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September 13-14, 2001

* Our problems come from within

Why do you feel like crap writing that what has happened is not America's fault ["Taking a stand"]. In reality it is not!

I'm not so naive as to deny the issues of power politics and oil in the relations of the US with Iran and other Middle Eastern countries. But let's be honest. We Iranians have to admit one day that most of our problems come from within.Do you think the rampant corruption in Iran is a result of American manipulations. Fifty years ago maybe, today no.

Believe me, the Americans would perfer an Iran with rules and regulations and laws adheared to in all aspects of life. Americans would love a level playing field. They are confident enough in themselves that they know they can compete with the best of them.

The time has come for all Iranians to take a stand. Freedom and democracy, or despotism and religious extremism.

American presence in the Middle East has to do with power, resources and money, but also with freedom. Excluding Saudi Arabia, because of its extremely peculiar relations with the US. The US has always pushed for freedom.

Remember Carter over 20 years ago and his speach in Iran about "human rights"? Our fathers say it was he who undermined the Shah. Is that true or rather Carter was transmitting the message to us, and our fathers totally misunderstood?

The Americans have been speaking of democracy for years now and to all. Korea got ther message. Look at them today: are they less beneficial to the U.S., economically, than any Middle Eastern country?

After WW II, with the Marshal plan, a rebuilt, free and democratic Europe became the best partner the US has. Why would it be any different for the Middle Eastern countries? Why would an Iran which is free and democratic with a per capita income of 12,000 USD be a bad thing for the US? Microsoft is not interested in selling software to 65 million people rather than the 1 million today?

US political and economic interests today in the global economy do not conflict with freedom and democracy. Actually the system seeks it. It needs it. Only thru this will it attain transparency and stability. The stakes are too high. The financial markets will destroy trillions of wealth in a matter of hours.

In reality the leaders of the Middle Eastern countries prefer despotism and the people are cowed into submission. It is the leaders themselves that do not want freedom for the people, not the Americans.

NO, the problems comes from within our own societies.

And now, maybe, just maybe, the sleeping giant has been awakened and in the process eventually even Iran may be liberated from the hands of despots. Choices have to be made, there is no middle ground. Tomorrow it will be another bomb but with chemical and biological compounds this time.

Those idiots in Tehran and Beirut and Kabul kept talking Jihad and and acted as if they were carrying it out. Now they will see what Jihad really is. The Americans will rain so much death and destruction upon their turbaned heads that they will pray they were born Buddhist vegetarians in some god forsaken corner of the globe. Iraq will look like child's play.

In these deadly acts of terrorism we are all Americans no matter what our race, color, religion or creed.

For yourself, you should be proud to be American, as you are of your Iranian heritage. To be American is not only a piece of paper but a way of thinking, a way of life.

God Bless America, for she is our only hope,

Babak Koohyar
Paris, France

* Conditioned to hate

What's been going through your head and heart is tantamount to your humanity, and not because you have a title: American or otherwise ["Taking a stand"]. Just like you I've seen all sorts of reactions from my friends. from satisfaction to abhorrence. When we see tragedy at such scales and at such proximity something within us sparks.

That spark is a reaction. What that spark embodies however is purely dependent upon our conditioning. Psychology determines personality. The pictures of those Palestinians celebrating the events that on Tuesday unfolded is purely a result of their conditioning.

What is at stake is not who we are in terms of our nationalities. The core of humanity and its basic needs, desires, aspirations and so forth are universal. when we live in a world where our understanding of the events around us is no longer bound by our puny village boundaries, and we see that there seems to be two sets of rules being applied, and we see double standards are rife and to top it all we have our basic human pride and identity mocked and smeared etc etc etc, we will be undeniably conditioned to hate, to take revenge. And that's when beautiful human values take flight!!

Regardless of our colour, creed, nationality, wealth, status, belief or whatever else you want to choose to categorise me i am a human first. If we don't acknowledge that in a genuine humanly way, if we continue to apply them and us rules, this cycle will continue on and on. as it always has. We've had far darker days in human history than last tuesday's. There could never be any justification for any of it. But that's applying a rational which is totally foreign to the actual phenomenon.

Wishing you all that's good in life,

Vahid Pourghadiri

* Being American

I read your columns and I find you to be a sensitive, intelligent, and witty person. I am thankful for your kind words and truthful acknowledgements about the United States ["Taking a stand"]. I guess sometimes we don't appreciate her as much as we should, but it means a lot to hear someone say, "hey, despite all its foibles, it's a good place." And because we can criticize America, because of that freedom, that is what gives me hope that it will always get better and better.

I am not Iranian, but my husband is. He was born and raised in Tehran, and then all over Europe and finally in the US after the Revolution ensued. I subscribed to this emagazine, because I wanted to understand more about his people and culture, since they have become mine.

I am an American born in New Jersey right outside of NYC, and raised in Boston. You may feel like you are not an American, but how do you define an American? Too many think an American is a White person, someone of European ancestry. I wanted to tell you that I think it is so much more than that. I know you are ethnically Iranian and Iranian in your heart and soul, but I feel that in your spirit you are very American.

Sometimes being an American for me is like a chronic state of existential angst. But I think if we are doing it right, maybe that is what we should be feeling. A truly thoughtful society tends to question and criticize everything, and that is a good thing. If we become complacent and apathetic, then we might as well let Osama bin Laden and friends take over the world.

Being an American is sort of like having a personality disorder (in a good way), because you have to juggle different identities sometimes, but one of the things that makes us a great nation is our schizophrenia! Sometimes it is hard to reconcile two or three or even four different heritages without feeling disloyal to one or the other. To quote Frank McCourt, the author of Angela's Ashes, "...you'd wonder how they'd all get along if someone hadn't invented the hyphen." He was saying that in regards to how we identify ourselves as African-Americans, or Irish-Americans, etc.

We all come from some place else (even Native Americans who came from the steppes and tundra of Asia), and we bring many elements of rich heritages. Here we can blend them all together and create something unique and beautiful. Being American isn't a color, or a religion or a culture so much as it is an idea.

America is an ideal - a desire to be, and speak and feel free. A longing for a better, more just, more charitable, more equitable world. I am proud that you are one of "us", able to embrace two identities (American and Iranian) and the ability to blend them into one whole person. I am glad to have you as my fellow countryman.

God bless you.


Chris Malekani

* Made my decision

My company is having a short vigil for the fallen at noon today and I've been debating all morning whether to attend or not. Your article ["Taking a stand"] has made my decision: I will attend. Not to support nationalism or patriotism per se, nor warmongering, for I consider myself belonging to the nation of humanity first and foremost; but to lend support to and acknowledge the good about America and why I am here and not anywhere else -- in short to take a stand!



* No big deal

I am totally against terrorism but remember we Iran lost nearly two million young people and we lost our country and our family -- not just two buildings. So please don't make a big deal out of this and try to talk about Iranian stuff instead of American.

No name

* Proud to be US citizen

Today, while I was at work, our American neighbor came to our house to say that they noticed our backyard door was open last night (I forgot to close it after watering the lawn); they got concerned and wanted to make sure that my wife and kids were okay.

Americans like this and their acts make this country a special place to live. I'm proud to be a US citizen.


* America has great things to offer

Great job! I found your article amazing ["Taking a stand"]. I do agree with you although I'm not even an American citizen. America has great things to offer, to call freedom as the most important one. It is important that we, Iranians, do not ever forget that we are living in the US for the great things that this nation has to offer and we do need to be grateful, especially now. More power to you.

You should not feel miserable for what you said. Your capability of expressing your true feelings, feelings that most of us have fear to express, is amazing and you should be proud of yourself. Would it be fair that now, at the time of need, we Iranians, who are living here, working here, studying here, taking advantage of every single opportunity here, turn our back to them? Definitely not! Let's appreciate what we have while we have it.


Yeganeh Mashayekh

* Bonds between us

As one person to another, I simply wish to thank the kind people who have expressed sympathy for our losses.

I noted one of your columnists wrote about tiring of having to prove he has a heart ["I am tired"]. It grants insight into how many decent folks are feeling in Iran, in other Muslim countries, and elsewhere. I appreciate more the effort being put forth.

Neither of our countries can be called collections of saints, nor can any country. Perhaps naively, I assume most people share similar concerns, on life and death, on family harmony, on community building, on parenting, and so on. These are bonds between us that can be understood and shared, to strengthen all of civilization.

Good seeds can be sown in dark times; I hope we all can continue to reflect upon all that can be grown together as we look past the controlling instincts of most governments and reach out to each other as ordinary folks and create life-fulfilling moments.

Again, many thanks for your hearts;

Kevin A. Hayden

* The exorcist

I'm one of your faithful reader who lives in Paris, France. I know you through your website. Iranian.com is one of the best websites which have multiple articles with different points of view. But let me say my idea about what was happened in NY in 11th of September 2001. First like everybody I was shocked. I think about these poor people who worked in those skyscrapers.

But now some things are disturbing to me: Why in are there some people who hate the United States that much? Why are there some lives consided better than others? Why can some countries bomb others without any image of the dead and destroyed buildings being on TV? Why is it considered normal for Iraqis and Palestinians to die? Why does an American child have a greater right to live than an Arab child? For how long will only Americans represent humanity?

I thought you (as other people who have the same analysis than you) will never fall in CNN's trap ["Taking a stand"]. You can't imagine how reporting from on TV manipulates you. Melodrama is necessary to create "good" and "evil". You will see now how "good" will treat "evil".

Everybody saw on TV how 5 or 6 "evil" people danced while they heard about the tragedy facing "good" people. Nobody saw "evil" blood shed by "good". Nobody said "evil" was a creation of "good". "Evil" used have another manifestation; an exorcist called America came and saved Russia. But the "evil" spirit is now in a Middle Eastern body. Now the exorcist wants to take away "evil" from these people's body, as if they have not suffered enough by war, famine, exodus and poverty.

Oh, I forgot that these "evil" people don't have Gap caps on their head and they never use Gillette blades; they have beards. They never wear Levi's but their own clothes. These people have to become much more civilized and wear clothes like other people around the world. Starngely, they never go shopping for Christmas. Look how wild they are. "Good" will teach them.

Maybe I have this specific Middle Eastern paranoia. But there is some truth in my opinion and you know that. I'm sure some other readers share these ideas.


* Sensationalism

Why is the West sensationalizing the sensational?! The meaningless pseudo-religious rhetoric about "Good" and "Evil" used by Mr Bush has no place in practical politics, nor has it ever. Clearly every nation, as part of an international community, is positively blood drenched! Every nation harbours terrorists and funds genocide, both directly and indirectly. Such is the nature of international politics.

There are fundamentalist "Muslim" organisations in the Islamic world, fanatical "Jewish" groups in Israel, and extremist "Christians" in America. All are similar. How can any nation gain a moral high-ground? (Unfortunatelly there are such things as nation states). This is obviously a tragic event on a human scale. What it is not is a battle between good and evil. I advise the President to read some Nietzsche. (He notably envokes Zarathustra).


* Some day

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us ["Taking a stand"]. You've put things into perspective.

Say what you will about Iran -- it is one of very few countries in the Middle East where a significant number of people actually seem to care about democracy, openness, and rule of law. Some day, these people will win out.

I imagine that many of your Iranian readers will respond positively.

All the best,

Josh Pollack

* Why beat your own kind?

The first 3 to 4 paragraphs of your article were awful ["Holy smoke"]. I cannot think of any Iranian living in the states (or in Iran, except of course for some disturbed and demented religious fanatics) who might rejoice at this horrible event even if some of us don't agree with all the policies of this country. Why beat your own kind in the middle of this ignorance that surrounds us already ?

You must realize that some Americans read your articles and may not understand that we Iranians like to criticize ourselves a bit too much and may actually think that some of us rejoiced at this.

Of course, I know that you are horrified at this terrible act of violence but the way you show it is awkward. Most Iranians are very decent people. You should never have presumed that it was otherwise.

Another note: Mr. Peyvand Khorsandi's article "I'm afraid, pops" was in very poor taste for many reasons. George Bush Sr. is a decent person and many Iranians and americans voted for him and then for his son.

Let's stop these stupid jokes about them.

Mariam Assar

* Not responsible for lunatics

I admit that what happened was so horrible that I do not think even horrible is the right word for it. Unfortunately, so many INOCCENT lives were lost and that left their surviours to grieve for the rest of their life. Indeed, the loss of ANY INNOCENT man, woman and child is a tragedy. May the soul of all those innocent people who were killed in new york be in peace.

However, it saddens me to see that some innocent lives are valued more than others. Here is an article that I hope you post it in Iranian times. If you decide otherwise, then please at least try to bring to attention other atrocities that are happening. Let associate the word terrorism to those who terrorize innocent women, children and men and not only those who only oppose the interest of some third country.

Here is the article:

The wickedness and awesome cruelty of a crushed and humiliated people

By Robert Fisk
The Independent, UK
12 September 2001

So it has come to this. The entire modern history of the Middle East ­ the collapse of the Ottoman empire, the Balfour declaration, Lawrence of Arabia's lies, the Arab revolt, the foundation of the state of Israel, four Arab-Israeli wars and the 34 years of Israel's brutal occupation of Arab land ­ all erased within hours as those who claim to represent a crushed, humiliated population struck back with the wickedness and awesome cruelty of a doomed people.

Is it fair ­ is it moral ­ to write this so soon, without proof, when the last act of barbarism, in Oklahoma, turned out to be the work of home-grown Americans? I fear it is. America is at war and, unless I am mistaken, many thousands more are now scheduled to die in the Middle East, perhaps in America too. Some of us warned of "the explosion to come''. But we never dreamt this nightmare >>> FULL TEXT

Siamack Farshi

* Worth it?

It is so hard to imagine that such awful things are created by humans; one against another. Since the events on Tuesday, I have had nothing but nightmares and flashes of the awful pictures on the TV set.

I would like to ask these people is it worth it? Thousands of families: mothers, children, fathers ruined by actions that are called "Islamic". Islam does not support such acts of hate and violence. Islam supports good and honest people. Not coward murderers. Why hide if you know you are not doing something bad?

This should be an event where all relegions, all ethnicities, all nations join together to show to all gods include Allah that people can be good and people can be loved. It is a sad sad day in the history of the world. My heart goes out to everyone.

I know this has made a huge impact on my life as an Iranian-American citizen of the "free world".

Thank you for your time.

Samaneh Tavalali

* Life goes on

I contemplated sending an email this week as it is rather difficult to think of celebrations and fun during tragic times like this. Several of the events and programs are postponed and canceled any way. But I decided to do it as I also like to take this opportunity to say a few words...

I condemn the senseless and cruel murder of so many innocent people, and the destruction of NY landmarks that are dear to me as I used to work in 7 WTC (the 47 story sibling of the tall twins which also collapsed later that day.) New York, a truly one of a kind city in the world, will never be the same againt without the twin towers. And I knew people who worked in those bldgs, many of them iranians. My condolences to all family and friends of those who lost their lives.

What happened on 9/11 destroyed and devastated many lives directly, but it will continue to do indirectly so for some time. Regardless of who committed such horrific crimes, we are going to be impacted by this. This was not an attack just on USA and its government but on its people which includes us iranian- americans. in fact, among those killed, there were iranians. For one, I just read about an Iranian mother who was in one of the flights.

Naturally those involved in this in any way will be severely punished, but so will many other innocent people in the process. No one is going to benefit from this. And we all will feel the aftermath of this for times to come.

It seems that this makes the world a less desirable of a place to be in than it was till last sunday. but one must also ask, what is it that can drive humans to commit crimes of such proportion?! What sort of crimes have been committed against them and their people that drives them to do this? It is a vicious cycle in which we all end up losing -- eventually.

But life goes on and we must carry on...

May we some day -- or at least those after us -- see a better world than the one we live in today.


Farshid Ketabchi

* Radicalism danger to all free people

I thank you for this article ["Taking a stand"]. I am a retired US combat soldier and about American as you can get (my family has been here since the late 1600's). So to some people I suppose I am the enemy. I believe that your article sums up nicely the ideas of all people who really wish to understand what is going on in the struggle against radicalism.

Radicalism is a danger to all free people regardless of its origins. Radical elements wish to polarize opinions and remove the possibility of civilized debate. In this, those elements were successful. By conducting this attack, knowing full well that the United States has to respond in a forceful manner, they have succeeded in polarizing public opinion.

Now the lines have been drawn. It is sad to say that this well thought out and determined attack against the United States will set back the progress that I believe has been made in a more balanced view of the situation in the Middle East.

Contrary to the beliefs of the fanatic elements, I was beginning to see a shift in attitudes towards Middle East, at least among the people I associate with. In a democracy, this is where the change begins.

Unfortunately, I fear the face of Islam will once again be primarily viewed as one of terrorists, rather than one of people struggling for justice and equality. This, I am sure, was the goal of those who conducted this attack upon the United States. I sincerely hope that we will eventually gain the upper hand in the struggle against radicalism of all types.

You are to be commended for your excellent article.

Chris Hopper

* Where will you stand?

This is a most unfortunate event destroying many innocent lives. Howeverm this attack seems to have been perpetuated by a variety of factors, mainly a profound separation among the Western and non-Western cultures.

I sympathize with all of the families that lost loved ones and the people who themselves perished in this terrible tragedy.


Stephen Hojjat

* Faulting parent

As a Middle-Eastern immigrant, I consider America my second home and feel loyal to this country ["Taking a stand"]. However, just as a child has the right to fault a parent, I too feel that I can criticize America's harsh stance in regards to the Middle East as well as many other parts of the world.

America has always meddled and interfered with the internal affairs of other countries. Nicaragua, Iran and many other countries have suffered because of this interference. If a country expects respect and sympathy from other countries, it is only fair that it extends the same to the rest of the world.

American leaders must be aware of the fact that the U.S. policies against many other nations have caused much resentement and hatred. We are now vulnerable to that hatred through terrorist and horrifying acts.

America should reconsider its involvement and leave other countries alone. I think of this quote and it makes much sense to me today "To have peace, we must first work for justice".

Let's pray for better days.


* Stop feeling guilty

Thank you. Thank you for expressing eloquently what needs to be said more often ["Taking a stand"]. It is time that we stop feeling guilty about articulating our love and admiration for the countries where we live. America, for all its shortcomings is all about the ideals of justice and liberty. And there are times when we have to be unequivocal in our support, unequivocal in condemning those mass murderers who so savagely attack it. Surely, this is that time.

A. Shahmolki

* There is comfort

I as an American citizen born and raised I thank you all for you wonderful thoughts to all of Americans at this time ["Taking a stand"]. There is comfort knowing there are other countries are mourning as we are.

Judi St. Pierre

* Nice to hear

Thank you for your editorial "Taking a stand", even though you say it was hard for you to write.

I am not Iranian or connected to Iran in any way - just an American who happens to find your website interesting. I read a lot of angry things about this country in your website and usually just take them with a grain of salt. But it was nice to hear you take the time to talk about some of the good things about this country.

Thank you,

Patricia Holt

* I understand

Wow. What an article ["Taking a stand"]. I know it had to be difficult to write. I can feel the emotion flowing from your keyboard. Thanks for sharing...

It has been a difficult time for us all - I understand. In the college in my community some Middle Eastern students were forced to leave the student union and many are afraid to go to class. It's sad to me - I'll go escort them, defend their rights.

I understand how you can be ashamed of your fellow countrymen, yet love them, and your country dearly.

Keep up the excellent writing and good luck.

Wade W

* Fanaticism should be a crime

Chances are that if the World Trade Center had been called something like Silverstein Plaza from day one, it would still be standing. There is reason to believe that the terrorists considered the World Trade Center to be an all powerful organization conspiring for the economic subjugation of the world, the way they would perhaps regard the UN in relation to diplomacy or the CIA in relation to military intelligence. They may have been too dim to realize that WTC was only a pair of tall office towers where anyone who desired a prestigious address with spectacular views and could cough up the rent, could have leased office space.

After all, there are many people around the world who think of IMF as an evil organization handing out painful austerity measures and violating the sovereignty of nations. Can someone educate them that it is simply a large investment fund with a highly charitable cause and austerity measures, for right or wrong, are sometimes attached to a loan because their incompetent or corrupt governments pleaded for bailout in the wake of bankruptcy?

Can anybody educate the anti-globalization activists about the Competitive Advantage Theory? It is not half as complicated as the outright flawed Surplus Value Theory. And speaking of that theory, can somebody point out the overwhelming failure of socialism around the world to all the Marxists still at large? Before the fall of Berlin wall you could have taken a misguided person for the most compact tour of Socialism and Capitalism in divided Berlin, letting them pick their rational preference from a lineup. You would have found out that dim believers would never be convinced.

There are even a great many politically inclined people in the world who don't know the difference between the CIA and AFL-CIO labot unions due to lexical similarity of acronyms.

The world is perhaps getting too complex for the average mind to fully comprehend. What do we do about ignorance before it undermines our open society and hopes for a prosperous global capitalism? Who is able to school people who disrespect academia and at the same time dismiss Hollywood and Madison Avenue?

By definition, Ignorance is a condition of depravity from knowledge. Ignorance combined with action can often produce an unfortunate mistake and that is how one learns from mistakes. But given our worldwide web and the global facility and fluidity of obtaining and sharing knowledge, it is about time to consider declaring a certain kind of ignorance, one laced with arrogance, irreverence and refusal to learn to be a crime. As such, all deranged fanatics would be liable criminals and civilization would not have to give them a chance to throw a first punch before punishing them by stripping them of their free and equal citizen status.

Hojat Salehi
New York

* I know Islam did not cause this

Events have moved quickly since your "Fucking moron" letter in The Iranian. Lists of hijackers have been made. Most of them have traditional Saudi names. Who you think did it? What do you think their motivation was? Who funded them? Which (individuals, groups, or countries) assisted them?

I am an American. I am Catholic. I know Islam did not cause this. One doesn't judge Islam by the acts of Muslims. One judges Muslims by the words of Islam. My country has done wrong in the past and will continue to do so in the future. I have sinned before and will sin again. Like no man can be perfect; neither can a country be perfect run by men. When my country is wrong I say so. When our allies are wrong I say so.

Please look to the Qur'an for answers as I have looked in my Bible. Never worry what men think; worry what God thinks.



* Restraint and respite

Dear Professor Mirfendereski, ["Defining moment"]

As always, I began reading your article with an unfailing enthusiasm and when reached the last line I was filled with admiration and pride. It takes a great deal of courage and confidence to speak of restraint and respite in this climate of revenge and fury.

While most of the feature writers are jumping at the opportunity to appease the public or lament the loss, you are inviting the awakened giant to revise her failed policies that are now the cause her own suffering.

One is reminded the words of Naaser Khosrow: "chon neek nazar kard par-e khish dar aan deed, gofta ze ke naalim ke az maast ke bar maast".

With regards,


* Each country is different

I read Mr. Guive Mirfendereski article ["Defining moment"] carefully, but I was very surprised by his conclusion: "Instead of supporting tin-horned dictatorships in the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere, including the Caspian region, the United States should be fostering republican democracies, preferably secular, where dissent can be expressed at the ballot box. If that means to jilt the status quo regimes, so be it. There will be nothing new in that, nor will the oil stop flowing."

If I clearly understand Mr. Mirfendereski, you are simply using the extremism perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists, as an argument to justify American Foreign intervention in toppling dictatorial existing regimes in the middle east and the Caspian in order to foster republican democracies. I am afraid you are simply redefining what proved dominated American foreign policy during the Cold War and that is the "Domino Effect" theory.

You compare Islamism (and not Islam) with communism as the ideology of this century. However the Domino Effect should I remind you consisted of saying that if one non communist government was to be toppled by a communist rebellion all surrounding countries would fall into the same situation because they would be backed by the then Cold War super powers which were the Soviet Union, and China.

In the case of the Middle East and the Caspian states your theory cannot be applied. Firstly you are associating democracy with secular democratic republics, and local monarchies of the region as dictatorships. I am afraid that the global solution you advocate, is not only simplistic but dangerous.

I do not see why Jordan or Morroco (which is in North Africa true but is part of the Islamic world) should be replaced by secular republics. Despite their imperfections they are actually preparing their countries to become if not totally democratic at least more open and more respecting of human rights and public opinion. They are also strenthening their ties with the West. This may be more difficult for Jordan whose political stability strongly depends on good relations with its other Arab neighbors but also with Israel and Palestine. Nothing guarantees that democracy equals republic. Not only in the Middle East but the world. And vice-versa, nothing guarantees that a monarchy equals democracy, unless it is based on a democratic constitution.

In order to achieve a political and, hopefully someday, a democratic, and if possible peaceful, transition in the Middle East, (the Caspian issue is too far fetched and I believe out of context of the Middle East conflict) one has to take into account the paricularities of the different states in the region.

Most republican states in the Middle East or the Maghreb with the exception of Turkey, Egypt (under Sadat and today's Hosni Mubarak), or Tunisia, were in fact backing Islamic terrorism for years. You yourself mentioned Colonel Qadafi, but you can add, Syria's Hafez-al Assad to the list. These republics are far from being democratic. If the late King of Morroco, or King Hussein of Jordany prepared their democratic or at least peaceful transition it is mainly due to the fact that they took account of what happened in Iran in 1979.

As for the republics mentioned such as Turkey which desperately wants to enter the European Community, and Egypt both have to deal with Islamic extremists. On the other hand a country like Tunisia, caught between Libiya.and Algeria, is a small country which has progressed towards more freedom than its neigbours with close ties with European Democracies and yet has recently been accused of lacking human rights. Justified or not, it is nevertheless the only country in the region which is closer to reaching democracy, if intelligently handled, and if it is not thrown into premature debates.

One has to fight terrorism, but one cannot advocate that the global solution to the Middle East is to topple existing states and replacing them with secular republics. The peace process in the Middle East has to take into account the history and the particularities of each country. However I'm afraid the tragic events in New York have totally undermined the peace process.


Darius Kadivar

* Terrorism's growth casued by U.S.

Well done! "Holy smoke" was not a quick conclusion at all. Do you forget how many Muslims have been killed by America's millitary? Millions. The United States caused the growth of terrorism in the world by its anti-Islamic policy.

On Sep 11, thousands of Americans dedicated their life to change American forigin policies towards Middle East. It is time that the Americans to show their wisdom and have a role in the policy of their country.

Mehra Bani

* Average working class American










* Terrorism is the Great Satan

Our country America is beautiful, peaceful, and fun to be in. Otherwise why would you be here? Yes a melting pot of all races, so how can anyone degrade it. If someone is paranoid for any reason, there is medication you can get prescribed.

If you don't like it here, the door is open, no one here is trapping you to stay, on the other hand if you want to stay you are welcome. But at least walk the land with self respect, and if you represent a different land at least set a good example for them.

Any one can be rude, angry, just plum down right a pain in the ass. But is takes a great deal of strenghth, self control, and understanding to be a good human being.

And as far as religion, it doesn't matter who believes in what prophet, "what matters is how that religious information causes an individual to act, or how a nation acts."

So far, it is difficult for me to find good in the Moslem belief, because everyone seen with this belief seems so hard hearted, so greedy, so abusive to themselves, and to others, and it sure would be nice to see peaceful, calm, understanding, sensitive, and kind spirits or (personalities) from any religion.

So terrorists need to be reborn or die because they are of no use on Earth. Terrorism is the Great Satan and terrorist should be burned (of course in the name of Allah).

Any how why can't we just all get along?


* Emotional behavior, not racism

I phoned to my parents in Iran. All of them were worried and shocked about the event. I am worried too not because of myself in here but because of my country ["I am tired"]. It is easy to cover the event and to get revenge by invading Iran. I am very concerned that the US will target Iran but their attention is on Osama bin Laden. The latest news indicates that his network is in Afghanistan and Azerbaijan (amongst other places) but not Iran. Places where the Wahabi sect is strong or has influence.

I watched the memorial services on TV. The one from London attended by the Queen was very moving. The Archbishop of Canterbury's sermon was excellent.

I am an Iranian born after the revolution. This is not new for me. I am tired and sad but I am not afraid at all . I was scared in Iran when martyrs were being carried in the street by some outraged and emotional people. We never had courage to go to the street with short sleeve shirts or even a smile (not laughing) while passing the ceremony.

I saw many times these people beatting people up because of their different behavior in the street. Did we have racism in Iran? So that's not the reason. In these situations people are so emotional even they don't care not only about their compatriot but about their playmate. This is the feeling that makes us far from civilization and free-thinking.

In these days, let's think about American's anger as emotional behavior, not racism.

Re Liable

* Shame

A family friend was in a meeting at the very top of WTC 1 when the terrorist attacks occurred on Tuesday. He called his wife to say he is OK and is coming down. He was not heard from again. They have two young children and a dog. Olivia, their five-year-old, is a sweet girl with long curly blond hair and big eyes, and for three days has been grabbing onto any and all adults for reassurance. "My Dad was in the building," she says. "Who will give me hugs?"

To those who have, in this site and at other places, explained and justified the attack using arguments about injustices to the Palestinians, to Iran, the overthrow of Mossaddegh, Hiroshima, colonialism, Zionism, western racism, exploitation of our oil: shame. To those who danced in the streets in joy: nothing but shame.

There is a difference between combat that unintentionally results in death of civilians and acts aimed at causing the death of innocent civilians. For the latter there is no justification, nor should any excuse or explanation be made. It is pure evil, standing separate from all other human endeavors.

I. I. Rahmim

* The good neighbor

From Canadian television commentator, Gordon Sinclair, published in many a newspaper, read on the air by ABC's Peter Jennings, and sent as a widely distributed email message Thursday September 13.

This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them?

Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American planes?

Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several times - and safely home again.

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them.

When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."

Stand proud, America!

* Fear and ignorance

In reaction to the article "Blond or bearded" by Setareh Sabety, I am American who totally agrees with what your reaction speaks of to the recent-Sept 11 bombing of the World Trade Center.

I especially agree with your statements about Muslim fanatics (I'm not Muslim and don't judge all Muslim/MiddleEasterners by one particular group! Just as "fanatical" Christians---spark fear of other peoples and their religions!) I also feel that President Bush's policies will only render fear and IGNORNACE among American families.

I'm sending you a copy of a letter I recently wrote to several religious sites. I would like your opinion on my letter. My feelings about the The bombings are not of political and financial (as the media claims) but of GOD. I sense that you are a very intelligent and humane person.

Here's a phrase from a letter that I sent to various religious sites


Ignorance Breeds Separation of God and his Children

Ignorance Breeds the idea of "have and have nots

Ignorance Breeds the Damnation of All People

Ignorance Breeds on the WWW

Ignorance Breeds Hatred

Ignorance Breeds Disinformation

Ignorance Breeds YOU and ME

Ignorance Breeds Ignorance

Full Text of Letter: //ladystone_319.tripod.com/why.html

Peace and Thanks

Yalda Stonewall
(I'm an American who chose a Persian name--because Persia is the Cradle of Western Civilization)

* Fighting words

I am a big fan of The Iranian. I have watched with interest as your forum has grown and developed. I have cheered from the sidelines as this vital channel for communication has evolved into an high quality, free exchange of ideas.

While I certainly support freedom of speech and open and fair journalism, I do believe that in an attempt to uphold freedom of expression, you have gone too far in printing some of the bonafide hate mail you have received. I am referring specifically to the letter of September 12 entitled "Get out".

These sentiments are pure expressions of hatred of the most repugnant kind and should not be given a forum for expression. There is enough hatred in our world already. It is not your job to give it a voice. I believe the legal terminology here in American law that is already in existence describes certain words as "fighting words".

The previously mentioned letters certainly fall under that category. Freedom of expression is the legal right of all of us in this country. To my knowledge, however, Americans do not have a legal right to use "fighting words".

I know of no major respected journalism organization that prints hate mail in their Letters To The Editor section. Why should your magazine be any different? Please keep your journalism standards high. We're ALL counting on you.


Lisa Mehdipour

* Ever expressed condolensces to Palestinians?

In reply to "I get a little mad":

So let me get this straight: you get on the internet and do a net search on something, anything that sounds or conjures up the image of Islam to you. So you pick "Iranian", and voila, you get iranian.com. Why didn't you pick "Arab"? The suspects are probably arab, so why exactly did you come to OUR site?

You have probably never in your life visited iranian.com up till now. So you enter our site and you're looking for some revenge or something, you want to piss someone off, release some heat, correct? So you write a stupid inane letter. what are you trying to prove?

Let me ask you something: in reference to your comment about those few palestinians you supposedly saw rejoicing instead of grieving and expressing condolensces-do YOU ever express your condolensces when Israeli bullets and Israeli missiles kill innocent Palestinians including children??? DO YOU? Bullets and missiles which "YOU and YOUR FATHER'S tax dollars" have paid for? Do you ever give a fuck when a young Palestinian who's lost all of his brothers and his father to israeli bullets because of the military occupation also loses his wife and kids? Do you ever grieve or weep for them?? No, I don't think you do.

For the record Palestinian leaders have condemned the attack, and most ordinary palestinians have also simply because of revulsion. But maybe you would understand how those few Palestinians who just don't give a fuck might reach that conclusion, because it is YOUR tax dollars that are directly funding their continued misery.

Frankly that's all I have to say to you.


* Muslims by default

I commend you on your article posted on your website the other day ["Darkest day"]. I feel that you felt a sense of duty to post the article as a method of realist expression, that is what makes this country so great!

The people who have attacked you regarding you article are from the same camp that pushed for the revolution behind the name of Islam. I myself am a Muslim, but have basically renounced the religion because I feel that it does not stand for the basic tenets of humanity.

Furthermore, Islam is not a Persian entity, and I will not give support to or have faith in something so "Anti-Persian". Let's face it, Islam is not a progressive religion. It will not stand for religious or ethnic tolerance; in Islam's views you are either with them or against them.

Most, and I must reiterate the word MOST, Iranians are Muslims by default. They recognise that it is their choice to be religious or not! In summary, do not ever let these zealots discourage you from printing the truth. Freedom, Democracy and the Rule of Law will conquer all evil, and I am certain in due time it will conquer & salvage our great Iran!!


Babak Kalhor

* Since when?

I could't read more than first first four lines of Eqbal Latif's article ["Darkest day"].

1- Since when Baghdad become more important than Neyshaboor, Rey and other Iranian cities where Mogols burnned Lib. and observatories? Blinded people and killed everybody?

2- You too, should remember Arabs burnned cities, books, libraries when they came to Iran. Sorry for the language but please don't for the sake of "Khaye-mali, onam ajaleh, ajaleh" print any thing sent to you. Bcuz "Poost mindazeh, jash mimooneh". (Sorry for the ...)

Shad bashin

* Spend time learning

I hope that the horrific events of the September 11, 2001, will urge all of us to pay more attention of soicial and political problems on our earth and spend a little bit of our time learning, understanding and questioning our country's foreign ploicy... I would like to end my comments by quoting a few line's from Sting's song "Fragile":

"Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence
and nothing ever could"


Arlen Sarkissian

* Searching for meaning

I wanted to share with you an email I received, one of many, that tries to give some maening to the hell breaking loose around us. Amidst all this doom and gloom, which seems to be a beginning of some sort of an era of trials and tribulation for all the world not just the US. It may be a ray of hope that what's happening will force us as it has done in NYC when calamities besiege us to look inside and dig deep into our hearts for an answer and search for meaning.



The horrific events that have taken place in the United States,devastating, heart-breaking and saddening, call to mind the following statements made by Shoghi Effendi about the perils that await the American nation as it rises to fulfill its "role of world spiritual leadership forecast by Abdu'l-Baha". Such writings give empower us to forge forward with optimism, resolved endeavor and hope for solace and peace.



"Whatever the Hand of a beneficent and inscrutable Destiny has reserved for this youthful, this virile, this idealistic, this spiritually blessed and enviable nation, however severe the storms which may buffet it in the days to come in either hemisphere, however sweeping the changes which the impact of cataclysmic forces from without, and the stirrings of a Divine embryonic Order from within, will effect in its structure and life, we may, confident in the words uttered by Abdu'l-Baha, feel assured that that great republic - the shell that enshrines so precious a member of the world community of the followers of His Father - will continue to evolve, undivided and undefeatable, until the sum total of its contributions to the birth, the rise and the fruition of that world civilization, the child of the Most Great Peace and hallmark of the Golden Age of the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah, will have been made, and its last task discharged." 5 June 1947, Citadel of Faith, pp. 37-38

"The American nation, of which the community of the Most Great Name forms as yet a negligible and infinitesimal part, stands, indeed, from whichever angle one observes its immediate fortunes, in grave peril. The woes and tribulations which threaten it are partly avoidable, but mostly inevitable and God-sent, for by reason of them a government and people clinging tenaciously to the obsolescent doctrine of absolute sovereignty and upholding a political system, manifestly at variance with the needs of a world already contracted into a neighborhood and crying out for unity, will find itself purged of its anachronistic conceptions, and prepared to play a preponderating role, as foretold by Abdu'l-Baha, in the hoisting of the standard of the Lesser Peace, in the unification of mankind, and in the establishment of a world federal government on this planet. These same fiery tribulations will not only firmly weld the American nation to its sister nations in both hemispheres, but will through their cleansing effect, purge it thoroughly of the accumulated dross which ingrained racial prejudice, rampant materialism, widespread ungodliness and moral laxity have combined, in the course of successive generations, to produce, and which have prevented her thus far from assuming the role of world spiritual leadership forecast by Abdu'l-Baha's unerring pen - a role which she is bound to fulfill through travail and sorrow." 28 July 1954, Citadel of Faith, pp. 126-127

* Thank god he opened his mouth

Dear Jahanshah, Setareh and Peyvand,

Don't feel bad about your blunders ["Holy smoke"], [Blond or bearded""] and ["I'm afraid, pops"] ; the "Shahinshah" did exactly the same. In talking to a Spanish TV station ["There is a limit"] , A'laa Hazrate Homaayouni az houle halim dar dig oftaad va rouye shomaaraa sefeed kard.(Thanks to Hamid for bringing this to our attention).

It was very nice of the Shahanshah to reveal his immaturity. Thank god he opened his mouth and let us know how shallow his depth of thinking was. Or on the other hand, he may have the first-hand knowledge of the CIA secrets , and like his father,he is trying to recapture the crown by ruining our welfare and reputations.

But his majesty knows well that neither the IRI nor the monarchy has any significant support in today's Iranian society. And what do WE know? By talking to a spanish speaking audience he could be trying to secure a royal position in south America. I am not aware of any royal openinings in the banana republics.Could he be after the Spains's crown?

Stepping back in the aftermath of the terrorist attack and Reza pahlavi's behaviour , I can't help but to muse: har kas be fekre khyshah,kousah be fekre ryshah. One more:I hope the United States is not stupid enough to implicate the IRI in the terrorist act without hard evidence ,if at all.

Any thing short of a 100% proof will solidify the Iranian support for the regime ,as did the Iraqi war.People would rather support their goverment than believe the United States's unfounded calims.


* Let the world know

Dear President Mohammad Khatami,

I as an Iranian asking for your help to bring all those whom were responsible for killing our brothers and sisters from around of the world in American soil.

As Iranian we were and still are a proud nation and even due twenty years ago Iran took Americans as Hostages - never allowed harm to come to them.

We all are children of Adam and Eve and follower of Prophet Abraham, Jesus and Mohammad. Neither Prophet Mohammed nor our holy book Quern have mentioned to kill innocent people nor sit and watch someone else do it in the name of Allah.

Since you are our father to Iranian nation then you can imagine the pain and sorrow your children and your country can endear in this terrorist act.

Then make us proud and let the world knows that Iran and Iranian are peace loving nation and our nation will openly would help United States of America and United Nation to bring these killers to justices.


Abbas Bagheri

* AIC condemns terrorism

American Iranian Council
Princeton, New Jersey
September 11, 2001

"I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land." -- Martin Luther King, Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, 1964

The American Iranian Council condemns in the strongest possible terms the vicious acts of terrorism that occurred in the United States on September 11, 2001, and expresses its deepest sympathy to the victims and their families. AIC urges all its members to provide whatever assistance they can to those suffering, especially with donations of blood and financial support.

AIC welcomes the Iranian government's condemnation of this barbarous act, and it believes that now is the time for Iran to offer full cooperation to the United States in the effort to bring the perpetrators to justice. In the aftermath of this tragedy, we are also presented with an opportunity for the two nations to work together against terrorism and for the good of their people and humanity.

* Horrific massacre of the century

Without a doubt, the heinous terrorist attacks in the United States of America will be recorded as one of the most evil events of the twenty first century. We must declare our abhorrence and disgust and honour the memory of the victims who innocently lost their lives.

Once again, this recent carnage has demonstrated that we cannot and must not ignore terrorism in the world. To find the root cause of today's terrorist actions there is no choice but to question the support of the world super powers for several Middle Eastern terrorist regimes who back international terrorism. Turning a blind eye to state sponsored terrorism for the sake of lucrative financial contracts and imaging that the terror will only effect the dissidents of those regimes has sadly proved fatal for the 'West'.

Today, the disaster with its far-reaching catastrophic dimensions has happened but we must learn form this. We must resolutely condemn terrorism in its entirety and then work to eradicate and destroy the roots of state sponsored terrorism.

The Association of Iranian Researchers

* PWC denounces terrorist attacks

Press Release-(Tuesday September 11, 2001, New York) It is with grave regret and deep sympathy for the families of the victims to witness the horrific loss of precious innocent lives through presumably a concerted number of despicable terrorist acts in the US this morning. The Iranian-American community extends its most heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims.

Persian Watch Council, the Iranian-American Anti Discrimination Council condemns such criminal terrorist actions, and has every confidence that in due course, the Federal authorities will identify the culprits, perpetrators and those behind such crimes and prosecute them with the harshest punishment consistent with American and international laws.

Our Iranian-American Community has equally been impacted by such criminal acts and would continue to provide all possible assistance including blood and financial donations for the victims who are directly impacted by this ordeal in New York City and Washington DC.

Furthermore, we have every confidence in America,s resolve and remain united behind our President, and will contribute towards efforts to ensure that democracy and freedom are preserved for ALL Americans, with safeguards, regardless of national origin.

Freedom and security for all of our citizens must not be compromised even under such strenuous and painful circumstances.

America's Strength is in its diversity and tolerance of diversity. All Americans have suffered due to this horrific deed - Muslims, Christians, Jews and citizens of all ethnic and religious backgrounds.

Board of Supervisors
Persian Watch Council

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