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April 21, 2003

Page 1

* Weblogger arrested: Call for action

Sina Motallebi, a writer, journalist and weblogger [] was arrested yesterday. His charges are ambiguous at best at this point, but are described as interviews with foreign press (!!) and the content of his web log and other writings.

He posted about his summons the day before yesterday and the next day his wife Farnaz posted the news of his arrest, which was removed from his web log the next day. Farnaz also keeps her own blog [] about her and their new born baby, Mani.

I am asking for all of us to organize in support of Sina. A web site as well as supporting material and "Call to Action" notices could be a first move in gaining some attention to this matter. If you can help, please contact me directly.

Limitations put on our common right to free speech, is an assault on all of us and this is the first time Iranian government has targeted web logs and bloggers. At latest count, there are over 50,000 "blogs" kept from inside Iran, which have so far escaped closed scrutiny by the regime. It is vital to keep this form of media (and internet in general) away from their future attacks.

I look forward to your assistance.

Pedram Moallemian


* USA should make up for it

It is difficult to disagree with the thrust of Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian's article about the looting of the Baghdad musem [Did anyone care?]. It was not only likely to go down as the crime of the new century, it was also a cultural and historical tragedy. Assessing blame however is a bit more sticky than the author seems to think.

I agree absolutely that the primary responsibility for protecting the museum rested with the American military especially in light of the warnings that scholars had forwarded to Washington in recent months. Yet we can't totally cast the blame on the USA.

For one, according to media reports, the police force in Baghdad numbered around 40,000. That's a huge police force for a city of five million. Yet, I have heard no reports of even a single member of that police force showing up at the museum to at least try to rescue their nation's great heritage.

Clealry, the USA did not expect the Baghdad force to completely disappear with in hours. (By contrast, when the Whermacht entered Paris in June 1940, the Parsian police force did not even miss a shift change, which may or may not tell you something about their political views in addition to their level of dedication.)

Obviously the police as well as of course the regime itself, had a duty to protect these great treasures and yet I rarely if ever hear any anger directed at them for their historic failure. In short there is more than enough balme to go around.

It is also worth remembering that the looting of the museum occured rather quicly after the USA arrived in Baghdad. The ability of the USA to accomblish several tasks at once, like securing enemy weapons, surpressing enemy fire and so on, obvioulsy pre occupied them. Yet, as I have said, still the USA should have demonstrated a far greater concern and at the highest levels, for the hsitorical treasures in Baghdad well in advance.

It was a failure and the USA should admit it and do all it can to make up for it. True, the people of Iraq had to pay some price for their liberation for Saddam's fascist-Stalinist regime but this one was preventable and unnecessary.

William Baker


* Iranian museums: A warning

Thank you for the excellent article. It was well researched and most heartily expressed [Did anyone care?]. To rub salt into an open wound, we now have to add the burning of the Baghdad Museum's Library with its pre- and post-Islamic manuscripts, Qurans, and thousands of priceless works of art and calligraphy to the list of perished precious antiquities.

There are some amongst us who no doubt would revel at the thought of the Iraqi heritage being plundered and are quick to remind us, vindictively, of the pillage of Baharistan during the Islamic conquest of Persia. As you have pointed out, quite rightly, such heritage belongs to the world and its loss transcends national frontiers.

While we may speculate if a similar fate is waiting for Iran, being the current runner-up on the "axis of evil" list, the would-be looters of the Iranian museums will have to be issued a warning: "Most items of interest already looted".

Systematically, over the last twenty-four years Persian antiquities were cleared from their museums shelves and ended up, if lucky, in other museums or private collections abroad. All under the watchful stare of their revolutionary guards.

There is no doubt that some of loot will eventually resurface. Soon after the looting began in Baghdad, the Internet based auctioneers, e-bay, opened a new category for the Iraqi "items of interest". Will there ever be a category for the Persian items of interest?



* I spent my life in oil industry, so I know

Dear Mr. Gol [Shock and awe Iranian style],

I liked your letter. My wife and I lived in Ahvaz for two years, until Dec 31/78 and I have a soft spot in my heart for that old city and the people of Iran. The national general strikes that we witnessed, and which toppled the Shah, were a masterpiece. I am still telling that story to people here, though most of them have trouble believing it.

I and millions of other people in the world -- Muslim and non-Muslim -- are praying that the Iraqi people (Sunni, Shia, Kurdish et al), will band together and fight a war of attrition against "The Great Satan" until he leaves, or his already-dying economy collapses. He knows that he is in dire economic straights and he is desperate. But the rest of the Muslim world must remember that they too are threatened. The greater part of the world's petroleum resources are in Muslim countries, so their bad time will come if they do not act now. They must assist the Iraqis.

I have spent almost all of my working life in the oil/gas industry, so I know that what the Americans are trying to do is madness. They can never secure this resource, globally, by force. The cost of doing so is beyond their means -- and certainly beyond the means of the people who would buy the finished products. The well-heads, the pipelines, the plants, the refineries, the shipping facilities, by their very nature, are far too vulnerable to sabotage. If the people of the oil-producing countries do not want them to have the resource, they will NOT have it. Except under fair and equitable terms. (Note that I am using the term "people" rather than "regime").

My Iranian friends here in Canada tell me that their is a faction of (younger) people in your country who are amenable to closer ties to the U.S.A. Tell them for me, (I am 74 years of age), that they are fools. Tell them to resist, resist, resist, until the Americans MUST deal with you as EQUALS. You have our moral support. Khoda Hafez

Keith E Leal


* We hail and salute you

In response to "Shock and awe Iranian style",

I think it goes without saying that what all of those brave Iranian soldiers did in the 8-9 years of war with Iraq will go down in our history, at least, as one of the most courageous epochs.

I don't personally care who you support in that country, who's side you are on... The mullahs, the monarchs, the yourselves, or... If you love your country as all of you claim you do, then you should give credit to all of those who lost their lives, who are physically impaired, who are still dying a little every day in the hospitals from the atrocious chemical
attacks that at the time no country in the world seemed to acknowledge, fighting for the existence of all of us, our parents, our loved ones, and our country.

This goes to all of them... We hail and salute you.

S. Hesam H.


* How many people saved by running a marathon?

Azin Nezami's article, "In memory of peace" is one of the most ludicrous pieces of sentimental drivel I have seen! If Azin feels so strongly about peace and making the world a better place, why not get involved and do something constructive for all the people he cited, vs running a marathon for them!

Azin, ask yourself how many people have been saved, rapes arverted, hungry mouths fed by running a marathon? I suggest instead of running around the city, you run to the nearest Amnesty International office or some other organization and do something really useful for all the unfortunate people you supposedly feel so sorry for.



* One great thing about running and peace rallies

In response to "In memory of peace",

I also experienced the "runner's high" last weekend when I ran in the Vancouver 10K Sun Run. My experience with
running started last year when I reluctantly participated in the same race more as a duty to respond to a call at our company for such participation.

I managed to finish the 10 Kilometer course but it wasn't that easy. After the race, I promised myself to practice for the next year but in the 6 following months, I didn't do much. It was in last October that I finally joined the free drop-in hours of one of numerous running clinics in Vancouver. I found it easier to run with others even if they are totally strangers.

A month later, my friend, Vahid, also joined me. In the following months, we woke up early every Sunday morning and sometimes other days to join a crowd people for our running practices. After running, we occasionally treated ourselves with big (supposedly healthy) breakfasts at our favorite places to gain the fat we just burnt.

This year when I ran in the race, I enjoyed very bit of it and I enjoyed the music that bands were playing along the course. It was a great self-esteem boaster. I don't know if I ever go for longer distances but I am determined to at least keep practicing in 10K runs.

One great thing about this race and the peace rallies that happened in the previous months was brining this sense of community that sometimes so much lacks in North American cities. I am looking forward for the days that we can have such events in Iran and across the globe.



* Mossadegh: "Operation Iranian Freedom"

After reading this article [The myth of hatred is dead] I thuought, well in the near future, the U.S. State Department will issue this.: The coup against Dr. Mossadegh was due to the popular demand of all Iranians and part of "Operation Iranian Freedom".

Maybe at the end, Iranians will owe an oil wells to America too!

Laleh Hamadani


* Reaches out to so many reaches out to so many that I get surprised with responses [to my articles]. I want to let you know what a place you have created my hats off to you. God bless you.

Iqbal Latif


* Mahtab Nassirpour

My name is Mandana and I was hoping to find Ms. Mahtab Nassirpour via e-mail links. Can you help me?

Mandana Mehrayin


More letters (April 21, 2003)
>>>> Page 1
>>>> Page 2
>>>> Page 3

All past letters

By subject
April 21, 2003

Arrested: Sina Motallebi
* Call for action
Kaveh Golestan
* Iranians: Oscar, Pulitzer

* The Pulitzer
U.S.-Middle East
* US should make up for it
* Iranian museums: Warning
* Great loss
* Oil industry, so I know
* Far from understanding
* Iran would fall in a week
* Neighbour's misery ours
* "Op Iranian Freedom"

* Islam: Morally bankrupt
* All bull
* Biggest threat to U.S.
* People deserve it
* Don't understand, don't attack
* Rights: Iranian women
* We hail and salute you
* How many people saved?
* Running and peace rallies
* We're not stupid
* Americans, not hyphenated
Tehran Conference: 1943
* Fascinating story
* Don't pat yourself
* How about Bahai faith?
* About Muslim women
* Our leaders, our children
* Funniest
* Impresion: Iranians poor
* Taranehaye khoob
Persian food
* Dahanam aab oftad
* Persian teacher: London
Lost & found
* Mahtab Nassirpour

* Reaches out to so many



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