Good vs. Evil, again

Satrapi's film is not much different from Bush's and Sarkozy's official line on Iran


Good vs. Evil, again
by hoder

Marjane Satrapi's film, Persepolis must have made George Bush and his new ally, Nicolas Sarokzy, quite happy. After all, despite Satrapi's rhetoric against the two leaders, her film's core argument is one that Bush and Sarkozy have long been busy constructing: the evil state versus the wonderful people.


Aesthetically, Persepolis is a refreshing and beautiful black-and-white animation, but it is also built on a black-and-white viewpoint of Iran.

Satrapi's world is divided into two very separate groups: you are either with Marjane, in which case you'd are a nice, warm human being with properly drawn features; or you are against Marjane, and therefore either a black spectre with no human face features or an angry robot who represents the Iranian state. There is no one in between in Marjane's world; no shade of grey between this dichotomy of evil state versus wonderful people.

This is not much different from Bush's and Sarkozy's official line on Iran.

"We admire your rich history, your vibrant culture, and your many contributions to civilization," Bush said in 2006. "The greatest obstacle to this future is that your rulers have chosen to deny you liberty and to use your nation's resources to fund terrorism, and fuel extremism, and pursue nuclear weapons."

Sarkozy said in 2007 that Iran represents "the most important problem on the international scene." He added, however, that it was important to distinguish between the Iranian regime and the people of Iran. He stressed that it was crucial to "assure the people of our respect".

This binary logic, on which Persepolis is also built on, might look like an improvement on the all-evil logic that was previously used in Hollywood to depict nations resistant to the United States. (In the early 1990s, Sally Field and Alfred Molina starred in Not Without My Daughter which made sure all aspects of Iranian life and culture were vilified.) But in fact the new logic is far more dangerous.

The narrative is simple: an evil state has taken its good people hostage and is planning to destroy the planet with its dangerous weapons. The good states now must both liberate these innocent people from their evil rulers and remove the threat of such weapons by toppling those rulers. But you can't liberate a people if they are as evil as their state, so you always need to have good people. Hence the never-ending wave of memoirs by Iranian women whom we are supposed to liberate, starting with the controversial memoir by Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran.

In fact, US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in 2003 that the Iraqi people were in large measure hostages to the vicious regime of Saddam Hussein, and continued that "with a minimal loss of life on the part of the Iraqi people, because it's not a war against the Iraqi people, it's a war against the Iraqi regime," the regime would be gone. He added that it is "important that the people of Iraq be liberated".

Satrapi makes no effort to break this stereotypical image of Iran. Even though she knows - and shows in the film - how the middle and lower-class Iranian rulers came to power after a massive revolt against a deeply corrupt and tyrannical monarchy; and despite the existential threats against the new state ever since, its political system is fairly representative, fragmented and diverse. (Where in Europe or North America can the son of a blacksmith suddenly ascend to presidency out of nowhere and unhesitatingly start holding the rich and the powerful accountable?)

There are two other aspects of its narrative, which makes Persepolis even more of an instrument of the continuous worldwide psychological operation against Iran.

Satrapi's film shows her family as a typical Iranian family and symbolises herself as one of the several million Iranian women who are continuity being oppressed by the evil government.

The more accurate narrative is that Satrapi's family, with their leftist secular leanings, their wealth and western way of life, can only represent a tiny fraction of the entire Iranian population. That's perhaps why she reduces an eight-year bloody defence by Iran against the Euro-American backed Iraqi invasion in the 1980s, right after the Iranian revolution, to a pointless mass suicide mission of young Iranian boys who were fooled by their rulers' use of plastic keys to heaven. (Ironically, the part in the book about the western-backed use of chemical weapons by Iraq against Iranian soldiers was dropped from the film.)

The film also never points out that Marjane is not only exaggerating in showing Iran as a police state where for every woman who runs in the street or touches a male hand in a car, there are at least a team of bearded, angry policemen who suddenly appear on the scene and warn them. Even the Taliban never managed to be that fast and efficient.

But worse is that while it is true that the Iranian society and obviously its rulers were less tolerant of dissent and were more religiously and socially conservative 20 years ago when most of Marjane's story mainly happens, the film fails to remind the viewer that the today's Iran is remarkably different from those days.

Anyone who has visited Iran in the past years (Rageh Omaar, for instance) can testify how a young and curious population has opened up the society and made the also younger rulers more relaxed in terms of life and culture - and this flexibility and pragmatism is mainly why it has managed to survive for almost 30 years now. But Persepolis sells us the story of an Iran that doesn't exist any more.

This article first appeared in The Guardian.


more from hoder

Yes let’s – To Monda and Niloufar

by Cameron Batmanghlich (not verified) on

Dear monda, no more talk about Marjane … I am tiered of it too and the only reason I am posting this one is to show you the courtesy of responding to your last sincere and kind post.


Yes … let all of Iranians, interested in Iran - even if we do not live there - get together and produce something of value that lessens constant threats by non-Iranians. The Iranians in Iran are doing a perfect job by making lots of peoples' lives a hell through threats and unjustified force.

Let’s write and protest and make our voices heard … and scream ‘DO NOT TOUCH MY COUNTRY …. DO NOT TOUCH MY PEOPLE.

I apologize if the tone of my writing here sounds a bit agitated and harsh, but the power crazed leaders in most parts of the world today, can do anything ….and then they will look back say ‘Ooops’ … that ooops is nothing less than a total and multifaceted destruction of Iran.

Did I overreact when suggesting that artists today should hold on their tongues – again – JUST FOR NOW? No … not when considering the dire consequences that MAY be at stake.

Now to Niloufar.

Niloufar jan, thank you … you are very kind.

I will for sure visit your website.

I have contributed to this website for over a year and half and this is almost the only time I engaged in a politically oriented dialogue, as my contribution have been all non-political in nature. In the end of he day, I firmly believe that the misery the humanity is living in (to various degrees) can not be solved trough politics and so called politicians. Humanity today suffers from fundamental spiritual maladies and unless a change in our core human values takes place, no political system nor any politician or leader can address our problems.

This said, I have no comment about your explanation or at least your angle of explaining works such as ‘Without my daughter’. Just to make a note, the situation when children are abducted to the father’s country, is the same for many men.

Some years ago, there was a big discussion about German women having children with US soldiers who were stationed in Germany and then moved to the US. Many of these women took their kids back to Germany without the father’s consent. The same is happening EVERY DAY for men and women in Scandinavia.

Nevertheless, there is of course no question about the fact that women have been and still are far more oppressed and deprived from basic human rights and dignity all over the world.

I just spent three months in Nicaragua as a volunteer teaching English, music and entrepreneurship to an impoverished community. Seeing all these young women at their 20s living in such misery and being oppressed by no good, idiots of males (refuse to call them MEN), was heartbreaking.

On the last note to both of you, my dear country fellows … I rather be shot by an Iranian than an 'Ajnabi'. I rather am oppressed by my own people than see foreign boots in my country … and I would never ever allow a non-Iranian to criticize my country, culture or people. And so … having lived in Paris among the French and their so called intellectuals who are constantly engaged in mental masturbation, and knowing their attitudes, I can only imagine what is being said about us in France right how and next time they see an Iranian they will for sure look upon him/her with condescending looks. Dehumanization in one hand and pitty (for the other party to feel that they need to 'Save' us), is a perfect first step for rape!!

As puting told Bush in a press conference, when Bush expressed his wish for more democray in Russia like in Iraq ... 'No thank you ... we certianly do not wish the same kind of democray as in Iraq!!!

Let us as Monda suggests … all together put our pretty small heads together and serve our country and people … our culture and our history the best we can and as much as we can … in anyway we can.

Wish you both a great week …

I am now leaving this discussion as I feel I have said almost everything about this.
It has been interesting and I thank you all for an exciting discussion.

Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

Cameron jan,

I loved reading your contributions here! So much truth and wisdom in so little space. I wish you had posted much of it on my 'Nuclear schizophrenia' blog instead. I really hope to see you there soon!

But I would disagree slightly with you about Persepolis. For one thing, the 'damage' on that front is long done, and much of it is fair. Though I agree there are worse places than Iran for women in the world.
Perhaps its my own personal anguish, but I was even pleased about the 'Not without my daughter' saga for the simple reason that it was the very first time that the situation of women in Iran was highlighted for the world - albeit by the wrong messenger. Yes it was with an enormous amount of exaggeration, but what would you expect from an american simpleton in Iran? and one who faced the risk of losing her child to an unfair system. She still had the right to raise her voice.

Women throughout the Muslim world are regularly losing their children to men cruel enough to take small children away from their own mothers. The issue transcends nationality.

It is the same with Marjan here. Any idea, any artistic product can be abused and misused by the powers that be, but this has usually not stopped genuine artists from expressing their anguish on a human rather than a political level. She was highly critical of - even rediculed - Austrian society too, and the experience in France was left untold.

But just like my own case, she had to leave Iran twice. There are so many millions of us swarming the West and the East and the Middle of the world in fact that there is no point even trying to sweep this fact (a girl's escape from repression) under the carpet. We are all Marjans and our very existence here in exile - wherever we are - is perhaps a more potent 'propaganda tool' against Iran than any movie seen by a small minority of people.

The more likely effect of this movie is to generate wider sympathy for the Iranian public rather than to edge the world toward war.



To Cameron

by Monda on

Dear Cameron,

I hear you. I am very afraid for the future of Iran like you are, and I agree with you that Satrapi's movie did not help foreigners with forming an unbiased view of Iranians or the Islamic Iran.

But 2 things: 1) majority of Americans don't see Persepolis, they don't give a hoot about some black and white cartoon without fancy special effects. 2) Those who do see it, may follow their interest about the country or not, in most cases they had some opinion about Iran/Iranians prior o seeing the movie ....I guess what comes to me is that Hoder and all writers (artists) have the responsibility to share their perspectives of Iran. It's THEIR perspective, nothing more or less. And some do a terrific job at it. Some Iranians share their resources with people inside Iran, that's wonderful too. Lets unite and do something substantial for Iran, I'm all for it...But lets move on from Satrapi's Persepolis. Enough heat is created through media, don't give it more weight. And you have a good Monday Cameron.



to Troneg

by Cameron Batmanghlich (not verified) on

Dear Troneg,

Thank you for your compliment on my writing.

You may very well be right that I lack understanding about this issue. Life has thought me not to take myself too seriously and always leave room for being at fault.

I KNEW that the remark of me playing the IRI game would come from someone .. and I thank you for binging it up as it provides me with the opportunity to rectify that suspicion (?).

I think looking at the background of the current crises, which has caused the possibility of a military confirmation (the nuclear enrichment issue that is), reviewing the facts with objectivity, one must accept that the crisis was NOT started by IRI.

According to NPT, Iran is not breaching the agreement and as the matter of fact has given more concessions to IAEA than it ought to have.

The problem is, the foreign policy of Iran, and much else (such as inappropriate comments coming out of Iranian Leaders’ mouth) motivating the 5+1 group to put pressure and threaten. As the matter of fact, Iran (rightfully under the charter of UN) has threatened to sue US, UK and other countries which have forced the security council to pass three rounds of sanctions unjustly. Without a doubt, these sanctions, coupled with a faulty economic and fiscal policy in place and of course corruption, has not only made life in Iran a hell, causing all sorts of social problem and dilemmas (unemployment, high inflation, prostitution, suicide etc.) but also prevents Iran the country, to take its place among countries populated with an ambitious and smart people which posses much God given natural resources and stunning beauty.

The Iranian opposition group of MEK, did it once again. It seems that they no longer even feel for trying to hide their intention to do anything to come to power (just do a google search and you will video clips of MEK, Rajavi begging Saddam to grant him audience, the MEK agents providing intelligence to Saddam's army during the Iran-Iraq war … to just a few of their ‘Golkari’). Their delusional Machiavellian methods are futile, as we all know that they lack popular support in and outside of Iran and so far been listed as a terrorist organization by the US and Europe (which per se, I must admit, it dies not say much). Thanks to their spies, and their willingness, the intel about Iran’s nuclear activity was leaked out and ‘Shokoofe hit the fan’.

Now … we all know that the US intelligence community in Dec. 2007, clearly stated that Iran DOES NOT have a nuclear weapon program. True or false, naïve or fair … I don’t know. But we had to take it at face value.

The Iranian nuclear issue has deliberately been blown out of proportions and manipulated. Lies and more lies are been told and misinformation is spread like ‘Noghl o nabat’ as to set the stage for a military confrontation.

Due to several wars and conflicts (including those of Hizbullah/Isreal and Hammas/Fatah/Isreal), Iran has gained a far stronger position than before.

Iran is now a large trading partner with Iraq, and contributes to a power balance in Middle East, has had Putin’s ear and china’s, India’s attention to be modest about it. While the US, UK and their so called allies (From dumb Danes to impoverished Rumanias who have joined in the crusade) were busy chasing their ghost of Bin Laden, and busy raping a whole nation (Iraq), Iran expanded its diplomatic, economic and military relation with Africa (a very attractive place for the future in which China is investing heavily), and Central/South Ameirca. So, it can not be so pleasant for a US administration to hear that Chaves will stop supplying his oil to US if Iran was attacked, or it will sell its fleet of F-16s to Iran … I mean we are talking about neighbourhoods belonging to the bad boy and homeys of all past US administrations!!!

Surely this is not so pleasant for the rightwing leaders in US, and the emerging ones in Europe.

All this, just to point out that IRI did not start this crisis.

Still regardless of all these facts, politics is a dirty game and we would never know if IRI is provoking to call for such threats against the country, so that it can play on nationalistic sentiments and continue to consolidate/reinforce its power within and outside Iran. But the facts available fact does not support such theory.

We have to take things for what they are. And all facts (from Fallon’s resignation, to Sarkozy’s remarks, to recent Isreali manuver and remarks from our beloved country man who now is a minister of the Israeli cabinet (saying that a war is inevitable with Iran and promoting it feverishly) to unconditional support of all US presidential candidates for pro-war lobbies in the US and Israel, to recent arms sale to Saudi Arabia of 20 b. and military aid to Israel of 30 b., to direct talks by Israel with Syria and their offer of giving the Golan heights back IF Syria breaks up with Iran, the same tactics and leverage in negotiation (or as I call it ‘Bache khar koniha’) being used with Hizbullah and Hammas, just to split the alliance and thus wreaking Iran’s strategic ability to hit back) are pointing out the same thing: The possibility of was is realistic … I am not saying it is going to happen and I am not putting a number on its probability.

But I am sure you and all of us who have a beating heart for Iran and Iranians, regardless of where we reside and what we do, would not do ANYTHING to risk a war.

Now let’s go back to the artists and their roles.

If I have failed in the past postings to be clear that I BELIEVE that art, and artists are the ones casting light on social problems – among them an undemocratic system – I do apologize … but I think I have been pretty clear on that. So yes … you are right … and it was thanks to artists, musicians, poets, novelists, film makers and painters that injustice in the past was put into people attention both nationally and internationally. A prime example is that of Argentina.

Again … all I am saying is that …ladies and gentlemen … do we want Iran sorted out or not? … well if want, then let’s first make sure that AN IRAN STILL IS THERE.

All these years, writers, and artist could have – and I am sure they have- been criticizing numerous Iranian problems. I say … YES .. and pleases do more.

But again, NOT now … wait … let’s see the danger pass first … let’s have the two most powerful figures in the US who God is talking to thier ear's (Dick & Bush:)), Olmert and Merkel out first … let’s hope Berlusconi have a heart attack as he will obviously will not be put behind the bars since he has amended the Italian constitution preventing it to press charges on corruption against him (some democracy…ha?) … yes, let’s hope Sarkozy goes insane when his new bride Mrs. Carla S. is discovered in bed with a lover from Algeria...AND THEN ... then … when we do not have a foreign military power up in our fannies, when there are no two aircraft carriers parked in our backyard, when there are no 160 000 troops plus tens of thousands of psycho mercenaries on our borders … well then … then let’s hang out our dirty laundry. Then let’s criticize and write and sing ourselves blue and change and demand change and raise out voices against social and civil injustice.

I think you do agree that Iranian problem is for Iranians to solve.

Assisting an already manipulative media to bring us one step closer to war, through criticism at this delicate time, is a grave mistake.

Of course…as you opened your posting … I may not have a good understanding about this whole thing’.

Now … if you excuse me…I am dying for a cup of morning coffee :).

Have a good week wherever you are,


To : Cameron Batmanghlich

by Troneg on

You write very well but (may be without undrestanding) you are playing the new game of IRI. saying because the IRI makes himself in war with every body so for "sake of Iran" we need hiding all things they do. You shouldn't mixe a Government with a Country.

In all democratic countries have writers and film maker criticizing their government and society and "Hang their dirty Lundry" to let their country cleaner.

If we continue your point of view we will stay always in the same "image". Iran and all Iranians are beautiful and smart and if our country is so collapse (despite oil's money) it is because foreigners !

May be this image is good enough for you who live abroad but it will lose Iran : It is Doosti Khaleh Kherseh !

Wake up IRAN


Baz ham in seyedd oomad inja!

by Kamangir on


Bache akhoond, seyyed, toro che be festivale cannes, shomaharo che be in joor filmhaye honari. 

Chee enghadr be ghompozet bar khorde????


To Monda -2

by Cameron Batmanghlich (not verified) on

Dear Monda,

I have not had the pleasure of meeting Ms. (or maybe Mrs.) M. Satrap nor hearing her to speak.

But I complement you on your wish. Call me cynical, but I doubt your wish would come true, although I would be the happiest man to be proved wrong.

You see … in our culture we were thought that creative people who get the opportunity to present their work and thereby officially earn the label as an artists (honarmand), are in possession of a sensitive and loving character and spirit. That is a fallacy. Many of the greatest artists in the world have been anything but true humanitarian. My best example would be Richard Wagner.

We will never know what motivated Satrapi’s work, other than the obvious (her bitter experience as a young woman deprived from all dignity deserving women in our or any country). Her choice of media, and nuances in her work, for me is an element amplifying the dark side of our culture and nation.

I have provided a link below just to further proof my point that the majority of people are not aware of what really is going on in the world and have an extremely simplified view of their surroundings, which most often than not, is dictated to them by the media that they take for absolute truth.

I remember well, when the book and the movie ‘Without my daughter’ came out. It was a blow to all of us Iranians. It was so unfairly angled and so extremely biased that my jaw dropped. I am not contesting the fact that there are families and people in Iran who actually behave the way as the characters in that book and movie were depicted. But, the non-Iranians took us ALL for a bunch of backward savages.

Satrapi’s work although not in the same category of extremity, still paints a very negative view of us. You know there is a saying: ‘Don’t hang out your dirty laundry? Well … that is what it is’.

Mind you, there are cultures that civil rights, and in particular women’s rights are stepped on. But you never hear or see about them. The situation of the Japanese women – an industrialized and so called modern democracy is just to mention ONE! We don’t even need to talk about Saudi Arabia.

There is no question of existing injustice in Iran. There is no question that women in Iran are the biggest victim of an ideology which the governing body is underpinned by. There is no question that change must – sooner or later - come to Iran , and there is not question about if there is no expression of theses problems – through art as an important medium for example - then it will be very hard to know what and how to change.

All I am saying – is that today – we are in a very bad situation. The war that our people went through, during the 80s will look like a picnic in comparison to what is potentially planned and discussed in terms of a confrontation.

We all know that all wars start with opinion building.

Satrapi – I almost feel bad to knock on her work so much – is not alone in that she does not understand what her work can be used for. There are many others.

The other month I was at a conference at King’s College and a Hamvatan was discussing Iran among scholars. The way he talked about Iran and what the future may look like and how Iranians are, the way he connected the current government in Iran with the core and essence of our people, our culture and core values, made me want to get up and punch some sense into his so called academic head … or at least tell him, please do not call yourself Iranian, as he showed no loyalty to Iran and was more than delighted to provoke chuckles among his foreign audience when he made jokes on our country and culture’s expense.

As far as Satrapi … well let her enjoy her success. It is not easy for anyone living in a foreign land to break through. I am sure when the time is ripe (for good PR that is), she will do something and extend some generosity to the very group of people she talks about in her work.

But in all fairness … there are people who should be helping our country and its people far more, than a young filmmaker. People who today enjoy a very privileged life abroad and inside Iran, thanks to the corruption in the before and after the revolution.

Wish you a great Sunday,


Problem of nanosecond vs million $

by Monda on

Dear Cameron,

Your point is beautifully written, as usual. 

I find it only fair to consider the possibility of any human's dilemma  while the movie deals were following artwork in print. However, what would give me a complete sense of resolve about Satrapi, is the hope that some day she would donate a portion of the movie profits to some ligitimate cause in Iran. And before that happened, I look forward to hearing her interview clearing some air about her intensions with respect to further endangering Iran's position in the world. Another wish I have for her is to use her current success toward some form of outreach for young Iranians, maybe supporting young Iranian artists outside or inside Iran, I don't know... She's a bright woman, she can figure it out!   

I may be naive but I have seen and heard her live; she does not strike me as a blood-thirsty politically-backed person filled with hate and rage toward IR, hiding behind her project. 

I wish someone would write a piece about the issue of nanosecond of guilt that you mention versus some huge amount of comfort, in forms of fame and fortune. Very ordinary human tendancies debated here, don't you think?




To Monda

by Cameron Batmanghlich (not verified) on

Dear Monda,

I agree with you on every account.

In a perfect world or at least in a less of a dangerous time, artists not only need, but must express their views as they are the light illumining the society’s path and circumstances.

However, I would like to emphasis – again – on what I wrote before, that for one, today when our country is constantly threatened, overtly as well as covertly, and in a time, when the information is extremely biased and have turned into propaganda, the average citizen stands no chance to inform him/herself with objectivity.

So … now, if mine, yours or anyone else’s work can be used and/or contribute to embolden the ones who have an attack in mind, then I think, we need to hold on a bit with our criticism for now till the storm has passed.

Again, I am of course not against Satrapi’s work or anyone else who critically review and treat the events of a society in the form of art, research etc.. Her work, good or bad, quality or not, has been given a chance, but the timing for this is not serving Iran or Iranians now. The wish, desire and intention of changing Iran to be a better place for Iranians is of course on every patriot’s mind. But this struggle, fight and battle needs to be in the right time and the right place.

If there is an attack, then there will be nothing to fix.

I have experienced the very same ordeals of Setrapi - not as a woman but as a youngster - in a society which changed drastically and I have seen a revolution and war and witnessed people being shot with my very own eyes. So I do appreciate the passion in Satrapi’s work as her experiences must have made an impression on her and as a creative person, she naturally needs to give expression.

But again … we live in very dangerous times. We need to watch our tongues and think twice before expressing ourselves.

The unfair treatment of women in Iran, and the curbing of many civil rights, I am afraid is not on top of the list of pending disasters over Iran and Iranians, rather a military attack is. An attack, which many military analysts suggest that so called ‘usable nukes/mini nukes’ may be used.

Personally, I would not want to do or say ANYTHING that can give the enemy of our country the slightest excuse to further make a case for such action.

Numerous articles have been written about the Iraqi’s who deeply regret their support – directly and indirectly, knowingly and not knowingly - for an invasion by the so called coalition forces. Iraq is now lost and it will take generations it them recover … if ever.

I do not want to see that happening to our country and to our people and no work, for now from us Iranian should add fuel to the fire. The ones who are planning an attack are doing a good job, themselves.


Smart marketing uses whatever..

by Monda on

according to the bosses' plan of action. Political agenda always promote success or failure of an artist. It's nothing new.

Are you implying that Satrapi should not have given in to the movie idea? But she along with many Iranians of her generation did go  through those experiences, maybe not you, but they/she did. Are you suggesting that Satrapi's generation should shut up because they were a privileged minority? 

The bottomline is: if anyone wants to base opinions about a people or the war machine's motivations in a region, they should know/study/research much more than seeing a movie, whether it's created by Satrapi or Kiarostami. It is our responsibility to read/see past the advertisements.  This is nothing new either. 


Dear Jaleho

by Sadaia_qesa on


Yes, you are absolutely right.

And I totally agree with you on this point.

The article I was referring to was not the best choice to make the point. You, however, made the point much more eloquently.






The power of our work and our responsibility.

by Cameron Batmanghlich (not verified) on

Anyone who gets the opportunity to present ideas, thier inventions and work of art needs to think twice of what their work can be used for.

In a time when Iran is under economic and military threat and attack, anything that is presented by artists, scientists and researchers maybe used to further step up efforts to bomb Iran into oblivion.

The fact is that Satrapi’s work does contribute to a negative view of Iran and its regime which is for sure used in the propaganda machine to launch an assault on Iran. Regardless if we agree or like the regime in Iran, for now and for the past three decades, it has been the custodian of our country, its resource, people and its future.

Satripi’s work, I am afraid, could be – and perhaps already is - used by politicians/administrations/organizations (with various agendas – from geopolitical to short term economic gain, etc.) to further justify a potential confrontation with Iran.

We have seen the role of the artists, scientists, intellectual and researchers played it in the past, in Iraq, the former Soviet and numerous other countries who were either directly attacked or pressured into submission.

I am sincerely and genuinely happy and congratulate Setrapi on her achievement and also feel very proud that an Iranian – particularly an Iranian woman - gained the opportunity to enter the limelight. Whether it was because of her talent, quality of work, luck, circumstance or political agenda …remains to be thoroughly discussed.

However, when we live in a world, in which the majority of people do no have access to unbiased information - or simply act and express themselves more emotionally than rationally - and even worse, are manipulated by the media controlled by political agendas, and when these very same people who form masses and used for opinion building which translates into a common consent for actions, then the ones who get the opportunity to present their work must practice self constraint, and act as their own critics. They simply need to understand the implications of their work and think more than once of what they are communicating.

Satrapi’s work – again – does contribute to inflame the situation in a time when right winged - and clearly hostile to our country - leaders are taking over in Europe (Sarkoszy, Berlusconi, Merkel) aligning themselves with an administration which has caused misery in the Middle East and elsewhere since it was granted power, and these leaders will use any ammunition in the form of Art, economic tools, weaponry and God knows what else, at thier disposable to put a multifaceted pressure and threat to our country.

I am sure if God forbid, Iran was ever attacked and turned into rubbles, Setrapi and alike would wrestle with a bad conscious, thinking that maybe their work did contribute to such horrific event – even if it was for a nanosecond, but then it would be too late.

No true patriot, regardless of their political orientation and their proposal/solution of how to serve Iran and Iranians best and fairly, can be for an attack on Iran. And anyone with an ounce of sanity, must agree that the problems of our country can not be solved by force. And thus, any opinion, work and invention that may potentially contribute to such course of action should NOT be presented at this moment, as it will inflame the situation.

I am not for hushing criticism, but as the old saying goes, ‘Har chizi jaee dare’.


OFF TOPIC / for Sadaia-qesa

by Jaleho on

You wrote:

"Is Sarkozy A Rothschild Puppet?


I found it strange that your article goes to all the grand grand parent times of Sarkozy to find all the Jews and Rabbis in his shajareh-nameh, as if just being jews makes them the grand planners for world domination!

I think if you want to reveal Sarkozy for the Zionist that he really is, you can just look at his own records as an avid agent for Israel. That is not becasue of his Jewish background, but rather his clear links to the world of international finance which has no boundary, the Zionist influence of politics through financial and corporate power. If you still insist on other familiy membrs, look at his EXISTING brother Olivier from this Forbes article instead :-)


"LONDON - When
France decided to make Nicolas Sarkozy its new president, many took
into account the fact that he was the most business friendly of all
candidates, with known connections to chief executives of some of the
country's biggest companies, including Francois Pinault
and Arnaud Lagardere. One connection which many voters may not have
known of is his half-brother, Oliver Sarkozy, who in recent years has
had a hand in some of the world's biggest bank takeovers."

And, of course like I said the corporate financial world has no boundary . That's why Olivier Sarkozy is now the managing head of Carlye Group, which has seen political figures on top which includes:

H.W.Bush, James Baker, G.W.Bush, George Soros, Don Rumsfeld....and it is not just American or French, the British PM John Major was there too, so was Osama Bin Laden's older brother.

So as you see, Sarkozy's Jewish brother can join Bin Laden's Muslim brother when it comes to the world of big corporate and finance dominanting politicians!


Hoder's Obsession with Persepolis

by the real Nader Vanaki (not verified) on


This is the fourth article you have written on Marjan Satrapi's Persepolis. You can not let go of the thought that an Iranian woman has accomplished so much and yet you are still bubbling under a flood of criticism with your half baked weblog journalism. To confuse matters even more, you took a few courses in socialogy and philosophy and now you are completely lost.

Just accept the fact that she has accomplished more than you ever will and go on with your life of writing antagonistic pieces just to creat controversy. And don't listen to Anonymous1, smoke as much weed as you can since there is no way of returning to coherency and rationalism for you my friend so you might as well enjoy the ride to the abyss.

TA TA and Cherio Mate!

Darius Kadivar

Hoder Is he your History Teacher ?

by Darius Kadivar on



I bet you  would get straight A's with him ...


Is Sarkozy A Rothschild Puppet?

by Sadaia_qesa on

K Nassery

Revolutions are never pretty

by K Nassery on

I wonder why Mr. Hoder is in the West.  I am just trying to understand your reason for being here when your true love is Iran.

I would never stay where I hate the people..... 




Black and White, we need.

by Persicola (not verified) on

We Iranians have a strong propensity for double standards. We nag for hours about the failings of Iranian government, but as soon as someone articulates this for the world, we get offended and start listing all the reasons why Iran is a porgressive country with no real issues--everything is moving in the right direction. Wake up Hoder. Iran is a third world country, with major cultural and thus political issues. So long as we don't face our shortcomings and admit them, there will be no step forward. While it's true that seeing gray is sign of sophisticated thought process, there are still blacks and whites, absolute rights and wrongs. Freedom of speech (incidently if Iran has changed so much, why are you not in Iran?), gender equality, rule of law, there are all absolutes. Iran lacks them as a system and Satrapi and many others have tried to convey that in their own way.


Ey baba... can we lay off of Satrapi already?

by Monda on

I didn't read anything new in this article that I hadn't gathered in your first one on Persepolis (not a selling point for a good writer if you ask me). Even my European or American colleagues didn't get anything new out of your new article. Time to move on to other anti-IR conspiracies...really. Something closer to home perhaps. Have you written and posted here anything on SOFA yet, for example, that I've missed? How about the recent executions of all those kids?

Again, she told her story and did it really well. Why don't you come up with your version some day? Yours may just hit it big time in other parts of the world, if you were to do it as artistically.  



by Anonymous abcdefg (not verified) on

"Where in Europe or North America can the son of a blacksmith suddenly ascend to presidency out of nowhere"

Thuggery does not need any financial or intellectual richness, and that is exactly what that antarinejad is. The rest are show and tell for foolish people. Let's see if he can put khamenei and rafsajani behind bars for theivery and murder.

Reminder that some of US presidents are of no particular background, likes of carter, ford, or the current candidate; so you are wrong on that point too!

P.S.: Is this guy the same one who west to the qods a while back and has now turned into a cheer leader for the artari? He needs attention I guess.


Good vs. Evil

by NavidZ (not verified) on

"Where in Europe or North America can the son of a blacksmith suddenly ascend to presidency out of nowhere and unhesitatingly start holding the rich and the powerful accountable?"
What is the inherent goodness in having a reactionary, ignorant, bigoted son of a blacksmith with a medieval mindset rising to head an Islamic/Fascist government? Holding the rich and powerful accountable? I guess that is how Mr. Rafsanjani and his cronies have managed to line their pockets with gold and devour expensive real estate in Europe and Canada, while income and class inequity is now worse in Iran than under the Shah!!


Thank you!

by azadeh_rassaf on

Thank you so so much for this article!!  Finally someone has written a balanced, well written article expressing my exact views since this book and the one by Nafisi have been published.  More power to you.  And thank you again!


Hoder, please be easy on the weed

by Anonymous1 (not verified) on

Mr. Hoder, you have been accusing anyone and I repeat anyone who is against this regime as a poppet of Bush or CIA. Please go easy on the weed.

Darius Kadivar

Suomynona You can Call me ... ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

How About Bacheh Shahi ? ...

Not an Insult to me. Why should Hoder feel insulted after all he is proud of the Islamic Revolution and has written widely about it didn't he ?

What about Bacheh Sarkozy since I am sometimes called a French Poodle ?

As to your Question, Well I would say that God or Allah as you may want to call him has a strange way of thanking True Believers don't you think ? What kind of Protection did he benefit from his Holiness ? ...

In the meantime Ben Laden is having fun somewhere in the Afghan Mountains with the Benediction of his Friends in Tehran's leadership.

Does Allah have similar plans for them ? Or they deserve a special VIP treatment ?

I am not blaming God just wondering why people who seem to find excuses for Religious fundamentalism seem to ignore the collateral damages their hatred has brought upon their own population. I suggest that they clean their front door first before critisizing others...




Correction for you Mr. KADIVAR

by Suomynona (not verified) on

Why do you attribute the killing of Mustapha Akkad to God (Allah)?

Where you there when he ordered it?

You called hoder a Bacheh Akhound. What kind of a name should we call you?

Darius Kadivar

Hoder What about the movie:The Message (1976) ?

by Darius Kadivar on

Hoder Jan,

Dunno if you saw this movie: The Message shot in 1976 about the life of Muhamad and the Rise of Islam. Actually a very entertaining Epic shot in a Hollywood style and in two versions on with Arab actors the other with a Hollywood and International European cast including Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas.

watch excerpt here

The director Mustapha Akkad was a pioneer of Arab Cinema and made good use of Hollywood craftmanship to make a movie to honor Islam and Muhammed.

Well Mustapha Akkad and his daughter were the victimes of Al Quaeda terrorists in 2005 in Jordan were they were killed along with dozens of other victimes. see bbc Report, Report 2

Allah is Great isn't he ?


Darius Kadivar

Ha, Ha, Hee, Hee, Ho, Ho ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Your Really Funny Hoder Jan !

watch Video

and Video 2



Hodar what is your motivation ?!

by Troneg on

It is all you have to say ?!

Every time somebody comes from teheran they tell me girls are arrested because they hadn't sockets and when people are agressed (exiting from Banks) by robbers nobody help them.

I dont know where you live and your story, all you say is rediculouse and I think you do it to have some comments ! Did you bet something with somebody to have the most comments ?!

Hope it could help you !

Darius Kadivar

Hoder : Son of a Preacher Man ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Abarmard Takhseeresh neest deegeh...

Bacheh Akhoundeh ;0)

Watch Video

Tasliat ! ...


Mr. Hoder

by Abarmard on

Why are you stuck to Satrapi?

There are many battles that you can choose to fight and I believe with this one you are not on the right track. You will not accomplish anything either, please be smart.