Saturday, February 28, 2009

NYT's Roger Cohen Meet Iranian Jews in a synaoguge at Palestine Square and facing Al-Aqsa mosque!

Source: International Herald Tribune, via Payvand

ESFAHAN, Iran: At Palestine Square, opposite a mosque called Al-Aqsa, is a synagogue where Jews of this ancient city gather at dawn. Over the entrance is a banner saying: "Congratulations on the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution from the Jewish community of Esfahan.

old photo of Iranian Jews

The Jews of Iran remove their shoes, wind leather straps around their arms to attach phylacteries and take their places. Soon the sinuous murmur of Hebrew prayer courses through the cluttered synagogue with its lovely rugs and unhappy plants. Soleiman Sedighpoor, an antique dealer with a store full of treasures, leads the service from a podium under a chandelier.

I'd visited the bright-eyed Sedighpoor, 61, the previous day at his dusty little shop. He'd sold me, with some reluctance, a bracelet of mother-of-pearl adorned with Persian miniatures. "The father buys, the son sells," he muttered, before inviting me to the service.

Accepting, I inquired how he felt about the chants of "Death to Israel" � "Marg Bar Esraeel" � that punctuate life in Iran.

"Let them say 'Death to Israel," he said. "I've been in this store 43 years and never had a problem. I've visited my relatives in Israel, but when I see something like the attack on Gaza, I demonstrate, too, as an Iranian."

The Middle East is an uncomfortable neighbourhood for minorities, people whose very existence rebukes warring labels of religious and national identity. Yet perhaps 25,000 Jews live in Iran, the largest such community, along with Turkey's, in the Muslim Middle East. There are more than a dozen synagogues in Tehran; here in Esfahan a handful cater to about 1,200 Jews, survivors of an almost 3,000-year-old community.

Over the decades since Israel's creation in 1948 and the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the number of Iranian Jews has dwindled from about 100,000. But the exodus has been far less complete than from Arab countries, where some 800,000 Jews resided when modern Israel came into being.

In Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Iraq, countries where more than 485,000 Jews lived before 1948, less than 2,000 remain. The Arab Jew has perished. The Persian Jew has fared better.

Of course, Israel's unfinished cycle of wars has been with Arabs, not Persians, a fact that explains some of the discrepancy.

Still, a mystery hovers over Iran's Jews. It's important to decide what's more significant: the annihilationist anti-Israel ranting, the Holocaust denial and other Iranian provocations�or the fact of a Jewish community living, working and worshiping in relative tranquillity.

Perhaps I have a bias toward facts over words, but I say the reality of Iranian civility toward Jews tells us more about Iran, its sophistication and culture, than all the inflammatory rhetoric.

That may be because I'm a Jew and have seldom been treated with such consistent warmth as in Iran. Or perhaps I was impressed that all the fury over Gaza, trumpeted on posters and Iranian television, never spilled over into insults or violence toward Jews. Or perhaps it's because I'm convinced the "Mad Mullah" caricature of Iran and likening of any compromise with it to Munich 1938, a position popular in American Jewish circles, is misleading and dangerous.

I know, if many Jews left Iran, it was for a reason. Hostility exists. The trumped-up charges of spying for Israel against a group of Shiraz Jews in 1999 showed the regime at its worst. Jews elect one representative to Parliament, but can vote for a Muslim if they prefer. A Muslim, however, cannot vote for a Jew.

Among minorities, the treatment of the Baha'i seven of whom were arrested recently on charges of spying for Israel is brutally harsh.

I asked Morris Motamed, once the Jewish member of the Majlis, if he felt he was used, an Iranian quisling. "I don't," he replied. "In fact I feel deep tolerance here toward Jews." He said "Death to Israel" chants bother him, but went on to criticise the "double standards" that allow Israel, Pakistan and India to have a nuclear bomb, but not Iran.

Double standards don't work any more; the Middle East has become too sophisticated. One way to look at Iran's scurrilous anti-Israel tirades is as a provocation to focus people on Israel's bomb, its 41-year occupation of the West Bank, its Hamas denial, its repetitive use of overwhelming force. Iranian language can be vile, but any Middle East peace, and engagement with Tehran, will have to take account of these points.

Green Zone-ism, the basing of Middle Eastern policy on the construction of imaginary worlds, has led nowhere.

Realism about Iran should take account of Esfahan's ecumenical Palestine Square. At the synagogue, Benhur Shemian, 22, told me Gaza showed that Israel's government was "criminal," but still he hoped for peace. At the Al-Aqsa mosque, Morteza Foroughi, 72, pointed to the synagogue and said: "They have their prophet, we have ours. And that's fine."


Roger Cohen is a columnist for the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. This article is distributed by the Common Ground News Service (CGNews) with permission from the International Herald Tribune.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Award from Utah Savage

Utah Savage gave me an award and included me in: "These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

Life's Journey
Mystic Rose
Pretty Moonbeams
A Poetic justice
Gail: Know your "it's"
Life and Times of Carolina Parrothead
An Average American Patriot

Thursday, February 12, 2009

30 years ago ...

I am lazy to look at the Iranian calendar. Today must be the anniversary of the revolution. Marclord had congratulated Iran. I couldn't say thank you on behalf of Iran. So I decided to write here.

In Iran, they celebrate it as the "Victory" of revolution. I dare say I have not known even a single human being in my entourage, and even away from my entourage who feels celebratory about this "22 Bahman" (bahman is the name of the second month of winter, remember, our calendar is perfectly solar).

For many Iranians, the 'Victory of the Revolution' is a defeat. Either of a life style; or of a dream.

Those who fought for this revolution were the first to be killed or exiled from Iran. They were killed either in the prisons of the Islamic Republic; or in the war fields. The rest went on self exile. Those who were rich, managed to build happy Western lives. Those who were not, those who hung to their idealism, continued to live in a bubble, in a nostalgia for a great democracy to come, someday, to this land of Iran, which we all love and take pride in, no matter how much we hate its Monarchist or Mullahrcist governments.

I have never felt happy on 22 Bahman; on the day of "Victory". In school, they tried to indoctrinate us. Nationally, they tried to make this into a bigger festival than our New Year (Spring Equinox). They failed. All the fun fairs, all the holidays, all the festivals of 22 Bahman cannot make it a real "people's celebration" because it is NOT a people's celebration. It is a government celebration. A government that is not composed of the "true" revolutionaries, but of the fake ones, of the opportunist ones. The ones whose "revolutionariness" appears in their dirty rough looks. The corrupt impostors!

How can I celebrate? Shortly after this victory, my dad came home in tears. "They executed Lieutenant X! He was fasting! He didn't break his fast! How can these call themselves Muslims?" ... and then he cried.

How can I celebrate? Shortly after this "Victory", I spent days and nights awake listening to my aunt who screamed every time the sound of execution guns was heard; after clinging from her husbands legs for days to save their 18 years old daughter from the "revolutionary court"?

How can I celebrate? My parents were driven out of their works to be replaced by thugs and whores, whose qualifications, besides LYING, included ability to work with dirty beards and wearing black veils. My dad was threatened because he stood against the looters who, in the name of Islam, were going to rob the Governor's Palace. My mom was "cleansed" out of the system because she refused to take these so-called revolutionaries serious.

How can I celebrate? My husband, whose life was on the line when fighting against the Shah, withdrew himself from this "revolutionary movement" when he realized the "victors" were those who had NOTHING TO DO WITH THE REVOLUTION?

How can I celebrate? The man who cashed the prize of the revolution (because the westerners decided coalition with clergy was more beneficial than with nationalists) was set to fall in many traps that the neocons were setting in front of his narrow vision of the history!

How can I celebrate?

Memories of revolution for me are dark ones!

I will never celebrate what happened 30 years ago. But, I will celebrate the fact that what happened 30 years ago is what has made me who I am today!
I celebrate the fact that the Islamic Revolution made me denounce Religion!
I celebrate the fact that the Islamic Revolution made me confront the hypocrisies of Islam (and any religion for that matter)!
I celebrate the fact that the isolationist policies of America made Iran strong!
I celebrate the fact that the Shah was driven out, so that people who didn't care as much about their westernized "looks" could actualize the great blue prints that he had laid for the great future of that country of ours!

I remember the day of the "Victory"!

My dad, my brave sweet dad, the man of the people, took me out to "see" ... tires were burning ... some people were pulling down the Statue of the Shah off of the Statue of the Horse of the Shah! Something in the memory of that day makes my stomach sick. something about that victory was ugly. Something about it didn't make sense; even though I had grown up in a house that thought "The Shah was to lay in a grave he had dug for himself."

With that victorious day, I, my family, and almost everyone I knew got a REAL TASTE of what a "dictatorship" was like!

30 years later; I am standing up for my country! Still, however, I feel that 30 years ago, a great revolution was hijacked ...

sorry Marclord ... On 22 Bahman, offer me your sympathy; and maybe a promise to keep your government as far as you can from my country, be it in enemy gear or in friend's cloak ... Because of your country, something that COULD have been beautiful has turned into something that is far uglier than it needs to be ... I shall never forget who most benefited from the post-revolutionary "Down With USA" ... America's beloved Reagan!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Primate's Memoir

I am reading a GREAT book by Robert Sapolsky, entitled "A Primate's Memoir."
I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone. It is his memoir from a field work, studying baboons in Africa (starting in 1979). Simultaneously, this book is scientific, political, satirical, ethnographic, national-geographic ... it's a little gem, that I was reading in the passport office today, and could not help myself bursting into loud laughter every other 3-4 page.

I wanted to share with you a little passage;
"When Harun's (an old man Robert befriended) tribe, Kisii fought with Masai to the east, that was okey and everyone had a fine time. But when they fought with the Masai to the south, they were fighting with Tanzanians, and it was an international incident and the police would come and tell them to cut it out.

To the combatants the whole thing seemed pretty bizarre and arbitrary. It reminded me that once, long ago, this border formed another strange arbitrary boundary. Once Kenya was British East Africa, Tanzania was German Tanganyika, and in 1914, the while colonists in each dutifully made uniforms, formed units and conducted World War I. There were battles in Kisii land and even now, there were still legends about treasures buried in the hills by soldiers before battle.

Harun and I sat with the very old man who drank and chortled and belched and reminisced. I asked them about the time the German colonials and the British colonials fought eachother. They remembered well.

The white people had a fight amongst themselves for some reason, so they started fighting here. They would come in clothes like the policemen wear now, and they would shoot at eachother. dead white people, imagine. Once, an airplane came over. We did not know what it was and we were terribly frightened; we ran to our mothers and hid ourselves.

One day the British came and said that we should go and fight also. We could not believe it--they would give us guns to shoot white people. They always said guns had a magic so that an African man could not use it to shoot a white man, but they said that these Germans were different white men and the guns would work.

Then they said a crazy thing. They said we should also fight the Masai, that they would give us guns to do that. Yes, we said, we will fight them with your guns, but they said we could only fight the Masai to the south, the Masai to the east we must never fight. We thought that was crazy. so we refused. They beat some of us, but we still refused.'

The old men thought it puzzling and basically funny. the Masai were delighted, however to fight. Units of British East African Masai from the east and Tanganyikan Masai from the south had several pitched battles in makeshift uniforms. no one remembered the outcome. "
This book reminds me of the movie: The Gods Must Be Crazy!
If you haven't seen it, and if the economic down turn or Israel are depressing you, watch it! It'll make you laugh your heart out (at our civilization)!

To Pen Name:

(This is a Persian link)
Explain this!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

update: Biden screws up!

This is disappointing!
Americans lost a great opportunity. I hope Iran shoves the Carrot and the Stick up Mr Biden's ... mouth! Now that is a CLEAR choice!


I woke up, still angry at Bidens statement and his !#@$!@ CLEAR choice for Iran. I expected the Iranian media to be flooded with angry statements by the Iranian government. But, they have wisely stayed mute! In Persian, we have a saying: "Best response to an idiot is silence!"
And the late Shah had another expression too: "Moon shines and dog howls!" Larijani's arriving in Spain for nuclear talks. I will keep you posted!

Kudos to Iranians! Dodged another American provocation!

It is now clear to me that Americans do not want "peace" with Iran. They want Iranian submission!

Well, I (a very non-religious, Western-dwelling, anti-Islamic Iranian woman) assure Mr Biden: over my dead body!

Iran will not submit to the will of the Zionist regime! You will either negotiate with Iran respectfully; or dig yourselves another deeper hole in the history! The one who is "on the wrong side of history" is the Zionist regime and its proxy: America!! The one who NEEDS Iran, to get them out of Afghanistan and Iraq is America! What can you do to Iran? Drop your nuclear bombs on it? Go ahead! You did it to Gaza. You did it to Lebanon! What did it bring other than shame and international condemnation.

You can slow us perhaps, but you cannot break our resolve!

UNCLENCH YOUR FIST Mr Biden. The loser in this stand off against Iran, against Cuba, against Korea, against Vietnam, against China, against Russia IS AMERICA! The end of Eurocentricism is a reality. Wake up to it!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Iran extends a conciliatory hand to the US: Parliamentry speaker (Dr. Ali Larijani) in Munich Security Conference

Larijani's statement is important because 1) it is presented by Iran's Parliament Speaker. In terms of power, he can be considered equal to Ahmadi-Nejad; 2) He is an opponent of Ahmadi-Nejad. In protest to Ahmadi-Nejad's blabbers, he quit his job as the chief negotiator of Iran's nuclear Dossier; 3) He is a likely candidate for Iran's upcoming Presidential Election, and he will most likely win. 4) (and most importantly ;), he will have my vote. Yes he IS a conservative; but right now Iran needs a conservative.

I invite you (especially if you are Barak Obama!) to read all of this; but for those short in time, I provide color coding! If you are still short of time, the core of his message is:
America, we are extending a hand. Just come to the table, recognize us as a regional power, drop the Carrots and Sticks language, and we will be your regional ally!

"I wish to thank the chairman of the conference and Germany's honorable government.

I am coming from a region where in the past three decades, especially in recent years, has witnessed most of the wars and conflicts: The Western probed attack of Saddam on Iran and 8 yeas of bloody war, and then two Western wars against Saddam for invading Kuwait, and then occupation of Iran that has left more than 800,000 dead and injured. And then the war in Afghanistan; and the Israeli war against Lebanon and now against the brave and innocent people of Gaza. These wars were waged for different reasons, but the main excuse was fight against terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

The question is, in these wars, that only Iran lost 250,000 soldiers, has the region improved? Has terrorism diminished? Or were atomic weapons found in Iraq?

Upon occupation of Afghanistan, the US claimed that fight against drugs, against terrorism and capturing the leaders of terrorists were there main objectives. Which objective has come true? In 2001, drug production in Afghanistan was about 200 tons. In 2008, it is over 8000 tons. The fight against terrorists has turned into the comedy of NATO members doing secret deals with their leaders that have lead to escape of several prisoners. And the terrorist leaders are where they were. So what was accomplished?

Recently, the new President of the Us said that he has sent his Middle East envoy to listen, not to dictate.

Ladies and Gentlemen:
This is the first positive sign that illustrates the misguidedness of previous strategies that imaginary theories about the Middle East worsen the security angles. Cultural specifics and regional hardships must be looked at more carefully.
[Naj: below he lists some of America's wrongdoings]
Now I want to present some of the regional talks which I hope you will pay attention to:

-The American Coup of 1953, toppling Mosadegh's regime and restoring the Pahlavi dictatorship held Iran back for many years and led to torture and death of many an Iranian activist.

- In 1979, America's General Huyser had planned another coup, which was countered by Imam Khomeini's foresight.

- After the victory of revolution, American embassy assisted and coordinated separatist movements and terrorism against revolutionary figures. The evidence for these actions is available.

- America provoked Saddam into attacking Iran and during 8 years of war did not deny him any military aid.

- America confiscated Iran's assets at the onset of revolution.

- America canceled its nuclear contract with Iran and did not even honor their contract to provide nuclear fuel for Tehran's reactor.

- After 9-11, On the premise of fight against terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, America invaded Iraq and Afghanistan ruining both people's lives in the region and the lives of American Army.

- The 33 day Israeli war against Lebanon was designed by American assistance. But it was an illusion to break people's spirit.

- The unjustified 22 day massacre in Gaza was assisted by America and although it turned into a human tragedy, despite all claims of human rights, America did not react in concern.

- With regards to Iran's nuclear dossier, America has been non-cooperative and obstructive.

And many other issues.

Now, do you expect these pains to go away with a change of language and a different conversational tone? Or do you thinks it is important to accept mistakes and change strategies? The reason why despite America's obvious errors the situation has not escalated into a regional nightmare is because of the wisdom of Ayatollah Khamanei, who controlled the conditions and calmed the situation.

Mr Chairman, dear attendants :

Unfortunately, these mistakes stem from an illusion after the industrial revolution in Europe that the Orient is slumbering and needs to be colonized. Then they established the Western hegemony; and prescribed the theory of "balance of fear" to deter the competition. This is how the cold war came about.

We are now in a different situation.

First, the Theory of unilateralism is invalid. [no clue what "theory of yek-janebe garayee" means!!] ...
Second, The Orient, from china to Malaysia to Turkey to Iran to Egypt to the Middle East has a different condition now. A denial of the awakening of Islamic countries does not solve any problem!

We need a logical, fair and realistic theory to establish lasting stability.

Friends, terrorism and expansionism are the two sides of the same coin. They are the chicken and the egg problem. The age of Western control over the East has come to an end. The Oriental man is no longer a second-rated human. The discussions around the terrorism problem, as well as the existing situation in India, Pakistan and the Middle East show that the approach to date has been wrong; and has turned
the region into a dynamite warehouse.

Can we accept that Israel, with 2-3 million population be given 200 atomic warheads, plus advanced missiles and air defense, but to tell 1.5 billion Muslims that they do not have the right to nuclear knowledge for energy production and peaceful purposes?

Can anyone accept that 5 million Palestinians are driven from their land and home and be wandering the world, when collecting people from different corners of the world to populate Israel?

By accusing Hamas to terrorism, you cannot change the facts. Hamas election by people's vote and under watch of international monitors was faced with illogical reaction of a few of Western countries. They [the Western countries] remained silent even when the head of the Parliament and the Palestinian representatives were arrested [by Israel]. Of course, in recent days, I have been hearing that some of European leaders are suggesting that the reality of Hamas needs to be accepted. Although late, but this is a valuable change.

By insulting Hizbollah, you cannot change the facts. Hizbollah, as part of the Lebanese ruling system is deeply entrenched in heart and intellect of the Lebanese and people of the region. Crushing them exacerbates the hatred for America and Israel.

Many use the media to portray a violent and warmongering image of Muslims.

The question is, did Muslims play any role in the 1st or 2nd world war? Other than having been part of the victims? Islam respect the followers of Moses and Jesus and promotes respectful coexistence of all religions.

Dear attendees,

The theory of balance of fear was designed by America and Europe, after the second world war to control different powers. the mere fact of existence of weapons of mass destruction and their showcasing against each other is a sign of the failure of humanity. it means no trust exists. Isn't this more similar to wolves' life that the life of human's?

To date, all that has been said about disarmament has been just parole and no action. Today, the world no longer needs preaching. It needs to see the act of disarmament by big owners of the WMD. But Iran, neither had WMD in its defense doctrine, nor is seeking it. We despise having to live under the shadow of the WMDs
because we are still faced with the reality of our victims of the chemical attacks by Saddam during the war. Most those weapons were given to Saddam by the Western countries. We reiterate that are against the principle of Islam.

But Iran's nuclear issue is different. We have reached our state of knowledge under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and withing the Agency's framework. Our resolve came about after the American and European countries canceled their nuclear contracts with Iran.

I have been involved in solving Iran's nuclear issue and after some time I have come to the conclusion that the controversy has no legal basis whatsoever, but is resulting from a certain mentality.

Sometimes it was said: "You don't have nuclear weapons now, but you may get it in future." do you think such a logic has any place in a sane running of the world?

Sometimes it was was: "by achieving nuclear technology, Iran is throwing the region out of balance." This is while Iran has never been aggressive against anyone; and considers attacking other countries against the principle of the Islamic revolution. Besides, even if this were the case, is the regional balance a principle that we ALL have to agree with? All countries can compete in reaching technological achievement. Recently, I hear that they have shown concern that Iran has sent a satellite to the space. Is a satellite a WMD too? On the other hand, how come this balance of power is not a concern with regards to the American uni-polarism?

During nuclear negotiations, we have stated several times, that in order to ease the world concerns, we are willing to organize our nuclear activities within a consortium composed of several other countries. If a country's after the bomb, she will neither propose such initiatives, nor will it be a signatory to the NPT. As did Israelis. In fact, these Western dual standards raise suspicion. During the Gaza war, Israel has been using phosphorous bombs. An Israeli General announced that they have mistakenly used the phosphor bombs. Does the world accept this? In Davos Conference, Mr Perez stated taht before the savage bombardment of innocent children, they phoned them to inform them of bombardment. Does anyone believe this? Maybe that kid was not home to hear Mr Perez's call. But the world did not take a stance against this.

Another example of this double standards is that America attacked, killed and mimed the people of one region, on the charges of terrorism; while on another side of thw world, it legitimized a terrorist group [referring to removing MKO from the terrorists list. The MKO is an armed 'resistance' group who assassinated Americans in mid 70s; participated with Saddam's forces in war against Iran; and assassinated several important religious and government figures after revolution]

Sometimes they talked about solving the problems internally, but then they began talking about Carrots and Sticks and referring Iran's case to the security council and issuing resolutions!

Ladies and Gentleman:
The Carrots and Sticks policy is obsolete; and no one really pays attention to it.
Current changes in the world and the prospect of 21st century demands a new model, and the old definitions of security are no longer efficient. The 21st century is the century of advance and sophisticated structures, strategies and realities with new players.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready and capable to , in cooperation with other countries of the world, open logical windows to the peace and stability of the region.

We believe in common and longterm benefits and cooperations, in energy and economy, with other countries.

America had destroyed many bridges in the past few years. But the new administration can rebuild them. But new bridges must be build according to new and pragmatic strategies based on mutual respect, and not the politics of Carrots and Sticks!

The world is prudently watching the changes in America and hopes that the changes will be strategic and not tactical.

In this new strategy, several factors are critical:
1) Taking a multilateral approach to free itself from the defective circle of unilateralism.
2) Instead of focusing on arms race for WMD, focusing on an international theory of security.
3) In regional security, emphasize the internal security; instead of building military bases in countries that will make the problem circular and make them target of further terrorism.
4) instead of imposing disparate and non-practical models, realistically consider the cultural, political and economical characteristics of each region and respect the theory of coalition between regional and international actors.

Intervention in social engineering in different parts of the world, and enforcing discordant models leads to further miscalculations that will exacerbate instability and diminish security."

Translated from Persian by Naj: neoresistance-at-gmail-DOT-com, Please contact me if you quote/use this.
News code: 8711-11527

Silence about the defense industry job cuts?

I have been slightly curious what portion of job losses are coming from the MIC! If anyone has good data on it, please let me know. However, a little examination of some numbers provided by CNN indicates that after the computer industry, Aerospace and defense seem to have suffered the greatest number of cuts! We are all focusing on Auto industry. Of course, the data is just from January and I suspect the Auto industry losses have happened before. But, considering that the red bar in the figure EXCLUDES Haliburton cuts (which are not specified by the corporation), then we might wonder how the war industry resources may be "stimulated" into something else! Just curious! What are your thoughts?

Untold stories of Revolution: Interview with Ebrahim Yazdi (05-02-09)

Why is Ebrahim Yazdi Important?

This Interview by Nooshabeh Amiri marks the 30th anniversary of the revolution (source: Rooz Online). I am translating parts that relate to interference of the Western countries in Iran's history. (Barak Obama may consider these points to apologize about AS WELL!)

N.A: Upon the 30th anniversary of the revolution, the opposition or even some of the friends of the revolution are not happy and blame the foreign interventions for it. what is your opinion?

Yazdi: Iran's revolution was a classic, popular and independent movement, but it wasn't formed in a vacume. Foreign factors influenced the revolution in two ways: First, by supporting the Shah. The Iranian revolution was a reaction to the 53 Coup, after which Shah could not have returned to power without foreign support. Then Iran's revolution was a reaction to foreign meddling. Second, after revolution the foreigners retained their influence in Iran. When they recognized that they could not stop the revolution, they manipulated it. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I am not politically naive either. Israel, The US and the UK did not leave revolution alone. they influenced it in many ways. [he gives a metaphor of a driving scenario when someone tries to destabilize your conduct and throw you off the road]

[a short passage on presence of General Fardoost in Iran and then continuing to give example of foreign meddling]
[...]you see, we knew that he political analysis of American and British foreign ministries indicated that if America gave the shah a Visa, it would lead to an attack on the American embassy. But certain groups in the US pressured Carter to give the Visa, such that he hostage crisis would happen, such that they could pressure Carter to freeze Iran's assets.

Or we know that during the war, whenever the conditions of cease fire were possible, if it was not favorable by Americans, they would start reverse psychology. I. e. a four-star American General would come on radio and start talking about the imminence of an Iranian victory if they launched just one more attack on Baghdad! These talks created strong reactions in Iran. Americans had explicitely said that Khomeini would do the opposite of what we would suggest.

N. A. do you think Khomeini did opposite of what America said?

Yazdi: in some cases, yes.

N.A. [talk of Gaudalupe Conference, where Carter pulled the rug from under The Shah's feet]

Yazdi: [...] In Gaudalupe, participating countries reached an agreement. It doesn't mean that Americans changed their mind there. If we look at books by Cyrus Vance and Brzezinski we realize that from a while back there was a disagreement about Iran between the security council and the State Department. The UK, Germany and France had much sooner concluded that supporting the Shah was futile. towards the end of 1977 there was a talk of replacing the shah by his son. In an interview with guardian around that time The shah has spoken about that. after George Ball's report, the balance was tipped in favor of the state Department [i.e. in favor of toppling the Shah]. But the Iranian armies alliance with the Clergy happened after Shah left Iran. The Americans were worried about Iran's future after The Shah's departure. At that time the cold war was happening full force. Syria, and Iraq were Soviet allies. The Soviet Union was politically and militarily present in Afghanistan. During the cold war, the western countries--especially the US--believed that nationalist governments were vulnerable to communism. At least this was their excuse for not tolerating Nationalism in the Third World. They had this concern about Iran too. therefore, when they realized that the revolution was unstoppable, they sought the solution in alliance between the Iranian army and the Clergy [!! ... supporting Taliban ... supporting Al-Quaeda ... supporting Musharraf ... hahaha, so repetitive and unoriginal!] Both the army and the clergy were anti communist. America was of the opinion that if the army coalesced with the Religious, after the heat of revolution subsided, they would be taking over the power. This was [General] Huyser's mission. What happened in the Philippines later [see Ferdinand Marcos' history] was within this same framework. The success of this policy depended on coalition of the army and the clergy. After the Gaudalupe conference, in a letter Carter requested to meet and negotiate with Khomeini. The revolutionary council accepted because they thought this would bring about a swift victory.

[then some discussion about the impact of Khomeini moving to France from Iraq, which seem to have sped up the "victory" ... and the rest, well, I don;t think unless you are an Iranian, you care to know. So, Persian readers: Click here!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

30 Years of Post-Revolutionary Cinema of Iran

This list is announced by the Iranian government. These are not necessarily the best works, although most of the best directors of Iranian cinema are included. I link to those MUST SEE/KNOW directors. For those who may not know, Iranian cinema is known as the Cinema of 90s. I put a star next to those iconic figures of this genre.

List released by ISNA):

1) Bashu, the Little Stranger (Bahram Baizai***)
2) The Tenants (Dariush Mehrjui***)
3) Blue Veil (Mrs. Rakhshan Bani Etemad***)
4) Smell of Camphor , Scent of Jasmin (Bahman Farman-Araa)
5) The Runner [classic] (Amir Naderi***)
6) Mother (Ali Hatami***)
7) Capitain Khorshid (Naser Taghvayee)
8) Naser-edin Shah the Actor of Cinema. (Mohsen Makhmalbaf***)
9) Under the Olive Trees (Abbas Kiarostami***)
10) I am Taraneh, 15 (Rasul Sadr-Ameli***)
11) Kimia (Ahmad-Reza Darvish)
12) White Baloon (Jafar Panahi***)
13) Two Women (Mrs. Tahmine Milani**)
14) Leili's With Me (Kamal Tabrizi)
15) Stories of Majid: Shame (Kyumars Pour-Ahmad)
16) Need (Alireza Davoodi-Nejad)
17) To Be or Not to Be (Kyanoush Ayyari)
18) Lead (Mas'ood Kimiyaee)
19) From Karkhe to Rhain (Ebrahim Hatami-Kia)
20) The Stone-Lion (Masood Jafari Jozayee) [no clue ]
21) Under the Moonlight (Reza Mir-Karimi***, Oscar nominee)
22) The Survivor (Seyfollah Daad) [no clue ]
23) Birth of a Butterfly (Mojtaba Ra'yee) [no clue ]
24) The Boot (Mohamad-AliTalebi) [no clue]
25) A Time for Drunken Horses (Bahman Ghobadi)
26) Hur in Fire (Aziz-o-llah Hamid Nejad) [no clue ]
27) Sain Merry (Shahryar Bohrani) [no clue ]
28) Charshanbe Suri (Asghar Farhadi)
29) Journey to Chazabeh (Rasul Mola-gholi-pour)
30) Children of Heaven (Majid Majidi**, Oscar nominee)

Other important directors omitted from this list:
Cyrus Alvand
- Mrs. Manijeh Hekmat
- Ali Rafii (theater director, really)
- Mrs. Pouran Derakhshandeh
- Ms. Samira Makhmalbaf
- Behruz Afkhami
- Fereydun Jeyrani
- Khosro Sinaie
- Varuzh Karim-Masihi
- Mohamad Reza Honarmand

Is Obama plunging into hodge-podge?

Let's forget for a second that the business of this economic stimulus, and all these post-hoc restrictions on CEO pay, plus the tax evasions of senior Democrats have already taken the glitter from Mr Nice's triumph. I personally am very much enjoying the inversion of Capitalism!

Unfortunately, his approach to Iran doesn't seem too impressive either!

First there was a rumor of of a "nice" letter. Now there is the rumor of appointing Ross to Iran diplomacy! Is the Obama administration putting various messages out to test the waters to see how the Zionists and the Iranians "like" him?! I was very entertained by Netanyahu's plan to Harness the American administration ... it made some of us wonder if Americans have knowingly conceded to being the Zionist's donkey! But news out of Israel indicates that they are beginning to suffer blood-withdrawal syndrome, and have a rush (or a rash) to attack Iran ASAP!


Imagined affinities, Imagined enemies

Le Monde Diplomatic:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Women Make Movies: Arusi Persian Wedding (March 17, on PBS)

Just odd news, but VERY IMPORTANT ones

1) Iran launches its first satellite ... world expresses concern: "How can a country that is isolated and sanctioned and demonized and accused of fundamentalism act like THAT?!!" To the world, especially to the concerned segments of America and Israel I say: get stuffed!

2) Khatami launches his official Presidency Campaign. This will make a lot of reformists happy, but I personally don't wish Khatami to become president again. I just am strictly opposed to religious men governing. If I am to choose a Mullah, I would go for Abdollah Noori. He's got more guts than Khatami! But I would also support Larijani! All that stuff about his being a conservative is just smokescreen! I like the man; he is smart and educated; and I trust engineers and mathematicians holding the wheels of power in Iran.

3) Beyzaie (or Baizai) wins the Audience's Choice award for his most recent film WHEN WE ARE ALL ASLEEP, despite his critics complaining about the 'quality of his film. I joing Baizai in telling those critics: "get stuffed!" ... ah that feels great!

Anyways, I don't feel like blogging now! Just giving little headlines.
Feel free to inspire me by your questions and comments.

P.S. I saw "The Reader"! Is anyone else who feels that Germans are getting a bit ahead of themselves portraying their war crimes as something that "anyone in their shoes would have done." should we thank America's recent behavior for absolving Germany of its past crimes?!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Liquid Illuzion ...

Taken from: Liquid Illuzion The brilliant photographer/artist/poet who still makes you laugh, even tough she has decided to leave the glass to us alive ones.