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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا
I see a lot of well-intentioned folks here attacking each other and it’s not constructive. You all want the best for the Iranian people. But you have different ideas of how to get there. [THREAD]
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
This isn't the time to be squabbling about diaspora politics. Ppl actually on the ground in Iran are risking their lives to voice their discontent w/ the status quo. All we need to do as observers ATM is support them publicly & take concrete, targeted actions to support.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
For Iranian diaspora who didn't grow up in the US, it can be hard to understand why some Iranian-Americans take positions that appear to support the lifespan of the regime. I believe it’s an overcorrect born out of the idea that imperialism is a sin that trumps all other ills.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
The problem is, many of these folks—including me—came of age during the Bush era. We felt the perception shift towards Americans after the US invaded Iraq.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
When I moved to Holland in 2005, all anyone wanted to talk about was Bush’s ruinous policies and how Americans were so dumb. I only got a pass in part by being perceived as Iranian as well, so not fully a “clueless” American.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
For anyone working in human rights that led to a deep shame. How could you be a credible American voice on freedom & democracy when your own govt was torturing ppl in Guantanamo? It led a lot of Americans to self-reflect on the US role in the world.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
Part of this is also driven by fear. When you’ve grown up in a country that has a global military footprint and will actually bomb another it’s not fantasy to imagine that they will do the same to Iran.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
You would not have the same feeling if you’ve grown up in Canada, France, the UK or another country that would maybe be part of a US-led coalition to go to war with another country but never spearheading it.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
As this intersects w/ Iranian identity however, it's a toxic mix. In an effort to acknowledge destructive US policies of intervention in the Middle East, we now have a situation where some Iranian-Americans are inadvertently legitimizing & apologizing for Iran’s leadership.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
You don’t have to do that. This is a regime that systematically executed thousands of its political opponents in the 1980s and then promoted the killers to the highest ranks of government. The ills of US foreign policy do not make that reality of Iran’s leadership any less true.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
Look at your Twitter timeline. If you are spending more time talking about how US sanctions are the cause of Iranians' economic woes than sharing news of the IRI’s attacks on protesters and the internet shutdown then please reflect on that ratio.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
Similarly, if you’re acting like US sanctions have had no destructive effect on the impoverished classes in Iran and that Iran’s economic lot is only due to the IRI’s mismanagement and corruption then you’re also not dealing in reality.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
Maybe you think US sanctions bringing the Iranian economy to its knees is a justified foreign policy strategy, that’s a different debate. But don’t pretend US sanctions have no humanitarian impact.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
In sum, don’t let your anti-imperialism blind you from showing solidarity w/ the protesters. They have legitimate grievances that aren't US/Saudi-made. Also don’t be an imperialist shill that thinks US led regime change is the answer. Just support the ppl of Iran w/ clear eyes.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
Iranians who came to the US later in life generally do not suffer from the same ills. They’ve lived under a dictatorship and rightly see it for what it is. Even if they don’t condone US foreign policy, that doesn’t cancel out their animus towards repressive forces back in Iran.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
Iranians in other countries, try to understand where your American counterparts are coming from when their anti-imperialist views take over. The fear of bombing people makes us go too far in the other direction sometimes.
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Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا Nov 18
Replying to @GissouNia
Many of these folks think they are doing the right thing by calling out America’s abuses to the exclusion of all else. Call them out on it but also be thankful that you didn’t grow up with the same baggage.
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