Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education

11.26 Was Moses a Founding Father?

11.25 Is Harvard Unfair to Asian-Americans?

11.25 Naomi Klein Lays Bare the Conflict Between Capitalism and the Climate

Letters
Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

11.27 Lab-grown spinal cords

11.26 What It Would Really Take to Reverse Climate Change [graphs]

11.26 More Medicine Goes Off Limits in Drug-Price Showdown

11.26 Brain's dementia weak spot identified

11.26 The latest global warming bill and the Republican conundrum

11.26 Air pollution costs Britain #10bn a year, report shows [1% of plants responsible for 50% of the damages]

11.25 Acid Rain Has Turned Canadian Lakes into a Kind of Jelly

11.25 Obama’s climate change envoy: fossil fuels will have to stay in the ground

11.24 Vancouver Experiments With Prescription Heroin

11.24 The Downside of the Boom

11.24 World bank to focus future investment on clean energy

News Media

11.24 Are Americans “Stupid” or Uninformed?

Daily FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

Justice Matters

11.26 “Something is very, very wrong”: Why Ferguson exposes our system of justice

11.26 Election Ad Rule Keeping Donors Secret Is Thrown Out Again

11.25 University of Virginia’s Image Suffers After Campus Rape Report

11.25 A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA

US Politics, Policy & Culture

11.27 Bill Cosby, U.V.A. and Rape

11.27 Barack Obama, Ferguson, and the Evidence of Things Unsaid

11.27 Silicon Valley's Culture of Amorality – Water Will Find its Way

11.25 Self-Segregation: Why It's So Hard for Whites to Understand Ferguson

11.25 The Gospel of Rudy Giuliani

11.25 Wave of violent civil unrest grips Ferguson after grand jury decision [videos]

11.24 The politics of infrastructure [video w/ads and transcript]

11.23 Grenade launchers, armored personnel carriers, and a military-grade helicopter among the lethal arsenal of police force who helped patrol Ferguson [photos]

High Crimes?

11.22 Senate Democrats Clash With White House on C.I.A. Torture Report

Economics, Crony Capitalism

11.23 Top incomes soared as tax rates fell

11.23 Full Show: How Public Power Can Defeat Plutocrats [25:25 video and transcript]

11.22 Bill Black: Why the New York Fed Isn’t Trustworthy

11.22 Elizabeth Warren Blasts New York Fed President William Dudley [12:53 video]

11.22 Attorneys General for Sale

International

11.27 Bringing up the bodies: Mexico's missing students draw attention to 20,000 'vanished' others

11.26 41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed: US drone strikes – the facts on the ground

11.26 Pope Francis attacks EU over treatment of immigrants

11.24 US air strikes in Syria driving anti-Assad groups to support Isis

11.24 'Mumbai is on the verge of imploding'

11.24 Israeli cabinet approves legislation defining nation-state of Jewish people

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Is the United States serious about Iran?

COMMENTARY:

Is the United States serious about Iran?

by Amil Imani
Bombing Iran will not help the cause. In fact, it will probably create either civil war, or some kind of desperate, lethal unity inside Iran. The more effective way to achieve regime change is to spend Iranian assets in the right way.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently asked Congress for $85 million to support pro-democracy groups inside Iran and also to assist Iranian groups outside Iran who oppose the Islamic regime in Tehran.

It is a very kind gesture from President George W. Bush’s administration, but this program will not change anything in Iran. And it is not likely the $85 million (if Secretary Rice indeed receives it) will be used effectively and wisely.

Yet, there is no denying Bush’s intent of support. In his 2005 state of union address, he again pledged his support for the Iranian people: “And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you.”

In Iranian polls, Bush won the 2004 election by a landslide, even though in America, Bush won by only a few hundred votes. Today, Bush is sinking in American polls, but his popularity continues to climb in Iran.

Persian-speaking people have found a friend who says he cares about them. But, at this point, we must ask how serious is President Bush about Iran? Is it all words, with no action?

For five years, President Bush has consistently supported the Iranian people in his state of the union addresses. But it’s been simply a big carrot on a long stick. Or, as they say in Texas, it’s all hat and no cattle. While we have supported the president’s efforts to liberate Iraq and bring democracy to the region, we know the key to peace in Iraq and the region is in the hands of the Iranian people. As long as they are powerless to overthrow the Islamic terrorist regime in Iran, Iraq will never see the light of democracy.

America is spending over $200 million a day for the war in Iraq. In contrast, an $85 million proposal to bring change in Iran, administered over five years or more, is utterly unrealistic. After all, we are talking about the Islamic Republic of Iran—"the world's most active state sponsor of terrorism," according to the U.S. State Department.

So, how do we understand the money problem?

According to the Iranian Studies Group, an independent academic organization at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), more than one in four Iranian-Americans hold a master's or doctoral degree, the highest rate among 67 ethnic groups studied. Iranians are among the most highly educated people in the U.S. and annually contribute over $600 billion into the U.S. economy.

It would be a travesty for the Iranian opposition groups to accept a mere $85 million while the Iranian-Americans are such large contributors to the U.S. economy.

Yet, Iranian-Americans have not given big money to the cause of liberating their fellow Iranians in Iran, and the U.S. government hasn’t given any significant amount for the eradication of the world terrorist regime—the Islamic Republic of Iran. So, we’re back to square one.

But consider this: the United States holds billions of dollars of Iranian assets in U.S. banks. Why not use this financial source to support the Iranian opposition groups who will actively seek regime change in Iran? This money must be returned to its legitimate heirs, the Iranian people, inside Iran and outside Iran.

If the U.S. is serious about a regime change in Iran, if the U.S. is hoping for a democratic form of government in Iran, and if the U.S. truly advocates a broader democracy in the Middle East, the White House must turn the Iranian assets over to all the Iranian opposition groups who want democracy Iran. After all, Iranians know Iranian mentality better than any foreign governments.

It is time for the U.S. government to get serious about regime change in Iran. Bombing Iran will not help the cause. In fact, it will probably create either civil war, or some kind of desperate, lethal unity inside Iran. The more effective way to achieve regime change is to spend the Iranian assets in the right way.

We can create a secular, democratic Iranian nation with our own Iranian money, and obliterate the venomous theocratic regime in Iran—which the majority of Iranians consider to be alien occupiers. The clock is ticking and the majority of Iranians want to be free from the oppressors now. The Bush administration must stop the useless, wasteful bureaucracy and get down to the business of regime change, immediately.


Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American Citizen and pro democracy activist living in the United States of America. Imani is a columnist, literary translator, poet, and novelist who speaks out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran. His website is amilimani.com.


Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on April 24, 2006.

 


Public Service Ads: