Saturday, September 24, 2011

Peace Related Issues

On the 21st of September 1998, which is the International Day of Peace, President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami proposed the initiative of Dialogue among Civilizations to the United Nations General Assembly session in New York. In 2001 , the year named on that occasion,  the Twin Towers of New York were destroyed in a terrorist attack that prompted a pre-emptive attack by the neo-conservative government of George Bush first on Afghanistan then on Iraq. In that atmosphere peace lovers and freedom seekers in the world looked up to Khatami for his insight and forward looking initiative.  While the initiative was welcomed by many countries few did very little to change the conditions and prevent war and aggression. In the national scene many observers believed that Khatami's initiative should have translated into a national dialogue as well. This however did not materialize. It many be that even today a return to dialogue at the national level might be the ultimate solution to the current political stalemate in Iran.
Two other important events related to peace have hit the headlines this weak . Burhanedin Rabbani was one of the most influential political and religious figures of Afghanistan who led the National Peace Council . His assassination last week by radical Taliban factions is a serious blow to the peace process. No one will deny his instrumental role in promoting peace and understanding among political factions.
The historical speech of Mahmoud Abbas in the General Assembly and his bid for the creation of a Palestinian State was also an important milestone. Abbas took an important step for the Palestinian people and it is now upon the United Nations to respond appropriately.The Americans have lost their face as a peace maker, they have taken sides with the Zionist and public opinion in the world are well aware.
Excerpts from the 1998 speech of Khatami :
Now allow me to speak here as a man from the East,

the origin of brilliant civilizations and the birthplace of
divine prophets —Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed,
peace be upon them all. I come from the noble land of Iran,
representing a great and renowned nation famed for its
ancient civilization, as well as for its distinguished
contribution to the founding and expansion of the Islamic
civilization, a nation that has survived the strong winds of
despotism, reaction and submission, relying on its cultural
and human wealth. It is a nation which pioneered in the
East the establishment of civil society and constitutional
government in the course of its contemporary history, even
though, as a result of foreign interference and domestic
deficiencies, at times it may have faltered in its course; a
nation which has been at the forefront of the struggle for
independence and against colonialism, although its
national movement was subverted by a foreign orchestrated
coup. And it is a nation which carries the
torch of its popular revolution, not won by force of arms
or a coup, but by dethroning a regime of
coup d’├ętat through the power of the enlightened word.

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