What is Wrong with the Palestinian Movement?
The point is that Palestinians are still stuck with bunch of leftist and Islamist groups leading them. They are the same groups that have been in the Palestinian scene 30 years ago. Iranians, thanks to IRI, came to the understanding of the hell reality of the leftist programs without experiencing of creating an Iranian Cambodia or Vietnam. Basically the reality of IRI showed Iranians what the leftist program amounts to with mostazafin substituted for proletariat.
Iranians are the most conscious in the whole of Middle East about what Islamism is. Iranians *inside* Iran are the only people who do not fall for the pseudo-independence and anti-imperialist rhetoric of Islamists and leftists. Unfortunately the Iranians outside Iran and the progressive forces in Europe and US are not as much aware about the reality of Islamism and Leftism. What the Middle East needs is to reach an understanding of the reality of Islamism and Leftism, the same way the people of South East Asia have reached such an outlook, and countries like Singapore did not choose such failing paths.
Whenever I hear from those who think the solution for Iran's problems is the unity of the Left, I think they are going mad. The schism of the Left is the consequence of its demise and the unity of a reactionary outlook is not going to make it any more viable. The call for EtehAd-e chap is very much like the calls for Islamic unity and Christian unity by the fundamentalists to save their dying systems. If one sees this in the Iranian movement outside Iran,, at least inside, the people basically do not care for such views, and are in a pro-Democracy movement which is very much Western, contrary to the anti-Western programs of Islamists and Leftists, who try to interpret that movement from their view.
The Palestinians still after these many years do not have a real pro-Democracy movement, with real democratic and modern organizations. In contrast to the Palestinians, all the countries that liberated from the Soviet Communism, were very aware that their freedom means that they cannot reach it thru any leftist or other fundamentalist organizations. Look at the Czechs, Poles, Germans, Albanians, Romanians, etc and the forces that led their freedom from Communism easily shows this fact. Even Russians and the Chinese pro-Democracy movements were the same. Russians neither went for another leftist alternative nor for Russian Orthodox Church and Tsarism. Czechs voted for Vaclav Havel and not Dubchek.
The problem is that Palestinians have not reached the understanding that Islamist and Leftist organizations have not brought democracy and modernism for them, and will never do, and are trying the same failed path of Vietnam.. In contrast, inside Israel, there are even pro-Democracy individuals and groups that are pro-Palestinian and a lot more advanced than PLO. Even one outspoken one of them Azmi Bishara is in the Knesset. Can one see anything like this in the Arab countries? No. For sure. The point is that there are myriad of Palestinian semi-legal and legal organizations in Syria and other places. PFLP, DPFLP, Hamas, Hizbollah, and so many others. All of them are Leftist or Islamist. PLO at best has been an umbrella for Islamist and Leftist organizations. It cannot be otherwise, when it wants to be the united front of all the Palestinian groups, and all there is, are the Islamist and Leftist organizations. Palestinians need to go for a modern pro-Democracy movement.
Perhaps Palestinians can learn from Iranian pro-Democracy movement and align themselves with Iran's pro-Democracy movement rather than still working with IRI and the Iranian leftist and Islamist groups. They can learn from the pro-Democracy movement in former Eastern Block and start creating new organizations that are based on fundamentals of modern democracy, rather than being leftist and Islamist using the word democracy to hide their true programs. A democratic and modern organization supports constitutions like that of US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Democratic organization does not mean speaking nice and acting as underdog. If that was the criteria, then Ayatollah Khatami would be the symbol of pro-Democracy movement of Iran not Foruhar.
The reality is that the Leftists have nothing to offer and their only political position has become defending the underdog. Sometimes underdog may be right. But those who just have picked the support of underdog from Marxism, after the end of Marxism, and have turned it into an ideology by itself, are even a comedy than the tragedy of failed Marxism of Khmer Rouge, and are another meaningless version of Leftism. For example those called rah-e kArgar (path of workers) in Iran, even the term they call themselves is a stupid word. In today's world, smart kArgars (workers) want their children to go for "rah-e scientist" (path of scientists) and rah-e professional (path of professionals) to better their life, not like the leftists making a saint out of poverty and be proud of it, rather than raising the life of the poor to the world standards. The left has nothing to offer and this is why their response to my theoretical writings has been personal attacks. The reality is that recreating the obsolete Left as "rah-e kArgar" (path of workers) is just like Khomeini's recreating Islam in our times as "rah-e mostazafin". Underdog'ism is not a solution for humanity in our times, and it is only a game of magic to fool people, when these leftists and Islamists have *no* solution for the social, economic, and political problems of our times.
The leftists themselves live in the West and enjoy democracy and modern life and do not go and live in North Korea and Vietnam, but advocate those models of life for Iran and Iranians. They do not even have the decency to say they are leftist in open forums, and come in as democratic participants, because they know people are tired of giving sacrifices to create another Khmer Rouge and Vietnam. The Leftism and Islamism are not the way for Iran or Palestine. Iranians *inside* Iran, thanks to IRI and its atrocities for 23 years, are more aware about the reality of such programs, and although they do not have the freedom to express it on the media, nonetheless, that is what everyone speaks of in their homes, just like the people in the former Soviet Republics and Eastern Europe, before the fall of the Soviet Empire, when they did not need any theory, to know that they had no interest in any modified version of the Left.
The ones who support the Leftist programs for Palestine better come out and speak sincerely about their stand, rather than keep talking of poor Palestinians the same way Khomeini kept talking of poor mostazafin, but just brought more suffering and misery for the poor and the disadvantaged. If these people are proud of their stand, let's hear their political stands than their labeling. Let's see how they justify the support of Edward Said and Noam Chomsky for IRI, when they both do not have a state position and are simply leftist intellectuals who are *not* in any diplomatic roles, and their Edward Said's trip to Iran last year was not by any sociology dept and was by the state of Islamic Republic.
I have posted a lot of research in refutation of the Left, and all they have done has been personal attacks, than discussing topics, because the left is fossilized and is sterile. They are neither the friends of Palestinian people nor the Iranians people. They are a cult stuck in a moribund ideology which is hard for them to drop. Leftists, just like the Islamists, only do personal bash of their critics, rather than having answers for the topics raised. I believe the leftists just like the Islamists have nothing to offer and have been reduced to a position of long live mostazafin. Iranians have had one version of underdog mostazafins and will not take another MKO/Leftist Baathi version of it to replace the IRI with. As I wrote in another article, we do not need to be the cannon powder for replacing Omavids with the Abbasids.
Finally I hope the Palestinian movement to learn from the pro-Democracy movement in the former Eastern Europe, Soviet Union, and the pro-Democracy movement in China and Iran, to find an alternative to its failing Islamist and Leftist organizations. I hope to see the Palestine to become another Singapore and not another Vietnam.
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher
May 1, 2002