Monday, December 11, 2006

Holocaust Conference

A few days ago, Iranians have announced that they are going to hold a conference where
Participants will consider documentary, pictorial, physical and demographic evidence in what Iranian officials depict as an academic investigation to establish the Holocaust's authenticity and whether the reported number of victims was exaggerated. Organisers say it will include submissions for and against. It will also focus on the plight of the Palestinians.

According to Moohammadi, a foriegn office spokesman "the aim is to scientifically study the Holocaust and listen to both sides before reaching a conclusion." This issue has a crucial role regarding the west's policies towards the countries of the Middle East, especially the Palestinians. Iran isn't against or for. We weren't involved in this event so we can be a neutral judge. It is important for us to know the answer so that we can process our stances to issues in this region. If we conclude that the Holocaust happened, we will admit it but we are still going to ask why Palestinians have to pay." He said it would not be a forum for anti-semites or neo-Nazis, and rabbis would attend. "Our policy doesn't mean we want to defend the crimes of Hitler."
(source the Guardian)

Now, personally for me, the historical fact that a country as sophisticated as Germany (in every sense of development) engaged in systematic execution of human beings is far more important than how many people died as a result. After all, the number of fatalities of the WWII was well above 20 million (yes those numbers are disputed too, as some believe it was well over 27 million dead) and the Russians surely paid the heaviest price (was that the moral price for stallinism?). As such, the killing of Jews is an inexcusable deed of the history.

But, why fuss over numbers? Perhaps a study would reveal that it was actually 11 million Jews who died and not only 6 million. Does the death of 6 million make such a crime even worse? I think to intentionally kill people is a saturated evil, 6 or 6 million, to me personally, is the same.

Now one might argue, that the killing of 6 people does not justify the establishment of a state, but the killing of 6 million does. Yes true. But, if a group of people, say Jewish, come to the realization that they need a state in which they can defend themselves, how are they to go about gaining support? Well, they would dig up the history and from the records, tehy would scientifically establish the number of people who were lost due to their statelessness. So far so good. But, shouldn't they be willing to let everyone look at the data, reproduce the statistics and say, yes this study is valid and yes let's double up the funding and the support?

So why do people get offended when the numbers come under question? And why is any skeptic who cannot work out the math is branded as holocaust denier?

Let Ahmadinejad have his conference. And let all those peopel whose lectures are cancelled in the North American universities, to present their data. In the meantime, we can shake our heads that they are doubting our 6million figures, and can wait for them to deliver proper science, and if they did not, then we have the chance to refute them with our more solid methodology.

(okey typo correction can wait till tomorrow) the computere's battery hungry!


I saw a scene tonight, which I never thought would happen in a calm and peaceful Indian restaurant, with meditative music, with polite and soft spoken waiters, and food served on trays, delicately, tenderly.

There were three young men sitting on a table across from me, they were drinking and having a good time, and conversing with lots of f-words and little else that could disturb my moment of peace at the end of the day.

And then the drunkenness escalated, the laughter became louder, and before we knew it, food was being smashed on their faces, and plates of curry piling on top of their heads. I was advised to not look, to not make eye contact, to not provoke. The waiters were just watching, first with a welcoming smile of any dignified host, then with a bit of irritated smile, and at last with a little bit of agitated frown. But they were calm. The men started to be rude to the waiters, started to make fun of the food, and as I was trying to not watch, while the people on the table across from me (not the vandals) were just not watching effortlessly, and as the food was being thrown around, and the f-word shouted about, and the placid waiters watching, I kept wondering "so where is the police?"

As disturbing a scene as it was (perhaps because it was novel to me, perhaps because one of the men's head was shaven, perhaps because they were three large British men and every other one of us--with the exception of the other table--were little Asians with a color tone different than white) what really threw me off was not the drunken behavior of these hooligans. Rather, it was the response of the other table's gentleman: "Well they seem to have had a good time, and at least they spend good money in your restaurant."

I don't know what to make of this! It is either that the British people are used to violence in the restaurants and they think it is an acceptable form of having a good time; or it is about the Indian restaurant staff being the servants to their white master's whims and that they ought to be grateful that they have made money out of such desolate group of individuals.

As we were leaving, one of the waiters was kneeling and trying to get the rice and the sauce off of the carpet and velvet seats; and the other one walked ahead of us to open the door and wish us good night, with a vast smile.

And as I walked out, I felt a tremendous respect for the ability of these men, to not get or act angry.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I have been suffering 24 tormented hours. First I was suggested to be propagandist for claiming Iranians to be the first civilians to suffer chemical warfare (comments deleted per request of the commentator who convinced me I misunderstood her.) The commentator pointed me to the wikipedia's article about chemical weapons and a history traced back to the Stone Age (literally). I was reminded that to claim that Iranians were the first to suffer chemical war, would be offensive to others who have also suffered chemical war during the WWI, for example. I maintain that Iranians are the first to have suffered chemical bombs, and I am sure this is not offensive to the Japanese who have suffered the Atomic bomb, nor to the Vietnamese who have suffered Napalm bombs. To claim justice for one who has suffered atrocity does not mean others do not deserve justice. To be the first or the last to have suffered an atrocity also doesn't weigh much on the fact that such atrocities should not be suffered, by no one, at no time, period!

To emphasize on the "first"ness of the Iranian's suffering WMD in "recent" years, however, is important in the context of allegation of Iran's ambition to develop its own WMD. First of all, WMDs are bad, no matter in whose hands. But, secondly, the Americans seem to have been the only ones who have used them most extensively in the past few years since the WWII. So, speaking of danger and threat, perhaps the US of A can disarm before demanding the victims of its bullying to not claim means of deterring Ameircan militarist, cultural and economic hegemony!

How is it that when Germans exterminate the Jews, they get to have their own state, their own nuclear and chemical weapons to save them from all the enemies who may one day want to exterminate them again. But when Iranians fall victim to the silence of international community when they are gassed to death, they are prevented from wishing to defend themselves? And my usual question again, whom has Iran attacked in its modern history other than its own politically dissident civilians?

I would love to hear your comments about this. and I may post a new piece on this at some point.

But that wasn't all.

I later on stumbled across some horror pictures of an 8-years old Iranian boy's arm being crushed under the wheels of a car. The pictures and the story literally turned my stomach upside down and my mental state down side up!

These pictures are of a STUNT SHOW not of Shari'a punishment of an 8-years old boy stealing bread! (Bread in Iran is cheap! And in Iran, people do feed the hungry, if the hungry ask! And that is a rule of culture, high class, low class, fundamentalist, liberal, no matter what shape of Iranian culture one practices, people are brought up to be fully aware of even enemy's need for bread and water. And I am willing to face anyone who challenges me on that!

Has anyone noticed the man speaking into a microphone? The look of leisure? The proximity of spectators? The absence of agony on the so called victim's face? So for those who seek images of of child punishment in Iran, and who stumble across this blog, I have a little information to give. Children in Isalm, and in Iranian culture, are supposed to be treated with care and tenderness. If a grownup drinks in presence of a thirsty child, the grown up will go to hell, say the grandmothers to generations of young Iranians who grow up to be adult ones!

To me, it is disturbing that this child has to work, that this child has to be part of his family's economy. Yes child labor is a cruel option, but it is not more cruel than starving to death! No parent wants to send their children to work. So I also advise the crocodile tears for child labor wiped please! Perhaps, to prevent child labor the economy of the lesser nations can be helped and the traces of colonization can be wiped! Perhaps Americans would think of child labour when they threaten to impose economic sanctions on Iran and other countries.

To whoever thinks the red capital letters are propagandist exercise I declare:

I am fighting an orchestrated campaign of disinformation that is launched against my country.

I invite you to read some of the comments on Little green football's blog.
The blogger has since (November 2005) removed the pictures and updated the site about the true nature of those pictures that I have posted above. But I cannot help being disappointed by the number of commentators who have jumped the gun with their accusation of Muslim's violence!

( by the way, I just turned the TV on, some British youth have just beaten up a businessman to death. Shall I declare the british culture violent?!)

I am sorry I am angry. I hardly get this angry. But the campaign of disinformation about Iran MUST stop, and we Iranians need to not wait for stigmas to settle as permanent tattoos on our behinds!

Saturday, December 9, 2006

The Century Photos

I invested a few GBPs on these books today. (If you are in North America, they would cost you a quarter of what they cost in the UK!) These are century photos. As I browse these decades, which are the most important ones to my life, the pictures remind me that in 1921 a Russian child was wasted to starvation during the civil war; that in July 1968, a milliion innocent people died of starvation on the Biafran war; that in 1979 the mass graves of Pol Pot's victims were uncovered; that in 1991 more that 150 ,000 Iraqis were killed in the first Gulf war --I can't help remembering that over 500,000 Iraqi Children died in the following years due to economic sanctions imposed on Iraq, and I also can't help remembering the Secretary of State (Madeline Albright) stating that it was a price that had to be paid to "contain Saddam"; and I can't help wondering on which currency the American's determine the affrodability of war ... somehow I am thinking of the Amrican portions of food served ... and of large cars ... 600,000 then, 600,000 now, the cost of containing Saddam ... whose hand they shook, not so long ago, when he dumped chemical bombs on Iran ...

Thursday, December 7, 2006

How Do Women Campaign for Election in Iran?

Syma Sayyah expresses her objective of running for Tehran City council as such:

I have put my name down as a candidate for the Tehran City Council election on 15th December (24th Azar). Many people have asked me why. The reason is simple. People from my kind of background have mostly withdrawn from public participation, and yet this city of over nine million needs all the help that it can get. The City council elections are supposed to be completely non-political. But many parties have put forward their candidates in order to put their own policies forward or gain points rather than back what is best for Tehran and the citizens who live there.

I am standing, as an independent candidate, to support the concerns of those who
may be considered the westernized, educated, technocratic citizens of this big city.

Update: Sophia asks if this picture reminds anyone of King Kong! :)

Tuesday, December 5, 2006


In Iran, I said, postgraduate studies used to be free, because the exams were very hard and only 10% of highschool graduates could make it to the university. Then non-profit universities popped to attract the lesser-intelligent (slightly tongue in cheek) students. Then the non-profit (i.e expensive universities) started to make so much money that they could afford paying good professors, good training facilities and etc; and accelerated in quality, so much so that in certain cases, students prefered to go to the expensive "Azad" medical school in Tehran versus the free "national" medical school in Sanandaj, for example. So, (speaking capitalistically) over time, these "free" and supposedly nonprofit universities will become the Harvards of a distant future. (This is what the Principal of McGill is hoping to do to McGill, to make it EXPENSIVE so only people who have lots of money, or lots of talent can get into it--her argument a couple of years back was that if you do not have money, you will be too worried about making the ends meet to be able to academically perform well-enough for McGill!)

Apparently, the British are thinking along the same lines, that they want over 50% of their population post-graduately educated, but because that will cost money, they want to introduce tuition fees (and I suppose once the tuition fee is introduced, it wouldn't make sense to charge the same amount of money for Oxford and Cambridge, which are the creme of the crop! So, American system, here we come all!

Friday, December 1, 2006

Snow-White Tehran!

My superstar blogbuddy Homeyra just reported early snow in Tehran, for the second time. Well, snow is not a novelty in Tehran, but it is a novelty when it falls in the middle of the fall! Apparently the mountains are not quite as white as this picture, but they soon will be ... I should dig some ski pictures ...