STOP THE “DEATH TO AMERICA” SLOGAN!
Related Persian Article:
Ever since the establishment of Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), the IRI leaders have been repeating the atrocious “Death to America” slogan at every occasion. In fact, every week, at the main Islamic Friday Prayer of Iran, convened at the campus of University of Tehran, Islamic Republic’s highest authorities agitate their audience to repeat this dreadful slogan over and over again, at every pause, before each section of their prayers, or at the end of their Friday religious sermons.
For some time I wondered why this slogan is so central to the perspective of Islamic fanaticism, until I saw the heinous terrorist attack on WTC in New York, which was premeditated and was literally killing of innocent Americans. Although Islamic Republic of Iran has always tried to say they mean government of the U.S. in their slogans, and although they have condemned the Sept 11, 2001 tragedy in the U.S., but their attitude, which is crystallized in this slogan, shows that this kind of tragedy is the logical conclusion of the attitude and perspective which they propagate. Let’s look at similar cases in recent history of the world of the ones who thought of their mission to destroy America.
In the recent history, 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 Marx’s Capital’s main argument 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. Popper notes that the Cuban Crisis of 1962 and Soviet’s possession of the H-bomb was the “first time Soviet Union had ever the possibility of destroying the United States” [P.23]
But 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]
It is interesting that this whole concept of depicting the West as an evil, and the perspective to destroy the West, became such an integral part of the Soviet brainwash of its population. 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.”
I think this is a very important observation that Karl Popper has made about the Soviet Union. 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 this is the same kind of phenomena we have been seeing among the Islamic fanatic governments, parties, and leaders. They have been repeating “Death to America” for over 20 years, every week at their Friday sermons. This is so much like the cult indoctrinations of Islamic Fundamentalists pointed at the whole population of Afghanestan, Iran, and many other Middle Eastern countries. I think this is the perspective and attitude that is responsible for the tragedy of Sept 11, 2001.
The people of Middle East were on their path to secularism and civil law, long time ago in late 1800’s and early 1900’s, with movements like Constitutional Movement in Iran. The Middle Eastern people are mostly secular than religious,and have opposed the Islamic fundamentalism, apartheid, and fanaticism, more than any other peoples in the world. The current Islamic Fundamentalist rise in the Middle East is only comparable to the rise of Nazi Fascism and Soviet Communism in Europe, and has more to do with its anti-West perspective than with any so-called “historical” necessity of Islamic religion.
This tragedy of 21st Century will not stop until it destroys the West, starting with America, or unless the Islamic Republics go the same path of collapse, that Communism went, and the first step of that process, is to do what Gorbachev said, to make the population of these countries *normal*, by putting a stop to these “Death to America” slogans and the related anti-West attitude and perspective, that are being pushed onto the people of Middle East.
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher
Oct 1, 2001
* The above article was first posted on Jebhe BB on Oct 1, 2001