Saturday, May 24, 2008

An Open Letter to Barack Obama

Iranian flag with H-bomb

Manda Zand-Ervin and her daughter Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi are Iranian-American human rights activists and co-founders of the Alliance of Iranian Women. Earlier today they posted the following open letter to Barack Obama at Pajamas Media.


May 24, 2008

Dear Senator Barack Obama:

After the recent days of highly charged commentary about “appeasement,” we thought that as Iranian-Americans, we would convey to you the feelings of most people in Iran and the Iranian diaspora at large. It is important that a decision to dialogue with the Islamic Republic of Iran not be made in haste, for the purpose of winning the election. Instead, you now have a unique opportunity to make good on your message of change.

On September 24, 2004, while a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Illinois, you suggested that “surgical missile strikes” on Iran may become necessary. “Launching some missile strikes into Iran is not the optimal position for us to be in” given the ongoing war in Iraq, you told the Chicago Tribune. You continued: “On the other hand, having a radical Muslim theocracy in possession of nuclear weapons is worse”.

Your change in approach is now stunning for many Iranians. It is not that we want our country to be bombed, but the point is, why did you so suddenly and without explanation go from that extreme to the extreme of “unconditional dialogue”?

Senator, since 1979 the Mullahs of Iran have killed upwards of one million Iranians, not to mention the nearly one million sacrificed to the 8-year-long Iran/Iraq war. And what the Iranian people have withstood in terms of outrageous human rights violations is shocking; public hangings, stoning, flogging, cutting off limbs, tongues and plucking out eyeballs are an everyday occurrence across Iran. All are meant to strike fear of the ruling Mullahs into people’s hearts.

Since you began talking about unconditionally dialoguing with the Islamic regime of Iran, you too have struck absolute fear in the hearts of the Iranian people, both inside and outside Iran. The few Iranian-Americans who support you are well-intentioned individuals who have been swept up in the excitement and fervor of your campaign. But we can wholeheartedly assure you that your comments have landslide opposition within the much greater Iranian heart both inside and outside Iran.

Iranians believe that the only country who has the moral authority and is able to support them is the United States of America, a country whose foundation as a melting pot mirrors the true character of the once great Persian Empire. But the fact is, as John Bolton so aptly puts it: “Negotiation is a tactic, not policy.” Your policy of direct and unconditional negotiation will give the Mullahs of Iran the legitimacy that they need for more oppression. The real losers will be the already weary people of Iran, whose dreams of freedom and democracy will be dashed for a long time to come. If you empower that regime, the mullahs will continue to harm a country that is already totally economically devastated, as well as socially and politically oppressed.

And rest assured that they will have no qualms about exporting the kind of rule they have established inside Iran to the rest of the world; that is an undeniable fact that they themselves have openly admitted. One can see the proof in Syria and Lebanon.
- - - - - - - - -
On September 18, 2001, defying the regime’s warnings and pressure, brave Iranians were the only people in the Middle East to hold a candlelight vigil in solidarity with America. The thousands who marched peacefully down one of the main Boulevards of Tehran were brutally attacked by revolutionary guards and paramilitary forces. Many paid a high price for their bravery: they were arrested and hauled off to prison.

Iranians have struggled since the 1850’s for modernity, sovereignty and progress for our nation; Iran had a constitutional revolution in 1906 to separate the government from religion. Iranians are a progressive people and our cultural identity is very different from any of the other nations in the region.

Cyrus the Great wrote the first declaration of human rights in Iran more than 2500 years ago. The actual Cylinder upon which the declaration was carved is housed in the British Museum in London, and its replica is in the second floor lobby of the United Nations.

Senator, Europeans, through Jack Straw of the U.K., Dominique de Villepin of France and Joschka Fischer of Germany, tried negotiations for five years with the so-called moderate reformist, Mullah President Khatami. That effort ended in disaster, with the European Union admitting its failure. President Reagan tried also. He sent a cake and a Qur’an to Khomeini, but Khomeini fed the cake to dogs and willfully ignored president Reagan’s proposal of friendship. President Clinton worked diligently on negotiations for eight years. Two secretaries of State, Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright, both failed — during the regime of the same Mullah President, Khatami. In fact, it was Warren Christopher who called the regime of Iran evil after over three years of unsuccessful negotiations. Mrs. Albright even publicly apologized to the Mullahs of Iran for America’s sins. She eliminated trade sanctions on three items as a goodwill gesture and offered incentives on Iranian frozen assets, but at every point the Mullahs ungraciously found excuses not to hail the repeated gestures of good will, and refused to take one step forward.

The most important fact to remember is that while the negotiations were going on between the Clinton Administration and the Mullahs of Iran, they were continuing the development of their hidden nuclear program. Do you really think you can trust these people?

We appreciate the fact that you believe this administration has not done a good job in negotiations, but they have tried. They tried directly and indirectly, behind closed doors and in public. If the Mullahs of Iran wanted to negotiate, there was the April 2006 package approved by the European Allies and Russia and offered by the U.S. with good will and many incentives. Yet typically and inexplicably, Iran remained recalcitrant and rejected it.

Now here is a proposal for you:

America led the world in supporting the Eastern European Solidarity Movement, by which ultimately the Eastern bloc was able to free itself from communist domination and dictatorships. The international community weakened the South African regime by supporting and empowering Mr. Mandela against South Africa’s racial apartheid regime, which was eventually forced to step aside peacefully and allow change for the better to begin.

The Iranian government is, by all definitions and international laws and United Nation’s resolutions, a gender apartheid regime. What would happen if you declare Iran a Gender Apartheid country and not the representative of the oppressed women of Iran? Support the millions of laid-off and destitute Iranian workers, students, and teachers, as well as the estimated 23,000 innocent political prisoners who are being tortured in prisons for speaking out against these tyrants. Support the average Iranian and not the Islamic regime. Put America’s power behind what is right — and watch the people of Iran usher out the Mullahs and democratically elect a government that truly represents the people of Iran.

This will be a bold and thoughtful way of managing the foreign policy of America. It is the picture of your message of change, at work not only for America, but the world at large, Senator. Appeasement of dictators and oppressors is just as unwise as war. A nation is made up of people, not its leaders. The only people in this case who are worth negotiating with are the people of Iran, who are the only friends America should want in Iran — not the tyrants who have hijacked that great nation.

America is in no position to lose more friends.

In closing, Senator, even if you manage to dialogue with the ruling clergy in Iran, they will never keep their word. They are masters of deception, manipulation, rhetoric and spin. They are incapable of even honoring their own signatures, and refuse to abide by the terms and conditions of treaties that they themselves have agreed upon time and time again, as we have witnessed in their reactions to U.N. resolutions.

We were born and raised in Iran, and we do know Iran’s Mullahs.

Respectfully,
Manda Zand-Ervin and Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi

13 comments:

Conservative Swede said...

This makes explict the mentality behind it:
---
>>The core error of this liberal view is that it never considers the possibility that some people and groups (other than the majority peoples of the West) may indeed be enemies. Specifically, it never entertains the possibility that Islam is in fact a threat to the West. If Islam is a threat to the West, then saying that Islam is a threat to the West is not an act of bigotry but a statement of truth and part of a legitimate effort to protect the West from a real enemy. By condemning and punishing such defense as illegal bigotry, modern liberalism prohibits the West from defending itself.>>
--- Lawrence Auster

And here's an hillarious video of Hillary’s Downfall (tip from Auster). Is the comparison of Hillary to Hitler out of bounds? Not really. Read what Michael Goodwin wrote about her today in New York Daily News:

SICK. Disgusting. And yet revealing. Hillary Clinton is staying in the race in the event some nut kills Barack Obama.
...
We have seen an X-ray of a very dark soul. One consumed by raw ambition to where the possible assassination of an opponent is something to ponder in a strategic way. Otherwise, why is murder on her mind?

It's like Tanya Harding's kneecapping has come to politics. Only the senator from New York has more lethal fantasies than that nutty skater.


She's evil evil evil, quite as Obama's grandmother. Little Eichmanns the whole lot.

no2liberals said...

A well reasoned, thoughtful, and well written letter. They sound much like the Iranians I know.
The problem is the intended recipient. He is a political opportunist, and a radical Marxist, which precludes him from listening to, and absorbing reasonable thoughts.
As the first U.S. presidential candidate of mixed race, that claims to be black, he has demonstrated repeatedly that he is an empty suit.
Here's what Erik Rush had to say about B-HO, and he is a black journalist.
" Forget the political Right and Left. Don’t you think that America’s first black president ought to be someone who dearly loves this country and at least respects everyone therein, rather than a closet black militant with a historical perspective that resides in the 1950s, who was mentored by a foul-mouthed, bitter old fool with a historical perspective that resides in the 1930s, hates more than half of all Americans, and calls upon the Almighty to damn America?"

Then there is Dr. Thomas Sowell.
"Choosing a President of the United States is a lot more momentous than a baseball record. We the voters need to have far more concern about who we put in that office that holds the destiny of a nation and of generations yet unborn.

There is no reason why someone as arrogant, foolishly clever and ultimately dangerous as Barack Obama should become president -- especially not at a time when the threat of international terrorists with nuclear weapons looms over 300 million Americans."


These two ladies know how deceitful the Mad Mullahs are, but I think they are being optimistic in believing that B-HO isn't.
Further, any tips that could aid B-HO in acquiring the office he is clearly not qualified for, is not something I wish to see.

Diamed said...

'The international community weakened the South African regime by supporting and empowering Mr. Mandela against South Africa’s racial apartheid regime, which was eventually forced to step aside peacefully and allow change for the better to begin.'

With the power out, 1/4 the population with aids, 1/2 in utter poverty, rape and murder out of control, 3,000 farm murders driving looming food shortages, a rapist president-elect, corruption rampant, and africans necklacing other africans with burning tires, the progress of ending apartheid is right around the corner.

Profitsbeard said...

The Iranian opposition should be covertly supported within Iran and overtly supported without.

But the West should only "go military" upon any nuke sites nearing completion, not get involved in any internal Iranian "revolution" directly.

That's the Iranians' job.

Obama, on the other hand, will get no closer to the White House than a tour.

Don't waste any serious attempt at dialogue with this lightweight, weathervane-spined, uber-pandering, geopolitically-ignorant tyro.

Although this "open letter" seems more like a backhanded way of saying: "Barack, you're a two-faced schmuck", which I applaud.

Zundfolge said...

An excellent letter, too bad it will fall on deaf ears.

Mr Obama is likely a Marxist and is like most "progressives" a practitioner of The Frankfurt School's Critical Theory.

Therefore, all his actions are designed to bring about damage too (and eventually destruction of) "the dominant power structure" which he sees as White, Capitalist, Christian and Democratic.

Islam is not part of the dominant power structure and as such they are not his enemy ... the fact that they seek the destruction of The West makes them his ally as that is his goal as well.

For "progressives" like Obama, sitting down with the Iranian Mullahs and handing over cache, prestige and legitimacy in addition to ham stringing our defense against them is another nail in the coffin of the "evil/racist" West.

He's too short sighted to realize that if Islam gets its way progressives will be destroyed too.

Stephen Renico said...

Did they write this letter as an editorial, or do they really believe that they're going to change Obama's stance?

Obama is nearly 50. He's a dyed in the wool red. He's a lost cause.

It takes a significant emotional event to change someone at that age.

Homophobic Horse said...

What do you mean ConSwede??

Are you saying that progressivism, which these Iranian women are a good example of, is completely inadequate for dealing with Islam because if progressivism deals with the "unprogressive" aspects of Islam it repudiates the one-global cosmopolis for all peoples (or races as they are known today) and religions?

If that is what you're saying then I agree with it. Progressivism is behind the suicide of the west.

Also, Obama stands to be one of the worst presidents ever. You know how it goes with these Messiahs. And judging from that Church he belongs to he probably attributes the intransigence of the Mullahs to Western bigotry and certainly not to Islamic fervour and taqiya - that would be the most preposterous Orientalism - typical white person behaviour.

One final point - I don't think Obama believes in God at all judging from his "clinging to guns and god" comments regarding red necks. A man who believes in God doesn't reduce religion to Marxist false consciousness. I think Obama is a race mystic and revolutionist cipher.

Conservative Swede said...

Homophobic Horse,

Are you saying that progressivism, which these Iranian women are a good example of, is completely inadequate for dealing with Islam

What's adequate is to know your enemy. These women do.

Homophobic Horse said...

And Barry Hussein doesn't know his enemy?

Hussein is either a fool or a cipher.

But I still don't get what you're saying about Hillary Clinton? You say she's evil in a sarcastic manner, like Obama's grandmother, but without giving a suggestion why Hillary is in fact not evil or a little Eichmann as Ward Churchill would say.

al fin said...

Iranian Americans do not have enough votes to sway Obama's cynical course.

Obama is the political reincarnation of Jimmy Carter, except without the steady competent hand on the wheel of state. [/sarc]

If elected president, Obama will bring you a national malaise that will last until your grandchildren are old enough to have grandchildren.

randian said...

.

laine said...

Good letter but will fall on big deaf ears (Obama the marxist's).

These ladies omit mentioning that encouraged by President Carter, Iranian progressives demanded the downfall of the Shah who though imperfect was moving in the direction of more freedoms for his people. Iranian progressives backed the Ayatollah Khomeini (sort of like the Kos kids backing Jerry Falwell, no?) and got themselves a theocracy that repressed them far worse than the Shah's regime starting with mass executions of Iranian communists by order of Khomeini himself 1979-80. Hoist on their own petard, they've been complaining ever since but done very little actual revolting. It's not so easy once you yourself have put a totalitarian government in place to change your mind.

If a genie offers you only one freedom, choose freedom of speech because with that one you can win all the others back. That's why freedom of speech is the first to go under totalitarian systems and socialist governments also place more and more limits on speech. Socialists are just slow communists after all. Look at Obama. His "changes" are all about repressing individual freedom in favor of group rights administered by a monolithic government, the same marxist old wine in a new bottle.

Zenster said...

... why did you so suddenly and without explanation go from that extreme to the extreme of “unconditional dialogue”?

A recent newspaper editorial observed that instead of admitting to his tremendous gaffe by committing himself to "unconditional dialogue" with Iran’s mullahs, Obama instead tried to wallpaper over his blunder by making this lunatic proposition a cornerstone of his presumptive foreign policy.

I agree completely and see it as just one more sign of Obama's political ineptitude—if not outright deceit—, which shall only become increasingly apparent and far more destructive should he attain office.

The Iranian government is, by all definitions and international laws and United Nation’s resolutions, a gender apartheid regime. What would happen if you declare Iran a Gender Apartheid country and not the representative of the oppressed women of Iran?

I have long maintained that even if one could somehow manage to disregard terrorism, Islam would still be wholly disqualified by its policy of Abject Gender Apartheid (hat tip to Victor Davis Hanson). This alone represents sufficient reason to sanction all Islamic regimes around the world.

As Old Bill would say, "Therein lies the rub." While an eminently suitable avenue to pursue, no Western politician alive has the ostiones to prosecute such a glaring and egregious Muslim character flaw. Granted that "Muslim character flaw" is redundant from the outset.

Appeasement of dictators and oppressors is just as unwise as war.

I'd wager that: "Appeasement of dictators and oppressors" is not just "unwise", it is precisely what leads to wars. Europe remains the historic poster child for proof of this notion.

In closing, Senator, even if you manage to dialogue with the ruling clergy in Iran, they will never keep their word. They are masters of deception, manipulation, rhetoric and spin. They are incapable of even honoring their own signatures, and refuse to abide by the terms and conditions of treaties that they themselves have agreed upon time and time again, as we have witnessed in their reactions to U.N. resolutions.
[Emphasis Added]

As I mentioned in the second Exeter nail-bomber thread: When your only tool is a hammer, everything starts to resemble a nail. The West in general and Liberals in particular continue to regard negotiation as the only viable tool in this modern age.

As Con Swede duly noted:

The core error of this liberal view is that it never considers the possibility that some people and groups (other than the majority peoples of the West) may indeed be enemies.

Thusly, we are confronted with the sordid spectacle of Western powers attempting to negotiate with those who regard their objectives as non-negotiable. Factor in the Muslim predilection for taqiyya and any negotiation with Islam becomes a recipe for total disaster.

How is it that two ordinary Iranian women clearly understand this fact but, somehow, such a horrendous implication continues to escape the notice of a sitting President and his democratic contenders?

It is this fundamental cognitive dissonance that makes Obama, in particular, such a danger to America. While ostensibly Christian—despite how his chosen Church and its reverend are anything but Christian—Obama’s (along with his wife’s), flagrant anti-Americanism may as well make him a Muslim. There is even evidence to indicate that Obama is a “stealth Muslim”:

In an interview with Nicholas Kristof, published in The New York Times, Obama recited the Muslim call to prayer, the Adhan, "with a first-class [Arabic] accent."

The opening lines of the Adhan (Azaan) is the Shahada:

"Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that Muhammad is his prophet... "

According to Islamic scholars, reciting the Shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith, makes one a Muslim. This simple yet profound statement expresses a Muslim's complete acceptance of, and total commitment to, the message of Islam.

[Emphasis Added]

Given his upbringing, Obama hardly can be unaware regarding the implications of reciting the Shahada, much less of doing so in such a heartfelt manner. Moreover, his stated willingness to conduct unconditional dialogue with America’s MME (Muslim Middle East) enemies so completely advances Islam’s agenda that he may as well be a Muslim himself.

As Manda Zand-Ervin and Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi correctly note about Obama:

Your policy of direct and unconditional negotiation will give the Mullahs of Iran the legitimacy that they need for more oppression.

Conferring even an iota of credibility upon Islamic tyrants so ill-serves all Western interests that a commitment to do so—by promising unconditional dialogue—can only be construed as an anti-American and apologist stance. Given Islam’s war upon the West, there are few worse positions an American Presidential candidate could possibly adopt.

Toss in Obama’s racialist campaign strategy, his overt communist leanings, his established relationships with anti-American underground figures plus his overall lack of qualification to be Commander in Chief and the sheer thought that he could possibly hold any serious aspirations to become President would be laughable were he not such a major contender.

I’ll leave Mc Cain’s stunning inability to capitalize upon the foregoing laundry list of political malfeasance as grist for another comment.