Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Who should be the Next President in Iran


Who should be the Next President in Iran?

Ali Asghar Kazemi

May 20, 2009


Almost three weeks away from the presidential elections in Iran, I have been asked by my students to give them some hints and advices regarding the most suitable candidate in the race. While I have my own personal views and preferences about the potential contenders, I feel very much reluctant to take side in public forum in favor of any of them at this particular point of time. Since, I believe, my duty as an academic is to shed light on the common traits of the would-be president in the present political and international environment of our country, rather than to speak in favor of any particular candidate.

In my previous comments regarding the presidential elections, I have listed a number of reasons for which people of various layers of the society may fell indifferent to participate in the process. Those considerations could still be valid as long as candidates do not explicitly clarify their positions with respect of a number of critical issues entailing the country and their concrete measures and policies to cure them. These issues encompass all sectors of the society including, social, economic, political, strategic, legal, environmental etc.

Of course, as I mentioned before, the president is not powerful enough to bring all the changes we might envisage. But, the least that he can achieve is to demonstrate his determination for change and to assure people of his resolve to cope with many socio-political malaises which inhibit the overall trend of the country towards democracy, human rights, justice and equity.

Here are some main points in my humble view to be considered in our choice of the next president for Iran: Read more

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Logic of War against Taliban and Talibanism

The Logic of War against Taliban and Talibanism
Ali Asghar Kazemi

May 15, 2009
Ever since September 11, 2009 events, Taliban and Talibanism have been chased and killed by masses, yet, they are still full of zeal and causing widespread troubles in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Recent Pakistani raids on their agglomerations on the initiative of the United States bring about a number of crucial problems about the rationality of Obama’s recent policy in this respect.
While I have no fond of these fanatical groups who fight with rudimentary means the most equipped and powerful forces representing the NATO, I have serious doubts about the logic of this protracted war and the humanitarian aspects involved therein.
In this short comment I venture to examine the flagrant flaws of American policy under Obama to open new fronts against Taliban in Pakistan with the objective of eradicating this movement, which supposedly is endangering the legitimate government of a nuclear power state. More...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Iran: Election and Political Apathy

Iran: Elections and Political Apathy
Ali Asghar Kazemi
May 7, 2009


Aristotle described man as “political animal” on the ground that human being is compelled to live in collectivities within the boundaries of a political system. But, people are by no means equally concerned with political life. In other words, some people are indifferent and others are more concerned with political matters. Among this latter group, only a few get deeply and passionately involved in pursuit of power.
In open societies with developed democratic institutions and popular governments, opportunities for political participation of citizens are available and people are encouraged to get actively involved in formulating their demands through parties and interest groups. On the contrary, in oligarchic societies, citizens tend to choose apathetic approach to political realm and become relatively inactive in deciding their socio-political fate.
Political apathy is usually regarded as a social malaise in developed societies. In countries where civil society is still lagging behind traditional and fatalistic customs, apathy is a way of life to avoid hazards of political stratum. In this case, it is merely a cure manifested as conscious decision to cope with authoritarianism, demagoguery and repression in societies where expressing political opinions and criticisms are considered beyond the realm of citizen rights... More