Saturday, March 31, 2007

No War with Iran

If you liked these shots and the music:
Light in the eyes of friends, thorn in the eyes of enemies
you may like these too:
Beautiful Iran

Here's an indication of a change of the Arab heart/strategy in the Daily Kos. (Thanks to Loopy and Furgaia,) and an indication of the change of the British heart, as nicely encapsulated by The Fanonite.

Have you seen the previous post yet? I love to hear what books you loved as a child.

What did you read in youth?

Today, I found a gem: International Children's Digital Library
The mission of the International Children's Digital Library Foundation (ICDL Foundation) is to support the world's children in becoming effective members of the global community - who exhibit tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas -- by making the best in children's literature available online free of charge. The Foundation pursues its vision by building a digital library of outstanding children's books from around the world and supporting communities of children and adults in exploring and using this literature through innovative technology designed in close partnership with children for children.

By providing a library of children books in more than 80 languages, the foundation also aims to provide immigrant families to find children's books from their cultures and in their mother tongue; thus giving parents access to the books and stories from their youth to pass on to the next generation. A fundamental principle of the Foundation draws from a paper published in 2005 by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): "Denial to access to information in one's mother tongue is equivalent to a denial of a human right." The report also concludes, "In terms of pedagogy, how do children learn best? In their mother tongue."

I was pleased to find that with 377 titles, Persian books rank high in the collection. (To put this number in perspective, there are 272 titles in English.) To find many of the titles that I grew up with, was like discovering a treasure box from my childhood.

This also brought me to discovering The Children's Book Council of Iran. The council has been around since 1962, devoted to the growth of national literature for Iranian children and young adults.

The Council encourages quality production of all types of literary and informational books, as well as Encyclopedia for Young People. Besides promoting the development of children’s reading culture, the council collects resources for rendering library services and establishing small types of libraries. It also encourages creators and publishers to produce quality literary and informational books; and promotes introduction of Iranian children’s literature to other countries.

For those of us who grew up with Hans Christian Andersen's stories, and who wish to celebrate their childhood on his birthday (April 2nd: International Children's Book Day), I propose we share the memory of the book that influenced our youth the most.

I will try to compile your responses into a colorful post.

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? ;)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What good came out of the 300?

Well, it mobilized all sorts of Iranians to roll up the sleeves and do a bit of cultural exposition, riding freely on the back of 300's success!

Let's be honest, what better than a popular comic to make our esteemed Persian scholars write about Persian history in a compact, digestible and comprehensible way?

I ask this question of myself and of all my fellow Iranian friends: Why have we never attempted to gain on the capital of our cultural heritage? Persian, is a culture full of myth andmetaphore; full of fairy tales and romance, full of passion and poetry, full of wars between good and evil, full of goblins and heroes, full of stories that make one laugh, make one cry, make one become a better person. We have all had a grand mother, a nanny, an aunt, who has filled our childhood with folk songs, folk stories; have we not?

The majority of Iranian professionals in exile are doctors, engineers,nuclear physicists, woman right activists, human right advocates, political scientists, mathematicians, ets. This is perhaps because we have left Iran to further our education in science and technology and acquire skills unavailable to us in Iran; or maybe it is because many of us are forced out of Iran because of the political dangers or the burden of our undemocratic society or families. But where are our simple stories?

Is it not time to reach the world in which we live with tales of where we come from? Is the banal community of the LA pop artists a true ambassador of our cultural heritage? And can we really blame others for misrepresenting us, when we have done so little in portraying a culturally coherent picture of ourselves?

Yes the Iranian cinema captured the art world by storm in the 90s; Yes Rumi is translated and is becoming popular, yes the Axis of Evil comedians are doing a great job touring around and debunking stereotypical notions about the Middle Easterners.

But what good came out of 300?

Fist it made Dr Samar Abbas, from the Institute of Physics, Bhubaneshwar, India, to write a long and informed essay about the historical background of The 300 Savages at Thermopylae and provide scholarly reference that debunks the "freedom-fighterliness" of the Dorian Sparta who in historical reality shared many characteristics with later totalitarian states:

Not only were the petty Greek tribal states full-scale slave societies; they were racist slave societies, with the indigenous Pelasgians and other tribes enslaved by a tiny minority of Greek invaders.

In protest to film's portrayal of the Iranians as paying no respect for human life, he draw attention to rampant culture of human sacrifice amongst the Greeks (and offers reference: Hughes 1991,Schwenn 1915).

Samar Abbas asks a simple question about the Pan-Occidentalists intentions of the film:

Who stood for civilization at Thermopylae? The 300 members of the Dorian tribe from a village called Sparta, or the 400,000 strong army of the largest and most powerful empire the world had seen ? This is just like asking whether the rabble of Goths at Adrianople stood for civilization, or the legions of the Roman Empire. (readmore)

But others used the film even more favorably towards Iran. Behzad Sarmast (who goes by the name Robert Sarmast and is the author of The Discovery of Atlantis) has an ironic take: He calls the fight between Persians and the Spartans a fight of religions; (Persian) monotheism versus (greek)paganism and suggests a reversed reading of the the 300's metaphore:
Cyrus and his successors always fought under the banner of Ahura Mazda, the one God. You can see it on their royal seals and read it in their numerous inscriptions, but so little of the historic records bearing the Persian viewpoint have survived the ages that the world sees things only through the Greek perspective. [Credit for thatereasure goes to our beloved Macedonian, Arab and Mongolian conquerors. I suspect America's stewing nuclear attacks will do a great job in effacing the rest of this civilization] It takes but a little of study to realize that the Persians saw this fight in a totally different light. In fact, their standing in the ancient world and their international policy at the time seems eerily similar to that of the US policy today.

The Persian Empire at around 500 BC seems so similar to the US Empire today that the present analogies drawn from the movie “300” should not only be modified, but completely reversed! The Persian Empire was, in its heyday, about as large as America and should really be thought of as the “United States of Persia,” because it was comprised of multiple nation/states with different languages, religions, and races. And they were all tolerated under a “Declaration of Human Rights” penned by King Cyrus himself. The world had never seen such a thing before. Again, you would have to be familiar with the pitiful state of our distant ancestors to truly understand what a remarkable and revolutionary feat this was, and what it meant to people living in those times. Cyrus’s Declaration of Human Rights was a historic landmark and a breath of fresh air for its time, and the actual [replica] clay barrel bearing the inscription is currently on display in the UN building in New York. [The inscriptions on the clay iwere translated to all official languages of teh world in the 70s by the UN]

We know that King Cyrus and his armies entered Babylon in 539 BC and deposed its wicked ruler, Nebuchadnezzar, without using force. Cyrus then did something that was simply unheard of: he freed all the Hebrews who had been enslaved in Babylon, and sent them back to Israel to rebuild their temple. To say that this was a revolutionary event would be an understatement. Kings simply did not do such things, ever. A king’s job was to expand the empire by sacking cities, taking their wealth, and capturing slaves in order to build and strengthen the empire. They did not organize armies and conquer distant lands to free slaves! One can only imagine the controversy this created with the Persian populace and the world at large. The king of the largest and most powerful nation on earth gave people freedom of religion, human rights for all races, and actually went around doing good and freeing slaves? This must have sent shudders through down the spine of tyrants and despots of that day, and created overwhelming respect and adoration for Cyrus among the more progressive Persians. [Emphasis was mine] (read more ...)

Had it not been for the 300, would we have felt the indignation to actually write about the Iranian origins of the charter of rights and freedom? (click on the image for more information)

But the other good thing about this movie was to learn that Iran is actually investing in animation projects such as Jamshid & Khorshid
[follow links, film is displayed upon entrance] that are bringing the national heritage of Iran to the popular screens:
Once upon a time somewhere in the old Iranian plateau…

Jamshid is a young shepherd who lives in a plain far from the city. One day his friend, Mahan, urges him to go to the city where people are preparing for a celebration which every body knows about it except Khorshid Banou the daughter of the king.

The king, who doesn't have any son, has invited the princes of the neighboring countries to participate in a competition and the winner would be the king's so-in-law and also his successor. The party has been prepared for the entrance of these princes. WhenKhorshid knows the matter, she disagrees with such a forced marriage. She doesn't want to be the prize of a competition. The king blames her because she has rejected to accept the court astrologer's love.Khorshid goes to the portico of the palace and this is the first time that Jamshid sees her and an unknown feeling arises inside his heart.

[would anyone object if I suggest that "women's right" is central to the present popular culture in Iran ?...]

Saturday, March 24, 2007

What's cooking in the covert operation pot?

Earlier this month, Seymour Hersh came up with a new article in the New Yorker's Annals of National Security:The Redirection. Hersh's main argument is this:

Bush's new strategy, according to Hersh, is to weaken the shiite (Hezbollah and Iran) influence by empowering Sunni extremists, often with a hostile militant view of Islam, anti-American and pro Al-Quaeda sympathizers. This is done without congressional approval or funding.

Who are the planners and what are the core tactics of this redirection?

  1. The key players are Vice-President Dick Cheney, the deputy national-security adviser Elliott Abrams, the departing Ambassador to Iraq (and nominee for United Nations Ambassador), Zalmay Khalilzad, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national-security adviser.
  2. The House appropriation committee is kept in pitch dark.
  3. Clandestine operations are kept secret by leaving the execution or funding to Saudis, who have considerable financial means, and have deep relations with extremist anti-shiite movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis, who are also critical of the royal family's corruption. But the decadant royals keep these dissidants quiet by funding them, and Americans outsource their clandestine operations to these groups, e.g. AlQuaeda and their operations against the Soviet Union in the 80s! (Catch 22, heh?)
  4. The shift is focusing on generating a Sunni-Shiite coldwar (I used to think this was a stupid proposition, until I met some Arab nationalists who really seem to think Iran shiism poses a hegemonic threat; so I think the propaganda is working stronger on the Arab nationalist Sunnis--who perhaps have not recovered from being defeated by Israelis; and thus are susceptible to paranoia and propaganda that is redirecting their attention from their arch enemy: Israel, to a virtual one:Iran--than on Iranian shiites whose nationalism is empowered by the fact that they have not succumbed to the middle east colonization process of the past century, and have been making (perhaps slow, thanks to sanctions and Arab-nationalism-driven-US-backed war with Saddam) steady progress in economic, industrial and social modernization of the country. These Arab nationalists, of course, do not want the shiite Iran to cave to nuclear-demands, and expect the non-Arab-hegemonizing Iran to stand up to the monsterous infidel American empire and their Zionist rookies, in the name of Ummah!!)


  1. Israel would be assured that its security was paramoun and that Washington and Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states shared its concern about Iran
  2. Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian party will curtail its anti-Israeli aggression and will begin serious talks about sharing leadership with Fatah, the more secular Palestinian group.
  3. the Bush Administration would work directly with Sunni nations to counteract Shiite ascendance in the region
  4. The Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria.
  5. The United States would give clandestine support to the Siniora government by spreading the money around as much as possible to enhance the Sunni capability to resist Shiite (i.e. Hezbollah/Iran) influence. (Hersh has evidence that Siniora has allowed some of America's one billion dollar aid to Lebanon to end in the hands of the Sunni extremists)
But, since the congress is not informed about all that the Bush Administration is doing in the Middle East, where is the money coming from?

According to a Pentagon consultant: “There are many, many pots of black money, scattered in many places and used all over the world on a variety of missions”. And, the budgetary chaos in Iraq, where billions of dollars are unaccounted for, has made it a vehicle for such transactions.(See Mystery of Missing Meters, Accounting for Iraq's Oil Revenue)

Hersh also draw attention to the "Iran-Contra, lessons learned" meeting two years ago, where today's policy makers learned that "even though the program was eventually exposed, it had been possible to execute it without telling Congress".

Now to go beyond Hersh and the Sunni-Shiite cold-war, what other covert operations may the Bush administration be funding? Let's compile a list of things that they have opposed recently:

But a more serious saga around this pipeline project is perhaps unfolding in Pakistan. Of course, by claiming the legal and human rights for detainees arrested in relation to Al Quaeda charges (CIA style), the chief justice also seems to have stepped on the CIA's toes. Thus one may speculate that CIA will have killed two birds with one stone? After all, the Iranians and Pakistanis seem to be cozying up to each other, and Musharraf doesn't seem to want to join US in a fight with Iran.

Similarly, little ethnic fires are being set in different corners of Iran: Namely in the Iranian provinces of Baluchistan and Azerbaijan! The Iranians, however, are hyper-vigilant about the Western hand in all this; and this may explain the recent crack downs on many social and labour related protests; which will inevitably produce the Washington-desired outcome of portraying Iran's regime as demonic, and the America's operations as liberating!!!

PBS: talking to Iran

Being Broadcast now

"How does a nation repents?" sighs the American delegate, trying to offer an apology when faced with a list of mischiefs such as 1953 coup, shooting down the passenger Airbus, supplying Saddam with chemical bombs used against Iranians, over 20 years of sanctions and etc.

This is really cool, these delegates have spoken to Khatami, Ahmadinejad, ... and now are talking to Washington, pushing for diplomacy, and seeking to tie President's hand by forcing him to obtain congressional approval before launching any attack on Iran (of course the AIPAC is undoing their efforts!)

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Apple of God's Eye

There was quite a bit of a buzz about the Vote Different Apple spoof last week, wasn't?

Check out the new Apple products iRack & iRan

This is unrelated but very interesting documentaries, posted by The Fanonite:The Trap; What happened to our dream of freedom? Which I think to some extent addresses the concerns raised by Fleming: Next Shackle: Blogs and Big Brother

Of course, I do share Baudrillard's concerns about our age of Simulacra and Simulation and I am not 100% sold to the idea of e-activism. But I will write about that later, or when I publish my i-phenomenon paper, elsewhere.

Now I should figure out what the British spies were doing in the Iranian waters, and what is the "fuss" about their equipments that the British authority wants definitely returned!

It's holidays in Iran (as it was in this blog); and I suspect spying agencies become creative during national holidays; don't they?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Happy New Year!

Celebrate, I did!

I like to thank all of you who dropped me a line and cheered me up with your kind wishes and wise words.

This was my haft-seen (seen is the letter that sounds like S; haft means 7; haft-seen is a traditional table set with symbolic items, signifying birth (Sabzeh), health (Seer), wealth(Sekkeh), love (Senjed), patience (Serkeh), beauty (Seeb), festivity (Sonbol), fertility(eggs), life(my three years old gold fish, Leni), reflection(mirror).

I also made Aash-Reshteh:

A thick soup with plenty of fresh herbs, spinach, lentils, beans, garlic, onion and noodles (reshteh). Reshteh, in Persian means "string" or "thread". We have this soup on the new years eve, so we will have a good grip on the "thread of life" in the year to come.

Anyways, lots of symbolism, all to signify our empowered existence in relation to nature.
In Iran, we would spend 13 first days of spring, visiting friends and foes; rekindling bonds with friends and making peace with foes. Tradition is to visit the elders of one's family and neighborhood and those who have suffered a loss first. Visits are often short, sometimes as short as 15 minutes. But it is important to pay a visit, and to return the visit. This may sound silly, but it is a very festive and fun thing to do. It's like eat-all-you-can festival: featuring cookies, nuts and fruits.

Well, since I don't have anyone to visit, I am going to go see if I need to dig the car out of snow, and then go to work! :)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

NoRooz reflections

I haven't been a good Persian this year.

I didn't spring-clean. I didn't buy new clothes. I didn't make new year cookies. I didn't write new-year cards. I didn't finish translating the spring poem I was going to post. I didn't, because it would have ended like this:

Spring, your color's bloodied
Where's happiness, you're full of madness
because I don't see less death
than the leaves on your branches

I find it hard to be festive this year. But I also find it disrespectful to Spring, to nature and to my millennia-old traditions to not celebrate Norooz. For as Nietzsche says, devil rests in the spirit of gravity: serious, thorough, profound solemn ... through him all things fall! "What have we in common with the rose-bud, which trembleth because a drop of dew hath formed upon it?"

Thus, in remembrance of every innocent life lost last year in Iraq, I will defy the spirit of gravity and will celebrate the Persian New year. Norouz symbolizes the rebirth of nature, and the inevitable end of darkness and cold.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Imprisoned Iranian activist denounces crocodile tears of sympathizers!

Azadeh Forghani, one of the 34 women arrested in the March 4th protest has given a piece of her mind to Empress Farah Pahlavi, who has jumped the western wagon of propaganda against Iran in the past weeks.:

[K]indly come and do us a favor, lady! Spare us your messages. Please advise others to do the same. What I say concerns the US Department of State, that “freedom room,” that newly transferred group under the auspices of Bush, and all official and unofficial foreign media. Obviously, in a world where news is blocked and killed, the value of healthy and unmediated news, critique, and analysis is very high and respectable. But do not represent us as being dependent on you; do not politicize us and do not drag us into your world. We are social activists. We don’t come from any other line and will not join your world.

It's time to mow the flowers

By Simin Behbahani
(translation by Farzaneh Milani, Abbas Safa)

It’s time to mow the flowers,
don’t procrastinate.
Fetch the sickles, come,

don’t spare a single tulip in the fields.
The meadows are in bloom:

who has ever seen such insolence?

The grass is growing again:

step nowhere else but on its head.

Blossoms are opening on every branch,

exposing the happiness in their hearts:

such colorful exhibitions must be sto
Bring your scalpels to the meadow
to cut out the eyes of flowers.
So that none may see or desire,

let not a seeing eye remain.
I fear the narcissus is spreading its corruption:
stop its displays in a golden bowl

on a six-sided tray.
What is the use of your ax,

if not to chop down the elm tree?

In the maple’s branches

allow not a single bird a moment’s rest.

My poems and the wild mint

bear messages and perfumes.

Don’t let them create a riot with their wild singing.

My heart is greener than green,

flowers sprout from the mud and water of my being.

Don’t let
me stand, if you are the enemies of Spring.


vaght-e dero kardan-e gol shod
kaar be fardaa magozaareed
daad bejooyeed o biyayeed
laaleh be sahraa magozaareed

dasht be sabzi geravidast
shookhi az in beesh ke didast?
sabzeh be paa khaste az no
joz be sarash paa magozaareed!

ghonche be har shaakhe shekoftast
shaadiy-e del raa nanehoftast
in hameh piraayeh-e rangin
peesh-e tamaashaa magozaareed

sooy-e chaman nishtar aareed
cheshm-e gol as kaaseh bar aareed
taa na bebinad va na bekhaahad
dideh-ye beenaa magozaareed

beem-e man aan ast ke narges
dast bar arad be tabaahi
kheereh, dar in sini-e shesh goosh
jaam-e motallaa magozaareed

in tabar as bahr-e che daareed?
narvan az beekh bar aareed
forsat-e aasoodan-e morghi
bar sar-e afraa magozaareed

she'r-e man o pooneh-ye vahshi
baarvar az atr o payaamand
baa hameh avazehgarishaan
rokhsat-e ghoghaa magozaareed

sabztar az sabz, del-e man
rosteh gol az aab o gel-e man
raast agar khasm-e bahaareed
neez maraa vaa magozaareed.

(For you to get a sense of her poetry's rhythm: typed up by Naj From Dasht-e Arjan)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Oil bid: just in

Of over 30 domesic and foreign bidders, four big oil companies purchased the tender documents of 17 oil blocks in Iran. NIOC (National Iranian Oil commpany) did not disclose who are the purchasers, but mentioned that the following were among the bidders: Anglo-dutch Shell, French Total, Spanish Respol, Braizilian Petrobras, Malaisian Petronas, Austian OMV ... Shall we say the coallition of the unwilling?!

(pictures are infomationally clickable.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Moving on from the chap's flick

Well, I think you all agree with me that the little footnote-post about that comic trash was a hit! I had much fun with comments. But more importantly, the high traffic on that site testified to the importance and centrality of visual culture, sadly hegemonized by Hollywood. Let's face it: Hollywood and the Weimar German cinema are blood brothers; fathered by the Soviet cinema.

But let's move from fiction to facts:

Halliburton's move to Dubai took a back seat to all the fuss about Scooter Libby! [I love it how opportunistic the Cheney mafia is!]

Halliburton, established in Oklahoma in 1919 under New Method Oil Well Cementing Co. is well on their way to realize their century-goal:

Over the weekend, the company announced that its chief executive, Dave Lesar, would move to a new corporate headquarters in Dubai to focus on business in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia.

Of course, democrats are alarmed and Sen, Byron Dorgan wants to know: "is Halliburton trying to run away from bad publicity on their contracts? Are they trying to run away from the obligation to pay U.S. taxes? Or are they trying to set up a corporate presence in Dubai so that they can avoid the restrictions that currently exist on doing business with prohibited countries like Iran?"

As we all know last year, Halliburton received $6.1 billion of Defense Department contracts. that explains Cheney's war-mongering tendencies. But, the war-mongering Cheney also used to lobby, both as head of Halliburton and as Vice President for the U.S., to lift sanctions against Iran and Libya. Without waiting, however, Halliburton's been long doing business with Iran.

Now, irrespective of the Democratic Senator Leahy's indignation, considering Halliburton's practices an insult to the U.S. soldiers and taxpayers who pay the tab for Halliburton's no-bid contracts, some oil analysts and consultants are heralding Halliburton's move to "the Eastern Hemisphere", as that is more heavily weighted toward oil exploration and production opportunities, which will bring more balance to Halliburton's overall portfolio.

Halliburton, however is not the only one who is heading to Dubai for Business. Iran too has vast economic interests in Dubai. According to the Energy Information Administration Iran also holds about 20-30% of foreign investments in Dubai. Despite some subtle territorial dispute, Iranians seem to be in a warm relationship with Dubai. The Iranian Business directory in Dubai lists over 7100 businesses, in 31 categories, ranging from media to Oil, from transportation to agriculture and most prominently in real estate with large investments, alleged to belong to one of the most powerful men in the Iranian government, Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Mike Davis provides a detailed look into what kind of economy Dubai promotes! The free market economy, AEI-desired and Sheikh-style, perhaps aims to make this sinister paradise into the new Switzerland for banking in the Persian Gulf: a "neutral" financial haven, most needed at times of world wars! Somewhere that the rich and the powerful of both America and Iran can freely invest and enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship, comes war or not between the two nations.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hollywood Propaganda

Warner Brothers needs to be told that 300, is an unethical movie because we didn't campaign against Alexander. Boycott the Movie!

I am a student of film. Whereas I think every picture has a right to be seen, I oppose Institutionalized action movies that capitalize on gross historical distortion (in order) to bias the opinions of their often sheep-like consumers, at critical conjunctures of the history, as the one we are at presently! Pictures leave DEEP VISCERAL FOOTPRINTS, that are not easily wiped by intellectual and rational discourse! This is the war machine, (dys)portraying Persians as villains!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Iranian Oil Bourse

Earlier in this blog, we have looked at the interests of the Israel lobby in the current standoff between Iran and the US . However, the Israel's wish for military campaign against Iran is not new. Whereas Ahmadinejad's blundering comments have provided the crisis-making ink for the Zionist propaganda leaflets, it is not the security of the Jewish state, nor the Zionist regime that motivates America. We should not forget the Petro-Dolldar Warfare!

I am of firm conviction that Israel's existence in the Middle East is owed to the "empires" design for a trigger to ignite crisis where a crisis is needed to mask out the colonial and military presence of the empire: "We are here to protect Jews!" ...Yah right!

Americans have been threatening to not tolerate Iran's stubborn refusal to halt its legal and peaceful pursuit of nuclear energy technology , aimed at addressing energy and fuel problem for the growing economy and the growing population of Iran, who is well aware of the oil reserves running out. However, the most defying gesture of Iranians in warding off America's influence has been the Iranian Oil Bourse.

As Krassimir Petrov wrote last year in the Energy Bulletin
The Iranian government has finally developed the ultimate “nuclear” weapon that can swiftly destroy the financial system underpinning the American Empire. That weapon is the Iranian Oil Bourse slated to open in March 2006.

So how is the Iranian Oil Bourse a danger to the American economy?

Iranian Oil Bourse is based on a euro-oil-trading mechanism. Therefore, it will allow anyone willing either to buy or to sell oil for Euro to transact on the exchange, thus circumventing the U.S. dollar altogether.

I have summarized Petrove's comprehensive description:

A nation-state taxes its own citizens, while an empire taxes other nation-states. The imperial ability to tax has always rested on a better and stronger economy, and as a consequence, a better and stronger military. Historically, imperial taxation has always been direct: the subject state handed over the economic goods directly to the empire. However, for the first time in history, in the 20th century, America began to tax the world indirectly, through inflation:

It distributed the U.S. Dollar, to other nations in exchange for goods with the intended consequence of inflating and devaluing those dollars and paying back later each dollar with less economic goods—the difference capturing the U.S. imperial tax.

A time line of this process provides an interesting perspective:

  • Early 20th century: The U.S. dollar was tied to gold, so that the value of the dollar neither increased, nor decreased, but remained the same amount of gold.
  • 1932: The great depression of 1929 led Roosevelt to decouple the dollar from gold. Because, up to that point, although US was a great economic power, but it was not an empire. The fixed value of dollar tied to gold did not allow for ripping empire worthy benefit from exchange with other economies.
  • 1945 : The Bretton Wood system is established. Although the U.S. dollar was not coupled to gold, but it was made convertible to gold only to foreign governments; thus established the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. This was made possible because of the WWII! [the US had supplied its allies with provisions, received gold as payment, thus accumulated significant portion of the world’s gold. Thus the rest of the world didn't have a choice but to use US$ as reserve]
  • 1960’s : the dollar supply was relentlessly increased to finance Vietnam and Johnson’s Great Society. Most of those dollars were handed over to foreigners in exchange for economic goods, without the prospect of buying them back at the same value. (thustaxablity from inflation.)
  • 1970-1971 : foreigners demanded payment for their dollars in gold, The U.S. Government defaulted on its payment on August 15, 1971. The denial to pay back in gold was an act of bankruptcy by the U.S. Government but the U.S. also declared itself an Empire. (we saw a recent example of this in defiance of the UN and attack on Iraq!)
  • 1972-73 : an iron-clad arrangement with Saudi Arabia to support the power of the House of Saud in exchange for accepting only U.S. dollars for its oil. The rest of OPEC was to follow suit. Because the world had to buy oil from the Arab oil countries, it had to hold dollars as payment for oil, thus abandoning demand for gold-payment.
  • 2000 : Saddam Hussein demanded Euro in exchange for oil. The danger to the dollar was clear and present, and a punitive action was in order: the Shock and Awe operation.
  • 2005 : Iran initiates the Iranian Oil Bourse to be opened in March 2006.
  • 2006 : US Federal Reserve stops to publis information about the M3 money supplies, that represent US dollar's strengt. Ron Paul the republican representative from Texas protests .

What are the implications of the Iranian Oil Bourse for America?

It will bring the American hegemony to an end. And in fact, the Iranian shiite hegemony that they claim they are fighting, is precisely the Iranian-initiated anti-dollar hegemony that will be embraced by most of the world, to date kept hostage to America's inflated dollar!
  1. The Europeans will no longer have to buy and hold dollars in order to secure their payment for oil. The adoption of the euro for oil transactions will provide the European currency with a reserve status that will benefit the European at the expense of the Americans.
  2. The Chinese and the Japanese will be especially eager to adopt the new exchange, because it will allow them to drastically lower their enormous dollar reserves and diversify with Euros, thus protecting themselves against the depreciation of the dollar.
  3. The Russians have inherent economic and nationalist interest in adopting the Euro – the bulk of their trade is with European countries, with oil-exporting countries, with China, and with Japan. The Russians seemingly detest holding depreciating dollars and prefer to replace them with gold. Russians have also revived their nationalism, and embracing the Euro will serve as revenge.
  4. The Arab oil-exporting countries will eagerly adopt the Euro as a means of diversifying against rising mountains of depreciating dollars. The regional anti-American anti-israeli sentiments add to the incentive of distancing themselves from America.
  5. The British will find themselves squeezed: They have a strategic partnership with the U.S. but they also have their natural pull from Europe. Furthermore, the two leading oil exchanges are the New York’s NYMEX and the London’s International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), even though both of them are effectively owned by the Americans. Thus, it seems more likely that the British will go down with the sinking ship, unless they pull the plug on the London IPE interests and their century-old partner.

Also see Rudo de Juijter's analyses in Dollar Contributions, Wars and Collapse and How can the Dollar Collapse in Iran? He provides figures and numbers for a more quantitative understanding of the situation.

This again, confirms my opinion that the Zionist lobby is not the cause of the American hostility towards Iran, it is just (as it has been over the past century) the agent in the service of the empire! This is what I call systematic anti-semetism!

I like to thank Dave on Fire for reminding me of this much forgotten discourse! It is frustrating at times, how intelligent bloggers like Fanonite are so focused on Zionism that they miss the bigger picture!

How do American Politicians look?

Not one voice raises any concern over what sanctions would do to the Iranian people.

Click on images for relevant posts.

Dick's pic is owed to Tomas Paine's corner.

Friday, March 9, 2007

And meanwhile in Iraq ...

I woke up to this headline today:
Millions of Shiites defy Sunni bombs to mark Arba'een--the 40th day of Imam Hossein's martyrdom in KArbala, in 680 AD.

  • Apparently some 3 million pilgrims attended the festival.
  • No security violation took place during the festival.
  • Millions of more pilgrims are expected to arrive, even on foot.

On Tuesday, a suicide bombing killed 117 of these pilgrims. (117 PEOPLE DEAD. We make memorials when four of our RCMP officers die a senseless death; so let's multiply the indignation by order of 30, shall we?)

"I came to beg God to unite Iraqis after politicians failed," said Mahdi Saeed Jassim, a 50-year-old civil servant from Balbil province.

In the meantime, Americans have been arresting "terrorists". (We haven't heard much about their Iran-made weapons.)

  • 16 suspected insurgents on Friday including an Al-Qaeda leader known as "The Butcher" because of his penchant for beheading captives. (for those in CIA who don't know the difference between Shiite and Sunnis, AlQuaeda is a Sunni movement)
  • 2 men suspected of helping foreign extremist fighters to slip into the country, arrested in the western city of Fallujah.
  • 8 more suspected members of an insurgent courier network, including an "Al-Qaeda media emir" responsible for propaganda.
I wonder:
  1. why we don't hear about the make of weapons seized from AlQuaeda operands?
  2. why there is no information about the nationality of these AlQuaeda suspects?

I wouldn't have noticed these things, had the war-hungry Bushists not been parading around with the so called evidence that Iranians were supporting the insurgency in Iraq! but one MUST wonder what kind of weapons the Sunni and the AlQuaeda people are using!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Which Americans to Trust?

Not Oh-Bam-mamma!

Nor this one!

She's been recently heard saying: Bush is a lame duck because he hasn't already attacked Iran!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Life of Jews in Iran

Barbara Demick, writes for the Saphardic Community foundation:

It is one of the many paradoxes of the Islamic Republic of Iran that this most virulent anti-Israeli country supports by far the largest Jewish population of any Muslim country.

Tehran has 11 functioning synagogues, many of them with Hebrew schools. It has two kosher restaurants, and a Jewish hospital, an old-age home and a cemetery. There is a Jewish representative in the Iranian parliament. There is a Jewish library with 20,000 titles, its reading room decorated with a photograph of the Ayatollah Khomeini.
The wave of anti-Israeli sentiment that swept Iran during the revolution, as well as large-scale confiscations of private wealth, sent thousands of the more affluent Jews [and many non-jew affluent ones] fleeing to the United States or Israel. Those remaining lived in fear of pogroms, or massacres.

But Khomeini met with the Jewish community upon his return from exile in Paris and issued a ''fatwa'' decreeing that the Jews were to be protected. Similar edicts also protect Iran's tiny Christian minority. more

More about Persian Jews.

The Jewish member of Iranian Parliament
Also read on the Jewish Daily: Iranian Jews Reject Outside Calls to Leave.

... and here's a BBC report about the life and times of the Iranian Jews that may answer the concerns of those hwo think Iranians Jews cannot visit their family members in Israel.

Jean Baudrillard ...

The theorist of simulacrum ... mort ... a Paris ...

What will be lost to civilization?

Today, some commentator on someone's blog has gotten me rrrreally mad, by complaining that Iran should keep standing up to Zionists and to US in order to gain Arab Nation's respect! Well, I don't know why the Arab Nation needs a Persian state to respect! So please feel free to enlighten me if you are a Pan Arabist who wishes Iran receiveing the beumb on behalf of the Arab Nation, when the Arab nations are forging their own relationships with Israel!

This is what will be lost to human civilization, if US drops a bomb on Iran:

Watch for yourself.
(Thank you Loopy .)

As you see there is much more than Perspolis to Persia. And still, You haven't seen the pictures of Kerman, Yazd, Bam, Tabriz, Ardabil, Mashahd, Rasht and Masooleh, Hamedan, Tehran; and among many others, Boushehr , perhaps the first target of American attack, and house to history dating back to 2000 years BC! yes, BC!

Only tourism could have made Iran independent of oil revenues, if ...

(by the way, if you want to know about Iranian churches, look here.)

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

BBC asks:

And Israel Wins!

How can Americans block an attack on Iran?

Now I like pragmatism! Payvand has just published a nice article by Dokhi Fassihian, calling the Anti-war Americans to constructive action:

Have the congress pass a legally binding resolution that restricts the President’s ability to use funds for military force against Iran.


Make sure that AIPAC (American Israeli Political Action Committee) that lobbies both republicans and the democratic candidates does not BLOCK congressional resolutions that prohibit an attack on Iran.

  1. Directly contact your members of Congress –in both the House and Senate - and ask them to support binding legislation that prohibits a US attack on Iran.
  2. If you are donors to the 2008 presidential and Congressional campaigns, leverage your contributions by supporting candidates incrementally and making them contingent on a constructive policy of diplomacy and an unequivocal opposition to military options with regard to Iran.

What Are Those Resolutions?

Legally binding:
  • H.J. 14: introduced by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) on January 12, 2007, explicitly requires Congressional authorization for any use of military force against Iran absent a national emergency or attack by Iran, and prohibits the use of any act prior to this act as authorization of use of force against Iran.
  • H.R. 770: introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) on January 31, 2007 prohibits the use of funds for to carry out any covert action for the purpose of causing regime change in Iran or to carry out any military action against Iran in the absence of an imminent threat, in accordance with international law and constitutional and statutory requirements for Congressional authorization. It also calls for constructive engagement with Iran.
Non-binding resolutions that express the opinion of Congress
  • H.Con.Res 33: introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) on January 16, 2007 expresses the “Sense of the House” that military action requires Congressional authorization.
  • H.Con.Res. 45: introduced by Frank Wolf (R-VA) on January 24, 2007 calls for the implementation of the International Study Group (Baker-Hamilton) Recommendations, including the launching of “a new diplomatic initiative to unite the region and build international consensus for stability and reconstruction in Iraq.”
  • S.Res. 39: introduced on January 24, 2007 by Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) expresses the sense of the Senate on the need for approval by the Congress before any offensive military action by the United States is taken on any country.
  • S. Con. Res. 13: introduced on February 15, 2007 by Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should not initiate military action against Iran without first obtaining authorization from Congress.
Spread the word to your peace loving American friends!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Iran won't be balkanized!

[...]one need only walk through the Muslim, Armenian, Assyrian and Jewish cemeteries of Iran and read the gravestones of the young men who died defending their country to grasp the degree of patriotism towards a homeland and a heritage that goes back thousands of years.
Unlike most countries in the middle east, Iran's borders are not lines in the sand drawn on the impulse of 19th- and 20th-century European colonialists. So-called American think-tanks can think themselves blue in the face, but Iran will not be balkanised.

From Iran's Attack blowback by Nasrin Alavi the author of We Are Iran: The Persian Blogs (Portobello Books, 2005).

Bush's victory in Iraq

Privatization of Oil in Iraq!

"Iraq’s Cabinet has just approved a Hydrocarbon Law which will allow foreign companies control over Iraq’s oil for the first time in 35 years."

Via Unminds Must Fear

Click on images to go to links.

Israel's Spring Fever

March 11, 2005:Iran and Israel's nuclear weapons
May 2005: Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran
Dec 11, 2005: Israel readies forces for strike on nuclear Iran
Jan 3 2006: Nuclear war against Iran
March 13, 2006: Us monitoring Israel's Iran option

... bonus material that makes one suspect Israel is seeking to distract attention from its other mischiefs Israel's nuclear program and Middle East peace
A resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors to refer Iran to the UN Security Council over its nuclear program was delayed because of a clause inserted by Egypt calling for a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East.

Feb 24, 2007:Israel denies report it is planning an Iran attack
but on March 1, 2007, the remains skeptical of IDF's assessment and anticipates a summer war!

By the way, a poll on the Jerusalem post indicates that over 65% consider US's turn of policy towards Iran tactical.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Attack or Talk?

"So what do you think of Rice and Iran meeting over the Iraq conference?"

When I was asked the question, it was heavily snowing, the air was mild and I ached from night after night of Iran-worry induced insomnia; so I decided to lighten up a bit and came up with this answer, (which I have been happily propagating in several comment sections.)

Iran and the US are this troubled couple that have undergone a violent breakup. They are now pondering whether to get back together or to divorce. The mistress (Israel) is doing all in her might to prevent the reunion. The whore (Saudi Arabia) is doing all in her power to keep Dick, to the eventual detriment of both Iran and Israel!

But a divorce will run the US to (moral/economic) bankruptcy, thus will deprive the mistress and the whore from the moral/material and material/protective support they seek, respectively. So, for now, they let reason talk!

But seriously, I very much share Sophia's and Fleming's thoughts on this. This all could be to appease the public opinion that is heavily against an attack on Iran and wary of Washington's refusal to talk to Iran. (Keep in mind that Iranians have always wanted to talk to US. Evidence? Cooperation with the US against Taliban, Ahmadinejad's letter or the earlier post!) Rice can very well walk out and say "they didn't cooperate!" (And cooperation in the BushCo lingo means "Do as we say!", "You are either with us or against us!") "Thus we are justified to attack!"

Attack? I don't think they will! Iranian resources, markets and culture are better exploitable in peace; as natural nationalism in Iran will not tolerate physical aggression on the soil! And the defeat in Iraq must have certainly taught them something. Even air attacks will not incapacitate Iran. If nothing else, Iran's Geography has always been protective of its national integrity. I will be digging the Iranian press today and will translate if I stumble on interesting bits and pieces. It appears everyone is in a wait-and-see mode!

Footnote: Today, Ahmadinejad is going to Saudi Arabia to visit with King Abdullah. (source, Iranian press and also Herald Tribune; the NYT, Reuters.)

For future reference, here's The New Yorker's frequently cited article by Seymour Hersh, (which ticked me off as "adding wood to the fire.")

More Bush Fraud

Former CIA Official Exposes Bush Administration Fraud

Thanks AllBlog

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Why is Israel Cheering America to War?

In a 2002 article, Jason Vest of The Nation wrote about the link between the Committee of Present Danger (CPD), the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the Center for Security Policy (CSP). This is a dense but important article that exposes the core relationship between Zionism, neoconservatives, and the new Middle East project.

Committee on Present Danger provided a prominent group of neoconservative hawks an effective vehicle for advocating bigger military budgets, near-fanatical opposition to any form of arms control and zealous championing of a Likudnik Israel. Although a marginal group during the Carter Administration, the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 brought CPD to the center of power. [and the Iranian Hostage Crisis made Reagan a hero!]

Similarly, during Clinton Administration, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA--a 1.4 million/year operation with formidable array of Washington power players on its roll!) and the Center for Security Policy (CSP) created a "shadow defense establishment":
Industrious and persistent, they've managed to weave a number of issues--support for national missile defense, opposition to arms control treaties, championing of wasteful weapons systems, arms aid to Turkey and American unilateralism in general--into a hard line, with support for the Israeli right at its core.
At the core of JINSA/CSP agenda (as per Michael Ledeen) is total war, aimed at regime change in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and dismantling the Palestinian authority.
Anyone who dissents--be it Colin Powell's State Department, the CIA or career military officers--is committing heresy against articles of faith that effectively hold there is no difference between US and Israeli national security interests, and that the only way to assure continued safety and prosperity for both countries is through hegemony in the Middle East--a hegemony achieved with the traditional cold war recipe of feints, force, clientism and covert action.
Who helps to underwrite the JINSA and CSP?
American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Hudson Institute, defense contractors, conservative foundations and public relations entities underwritten by far-right American Zionists!

According to JINSA's website, it exists

1. To educate the American public about the importance of an effective U.S. defense capability so that our vital interests as Americans can be safeguarded; and

2. To inform the American defense and foreign affairs community about the important role Israel can and does play in bolstering democratic interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

In practice, this translates into its members producing a steady stream of op-eds and reports that influence and reflect the thinking of Pentagon's civilian leadership.

JINSA relishes denouncing virtually any type of contact between the US government and Syria and finding new ways to demonize the Palestinians.

[Is this all ideological and in the interest of Israel and the Jewish people?No! The underlying motives are very "financial" in fact.]

1. The United States civilian aid to Israel that will end by 2007. But the government policy is to increase military aid by half the amount of civilian aid that's cut each year. This is crucial to both the US and Israeli weapons industries but is also crucial to realizing the far right's vision for missile defense and the Middle East.

2.The bulk of JINSA's modest annual budget is spent on taking a bevy of retired US generals and admirals to Israel, who, upon their return to the States, happily write op-eds and sign letters and advertisements championing the Likudnik line. However, almost every retired officer who sits on JINSA's board of advisers or has participated in its Israel trips or signed a JINSA letter works or has worked with military contractors who do business with the Pentagon and Israel. [read page 3 of Vest's article for details of these military contracts]

[How about CSP?]

First, CSP has been pushing for a policy of withdrawal from Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Chemical Weapons Convention and the International Criminal Court. [huh!]

Second, A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm a report prepared by the "Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000" became the new Israeli-US neoconservative manifesto, focused on the slogan of the "New Middle East". The prescriptions of this report were:
1. an Israeli rightward economic shift, with tax cuts and a selloff of public lands and enterprises
2. use of proxy armies for regime changes, destabilization and containment
3. advancing right-wing Zionism by melding it with missile-defense advocacy [in other words, necessitate Israel's partnership in missile-defense development]:
"Mr. Netanyahu can highlight his desire to cooperate more closely with the United States on anti-missile defense in order to remove the threat of blackmail which even a weak and distant army can pose to either state. Not only would such cooperation on missile defense counter a tangible physical threat to Israel's survival, but it would broaden Israel's base of support among many in the United States Congress who may know little about Israel, but care very much about missile defense."
[But are the defense contractors all the financial backing behind this New-Middle-East making endeavour? No! There is Zionist dollars too.] A Kosher Conspiracy?

One example is Irving Moskowitz, the California bingo magnate, a donor to both CSP and JINSA (as well as a JINSA director). He sends millions of dollars a year to far-right Israeli settler groups like Ateret Cohanim. He also funds the construction of settlements, having bought land for development in key Arab areas around Jerusalem.[ he's not always welcomed in Israel though.]

Another example: a valued and valuable patron of both the Republican National Committee and George W. Bush, is the New York investment banker Lawrence Kadish. Kadish and his financee Gaffney, serve as "senior advisors" on Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (AVOT), to identifying "external" and "internal" post-9/11 threats to America. The "internal" threats, as articulated by AVOT, include former President Jimmy Carter [did I mention that the Iranian hostage crisis made Carter unpopular?], Harper's editor Lewis Lapham and Representative Maxine Waters.

Yet another: Poju Zabludowicz, CEO and founder of Tamares, another backer of Gaffney, heir to a formidable diversified international empire that includes arms manufacturer Soltam--which once employed Perle--and benefactor of the Britain Israel Communication and Research Centre, a London-based group that equates reportage uncomplimentary to Zionism with anti-Semitism.

Conclusion: War is a profitable endeavour! One must create conditions for maximizing profitability. Whether it costs the lives of 6 million Jews, 20 million Russians, 0.5 million Iranians, 0.6 million Iraqis, uncounted Palestinians, is beyond the point! Of course, if Rwandans were as rich as Middle East states, they would have deserved a mention; but for now, we remain unaware of their natural resources!

Please Check out Right Web Program International relation center, that exposes the power structure that's changing our world!

End note: CSP denounces Rice's decision to hold direct talks with Iran. (told you, they are war mongers, right?)
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's announcement Tuesday that the United States was now prepared to begin negotiating directly with Iran and its proxy, Syria, over the future of Iraq is the latest evidence of the complete unraveling of what was once a principled, coherent American approach to foreign and defense policy. Today, the Bush team's motto seems to be: Anything goes. Among the things that are poised to go over the side is the nation's security.
Want more evidence?

AEI pushing for war with Iran!
Materialist Militarism in Israel. (Thanks Filasteen for the link.