Person of the Year


Thank you Time Magazine for not selecting Ahmadi Nejad as the person of the year.  I specially thank Richard Stengel, Time managing editor, for his comment: “if the magazine had decided to go with an individual, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad was the likely choice.” said Stengel “It just felt to me a little off selecting him … If you choose an individual, you have to justify how that person affected millions of people”.


I was concerned, as many Iranian intellectuals were, that if Ahmadi Nejad were selected as the person of the year; the justification would have been nothing but to demonize him even more.  That would fit well in the arsenal of Iranian enemies whose top priority is to use him as a pretext to deprive Iran from its inalienable right to knowledge and technology. 


While there is absolutely no comparison between Saddam and Ahmadi Nejad, demonizing a regime for imperialistic agenda is strong as ever.  As millions of Iraqis are still suffering from a gang of war profiteers who used Saddam for looting Iraq’s wealth, Iranians are targeted because its so called rogue regime does not take order from Washington.  All Ahmadi Nejad has to do to be favored by world powers is to follow what the puppets do in the region.  Doing so, he will be welcomed to be the president of Iran for life!  And, yes, his critics will NOT be allowed to insult him in his face.


How could Time justify Ahmadi-Nejad as Person of the Year in imperialistic terms?  It seems to me that the failed scheme of demonizing Middle Easterners, Arabs, and Muslims has begun to backfire.  Otherwise Time would not have missed the opportunity.  I hope this to be the case.  I hope this to be the beginning of an end to the madness that polarized people all around the world.  I hope world leaders come to their senses that it is less expensive to be honest than to cheat.  Yes, the economics of war is nothing but cheating the world’s honest desire to peace, for profit.


President Dwight D. Eisenhower is widely quoted for the danger of military industrial complex in his farewell speech, but I like to quote him on a related issue that is equally important.  He warned us “America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.  Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength.”


Decades have passed.  Our world has grown smaller, but the military strength has turned into a vicious monster mocking mutual trust and respect.  A terrorist act, like many other ones, could have been dealt with prudence, but warmongers pounded on the “conference table” to spread “dreadful fear and hate.”   The confederation is not “one of equals”, and demagogues still enjoy the scene.  Here is where we are just a handful years in the third millennium!  Don’t wish a happy new year.  Make it happen; just for a change.



Mohamad Purqurian

December 17, 2006