Rights, Politics, and Reality
Mrs. Ebadi’s human rights office was raided on December 21, and thanks to “US
and European Pressure” it was re-opened on December 24. Iranian people had
nothing to do with it!
“Human rights office to re-open after US and
When the office was sealed, Mrs. Ebadi said:
such a move does not have a positive message for other rights activists in Iran,
but my colleagues and I will fulfill our duties under any circumstances,"
I do not intend
to be sarcastic, but if you apply the same political mindset to this news, it
such a move does not have a positive message for other rights activists in Iran,
but my colleagues and I will welcome US and EU support under any circumstances,"
question to ask is why the office of an Iranian Rights Activist is so important
to US and EU to pressure Iran?
Let’s forget about the U.S. raiding an office in Iraq and arresting Iranian
diplomats that did not bring about European pressure. Let’s forget about many
ordinary Iranians who were granted a visa for a class reunion, but when arrived
in San Francisco, were sent to county jail. Let’s forget about the U.S. raiding
any place that is deemed suspicious –here in the U.S. or anywhere in the world
through its paid agents— with or without a warrant. Let’s just forget about
these and many others where human rights apparently do not apply! But just
think about many ordinary Iranians who face capital punishment that is proper in
my view, but is condemned by the very “human rights” Mrs. Ebadi claims to
defend. Where is the U.S. and European pressure to stop them? But her office
is reopened in just 3 short inconvenient days!
have had heated discussions on this issue with readers of our group, some of
which I was not given the permission to publish, but I do thank them all for
their input. While siding with people, entities, and governments or opposing
them is the norm; such predisposition is neither intelligent nor productive no
matter how educated the parties are. We simply cannot judge issues depending on
biased mindset that is complicated for the fact that two equally qualified and
unbiased individuals may express two entirely different opinions on the same
Having said that, here is my humble opinion of what might have happened. IRI
was somehow tipped leading to suspect some unusual activities at Mrs. Ebadi’s
office. So a raid was ordered, then her office was sealed. Apparently nothing
of significance was found or whatever it was contributed to some kind of a deal
in the background between the US, EU and IRI. Then Mrs. Ebadi was granted the
permit to reopen her office. And all Human Rights Activists are relieved, if
not rejoiced waiting for the next pretext to fill the most colorful balloon of
the so called Human Rights mantra with hot air. No offence to true believers of
humanitarian activities; ordinary --no name-- citizens as well as celebrities
Ezatollah Entezami, Parviz
Parastooi, and many others who take the hard road of reaching out the families
of a murder case for consolation and securing a pardon without propaganda. That
is how you bring people to a higher level of civil and cultural understanding,
not by cheap propaganda and empty political statements.
Yes, NGOs like the ones Mrs. Ebadi operates do indeed engage in true charity and
non-profit activities, but they must be closely scrutinized. It is what the
U.S. or any other country does routinely because they do know how easily such
operations can serve as a cover up for activities harmful to the security of the
nation. This threat is multiplied for any country facing existential threat
whether it is Iran or any other country in a hostile environment; but it is
different for world powers.
What we need to be cognizant of is rather obvious. No spy would set up an
office for an outright spying activity! It is always and without exception
covered with some form of legitimate activity. The problem is not the right of
the government to maintain security and stability. It is the double standard
played by world powers in which Israel is free to distort Iran’s statement for a
pretext of discrediting a great nation for imperialistic agenda, but deny Iran’s
right to defend itself.
Having discussed this issue with knowledgeable individuals,
took their words on face value in order NOT to turn our discussions into a
futile bickering. But I do not share the same views; i.e. what I understand
from IRI constitution is entirely different than what Dr. Tohidi implied.
Administrative requirements, i.e. a permit for demonstration does not violate
the constitutional right for socio-political gatherings. This is a normal
practice all over the world.
Furthermore, a social or political gathering is different than a political, NGO,
or any other business office. So, I do not see a violation of the constitution
when IRI required a permit for operating an office. And yes, some permits are
not granted for even minor problems. Nonetheless, had Mrs. Ebadi made it an
issue, it would have been used against IRI.
why do I keep going back and forth favoring such unfair propaganda against IRI?
First off, I would never do it in favor of a foreign country for our inalienable
rights, i.e. the right to knowledge, science, peaceful nuclear energy, etc.
Then on internal issues, IRI faces two genuine opposing forces both of which are
extreme. One calls for total adherence to canonic law (Feqh) and the other is
an idealistic version of secularism. In my view neither one is practical.
However, what is applicable here is the fact that these two currents create a
unique opportunity for a practical and moderate government on one hand and a
battle field for power hungry groups on the other. Given the unfortunate
reality of special interests within and without, I would always favor a
government under pressure to defend its actions.
other words, as long as the internal affair of the country is not subject to
exploitation by foreign interests, the government is guilty until proven
innocent! That is the only way to curb its tremendous power no matter whether
checks and balances do exist in the system or not. Yet the government must also
be recognized, and applauded on merit. By the same token, political opposition
could not be given a free ride. Let them work hard to make a point. They
should NOT be exempt from the consequences of their own activities. They should
be treated like business people who suffer losses as much as they make gains.
People should feel sick and tired of any monotone voice for/against the
government or its opposition no matter how relevant it maybe. Issues and only
issues must be discussed and debated.
other words, we are to question an apparent violation of civil rights NOT to
jump on the band wagon of political opposition to condemn the government without
a fair trial. Even criminal offenders are not automatically condemned when they
are caught red handed. And yes, new government officials cannot be condemned
for the acts of their predecessors. So let’s stop the childish condemnation of
the government as a whole just because some of its officials violated human
rights or its own constitution in the past. By the same token, government
cannot be trusted without verified checks and balances.
Such a political view includes public satire mocking high public officials, and
yes, its political opposition. However, people who ridicule public figures
–from either side-- could NOT be given the benefit of a doubt on their
intentions. Especially, when they move to a twilight zone where reality and
entertainment are confused. Yes, they do become power centers by propaganda to
serve domestic and foreign special interests; intended or not. Furthermore,
there is a fundamental difference between third world countries and world
powers. We live in a time that even the free world is not as free as it used to
simply cannot afford mimic and copycat mantra in disguise of free speech to harm
public confidence in government integrity as a whole on one hand and deny bona
fide dissent on the other. If I am to choose between bad and worst, I would
definitely choose a controlled media by the government NOT by big corporations.
Let’s learn from the civil rights movement in America. They kept pressing
issues, and they still do. They never fought for a regime change or to replace
the constitution. They sought legislative and executive orders and amendment to
constitution, if necessary. Yet, the rule of law is not enough either. Blacks
had no constitutional rights to begin with. They were regarded as properties of
their masters. Civil rights activists were LEGALLY imprisoned.
While people love making exception in favor of their idols against their
perceived devils --that is why idols rise to power, and mostly change to
devils!--, professional pirates eye public wealth for their private gains.
Nothing could be more revealing than the monumental financial crisis in the U.S.
that had the domino effect all over the world.
While you and I are talking human rights, they empty our retirement accounts
legally! Not only people’s representatives so outrageously hand over public
funds to the ultra rich in disguise of greater good, but also crooks keep
conspiring unbelievable schemes to hijack anything and everything. I do not
intend to subdue human rights in anyway, but I do want to call attention to
devious intrigues where legitimate discussions divert public attention from
an analogy, it is like two individuals fight each other at a corner of the
store. When everyone’s attention is diverted to them, a shoplifter rubs the
store! Obviously, as long as the loss to the store owner is concerned it does
not make any difference whether the two individuals conspired with the
shoplifter or they had nothing to do with each other. The loss is ultimately
absorbed by the community in higher prices!
However, that is not the end of the story because it must make a difference to
the community as a whole. All the branches of the government are supposed to
protect its well being that includes taking into account incidental
shoplifting. But when the store is public, the manager, and the shoplifter, can
and do conspire to rub the store. They can take advantage of a real fight
between two unsuspected individuals OR may hire professionals to show a phony
fight, etc. It can and does become more complicated when big guys do it to make
little guys run out of business! How do they fool the public? Easy; they make
the conspiracy theory complacent. Concerned intelligentsia talk about it, but
no one takes them seriously!
let’s rephrase the original question. What was the reason for US and EU
December 27, 2008