Human rights activists and civil society actors in Iran say a US/Israeli war would undermine the democracy movement and be an absolute tragedy undoing its hard work for reforms.

Iranian dissidents say US/Israeli war on Iran would be tragedy for its democracy movement

Human rights activists and civil society actors in Iran say a US/Israeli war would undermine the democracy movement and be an absolute tragedy undoing its hard work for reforms.

By Ramin Jahanbegloo & R.N. Khatami
The Progressive
31 July 2012

MITT ROMNEY’S heated rhetoric on Iran is not helpful.

While in Israel, he vowed to use “any and all measures” to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear capability. But an attack on Iran, by Israel or the United States, could have catastrophic consequences for all sides involved.

President Obama’s rhetoric has alternated between calm and belligerent. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the United States in March, Obama stressed the need to let diplomacy work. And he responded to his political opponents by saying, “If some of these folks think we should launch a war, let them say so, and explain to the American people.”

But a week later, he said, “The window for solving this issue diplomatically is shrinking.”

Chillingly, Israeli senior officials have claimed that an attack on Iran would be a simple operation. Former national security adviser Giora Eiland has stated, “The apocalyptic predictions of what will happen if Israel attacks Iran should be moderated,” while Defense Minister Ehud Barak has predicted that “maybe not even 500 civilians” would be killed.

This argument is deplorable and misleading. Israel’s shelling of Lebanon in 2006 led to the deaths of nearly 1,200 civilians, while its air strikes in the Gaza Strip killed more than 1,400 Palestinians in 2009. And Israel carried out these strikes from very close range — nothing like the strategic predicament Israel would face in bombing Iranian targets hundreds of miles away.

The risks of bombing Iran are great, and not just for Iranian civilians. Israel would face certain retaliation. And any bombing, and the reactions to it, could greatly disrupt the world’s oil trade, sending the price of gasoline way up and the advanced economies way down.

Foreign policy experts in the United States have been assessing these risks. But there is one more risk that hasn’t received the attention it deserves: the serious risk of undermining the democracy movement in Iran.

Human rights activists and civil society actors in Iran have suffered long to bring about democratic change through nonviolent means. It would be an absolute tragedy to undo their hard work for reforms with a single senseless action.

Already, the drumbeats of war are beginning to silence reformist voices. Romney should stop banging on that drum if he cares about democracy in Iran.


About ottwf

The capitalistic and imperialistic system and its systematic aims: profit and power over others, still dominates our world and not the aims of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as 1948 agreed! After the world-economic-crisis after 1929 and the following World-War the world hat decided with agreeing the Universal Declaration of Human rights, to create a new world order; conflicts should be solved with peaceful means, not nations and their power, but the dignity of human beings around the world should be the aim of the policies and the economy, of every state and the community of states. But soon after the end of the war, when the victims and destruction were forgotten, all continued as before, with all risks, we had seen before. The split in rich an poor is getting bigger and bigger. We also overuse our global environment already, even if the big majority of mankind still lives in poverty! We are not victims, this world is men-made and be changed from men and women! It will be possible, if those, who do not want or serve (because of system-pressure) profits first, but want for themselves and everybody a life in human dignity unite and develop in a global base-democratic movement a common vision for our world, and learn, how to make this vision real. We need for it a big empowerment of many, many common men and women and their activities. Our chances are because of new communication technologies, of common languages, of the level of education and the mixture of people from different backgrounds better then ever. The occupy-movement is a good start for such a global movement. We support it and try to contribute to its success! We choose news and make comments and so try to unite people for an Occupy-Think-Tank: Its tasks: creating a news-network, self-education, working on global-reform programs and learning to organize projects for those, who are suffering. Join us, so that we can build teams for these aims for all subjects and countries as a base for the unification. We have Wan(n)Fried(en) in our name, because it means When peace and it is a modification of the name of the town our base is, in Wanfried, a small town in the middle of Germany, where we can use a former factory for our activities. Our telefon: 0049-5655-924981, mobil: 0171-9132149, email:
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