WPI should do better than this
by Ahmad Fatemi
February 22, 2010
Rozaneh, a WPI-affiliated site, has published a series of reports of the Bahman 22 protests all over the world. This is fantastic. We are getting mobilized; we have started to gather momentum, and soon could be a force major, a gigantic rolling rock which smashes the Islamic regime out side Iran and play a major role in furthering our revolution. Thank you guys!
But I am not writing these lines to praise the WPI on these successful occasions, which were not few; rather to criticize Rozaneh!
The original Washington DC report on Bahman 22 activities has been censored by Rozaneh in two ways:
One, the report fails to mention the participation of WPI activists who were actively engaged in preparation and execution of this protest in the report.
Two, the report does not mention that this protest was meant to take place in front of the office of IRI representative office then march towards the Russian and Chinese embassies. And according to the original report they succeeded to hold their planned gathering outside the Russian embassy.
I say: censor, even if it was technically possible, is not morally and principally acceptable. I do not see the need to take the readership’s time about the technicalities, the mere fact that I (not member of any of the organizations involved, and not even living in the US) am writing these lines is proof enough to “censor belongs to the pre-internet era.” Moral and principle aspects on the other hand are vitally important.
The message of the organizers of this protest, a coalition of professional political vagabonds like Masali, Green, and secular Green , Constitution party, and the members of WPI was clear, and I have no doubt that the official line and the leading body of WPI would have voted against it, and the fingered report appeared in “Rozane” establishes my claim. The message was to emphasise on alignment of this protest with the declared policies of the western governments with regard to economical sanctions against Iran, which we hear louder and louder. These measures are not aiming at the Islamic regime, and only the naïve and ignorant believe that the Western powers, with the US administration ahead of them, as well as the regional, from Saudi Arabia to Israel are not aware of the implications of a revolution in Iran vs the regional and global status quo.
The organizer groups have never opposed sanctions; on the contrary their mouth pieces are advocating this inhumane policy openly, shamelessly and every day.
Now, at the same time frame in which the White House is pushing hard but so far in vain to convince Russia and China to implement economical sanctions against Iran, like those which killed a million Iraqi children prior to the invasion, as a way of showing “sympathy” with our revolution, these choose to stand outside the Russian and Chinese embassy instead of the White House!
WPI members should have rejected this, as the WPI rightly does and has good reasons in doing so. Those from WPI in this protest should have argued instead for adding “NO TO SANCTIONS! NO TO MILITARY INTERVENTION! YES TO POLITICAL BOYCOTT” and primarily carried out this protest outside the White House, where the real outside threat is plotting to counter our revolution once again. The US has been explicitly open about the need to create political leverage over the Islamic regime and to manipulate the course of the events. If those naïve and ignorant have not noticed this we refer them to the official US mass media and specially post Äzar 16 articles. Those groups organizing this protest, are a part of the potential leverage, and insist on this.
Why the WPI members chose not to oppose this political stand, if it was a “mistake” or deliberate is beside the point. Furthermore, I understand that a political party can not be held responsible for the actions of its members, if they are acting like political renegades, yet the political party is responsible to clarify the discrepancies in the official policies and those actions. Aren’t these the norms accepted since ages ago in those countries which we all laugh at their shallow democracy? Here in the west nobody finds this strange; the contrary, keeping silent would be interpreted “strange”!
I am riddled by Rozane’s behaviour. Why did they choose to censor that report instead of publishing the truth, and simultaneously emphasising on WPI’s policy, what was wrong and what should have been done instead? Wasn’t this a golden opportunity to address the public about right and wrong?
Not doing the right thing undermines the very much needed authority of a party which has all the potentials to lead this leaderless revolution. Establishing the credibility would have shortened the distance between these two.
There are only two ways for a popular party to establish a political authority. One way is to be open, frank, responsible and accountable. These qualities are expected from WPI!
Rozane in this particular case was wrong in two counts :One. Wrong not to openly criticise that protest, and its members’ political stand.
Two. Wrong to delete those parts of the report which tend to be embarrassing. This is bad journalism and undermines its credibility.
Should we expect more from WPI in the future?