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Letters

May 20, 2004

* Boils down to two facts

One would have thought that with two writers collaberating to produce a single letter [Apocalypse tomorrow], the result would at least have set forth a few well-researched facts. Instead it was like getting a lesson on Greek philosophy from Archie Bunker.

Apart from stating the obvious fact that Bible-believing Christians are a major political force in the US, the notion that conservative Christians have some sort of death-wish for the world is about as well informed as a Hindu who once went to a Christian wedding.

You don't need to be too sharp to understand why these Christian voters influence policy the way the do; it simply boils down to two facts: 1) Christianity stands squarely on Israel as it's foundation. Jesus was a Jew, remember? And everything He did and taught had it's roots in the Jewish nation and it's scriptures. 

Sincere Bible-believers therefore cannot avoid a sense of kinship with Israel and instinctively wish to defend her against some guy in a turban yelling "Death to Israel!" This, in spite of the fact that Jews are still among the staunchest opponents of Christianity.

The second reason is simply that radical Islam has declared itself implacably opposed to Western culture which, for all it's faults still allows Christians to worship and preach Christ in freedom, which they certainly cannot do in Tehran or Riyadh. Therfore, I'm sure you can understand why those same Christian voters will lean to the right when the flake in the turban switches to, "Death to America!"

Just imagine that you are a devout Shiite from Isfahan listening to a KKK rally chanting "Death to Iran!" I don't need to pretend to be an expert in Muslim eschatology to understand how you might react.

Paul MacKinnon

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* Makes sense to me

In responce to Alidad Vassigh's "Equally appalling":

I cannot understand this article and how is your response is relevant to Lawrence Reza Ershaghi's "When they invade Iran".

Lawerence basically says in a nutshell : "What are you going to do if U.S. decides to attack your homeland." He is saying : Whether you like it or not, as a person of Iranian origin, you are tied to politics one way or another. This means that if you remain silent bout Iraq you are tacitlly approving a possible invasion of Iran. And if you are active, then you are opposing invasion of Iran. I see his point and it makes sense to me. But you and anyone are welcome to counter it.

Alidad if you can present an article without four letter words or insults then you can democratically oppose a view. You see, by reading your article I think you are very passionate about your views. We Iranians have a lot of passion about our views, to the point that we often can't tolerate another vew point. Ironically I believe that too much passion brings lack of tolerance and that is one challenge that Iranians are facing in their current path toward democracy. "Khoshoonaat brings Khoshoonat" as they say.

Babak

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* American Christian Zionism

I read your article on millennial fantasies and their implications for the political scene. As an orthodox Christian and member of the Old American Right, I share your perspective on Bush, Christian Zionism, and where all of this is taking American foreign policy in the alliance between the Dispensational Christian Right, the Neo-Cons, and Ariel Sharon.

You might enjoy my essay on this (which has a very lengthy bibliography) here.

I am going to re-post your article with links to the URL on the American Right sites BATR (batr.org) and LibertyPost.org. It will provide those browsers with access to your work and the rest of iranian.com for future reference.

Mark Dankof

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* I call it Pahlavi Complex

Dear Laleh,

when i read your article about Farah Pahlavi [No queen of mine], I became very sad, because you don't have Gucchi or Yves Saint Laurent Couture. I want to help you, please send me a picture of the models you need, and I will get you some of it.

OK, let us be serious again, I want to tell you something about the Pahlavi era, not because I loved or hated them, but because Iranians often still judge biased and one sided about that time, the speak very often against the Pahlavis. The reason why I feel disturbed by that is that people like you often say: we are secularist and Democrats.

Dear Laleh, REAL Democrats always talk about BOTH sides of a matter, about negative and positive aspects. I know what I am talking about, because I saw in my short life (I am 34 years old) Democracy in Westerneurope, Monarchy, Military Regime and Theocracy in Iran, Communism during my time as a student in Hungary and the Birth of Democracy there and later in the Eastern part of Germany (former Communist German Democratic Republic), whith all the problems which occur after such fundamental changes >>> Full text

Schahram Schamsawary

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* Pahlavis had their say

Dear Schahram,

Thank you for your email [I call it Pahlavi Complex]. I read it twice, making sure I could get the jist of your argument. Though I agree with you on many of the points you made, I must clarify some things just for matter of conversation. I hope you don't think that I am being defensive becuase that is not my intention.

Firstly I frown on your argument that I may be too young to understand mechanism of monarchy or democracy [No queen of mine]. Yes I'm 25 but unlike many other 25 year old Iranians I have done much grusome research both academically, and personally. Understading the history of Iran, and contemporary issues has beocme my career lets say. I have travelled to Iran on a number of occasions where I have come into contact with many sorts of people with conflicting interests and opinions.

What I wrote for iranian.com [No queen of mine] was an opinion piece rather than a real historical revisinist excercise. I wrote in simple reply to Mr. Bahamani's claim that we all need a queen in our life [My dream coffee with Farah Pahlavi].

When I criticized the Pahlavis I did not by extension criticize all monarchs.  My entire argument rested on the fact that the monarchy was ousted... for many different reasons. Each party, each person, had their own reasons for supporting the revolution which in hindsight was nothing short of a publicity tour of Khomein's many lies and deceptions which were mechanically bought into.

Speaking of the forces which interplayed in different contexts to bring about the revolution will take much more time than I have to dedicate here. But as I trust that you too are a scholar in this field, I will let it rest here. In my personal opinion, the Pahlavis had their say in the history of Iran, and should not necessarily return to prove their cause again--especailly not after an absence of 25 years.

Lastly, the issue of money....Its not that I oppose people having money or spending it as they wish, and its certaintly not that I am against the monarchy having more money than the average person. What I question is the removal of that money from Iran. Farah is not a queen anymore--so what right does she have to spend the money that is not rightfully hers anymore. Sure the money belongs to the monarchy for the rightfully duty but they forfieted that duty and at the same time took their funds from Iran. It sounds to me like she can have her cake and eat it too. That money doesn't belong to me or you.  It belongs to the collective us--the country.

My problem is not with the monarchy, its with people who romanticize the era. Sure there is always two sides to a coin, but what is the real focus? Why does every joe and his dog present his opinion? is for the betterment of our home country? What are our interests? what is my interest and what is yours? What reason could Farah or Reza Pahlavi have for advocating their causes?

I went to a conference last summer with Reza Pahlavi and what was supposed to be an interactive session of students and youth with him. I saw many young people worshipping Reza as if he was a saviour. I could not help but think if we the Iranians in exile have remained behind in history and in times. It was as though these kids were only aware of the history that their parents had witnessed, they talked and acted like little versions of their parents.

And all this is happening while I am sitting in my comfortable -- though cold house in Canada and you in Germany.  What about the Iranians in Iran?  Most of them don't even have the luxury of putting forth arguments or critical thought.  Though I appreciate your feedback and they many very valid points you raise, our real challenge is looking ahead rather than behind if we are concerned about real changes in Iran.

Laleh Larijani

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* Why ruin it for the Persian cat?

Imagine if Reza Shah had not changed Persia to Iran, and IRI was instead IRP, what do you think the very people that insist in being called Persians and not Iranians would be trying to pass as.

Perhaps it wouldn’t be a good idea to change Iran to Persia. After all why ruin it for the Persian cat, and the Persian rug, or the Persian poet, etc.

Farhad Parham

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* Why ruin it for the Persian cat?

Imagine if Reza Shah had not changed Persia to Iran, and IRI was instead IRP, what do you think the very people that insist in being called Persians and not Iranians would be trying to pass as.

Perhaps it wouldn’t be a good idea to change Iran to Persia. After all why ruin it for the Persian cat, and the Persian rug, or the Persian poet, etc.

Farhad Parham

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* Surprise surprise!

In reply to the Quiz question, "Writing on the wall":

Someone carved their name into a structure at Persepolis - you know, the bearded man with a horse's body with wings. there are many signatures on that statue, including Henry Stanley and a number of Russian and British journalists (surprise surprise!)

Mahan Esfahani

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More letters (May 2004)
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Archive
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May 20, 2004

U.S. foreign policy
* Boils down to two facts
* American Christian Zionism

If U.S. invades Iran
* Makes sense to me
Pahlavi
* I call it Pahlavi Complex
* Pahlavis had their say
Persian vs. Iranian
* Why ruin it?
Quiz
* Surprise surprise!

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