Republicans & So-called Monarchists Must Collaborate
So many individuals speak on behalf of Jebhe Melli, and so many organizations call themselves Jebhe Melli, and they all try to consider themselves as inheritors of Dr. Mossadegh's legacy. In the last couple of years, I had the pleasure to have the exchange of ideas with a member of Jebhe USA on the Internet. I found him to be an honest knowledgeable person, particularly about the history of Iran and the geopolitical issues of the Middle East. Unfortunately recently he was assigned a position in one of the Jebhe US organizations, and suddenly became an organization man, viewing his role as the defender of any position he thought supposedly Jebhe Melli has had, past and present. And finally because he could not handle my views about the need for secular republicans to work with the monarchists, to form an alternative for Iran, he resorted to calling me a collaborator of the monarchists. Do I want an apology from him? It is not just apologizing to me for the insults. I consider calling monarchists as dictatorial fascists as demonizing which I explain below.
Demonizing opponents is the practice of dictatorial organizations and we all know how Stalin called his opponents, during the purges, as Nazi collaborators and fifth column. Does this mean that I consider Jebhe Melli organization or this friend dictatorial? No. I will write later as to how I view the organization of Jebhe. But as far as calling me such names, I am sure this is coming from those in their organization, who are uneasy, when they see me discuss the alternative with individual so-called monarchists like Dr. Shaheen Fatemi, and they are afraid this can get their rank and file to do the same, easily talking to the so-called monarchists, especially when they see that I even speak respectfully about the views of some so-called monarchists, while I have noted many leaders of Jebhe are not up-to-date on political and economics literature, as compared to Dr. Shaheen Fatemi, and I do not see those Jebhe leaders as having done much of theoretical or political work in the last twenty some years.
I can have an exchange with the so-called monarchists without losing an inch of my conviction that Iran has passed the stage of monarchy and only needs a secular republic. I have no problem to talk to Reza Pahlavi, Farah Pahlavi, Dariush Homayoun or anybody else, and the Jebheiis can call me monarchist collaborator as much as they want. Who cares? I have my individual freedom to talk to anybody and if any Jebheii can prove that I say to any monarchist anything different from what I have written openly in public, they should show or shut up. Shame on those who use cheap shots to demonize their opponents, because I have noted that they have been stagnant for 20 years, and do not have the knowledge of latest developments in politics and economics, and still want to be the leaders of Jebhe.
I do not care if anybody is a leader of Jebhe or any other organization. The individual from Jebhe whom I respected was not a leader at that time, and was a young individual, and my respect for him was because of his knowledge and honesty, and those from Jebhe I do not respect is because of their ignorance, and because they are holding to power by organizational manipulations rather than merits. I have written that even referendum for monarchy and republic is meaningless, when I wrote why I think neither monarchists nor Jebhe Melli are the leaders of Iranian alternative, so this shows all their demonizing of me is because they have nothing to offer to keep their rank and file from questioning them, when they want to act as leaders of Iranian movement and make personal attacks on me rather than discuss issues and defend their political stands:
Some of the young members of Jebhe Melli think they are defending the faith. They even have an idealized image that Jebhe has always had a democratic organization. It would be a surprise for them if somebody would tell them the shorAyeh Jebhe was not elected by Jebhe members and was made by co-opting. But they should know this is not a discredit for Jebhe, under the circumstances it had to work. Creating an idealized unreal image of Jebhe history for the youth will later cause resentment, when those people get to know the facts. Calling itself the most democratic organization is not hard, and all the leftist and religious organizations of the opposition called themselves as such too. What the youth should do is to study the reality of each organization in different eras in their historical context if they care to have a realistic view of the history of Iranian movement.
Let's talk about demonizing all the monarchists as fascist dictators. Recently I met Dr. Shaheen Fatemi who is a so-called monarchist. I found him a very knowledgeable person and enjoyed talking to him about the unity of Iranian movement, and I do not even consider him a monarchist, although he works very closely with Prince Reza Pahlavi. I have had the same discussions about the need to work on a new constitution, on various forums and bulletin boards for years, to start working on a modern constitution for Iran. Is this why some Jebheiis think they can call me a collaborator of monarchy? In that case, then the monarchists can call me collaborators of Jebhe, because I have spent thousands of more hours talking to Jebhe people and even more than that talking to the leftists. I am an intellectual and I always challenged any groups I sympathized with, even at the time that the leftists reigned in the opposition, when being called all kinds of names by them, I questioned the toughest leftist groups.
I am just one individual thinking about Iran's issues and sharing it with people of various ideologies and have discussed my own thoughts on the ideologies and politics of many political organizations, even when some of them wanted to kill me and gave me death threat for writing critics of their ideologies or politics. As far as credentials, I have suffered enough in the hands of Shah's Savak than those who call me collaborator. Also the same way about IRI and I do not need to prove myself. But I am the first to say none of these personal credits should be a reason to accept the program I have been fighting for, and I do not expect people to accept my proposal based on my personal struggle. If they think the program I am suggesting is collaborating with monarchists and thus worthless, then discuss that. Why personal attacks? Here is my program:.
Here is the CC Proposal of mine that Prince Reza Pahlavi should take the lead in calling a Constitution Conference if he abdicates the throne:
I think the result of such a Conference will be a Constitution for a Secular Republic and I believe the participants of that conference will be convinced that Iranian people have passed the monarchy a long time ago, and that the unity of Iranian opposition can only happen around a secular republic. I think this process and face-to-face discussion of future constitution will finally put an end to 24 years of this dichotomy in the Iranian opposition. Is this wrong to say that many so-called monarchists are really not pro-monarchy and they want a modern republic, but because of not seeing such an alternative are grouped as monarchists?
Frankly when I talk to someone like Dr. Shaheen Fatemi, I see him a more modern democratic thinker than many old-timers from Jebhe Melli that I know. He is the only one among Iranian intellectuals I have seen, who understands economist Wassily Leontief, the Nobel Laureate I consider as the most important contributor to modern economy. My best wishes to Prof. Shaheen Fatemi on the publication of IRVAJ(Iran va jahan) Daily which he successfully publishes in four languages. And I see him in tune with the democratic theory in politics. How can I call him a fascist monarchist and consider those others, who demonize opponents, as democratic republican? True as far as program, I have repeated it over and over again, that I see monarchy to end up in dictatorship in Iran, and in that sense, if these folks want to bring monarchy for Iran, they are conveyors of dictatorship. But that does not make them Nazi fascists now, and I see all of them including Prince Reza Pahlavi, as individuals who can be instrumental in founding a real secular republic in Iran, if they abandon monarchy for good.
People can call me names as they please and for over thirty years fighting for democracy in Iran, I have been called all kinds of names from IRI agent to monarchist to MKO to whatever, by those who could not believe that someone can have an idea which may seem impossible to them. Just as I talked to Dr. Sanjabi and found him a knowledgeable and respectable democratic-minded thinker; when I talked to Dr. Shaheen Fatemi, I found him to be a very knowledgeable and democratic-minded thinker. This does not mean that I was a collaborator of Jebhe or Monarchy. I am an intellectual who can think for himself and if anybody disagrees with my views, they can say their views rather than calling me names. I just hope my views can help the efforts of the Iranian movement to get united and form a secular alternative for Iran, before people of Iran get tired and look to the foreign powers for such an alternative.
Hoping for a Futurist, Federal, Democratic, and Secular Republic in Iran
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher/Editor
April 30, 2003