Thursday, March 29, 2007

Freedom Isn't Free!

Okey, if you have been listening to PBS, you too will find the British-Iranian arguments about GPS, to be a humorous exchange. But I have a better reading to post:

My wonderfully intelligent and hilarious e-friend, Dr V just pointed to a brilliantly funny article in Russia's the eXile, an alternative news source, by Gary Bercher:

The Triumph of The Vile

Gary Bretcher's critique of the movie 3... (no let's not name names) sums it up nicely:

The film only approves of two things:

1. Yelling

2. Bashing.

I say "bashing" because you can't call his view of military operations "strategy" or even "tactics." It's just close-ups of Leonidas's teeth while he yells about "freedom." He talks about "freedom" non-stop. I'm serious. A Spartan! Talking about freedom! Leonidas actually says, and this is a quote, "Freedom isn't free"! I thought I was back watching Team America: "Freedom isn't free/It costs a dollar ninety-three..."
internal joke:
Imagine a Spartan army up against a Mongol scouting force. Even if the Spartans outnumbered the Mongols by, say, 4-1, I'd have no hesitation betting on the Mongols. They were truly tough, not artificially hardened by sick PE games but by life in the saddle, on the steppes. And they were smart enough to realize that smarts count on the battlefield, that negotiation and alliance-building, scouting and propaganda are all important aspects of war. Only amateurs are dumb enough to think that being dumb, mean and inflexible like the Spartans is the route to military success.
see? ;)


Anonymous said...

(I could have almost sworn there was a different post here...)

Anonymous said...

nope. my imagination.

Anonymous said...

the imagination?
I read one of your older posts and for some reason thought it was the newest post... my bad :)

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

“My wonderfully intelligent and hilarious e-friend, Dr V”

As a famous Mexican intellectual once said- I think it was in “Kill Bill Vol. 2”: “I must a warn you yûnng lady, I am vééry suscéptible to flattery”


FYI Brecher is the nom de plume of John Dolan, a brilliant American writer cum ultra “realist” military strategist- he dislikes both Islamic fundamentalists and Neocon/(pseudo) Wilsonian “idealists”…

Wikipedia says he now leaves in Western Canada: you might want to contact him.

But before doing so, read the “Letter to the Editor” section of The Exile: it’s called “Sic”

High-octane vitriol on steroids

Mystic Rose said...

:). witty..and true.

naj, i love persian miniatures. the one you have here is gorgeous!
the colors so vibrant and the design so delicate!

where can i see more of them? online, i mean.

mystic rose said...

oh, actually just googled it.

mystic rose said...

Dear Naj,
thank you sooo much for intorducing me to Sohrab Sepehri..

I cannot tell you how much im enjoying reading him..(what I can find on the web) simple his words and how deep his feelings...
in a few lines they've transported me to some other realm, full of joy and peace.

can you recommend a book of englsih translations of his writings?

Fleming said...

Naj, I don't know how else to communicate with you quickly and ask you if you can direct me to an appropriate Persian art or architecture image that I might post with the wonderful Rumi poem you linked to your comment on my blog.

You should see the post on FLIGHTS OF PEGASUS within an hour. My email is, or you can leave a comment on PEGASUS. I've looked and looked for a suitable 13th C. image.

Thank you.

Naj said...

:) imagination's always good iris

Dr V what goes around comes around ;)
Will follow your suggested links after work; thanks.


I am happy you like Sohrab :)

hmm, unfortunately Persian literature, in spite of its magnificent quality, is UNDERtranslated.

There seem to be a couple of translations of "hajme-sabz" (Green Volume) and "sedaye paye aab" (translated as Water footfall, but in persian it's something like "the sound of water's steps"), and a UNESCO representative book out there. But I haven't browsed them to see if they are any's my amazon results:

David said...

I don't doubt that the Mongols (had they been out and about 1000 years earlier) would have destroyed the Greek civilization just as they did to the civilizations of Iran and Iraq. I'm not a Mongol scholar, did they destroy anyone else? From what I have learned about them, I can't think of a single positive contribution that they made to human history. They murdered tens of millions of people and burned great cities and libraries to the ground. They were like a cancer on the face of humanity! Still, I suppose that if they had never existed, there would have been some other cancerous influences. Warfare, and the greed and lust for power that drives it, seems to be a deeply ingrained part of human nature!

Anonymous said...


Mongols caused a lot of desctruction in Russia as well as in China.

By they caused the most destruction in Central Asia (the ancient land of Khorasan) and Central Iran.

They were eventually defeated by the Shi of Egypt and their progress in the Near East came to an end.

The key book on the subject is "The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia" by Rene Grousset.

There is also "The Devil's Horsemen: The Mongol Invasion of Europe" by James Chambers

Naj said...


Leave mongols alone!

That is an internal joke between me and my family.

Read the article and have fun!

Anna said...

Thanks Naj ...what a wonderful script by Gary Bretcher! I'm still laughing and probably will tomorrow again remembering it. Not bad so far, having something to laugh about in these crazy times.

Naj said...

Fleming, I responded to you on your blog, but in case someone else is interested: Rumi (Molavi) lived during Seljuk dynasty, and here is a Digital photo library of architecture style of that period

FurGaia said...

Naj, speaking of 'freedom', have you commented on the following already ... and somehow I missed it?


Mystic Rose said...

thanks! :) ofcourse, obviously you wouldnt ned to read the english trnsaltions..

its true..its so difficult to translate the older languages into English..the sweetness or the depth just doesnt come throough so easily.

Naj said...

furgaia, you mean in my blog?
No not in my blog, but sent the link around asking people to sign (it's a strange kind of a petition though, isn't it? and it's filling upp so slowly)

Naj said...


I'm afraid the absence of persian-to-english translation, especially in the case of Sohrab, is not the archaicness of the language; just lack of traanslators. But things are picking up; slowly.

FurGaia said...

Thanks for replying. I've been a bit under the weather lately (blog-wise) and am only getting around to comments now.

Regarding that group, I was having some doubts as I thought I saw a woman featured in a photo associated with the group (can't find it anymore. Weird, huh?), a woman I heard on TV bad-mouthing islamic values. I do make a difference between constructive criticism and simply ranting & creating bad feelings. I don't know her name. I simply thought that I recognized her face.

Anyway, that was that!

Take care, Naj!