Mrs. Clinton, your roots are showing!


Guive Mirfendereski
by Guive Mirfendereski

Many years ago, I took a class with Professor Badeau, the one-time American ambassador to Egypt. In describing how Jamal Abdul Nasser became the leader of Egypt, he recalled Nasser’s confession to him that “I saw a crowd and got to the front of the line.” I remembered this anecdote when I saw Mohamed ElBaradei making his appearance among the crowd at Tahrir Square in Cairo today.

I also got a fare amount of This Week on ABC and was delighted to see Christiane Amanpour back in her milieu, medium – where she excels best – in the thick of things, reporting from the field.

I also saw Mrs Clinton’s roots. This day her roots where way to striking than other days. It is a pity that the face of American diplomacy should be wrapped in shades of such grotesque hypocrisy when the world so yearns straight talk, particularly from its self-appointed righteous one.

On NBC’s Meet the Press, Mrs. Clinton said “We want to see free and fair elections and we expect that will be one of the outcomes of what is going on right now.” The implication of a statement like this is very clear, even though it was not clear which election Mrs. Clinton was referring to. For the record, the most recent Egyptian parliamentary election took place on 28 November 2010, with a second round on 5 December 2010. 81% of the seats went to Hosni Mubarak’s party, the National Democratic Party. There were boycotts, disqualifications of candidates, and allegations of fraud and some arrests. Similar irregularities and unfair practices plague the last presidential elections in September 2005, which Mubarak “won” with 88.6% of the votes.

Mrs. Clinton’s urging of a free and fair election clearly evidences her belief or the Administration’s that one or both of the Egyptian elections was not free and fair. The question is why wait this long to protest?

Even now the U.S. is hedging, as Mrs. Clinton refused to denounce the past inadequacies of the Egyptian elections. Instead, with a straight face, told NBC’s Meet the Press, that she wants the Egyptian people to chart a real democracy, “not a faux democracy like the elections we saw in Iran 2 years ago.” Emphasis added.

Wait a minute, Mrs. Clinton! Granted, the Iranian elections were questionable, “faux elections,” whatever – but why is it that when you are clearly talking about Egypt that you need to reference not the two previous rigged Egyptian elections, but Iran’s? What is exactly the relation between one’s flatulence with the vein in the temple? My cousin, used to say, plenty: if you try too hard to pass gas, you can busrt the shaqiqeh!

What amuses me in all this is the desperate attempt by the U.S. Administration not to make the mistake that the Carter Administration did some thirty plus years ago. What Mrs. Clinton and President Obama are doing is the time-honored Persian tarfand of kajdar mariz, which is the technique of hobbling along uncommitted-ly, fence-sitting, as it were (literally, carrying a saucer atilt without spilling its content). The protestors are no dummies! They see the games the U.S. is playing and will not judge the “neutrality” of the Administration favorably, nor will Mubarak if he survives this tumult.


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khaleh mosheh

Dear Mr Mirfendereski and Azadeh

by khaleh mosheh on

Apologies again for the unrelated question to the blog- and thanks for your enlightening answers!

Best wishes 



by Bavafa on

"the US, just like other nations of the world, including Iran, is simply acting in her own interest regarding the situation in Egypt"  

Isn't self determination, freedom and democracy in other nations including ME, in the best interest of US?

Isn't that what we have been hearing from the US administrations (past and present) and isn't what they try to sell us about Iraq when their original selling point proved to be a hoax?


David ET

Guardian Article

by David ET on

""By making concession after concession in the moral and cultural domains", the French sociologistGilles Kepel has observed, governments in Muslim countries "gradually created a reactionary climate of "re-Islamisation". They sacrificed lay intellectuals, writers, and other "westernised elites" to the tender mercies of bigoted clerics, in the hope that the latter, in return, would endorse their own stranglehold on the organs of state.......Western politicians have talked incessantly over the past week about the need for "stability". It's time they recognised that it's the desire for stability above everything else, including democracy, that leads to the very instability they fear. The effervescence of popular democracy may be unsettling but it is something to be cherished far more than the stability of authoritarian rule, whether secular or religious.





Anahid Hojjati

Dear Vildemose, thanks for injecting realism into this thread

by Anahid Hojjati on



For anyone knowing a bit of

by vildemose on

For anyone knowing a bit of diplomacy, as soon as Obama admin. told Mubarak to let those protests go on, his support was already withdrawn.


Excellent blog/points!

by Monda on

Thank you Mr. Mirfendereski for your articulation of this major movement.


As Egyptians strive to walk on (uncharted) waters

by incognito on

I wish the best of luck for Egypt. My optimist side agrees with Mr. Mirfendereski, “What Mrs. Clinton and President Obama are doing is the time-honored Persian tarfand of kajdar mariz, which is the technique of hobbling along uncommitted-ly, fence-sitting…” However, the skeptic in me warns the stakes are too high for the powers that be to allow a repeat of 1979: As Middle East Report paraphrased Obama’s mouthpiece, “Democracy is great in theory, but if it will cause any disruption to business as usual, we prefer dictatorship.”

Don’t be surprised if we learn - sooner than later - that an Egyptian military strongman (a protégé of Sadat or Mubarak), steps forward, turns this demonstrator-friendly martial law into a no-nonsense military coup, sends Mubarak family and their cronies packing; and, promises the opposition a share in the income from Suez Canal and/or Tourist Industry, a general election in a year or two, and a position in the transitional government for El Baradei, - or even for someone from the Muslim Brotherhood -  courtesy of Uncle Sam. Of course, all to be reneged when convenient.

Guive Mirfendereski


by Guive Mirfendereski on

kaleh mosheh - as far as I can tell, chivalry derives from cheval, horse - like cavalier. salahshur may have the same connotation (though arguably not) and relates to salah, weapons, or war (warrior).


And yet,

by LoverOfLiberty on

And yet, I am willing to bet that some of the same people who criticize the US today for taking a perceived neutral stance-or even a somewhat inconsistent stance-regarding the events in Egypt will also state that the US should not interfere in the internal affairs of Egypt.  <<rolls eyes>>

The truth of the matter is, the US, just like other nations of the world, including Iran, is simply acting in her own interest regarding the situation in Egypt.

I wouldn't expect anything different from the US...or from other countries, for that matter.



Dear KM, the term "Chivalry" is derived from Sassanid "Savaari"

by SamSamIIII on


Asp-vari, asuvaari, Savaari

As pointed out earlier "selahshoor" has no connection lingisticaly to the term Chivalry yet in the concept of Chivalry in old Europe was a copy cat concept of Parthian Paho (pahlevan) & later Sassanid Cavalry knighthood tradition  which was incorporated into Roman light cavalry traditions and in turn progressed into middle ages Latin kingdoms. As a matter of fact Cavalry concept is a common tradition of most IndoEuropeans of the stepps. 

Some of the modern military terms to this day are derived from Parthia-Scythian-Sassanid concepts such as the term "Partisan" or "Parthian shot" or sassanid "Navaan graan salar"(Navy grand commander since in mid persian the term for water was naav=aav=aab still found in terms such as naavdaan, water drainage). not a linguist yet i tried to help. Regards.



Path of Kiaan Resurrection of True Iran Hoisting Drafshe Kaviaan // //


Thank you Azadeh

by آشنا on

for your extended response and all right in my view. Just wanted to add that "Salahshoor" definition accordint to two sources are here:



سلحشور   سلحشور.[ س ِ ل َ ] ۞ (نف مرکب ) مخفف سلاح شور. (حاشیه ٔ برهان قاطع چ معین ). سپاهی و مستعد قتال و جدال باشد و معنی آن سلاح ورز است که از سلاح بهم رسانیدن و تحصیل کردن اسباب جنگ باشد و در عربی مقدمة الجیش خوانند و به ترکی شرباشاران گویند. (برهان ). سلاح ورز است یعنی مرد جنگی که اسباب جنگ او آماده باشد و ورزش و استعمال سلاح بسیار کند چرا که این لفظ مرکب است از سلح که مخفف سلاح باشد و از لفظ شور که مشتق از شوریدن باشد و معنی شوریدن باهم زدن چیزهاو استعمال و وزرش کردن . (غیاث اللغات ) : 

چه خوش گفت آن تهی دست سلحشور جوی زر بهتر از پنجاه من زور


فرهنگ سخن [از عر  فار+ سلاح شور] ( صف) مرد جنگی؛ سپاهی دلیر؛ جنگاور ]  : 

Niloufar Parsi

well said

by Niloufar Parsi on

totally agree

disclaimer: I mean with the article. am saying nothing about the comment below! :)

Immortal Guard

Hey Azadeh...

by Immortal Guard on

How come you keep changing your picture?

You have become a picture-changer!

I am losing my orientation!

By the way I find you very beautiful in case that is your real picture!


samsam jan

by vildemose on

'Lamb mute' when it comes to Omaru republic :) since they have mastered the art of fence sitting in the land of Mortaaz , saaghi & golo bolbol.




ElBaradei is a front fokoli man for Akhavan al muslemin

by SamSamIIII on


 Just as Bazargan was for Omaru republic crowd. Brotherhood has already appointed him as their interim spokeman ;). & btw Muslim sisterhood,,,ooops brotherhood is a small yet well oiled political machin in an Egypt devoid of any organized major political groups. Remind you of 79 & mosques! yet in contrast to Iran as i pointed out earlier the trick wont work. on another note it is interesting how omaru iranian crowds are in such rush to bring "democracy" to their Arab brothers with such vigor & haste yet are Lamb mute when it comes to Omaru republic :) since they have mastered the art of fence sitting in the land of Mortaaz , saaghi & golo bolbol. cheers & thx for the read!!!

Path of Kiaan Resurrection of True Iran Hoisting Drafshe Kaviaan // //


A well written analysis of the charade by the US administration

by Bavafa on

I have read and watched the same charade by Mrs. Clinton and was dumbfound it where is US long cry for freedom and democracy in ME? At best, she is calling for a gradual transition to democracy. One need to ask her how gradual this transition needs to be and how much longer the middle eastern nations need to wait for it?



Maybe she is  pushing

by vildemose on

Maybe she is  pushing Mubarak to make drastic changes that he can't make... thus boosting the premise of the protesters by agreeing with them. You could go as you would like and demand he be beheaded. That would really make you happy yet make every US backed dictatorship Arab or non-Arab angry.

Azadeh Azad

Khaleh mosheh

by Azadeh Azad on

If you don't mind my responding: 

The word chivalry comes from the French word Chevalerie, meaning knighthood and nobility. This in turn comes from Latin Caballaria, meaning the same thing.

Caballaria comes from Caballus, which is a Gaulois word meaning  ''horse'' or rather ''working horse.'' It replaced the word ''equus'' before the 3rd century AD.

There is no relationship between Chivalry and Salahshouri, as the latter seems to be of Arabic, Semitic,  origin and not Indo-European.

Hope this helps :-).


khaleh mosheh

Dear Mr Mirfendereski

by khaleh mosheh on

Apologies for asking you an unrelated question to this blog, but I know your interest in linguistics and since I have been wondering about this for a while and you blog gave me the opprotunity.

Is there a connection between the word chivalry and 


Thanks very much