by Dr. Robert D. Crane
Now we may have a triple threat in Iran. Not only has Ahmadinejad's
statement on regime change in Israel and America been grossly distorted,
and his theoretical right to nuclear weapons as a deterrent to attack been
denied, but we may now soon hear that his policies of compassionate justice
are the first step in a radical socialist scheme designed to destroy the
financial system that sustains the world.
On October 28th, 2006, the Iranian CEO, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad,
announced that government will be down-sized and political power will be
decentralized through the privatization of state-owned industry, with 50%
"sold" free to the poor. This is a good start on what Ayatollah Sistani
might well advocate in Iraq. Sistani is only too well aware of the downside
of concentrated political power in Iran and of the American strategy in Iraq
to concentrate political power in a central government there in order
better to orchestrate control of its natural resources.
At a conference called to officially inaugurate the new Iranian plan to
privatize industry through "justice shares" to "justice stock companies"
Ahmadinejad emphasized that justice is not merely an individual
responsibility but a joint responsibility of every person working together
as a community. The Speaker of Parliament, Gholam Ali Haddad, stated at this
conference that justice had been the driving force behind the original
Iranian revolution, but had been side-tracked for an entire generation.
Now the question arises, when will Iran start privatizing the oil industry
to the general populace through inalienable voting shares of stock? This
has been priority number one in position papers that I and others have been
advancing since the first day of the Iranian revolution more than a quarter
century ago as an essential first step in any faith-based and normative
economic system? The possible domino effect of such a policy to broaden
capital ownership might be perceived as the "ultimate threat to global
stability." In fact, it would be the ultimate moral H-bomb designed to
restore the universal right to private ownership of productive property as
the essence of economic justice in a capital intensive world and to counter
the primary source of growing global chaos, namely, the rapidly escalating
wealth-gap both within and among nations.
Iran is the only country in the world where justice is not considered to be
a threat to stability and where justice indeed is now considered to be the
major pillar of national security. In America, neither the Republican nor
Democratic parties dare to even mention the word, because it would require
fundamental reform of the entire system of money and credit to broaden
capital ownership rather than to concentrate it. In any research on justice
in Shi'a jurisprudence and public policy, the new Iranian policies on
economic and social justice, as a model of both what to do and what not to
do, might well serve as a principal case study of Jafari jurisprudence in
Justice in Jafari jurisprudence is holistic, which makes it different from
all the other legal systems in the world. This system necessarily
addresses the importance of respecting the right to life, which has
immediate relevance to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The leading ayatollahs in Iran have condemned the production and possession
of nuclear weapons as fundamentally immoral. I agree with this, not only
from the perspective of what Catholics call moral theology, but because such
weapons are irrelevant to shaping the course of history. This is the area
where the rubber hits the road, because this is where courage as a central
element of compassionate justice will be seen.
Dr. Crane is Chairman of the
newly formed Center for Understanding Islam, and Vice-Chairman of Crescent
University. He is Associate Editor for Law and Policy of the new online
magazine, The American Muslim. Since 1996 he has been President of the
Center for Policy Research, which develops "grand strategy" to infuse
Islamic thought in a systematic and professional way into the formation of
current policy in Washington, D.C.
Simon Tisdall, "Ahmadinejad on
Israel: Global Danger or Political Infighting?," Guardian, December
James Bamford, "Iran: The Next War,"
Rolling Stone, July 27, 2006
[That is why, at this juncture, resolving any of the significant bilateral
differences between the United States and Iran inevitably requires resolving
all of them. Implementing the reciprocal commitments entailed in a "grand
bargain" would almost certainly play out over time and in phases, but all of
the commitments would be agreed up front as a package, so that both sides
would know what they were getting.
If President Bush does not move decisively toward strategic engagement with
Tehran during his remaining two years in office, his successor will not have
the same opportunities that he will have so blithely squandered.--Flynt
Leverett and Hillary Mann, "Redacted Version of Original Op-Ed," New
York Times, December 22, 2006]