Trita Parsi

Interview with Hamid Dabashi

"In the 26th episode of The Week in Green, National Iranian American Council founder Trita Parsi discusses the discourse in US politics over Iranian nuclear negotiations and a possible strike against the country, and how the Green Movement has affected the terms of this debate."

05-Jun-2010
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MM

Q

by MM on

I understand what you are saying, but a big part of the problem is related to credibility.  For example, NP just started a blog announcing to the world that, basically, IRI's crap does not stink (http://iranian.com/main/blog/niloufar-parsi/june-12), especially in face of the anniversary of June 12th, Neda, ...........and many atrocities going back 31 years.  Now, if someone looks at NP's blog and says WOW, as VPK and I did, and then sees that NP also supports NIAC, they just assume that NIAC is an IRI safe-house run by Islamic agents which makes Dai's crap news more believable.

You and I have disagreed on many issues here, but we all live in the US and people should realize that the US is a very political beast, and between you and me, that has been the problem of Arabs, where as I said in your blog, the Arabs are best served if they spent some of their petrol dollars on the US political system and a PR campaign instead of supporting Islamic Madsaseh that nourish terrorism.

On that note, I as many here, were upset to see murder on the high seas, but when I see IMF post 25 news bids here on Iranian.com on the first hours after the ship disaster, and yet silent on IRI's atrocities and even defending them, it belittles the Iranians' feelings and after a while folks tell him to go to hell along with his !#$% IRI friends.  I hope that you understand where I am coming from and be compassionate and balanced in your coverage of atrocities.


Q

Dingo, MM and Anahid, welcome to my world! :)

by Q on

This is a deeper problem with many many Iranians. I don't want to say "all" obviously, but from my experience I can say a sizable portion of the diaspora. The correlation here has to be generational.

It's like this: A rational philosophical process for believing something as true is like this:

Unbiased observation, leads to hypothesis, leads to test, leads to theory and eventually facts which leads to beliefs about truth.

The Tehrangelesi version (I mean that term to also include people outside of LA obviously):

Trivial and irrelevant observation, confirms pre-judgements based on biased or bigoted prior beliefs, gets accepted immediately as new belief. Any and all subsequent facts are given as "proof" of something that was already accepted without one. Facts to the contrary are ignored or become part of ever-growing bag of conspiracies.

For example, a while ago there was an interview with a VOA editor, who just happened to dress a bit casual a dress shirt with no tie. People who had absolutely no clue about who this man was, or what the hell the issue was immediately labeled him "hezbollahi". After that whatever he said, no matter how innocent was seen from the lens of
a. a belief that he was an agent, so the issue wasn't what he was saying anymore, but why would an agent say this?

b. if there was not a good reason for an agent to say it (For example he attacked IRI), then the answer simply became "Well, he is lying to hide the truth."

As you can imagine the entire conversation, or perhaps any future interaction with this person was basically destroyed due to a moronic prejudice.

For another example, let say some new nice looking man with no distinguishable characteristics comes into a conversation with a few Tehrangelesis. Let's say, he inserts something completely true like "Well, you can't blame Islam for everything!" Believe me when I say, it's "over" for that relationship. People will not want to give him a chance to explain or anything. They might be polite to his face (usually are), but as soon as he leaves, he is an "Islamist" or "Hezbollahi" for the rest of his life and there is nothing he can do about it. It's fascist minded thinking with a disturbing authoritarian streak. It's clearly fascistic because it essentially says "IF you open your mouth and it contradicts with our beliefs than we will label you, harrass you and slander you". I'm just telling you this, because I know it happens all the time with issues related to IRI or Islam.

It's exactly the same with Parsi. Assholes like Hassan Dai, for example, play into this inherit irrationality that plagues the Tehrangelesi generation (almost always men). They quote Parsi saying something like "Iran has not attacked any country for 200 years", and they say "SEE! He's defending IRI, what more proof do you want?"

After a short while it becomes comical and quite sad. (As if calling a Zoroastrian man "Islamist" is not comical enough.)

The politically active people in the US are used to this kind of mindless accusation, irrational hate-cultivating and guilt by association politics (see Helen Thomas), and they understand for the most part what is rhetoric and what is actual reality.

Tehrangelesi's really don't understand this yet. Part of it is ignorance of their surrounding sophisticated political ecosystem. Part of it is the strength of hate and prejudice they grew up with. But it raises its ugly head all the time, and is a perfect candidate for he failures of this generation of Iranians.


Darveesh

good man he is Trita Parsi

by Darveesh on

I admire him and i support him, be kooriye chesheme hasoodaye sahionisty.

 

keep on trucking Trita, keep on trucking


MM

Thanks HG - Be well.

by MM on

.


MM

Anahid - Thanks, and you are welcome

by MM on

BTW, I asked Trita why they do not take time to answer accusations here on IC (& elsewhere) and his answer was that 1. NIAC does not have enough personnel to deal with this, and 2. the accusations are endless and every so often, another one pops up, ala Dai......etc.


hamsade ghadimi

mm

by hamsade ghadimi on

it seems no one is reading what i'm writing.  when did i say one cannot be politically active unless (s)he's american?  now, i see why anahid brought up the dictatorship charge (as if i had done it!): it was from some other conversation you two were privy to.  did you ever read the washington post article?  or is washington post as reliable as journalist dai?  you never bothered to read my post, did you?  i must've been mistaken that parsi has a close relationship with the namazi brothers and atieh bahar?  i must've been mistaken that atieh bahar's client is iri's intel agency?  i must've been mistaken that one of the namazi bros worked for nokia? ......

it's ok. i'm not fighting anyone here.  i don't care np, q, mola, id, .... are the biggest supporters of t. parsi.  i take your word that all these issues have been resolved. i will not be joining niac though; and i'm sure no one will lose any sleep over it. :) let's move on.  have a great trip and safe return.


Anahid Hojjati

Dear MM, thanks for your comment addressed to HG

by Anahid Hojjati on

 

MM jan, I believe as you write, no matter what, some people are going to be against NIAC. I advise them to form a better organization and by the way, they need to get their definitions right.


MM

HG

by MM on

One can be as politically active in the US local / national scenes with a green card as a naturalalized citizen.  I paid taxes and could even be drafted into the army.  I could do everything except vote, contribute to campaigns or to be on a jury duty.  Naturalization is not a qualification to be politically active in the US. 

The dictatorship charge (ala Anahid) was one of the labels bestowed to NIAC by the opponents of NIAC, along with being an IRI agent at one point, MKO at another, and now being associated with shady characters.  I wonder what will be next after this?

Look at even this blog here.  This year, NIAC secured the services of Prof. Hamid Dabashi, Prof. Scott Lucas to the Advisory Board, and Dr. Paymaun Lotfi,  Prof. Karim Pakravan, Dr. Forough Parvizian-Yazdani, and Nora Valenzuela to NIAC’s Board of Directors.  But, for some strange reason the discussions in this blog are only focused on Dabashi as the person NIAC is going to listen to.

You see, after the horrible terrorist attacks of 9/11 and especially after Bush's axis-of-evil definition of Iranians, as the Persian proverb says " they beat us all with the same stick".  So, I was very happy to hear about NIAC and its focus and was one of the first ones to support them and help them in their writing campaigns. 

However, I was devastated to hear, here on IC, that I may have been supporting IRI/MKO agents.  So, I participated in the blogs and then strongly suggested that Trita put in a blog and to answer to all questions/concerns.  As I said before, Trita did so, and at the end of the day, the questions narrowed down to where Trita graduated from grade-school.  At which point, I and Trita put up "stop" and ended discussions.

If you look at all the accusations, they are mostly circumstantial and/or the dates do not match the events, and I for one, after experiencing IRI's "parvandeh dorost kardan", was not going to stand and listen to BS accusations.  Most charges are also brought by shady characters like Dai (http://www.iran-interlink.org/?mod=view&id=7313).  Dai also admitted that his relatives are MKO members in a recent TV interview on Andisheh TV.  And, it turned out that Dai was being courted/coached by AIPAC/neo-con circles.  The emails between Dai and Kenneth Timmerman are on record in the internet as what to say and how to say it to cause damage to NIAC and eventually damage Obama.

I am not going to go through all that stuff especially since I am getting ready to go away for a week.  So, keep an open mind, and if VPK is writing NIAC, he can address your concerns, but mark my words, there will be another accusation next time.


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

HG & Anahid

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

 

It pains me to see two patriotic Iranians fighting. Friends: the real enemy is IRI not us. This is how we lose the future. It is natural for us to have differences and disagree. We are people not robots. Please let us accept our differences. What we have in common is vastly bigger than our differences. We must remain focused on real goal.

VPK


hamsade ghadimi

anahid

by hamsade ghadimi on

1. i don't understand how you came up with the dictatorship assumption in your first paragraph.  btw, are you saying that since he hadn't conducted the survey before the summer, human rights was not an issue for his organization?  are you saying niac's members are shareholders to the organization and decided the agenda?  my friend personally met t. parsi the year before the election and point blank asked him why niac doesn't campaign for human rights.  his response: "human rights is not our area of expertise."  now, that his friends, cronies of rafsanjani, are jailed (or threatened) during ahmadi's reign, he's becoming a sort of expert on the issue.  don't get me wrong, that is actually a good thing.

2. to me an american is an american citizen through birth or naturalization; therefore, yes to your question: a resident alien in the u.s. is not an american by that definition.  otherwise (using an inhabitant criterion), an illegal alien living in the u.s. would also be an american.  with all liklihood, he got his green card based on his swedish citizenship; therefore, he's considered swedish as far as the u.s. is concerned.  (although he has passports of iran and sweden; therefore, he is the citizen of both countries.)


Anahid Hojjati

Hamsade ghadimi, NIAC is not a dictatorship

by Anahid Hojjati on

Dear Hamsade, in your comments, you write as if whatever Trita Parsi decides for NIAC, that is it and members have no say.  You write about new emphasis that NIAC has on human rights. First, IRI has become more militarized in the last year.  Also, last summer, NIAC had a survey of members and members wanted more foucs on human rights.   

 Also you write of people who have green card as if they cannot be Iranian American. Could you please tell me where you got the definition that in order for someone to be considered Iranian American, they have to be US citzen and having green card for many years is not good enough?


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Dear dingo daddy En passant

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

 

IIC is "International Iranian Council". It is a new organization formed last year. For more information please see the Facebook link below:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Irania...

http://iranian.com/main/blog/iic-news/internat...


hamsade ghadimi

mm

by hamsade ghadimi on

frankly, i had not given t. parsi much thought before there was discussion about him on this site.  after my cursory research on him and reading articles about him, some red flags came up: his association with certain pro-business elements (atieh bahar, mirahmadi, ...), his sudden change of mission from pro-business to pro-human rights, and his fervent following by the seeming pro-iri mouthpieces on this site.

at the very minimum, he's very ambitious who self-aggrandizes to promote his interests.  whatever those interests are.  i remain skeptical until the red flags are resolved and will not easily be swayed by assertion on how ineffective his detractors on a casual chat have been (without providing any answers to the questions i posed).  the video above was particulary disturbing (not due to parsi) as how the situation in iran has been linked to the palestinian issue (the end of the movie).  the same tactic that we have seen iri sympathizers employ.  we will see much more of that in the coming days.  iri made sure of that by sending convoys to gaza hoping to get there on the anniversary of the june elections.

btw, my previous comment about association of nokia with t. parsi's long-time friends and current associates was not regarding one's ability to sell cell phones and getting rich.  it was regarding nokia's services to the iri intel service to monitor protestors' information and movement.


dingo daddy En passant

Thanks all for your help

by dingo daddy En passant on

I don't know if I am any closer to fixing my own dilemma on this. It's frustrating because when talking to people with very strong opinions against NIAC, I feel like I am missing a big dark secret about them. But when I ask what the secret is, I don't see anything special to warrant the statements made. The organization does not appear to me like it is any different in its mission or structure than any other one like it. This is only based on what I have seen so far.

Dear Veiled Prophet, What is IIC?

cheers


MM

VPK

by MM on

A few months ago, I was involved in a few threads on the subject of the relationship between NIAC/Trita with MKO, IRI, Dai, Ney, Namazi and even more subjects.  And, I even got Trita to participate and answer to all questions asked. 

Trita, I thought, was very candid and answered everything, even though he was in the middle of a law-suit.  Around the end, the ney-sayers were so desperate that they were asking for Trita's grade-school credentials and saying some other wierd stuff (green-card "fiasco" in new, though).  That is when I concluded that no matter what evidence you bring, or what you say or who you bring to the thread, there is no satisfying these folks, and I stopped participating in the threads.


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

The truth

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

 

is that whatever organization we make will have its detractors. I say this even if we all agree on the charter people will get in fights over who is running it. This happens all the time with political parties. So we should just accept that NIAC has its way; if we want to make another one: do it! As MM said I see no problem with joining multiple ones. We need more Iranian organizations not fewer ones.

Regarding the questions: I don't know the relationship with Nokia or others. However I am glad there is internet and cell phones in Iran. Without them how would we know what is going on? The biggest threat to dictators is freedom to communicate. So I am all for internet and phones despite it making some bastards rich.


MM

VPK - let it go - folks have made up their minds

by MM on

This goes back to what we discussed yesterday about NO representation in D.C.

Some folks are just up in arms that NIAC is there, well respected by the US congress/the White House, and it is NOT them.  And, they are very frustrated that NIAC does not pay ENOUGH respect to them by bending up and down like the old days.

NIAC is some Iranian-Americans' eyes and ears in DC and around the US.   NIAC does not follow exactly some people's agenda and these guys are so frustrated that they cannot even make up their minds as to NIAC's affiliation as I read them in this thread: No - NIAC is MKO's agent; No - NIAC is IRI's agents.  Oh yes - an IRI or MKO agent who gets grants from the White House and the US congress.

Please folks, if you do not like NIAC, form your own organization, and let's see your agenda and personnel.  We may even join and support you if you get a tenth of the respect that NIAC has brought the Iranian-American community by separating us from IRI.  Thank you.


hamsade ghadimi

vpk

by hamsade ghadimi on

in the open letter you suggested to parsi, could you also have him clarify his long-standing relationship with siamak namazi, siamak namazi's long-standing relationship with nokia (as an employer and as a client), and nokia's relationship with the intel service of iri?  also his relationship with bijan khajehpour of 'atieh bahar' and relationship of 'atieh bahar' with rafsanjani.  how about namazi's relationship with atieh bahar? is it in the interest of iranian americans for foreign companies to invest in iran even if those dealings are direclty linked to jailing of protesters?

would parsi be for business dealings of china selling anti-riot tanks to iri?  is his new concern for human rights abuse since last year's election based on the fact that his alliances (notably rafsanjani and co) are not favored by ahmadi's cronies? 

could you also ask him that he really thinks that iranian americans were afraid to vote until he came over from sweden?  is it the awareness campaign of his organization that now iranian americans are finding their voice in the american politics?

there's more questions i like to ask, but this'll do for now...


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

open letter

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

 

we could start by writing a respectful and open letter to Mr Parsi. Requesting that he be clear that NIAC represents its members. That there are other voices that may or may not agree with the positions. Some of us are NIAC members and this is in no way an attack on NIAC. It is simply providing accurate information as to who represents what.

I support some things NIAC does but don't support other things. Perhaps NIAC should have several types of activity which are separated. I support the parts opposing discrimination against Iranians. I support work to preserve Iranian heritage like Persepolis tablets but oppose anything to help IRI. 

Just like AIPAC. I know Jews who absolutely detesgt AIPAC. They are not represented by it. No single organization represents all people.

VPK

 


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

OnlyIran; Vildemose

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

 

If we don't like NIAC we need to step up.

Well we have IIC. Do we want to gear it up to really represent us? Are we up willing to put in some money and get a few faces in front of us to do the talking? Maybe this is the time to have other alternatives.

Mind you I am not trying to derail NIAC. Just to provide alternative voices so all opinions are heard.


vildemose

NIAC is Dokun'e masht Agha

by vildemose on

NIAC is Dokun'e masht Agha Trita. Let him make some money...lol


Onlyiran

HG Jaan

by Onlyiran on

Very funny.  As an Iranian American, what I want to know is who appointed Trita Parsi to be my representative?  The guy gets on a plane and flies in from Sweden and all of a sudden he represents all "Iranian Americans?"  I guess Iranian Americans are too dumb to have a representative.  We needed this dubious character to come from Sweden and save us.  And you forgot to mention that the discovery in his defamation lawsuit shows that he used to coordinate his activities with a guy out of Iran (I forgot his name).  

Yeah...he has no connections to the IRI whatsoever. :-))) 


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

NIAC

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

 

Or any other group does not represent all Iranians outside of Iran. Not Iranian Americans either. It only represents its members. I wish Mr Parsi would be very clear that he represents NIAC members. No more; no less. There is also PAAIA which for some reason does not get discussed much. 

Of course there is IIC which was founded by people right here. IIC is my favorite.

So folks there are at least 3 organizations and I hope more will spring up. I am not including traitors like MKO which are non starters. 

I believe NIAC made a mistake by bringing a Palestinian sympathizer on. That is the bad idea since many Iranians like myself will be alienated. It is best to keep the two issues separate and let people who want to get involved with Palestinian issue do so independently. If NIAC does go deep into the Pal thing it will hurt its own place.


hamsade ghadimi

he he

by hamsade ghadimi on

like i said, a green card doesn't make you an american.  i think it's odd someone who's not iranian american has took upon himself to represent iranian americans.  no one is denying the relationship of parsi and the suspicious characters in his network.  no one is denying his contact with iri foreign ministry and setting up meeting with them and reps of u.s. gov't (while denying lobbying).  no one would like to discuss the washington post article (provided below). and as one can see his biggest supporters are the supporters of velayat vaghih. :)

now get out your violoins and let us play the palestinian 'national' anthem.


fooladi

I can understand why NIAC & debashi are viewed with suspiscion:

by fooladi on

I was recently speaking to a couple of old University classmates, now living and working in US and asked them about NIAC. They both had "kinda heard" about it but certainly had not voted for the leadership or such. so an unelected body, claiming to represent Iranian americans,  invites a known sympethyser of palestinian cause as an adviser. This certainly raises some eyebrows. It is blatently obvious that vast majority of Iranins living in the west  dont give a hoot about palestinians. Not surprising that lots of us see the parralels between these self elected , self publicist debashi, parsi &co,  and other self elected, self publicist entity , the velayate vaghih IRI.


Q

Dingo, these people are well-paid vicious character assassins

by Q on

Take a look at who Hassan Dai is before you accept anything from him:
http://iranian.com/main/blog/q/who-attacking-t...

Make sure to watch the videos at the bottom, I just added them.

If you are a fair minded person (unlike many who pretend they are), you can see that no evidence has been offered. There is connection to "IRI". There is only people grasping at straws to discredit and character assassinate this man, or anyone who does not toe their own extremist ideology on Iran.

Read hamsade ghadimi's points below, for example. Which of this proves anything? Why does his Green card have anything to do with anything? In America, you are allowed to do almost anything, including political activity with your Green card. Many well known people have them. Bush "Axis of Evil" speech writer, David Frum, had a Green card at the time he was hired by the White House. Tons of Israelis working for the Pentagon in Washington have Green cards. Don't fall for this irrelevant crap. It's meant only to discredit and divert attention.

Hassan Dai however has direct connection to well-funded neocons, architects of the Iraq fiasco who are pushing for WAR with Iran.


maziar 58

........

by maziar 58 on

 the original statements wrote and signed by mr. parsi sr. says that he was mujahedin khalgh and spent time in Ahwaz jail,and later on was on the run because of being anew target of IRI,got refugee and ploitical assylum granted by sweden.( all claims are made by mr DAEE-ol-eslam).          Maziar


hamsade ghadimi

parsi, dingo daddy

by hamsade ghadimi on

interesting observations by the commenters: dk mentioned edited segment regarding 'lobbying' in the beginning of the tape, ferfereh's eye-opening links, closing statement by dabashi relating palestinian cause and iran's, arabic nationalistic? song at the end, ...

couple of other points that makes one suspicious of parsi is his fervent supporters on this site who happen to be supporters of iri, and the fact that he's a swedish-iranian and is representing american iranians (he has u.s. green card).

dingo daddy, if you want 'clear proof' of parsi's association with iri and his duplicity, you may have to wait until his defamation lawsuit unfolds.  meanwhile, you can refer to the following references (in addition to ferfereh's) and parsi's e-mails (provided within the links provided below) that were obtained through discovery as part of the lawsuit.  you can make your own assessment:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/13/exclusive-did-iranian-advocacy-group-violate-laws//print/

Washington Times, November 13, 2009

In the past few weeks, Mr. Parsi has launched a new campaign to paint his critics as neoconservatives and supporters of the People's Mujaheddhin, a Marxist-Islamic group that is on the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations.

American Thinker, December 03, 2009http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/trita_parsi_reports_to_tehran.html

comments to the above article

http://comments.americanthinker.com/read/42323/492297.html

 


pedramx

Gavazn chikar dareh be shaghaygh!!!!!

by pedramx on

Very irrelevant comparison of the freedom movement in iran and struggle of the Palestinian people at the end of this video !