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October 8, 2003

* Before condemning Iran's nuclear program

Mr. Mohammadi puts the case pretty well [Only deterrent to nukes]. Other points to consider are:

Iran has been denied the right to benefit from Article IV of the NPT which requires  advanced countries to provide nuclear technology to signatories who wish to use it for  peaceful purposes.

When it signed the NPT in 1968, only one country in the region, the Soviet Union,  possessed nuclear weapons . Now Iran is virtually surrounded by nuclear-capable  states, all of them in breach of the NPT. Washington cowers in the face  Israel's  secret nuclear program, nor does the anodyne U.S. media dare raise its voice.

Before condemning Iran, the UN should begin an investigation of the governments that approved the transfer of chemical,  biological and nuclear technology and equipment to  Saddam's Iraq. The same goes for the manufacturers who supplied them.

Most of all, the UN should investigate the role of the U.S. military in providing battlefied training and leadership in Iraq's infamous chemical attacks against Iranian troops on  the Fao Peninsula in 1988. Patrick E. Tyler of the New York Times exposed the U.S.  army's complicity in his article of Aug. 18, 2002.

The time has come when Iranians should condemn Western, particlulalry American, hypocrisy when the UN and other international bodies are bullied into taking action that benefit their own interests. The rise of the neocons and their dangerous agenda should be a warning to everyone.

Kewmars Bozorgmehr


* Campaign against akhoonds not IEEE

Farhad Jon, [Putting the cart before the horse]
The technical fathers/mothers of Qualcomm are Irvin Jacobs and Andrew Viterbi among many others!! Iranian technical minds and entrepreneurs have contributed a lot  to high-tech industries, so have Chinese, Indians and many others? In fact, the latter groups have done many orders of magnitude more! 
The big difference, however, is that for every patent filed by an Iranian engineer and every doctoral thesis written by an Iranian student, there is a bus load of innocent people in Israel blown up into pieces somehow indirectly condoned, encouraged, supported, endorsed, and funded the Islamic Republic?? You may find this relationship as "G**z & Shaghigheh", but some folks out there find it strong enough to bring about a collective punishment on all of us!?
Please don't give me the argument that, oh what about the Israelis who kill Palestinians!? Why doesn't IEEE take an action against the Israelis? Well, it's none of our business? If you want to be a champion of the oppressed people, why don't you campaign fellow Iranians against the worst killers of all times (Akhoonds/their thugs?) As the old saying goes, "Cheraghi Keh Be Khooneh Ravast Be Masjed Harram Astt."

Siamak Datsangoo, D.Sc.
PS The entire group of Iranian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley is really a small drop in a bucket. Let's not make Rockefellers out of them!!


* Faith comes from within

Commenting on Leila Shirazi's article on the hijab [Matter of choice], I agree 100% with her, it is not a matter for anyone to force the hijab on to a woman, it is between her and God.

I know of plenty of "Muslim" women who where the hijab but nothing else about them shows they are true Muslims. Your faith comes from within you and until that is there 100% there is no point of covering your head, so the fact that the Iranian government forces women to cover is going against the whole religion of Islam and then we have the other extreme Turkey which forces women to remove it! Why can't they just leave women alone to do as they wish!
Well anyway Leila more power to you for your beliefs.



* Winning with the right call

Right on, Majid Yekan! [Badi could do better]
We should learn from our Jewish friends that before becoming a complete force, they always talked to the contending candidates and then would support the one that gave maximum promises for the Jewish cause.  Even now that they practically run the country, and particularly in smaller communities, they still do the same.  

With this close call of an election 10 or 20 thousand votes could be the difference between winning and losing but the Iranian community would be the winner no matter what the outcome provided they have made the right call.
Baraitna Irani


* Gone to his head

I had a chance to read your article about Dr. Badi B [Badi could do better].  You know what the problem here is.  This is perhaps a guy who is popular with his employees and the staff.  He has a number of patients who are grateful to him and have occasionally sent him flowers or brought him cookies to thank him.

Then it all gets to his head that maybe just maybe he will be popular enough to win the recall race.  So he starts talking, throws a fund raiser, most of his aging patients show up to demand advise, refills on medication or to offer some support.  He plants one or two relatives and pays them money so that they can contribute that money as a contribution.  This way he would save some face and say that he actually raised a few thousand dollars in one night.

Getting back to your article,  polls have not even registered this guy.  Why would any recall candidate give a hoot about this guy, he's just one of 135 or so candidates.  Should the front runners also meet people like Larry Flynt and hear about issues that are dear to him. 

Please wake up and smell the coffee. This guy has nothing to contribute as far as popular support to any of the leading candidates so it would be a waste of time for the front runners to even meet this guy.  Even if they do meet him, Dr Badi knows that he has no wide support, so he will just try and use the occasion to take some souvenir pictures with the candidates and try to become buddies with them for his OWN personal reasons.

Finally, let me add that before we rush and vote for anyone who just happens to be an Iranian-American, let's not forget that a few years back Rob Sohbani also ran for Congress from Baltimore.  He lost! Thank God! 

Today Sohbani is occasionally featured as a guest speaker on the Fox News in which his primary goal is to make life a shit hole for Iranians in Iran and Iranian-Americans.  He is such a disgrace to the Iranians in this country, that he would do or say anything to become more accepted by Christian Conservatives in this country; the like of Sean Hannity and O'Reilly!

Niro Milani


* Insensitive Arnold

There is much talk about Arnold Schwarzenegger's misdeeds towards women, but no one is talking about his crucial role in making movies in which bad guys are Middle-Easterners brutally killed by the actor Schawarzenegger.

His films contributed to the repertoire of images in Hollywood which identifies Middle-Eastern or Arab men as the source of evil whose killing in the hands of a powerful European bodybuilder makes our lives safer.

Does this record in film industry make Schawarzenegger a candidate sensitive to minority issues in a state with the biggest concentration of Middle-Easterners?

Elham Gheytanchi


* Too open to other cultures may cost our own

I didn't expect to hear "I will survive" at the Googoosh concert last night in DC, neither did I expect to hear the famous Iranian pop singer sing in English and Spanish. I think it is great to be open to other cultures, but what I saw last night made me think about where our community is heading.

Cheers of "Googoosh, dooset darim!" was replaced by "Googoosh, we love you!" "Che ziba" was replaced by "Que bonita." The 'vay vay' from "Man amadam... " was replaced by "way way" for the Afghan members of the audience. After her formal introduction of "Ba saalam va doroud" to her "hamzabanan," she said a few warm words in English and enthusiastically greeted her Iranian audience: "Velcome to Googoosh night!" The crowd cheered.

She interacted with her ever-so-diverse band a good deal. "Give me five," she yelled to Manoucher, the Azerbaijani pianist. Next think I knew Googoosh shouts: "Ramon! Pedro! Vee are gonna sing espanish song! Ole!" I was probably part of the small percentage of audience members who understood the lyrics. "Yo ofrezco mi corazon... besa de rosa."

Furthermore, her band members had global diversity written all over them- there were Armenians, a Venezuelan, Romanian, Peruvian, Kerman, Azerbaijani, and Brazilian musicians.

Googoosh, who is by far my favorite singer, impressed us all with her energy, her beauty, her dance moves, and her performance in general. Her lyrics are so full of meaning and her tunes are always on our lips as we live our lives with our ups and downs. Seeing her in concert was an amazing experience--a night I will never forget.

Yet drawing on other elements of the concert, part of me was disconcerted. While I commend her global focus, her ability to learn of new cultures and languages, I wonder how far this will go. This is Googoosh! She is an idol, a legend, and a woman whose core, loyal audience consists of those who grew up listening to her in Persian. All of a sudden, she is singing Gloria Gaynor songs.

Sometimes I fear that we Iranians can be so open to other cultures, that we forget our own, just like many of us who have immigrated and assimilate into other cultures. I am worried that while we are embracing others, that we will relinquish our heritage.

Maryam Iman


* Why should Bahais be any different? 

Should Bahais in Iran be recognized as full citizens and be given the right to practice their religion [See poll]?  What kind of question is that? 

Shouldn't all Iranians have full rights as citizens and be allowed to practice their religion?  Why should Bahais be any different?  You are talking about basic human rights that belong to all people.  You shouldn't have to take a poll to decide such a question. 
Anthony A. Lee
Los Angeles, California


* Stand up

Siamack, [Sick and tired]

you should have your own stand up show. Loved it.

Ramin Tork


* Qajar reliability

Professor Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar's answer [Liaaghat nadaashtim] to Alidad Vassigh's "Iruni-baazi", was well put.

My personal comments in regards is that since the dawn of civilization, mankind has yet to discover the formula of harmony and true justice among humans.  Until that happens, the best measurement for a reliable government (or at least the most acceptable one) is its longevity.

Thus, when comparing the merits of the Pahlavi House versus the Qajar (Kadjar) Dynasty, the above speaks for itself.
This said, it appears to me that Alidad Vassigh is an humorist whose writings cannot be taken too seriously.

HIH Nadine Sultan d'Osman Han
Valide Sultan of  Turkey


* Not many fond memories

Dear Poriya, [Kodak moments]

Enjoyed looking at your photo essay on If the pictures are satirical, you need to state them as such. I don't particularly find the experience of looking at a Persian toilet, or smoking in parties, or the parking stub at Khomaini's mausoleum bring back too many fond memories.

I agree with you that segregation of women is wrong, but sometimes it has beneficial effects, such as not being allowed to smoke [the qalyun]. Also, dress codes are not entirely an Iranian phenomena. They are very common in America as well (no shirt, no shoes, no service...).



* Memorial for fallen heroes

Your proposal of a permanent memorial for all our fallen heroes is exactly what Iran needs. [I will not bother (perhaps)]

This kind of memorial should be done for 'all' those who were killed in battle and war, also for those lost with nothing known about their fate. No political affiliation or agenda, no religious connotation - just a memorial for all Iranians

That way whoever has lost a loved one will feel included and can grieve in peace.

You should pursue this with others who may help you in this endeavor.

S. Samii


All past letters

By subject
Ocotber 8, 2003

* Before condemning Iran
IEEE ban

* Campaign against akhoonds
* Winning with the right call
* Gone to his head
* Insensitive Arnold
* Faith comes from within
Googoosh concert
* Too open to other cultures
* Should they be different? 
Siamack Baniameri
Stand up
* Reliability
Iran photos
* Not many fond memories
* Memorial for fallen heroes


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