March 17, 2008

Who is Iran's Obama?

Shahrvand Emroz (Today Citizen) is the only Iranian weekly dedicated to reformist cause, and probably the most professional journal of today Iran.
Mohammad Ghouchani, chief editor of Shahrvand Emroz, is a popular columnist as well as a well-known reformist figure whose articles attract a lot of attention from almost all political parties in Iran. Here is a translation of last part of his editorial in the last published volume of Shahrvand Emroz, entitled 'Who is Iran's Obama?'
Interestingly, most of Iranians have a high opinion of Obama. Conservatives compare Ahamdinejad to Obama, a comparison which is not that irrelevant, especially in terms of utopian promises and slogans. On the other hand, reformists think of Obama as a reformist figure. By the way, it seems that, to Iranians, black Obama means more of a utopia; and probably a lost utopia.
Who is Iran's Obama?
In the age we are going to embrace, every nation should seek for its own Obama: professional, fulltime politicians whose only preoccupation is politics, who are not afraid of [political] defeat, and who know very well how to play in the political system while being ready to break [ill-defined] structures [if necessary]. There are some prominent political figures who play a good game within the current structure, but their ambition is so limited. [On the other hand,] there are many ambitious figures who fail to follow the rules of the game. Obama [even] if got to surrender to Hillary Clinton, will not ever revolt against his party. And even if got to lose the election to McCain, will not revolt against the whole system.
America has never committed anything more notorious than what she did in Vietnam, yet Vietnam veterans are still the super-heroes of Americans. This by no measure means that Americans respect a bunch of war criminals; rather they oppose the military policy of their administration while defending their [patriot] representatives, i.e. their soldier (not their chief of staff). This sweet contradiction is what leads the democrat, anti-war Hollywood to ask US soldiers in Iraq to announce the final results of Oscar 2008, though directors of US movie industry [generally] oppose the Iraq war.
In countries such as Iran, one needs 'Medals' of national honor so as to be able to enter the political ground. This phenomenon is not unique to Iran. John Kerry and McCain are also veterans. If being republican or democrat translates into being loyal to the US Revolution and Constitution in US, being Conservative or Reformist translates into being faithful to Iranian Revolution and constitution in Iran. If being a Vietnam or WWII veteran is of a high importance in US, fighting Iraqi army is supposed to be important in Iran.
Iran, 30 years after its revolution, observes a generation who has not fully experienced the Revolution and War. Young democrats in US are of a similar position. Obama, from this new generation, finds his way into the political ground; the generation which should offer its respect to the Revolution, War and Republic, though in order to prove its political qualifications, it needs something more than just its political resume.
By the way, Iranian conservatives have surprisingly found their George Bush; and now, it is Reformists' turn to find their Obama. We have a full year (*) to find this 'Iranian Obama'.

(*): 15 months are left to Iran's next presidential election.

1 comment:

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