Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The Curious Case of Islamic Republic Lobby and US Human Rights Activists
By Arash Irandoost
October 30, 2010
Demonization of Jews and threats to annihilate Israel don't faze some "human rights activists."
Ahmadinejad's inflammatory remarks, such as denial of holocaust and wiping Israel off the map, are deliberately orchestrated to fuel the "1400 year old anti-Semitism" fire among his Muslim sympathizers. Ahmadinejad is fully aware that hatred for the Jews runs deep among many Arabs and left leaning groups. Even though Ahmadinejad's rhetoric has been mostly intended for internal consumption, most reporters have been unwilling or incapable to challenge him on his assertions.
Afraid that their sleazy leader might eventually be caught off guard and trapped by smart questioning, his handlers have changed tactics and limited his visits to private meetings with trusted and proven supporters. Ahmadinejad met with communist sympathizers, representatives of anti-war, labor, alternative media and Iranian and Palestinian solidarity organizations. Among the participants were former attorney general Ramsey Clark, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Brian Becker of the ANSWER coalition, and Amiri Baraka, poet and activist.
According to Bill Baar, who was in attendance, activists admired Ahmadinejad but overlooked human rights abuses by the Islamic Republic. Barr said, "Guest after guest delivered prepared statements, posing no questions or challenges to Iranian delegation. They lauded Ahmadinejad as a hero for standing up to the bullying of the United States government." Mr. Baar, disappointed with the meeting, continued, "Speech after speech failed to address any calls for solidarity with the brave young men and women in Iran who took to the streets and demanded their rights in the face of government suppression. "
Wednesdays' gathering comprised of many Iranian groups, including American-Iranian Council, American-Iranian Friendship Committee, and Coalition Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran. These organizations are known for their support of the Islamic Republic among the Iranian opposition groups. Some are engaged in lobbying for the regime such as CASMII under the guise of "anti-war" and "human rights," and AIC an advocate for dialogue, diplomacy, and removal of sanctions. Other organizations are engaged in anti-war propaganda, but do not trouble themselves with current internal affairs of Iran, aware that such exposure might anger the American general public, and ill-informed politicians, against the Islamic Republic.
These Iranian-American organizations have adamantly denied their role as the "lobbyist" for the Islamic Republic in the past. However, on Wednesday several Iranian-American groups admiringly expressed their support for Ahmadinejad.
Closely and carefully examined, it becomes clear that being anti-war and pro human rights is only a façade, orchestrated to hide their anti-Semitic beliefs. One can conclude that these lobby groups are commissioned to excuse Ahmadinejad's incitement to genocide and keep hidden from the public eye atrocities committed by Islamic Republic officials.
Since the presidency of Ahmadinejad, anti-Semitism has been heightened and played up by the regime inside Iran. The regime leaders are actively engaged in Israel bashing and annihilation of Israel in the strongest terms for the purpose of showcasing themselves as Islamic leadership in the world and Middle East.
As early as 1997, Trita Parsi, President of NIAC, made confrontation and fight with AIPAC as one his primary goals. His doctoral thesis focused on Israel and the only book he has published deals with Israel. The basic premise of Parsi's book is that IRI does not pose a threat to the United States and is very much interested in establishing diplomatic relationship with the United States. He further claims that the United States is interested in establishing diplomatic relations with Iran as well, but it is the "evil" Israel that prevents it from coming to fruition. According to Dr. Parsi, the reason is very obvious, Iran, united with the United States, will weaken and harm the position of Israel. Therefore, Israel and its powerful lobby are vehemently opposed to Iran and the US establishing friendly ties. The United States under pressure from Israel pressures the UN to turn Iran's "peaceful" nuclear program as the threat to world peace and security. Therefore, Israel, not Iran, should be perceived as the world threat!
Needless to say, AIC, NIAC, CASMII and others fail to answer why the "peaceful" Islamic Republic as a UN member state calls for wiping a sovereign UN member nation off the map. Or, why the Islamic Republic continues to fund terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezb'allah, and provide military and technical assistance and financial support to Iraqi and Taleban insurgents to kill American soldiers. If the mullahs are indeed interested in having friendly relations with the Great Satan, then why have a special "Quds Day" or "Jerusalem Day" and chant "Death to Israel," "Death to America," and walk on and burn the US and Israeli flags?
Confronted by such questions, in the past they used to seek refuge in the reformist camp. Then their reply was: Once Mousavi is elected, he is pragmatic enough that it will end such militancy and bring about the needed reforms.
With Mousavi officially out of the picture, such lobbyists do not play the pragmatic card anymore. They have received new marching orders. They do not demonstrate in front of the UN and talk about human rights violations by the Iranian regime anymore. Talking about rape in IRI jails, by its Basij and Hamas thugs, is now out. Unconditional support for Islamic Republic and Ahmadinejad is in. All this to ensure the Iranian regime's survival.
Amazing what a difference a year makes! The same lobbyists who distanced themselves (at least publicly) form Ahmadinejad are now openly admiring his statesmanship and love for peace and human rights. One of CASMII leaders, after attending the dinner reception and being granted a long interview with Ahmadinejad, referred to him as "a great man misrepresented by the media." As we say in Iran, Bisharmi ham haddi daarad! Mildly translated: the gall of some people!