"Death to America" Chants of IRI Parliament
شعار "مرگ برآمریکا"ی نمایندگان مجلس جدید جمهوری اسلامی
*This article was written on May 7, 2004 on the occasion of the opening of Islamic Republic's seventh parliament in Tehran.
Me and many other Iranians, condemn the "death to America" slogan, that Khomeini's regime and its supporters, in the name of Iran and Iranians, chant in every corner. The blood of one innocent American Nick Berg , who was horrifically beheaded by the Islamists a few weeks ago in Iraq, has not dried yet. Yet the representatives of the Seventh Parliament of Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), in the opening session of the new parliament, again chanted this horrific slogan of Ayatollah Khomeini. They are not representatives of Iranian people, and this is not the slogan of Iranian people. Iranian people want independence and at the same time want friendship with the U.S. and other countries. The "death to America" slogan, is the slogan of enemies of Iranian people, and it has caused a lot of damage to Iran and Iranians, inside and abroad, during all these years, and has associated the name of Iran and Iranians with hostage-taking, terrorism, and Islamism. This barbaric slogan, from the start of Islamic Republic of Iran, has been repeated by the leaders of IRI, in every Friday prayer. In fact, after the beheading of Nick Berg and the Sept 11th atrocity, the meaning of this slogan as the central slogan of Islamists is clear to anyone. Even before Sept 11th, there were many other heinous crimes by the Islamists. The fatwa of Ayatollah Khomeini for murder of Salman Rushdie for his ideas, which is even condemned by Khomeini's grandson today, and terrors of Boroumand, Bakhtiar, Kurdish Leaders, and Foruhars, are just to mention a few. In history, Islamists are not the first force with the appearance of a people's aspirations, to lead such a criminal agenda. Other ideological currents like Communism of Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Eastern Europe, have done similar crimes against humanity, and the end of Communism in Soviet Union by the pro-democracy movement, put an end to Communist terrorism in Russia and Europe. In the future, the end of Islamism by pro-democracy movement in the Middle East, will put an end to Islamist atrocities and terrorism.
In the recent history, as noted previously, Communism was equally after the destruction of capitalism and its spearhead, the United States. Karl Popper in his “Lessons of this Century”, published in 1997, has a good expose of this topic. Popper notes that the main argument of Marx’s Capital was that “capitalism cannot be reformed, but can only be destroyed; if one wishes to have a better society, it must be destroyed” [P.19]. Regardless of all the reforms in capitalism, this tenet of Marxism, remained part of the ideology of leaders of Soviet Union, till the end of Soviet Empire. Then Popper notes the Cuban Crisis of 1962 and Soviet’s possession of the H-bomb when for the “first time Soviet Union had ever the possibility of destroying the United States” [P.23]. Nonetheless, the Soviets backed down in the 1962 Cuban crisis, and Popper notes that “the Soviet Union lost the Cold War at that point, when there was an attempt to destroy America. That was when the only remaining idea of the Marxist regime failed; it was the beginning of the decline that led to the general collapse”. [P.23] “But after 1962, they went on producing bombs, all the time knowing that they couldn’t use them. That was the absolute intellectual zero point”.[P.28]
As for the Islamists, we have still not been in a situation like the 1962, when the IRI or any other Islamist force, to have the capability to destroy the Western world, and thus the answer to the question as to whether the Islamist retrogressive force will act like Khrushchev, retreating, or will destroy the world, is not known. It is interesting that this whole concept of depicting the West as evil, and the perspective to destroy the West, became such an integral part of the Soviet brainwash of its population, just as what has been done by the Islamists in the Middle East in the last 30 years. Gorbachev noted this phenomena when he saw the need to make the Soviet people *normal*.
Here is what Popper observes of this last episode of collapse of Soviet Communism: “Only with Gorbachev do we find a man who realizes that he has to change the fundamental assumption of the whole of Russian politics, that they are the people whose mission it is to destroy capitalism- that is, America. Gorbachev has actually been several times to America and seen the reality there; he wants to show his understanding of a free people which is not aggressive towards Russia but hopes that Russia will come to her senses. And Gorbachev made an important statement when he said ‘I want to make the people of the Soviet Union a normal people’ …You see, Gorbachev’s merit was to have understood that his people was not ‘normal’ whereas the American people was. The attitude is really quite different in America; they do not all the time have this horrible game in their mind.”
Popper's observations of the Soviet Union are very important. The attempt of its Communist government, party, and leaders, for decades after decades, was to create an abnormal attitude, among the people, to have a mission in their mind all the time, to destroy America. I think the Islamist governments, parties, and leaders, have done similar efforts in the last three decades.
The supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran, Taliban in Afghanistan, and other Islamist forces, repeating “Death to America” slogan for over 20 years, every week at their Friday sermons in the Middle East and elsewhere, have been trying to do a public brainwash of people to create a mindset to destroy America. This is so much like the cult indoctrinations of Islamic Fundamentalists pointed at the whole population of Afghanistan, Iran, and many other Middle Eastern countries. I think this is the perspective and attitude that is responsible for the tragedies of Sept 11, 2001, Daniel Pearl, and Nick Berg. The people of Middle East, over 100 years ago, had movements like Constitutional Movement in Iran, and supported secularism and civil law. The current Islamic Fundamentalism is not representative the thinking of Iranian people, but like Nazi Fascism, it represents a retrogressive movement, and although both fascism and Islamism are and have been religious movements, nonetheless their main tenet is their opposition to the Western democracy and secularism. and there is no so-called “historical” necessity for Islamic state in those societies, whether its fascist kind or its so-called Islamic Democracy version.
"Death to America" slogan of Seventh Parliament of Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), the majles that has even blocked the IRI reformist participation, shows that the Islamists will not stop till they destroy the West, and the only solution for the collapse of this Islamic Republic, is just like the Soviet Union before it, and where its fall will be in the hands of the pro-democracy movement of Iranian people. This way any kind of Islamism will lose legitimacy for good, and this retrogressive force, that has arisen in opposition post-industrial development, secularism and democracy, will end for good. The first step, as Gorbachev said, is to make the people *normal*, by stopping the "death to America" slogans and changing the hatred of Western democracy. Unfortunately the IRI Reformists of IRI Sixth Parliament and President Khatami's administration, contrary to Gorbachev, failed even to achieve this minimum, during all these years, when they were in power. The Iranian people themselves and the pro-democracy forces outside the regime, worked on this important enlightening work, and today the great majority of Iranian people condemn this heinous slogan, which the Islamists chant in our name, and the regime keeps people at the point of guns to stop them from open opposition to this slogan on the streets. Repetition of "death to America" by the representatives of IRI new parliament, only helps the destruction of Iranians who want to have friendly relations with all world. Iranians who want the end of Islamic Republic. A regime that has brought us hostage-taking and other crimes of the retrogressive Islamists for 25 years.
Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist
republic in Iran,
Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
May 27, 2004
** The section on Soviet Union was originally written in English in Oct 2001. The Persian version with this edition is also new.