred as any other nation". I hope this serves as the clarification you kindly demanded.

2- Going over my article and my posting over and over again, I could not find any comment that could imply that Al'Qaeda's actions are justified because of the policies the U.S. government has adopted. They are cetgorically unjustifiable and repugnant. The point I am trying to make is that terrorist groups like Al'Qaeda, as well as oppressive regimes whose livelihoods depend on the support of brainwashed vigilantes, cannot just put an ad on a newspaper and recruit people who are willing to do what those 19 people did on 9/11. They need to be brainwashed. They need to be convinced that what they are doing is the wish of Almighty himself. Therfore, such groups and regimes will not hesitate to take advantage of anything that could help them better justify their actions to their own brainwashed followers. I am saying what the U.S. government did, and more importantly, the way it went about doing it, makes the job of recruiting haters of America much much easier for people like Bin Laden. So it basically has got nothing to do with me being a pacifist or otherwise. Their policies are questionable even from a logical point of view, even if one does not accept their questionability based on ethical grounds.

3-It is not my position nor is it in my capacity to say what is or would have been best for the people of Iraq, or even Iran for that matter. I think people are free to wish for anything they want. However, as regards Iran, as an Iranian citizen, I reserve myself the right to criticize those who think an American invasion of Iran is the solution to our problems and that the U.S., or any other country for that matter, would put Iranians' interests above and beyond the interests of their respective countries.

4- You said: "For the people who live under the tyranny, less tyranny or even a chaos instead of tyranny for a short while, may mean freedom." You're quite right. It may mean freedom. When it comes to Iran, the question is: "Do the possible advantages weigh over the disadvatages?" Is our country in a point where a total chaos like that in Iraq could actually be considered more desirable than the situation we are in now? I simply do not think so. Had someone said that about Afghanistam three years ago, I might have sympathized with it, but about today's Iran, well, as you very rightly said: "We might appeal to them to overcome their emotion and resort to wisdom."


5- A government has to be so powerful, or alternatively so arrogant and out of touch with reality, to think that it can rid the world of all evils and then run the whole world on its own. I cannot think of a more powerful country than the U.S. They seem to be very much stretched to their limits and it's just been two or three countries. Even if we assume that the U.S. invaded Iraq in order to end a tyranny then it means that it should also (need be, unilaterally) invade Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea, etc. etc. Somehow I do not find that reasonable even for someone who is very much "in favour of armed intervention".

Thanks for your comment and your very well chosen quote.

saoshyant at September 12, 2003 09:51 PM [permalink]:

Arash:

I really appreciate your response. My concerns are all fully addressed. Much of my concern arose from reading your exchange with Iranian Student, more so than your article. Thank you very much.

A Reader at September 13, 2003 02:31 AM [permalink]:
Dear Arash, Thanks for the comments. What follows is what I have to say about some of them. First things first I found the airplane business appaling, but the fact that the airline apologized afterwards and more importantly the fact that in the cases mentioned, it was the ordinary people , or the crew, and not the airline itself that overreacted due to paranoia is an important issue. It might be interesting to compare this with the over popular new fashion of "American people very good, American government not so good" mentality. Besides, the fact that there have been so few incidents itself is worthy of notice. Compare it with the reactions against the 'Japs' back in WWII. Nevertheless I concede that I was not correct in my last point. As to your other comments: The fact that a good many people believe the that the only way some countries or nations could get powerful or prosperous is by having deprived others of the same blessings does not make it any less nonesense. There is that other little thing called ingenuity, creativity and dedication at work that is usually ignored. In my opinion, the way to deal with nonsense is not to modify your actions because a large number of people might be in an erroneous belief, but to do what is necessary even if in the short term that might infuel more of the wrong prevelant feelings. Your comment about American motives in Iran was a bit disappointing though. It is really bringing the level of discussion down to equate supporting recent American policies in the region with the belief that Americans are doing it out of the goodness of their heart ( whatever that means.) The truth of the matter is we are living in a world which has inherited its traditions and cultures from more primitive times going all the way back to our cavemen ancestors. It is important to realize that humanitie's current level of civilisation and morality in politics, with all its failures and weaknesses should be seen as an artifact of man *built* upon the jungle life which is mother nature's way of handling things, and not as a lost *divine* heavenly status in the good old days. At the current level of civilisation, global political structure is based on super-tribes each viewing others as their rivals and acting on self interest. It is absurd to expect or demand from the US not to act upon *its* self interest. However it is also absurd to ignore the fact that in many instances, US self-interests and Iran's could be the same. The fact that US is not following its policies out of its everlasting love for us, doesn't mean that they can nevertheless be to our advantage. Besides recent history has shown many times that the the fact that USA is a democracy (though not a perfect one etc etc etc.) has resulted in a general improvement in many of the lands it has intervened militarily or other. Japan and Germany being just two starking examples of it, South Korea as compared to the North even a better one. In the particular case of Iran, contrary to the fashionable view, I have to say that I indeed regard an American military intervention and regime change to *be* the best possible option for the future of Iran, no matter how much that might hurt our nationalistic feelings. The way I see it, the regime in Iran is just too brutal and barbarous and the opposition too unorganized and the people too frustrated and beaten for a real change of regime to take place by an internal revolution of some sort. Besides the events in Russia ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
An Iranian Student at September 13, 2003 02:32 AM [permalink]:

Sorry I forgot to put my name on the above post.
Sorry also for its being so long. :)

nina at September 13, 2003 11:34 AM [permalink]:

As a double viewpoint, the 9/11 has two way gone: first, it as an adventure have had physical, economic or political effects on so many cases so we can analyze it as a root having some fruits. Second, it, as a fruit of some roots nourishing their results, terminated that the US governors accused many countries, governments, groups, ideologies and etc. as accomplices.

The analytical way could be more reasonable and fruitful related to economy, politics or information sciences. But to esteem the feelings of victims' family they need to introduce an enemy at once. So blaming the others is simplest and best away to calm Americans and focusing the views on an external enemy to invert their attention from the problems and wrongs of internal system such as ill roots of their external politics esp. in Middle East in recent years as the place of some sinful terrorists in their mind.

This complexity of reason and feeling makes understanding of the problem serious. Of course another important matter taking part in this seriousness is the social atmosphere. For example as a member of US society, the effects on life are more because there are a calm lake which a stone falls into; but as a member of a third world country, there are not any calm lake around us, and we ever live in threats and wars and a new stone maybe interest us a little caparisoned the other threats such as war, hunger, die and so on!!


saoshyant at September 13, 2003 12:56 PM [permalink]:

Iranian Student,

I really appologize if I offended you or any other Iranian fellow by saying that frustration may lead some to become impatient and desperate. What I meant was not that they do not have the right to feel differntly and hence demand/expect/wish/hope for a different course of action that might be considered destructive by others.

I also sympathized with you in that I believe the US intervention, despite my mixed feelings about the way it has been handled post-intervention so far, may indeed have some good unintended consquences in the long run, and those of us who are against military intervention at any cost should remember that often times for people who are caught under tyranny there seems to be no other solution. The question is who and how such an intervention must be conducted and who and how the post-intervention plans should be designed and implemented. These are very complex questions.

If you look at Bosnia or Kosovo, the West did not intervene until a good number of people had been killed. Nonetheless, the interventions were conducted by the Nato and post-intervention was managed by the UN.

Still, I think there needs to be more of those who are not overwhelmed by tragedy as a guide in life, as a opposed to a tool to gain wisdom.

An Iranian Student at September 13, 2003 07:08 PM [permalink]:

Dear Saoshyant,

I appreciate your explanations and respect your points of view, though I don't share all of them.
About a UN or Nato intervention as opposed to the US, well I still prefer the US. With countries such as France and Germany in the Nato and with the UN having become the human manifestation of beurocratic inefficiency and tyrannical regimes' tool of averting outside pressure, the US still seems the best choice.

Arash at September 14, 2003 04:45 AM [permalink]:
Dear Iranian Student, Although it is my personal preference to have more multilateral discussions, especially as regards to my own postings, due to the fact that very few arguments and counter aguments have been posted by others, I have no choice but to take on this, however unusual, author-reader Q&A-like setting: 1- As regards that paragraph of yours about "nonsense", "ingenuity" and doing "what is necessary" despite short term fueling of more "erroneous beliefs", I am not quite sure how it all relates to our discussion. I did not mean to play down or overlook the ingenuity and dedication of all the men and women in countries like U.S. who have made it the kind of prosperous country that it now is. In fact, I find that exploitation to be part of that ingenuity and dedication. Anyhow, I still do not find how this is all relevant to our discussions. Please elaborate. 2- You said: "The fact that US is not following its policies out of its everlasting love for us, doesn't mean that they can nevertheless be to our advantage". Well, of course! But, does that automatically imply welcomming a U.S. invasion? I do not think so. You mentioned Japan and South Korea, as examples of how American invasion can be of great benefit to a nation. First of all, these examples belong to a different international political context, i.e. the cold war, at the time of which U.S. did its best to counter the spread of communism in the world. At the time, bringing prosperity and modernization was the best counter measure against the expansion of communism. Communism is not a threat (to U.S.) anymore, so you have to reconstruct a firm argument that, given the current political settings in the world, explains why it is in the benefit of US to do for Iraq (or Iran) the things that it did for South Korea and Japan decades ago. Second, the military presence of the U.S. in Japan and Korea happened in completely different circumstances abosultey incomparable to the invasion of Iraq (not so much so as regards Afghanistan however). Japan started the war with the U.S. and lost it, and US military intervention in South Korea was part of a UN sanctioned "police action" against the invasion of Soviet sanctioned invasion by North Korea. Third, I think now you are overlooking the ingenuity and dedication of the people of Japan and South Korea. 3- You said: "I indeed regard an American military intervention and regime change to *be* the best possible option for the future of Iran, no matter how much that might hurt our nationalistic feelings." I'm affraid, it would hurt much more than just nationalistic feelings. In fact, I should say, it would have been a winning bet, had it been only our patriotic feelings at stake. I think for someone like you, who so boldly prescribes war for a nation and so unreservedly uses the clause "no matter", it is essential to explicitly enumerate the advantages and give at a least a hint as to how they wiegh over the disadvantages. Of course this argument could also be applied to myself, as someone who is against inviting foreign military intervention in today's Iran, and I suppose I should also layout my reasons as to why such course of events would lead to more catastrophe. However, I prefer to defer that to a later comment or even a posting, hoping others who share my view would be encouraged to participate in this dicussion. So, please, I should very much like to read your argument pro US military intervention. Can you tell us what kind o ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
saoshyant at September 14, 2003 03:19 PM [permalink]:
Dear Arash and Iranian Student: First Arash, I again need you to clarify one point from your previous posting: Are you suggesting that the fact a completely out of control Monster like Saddam Hussien, however partly created as a result of the policies of the Western Powers and the US, could have never have had turned his know-how and personnel to make WMDs again? I hope you are not playing down this fact, by mentioning that Afghanistan's intervention could make sense, but Iraq could not whatsoever. Even from the perspective of real politics there is no guarantee that Iraq, should it have been left untouched, would never have pursued the manufacture of the WMDs. The fact that Iraq was not in possession of them was not enough: it had acquired the capacity to make them and this should have made a strong case for the International Community to be concenrned. Especially, Iraq's neibours, and of course if you are convinced that Iraqis would have never imagined dropping an A-bomb on Iran in case of acquisition, well I commend your optimism. On the case of Iran, I think Iranian Student is making a general point about the importance and validity of intervention as a prima facie necessity and not the political circumstances of the intervention per se. The fact is that the US intervention in WWII and the democratization of Japan and Germany cannot be discounted by just citing the political circumstances and citing their own selfish interest, and I hope you are not trying to say that. It is the conclusion of such an intervention that should make any fair-minded person convinced that nation-building can happen if it conducted properly. A democratic Germany today is indeed the conscientious voice of a world that has not succumbed into the will of revenge and tragedy, but a spirit that has democratized its organizational skills and systematic through a constitution imposed upon it by English-speaking constitutionalist powers. South Korea is not a very good example. In fact, and this is a reminder to Iranian Student as well, the Americans did not make as much effort with respect to South Korea as they did in the case of Japan. It was not until after the Vietnam catastrophe that they realized they have to press the South Koreans to get on intitution building and democratization. It is sad but true that much of the democratization in the contemporary world has not happened but through outside force. Indeed, if Americans had not forced Pinochet to step down (they brought him to power indeed), he would not have done that. This is just another example. Marcus in the Philipines was forced down when he lost the US's support as well. I have a few questions for you Arash at this point. I think it is fair to ask all your questions from Iranian considering a post-intervention Iran. But, what is your vision about the present situation of Iran? Is not it true that Iran is undergoing a manifold catastrophe, culturally, economically, and politically? Who and with what power can change the present situation any better? Do you propose waiting for a saviour (saoshyant or al-Mahdi)? Or do you think the present divided coalition of reformists can force the Vilayati Motalqiyi Faqih to undergo a change of hear? Who is going to lead the new movement? Who is going to define the goals and political ideology of a new revolution? I think your criticism of the Iranian Student is fair. But I still think you have to take into consideration that a good number of peo ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Arash at September 15, 2003 04:58 PM [permalink]:
Dear Saoshyant, I am afraid dealing with both the issues you raised regarding Iraq and Iran would make this comment an extremely long one. So allow me to provide you with my viewpoint regarding Iran which may be a matter of higher priority. I will post my views on Iraq later in another comment. 1- I believe the country is in a very critical situation. Please pay very close attention to the word "critical". It is by no means catastrophic. It is however in a very decisive point. Any miscalculation, on the part of the rulers of Iran as well as the opposition could lead the country to a total disaster. It is like a patient in a critical condition. You know there is this possibility that she perishes, but I don't think anyone would recommend shooting her! 2-I honestly cannot propose anything concrete that could guarantee a way out. I do know however that a military intervention at this time is like shooting the patient. There are some points to consider here: There are no viable alternatives to the Islamists at the moment. This is a fact that does not change even after a military intervention. With a military intervention, you will just create this huge hole, which the invaders will have to fill in by an indefinite military presence. Iran is also a country that has great potential for being disintegrated into several pieces by its neighbors. Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, the U.A.E, Iraqi Kurds; they all want a piece of this country. Any uncalculated move could ravage the country for good. 3- I have never been a fan of the so-called reformists'. They have indeed failed to deliver what they had promised their constituency, but I think their presence has not been totally futile. They have introduced a new and more reasonable mindset into the system, however weak and inadequate it might be. Many things that were considered a taboo ten years ago are now very seriously debated. The Salmaan Rushdi issue, the stoning-to-death punishment, women's rights bill, etc. These are of course by no means adequate but just try to remember the 1360's (1980's). We lived in a time that the rulers actually dared to say "even if the war lasts for twenty years, we will stand". Imagine if we had that mind-set in the regime now in dealing with issues like that of the IAEA. There are still people out there who think that way but at least they are not the only voice within the regime. Things could have very well been worse, and they still can be if we let our emotions take control. 4- I believe the country is in a lose-lose situation. I am afraid there is no reasonable hope for an absolute winning scenario. I think we just have to opt for the alternative that results in less loss. I think we should all accept the fact that not everything is necessarily reversible. What we lost during the past 25 years cannot be fully salvaged. We have to be reasonable and be modest in our goals or else we will again fall in the trap of extremism and emotionalism. This is what got us into this mess in the first place and this time the consequences will be far more damaging that those of the 1979 uprisings. We cannot hope for a miracle, and we must not wait for a savior. The best chance that we have is to make a difference where we can. Raise the awareness within ourselves and others. Try to take very small steps and make very small changes. Try our best to change the culture of myth and fantasy to that of reason and reality. Granted, none of this will rid Iran of the "absolute g ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
saoshyant at September 15, 2003 09:41 PM [permalink]:

Dear Arash,

Thank you for taking time, I really appreciate it.

An Iranian Student at September 16, 2003 04:44 AM [permalink]:
Dear Arash, You asked how we can be sure about the situation in post-intervention Iran. The answer is very simply , we can't! It would be a challenge and a damn hard one. We can't be sure of anything. If you want guarantees, you'll be disappointed. There are none. But I'm afraid You're asking the wrong question. Look at Iran now. In order to keep the same level of (devetsaed) economy and number of the jobless, the government must have a yearly economic growth that in this regime reaching even half of it would be nothing but a sweet dream. Can you understand what happens in ten year time when this system remains in power? in 20 years time? This is killing and torture at the same time. You seem to be too optimistic about the system. What will happen in the next ten years under this regime is a human catastrophy and with the paste of world developement, Iran will NEVER again be able to raise its head beyond the very poor and devastated third world country, EVER. The unbleievable corruption of this system, from head to toe, of ther insatiable appetite for plundering whatever is left in this land brings NOTHING but graduall but certain death as its finale. Actually there is no government ruling Iran since 1979, but different clans of Islamic Mafia-so that we do not even benefit the tiny advantages of a centralized tyranny in its usual forms. To leave your patient in the hand of Mafia for good, is issuing her death warrant. In an invasion, she might still have a chance and that's the risk worth taking. I don't know where you live, but in Iran an entire generation is going to ground, without any light or hope if this system continues. This system must not continue its existance, if there is going to be any hope of survival for Iran. The opposition is rather weak and disorganized. I don't understand why you regarda US intervention to be like shooting the patient. Iraq was/is also very apt for disintegrating, but tht's one thing the Amerocans won't let happen, as you can see. Doesn't that tell you something? As for the death of Communism and the reason the West (well actually the US alone , more or less) can have in promoting democracy-I'm amazed you need to ask. Islamic fundamentalism and its worldwide terror reign. This time it comes directly from the ME. You say the 'reformists' have introduced some small element of good into the society. I fail to see how. It is exactly by the hoax of refom against harliners that they have managed to open up relations with Arab states and with Europe and nearly with the US (which fortunately didn't happen) and this people missed one of their best chances of doing away with this tyranny once and for all. No one asks for war just like that. But when needed that's necessary. Unfortunately there will always be people like the Nazis or in our time the Islamofascists who take their power from their hate and cannot survive without waging a war. It would have been nice to live in a world were humanity lived in harmony and peace, but that is a mere dream and in these times, dwelling on dreams is most dangerous. These people exist and they should be dealt with and it needs such wars to do away with them. Unfortunate, but true. THey act with their fanatic dedication. It is the duty of the civilsed portion of humanity to act with the same dedication for life. And Dear Saoshyant, East Timor is not in a wealthy, geopolitical region. Bosnia and kosovo is in Europe, too close for theVillepinist governments suc ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
An Iranian Student at September 16, 2003 04:59 AM [permalink]:

BTW, sorry for all the spelling (and sometimes grammer) mistakes. It's a recent bad habit of typing fast and posting without delay.
Sorry.