Sunday, January 03, 2010


We have failed. I am talking about those who favor patience and tolerance. Yes, the supporters of the peaceful Green Movement have failed. If some of us are pleased over the events that are taking place in the streets of Tehran, I do not believe this joy will last. We had hoped that our wishes would no longer have to be presented with fists and kicks, and that we would be putting flowers into gun barrels. We dreamed that we would be giving flowers to soldiers, asking them to join us in our struggle. But this is not how things have turned out.

Once before, when ayatollah Khomeini, whom some called the Iranian Gandhi, issued the orders to shoot prisoners in Evin prison, we suffered a loss. Then again, just a few years ago we witnessed the failure of Khatami, whom we viewed as Iran’s Mandela, while the world was infatuated with his human face and Iran’s peaceful and peace-calling movement, in advancing his reform agenda.

Khatami eventually gave up broken hearted his dream of dialog among civilizations, while the center that he created for this purpose and with this very name was shut down, to remind us that such ideas cannot take hold or find roots in our country. Today, our country has turned into scenes that we see in video clips which have been made by ordinary Iranian, in which protestors respond in kind to the violence that is perpetrated upon them by government agents on the commemoration of the Shiite holiday of Ashura.

The violence that erupted on Ashura has brought smiles to hardliners and extremists. We can hear their laughter. But have they really turned us into one of their own? Have we all become similar in our hatred?

Hardliners have not had any mercy even on Ahmadinejad, who is one of their own men. The state of affairs now is such that Ahmadinejad’s guards at times outnumber the total number of people who have come to welcome him on some of his visits. Those who go to see him do it as a response to the presidential money checks that are sent to them. He is now proud that he collects millions of requests from the public in any given month. He cannot claim to be proud of creating a situation where the public is no longer in need of writing the traditional long petitions to the state.

This populism was once proud for traveling by bus to the midst of people and slept in mosques to attend to the needs and cries of people, in the presence of photographers. Today, it travels with its family to the different quarters of the world.

If we do not kill the dragon of violence in the heart of our society, it will continue to grow. We and our supporters are failing while hardliners are multiplying. Once before, the preceding generation poured into the streets and tried to gain happiness through slogans and the burning of tires, but it ended up in hell. So, is the current generation, the generation of transparency, the generation of news, and the generation of blue and green doomed to go through the same course? I will be honest, I am worried.