“[Our revolution] has been based on speech and logic, and hence, it is to promote, instead of the clash of civilizations, dialogues between civilizations and cultures,” said former Iranian President, Sayed Mohammad Khatami, addressing the United Nations General Assembly on September 21, 1998. As a high school student, regardless of my nationality, I was feeling proud and extremely cheerful when I was watching the live broadcast of President Khatami’s statement on TV. I was unfamiliar yet with the Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations”, however the thing that mattered for me, and perhaps many other students in Iran, was the difference we felt in the words of the new president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, the incident of 9/11, the U.S.-led coalition forces’ wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Iranian nuclear program, and the stories of collapse of such dictatorships as Saddam Hussain and Moammar Qaddafi, had little logic to me based on the “dialogue” President Khatami spoke of, fourteen years thereafter.
Again, as a frustrated student, from a third-world, war-torn country, I was watching Professor Noam Chomsky’s lecture at Harvard University. The words had the same rhythm and intonation, as President Khatami’s, in pleasing such a heart as mine. He was talking about “insincerity” of former U.S. President, George W. Bush, and his “war on terror”. He provided examples of similar “terrorist acts” of U.S. and Israeli governments against other nations. However, it is so inevitable for a person like me not to get excited. I have well come to the belief that the world has never been a sincere place, and is just a one-sided road coming from the sunset, where technologies, ideas, cultures, civilizations, and “International Human Rights Declaration” could come from. I now know there could be little possibility for dialogue between civilizations because there may be no trust and no equal position between them; because all that matters in the international scene is power.