After last night’s State of the Union Speech of George W. Bush, many Iranian monarchists are very hopeful that George Bush is going to overthrow the Islamic Republic and to instate Reza Pahlavi at the thrown of Iran.  Some monarchists even think that Reza Pahlavi is slow to take action and they think the U.S. will do the job without him.


I am sure as time passes, we will know more, but I do not think the above is Bush’s goal for singling out Iran, Iraq, and North Korea in his speech and I highly doubt it that the U.S. would invade Iran.  They know better. 


I think to understand Bush’s goal in this regard, we should remember three things.  First is George Bush’s economic focus on oil and military even before Sept 11.  Secondly the experience of American people during Sept 11th.  Remember those Palestinians who danced in public when Americans were suffering and all the sympathy from the Palestinians to them at that time of grieving, was Yasser Arafat’s simple condemnation of the terrorist attack, whereas in contrast, Israel volunteered to help the American people in many different ways.  In the past and even now, Arafat and the Palestinians have asked the U.S. to help them with their cause in so many ways, but in those sad moments, they did not lift a finger to help.  Palestinian fighters at least could have volunteered to put their military skills to help the firefighters in New York.  Maybe nobody would have accepted it but at least the offer could have shown some good will on their part, at the time the American nation was hurting.  They just want to ask US for help now but did not give when it was time and rather some idiots danced on streets of the West Bank.  I think this reality also needs to be seen to understand Bush’s plan.  Thirdly I think after Sept 11th and the fall of Talaban, the U.S foreign policy makers are convinced that Turkey’s model is a better way to develop friends in the Middle East and the Islamic prescription for Middle East countries is losing attraction. In fact, when in Bush’s speech last night, when he tried to praise Islam itself, nobody in the Congress clapped.


Basically I think Bush has the following objectives:


1.  To teach a lesson to those Palestinians who danced during the Sept 11th and to give gratitude to Israelis who volunteered to help the U.S. at the time of the 9/11 disaster. 


2.  To finish the presence of Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon and to insure noninterference of Islamic Republic, Iraq, and Palestinian Authority.  In fact, they expect the Islamic Republic to stay neutral and Yasser Arafat to cooperate in this mission or to get out of the picture and create a state like Afghanestan in Lebanon, which can do away with all such groups altogether.


3.  To use Reza Pahlavi and the Iranian people’s pro-democracy movement to get more concessions from the Islamic Republic.


4.  To use this whole situation to justify a flawed budget which is more appropriate for the war time and not the current times in the world, where any country can win or lose in the global marketplace by how much it spends in the basic infrastructure of modern computer, communications, biotech, alternative energy and nanotechnologies rather than by spending on military apparel. Today even South Korea has a better high speed networks than the U.S. And I think this whole strategy of SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) of George Bush is an old obsolete strategy which will result in the last bankruptcy filing to be the U.S. government itself.  If after WWII, the highway project by the US government revived the nation, at this time, the US needs advanced information highways that can connect the whole nation at low cost, in short Universal High-Speed Access.  This is what I wrote on the flaws of Bush’s economic policy for the US less than a year ago:


Finally I would say the above situation with respect to Iran is a good time for Iranian democratic forces to use for our benefit.


1. Not to fall for pipedreams of US overthrowing IRI and giving it to us on a silver platter.


2. At the same time not to fall for general outcry of IRI to defend motherland against a so-called US invasion.


3. Not to get distracted from the pro-democracy movement and the unity based on the future possibilities of this movement.


4. To tell the world that Iranian pro-democracy movement shares *nothing* with the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah and that for Iranians we prefer not to get involved in the Israel-Palestinian regional politics and we consider it their problem to solve, although we have always condemned the terrorism and atrocities of the Islamists in Iran and abroad against Bakhtiar, Ghasemloo, Foruhars, Salman Rushdie, and the Sept 11th victims, and many others.


5.  As far as Prince Reza Pahlavi, I am glad that he continues his call for democracy and human rights in Iran and the call for European states and others not to have unconditional relations with IRI and I hope he joins the efforts to form a secular federal democratic republic in Iran.  These situations come and go and the U.S. is after getting concessions from Islamic Republic of Iran.  The real change in Iran will happen by the Iranian people, and the Iranian organizations, who are leading the pro-democracy movement in Iran, as it is maturing day after day, month after month, and year after year, although it is to the advantage of Iranian people that the U.S. not to support the IRI.  Also I hope those who are innocently supporting the IRI lobbyists in the U.S. to wake up and take the side of the pro-democracy movement in Iran.


Hoping for a Secular, Democratic, Federal, and Future_Oriented Republic of Iran.


Sam Ghandchi, Publisher


January 30, 2002





P.S. Feb 20, 2002  One thing that is changing in the Middle East since the Sept 11th is that supporting Islamism as the main policy of the US in the Middle East has changed and Turkization (for lack of a better terminology) has taken the upper hand in the US foreign policy circles. This can work against the democratic forces, or can work for pro-democracy movement of Iran, depending on how we Iranian democratic and progressive forces approach this new situation.  This is a bit like the UK's change of foreign policy in the region after the 1917 Russian October Revolution, when UK suddenly changed policy and supported unswerving states like Reza Shah in Iran (first as a republic movement then as a monarchy), in contrast to supporting weak states, with a lot of mollah presence, which was the case in the decades preceding Reza Shah, and the new policy confused many Iranian revolutionary thinkers of the time (at the time the most advanced opposition thinkers of Iran were the leftists like Soltan-Zadeh).  I think the same is happening today after Sept 11th and the change in US policy is confusing many in the democratic opposition. The change means that US may support a war between Israel and Iran with the goal of not just helping Israel's goal of gettin grid of Hamas and Hizbollah, but also to bring a Turkish scenario in Iran to fruits. I think we Iranians should be very careful, or we may end up in a war with Israel, which is *not* to the advantage of Iranian pro-democracy movement, although it may help the toppling of the IRI, by replacing it with the rule of a Turkish-style dictatorship, and a puppet regime in Iran. So we should *not* think Israel will cooperate the same way with Islamic Republic, as it did during Iran-Iraq War period, although Israel’s goal is to get rid of Hamas and Hizbollah, and its goal is *not* to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran.   As I noted, this change of the US policy in the region can help the pro-demcoracy movement in Iran or can hurt it depending on how Iranian democratic and progressive forces react to it.


* The original article was first posted on Jebhe BB on January 30, 2002.  Postscript was posted on Feb 20, 2002 on Jebhe BB.


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