Take Action!

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By Shaghayegh Azimi, Camp Liberty resident

“Take Action” is an imperative clause, urging the addressee to do take a concrete measure about an issue of concern. It might seem to be composed of two simple words, but these two words have been very decisive in the history of humankind. It is said that every human being talks an average of 2500 words per day. But is there a cost to all this talking as well, or is it merely idle prattle? Does it make a difference whether or not we make use of terms such as “commitment” or “massacre” or “condemnation”? Is it important that we reflect on the dangerous consequences that our words might have – however kind and positive they might sound – and to ponder a little about how we can prevent disasters from coming to pass?

An example might help clear things out: Albert Einstein is known to the world for presenting the theory of relativity. His discovery was a milestone in the history of mankind, and he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his endeavors. But, sadly, the results of his efforts were misused in order to produce the nuclear weapons that claimed the lives of thousands of innocent people.

But what relevance do such issues have anyway? The goal is to simply remind western states and the international community – who are wont to satisfy themselves with mere condemnations and expression of concern when Human Rights and human lives are concerned – that there’s a big difference between words and deeds.

For instance, it’s very good to condemn every attack and massacre staged against Iranian dissidents in Camps Ashraf and Liberty by the Iraqi government. In fact, it serves two purposes: First, it condemns the murderers without going to great pains to bring them to justice – it really won’t cost you more than a couple of wisps of breath. And second, it relieves the condemners of all their responsibilities. World leaders should be ashamed, knowing that when their words are not followed by deeds, they are in effect paving the way for the murder of innocent people, including the residents of Ashraf, the people of Iran, and thousands and millions of Syrian children. In particular, I’m addressing the US government and the UN, who have made so many promises to protect the residents of Camp Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq, but have in effect left them at the mercy of the murderers and criminals of the Iraqi government.

Promises must come with commitment and loyalty, and condemnation must be followed by concrete action. In today’s world, we’re not lacking in condemnation and words; what we’re lacking is real, sincere action. Take Action!

After all the killing in Syria, Iraq and Iran; after the massacres in Ashraf and the mass murder of innocent defenseless people to whom you had given your word; it’s about time that you settled down and had a little chat with your own conscience for once. Ask yourself, “Am I doing enough?” If all parties decide to merely condemn these atrocities, then who will take action? Who will restore these trampled Human Rights that you speak of so abundantly? Who will put an end to the killings in Syria and Iraq? Who will stop the executions in Iran? Who will prevent further attacks on the defenseless residents of Camp Liberty? The residents of Camp Liberty once pledged to struggle for the freedom of their people, and they’ve persisted on that promise despite the many hardships and trials that have crossed their path. How about you? How true have you stayed to the promises and commitments that you made to protect the residents of Camp Liberty and Ashraf? How hard have you tried to save the seven hostages abducted by Iraqi forces from Ashraf on September 1, 2013?

So if you had time in between your extremely efficient and fruitful negotiations with the biggest endorsers of terrorism in the world, please take a moment to reflect on these issues. Maybe you’ll reach the conclusion that the world needs action and not words. Maybe you’ll finally reach the conclusion that the seven hostages who have been in the custody of Iraqi authorities for nearly five months can be saved by taking action. Maybe you’ll reach the conclusion that, had you listened to the cries of hundreds of hunger strikers who called on for 108 days to ensure the security of Camp Liberty, the December 26 missile attack could have been prevented, and if you take action now, you might be able to prevent the next attack that will surely come.

Maybe you’ll reach the ultimate conclusion that your idleness is costing innocent people their lives and you your dignity and honor.

So for the sake of your own reputation,

“Take Action!”

Shaghayegh Azimi, Camp Liberty resident
Shaghayegh Azimi, Camp Liberty resident, lost one of her close relatives, Nastaran Azimi, in the Iraqi forces’ raid against Camp Ashraf on April 8, 2011

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