The Iranian people have a lot in common with the Pinoy culture. They have very strong family values and enjoy a passion for friendship and beauty. They also enjoy going on picnics and family outing. Each weekend the rugged Alborz Mountains are alive with Iranians seeking the peace and beauty of nature's bastions.
Tehran is nestled at the foot of Mount Tochal. Each evening as the stars twinkle in the black desert night, one star seems to rest near the crest of this rugged rocky peak. It is not a star but the light from a small rock chalet. The only way to reach this sanctuary is a long arduous climb. On the weekend hundreds of students and familys make this trek.
I and my Iranian counterpart, police lieutenant Mortiza Nabavi, were drinking a little tea before we began our long climb down. Being the only foreigner I attracted a lot of attention. We drank our tea and played a little "gol-va-zi" with some students from Tehran University. After awhile the conversation drifted to the American participation in the raging Vietnam War (1973). I suddenly found myself the center of a lot of youthful hostility.
"Americans are war mongers, ravaging the freedom loving people of Vietnam"
"Why can't the Americans live in peace with their brothers and sister?"
"Love is the answer; not war"
I paused for a moment, then said quietly, " You are right. I agree with you. We all should live in peace and brotherly love. In fact we could set the example right here in Iran. Lets take all the tanks, airplanes and guns in Iran, melt them down and make tractors and plows. Lets have Iran take the billions it spends on defense and build schools and hospitals all over this beautiful country."
I waited a moment to let them savor the thought, then added, " .......and twenty-four hours after you are done all those things, Iraq will occupy Tehran." They knew what I said was true. "Peace and love only work if everyone wants them to."
I went on to explain that the freedom loving people of South Vietnam asked us to help repell the communists from the north. "When that job is done America will return home...... those of us still alive."
The tragic irony of that conversation was that after the revolution (1979), the Ayatollah Khomeini executed most of Iran's top military commanders, several of them were my personal friends. Iraq's president, Saddam Hussein, mistakenly felt this weakened Irans ablity to defend itself and he invaded. Millions of Iranians, probably including those same peaceloving idealistic students, were tragically slaughtered in the war that followed. Peace and prosperity are the rewards of bravery and vigilance.
The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing...Say a prayer for all those who stand up for what's fair and moral.
A Filipino friend of mine sent me some horrific pictures of atrocities committed by so called local "freedom fighters". The victims of these atrocities were innocent civilians, women and children. My Everyday Heroes for today are all those brave Philippine soldiers who leave the comfort of their homes to combat evil and try to bring peace to this beautiful land.