Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Khiaban No. 16: A Safe Nest for Our Hopes

This was sent in by a kind person, and is a translation of the lead article in Khiaban #16 (Monday, June 6, 2009). Many thanks to the sender! 
(additional editing was done where needed.) 
(To get electronic copies of the paper in Persian, you can write to: khyaboon@gmail.com)

A Safe Nest for the Seeds of Our Hopes
By Seemin Mesgari 
Khiaban #16 / Monday, July 6, 2009

What has been happening over the past month in the streets of Iran, leaves no doubts among any skeptics that the people know best what's in the best interest of their own country! If until now, some have been holding onto the fantasy of exported peace and freedom of the Iraqi and the Afghani (!) type, or have put all their media effort into colorizing or velvetizing the people's uprising to the benefit of one of the governing factions, people's struggle up to now have shown that the fate of this country is neither being figured in the hands of the imperialists nor in the internal lobbies of the ruling system, but in the streets and in every single house, and with the raised fist of every single fighter and activist. Any hope in any illusion other than this fact is doomed to disappointment, and any effort at reducing this struggle to a family fight [between the ruling elites], is doomed to failure!

In view of the principle that any path to the elimination of the enemies -- of freedom and equality and popular sovereignty -- passes through the ranks of the people, the voice of every freedom and justice loving individual and group that cannot be present [in Iran] in this struggle can be turned into an effective voice. A prime example is that of the is the vociferous voice of the Iranians outside Iran, who from the very beginning of the struggle of the Iranian people in the streets, though not literally shoulder to shoulder, but in the same spirit and voice in unison with the Iranian people's demand for change, they have formed their lines of struggle outside the borders of Iran.

The fact that every individual and organization and line comes to the side of the Iranian people for their own reasons is a separate discussion, which is neither in the scope nor the intention of this note. But, the tools employed by the Iranians living abroad, in their solidarity with and support of the activists inside, are limited tools which can be summarized mainly into demonstrations, and bringing to the attention of the world media what is happening inside Iran, and try to pressure mostly European and the American governments to unambiguously condemn the crackdown and the killings and the arrests by the Iranian government.

If we take a fair look at what has been, and being done outside the country, for those inside, we cannot deny the positive effects of the information dissemination efforts and pressuring of the government leaders in those countries ...

But, what compels me to write this note is the exaggeration of some Iranians living abroad regarding the utility of putting any hope in world's statesmen and women. Of course it is very useful to keep up the pressure on world leaders, but holding out huge hopes about their steadfastness of assistance, given the record of the last thirty years, is not very realistic.

If the people's historical memory is short, all evidence points to the fact that the memory of politicians is much shorter. Let us not forget that, in the political games played by the statesmen of the word, it is self-interest, not humanistic or human rights considerations, which have the primary say.

After three weeks of killings and violent crackdowns and arrests and immoral and illegal, tortured confessions, it is the arrest of the British embassy staff in Tehran that turned the Iranian events into a crisis situation for the European parliamentarians, and got them to start considering an unambiguous position and some practical steps. And perhaps the possible freeing of those staff will be portrayed as a 'positive step of building confidence' taken by Iran!

But, even in the midst of all this, European countries such as Italy and Germany, that have the biggest capital investments and trade with the Iranian government, find themselves fighting against plans for and ratification of any proposals for actions against the Iranian government.

Therefore, focusing and trusting these governments, for consultation/pressuring, should not make Iranians living abroad overlook or neglect the main focus of the struggle and the ongoing events inside Iran.

The hope for a fundamental change passes through the ranks of the fighting people of Iran inside the country, and given the untrustworthiness of any other form of alliance, especially with any statesmen and women -- all this renders the movement of our fighting people the safest nest for the seeds carrying the saplings of freedom and equality in Iran.

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