A Critique of Iranian Opposition about War
نقدی بر اپوزیسیون درباره جنگ
نقدی بر اپوزیسیون درباره جنگ
Unfortunately Iranian opposition still views the problem of war like half a century ago basing its decisions about war on dividing the wars into "just" and "unjust." What progressive forces arrived at in the last years of the Cold War was to see the war as the heritage of the era of savagery. The view which humanity carried with itself from the jungles, i.e. "fight" or "flight" when faced with danger, was rejected and instead, conflict resolution through dialogue was pursued. The "Beyond War" organization in 1980's was formed based on this viewpoint which has been discussed in details (1).
Still similar to the start of modern society, examples are being mentioned by some people in the Iranian opposition, to justify just wars, saying that if you are attacked by a criminal with a weapon wouldn't you defend yourself and aren't you allowed to kill the attacker? It is true that in personal and collective cases the right of self-defense exists in modern society but the goal of the efforts of progressive forces inside the society, and with regards to foreign attacks, is to focus on dialogue to resolve the differences and not to continue defensive wars and revenge. This is why in most civilized countries capital punishment has been eliminated whereas nobody has a problem with killing those same criminals in self-defense at the time of attack.
In the Middle East, we are facing a war similar to Thirty Years' War of Europe (2). Some of the political activists offer incorrect analysis of the civil war in Iraq trying to justify getting Iran involved in these wars and present the entrance of Iran's forces in the war in Iraq and Syria as a way to prevent Daesh attack on Iran or to protect people of Iranian descent in those areas. The issue of discussion here is the approach to war itself, not the analysis of the events that has been discussed a lot (3).
If we look at the situation from a "Beyond War" perspective, it makes no difference whether we are looking at the Israeli-Palestinian fights or war of the Kurds and Daesh or the US attack on Iraq at time of Bush. The fundamentals of the discussion are the same that progressive forces need to go beyond war and pursue conflict resolution through dialogue instead of trying to take sides and want to determine the side of just war, to justify adding to the flames of war. It is true that Iran when attacked by Iraq, had every right and correctly defended itself similar to someone who is attacked by a criminal can defend herself/himself and the defense is just (4), but that is no reason to continue the fight and war and to justify it by defining the just side of the war. The goal should be to resolve the conflict through dialogue.
Dialogue with all sides of the war is needed and to be a pacifist towards the military solution is the achievement of progressive forces in the final years of the Cold War. Let's not encourage Iran to get involved in the war in Iraq and Kurdistan now after the involvement in conflicts in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. In this era of the Internet, we must help the citizen diplomacy to grow by informing people and expanding programs of news and analysis and not adding to bullets and canons. It is necessary to encourage initiatives of civil society for dialogue with all sides of war. Even regarding the danger of war between Iran and Israel the only preventive measure is not by defining the just side of the war and raising flames of war, rather negotiations for conflict resolution has been the way and will be the way moving forward (5).
Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,
Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
October 31, 2014
1. Beyond War
2. A Note about Thirty Years' War
3. Wrong Analyses of Civil War in Iraq
4. Iran and Wakeful Reflection
5. Danger of IRI-Israel War .. and What Iranian Opposition Needs to Do