Monday, January 31, 2005

Why do I oppose war?

Sima Shakhsari *
shakhsari [at]

A few friends on this blog have taken different approaches and provided their reasons for opposing war. By expressing their concern about the inevitable loss of lives, and by questioning the intentions of a U.S. attack on Iran, Parastoo and Omid have taken strong stances against the possible war on Iran. These are all good reasons and I certainly agree with both posts. Here, I want to add my reasons for being against war. As my reasons for opposing a war on Iran are many, in order to keep my posts short, I will bring one reason a day.


As a feminist anthropologist who is interested in issues of gender and sexuality, I can recall the gendered effects of different nationalist discourses that often accompany war. For Iranian women who lost many of their rights after a revolution that was followed by a destructive war, the narrative of sacrifice for the nation is a familiar story. In times of national crisis, women’s demands for rights are often deemed as unpatriotic, and are thus suppressed. It has taken Iranian women many years to gain some rights through their struggles before and after the revolution in Iran. War will undoubtedly halt the efforts of Iranian women and will push them back to the roles ascribed to them in the drama of nationalist domesticity. Women will have to perform the role of the patriotic wife and mother who reproduces citizen soldiers. Growing up in Iran during the war years, I can all too well remember Imam Khomeini’s famous sentence written on the walls of my high school: “It is from a woman’s lap that a man goes to war!”
This drama is not limited to Iran either. We all witnessed the proliferation of images of 9/11 moms and breadwinning fathers in mainstream U.S. media. To me, among other things, war will re-consolidate normative heterosexuality and will reify the dichotomized gender roles upon which it relies.
Unlike what U.S. legislator’s claim, this war will not bring democracy and freedom, especially not to women in Iran. If a war is in making, the discussions for it started a long time ago. The foundations of a war on Iraq, for example, were planned during Clinton’s time and well before September 11. Talks about “democracy in Iran,” have also been in making for a while now. Remember senator Brownback’s “Iran Democracy Act"? The bill expressed concern for freedom in Iran “especially with regards to women.” Curiously, the text of this corporate-sponsored bill did not include even one sentence about women. While the “liberation” of women in Iran may be used by U.S. war mongers to legitimize their expansionist agendas, I know all too well that war does not bring liberation. Especially, not for women!

*Sima Shakhsari is a Ph.D. Candidate at Stanford University and Teaches at San Francisco State University.

War is not welcomed any more

Parastoo Dokouhaki*
parastoo [at]

It's not welcomed any more. I mean the war.
Am I anxious? -Yes, I am!
Look! 16 years of living in safety after passing 8 years of war with Iraq has not been gained simply. Iranians achieved it by passing all the difficulties. And at the same time, they've looked for the ways toward democracy.
Democracy? -Why not?
Human Rights aren't highly respected here? -Yeah, but do you think human beings must be killed in a war to obtain their rights? Will there be anyone left to have any rights then? What kind of solution is this?

Forget about politics, forget about the benefits, forget about big goals, just think about babies, the disabled people whom will be wounded by the war, whom will be killed easily.
The life of every human being is more precious than everything else. Isn't it?

*Parastoo Dokouhaki is a 24-year-old journalist living in Tehran

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Iran: A United Front against War

Omid Memarian*
mailmemarian [at]

Iranians have been suspicious of American intentions since 1953, when an American backed coup ousted the popular and democratic leader of Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh, in favor of a dictator, Mohamad Reza Pahlavi, who remained in power with US support, until the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Even with the passing of over 50 years, the Iranian public remains suspicious and pessimistic when it comes to the US policy.
With the ramblings of another war in the region, this time Iran, it seems that the US is making a similar mistake in winning the trust of the Iranian public. This time, the slogan of "promotion of democracy" seems to be justifying US policy. But for Iranians and those in the region the question is about cost. How much will we have to pay for an American style democracy? What are the hidden intentions of the US? Is this part of a larger US plan to gain absolute control in the Middle East region?Distrust of American intentions will certainly prove to be a rallying point within Iran, even among long time foes. In actuality, these groups, often unable to agree on many issues, do agree on one thing-their opposition to the unilateral ambitions of the US. A military engagement in Iran will go a long way in strengthening the hand of conservatives and fundamentalists--something that would endanger democratic movements within Iran.

*Omid Memarian is a 30-year-old journalist living in Tehran

Sunday, January 30, 2005

About this weblog

This weblog is dedicated to the Iranian people who are against a military attack on Iran. We believe that no war can contribute to the establishment of liberty and democracy in our country. "Iranians for Peace" welcomes the opinions of Iranian people around the globe who are in opposition to war.
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