The Second National Conference on Oral History of Holy Defense -2

The Criterion Is Presence of People in Oral History of the War

Maryam Rajabi
Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi


According to Iranian Oral History Website, the 2nd National Conference on Oral History of Holy Defense was held in Ahle Ghalam Hall of NLAI on March 03, 2019. In the first part of report of the conference, you read speeches of the Second Brigadier General Pasdar (IRGC's officer) Gholamreza Alamati, head of the Organization of Holy Defense Documents and Proofs and secretary of the conference, Basiji Sardar (General) brigadier, Bahman Kargar, head of the Foundation for Preservation of Relics and Publishing Values of Holy Defense, and head of NLAI Ashraf Boroujerdi.

Rear admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, was the fourth speaker of the conference. He told, "I asked the person who sit behind me what I should say about? He said tell from shortcomings of today which have been  due to lack of use of experiences of the eight years of the holy defense; I also try to have a look at this issue.
Everyone agrees that many civilizations have emerged and book kept them alive in minds of human beings. Islamic civilization also experienced the same situation in history of its civilization life. When the great Islamic scholars emerged in vast Islamic geography, it was book that reminded us of our mighty backing. The Quran is also a revelation for mankind and to emphasize what is always useful for future history.
We are passing a period that dealing with two phenomena; one is cyberspace and another perceptual warfare, distorting reality, transformation of reality, expressing a part of reality, and ignoring the reality that our younger generation is involved it. Providing a true and really address can certainly slake thirsty of our young mind, especially in field of the sacred defense, if it is free of overstatement and taciturnity. Friends are surely well informed, so correct, accurate, non-factional, and informal compilation of the oral history of the war is a good food for both our present and future generations.

Why aren't we able to make tangible like eight years of the war holy defense in today's full-fledged economic warfare, in vacuum of the martyr's funeral, without flying aircraft, firing canon and missile sound? The answer to this question relates to the same topic as the friend sitting behind me raised. Why did we succeed in eight years of the sacred defense but we are not able to do this in today that we are dealing with the war? We say that we are in a war, but this is not expression of practical belief of all of us. We were in the same situation at the beginning days of the war; some were fighting, some were shouting that it is war and Muslims save us bacon, and some were also indifferent. How did that situation change, and there big events happened? What did happen that sacrifice became center of presence of people in the war? We have read Ashura pilgrimage for 1400 years, and we say "یا لیتنا کنا معکم" (we wish we were with you) but what did happen that religious teachings turned into practical behavior of Iranian nation and warriors of Islam? It was the first days after the revolution. September 22, 1980 hadn't been passed a long time after the revolution, so what did happen that Qur'an verses became notable and implemented in lives of people? Why aren't we able today to apply the same culture against a shabbily and full-fledged war, that surely fundamental principle of victory in this war is unity, coherence, being present of people in the arena and in harmony with the Supreme Leader, as it was in the Iraqi imposed war against Iran.

There was a strategy in the war that was later defined. If you want to bring a nation on the arena, you must first stop the enemy. Iraq was moving forward, and Saddam announced that I will separate Khuzestan from Iran next week and crush the Islamic Revolution. Is it possible to create hope in triumphant cry of the enemy and direct people that it is possible to stop the enemy? Especially when there were different methods for encountering advance of the enemy and blocking the enemy's goals. One thought was that we need troops as number as troops of Saddam's army to deal with it. One thought said we should do partisan fight. Another idea was that we have to participate people; the third thinking became determinant, while at that time Bani-Sadr was commander-in-chief and he did not believe in this idea; therefore, it was not an easy task. Would it be possible to tell people participate while the enemy is advancing? First we have to stop the enemy. Stop is not enough, we have to stabilize it. Our difference is between stopping the enemy and stabilizing it. The enemy had been stopped around Ahwaz because his main goal was separating Khuzestan. The enemy would not have been established until it hadn't made bulwark, hadn't mined, it hadn't installed barbed wire, hadn't dug canal, and hadn't bomb; it still hoped to advance. In heart of producing victories, one can produce hope and invite people to have a bright future. At that time, Imam Khomeini said that " الخیر فی ما وقع" good is in what happens," and that there was a madman (Saddam), and makes a fool action; these were to be translated practically.

Stopping the today enemy in the economic warfare is to prevent producing bubble wins. The rise in commodity prices and currency should be stopped and create hope in society. What was the way to stop in the war? small operation or raid. The enemy felt as if it were beginning of the war, and nobody can stop it in whatever direction he wanted to advance, but when it faced raid, it felt that it might confront all people of Iran. This was a basis for the "When the victory of Allah and the opening comes, and you see people embracing the Religion of Allah in throngs."[1] People felt that there was a way to expel the enemy. At that time, they provided background of your oral history. Today, scope of your oral history, it used to limited to individuals, is not limited to individuals and is limited to all those who at that time were in the war. Moreover, it is a great capital for us to transform the war from limits of commanders to extent of participants of those days of the war; the greater attendance of people in oral history of war, the more natural correctness and more accurate transferring events. That is, the war is not limited to commanders, and commanders are neither famous commanders nor martyrs. There are many commanders who are unknown. So what led people to confront was the small victory.
At that time, Basij had two types of commanders. First, some commanders trained Basij forces who used the "go" principle. What does it mean? That is, commander or the person who trained, smoked, did not pray, cursed during the training and wanted to raise a Basij force. This situation changed. When raid was done with a minimum, commanders led people who never told people "go", they said "come"! They themselves appeared before the warrior at the point of interest, not in the economic front, but in the blood and death front. Commanders of the people became commander. Basically people were commander and territory of Iran turned into a place for presence of people. Each command, division and brigade from Isfahan, Ahvaz, Khorasan, Ardebil, Urmia etc. became supporters of commands that undertook the third mission- after the stabilization- which was purging the Islamic homeland of the enemy. That's the same in economics. Firstly, the enemy must be stopped, secondly, it must provide an extent for healthy economics private sector to compete for sacrifice, which can transform faults of an economy caused by the enemy to a national economy based on resilient economy, and this is possible. The second condition was that commander and combatant were the same. For someone who wants to resist in the economy, one cannot command that he/she is not the same. Such commander produced victory, excluded the war zone which was a very complex specialized field from scope and boundaries of persons and engaged the people and corrected the strategy. War without a perspective is not a won war.
In reflecting the war, we transmitted more its epic part. The assumption in minds of the people is also that there are a number of combatants and they gather together, and somebody does Maddahi and do ritual chest beating and dressing in the morning. This is the weakest type of transmitting the warfare. The war had a strategy, not that I say today it had a strategy. I remember that before Operation Tariq al-Qods, I was along with Mr. Mohsen Rezaee and Shahid Sayyad Shirazi. At that time, we said somewhat in an interview that we entered the war with a strategy and it would be begun from Bostan. That is, we first went to Bostan for Operation Tariq al-Qods, then we went to north of Dezful for Operation Fath ol-Mobin to and then to Khorramshahr, and this was not accidental. Why these steps were taken was because there was a strategy. Based on that strategy, a war was managed. Economic warfare must also have a strategy. The principle governing this whole strategy was that we do not fight in a land, time and in a manner and with a equipment in which the enemy's land and time to be superior to us. It was based on a war strategy that we sometimes fought on land and we then back to Hoor al-azim, and sometimes we crossed Arvandrood (Shatt al-Arab), not on our blind choice. I explain in a chance later what is Karbala-4 and Karbala-5? But I will explain to those who are looking for the truth, not for those who were at the wartime and could participate in the war but did not attend. For those who have a truth-seeker mind, one can explain how operations four and five were. There, method and equipment and time and surprise, why did direct us to Karbala-4? Why did become Karbala-4 in that way and why did we quickly Karbal-5? Why the war was taken to Iraq territory? It was also a part of the strategy; stopping, fixing, purging, and cause the enemy to retreat. This was not achieved since release of Khorramshahr; during Operation Hoveizeh on January 1981, it was supposed to stop the enemy in Tanomah in Iraq territory; the first major operation of Islamic Republic of Iran was Operation Nasr. Producing success create hope. Producing success is stopping the enemy, then fixing the enemy and then attacking the enemy's invading positions. The warriors of Islam did these things. The fighters who were like people and people trusted them. They had a strategy, operated their strategy, and never had any hope to peace during these stages. They did not negotiate with any negotiators.

In each step of the stages, there are many lessons for our day. We hope oral history of the war can accurately reflect these notes and topics by comparative operation. I should note the point that friends who are responsible for compiling oral history of the war, pay attention to the fact that there are many dissertations that one signed it and the other wrote it; they are two persons. There are many books on which it is written that author is a person, but someone else wrote it. In principle of oral history be careful that history to be not overstated and taciturnity, and this requires high sensitivity. Alhamdolellah today there are a large number of people who work anonymously. Jihad Sazandegi, the police force, which at that time were gendarmerie, Shahrbani and the revolution committee, Basij, the army and IRGC, each of which could provide us with a right capacity to have a real history of the war."


[1] Sura 110 of Quran: AN-NASR, verses 1-2

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