There is a proverb in the Persian language that can be loosely translated thus:
The road ahead is paved, light is shining, pitfalls are clearly visible, and your eyes are healthy and open / so you may be aware of what lays ahead. Yet you continue to insist on taking the wrong route / then, let you fall and see the fruits of your ignorance.
As a person who knows Iran, its culture and its people, and as an individual who opposes the Iranian regime with every bone in his body, I have repeatedly spoken with my American and Israeli friends and colleagues, and clearly expressed what I believe will be the result of war with Iran. Yet there are some, both in Israel and in the US, who think they know my country and my people better than I do. Well, “let them fall and see the fruits of their ignorance!”
I’ve been growing tired of trying to help my Israeli friends and colleagues, as well as my fellow Americans, to stay alive, live in peace, and raise their children in a “safe” world. How can you help someone who does not want to help himself?
The correct path is not to attack Iran, but to help those of us who are fighting teeth and nail to get rid of this tyrant regime and change this government peacefully and with minimal bloodshed. To help us achieve the dignity we deserve and the democracy we have worked so hard to attain during the past 100 years. And if they cannot help, they must at least try not to obstruct our attempts at achieving democracy and human rights for our people, as they have repeatedly done (witness the 1953 overthrow of Mosaddegh).
Comparing Iran to Germany in relation to Israel proves a complete lack of historical knowledge and understanding of people and cultures. It is the same kind of ignorance and arrogance that we witnessed with George Bush’s so-called “Global War on Terror.” And I don’t need to remind anyone of the outcome of that campaign of ignorance and arrogance.
Let me state, in the interest of history and for the record, that attacking Iran will lead to the destruction of Israel much faster than a nuclear Iran would. Bombing Iran, by Israel and/or the US, poses a far more serious “existential threat” for Israel than a nuclear armed Iran.
Following is a message I recently sent to a dear American friend who innocently echoed the voice of a certain group of warmongers:
Although I am in absolute opposition to the Iranian regime, I don’t consider an extension of what we experienced in Iraq and Afghanistan a viable course of action for changing a regime that kills its own citizen and promotes hate.
I, like the great majority of Iranians, do not want Iran to develop nuclear weapons. We don’t need it, don’t want it, and don’t desire it. But like my countrymen (as well as other citizens of this world), I believe nuclear energy to be the right of every nation.
I am amazed that such intelligent friends like yourself do not see Israel’s existing stockpile of over 240 nuclear warheads as a threat to peace, both in the region and worldwide. Yet you promote a “preemptive” war against a people that has not aggressed against another nation for two centuries. A nation that has been the only one in the region to have helped the Jewish people when they were being prosecuted and murdered. A nation that was among the very first to recognize the state of Israel. And a people whose nuclear ambitions have not yet been proven by the international inspectors to include weapons. This is truly a shame.
A decade ago, Americans trusted their elected officials when they lied that Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. The result was the deaths of thousands of American and hundred of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans. Now you are falling into the same trap and promoting another war?
Let me state here, for the record, and for future students of history, the results of an attack on Iran, by Israel and/or the US.
In the short term, an attack will:
1. Strengthen the present regime in Tehran. That is why they are doing everything they can to promote such a war.
2. Result in the death of thousands, perhaps millions, of Iranians, Israelis and Americans, as well as others.
3. Destroy regional stability — the little that exist now.
4. Drive the price of oil sky-high.
But it will make the richest half percent in the US richer, and it will bring warmongers like Bush back into the office.
In the long term, an attack will:
1. Crush for good any opposition to the Iranian regime inside and outside the country.
2. Raise the number of terrorist attacks against targets in the US, Israel, and around the world.
3. Bring hardline theocratic regimes into power all over the Middle East.
4. Destroy Israel, causing a Jewish massacre far worse than any in history thus far.
5. Reduce American dominance in the region and around the world.
6. Help China become the next global empire.
But worst of all, it will cause a much-feared third world war, which none of our children will survive.
Iranian director and poet Mahmood Karimi-Hakak has been living in exile since 1999, when the regime accused him of “raping the public’s innocence” following a production of William Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
This piece was written as a response to “Iran: Shadowboxing vs. a rationally genocidal regime,” an op-ed by Elihu D. Richter and Yael Stein that was published on The Times of Israel on March 25, 2012.