March 30, 2000
I would like to comment on the issue of Terry Anderson's "judgement"
against Iran which was addressed in Bradley Hernlem's article ["Who
to blame"]. When the judge announced that the Iranian government
must pay Anderson $341 million as compensation for his 7 years of captivity,
I wrote a letter to Anderson via email.
Unlike Dr. Hernlem's letter, mine was not very diplomatic. There is
no longer any room for diplomacy here. Far be it from the fact that the
Iranian government is not directly responsible for his ordeal, since he
was held in Lebanon by an Arab resistance group, a U.S. federal court does
not even have the jurisdiction to tell a sovereign nation's government
what to do. That is obvious. Americans will forever think that the rest
of the world should be subordinate to their laws and should do what it
tells them to do.
But let me recount another event here which will put this so-called
judgement in another light. Remember the Iran Air commercial jetliner
that was shot down by the USS Vincennes back in 1988, killing 294 innocent
people? I recently watched an investigative report that was done on this
on the History Channel.
NOT ONLY were the captain of the ship and the crew members not court
martialed or indicted for this tragedy, they were all given MEDALS OF HONOR.
EVERY SINGLE CREW MEMBER on that ship along with the captain was given
a medal of honor for, according to the United States Navy, acting "appropriately"
under the given circumstances. Nearly 300 innocent Iranians were killed
by missiles fired from an American Navy destroyer, and the people who fired
those missiles were in effect rewarded and congratulated for it.
I saw the captain of the ship -- his name was Rogers -- strutting to
a news conference after the tragedy. He had this big grin on his face,
as if he was the captain of the Love Boat and nothing had happened.
The United States later offered to pay the victims families -- all of
them, not each one -- a total of $74 million. Iran rejected it, and appropriately
My fellow Iranians, consider this tragedy in light of Terry Anderson
and his $341 million damage award, and you will soon realize the INJUSTICE
that permeates this world and the rage that it engenders.