ON THE OCCASION OF NIXON'S DEATH

Sam Ghandchi

May 5, 1994

 

As a child everytime I went to Imam-Zadeh-Abdollah with my
father to pay respects at my grandfather's tomb, we would go
to another tomb just a few steps from my grandfather's and
read a fAteheh at the graveside of three Iranian students,
Shariat-e Razavi, Ghandchi, and Bozorg-Nia, who were shot on
16-Azar of 1332 (Dec. 7, 1953) in Daneshkadeh Fani by Shah's
police.  I only knew my father cared a lot, because one of those
three was my cousin, Ahmad Ghandchi, whom my father [my
father does not care for any politcal group.  He is a Shia
Muslim] had tried a lot to save, by buying as much blood as he
could, but the bullet wounds did not heal and he passed away
in a few hours on that dreadful autumn day.  I do not
remember him at all, I was a baby.  But I remember his
mother, who still would talk about him, till the day she passed
away a few years ago.  He was a real favorite of her.  She
would have tears in her eyes every time she talked about him,
even years after his death.
 
When I went to university, I learned about the significance of
Dec. 7.  Ahmad himself was a supporter of Jebh-e Melli of Iran,
headed by Dr. Mossadegh.  The students had demonstrated in
those first months after the coup which had toppled Dr.
Mossadegh, to break the walls of the dictatorship that had just
started and which lasted 25 years after that year.  They were
against the agreement of Capitulation and the sell-out of Iran's
oil to the Consortium.  They stood up and this is why that day,
the Dec. 7, was later called the Student's Day and Iranian
students all over the world celebrated it for years.
 
I would not be happy even for the death of my worst enemies,
but I think it is worthwhile to review Nixon's career
professionally.  Nixon represented a US policy which was to
interfere in the affairs of other countries and which had no
respect for democracy and human rights in the third world
(helping the formation of Savak in Iran was an example of it) . 
That was the policy which engineered the coup against
Mossadegh.  Mossadegh was NOT a Communist, and actually
opposed communism and himslef had sided with Roosevelt and
US government on many occasions during his public career. 
Actually many times Tudeh Party, accused Mossadegh of being
a US Agent because of his support of the US.
 
Nixon's foreign policy theory was later called Nixon Doctrine at
the time of Vietnam War.  His way of interference was to use
local elite as the extension of US policy.  In Iran, his ally was
the royal family, especially Ashraf Pahlavi and the Shah
himself.  Nonetheless, I also see positive aspects to Nixon's
career.  I think his role in ending the Vietnam War and signing
the Peace Treaty was realistic and positive, for whatever
reason he did it.  I think if in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini was the
best person to sign the peace treaty with Iraq, in US, Nixon
administration was in the best position to make this move,
because the liberals would support such a move any way and
the conservatives would not raise hell when they saw him
making the move.
 
As far as internal US politics is concerned, Watergate and
impeachment of the first US president was my own affirmation
that democracy can work and it is possible to achieve a lot of
one's grand ideals without expecting to overthrow a system.  I
see the role of Nixon in negotiating with the Communists a very
positive role.  He was open to create a dialogue with his
opponents.  Even in his last visit to Moscow before his death, he
paid a visit to the leaders of the failed coup, even though
Yeltsin was upset with it.  Those guys are actually the
communists who oppose the democratic forces who are the
ruling group in Russia.  I think Nixon's approach for keeping
the dialogue was definitely a positive aspect in his foreign
policy methods.
 
I would say that learning from Nixon's and what he did
internationally and in regard to Iran, means learning history
and not making the same mistakes.  The lesson for me from
Nixon's negative side is to value democracy in the third world
countries and not allow any foreign state to create a deadly
force like Savak for us or to control our destiny.  Also know to
respect all the democratic institutions like the ACLU, Amnesty,
and other human rights organizations who even impeached a
president when at fault.  Another lesson from his positive
contributions for me is to emphasize dialogue with all shades of
the political, ideological, religious, and ethnic/cultural
background.  In today's world dialogue especially between the
diehard enemies is the most important for any nation to insure
security and prosperity.
 
- Sam Ghandchi

1994-05-05

 

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Posted on soc.culture.iranian newsgroup on May 5, 1994