[Marxism] Revolutionary Guards and the Iran-Iraq War (was Socialist Men, Muslims, and the "Woman Question")
lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jul 25 15:37:28 MDT 2006
>Just my personal take on things,
>member, Workers World Party www.workersworld.net
>Embryonic blog at
Your personal take? How fortunate since it seems to overlap with the views
of your party:
Sharp debate breaks out at Iran forum
By Special to Workers World
White Plains, N.Y.
Published Sep 18, 2005 9:06 PM
A lively and important political debate broke out over the question of Iran
and U.S. imperialism at a forum here on Sept. 10, when the main speakerwho
was expect ed to oppose U.S. war moves against Iraninstead opened up an
attack on the Iranian government.
The sponsors of the meeting, the American-Iranian Friendship Committee and
the Engage Program of United Memorial Methodist Church, were expecting the
featured speakerMorteza Mohitto expose the aggressive intentions of
Washington towards Iran. In particular, it was hoped that he would deliver
a strong defense of the Tehran governments battle to keep Irans
independence and assert its right to develop nuclear technology.
These expectations were based upon the fact that Mohit, a writer and
researcher, was imprisoned for several years under the Shah. He also claims
to be a Marxist and has translated some works of Karl Marx into Farsi. And
indeed, his lecture began with a sharp, general historical critique of
But to the surprise of the audience and the sponsors, he ended his exposé
of the U.S. governments aggressive policies towards Iran with the year
1953when a CIA coup overthrew the elected nationalist government of
Mohammed Mossadegh and installed the repressive regime of Shah Mohammed
Reza Pahlevi, and U.S. oil companies took over Iranian oil.
Mohit then launched into a one-sided and sharp criticism of Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini, who led the anti-imperialist revolution that overthrew
the shah. He dwelt on the well-known reactionary aspects of the Khomeini
regime, such as the suppression of the left, but neglected to mention the
unbridled hostility of Washington to the anti-imperialist intransigence of
the Islamic Republic. He even claimed that the U.S. government wanted
Khomeini to rule because it knew he would attack the left.
Mohit then spoke in critical tones about the government of the recently
elected president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He dismissed the axis of evil
designation of Iran by President Bush and the nuclear conflict as not
serious and a cover for Iran working with the U.S. government in Iraq.
He alluded to unspecified behind the scenes maneuvers and
unsubstantiated, undocumented and unpublicized protocols regarding Iraq
allegedly signed by Iran and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell.
The title of the forum was U.S. Foreign Policy: the Case of Iran, but the
event was becoming a forum to condemn the internal conduct and character of
the Iranian government. There was no mention of Washingtons campaign to
destroy the Kho meini government or of the looming foreign policy crisis
flowing from Wash ingtons determination to deny Iran the right to develop
Early in the discussion period, Ardeshir Ommani, head of the
American-Iranian Friendship Committee, took the floor. He acknowledged that
Iran is not a bourgeois democratic government. But, he said, Iran must
be judged in the context of world affairs. Iran is one of the most
independent governments in the world. In terms of trade, in terms of
capital investment and in military terms the Iranian government resists
Ommani charged that alluding to so-called behind the scenes agreements is
insufficient information. And even if there were agreements, he continued,
Iran has every right to make agreements to protect itself when it is
surrounded by 35 military bases.
He asked Mohit: Does Iran as a country, as a people, as an entity in
existence for 2,000 years, have the right to develop nu clear energy for
peaceful purposesnot merely the Islamic Republic, but Iran as a nation?
Mohit never answered the question.
On the question of the Khomeini regime, Ommani asked Mohit: What about the
people of Iran? Millions of people supported Khomeini. We as communists
could support his struggle against imperialism but we could not support
him. But [his victory] was the result of historical circumstances. We
cannot blame Khomeini because the people did not support us.
As the discussion proceeded, Mohit called the Iranian elections totally
corrupted despite the overwhelming landslide victory of Ahmadinejad over
former President Akbar Hasemi Rafsanjania wealthy conservative turned
pro-IMF free market advocate of opening Iran up to privatization and
When an ally of Mohits in the audience called the Iranian government
fascist, Ommani took the floor again to point out the dangers of such
slander. Fascism, Ommani asserted, has a specific meaning which does not
apply to the Iranian government. This was just invective, calling
Ahmadinejad a bad guy.
How did the Iraq War get set up by U.S. imperialism? Ommani asked. First
the U.S. demonized the regime, calling it dictatorial and comparing it to
fascism. Next they declared the elections of Saddam invalid and not the
expression of any popular support. And then they created a campaign against
weapons of mass destruction and said that Iraq was a threat. These are
precisely the charges that Washington is making now against the government
Ommani charged that Marxist language is being used here as a cover to
argue the very line that U.S. imperialism is promoting in order to prepare
for a war against Iran.
Mohit again ignored Ommanis charges and referred to the time of the great
democratic election when Mohammed Kha tami, the reformer, won. At that
time, said Mohit, the prestige and respect for Iran went way up in the
world. So much, that President Clinton had to say nice things about Iran
and Madeleine Albright apologized for the 1953 coup.
Fred Goldstein, a leader of Workers World Party, asked from the audience:
Prestige with whom? With U.S. imperialism?
Goldstein pointed out, Cuba is one of the most respected governments in
the world for all its accomplishments and its ability to survive 90 miles
from the door step of the U.S. But that respect is among the masses of
people of the world. And it has not brought Washington one inch closer to
Cuba. With the Khatami election, Washington thought they saw a weak spot
and they tried to move in. The maneuver failed.
Get imperialism off their backs!
Mohit consistently referred in negative terms to Islamic forces such as
Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which get aid from Iran. He criticized Iran
for strengthening their terrorist side as opposed to their social
Goldstein concluded, The truth is that U.S. imperialism, working with the
Saudi monarch and other reactionary forces in the Middle East and Central
Asia, spent billions of dollars and turned the CIA loose in the region to
exterminate the communists and the left. The destruction of the Afghanistan
Revolution, which first gave women rights and tried to help the poor, is a
Bourgeois nationalism, in countries like Egypt and Algeria, has completely
failed to help the masses and has fallen under the domination of
imperialism. But the struggle against imperialism continues and in this
region of the world, Islamic forces have filled the vacuum in many
instances. It is up to the people of the region to decide their own
internal destiny, but they must be able to do it free from the intervention
of imperialism. Our job is to get the U.S. government off their backs.
Ellie Ommani, who was chairing the meeting, displayed a full-page newspaper
ad in the New York MetroNews published by right-wing media mogul Rupert
Murdoch. The ad for a demonstration against the Iranian United Nations
delegation that is arriving in New York this week had a picture of a
mushroom cloud and talked of Irans nuclear terrorism. The demonstration
is sponsored by monarchists who want the shah back and by the Peoples
Mujahadeen, which has become a pawn of the CIA. Someone in the audience
asked aloud: I wonder who paid for such an expensive ad?
The meeting ended on an up note with loud applause as Ellie Ommani called
for unity in our determination to fight to get the U.S. government off the
back of the Iranian government and allow it to function in freedom and
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