Saturday, April 16, 2011

Clinton and the Democratic Aspirations of 1979

 In 2005 , I was invited to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, as the Vice President of the Islamic Republic.  In one of the high level sessions where many world leaders had attended, some American Senators, including Joe Biden, faced many questions on American economic and diplomatic policy.  When I was asked to comment on the debate, I brought up the question why the US displayed  double standards in dealing with the world. I asked why did the US support dictatorships when they were US allies and opposed democracies when they were American adversaries? How can Americans claim that they adhere to the values of freedom and democracy in the world when, in reality they only see the national interests of their government? In light of the prevailing circumstances in the world, what are the real core values America claims to promote , I asked. The American senators  attempted to convince their audience but did not have much to say in response, but many world leaders from Asia and Latin America were thankful that someone had brought up this bitter reality.
Now, seven years later, this bitter reality has translated into an awakening, it has led the people of the Middle East and North Africa to stand up, take their affairs into their own hands and crush the corrupt dictatorships who relied on Western or Eastern powers to survive. Seven years later on, the American government had still vested hopes on a ailing dictators like Hosni Mobarak or Ben Ali  to secure their interests and those of the Zionist entity in the region. Those baseless claims about democracy and human rights are now seen in a different light. Even when Clinton spoke at the US Islamic World Forum last week, the arrogant and relentless tone had not changed. She did however use certain terminology that was surprising in a sense. In one part of her speech she criticized the Arab world for not allowing women to advance as in other countries; not recognizing the fact that American influence and control over government policies during the past decades has played a major role in keeping Arab women back. Clinton cannot overlook the reality that her government is  complicit and will be held accountable for it's hypocritical   foreign policy.
On a more interesting note Clinton in her speech, refers to the Islamic Revolution of Iran   as the "democratic aspirations of 1979". The question arising for any observer is whether Americans had recognized the democratic nature of the Islamic Revolution back in 1979, and  if so,why had they taken any opportunity to crush or subvert the Revolution ? Does the Administration now understand how this policy has fueled radicalism and led to the very difficult circumstances we face in Iran today. Do they realize that their actions have created a false pretext for the pressures on Reformists and activists in Iran today?  Mrs. Clinton needs to provide an explanation for the dark history of American intervention in Iranian affairs. She may need to  carefully reread contemporary history as well. 

The reality is that people everywhere are now well aware of their human and Islamic rights and have decided to stand up and resist oppression to regain the dignity they have been given by God. They have come to the understanding that independence, freedom and democracy are an integral aspect of Islamic teachings.   It seems that the dynamic societies in this region will not rest until they  achieve their objectives.