complete idiot's guide to the CIA
September 19, 2003
A reply from Parkhash to "Notable
success!", followed by a reply from the
There are a number of notable errors in
Moe's pedantic review of The
Complete Idiot's Guide to the CIA.
A point by point response, only to technical errors, is presented
here. I leave the political misinterpretations to another time
(numbers kept as original):
1. I take it that you are fiercely anti-British
(or should I say pro-American) but making up English spelling rules
is not the best strategy in
bringing down the remnants of British Empire. Let me explain.
It is perfectly correct to spell the noun 'shah' with lower case
The term is used to refer, in a general sense, to an Iranian
sovereign as the term sultan' is used in reference to an Islamic
used in general sense (as was the case in your quoted passage
from the book) the shah should not be capitalised (unless you insist
on adhering to your royal etiquette)! Only when as part of a
can the shah become the Shah. (see the link in 5)
4. You are also
being creative in your spelling of MI6 (or as you spell it MI-6).
Where the dash (hyphen) comes from I don't
but I can assure you that James Bond, as dashing a fellow as
he is, is still employed by a dashless MI6.
5. This one is a
common mistake, and not particularly your fault, but I expected
better from a man with an eye for details.
imagine the late premier would have been happy to see the
spelling of his surname so closely associated with the Israeli
service: Mossad! The phonetically correct spelling of the
late premier's name is Mosaddeq (with emphasis or tashdid on 'd'
and ending in 'q' - see Encyclopedia
Why some people still insist in writing the late premier's
by adding the suffix 'egh' after the Israel's dreaded Mossad
is beyond me.
7. Another popular error. Contrary to the popular
belief (and with advance apology to my nationalist friends) the
was never elected to his post - he was appointed by the
as were all the post-Mashruteh prime ministers before and
after him. The prime ministers were appointed by the shah
elected parliament would accept or reject their appointments.
you are referring to Mosaddeq's dissolution of Majlis and
general referendum, let me suffice by directing those interested
to read the limits of the authority invested in the post
of prime minister under the constitution of 1906.
errors for one letter Moe? I think this should keep you busy
for some time.
Reply from the author of "Notable
success!" to Parkhash:
I see that the stone thrower
throwing stones at the stone thrower isn't
sinless either! And I'm quite surprised (maybe even a little
disappointed) that you didn't pick on a few other grammatical errors
#9), which were a result of overzealousness, haste, and perhaps
But while my haste in writing a small piece of interest
to Iranian.com readers (although I never intended it as a "review" of
a book -- that was
the Editor's decision) may be forgiven, should we apply the same
(or scrutiny!) to a book published on a topic of much import to
of the last half century, as your letter seems to imply?
Ok... -- if your stone throwing was in jest, I accept.
Hey, I even got a
chuckle out of it. But if you truly mean to equate these two
I'm afraid your relativity scale is way off. Back to Physics
101 for you
But in all good fun, let me reply in earnest to
(1) There is no effort expended on my part "bringing down
the remnants of
British Empire." I'd say what "remnants" remain
are by now ground to a fine
powder. As it is, the "Empire" can't seem to be able
to sneeze without
official prior approval from the idiots in Washington (...oh, and
your theory about my pro-Americanism!). But if I did have an ulterior
motive regarding the British, it would certainly be to shed light
snooty, haughty, self-serving, belligerent and atrocious imperialism
past. (Curiously, some of these adjectives still apply today when
of the British!)
1a - The book wasn't talking about a shah, but about
the Shah! (rhymes with
duh!). And you'd have a heck of a time making the case that Iran's
were sovereign (in the strict sense of the term), especially
the last shah,
also known as the Shah.
1b - Sultan usually refers to a ruler of the Turkish
Ottoman Empire. Most
Muslim states of the Middle East variety would opt for Emir or
favorite is Despot.) Of course, that didn't stop Aref (popular
bygone days, though he is still at it) from assuming the title
(4) Ok - that was entirely the Editor's fault. No,
it wasn't -- I thought I
could get away with it, but I think JJ might actually read this!
sincerely hope Mr. Bond can forgive my tactless dashing of his
organization. I'm inclined to believe, however, that he has other
objects occupying his libidinous head, eh, mind -- apparently
unlike you and
(5) Well, I guess if the venerable Encyclopedia
Britannica says it should be "
Mosaddeq," then who is I to argue! :) I guess next you'll
be telling us to
mind our Qorme Sabzi (oh, excuse me, Sabsi to the British) and
Siavash Qomayshi -- whose first name, by the way, was changed from
for precisely the same reason (although I can't back this up with
a link to
the venerable Britannica as its editors apparently don't listen
(7) Quite right. The term "elected" is used very (and
I mean very) loosely
when speaking of Iran's past, the Shah's reign being no exception.
frankly, it should be done away with in such circumstances. But
that he was
popular - and by far! - is undisputable (unless, of course, the
Britannica says otherwise).
7a -While we're on the subject of the 1906 constitution,
why not also point
out that the shah (referring to any shah, see point 1 above)
legally remove the prime minister. Heck even the Americans were
this pseudo-legality as they duped the Shah into signing the
Mossadegh from power. With Mossadegh's doctorate in jurisprudence
Switzerland and with his demonstrated life-long allegiance and
the rule of law, I think the comparison between he and the Shah
of law-of-the-land is rather a moot point.
Here's to hoping I didn't miss any dashes, - commas,
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