Apolitical Deconstruction

The title of this blog refers to my journey of self-transformation from someone loathe to publicly express his personal opinions on political matters to...well, keep reading and see!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Stopping The Rush To War Ver.2.0

Today, I sent a letter to my U.S. Senators in which I presented my views on why I think it would be a terrible mistake for the U.S. to launch a military attack on Iran. There is currently some very real tension between the U.S. House and Senate and the White House on this issue. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are very concerned that President Bush may order an attack on Iran without first gaining the explicit approval of Congress, which is not likely to be granted!

I have been thinking for some weeks about what I would like to write in a letter to my Senators about this issue. I have read various articles and watched lots of discussions on various news programs about the potential for a U.S. attack on Iran and what the consequences might be. Here is a link to a really excellent op-ed from the January 19, 2007 edition of the Christian Science Monitor written by Ali G. Scotten. He is a Ph.D. student in anthropology at the University of Chicago and a former Fulbright scholar who has traveled extensively in Iran. I found his article to be very well written, and its content, in part, was an inspiration for this letter to my Senators.

Dear Senator,

I have become very concerned recently about the possibility that the U.S. may start a war with Iran by attacking its nuclear facilities. I believe that such an action would be disastrous for America and for the proponents of political moderation and change within Iran!

It would be very unwise to assume that an attack by the U.S. on Iran would not be followed by devastating retaliation. Iran's military may be no match for the U.S. in a conventional sense, but Iranian special forces, by all accounts that I am aware of, clearly have the ability to dramatically escalate insurgent activity within Iraq and elsewhere against American troops, civilians, and material interests. Iran also has the ability to severely disrupt the flow of oil to world markets, the economic consequences of which could be dire.

Let me be clear that I am no friend to the leaders of Iran. Their human rights record is terrible, especially toward women, and they are taking actions in Iraq that are leading to the deaths of American troops and Iraqi people. However, I am a friend to a number of Iranians who live in the U.S., Iran, and various other countries around the world. They hate the Iranian government, but they love their country. They want to see positive change in Iran, but they believe that real change can only come from within the country. It is my understanding that the vast majority of Iranians within Iran have serious disagreements with their government. They want change! The recent elections in Iran, that resulted in the defeat of many hard-line candidates running for city council positions, are a good sign that the policies of Iranian President Ahmedinejad are widely unpopular.

I truly believe that the leaders of Iran would like nothing better than for the U.S. to attack. Their power is waning, but a U.S. attack would cause many Iranians, who are currently disillusioned with their leaders, to rally around their government. The tremendous good will that most Iranians have toward America would evaporate. Also, I believe that an American attack on Iran would give the Mullahs an excuse for eliminating thousands of dissidents within Iran. A similar crackdown happened during the Iran-Iraq War, and resulted in the imprisonment, torture, and execution of a great many opponents of the regime.

America has the power, in concert with our allies, to economically reward or punish Iran's government, depending on their behavior. While I do not think that sanctions are a very effective tool to encourage positive change, they are a far better alternative than going to war! In my opinion, we should focus on encouraging continued moderation within Iran through dialogue, diplomacy, and economic incentives. We have followed this path with China for more than thirty years, and I urge you to support this path with Iran.

Sincerely,

8 Comments:

Anonymous mariamusic said...

I agree with the point you make David;(if I read you correctly)if a war goes on, people are more likely to defend their country rather than watch and do nothing. Besides, there are many people living in Iran who do want and like to have an Islamic government, and there are people who actually want the current one. Those ones for sure will fight and defend with all means.

On the other hand, regardless the tension, I think it is very less likely that US attacks Iran.

2/13/2007 7:19 PM  
Blogger David said...

Hi Mariam,

I am curious, what percentage of people in Iran do you think support the Islamic government? Of the Iranian blogs that I have been reading for the past three years, most seem to be very anti Iran's current government. So, maybe I have some misconceptions about what most Iranians really think.
I agree that a U.S. attack on Iran doesn't seem very likely any time soon, but I don't trust anything Bush says. I will continue to hope for the best.

2/15/2007 12:51 PM  
Blogger Kyubai said...

Well I can't but to agree with u David and even if all the people in Iran r against the goverment I don't believe that it is a reason to invade that country in other words "WE DON"T NEED A SECOND IRAQ" all I'm saying that if a country dislakes the goverment the people should do something about it, it was the mistake of us (people of Iraq) that we didn't stand against Saddam and I think we r paying now...
at the end thank u David for ur kind feelings and may God bless us all.

2/15/2007 1:35 PM  
Blogger David said...

Hi Kyubai, thanks for your comment! I hope that the people of Iran will be able to change their own government, too! I think they may have a better chance, at least for gradual change, than Iraq did under Saddam. There are a lot of different voices in Iran and many divisions of power. So, hopefully, there will be the capacity for positive change.

2/17/2007 9:24 AM  
Anonymous mariamusic said...

hi David,

I just checked here, your blog.

In a large number is my thought. How many blogs have you read during the past three years? :-)

I'm curious to know though, do you have any root with Iran since you seem to care a lot.

I, still, think USA is not going to invade Iran. Iran's situation is nothing near to Iraq's when USA invaded Iraq.

mariam

2/18/2007 10:18 PM  
Blogger David said...

Mariam,

I am a regular reader of at least a dozen Iranian blogs, some of which you also know. :)

As far as I know, I have no roots in Iran. My introduction to blogging was with two Iranian blogs that I read about in the Yahoo news maybe three years ago. The blogs are Lady Sun and Pinkfloydish (check my main blog for links). Both of these outstanding women, who are very good friends to each other, blogged from Tehran when I first became their visitor. Now, both of them live in the U.S. From their blogs, I branched out to other Iranian blogs. I also have a number of Iraqi friends that I have blogged with for several years. I have a friend in South Africa, one in Germany, and several in Jordan, as well. I very much enjoy learning about other countries and cultures. :)

2/19/2007 6:16 PM  
Anonymous mariamusic said...

Wow!!

I'm impressed David. Good on you.

I shall check out the blogs you mention also. They sound outstanding women alike you mention.

best to you and for your journey.

regards,
maryam.

2/19/2007 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear David,

Thank you for supporting a peaceful solution to the current US-Iran conflict. Since my article was published, I have received many encouraging emails from people such as yourself. It is because of people like you that I still have hope.

Best,
Ali G. Scotten

4/19/2007 12:23 AM  

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