19 July 2011

Some thoughts on the Green Movement in Iran

(First published on Facebook on 15 Azar 1388, or 6 December 2009)

Reading the article I just posted to my Wall, the one in the New Yorker from 21 November 2005 entitled “Fugitives: Young Iranians confront the collapse of the reform movement”, this sentence in particular leapt out at me: “Iran’s reform movement, for all its courage, was the loyal opposition in a fascist state.  It sought neither to dismantle nor to secularize the Islamic Republic established in 1979, but to improve it.”

And that is why it failed.  The young Iranians involved in the campaign today are happy that their “leaders” are along for the ride for the time being, but as even these “leaders” have admitted, it is the people on the streets who are leading and they are merely followers.

All the commentators who have said the Green Movement only seeks “modest” goals such as those of the failed reform movement of the past have not, unlike those in the streets and university greens today, learned from the mistakes of the past.  I include several Iranian expats in that statement.

One significant fact these commentators forget when they suggest by implication that the current regime (not AN's [Ahmadinejad’s] administration but the entire structure) is legitimate if corrupted is a that it is result of the usurpation of the original revolution.  Until the beginning of Cultural Revolution of the 1980's, secular leftists were an integral part of the government and had been a major force in the 1357 (1979) Revolution itself.  The current regime is the result of an exceedingly bloody, vicious coup d’etat by the Hezbollahi.

Iranians in the Green Movement do not want mere “reform” to enable their “leaders” to hold onto their share of power which they derive from the current structure, they want revolution. Not a violent revolution but a complete change in society and a completely secular, truly democratic government.

It is for these goals that they put their health, their bodies, their lives on the line, not for the artificial life-support maintenance of a regime in a permanent vegetative state of existence. They demonstrated this graphically in their protests on National Students Day (16 Azar 1388/ 7 December 2009) with the numerous Iranian flags they carried during their marches upon which the symbols of the IRI were noticeably absent.

It is a slanderous insult to suggest otherwise or to demand in one's own heart that otherwise is the case because of one's own failures or lack of courage or vested interest in not letting the status quo move too far off its center.

The people of the Green Movement, especially the young people, want freedom, they want equality, they want justice, for all in Iran.

Azadi, barabari, va edalat baraye hamae Iran: Rooze ma khahad amad.

(The above-mentioned New Yorker article can be found online athttp://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/11/21/051121fa_fact4)

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