Shirin Neshat Response To Mr. Paul Sheldon Foote
By: Shirin Neshat of Sarbazan
March 1st, 2006
Los Angeles, CA
In regard to recent on-line comments about my post on the far left political orientation of the overwhelming number of signatories to the StopIranWar.org petition, I will simply restate the obvious: that any evaluation of this list reveals this to be clearly accurate.
My post also briefly acknowledged the significant existence of opponents of preemptive war with Iran on the American Right. I specifically mentioned Pat Buchanan and Mark Dankof of BATR--Old Right.
Buchanan's publication (The American Conservative), LewRockwell.com, The New American, and numerous other organs of this type clearly reveal the arguments presented by this portion of the American conservative constituency. Mr. Dankof is a friend of mine. He told SIA News (which is edited by a former aide to the former head of the American Defense Intelligence Agency) on February 18th that he had many concerns about where Mr. Bush and the so-called neo conservatives were taking events, and was quoted as saying the following:
"Meanwhile, a coherent policy on Iran continues to elude America's neo-conservative policy elite. How can the IRI be neutralized and eventually eliminated, while avoiding a series of political, economic, and military disasters that eclipse the mess neo-conservatives have already made of Iraq? Will we witness the killings of massive numbers of Iranian civilians in American airstrikes? Will the IRGC be introduced actively in cross-border insurgency warfare in Iraq? Will the hardened/dispersed nuclear sites in Iran be harder to eliminate than the American and Israeli air forces estimate? Will Asian banks--especially China's--dump some of the 2 trillion dollars in American debt they presently possess onto an international currency market in a retaliatory action that will cause the dollar and the global economy to plummet? Will oil surge to $130-$260 a barrel if a tanker is sunk in the Strait of Hormuz courtesy of a Sunburn missile?
"Is the United States ready for terror activities within its own borders at the hands of IRI cell groups already in place? What happens if the political blowback caused by an American and/or Israeli strike on Iran results in the destruction of the present governments in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan? And has the United States thought about what would replace the IRI regime in Tehran if the latter is effectively eliminated? If American boots on the ground become necessary in the aftermath of aerial preemption, will occupying Iran and its 70 million inhabitants be easier than in Iraq?
"And will the American public support a reinstitution of the Military Draft if aerial preemption produces the effects of the 'law of unintended consequences?' To what extent is potential American military action in Iran driven by oil bourse politics and Israel?
"All of this must be examined by the American Congress before it is too late. "
But it is noteworthy that Mr. Dankof, Mr. Buchanan, the editor of SIA News, General Zinni, and General Odom are among those missing from the StopIranWar petition signatories. Why? I believe the answer to be clear--they do not seek affiliation with the overwhelming leftist tone and orientation of the effort.
I also wish to state, again, that the forces behind StopIranWar.org speak volumes by their silence in regard to the crimes of the Islamic Republic in Iran (IRI) in the last 27 years. Their petition contains only a brief swipe at HIM Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi Aryamehr. Why is this the case? What is the agenda? Who are the forces of covert economic and political support for StopIranWar.org? Are there provable links to elements in Tehran? Foreign regimes who support the IRI, with China and the Arab nations as a chief target of suspicion? This deserves examination--and fair public answers.
I continue to maintain that the appeasement of the IRI regime by significant elements in the West is a compelling reason why that government continues to exist, oppressing its people and supporting terrorist and criminal activity around the world. I believe that had such a government been contained by political/economic embargoes and boycotts on a global basis over a period of years, it would have been eradicated a long time ago. There would have been an opportunity for the restablishment of the 2,500 year old Monarchy and the institution of a secular democracy undergirded by a popularly elected Majlis. Iran would have had yet another chance to achieve autonomy and independence under the principles of King Cyrus. As it is, the self-professed human activists on the left have abdicated when it comes to the rule of Islamic theocracy in Iran. And because of this, we now stand on the brink of a terrible war that was entirely preventable had a coherent policy been in place against the IRI in these past three decades. Such a coherent policy would have avoided the tragic dichotomy of choice between having Islamic fundamentalist Mullahs in possession of nuclear technology on the one hand, and the contemplation of a terrible military strike on the other.
Yes, there were mistakes made between 1953-78. All of them pale in comparison to what has ruled Iran since that time. How the American and international left can prefer Islamic theocracy to a combination of Monarchy and secular, legislative democracy remains a mystery of many years duration. No sane observer of the Pahlavi years can possibly conclude that there is any relationship at all between the political and economic policies and achievements of that time, and what has happened since January of 1979. The results of the Red and Black coalition against the Shah are there for all to see--and the overwhelming ideological identity of the signatories to the StopIranWar.org petition suggest that this coalition may have more political potency at the present time than has been previously recognized or acknowledged in the West--or Iran.