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May 15-19, 2000 / Ordibehesht 26-30, 1379


* Politics:
- Don't know what you're talking about, sir
- If the Shah was in power


* Left:
- Stalinist tone
- Intelligent and passionate

- I am not a sheep
- Cheech Nabavi

* The Iranian:
- Bad taste

- Enzevaa
- Islam not to blame

* Politics:
- Loyalty to God, King, and Country

- Don't distort my words
- Revolutions made by idealists

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May 19, 2000

* Don't know what you're talking about, sir

Letter to U.S. Senator Jesse Helms:

I am an American resident of Iranian origin. I am writing to you in regard to your comments on the World Bank loans to Iran. I am not completely in favor of the Iranian government. But I think that U.S. policy and intervention in my country has been quite hostile, leading toward a crippled economy. These policies and interventions include the 1953 CIA backed coup, the support for the Shah's oppresive regime, support for Iraq during an 8-year war that killed and wounded millions of youth on both sides, and now sanctions.

Tell me sir, with all these actions, don't you think that Iran's economy has been severly damaged as a result? And don't you think that basic health care and sewage, which have suffered directly, is a right of the Iranian people, not to mention everywhere in the world? Therefore I find your comments completely insensitive, irresponsible, and ignorant, with all due respect >>> FULL TEXT

Yashar Mameghan

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* If the Shah was in power

This is a reply to questions raised by Sahar Nahrvar's letter. She wrote:

"Yes it was better when the Shah was around."

In what way was it better? There was freedom on a superficial level only and nothing like what you expect from an even slightly democratic system.

"But still, one wonders, would the Shah not have closed down 16 opposition publications?"

Would he have closed them? The question should be, would such publications be allowed in the first place? Would they have received permission to press and criticise whoever they want? I think the answer is a resounding NO. The control over all media was suffocating and the prisons were full of those even slightly daring to criticise >>> FULL TEXT

Peyman A.

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May 18, 2000

* Stalinist tone

Dr Ali Reza Nourizadeh is probably one of the few rare journalists to have witnessed the dramatic upheavals that shook Iran in 1978-79 from close range. He is a hardworking man with a mature view of his country's current political processus.

I am always appalled by the strong Stalinist tone of some of the more radical so-called Leftist press ["Hezb-e Kargari Iran commentary"]. They seem to indulge in a plethora of accusations and personal mud slinging that always lowers the democratic framework practiced in most civilised socities>>> FULL TEXT

Cyrus Kadivar

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* Intelligent and passionate

Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate and enjoy the fiction of Dr. Ordoubadian ["The up-star woman"]. His narratives are very interesting - intelligently and passionately presented - and his powers of description are extremely strong. He is able to evoke a time and place in a way that pulls the reader into the story.

I look forward to seeing more of his work on your site.

Jane Porter

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May 17, 2000

* I am not a sheep

I found the story intriguing ["The up-star woman"], not so much for the way it ended, but for the spirit of questioning. For the realization that as a person, and as a woman, we do have as intelligent a mind as anyone, and should utilize our powers to investigate truth.

This story envisioned the sad reality that some people tend to follow blindly, like a flock of sheep. They elevate a person into thinking himself superior, and they feed this vanity by accepting themselves as ignorant souls, which will not attain a higher station..

The story depicts beautifully that it needs daring to stand up, to open the eyes, and to say:

"I am not a sheep.
I am as intelligent a being as any one creation of God can be.
I am equal,
I question truth and reality with my own wisdom,
Not with yours..."

Neda Kamranpour

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* Bad taste

I find your cover picture in bad taste and insulting to those who are forced to wear the chador and those who do it because they like to (like my 75-year-old grandmother). What do you accomplish by pictures like these?

Mohammad Taslim

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May 16, 2000

    * Loyalty to God, King, and Country

In response to Sahar Nahrvar's letter to Empress Farah, I respect her right to ask a question and it was done in a "democratic" fashion but with some ambiguous remarks.

The modern Imperial Iranian Armed Forces was a creation of the Pahlavi state which ruled our country for half a century. The 1906 Constitution made the Shah the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. All military personnel swore an oath of loyalty to the King and one would expect that insulting the Shah within that framework would be a grave offence for it would question the loyalty and dedication of an officer to his God, King and Country. Even in the democratic republics a four star general who insults the President runs a risk of a court hearing and in the UK any officer insulting HM Queen Elizabeth would also run into serious trouble. I find it hard to understand why Sahar Nahrvar's father went into the army in the first place >>> FULL TEXT

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* Cheech Nabavi

Is it just me, or did everyone notice Ebrahim Nabavi ["No way back"]looks a lot like "Cheech Marin" of "Cheech and Chong". No wonder he's a satirist! Roll him a joint and he will be an Iranian Cheech!

Mrsynaky Irani

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    * Enzevaa

    Salaam, man az Iran baraayeh shomaa mail miferstam. omidvaaram keh hamegi khoob baashid va az inkeh in site raa raah andaazi kardid tabrik migooyam va tashkor mikonam va omidvaaram keh harcheh bishtar betavaanid dar moa'refi-ye Iran aziz movafagh baashid taa az in enzevaa kami biroon biyaaeem. baa aarzooyeh iraani behtar va aazadi bishtar, khodaa negahdaar.

    Farzad Kermani

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May 15, 2000

* Islam not to blame

Massoume Price is a little too eager to blame Islam for all the injustices against Iranian Jews and other minorities during the past 1,400 years ["Ups and (mostly) downs"]. The problem is not Islam. The primary problem is people who represent Islam. The problem is power.

Judaism cannot be blamed for what Israel does to Palestinians. Just as Christianity was not at fault for what the Nazis did to the Jews. And Hinduism is not to blame for what Hindus have done to Muslims in India, or Islam for what Muslims have done to Hindus in Pakistan. And Protestant Christianity cannot be considered the reason why Catholics have been oppressed in Northern Ireland. And Christianity cannot be held responsible for atrocities against Muslims in Kosovo or Bosnia. And Christianity was not the force behind the near extermination of Native Americans. It was the excuse.

It is interesting that Zoroastrian Iran -- as Ms. Price has noted -- was at times tolerant and at other times intolerant towards non-Zoroastrians. Iran under Islam has also had a mixed past in its relationship with minorities. Why? Did the ruling religion change? Or did rulers change their interpretation of religion for their benefit?

Religions extremists carry out their evil deeds in the name of God. But I would not blame God.

Roxana Oskouie

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* Don't distort my words

In response to K. Hoseini: I had earlier told another person that I did not mean that the war was created by the mollas, I simply said it was spurred on in unneccesary ways, such as the emplyment of children, which in any event or stage of war is a crime against your own. The war was started by Saddam Hussein over issues of control over the Shatt Al Arab, control of Khuzestan, and various other reasons, but mainly because the U.S. was playing a heavy role in acting through Hussein...

You champion Khomeini so easily because he didn't actually pick up a gun himself, but spoke through his suboordinates and told them to carry out the deeds. This even brings me back to my point about the war, in which he created an extremely persuasive sentiment to prolong the war for religious reasons and not for self defense, and you are blind if you cannot see that...

Don't distort my words. I wasn't in Iran for reasons totally unrelated to the revolution, and it was only a matter of returning that has held me back. So don't give me these smug asshole remarks about me deserting my country. Some of our situations are different from yours. I guess you left later than those who initially left because of the oven temperature, huh? A real patriot to stay in your country >>> FULL TEXT

Maziar Shirazi

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* Revolutions made by idealists

I write to respond to K. Hoseini--who rightfully has written her thoughts on the matter. I agree that we are all entitled to our opinion and to agree or disagree with the opinions of others. However, I do NOT agree with calling passion and idealism "pie in the sky", nor can I tolerate your twisting of an argument made by Maziar Shirazi into what you call verbose, ignorant, and it insinuating a false sense of nationalism. The fact that you do call someone else's passion "pie in the sky" speaks rather loudly as to who left or would leave "when the kitchen got hot."... Maziar wrote that letter in response to someone who defended closing the mouthpiece of the people and the people who did it--are you opposed to that? ...

I suggest that instead of satisfying you own ego with the trifling response you wrote attacking someone who cares about these issues, you might want to think what it is that you are saying. And rather than tear people down to your level of defeat and pessimism, you might want to encourage idealism from young Iranians in this country and especially in Iran. Sorry if this was too verbose for you--but let me leave it at this: Revolutions are not started by the cynical and embittered, they are in fact started by people who have "pie in the sky" passions >>> FULL TEXT

Roozbeh Shirazi

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