Did you happen to see that amazing Iranian parade last March on Madison Avenue? The smiling women were beautifully made up and garbed in colorful silks. The men wore blue headdresses and robes. Marchers carried a sign that read, "Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds." The music was engaging, the floats were filled with flowers, and happy marchers were chanting joyfully about Iran.
It's not likely that you did see the parade, because these Iranians are Persians, and we don't hear much about them. We should: They may end up being America's best allies in the war against Islamic jihadists.
There are, in fact, two Irans, and the lesser known one to most Americans is undergoing a renaissance that the ruling Iranian mullahs fear the most. If the Persians are awakened to their identity as children of Cyrus the Great, who wrote mankind's first charter of human rights, these oppressive regimes will topple domino-style. Besides Iran, the Persian heritage is embedded in Iraq and Afghanistan, and were it to be rekindled, a revolution unheard of in scope could occur. Does this sound like a pipe dream?
Not according to an Iranian dissident and former Muslim I met recently who told me that Korans are being burned in Iran, and that there is a strong movement toward the philosophy of Zoroastrianism. This man showed me the pendant he now wears, a symbol of the ancient religion (it is older than Judaism). This symbol, carried by many of the parade marchers, can be seen at persianparade.org.
I had to travel outside New York to meet with this individual, who still has relatives living in Iran. The trip was worth it, as I was able to learn more about what's happening behind the headlines.
"Immediately after September 11," my new friend said, "I knew we must go to Iraq." That the war option was apparent to this and other Iranians has eluded most of the liberal elite.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," George Santayana said, and I think of this quotation every time I read the speeches at the anti-war rallies and marvel at the ignorance displayed there. Sad to say, Americans aren't big on history, and that goes for our diplomatic representatives as well. The truth is, Americans have been fighting jihadists since Colonial times, when Muslim pirates were seizing American ships. I thought James Baker, a former secretary of state, was a smart man, and yet he and the Iraq Study Group came up with the naïve notion that we can negotiate with jihadists.
This is absolutely senseless. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams reported why after their failed peace mission in Paris: "It was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Musselman [Muslim] who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise."
Gee, that sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it? Well, as it turned out, the only thing that stopped the jihadists was war, and so Jefferson led us into the First Barbary War. James Madison led us into the second Barbary War.
The Persian Renaissance, known as Anjomane Padeshahi Iran, is being spearheaded by a charismatic leader, Dr. Froud Fouladvand. He has offered Iranian people the reason to fight by awakening their semidormant national identity, an identity that was overshadowed by radical Islam. In fact, my friend said, "the API draws on centuries of experience handed down by those who have battled this enemy from its virtual inception. We slew the first three rulers of Islam as Persians — and many of their military governors. Few people — even our own — are taught that even Imam Ali, father of the Shiites, was sent to hell by a Persian."
There are more than 7 million Persians living outside Iran, and many are connected through online communications, meaning theirs may end up being the first revolution fueled by Internet technology. According to API's English-language Web site, at iransara.info, Dr. Fouladvand is nearing Iran, and the overthrow of Islamic rule is scheduled to take place before the Iranian New Year, March 21. My Iranian contact says America should leave Iran to the Iranians, and that may be what is happening. Liberal pundits are continually criticizing the administration for not going after Iran because of its support of the Iraqi insurgency. Maybe President Bush has read his history and knows the Persians are coming, the Persians are coming.
By Alicia Colon.