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Letters

February 2007

Part 1 -- Part 2 -- Part 3

February 7

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If a war were to start between Iran and the US, the responsibility clearly stands with the Iranian government

In response to Jason King's "Letter from America":

It appears that intellect, fact finding and reason has been butchered in our Iranian culture to be replaced with emotions, jealousy and nostalgia. The love of history and trying to connect historical incidents and trends to current world affairs is plaguing our efforts to understand the issues facing us today.

Out of all world’s nations, it appears that Iranians are the ones with the most contradiction in ideology and persistence in wrong traits, especially among our so called intellectuals who believe that the most important aspect of being an intellectual is to be anti-American to begin with. That is the heritage of our mid 20th century ultra left wing intellectual movement that eventually caused the near destruction of our country during the Islamic revolution.

America hosts the biggest Iranian population outside of Iran, many of them with communist and socialist beliefs, however, the language of Anti-Americanism is prevalent more among those living in America and the West in general, than the ones who actually live in Iran and look up to the International community, including the West, to provide support for their struggle against the current Fascist regime of Iran.

It is unfortunate, ironic, and a fact, that many Iranians, more than any other people in the middle east, would actually greet American troops as liberators, disregarding the fantasized arguments of some of our intellectuals abut the evils of Capitalism, Neo Cons and western values. History has clearly proved that the capitalist system of government, even though not flawless, provides the best possible quality of life for its citizens. That is a historical fact.

Any effort by the American government to promote and assist the cause of Democracy in Iran is immediately rejected by that portion of Iranian population who appear either not to understand the role of America in the world, the brutality of the Iranian regime, and the current world affairs, or they’re just simply and deliberately ignoring them.

It seems we feel a sense of defeat where we believe that our country with a history of 10000 years is struggling at its lowest point of its history, and our sense of false pride is making it easy to blame others, specially the very opposite spectrum of us, the United States, for our faults and misdeeds. There are undeniable facts and figures and numbers provided by neutral organizations such as UN, Human Rights Groups, World Bank and numerous others, which illustrates Iran’s ranking among freedom of speech, respect of human rights, economical prosperity and others, to be at the one of the lowest in the world and the US to be at the other side of the list. Jealousy maybe? State of Denial? Not admitting to realities?

Iranians blame America for the 1953 military coup. They tend to forget, or ignore the fact that, it was the Shah and full-blooded Iranians who planned and executed the event. They argue as if they did not exist. The very role of the CIA was merely to give a green light or provide limited logistical support. Even if the CIA would’ve opposed it, the coup would have gone forward anyway.

Contrary to the Iranian belief, not every event in the world is directed by the US or waits on a green light from it to carry on. If US had such power, it would’ve received an easy approval vote from the UN when they rolled into Iraq in 2003. It is in fact the ultimate superpower thanks to hard work, respect of human rights and a sophisticated economical system; however, it does not control the destiny of all human beings! And the US is the same country who played a central role in our effort to get back the state of Azerbaijan from the “leading force of socialism, equality and justice among all”!!!!! , the Soviet Union, whom so many of our thinkers looked, and still look, up to for inspiration for justice and equality !!

Iranians talk about the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. I do not condone that act. However, it is a fact that the US helped rebuild Japan and pretty much all Western Europe after World War II like no country has ever rebuilt another nation, in the history of the world. Look at Japan’s standing in the world today.

Some Iranians are indirectly supporting the cause of the most brutal regime of their history and in today’s world, by rejecting the attempts of the US and other nations to quell the barbarism of this regime through any means possible without sacrificing human lives. Iran possesses a grave threat to world stability. The Iranians who support the regime’s acquisition of nuclear power are either a siding with them, or truly not aware of the threat it represents.

I do not believe in the arguments that those Iranians claim to be opposing US foreign policy only, and not the country of America. It is very obvious that they target the very core identities of America.

I am not a Bush supporter. I believe although he understands the threat of global terrorism, as a result of his and his administration’s incompetence, his policies to tackle those threats have had catastrophic consequences. I also do not support a full scale military operation against Iranian people. But I do distinguish between the need for international support, including the US, and faulting our mistakes on others.

If a war were to start between Iran and the US, the responsibility clearly stands with the Iranian government. Whether the US was right or wrong in invading Iraq, the actions of the Iranian government to run a proxy war in Iraq through the Shiite militia against the US forces, has provoked the American government. The mullah regime is meddling in Iraq not for the benefit of the Iraqi people, but to strengthen its base support among fundamental Iraqi Shiite groups.

Let for once in our history, keep our emotions side and think objectively about what’s best for our civilization.

Sam Dehghani

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Profound naivety with the American electoral process

In response to Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich's " GW and Hillary":

Dear Ms. Sepahpour-Ulrich,

Bravo! Not many people would have the audacity to quote George Washington, a president, who has been dead for 208 years to support their criticisms of a present day presidential candidate as you did in GW and Hillary. I know of another quote by another long dead American president, Abraham Lincoln, which you might like to add to your repertoire of presidential quotations.

It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

While you are clearly a fine writer, the article did not merely reflect a dearth of logic, but a complete and total abrogation of linear thought processes on your part. There is a certain Khuzestani lady in south Florida who is universally regarded in the Iranian-American community to know everything about everything, but with a few more articles like this one you may begin to give her a run for her money.

How your mind equates Mrs. Clinton with Dubya defies logic. The only person, dead or alive, that can possibly be happy with Dubya' performance in office is former president, Herbert Hoover. Wherever he now resides, be it Heaven or Hell, I'm sure that he is happier than a pig in poo that he can finally pass history's mantel as America's Worst President on to someone else.

Your article shows a profound naivety with the American electoral process. Candidate Clinton may have to say many things which a future President Clinton would conveniently forget. In order to have any chance of securing the Democratic Party's nomination, she must have the unequivocal support of the country's Jewish community. Without that support, her candidacy stands no chance whatsoever. I, for one, can live with her wagging a threatening finger at the government of the Islamic Republic if that is what it takes for her to secure the nomination of her party for the presidency.

Assuming that Senator Clinton's world views are similar to those of her husband, the people of Iran having no reason to fear a second Clinton presidency. President Clinton, after all, did far more than any of his predecessors in trying to achieve a rapprochement with the government of Iran. It was only after he was publicly rebuffed and humiliated by that government's out-of-hand rejection and repudiation of his efforts that he gave up on the idea of trying to mend fences with Iran. President Clinton apologized for America's past meddling in Iranian affairs, but that wasn't good enough for the Mullahs.

They wanted him to undo the wrongs of previous American administrations which he could not do. The Mullahs unfortunately could not seem to grasp the relatively simple fact that a bell once rung cannot be un-rung. No, the Mullahs wanted to try to get blood from a stone and finally Mr. Clinton threw his hands up in the air in disgust. Furthermore, President Clinton did far more than any previous American leader in trying to solve that festering and stench-filled wound on the body of Middle East politics known as the Isreali-Palestinian Conflict.

You insult the collective intelligence of the Iranian-American community in trying to frighten them with your widely imaginative baloney. If you can't see what is clearly obvious to everyone else, that Senator Clinton shares no ideological similarities with Dubya; you really ought to consider getting some new glasses.

Relations between Iran and the United States can only get better under a Clinton presidency. How could she possibly do any worse than Dubya? In dealing peacefully with the IRI's fanatical leaders, Mrs. Clinton would do well to remember what America third president, Thomas Jefferson, had to say regarding his reluctant support for the continuation of slavery, an institution he abhorred. His words, spoken 200 years ago, on that issue could be applied with equal relevance today regarding how the next president should approach engagement with the government of the IRI.

The continuation of slavery [Peaceful dealings with IRI fanatics] is like holding a snarling wolf by the ears. You may not like it much, but you don't dare let go because the alternative is too horrible to imagine.

Khoda Nagah-dar,

Lance Raheem

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Which side of isle are you?

In response to Omid Prasi's "Even if we lose":

The article is well worded, and he sounds like an educated person wrote it. But I did not clearly understand that which side of isle is the writer standing at (I am in the middle)? Let's go back a fewyears, and remember that United States was the first country to recognize the new government of Iran after, they (USA removed their own lap dog (Shah) from power. Now you figure out the rest (read between the lines).

Reese kay

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Three points may help to ease the pain

In response to Omid Prasi's "Even if we lose":

Very well put Omid.

Remembering at least this three points may help to ease the pain.

Some times I wonder and think if most of this unique and well educated Iranian, who so sharply emotionalizes the possibility of an attack by American army, are the sons of the Mullahs or Basijis who will inherit "Velayateh Faghih". Let's not forget the hideous crime of IRI on the last 28 years, from the mass execution of Evin's prisoners to genocide in Kurdistan.

Ghafour

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Hairy women? Very sexy.

In response to Afsaneh Najmabadi's "Some of us like our women hairy":

Hi there. Just so you know, there are some nice good looking men out there who find hair on a woman very sexy and a huge turn-on. I happen to be one of them. I absolutely love a girl who does not shave. To me, the more hairy she has the sexier. Too bad I wasn’t there to make you feel better as society has a way of really beating down people. I am glad you are happy now and do not let it bother you. Feel free to write back...

Ken

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You LIED when you took the Pledge of Allegiance?

In response to Badralsadat Madani's "If Bush decides to invade, my ticket is ready":

Badri jooni,

Are you telling me that you LIED when you took the Pledge of Allegiance to the Constitution of the United States?!!

Wah, khaahar joon if lied THEN, how can we be sure that you are not lying NOW???

Khaahar boro zabooneto gaaz begir :))

Aabji Pari

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Khoda ro shokr kon

In response to Aabji Pari's "You LIED when you took the Pledge of Allegiance?":

70 MILLION IRANIANS ARE READY TO TEAR UP PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND THOSE WHO WANT TO INVADE THEIR COUNTRY. BORRO KHODA RAA SHOKR KON TOYE IRAN EDAMET NAKARDAND.

badri madani

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Discredited neo-con arguments

In response to Amil Imani's "No bombs, no appeasement":

Dear Mr. Imani,

With all due respect, as Mr.Ted Rall would say, why don't you shut up, shut up and shut up. If you consider yourself a friend of Iran and Iranian, especially those who are living in Iran, believe me they don't need enemy. In all of your writings, I don't see anything new, they are all discredited arguments of neo-cons and Israel propaganda machine. It is really shameful that at this difficult time for Iran (read Hassan M's "Americans are losing their very best friends in the world") and the US, you like your bosses, spreading false and revolting accusations. The same ones that a few months ago was published by a Republican congressional committee and was rebuked by International Atomic Energy Agency.

Foad

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Israel is the mother of all of the Middle East wars!

In response to Hassan M's "Americans are losing their very best friends in the world":

Well said! But, I am disappointed that you never metnioned the real culprit here! Israel is the mother of all of the Middle East wars! they are the ones who are using their power in the US congress to attack and sanction Iran!

Israel does this to us and they expect us to like them? Americans are the real victims of zionists agenda!

Jon

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No friend of Iran

In response to Hassan M's "Americans are losing their very best friends in the world":

You are absolutely correct and I don’t think USA has really ever been a friend of Iran. Just review the history Iran-US relationship for the last 75 years and you see what I mean!!!!!!! USA has always postured to destroy Iran financially or culturally.

Shahram

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Protecting the motherland

In response to Hassan M's "Americans are losing their very best friends in the world":

I am grateful, though deeply saddened, to hear from someone who is the real target of sanctions. As the author indicated, it is the average Iranian who will pay the ultimate price. Sanctions are intended to send a message of displeasure and rebuke to a given government. However, in Iran's case the purpose was to create consensus and pass a resolution against Iran in the hope that it would not abandon what is under international law considered to be her inalienable right. I have no doubt in my mind that the Bush Administration hopes that the UNSC members will not come on board for the next stage of the meeting and like Iraq, it will then find itself with an excuse to take unilateral action and launch a massive and deadly attack against Iran.

It makes me wonder where the monarchists and Reza Pahlavi are these days for they always claims to be against military action. His deathly silence speaks louder than words. He has not condemned the US actions in sending a fleet to the Persian Gulf nor the sanctions that are hurting the likes of Mr. Hassan. If he is to show patriotism and leadership, it is at a time like this that he must prove that Iran and its people are more important than America's support.

Today, more than ever, the Iranian Diaspora needs to protect its motherland and those that will pay a heavy price as a result of our indifference, comfort, and personal ambitions. As a nation, we are only as strong as the weakest link in our midst - any given person who becomes destitute as a result of our silence in exile, will hold us accountable whether Shah or pauper. Any individual in Iran who loses a limb or a mother to a bomb, will not hold Americans to account, but the Iranians who did not speak up to stop the attack. We must be the chain that will encircle them to protect them from harm. Failing to do so, will make us more guilty than those who wished them harm in the first place.

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

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You can only blame the ignorant uneducated and highly fanatic Moslems of Iraq

In response to Soraya Sepahpour Ulrich's "Outsourcing terrorism":

Dear uninformed: you are way off on the “Askariya Shrine” Bombing. To assume this administration being able to act with such evil in mind requires another assumption of GW bush being competent with thinking capacity no dear you can only blame the ignorant uneducated and highly fanatic Moslems of Iraq for all the atrocities they commit. Please stop blaming the neo Iranian Nazis AKA as MEK for position of any relevance or importance as well as doing any thing you could consider brave.

I happened to meet some them pussies in Iraq all they are about is sex with each others wives and an occasional half hearted prayer to Imam Rajavie. I am tired of so called Iranian political brains like you giving us bad facts or misinterpreted takes presenting you opinion as fact and supporting your bullshit with more shit. In my report to my superiors I included one very significant change in our policy “don’t mined the Iranian’s analysis of the situation they are all full of shit or as you say “Goh” .In conclusion I have to say “Goh nakhor ahmagh” another one of your vocabulary brilliance, I hope to have spelled it correctly I wouldn’t want you think it was not an insult. It was.

andfive

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Done every wrong -- in the name of Islam

In response to Mahasti Shahrokhi's "Jomhouri-e Basij ":

Well said ..... we all have been brainwashed .... but now we can think ... now we can look back and see what went wrong and make the best out of our mistakes ..... I guess we all have forgotten what the revolution was all about.... to have freedom ......to have less gap between rich and poor ... to have more universities .... more hospitals .... more libraries ..... to gain back our GOD given rights ...... (HUMAN RIGHTS)... As far as I remember we never went to demonstrations to have false images of our religion to be portrayed to us and to the world in a way that no one on this earth no more knows what the true meaning of the beautiful religion of Islam is ..... they have done every wrong they could do in the name of Islam and just for that reason alone we should stand up and take back our revolution ...... for the sake of shohada those who died for our freedom ....

Hedi

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Reality on the ground

In response to Javad Fakharzadeh's "United States of Iran":

Javad,

Thanks for great article. I tend to agree with all elements you outlined. We need more of these commnetaries to counter the overwhelming deceptive neo-con editorials to paint a different picture of reality on the ground and historical events throughout last century.

Thank you and please give more historical perspective of what the traditional tactics has been for black gold lovers who have no interest in lives of humans anywhere let alone middle east.

Mehran

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Don't mess around with the lion

In response to Javad Fakharzadeh's "United States of Iran":

Excellent article! That's right, don't mess around with the lion, you eagle or star of davood! we fight till the last drop of our blood for our IRAN, even though we hate the mullahs!

Jon

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Is US stoning Iranian women?

In response to Javad Fakharzadeh's "United States of Iran":

Get a life! You don't know what you are talking about. We don't want the Unites State of Iran. Are you going to say the US is stoning Iranian women? Oil or Black Gold is freely given to China for protection. And the rest of income from petroleum is sent to around the nation to support Mullas. Why don't you do some research , and then talk...

Javad G

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Aren't you being a tad selective here?

On iranian.com logo by Pedram Moallemian, "Nuclear Free Middle East" and "no nukes, anywhere" comment above the link:

I find it very odd that on the sidebar you mention "no nukes, anywhere" and yet the logo you are referring to says "nuclear-free middle east." Aren't you being a tad selective here? Which do you really mean?

It seems as though you are suggesting (or the gentleman who designed the logo) that other non-Middle Eastern (read: Western, developed, "civilized", rich....) countries are more worthy of having nukes, since they would never use it for any destructive purpose (of course not, they're too humane).

The fact of the matter is that, either no one is permitted possession, and we are a nuke-free WORLD, or if even one nation/country has it, then it is a free for all, and no one has any right to disagree.

I suggest you either change the logo; or correct the confusion on the sidebar and let your bias show.

Leila S

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I suggest you to pay a visit to Iran

On iranian.com logo by Mazloom, "No war for atom":

I am not sure if you even know the meaning of the words you have used!! The wise says"if you don't have meaningful logo to make, do not make it at all".

I do not know how long you have been away from Iran but I suggest you to pay a visit there and then create a logo. I went there last December after 20 years, it blew my mind. Iranians are so brain washed out of Iran you will be surprised from your findings. We might say anything here without knowing what is going on there and what will work and what won't work,so my dear friend your logo is nonsense.

You know if you had said Nuclear Bomb "sangin tar boodi"!!!!

Mitra

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Let's not start a war over it

On Mitra's "I suggest you to pay a visit to Iran":

Mitra,

From your email I take it that you don't want to go to war over the nuclear issue, so somehow try to express your desire to IRI or USA.

The logo I made for Iranian.com was 41 frames of animation. Jahanshah Javid, the editor chose to post only one non-animated frame of it with his own changes, although it is still what I wanted it to say, that IRI should not get us into a war with the USA over the nuclear issue.

The logo itself is only 270x50 pixels, writing paragraphs of opinions will not fit in it nicely, never the less, If I had said "no war for nuclear bomb" that would imply that IRI is making the atomic bomb, which they deny, and the USA is going to war to prevent it from happening, and let's not go to war to prevent it, which it does not make any sense. On the other hand "no war for atom" implies that dispute is over nuclear energy technology (too long, hence atom), so let's not start a war over it. I would say it makes sense.

I am glad that you got a chance to visit Iran after twenty year. I travel to Iran regularly, that means more often than once every twenty years.

Let's not restrict freedom of expression by remarks such as "do not make it at all". If you an opinion to express, let's see what it is.

Mazloom

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Why lend your tiny voice to the propaganda campaign against Iran?

On Mazloom's cartoons and U.S. bullying Iran:

Dear Cartoonist of Genius,

You talk about the "Mullahs right to nuclear technology", but the Iranian nuclear program started under the Aryamehr. Remember that?

The IRI has executed tens of thousands of its political opponents (it has a lot of blood on its hands, and the Iranian people have to hold it accountable); the U.S. killed millions of Vietnamese during its attack on Vietnam. I was wrong to say that the U.S. killed more in one day than the IRI did in 28 years (I should have said in one month--my mistake; though it killed more people in one day in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945-- estimates on the number of deaths vary, and the 80,000 number you quote is at the low end of the estimates for Nagasaki alone).

As far as the claims of the "Mojahadin Khalgh", are these the same Mojahedin freedom-lovers who fought on Iraq's side when Saddam was bombing Iran's cities and using chemical weapons? Do you mean those Mojahedin? They also claim that they didn't support Saddam and deny helping Saddam suppress the Kurds in 1991.

Of course your cartoons have no impact on the U.S. government, but why lend your tiny voice to the propaganda campaign against Iran? You fail to see that no matter what Iran does, the U.S. will keep looking for new excuses to pressure Iran. You support Iran negotiating, but not the U.S. To say "No War for the Atom" is idiotic because it places the blame on Iran, rather than the U.S. (where it belongs). I am a U.S. citizen, and my first duty is to hold the U.S. government accountable for its actions. I pay taxes in the U.S., not Iran--so what Uncle Sam does IS my business, not what Iran does.

Ali

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Pressure on IRI is good

On Mazloom's cartoons and U.S. bullying Iran:

Dear Ali the magnificent,

1- Yes, I was talking about those Mojahedins
2- I didn't talk about "Mullahs right to nuclear technology", you did.
3- "Iranian nuclear program started under Aryamehr", so what? Now, the Mullahs have a right to it under some international law. There are other inalienable rights beside nuclear energy, and lets not forget about them, among them free press and right to descent. Let independent investigative journalists determine what's going on. On top of that, let's have free election to see if a free elected government would also choose to develop nuclear technology under these harsh international circumstances.
4- Let's not forget about Japanese attacks and atrocities in Manchuria, China, Pear Harbor, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaya, Singapore, East Indies, Philippines, Pacific Islands, Burma, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Australia. Let's not forget the Cold war and USSR atrocities in Europe and Asia.
5- My tiny voice is against IRI, not Iran, there is big difference, I know the difference, and I don't need you to tell me the difference.
6- Pressure on IRI is good.
7- As a citizen of Iran, with "no war for atom" I am telling IRI not to get us in war over the nuclear issue.
8- You are a USA citizen; you go ahead and hold your government accountable for its actions, just like you said.

Mazloom

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"Conspiracy theory"?

On Ben Madadi's "Force-feeding Persian":

Get real!

As an ethnic Azari, I do think there is no such a Persian race -- Azari race in Iran: only Azari language and Persian language!

"Forced assimilation", "Iranian Nations" and" suppression of the non- Persians" are all only present in the ethno-centric literature and not in the real life itself!

Can't understand why the language is such an important matter only in the borders of Iran? Why Kurds, Azaris and Blouchis have to have "ethnic problems" but Lors or Gilaks are not vocal? Is this a "conspiracy theory"?

From Tehran,

Alborz

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I will hope to see you on the front lines

In response to Omid Prasi's "Even if we lose":

Omid you are a total idiot and a traitor... i dare you to say that face to face to a REAL Iranian man... but I know your knees will get weak and your crotch wet... I loath all Iranians that put their own country down but you take the prize in treachery... I hope there won't be a war but if there is I will hope to see you on the front lines and would deal with you just as I dealt with the Iraqis in the 4 years that I volunarily served... hope to serve you real soon buddy.

Maysam

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Falling behind schedule

In response to Omid Prasi's "Even if we lose":

A timeline of modern day Iran, (20th and 21st century), can be divided into segments of close to 28 years each. Reza Shah and Mohammad Reza Shah [1925-1953 (28 years)], Mohammad Reza Shah post-Mossadegh [1953-1979 (26 years)], and this toilet clogged with clerical esshaal we call home today [1979-2007 (28 years)].

Based upon this simple arithmetic, the law of averages, and the general consensus among anyone with an ounce of common sense that enough is enough, I seriously think we, the Iranian diaspora, as well as those citizens who are still living within the borders of our motherland, need to get moving, as we are falling behind schedule and risk ruining our 28 year average lifespan for Iranian regimes. If we are going to be inconsistent, then the least we can do is be consistent in our inconsistency.

Kaveh Nouraee

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Tracing the pallavas

In response to Samar Abbas's "India's Parthian colony":

Dear Dr. Samar Abbas,

I'm very happy for yr discoveries about the pallavas. But there are certain things that I don't agree with you. You mentioned in your article that reddys also are form the pallavas. Reddys are original telugus like the naidus. Both groups have settled in Tamil Nadu. Among the tamils, the mudaliars got the most outstanding goodlooking ones. But then they don't have any king of resemblance to the parthians. The pallavarayar/or its family background group among the kallars got the iranian looks. I myself belong this pallavarayar group. I'm willing to post you my baby photo which got some resemblance the parsi mixed chinese muslims in xinjiang.

The caste group velalas are too very good looking, but this is due as they mixed up with so many other groups not with pallavas as they don't posses pointed sharp features. To trace the pallavas, should be based features, not skin color as all these happened long time ago. The recent aryan mix such as reddys, naidus, velalas could never be accepted for pallava people. Even in Sri lanka, some sri lankan tamils are actually mix of persians from elam, and this could be traced by their features. I hope you would respond to me as I hold much points to prove that pallavas are actually mixed into the tamil castes instead of telugus, as telugus are actually mixture of aryans from north Indian like any other north indian groups.

Dr Rawilinson writes that the Pallavas had collected round themselves the Kurumbas, Marayas, Kallars and other predatory tribes and formed them into a strong and aggressive power which rose into prominence in about 325 CE on the east coast of India, between the mouths of Krishna river and Godavari. The word Pallava is synonymous with rascal, robber or predator in Tamil language, says Dr Rawilinson. About 350 CE, the Pallavas established themselves on the east coast and occupied famous city Kanchi or Conjeeavram. I would like to mention that is from wikipedia.

Ranjini Shanmugam

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Our role, god forbid it happened

In response to Daniel M Pourkesali's "Poking into a far larger hornet's nest":

Thank you for the nice article, just was wondering why these kinds of memo are never published in the public news media?
We all know the answer, I should have not asked. We dearly love Iran regardless of the outcome and should start thinking of our role, god forbid it happened.

Ray Lotfi

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What has YOUR Islam brought to Iran that WE Iranians should be so proud of?

In response to Jahanshah Javid's "Why is equality so difficult to accept, even in theory?" and Dariush Abadi's "But I agree, being a Muslim in America is better than a Bahai in Iran":

You cannot talk logic to someone who is truly BLINDED by religion, like this Abadi fellow, as religion in itself is ILLOGICAL to begin with. You can see this mere fact with his closing comment of "But I agree, being a Muslim in America is better than a Bahai in Iran."

It just shows his mere ignorance and basic detest for the Bahai faith and its IRANIAN followers.

Abadi, you are a sorry example of an Iranian...

Your track record of pro-Islamic Republic and anti-Persian postings over the years have helped shape the viewers of Iranian.com as to your true beliefs. With you, one can readily read between the lines to deduct the true meaning of your ignorant post.

Your comments are contradictory as a whole. You have sought to put being a Muslim of more importance than being Iranian. If that is not an example of being Anti-Iranian, I do not know what is. Furthermore, your revisionist views of Iranian history are simply pathetic and borderline delusional. What is comical, yet sad, is that you sermonize this bankrupt belief in the same manner a Mullah spreads his lies to the masses; you think all are who are not followers of this LIE called Islam are lost and confused infidels and that you can help them find the way towards this LIE.

You need some serious psychological counseling.

You are truly comical, very comical. Yet at the same time, I cannot believe how blind and ignorant you are. What has YOUR Islam brought to Iran that WE Iranians should be so proud of? Why is it that in YOUR Islam you behead, blow up, stone, rape before executing and whip anyone that dares to be different in their views? Why is it that in YOUR Islam, you cannot find one progressive and advanced society? The reason is that your type is too focused on the past by whipping and chaining themselves to what some dirty, uncivilized, inhuman Arab murderer did 1400 years ago that they cannot see what is happening around them today. I will admit that Islam plays a major role in the lives of SOME Iranians today, but for you to coat the entire population of Iran as such is simply asinine.

And what has YOUR revolution brought to Iran today?? Nothing but misery. So I strongly urge you to wake up buddy, as you, the Islamic Republic and your pitiful Islam are dinosaurs in this ever-changing world. And we all know what happened to the dinosaurs...

As we have numerous times in the past, Iran will rise again...

Babak Kalhor

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Iran will never be secular

In response to Babak Kalhor's "What has YOUR Islam brought to Iran that WE Iranians should be so proud of?":

The only one blind is you brother. My closing line was in agreement with Jahanshah's statement that living in America as a Muslim is much better than living as a Baha'i in Iran (because of the things that are denied to them).

What did I say that made you reach a different conclusion than when Jahanshah made the same statement in the e-mail to me?

Their is no denying that I am Muslim. I've made that clear in my postings.

However, you cannot generalize nor stereotype me into a category of a certain mindset of who we are, and what we represent.

I personally have many close Baha'i friends, and my uncle is Baha'i himself. My great grandfather was Jewish.

I personally converted to Islam a few years back. Being Muslim in no way makes you anti-Iranian. Iran, wither you like it or not, is majority Muslim, and outside of Tehran the majority practice and believe in Islam. (Even in Tehran they believe, yet barely practice, like Christians in the West).

I think being Anti-Islam however does make you anti-Iranian. You don't have to be pro-Islam, but hating Islam and everything Islamic makes you anti-Iranian. Solely because of two matters

1) Iran has heavily influenced and shaped Islam (both Sunni and Shi'a Islam....be it all the Sunni Hadith, Sunni schools of thought, or Shi'a thought, etc.)

2) Islam has heavily influenced Iran (in Art, philosophy, traditions, culture, ....even what we know as Norouz has been heavily changed by Islam, and even transported to other countries through the vessel of Islam)

Do you know that people in China in the Xiangang province celebrate Nowruz because of Islam's influence in that region by Persian Sufis?

So if anyone has hatred toward a people or a religion is you, not I. So don't accuse me of such.

What does it mean to you to be an Iranian? Are the borders that the colonizers drew for us the concept of Iran for you?

Why limit Iran to the territory that we now know as Iran? What makes two Iranians from two different parts of Iran in any way cohesive and identical? How can they both call themselves Iranian? What does an Azeri and a Kurd, a Tehrani and a Armenian have in common in Iran?

The only thing is history. And Iran has 1,300 years of history of interaction with Islam, both Iran influencing it, as well as Islam influencing Iran.

Dr. Hamid Algar of UC Berkeley says that the Islam we know today (both Sunni and Shi'a) is through a Persian lens. That means that the Persians heavily influenced Islam, the same way Islam influenced Iran.

So my question is, what defines you as an Iranian? Do you neglect the past 1,400 and stick to the backwardness of 2,500 years ago? Cyrus controlled more than Iran, yet you seclude yourself to a modern border.

The civilization of Cyrus has little to do with modern Iranians. No one goes in the streets to care about Cyrus on his birthday or death.......but I have pictures of this year in Iran (year 2007) where hundreds of thousands of people went out to the streets for Taziyeh of Imam Hussein (A)

Yet where is the devotion to this Cyrus of yours? He's lost in the pages of time, while Karbala and Imam Hussein (A) remain alive.

The people in 1979 did not yell "Cyrus the Great".....they yelled "Allah the Greatest" (Allahu Akbar) to which the revolution came about.

The sad part is, the people like you were the one's that fled, and only interacted with "like-minded people". You think Iran is secular now, that they have lost religion and that people like you can go back now and do whatever you wish.

Iran will never be secular, and you guys will never have your dream of giving Iran back to the imperialist powers. Vatan foroosh shoma'haeen. Na ma.

It reminds me of the debate and slogans passed back and forth between the Arabs and Persians over 1,200 years ago.

The Persians used to go in the streets (and by the way they would speak Arabic back then) and chant:
"Ya Arab Ya Arab....at least in our Jahaliya (times of ignorance) we wouldn't bury our daughters alive"

to which the Arabs would come in the street and counter-chant:
"Ya Ajami, Ya Ajami ....at least in our Jahaliya we wouldn't have sex with our mothers"

(A reference to something you might not be aware, but during Sassanid times, to keep the caste system within a family, many times the royal family would have sex with their own children to pass their royal blood down directly.....which according to many historians was one of the reasons for the retardation of the administration of the Sassanids before the coming of Islam)


To ask what Islam brought to Iran, it is to close your eyes to all the art and books and poetry that Muslims produced after Islam.

Because of the Abbassid Empire (which was Arab by blood), they caused the Persian language to extend from East to West. You have during this time poets from Afghanistan (such as Rumi) all the way to India (such as Ferdowsi during Ghaznavid dynasty).

While all the poets praised Islam and spoke of God and Islamic teachings, even Ferdowsi who curses the Arabs for conquering Iran, he sends praise to Muhammad and the Family of Muhammad (in his way to express that he is a Shi'a and that his hatred is directed at Bani Abbas and Bani Ummayah who represented the Arabs at the time).

Can you deny the poetry of Rumi you love so much would be much different if not exist if it were not the fact that Rumi was a Sufi, and a definate practicer of Islam (he was a Mullah in Turkey, passing fatwas to people who came for him for judgements)

Could you deny Hafez and his poetry being influenced by the fact that Hafez was a strict practicer of Islam? (He is referred to as Hafez because of his memorization of the Qur'an by heart)

Could you deny that Abu Ali Sina (the father of modern day medicine) used many Hadith (sayings of the Prophet and the Imams) to bring many cures to diseases that the world had no cure for?

Could you deny Al-Khwarazmi (the father of modern Algebra) and his reason to create the mathematical science in order to better facilitate finding the Gibla (toward Mecca) in any location as well as prayer times? He also made most of his algorithms to easily calculate people's inheritance (based on Islam) without much difficulty.

It is ironic that you speak of Islam in stereotypical terms that even FoxNews wouldn't use (which shows your more than apparent bias and ignorance on the matter).

Most of the backwardness we find in our countries are caused not by Islam, but from 200 years of colonialism and imperialism (which people like you have helped further fascilitate).

It reminds me of the British when they colonized Iraq. They did everything in their possibility to take Islam away from the people, not to civilize them, but to remove Jihad from their ideology so that they could no longer resist their occupation.

They did the same thing in India, by funding the Ahmadiyya cult to become a dominant religion (because the Ahmadiyya cult had removed Jihad from their ideology).

And today they are doing the same thing. They want us to lose our religion so they could further dominate us.

The beheadings and terrorists don't come from Islam, but lack thereof. Yazid too claimed to be a Muslim, and beheaded the head of Imam Hussein. To you the Islam of Yazid is Islam, for thats how you have defined it.

It is rather a waste of time even debating this with you, because at the end of the day, your heart is closed, and you are like the Tribe of Ummayah (Bani Ummayah). You will resist Islam, and then maybe one day you will put on the cloak of Islam in order to come to power in Iran, in order to deceive the people in accepting people like you.

But it won't happen any time soon. Because the people are "agah" in Iran, and they won't accept people like you who prefer America over Islam. While some people might despise the mismanagement and corruption in the government, very few people are asking that Islam be removed from power.

It isn't Islam that has pushed our country backward, it is the lack of Islam that has caused the hypocrites (those who claim to be Muslims) to take control of the economy and political system and rule in the name of Islam.

The Qur'an says one thing, and these people do another.

Then again, you find that in all political systems. You are dealing with a 3rd world country that lacks a culture of transparency and accounting.

We need to build that culture in Iran. A culture where everyone's accounts are transparent and open to scrutiny by everyone. This concept is not against Islam, but even favored.

I just think you are bitter because you and your family were probably thrown out of the country because of your corrupt practices, and you want to go back with your American army to re-exploit the people you claim to support.

Verily God does not love those who transgress.

Go ahead and despise my invocation of God, for your heart is filled with hate, and yet you claim we are the people of darkness.

Dariush Abadi

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No need to be upset about "illiterates"

In response to Azam Nemati's "Top that":

How sad to see "the uninformed" making uneducated comments on cultural issues. I, too, saw the heading "Aya moosighiye Irani beearzesh ast?", but preferred to pass it. I thought time was more precious and valuable to be wasted on such reading. The world is not filled with "informed" people of good taste, and there is no need to be upset or concerned about the "illiterates". There are many many of them around.

I understand Ms Nemati's comments, and admire her good works for making it possible for many Iranians ( and non Iranians) to access the wonderful Iranian music which she has posted via iranian.com. There is something very special about Iranian Classical music which not everyone can hear or feel, as it is the case with western classical music for others. Like a language, one needs to understand music.

Azam khanom please keep on the good work and pay attention to those who appreciate your work. Ignore the ignorants.

Abdy Sadri

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In defense of our rich music

In response to Azam Nemati's "Top that":

"At the end that is what life is all about. Having a sense of well being and being totally fulfilled."

Very well said Ms. Nemati. And thank you for your excellent rebuttal in defense of our rich music.

Best regards,

Daniel M Pourkesali

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Warning: you may throw up

In response to video clip "Killing a stray dog":

I just watched this horrible clip which I am shaking and my body is cold and I am so beyond myself that humans are capabable of such "sheghavat" be careful not to watch - you may throw up - like I did - I didn't read the descrption and I just clicked on the link. As an editor you have to know about such crime to humanity... I don't know what we can do other than passing out and vometing... how can anybody stop such cruilty?

I can not believe this...

Fatima Nedjat

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Dr Nooriala is certainly closer to the historical truth

In response to Khodadad Rezakhani's "Cultural exceptionalism" and Hirad Dinavar's "Time we start questioning racism":

I don't know why you are so one-directionally sensitive about Iranians talking of Arabs as uncivilized. There are two sides in this story, and both sides call each other uncivilized, so it is not particular to Iranians. Arabs too talk this way about us. Although their arguments carry much less weight because of their pre-Islamic history and because their arguments fall short when one compares these two human groups and their respective histories.

When one says they were Bedouins it is not necessarily to diminish them. It is simply the level of the sophistication of that human group at that time which is emphasized. Of course every human group started as nomads and evolved into a more sophisticated societies with complex structure. Some did it sooner some did it later. Some initiated the change and others followed the change.

Of course we are all human beings coming from the same source, but this sort of generalization does not help in relating to historical facts which are mainly set by power struggles through wars and occupations. And from occupations themselves arise the question : Occupation of what land? Belonging to whom? No lands belong to anybody and every human being should feel free to live in a land of his/her choice. But we know that that's not how things work in this world, at least not at this point of the human evolution.

You say: "I would suggest that this is not racism, rather Cultural Exceptionalism. Racism for many reasons cannot be applied to this situation as it lacks many classical requirements, least of all the fact that the two populations, save their linguistic differences, are not actually racially that different."

Playing with words does not change anything and biologically there is only one race, so we are all racially the same and it has nothing to do with Iranians and Arabs in particular. Otherwise Arabs are not more close than any other human group to Iranians.

The fact is that History is based on a sense of identity. A sense of identity which is probably fraud in the first place, but also is part of the foundation of our societies. I'll say your view is very humanistic, but then if you abide by such views, you'd better prepare a PhD in another field than History, for History emphasizes mainly on differences through the illusion of a certain identity.

In other words, within the framework of what History stands for in our world today, Dr Nooriala is certainly closer to the historical truth than you are.

As for Iranians dismissing azeris, kurds, afghans,... I think only those who want to fragment Iran into pieces, hold and propagate such views, views which in my experience happen to be completely false with respect of ordinary Iranians, and for the simple reason that most Iranians today are a mix of different ethnicities.

F.M.

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Trying to break all taboos

In response to Khodadad Rezakhani's "Cultural exceptionalism":

Mr. Khodadad,

Regarding Islam, it seems you are very much biased that it blows air under your wings to rebuttal Esmail Nooriala's articles so quickly not once but twice. The professor is trying to articulate and break all taboos for Iranians who have lived with the most vicious and primitive ideology that can be compared with Aztecs. Now, your last two attempts have unfairly and purposefully directed to discredit his creditability and not to offer your take on the subject.

You hardly bring facts to your claims and you do not elaborate as what happened that Iranians defeated by savagery of Islam. The focus of his article is to bring up discussion and to break holy walls of "scared" and so called "sensitive" for discussion. In contrary, you are aiming to stop any discussion. I hope you spend time to give your version of Islam rise in Iran and downward spiral of our culture and civilization.

Bests,

Jeff O

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Arabs had missed the boat

In response to Khodadad Rezakhani's "Biases in historical enquiry":

Mr. Rezakhani, in his response to Mr. Nooriala's article "Biyaabaangardaan chegooneh pirooz mishavand?" which he titled "Biases in historical enquiry" has an interestingly modern and revisionist view of history. As is obvious from his biography and his writing, he is a student of history and well informed on the established historical facts. There is one flow in his argument, though, which actually supports Mr. Nooriala's original assertion and history's "biased view" of the Arab invasion of the Middle East. As he correctly points out "Most of the now romanticized lore of 'Ancient Aryans' depicted in the RgVeda or the Gathas of Zarathushtra are products of a nomadic society.

The famous works of gold included in the "Oxus Treasure" were created by nomadic, Scythian, gold-smiths", and the Sumerians may have been nomads that crossed the Iranian plateau and settled at the shores of the Persian Gulf, but the fact is that these nomadic peoples had settled and become "civilized" 2000 and in some cases up to 5000 years before the nomadic Arabs invaded the middle East. It is this clash of cultures that makes their late appearance and plundering of the civilized world so abhorrent and out of place.

Had the Arabs and the Mongols fought the Scythians and the Elemites over these lands one would not have considered it a clash of cultures, but in mid seventh century AD the Arabs dealt a devastating blow to civilization with their marauding swarms riding into the civilized world. Although the civilized world partially recovered from it and the interaction of many civilization did bring about the so called "Golden Age of Islam" (one would never know how advanced the Middle East may have been in the absence of the Arab invasion; cross cultural influences and communications can be observed as early as the Sumerian times) it did leave devastating psychological and sociological scars that are felt even today, in the Middle East and in particular, in Iran.

The history of Iran after the Islamic invasion, as opposed to before it, speaks volumes about the devastation brought onto Iran by the Arabs. So, I don't think recitation of historical facts can be categorized as a "biased" point of view. The relatively primitive and marauding life style of the Arabs have been described by Pliny the Elder from 2nd century AD, and by others up to and after the time of the invasion (Arabia proper and not the satellite states of the major empires), so no amount of political correctness or intellectual openness can justify reinterpretation of historical facts and the fact that the Arabs had missed the boat and tried to possess it, rather late in the development of civilization, by destroying it. The same thing can be said of the Mongols, except that their legacy did not survive as much as the Arab legacy has.

Shahriar Mostarshed

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Psychological scars?

In response to Shahriar Mostarshed's "Arabs had missed the boat":

Dear Mr. Mostarshad,

Thank you for your email and your comments. This is really not the forum to discuss the details of Arab invasion of Iran, nor was this the point of my original essay which started as a one paragraph response to Mr. Nooriala but was expanded far beyond the original intention.

Two short comments, however. You are using the word "revisionist" in a negative sense, it seems to me, as is often used by the general establishment. It is in a sense like the use of "liberal" by the ultra-conservative factions, often utilized as if being "liberal" (meaning "freedom oriented") is a bad thing! On the same token, being a revisionist is not always bad, although often it is interpreted as "fact doctoring". Much of modern historiographical efforts have been "revisionist": revising the long established, and often disasterous, misconceptions.

Then, you seem to get from the "civilisation" and "civilised" society precisely what I was advocating against: that there is something essentially superior in sedentary societies and the pennacle of their way of life, the "civitas" and its associated civilisation. That is exactly what I was warning about; that it is often our sedentary bias against the nomads that makes us think of them as "(t)he relatively primitive and marauding life style of the Arabs", and that "the Arabs dealt a devastating blow to civilization with their marauding swarms riding into the civilized world" and the "clash of cultures" and "psychological scars" caused by their attacks (to quote and paraphrase your email).

Although that would get us into another realm, which I have incidentally written about elsewhere, I don't believe the Islamic invasions left any deep psychological scars on Iran, and actually I would tend to strongly disagree with your characterization of the Mongol attack as less prevailing on the Iranian psyche. I think the "psychological scars" of the Arab invasion are mostly the result of the last 150 years of nationalism and historical nostalgia. But let us not get into that here...

Lastly, allow me to respectfully remind you that Scythians did not settle down and become civilised, at least as long as they remained in the view of history, and the Gathic and Vedic societies were certainly still nomadic. Zarathushtra's poetry is a full mirror of nomadic life style. So, bringing the Sumerian parallel is inappropriate. I did not mean to talk about societies who had been nomadic before their cultural and material products became important to the rest of humanity, but those who were nomadic at the time when these cultural products were being crafted.

With further thanks for your concern,

K. Rezakhani

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Reinterpreting historical facts

In response to Khodadad Rezakhani's "Psychological scars?":

Dear Mr. Rezakhani,

ba doroodeh faravan:

I think the core of this discussion rests on the definition of civilization. You rightfully define it as city dwellers in its etymology, but in a broader sense a civilized society and one with an advanced culture are often interchangeable. If we refer to civilized people as city dwellers who at times have attained great material achievements as well as civil law and order, then a society of high culture has attained great achievements in the realm of the uniquely human trait of fine arts, such as art, music, literature and all other abstract concepts that animals are incapable of comprehending.

All human societies, at one time or another, have had a culture (I am refraining from the use of civilization) but it is the clash of cultures and their juxtaposition in time that is under debate here. There are African and Amazonian tribes that have their own cultures but are considered primitive in the 21st century.

A society which as you correctly pointed out, in its nomadic state had attained the spirituality and philosophy of Zoroastrianism, and at the pinnacle of its cultural advancements the philosophies of mani and mazdak, advanced art and music, and an advanced society and infrastructure to administer an empire, can hardly be compared with the relatively primitive culture of Arabia, you are alluding to.

As I mentioned before, most of the Middle East had gone past that state of cultural attainment at least 2 to 5 millennia before the advent of the Islamic doctrine and the Arab invasion that followed it. The "civilizations" of the Middle East had already undergone these ideological advancements when the Arabs started their experimentation with such phenomena.

The immaturity of their ideologies is apparent with the forcefulness with which they indoctrinated those who had already crossed those philosophical bridges. In fact the Arab armies themselves had yet to be fully indoctrinated in this ideology and were only motivated by the loot from the conquered territories.

I agree with you that the Scythians and the Sarmatians and in General the Iranian peoples of the Eurasian Steppes remained nomadic well into the 5th Century AD, but The Medes and the Persians, and to a lesser extent the Parthians, who branched off from these people did, almost immediately, assimilate the more refined cultures they encountered on the plateau and hence changed character.

The only sources of historical data available are what we have inherited in writing from those who have witnessed the events. Sometimes we can examine the honesty of the source by cross referencing it with other sources, but at times we cannot. Only in the absence of hard facts and when there are conflicting sources, interpretations become necessary and we should all be, or at least I am, weary of interpretations.

If we allow ourselves to reinterpret historical facts, then there is no point in having this discussion. You have your interpretation of historical facts and I have mine (depending on which sources each one of us has been exposed to), so why question each other? Historical sources are open to examination but not reinterpretation.

If the schism, which in passing, you referred to as "150 years of nationalism and historical nostalgia" against the back drop of the Islamic infusion into the psyche of the Iranian is not a deep psychological scar, then I don't know what is?

Shahriar Mostarshed

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Logic and evidence

In response to Shahriar Mostarshed's "Reinterpretation of historical facts":

Thanks again for the second email. I suppose as you mentioned yourself, historical evidence are open to examination, and I also believe reinterpretation. So, we can agree to disagree, although I did not question your views, rather defended mine.

It goes without saying that in history, like any other field, we need many voices and views, and indeed what Iranian historical enquiry has most suffered from is a sheer lack of numbers and an absence of scholary debates.

So, plurality of views, even those sharply opposing each other but still based on logical intepretation and questioning of historical evidence, are most welcomed, as they are what help us understand the past better and also existantially justify our choice of career.

In any case, other than the meaning of civilisation, I think another point we might disagree is your insistance on "historical facts" and even further, the idea that historical documents present "facts".

I thank you again for your time and your kindness in commenting in so much detail about this issue and I wish you all the luck in your own enquiries.

K. Rezakhani

February 1

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You gotta love the madness and laugh

In response to Nazy Kaviani's "Get off your chair":

There is not going to be a war, its all saber rattling, the attack on Iraq by Israel was surprising at least to common folks. This time they all talk about it, as the old saying goes "Sang e bozorg dalil nazadan ast". Just think of it, Iran is 3x Iraq and the population is 5 times. Israel is a hostage to the whole bit, even though some times talks make you wonder if the guy is all there, but alas I believe there is not going to be a war, of course accidents do happen, as they say, you gotta love the madness and laugh. :-)

Mike Salehi

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100% against any attack and military operation against Iran

In response to KK's "Silent majority":

Part of her/his comment about Iran's silent majority makes the very bizarre statement:

"......Why these folks are silent can be attributed to many factors whose discussion is beyond the scope of this letter! But, what matters most is that they do support your proposition of the US going after the mullahs militarily but with the objective of finishing the job through a complete regime change! These folks, in a silent way, are sending the green signal to President Bush for help!...."

I'm practically part of the "silent majority" and will say this, *in my humble opinion* (an opening declaration of one's opinion, seldom used by some of the self-proclaiming know-it-all dorks who frequently present their opinions as holier-than-thou solid facts in this place), the above statement and opinion, being relayed as a fact and appearing to represent the opinion and position of the majority of Iranians, is ridiculous and very far from the truth.

The distinct majority of Iranians, * in my humble opinion*, are 100% against any attack and military operation against Iran, irrespective of who is in power.

Internal issues are one matter, but to be bombed and killed and the nation ruined by any other nation and people, is another.

Pen name "KK" either completely lives in a la land with that observation, or is just another fanatic who happens to be of one of the various colors and stripes of fanatics, who conveniently prescribes the murder of hundreds of thousands of Iranians in Iran, the destruction of the country, and the ruining of the lives of many ten millions of people, and with an inheritance of pain and suffering for the next Iranian generations! (please refer to Iraq as a case study, and then refer to other parts of the world and history for further actual case studies on how love, happiness, and democracy, fairness, and civility has been spread in the world by the likes of president Bush and the hiding infuences behind such front figures, hoping for such actions to materialize).

Iranians are all for peaceful and co-existence with all people of the world (our ancestors wrote the book on protecting the weak and respecting different cultures, beliefs, and people and nations, and much more importantly, they ***acted*** on it, when relatively compared to other rulers' and countries' positions, and actions).

Oh decency, civility, democracy, religion, and righteousness, what crimes have been committed under your guise! (past, and present)

(Come to think of it, I will no longer be part of the silent majority, our voices need to be heard. It's time for us to respectfully begin relaying our opinions and concerns to members of the Senate and Congress via direct letters, so in the future no one like pen name KK and the like, can claim they speak for us!!!)

Kaveh
Bethesda, MD

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Let people talk, no matter what they are, who they are

In response to Jahanshah Rashidian's "Iranian.com is a site with open arms for IRI lobbyists":

What are you afraid of? Let’s assume Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is an agent of IRI! Let people talk, no matter what they are, who they are. It is better to hear them all than to shut them up in the name of “DEMOCRACY”!! Does your democracy stop people from thinking differently? Just because she exposes the failed policies, she is representing IRI! What a shallow argument.

Why not analyzing her article and helping us to understand the flaws of the article? All your doing is trash talking.

Arash

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Why don't you put your energy into stopping an imminent war?

In response to Jahanshah Rashidian's "Iranian.com is a site with open arms for IRI lobbyists":

Mr. Rashidian,

I have not read your comment about my piece "Outsourcing terrorism", but judging from our prevous correspondence, I know that you are once again making unfounded accusationns. If I recall correctly, last time you thought I was a member of Toudeh or Confederation. It seems this time you think I am an IRI agent. Maybe in time you will think I am CIA -- who knows, maybe I will win you over and you will think that I am a Monarchist?

Sir, it pains me to say that you come across as a bitter, old man with so much hatred in you that you are incapable of being logical. Anyone who rejects the notion of Iran being bombed, is your sworn enemy, in a mindset of the past. It is sad that if Anglo-Saxons condemn an attack on Iran, they are heralded as being smart and peace-loving, but if an Iranian wants to protect her country and her family, which is everyone living in Iran, she is labeled an IRI. This kind of irrationality is beyond me. But we are both free to express ourselves. I wish you would consider other people, their fate, their lives, before condemning them to death in your heart so that you could have your old life style back, or before accusing me and the likes of me. or if indeed you have paid a high price for this regime, dont' take it out on the average Iranian - take it out on the regime, but rationally, not by wishing war on Iran.

Why don't you put your energy into stopping an imminent war? Once our country is safe fom destruction, you can put the same energy into getting rid of the regime which is clouding your judgment.

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

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Time we start questioning racism

In response to Khodadad Rezakhani's "Biases in historical enquiry":

Jenaabe Khodadad Rezakhani ye Aziz,

I want to thank you for examining Mr. Nooriala article "Biyaabaangardaan chegooneh pirooz mishavand?" and writing an articulate, well thought out, balanced and as much possible, unbiased review of his very biased and unfair article.

As an Iranian-American and a person who loves history and the process of scientific research, it makes me proud to find other Iranians like yourself who question the modern racist dogma of Iranian/Aryan superiority prevalent in Iranian intellectual circles, which often dehumanizes very similar peoples like the Arabs, Armenians, Turks, Mongols and Greeks and or other peoples who Iranians have shared a very long history with.

I just want to add that the Lahmids and Ghassanids who were the two main Arab dynasties at the time of the Sassanid and Byzantine rule, and which occupied all of todays Iraq and parts of Syria, and who were often at odds with each other, would themselves seek alliances with either Sassanian Persia or to Greek Byzantium for security, an issue that seems prevalent in today's Iraq as well.

Also the Sassanian influence could be found deep inside Syria, Arabia, Oman and beyond. But more important I want to highlight the fact that the modern Saudi state prides itself on its Sunni Wahabi Islamic identity and therefore as you said talking about the glories of pre-Islamic Arabia is frowned upon and dismissed as Jahiliyah (Jaheliyat). But even today some of the best Arabic poetry comes from that pre-Islamic past. The reality is that Arabia, including (Yemen and Oman), just like Iraq, Syria and Egypt also had a vibrant pre-Islamic civilization and was strongly influenced by Rome and Persia and in fact a number of Roman Caesars like Philip actually were of Arab decent. So how can we say that these Arab lands were uncivilized? Not only did they have their own rich culture and heritage, they also were heirs of Greek, Persian and Roman culture as well.

I hope modern Iranian nationalists like Mr. Nooriala do bother to study and learn about the contribution of the Semitic and Arab cultures to the Greek and Roman world. The lands spanning from North Africa to the Arab East are filled with ancient indigenous, Greek and Roman ruins and relics that prove a rich heritage. Also we need to look at how we define the term Arab, there are 22 Arabic speaking nations, they are each similar yet very different. The same way that we Iranians are similar and different from other Persian speakers like Afghans and Tajiks.

This message is not meant to be an attack on Mr. Nooriala, in fact, I love his writing and his work for the most part. I just ask that we look at the US, our new home, a land of immigrants, can we today tolerate the sort of dehumanizing narratives that were once prevalent about Blacks, Native Americans, Jews and Italians and are now being used against Middle Easterners and Muslims? Don't you think its time we start looking at ourselves as well and questioning the racism that exists in Iranian/Persian/Aryan nationalistic narratives?

I have learned that first we are all human beings and I thank America, it has been a gift for me to live in the US and to be able to meet people from various parts of the Middle East. I have met Arabs from very different backgrounds, ranging from Morocco to Arabia, I have met Afghans, Turks, Kurds, Azeris, Greeks, Armenians, Israelis, Bulgarians and Tajiks and Uzbeks in the US and I see so much similarity and diversity. The time to typecast entire groups based of ethnic, linguistic, religious and cultural bias is gone. Celebrate the similarities, learn and educate yourself about the differences...

... Most Important Read Objective History...

Thanks for a great review,

Hirad Dinavari

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Wearing sheep's cloth while they are really the wolf

In response to Badralsadat Madani's "If Bush decides to invade, my ticket is ready":

Mrs. Madani,

Bravo! You are an example of brave and thoughtful Iranian women who deserve to earn power and lead in Iran. You are a typical Iranian mother who teaches her children what is right and what to do when we face enemies (internal and external). Unfortunately some of our internal enemies, are wearing sheep's cloth while they are really the wolf. They are the same type as "Shaban Bi-Mokh" who would take CIA money and preach for "king of kings" as a way to prove their "nationalism".

Ali from Iran

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How bloody foolish and awfully arrogant

In response to Ali Nasiri's "Why this silence?":

Ali Nasiri can break his silence by going to Iran and standing up for Iran, fighting for Iran. That would be most helpful. He must never return until he has defended Iran, in Iran. It is most odd to argue that Iranians in the US must work against the interests of the US by aiding Iran. How bloody foolish and awfully arrogant.

FC

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I find that ironic, don't you?

In response to "Devious books" photo of anti-Bahai book stand in Iran:

In the United States, not only are book shelves filled with anti-Islamic propaganda, but your hypocritical site Iranian.com is filled with anti-Islamic propaganda.

Muslims are constantly harassed in the United States, attacked and vilified in the media. Their countries are being attacked one by one without any stop in sight.

Yet you don't stop publishing the anti-Islamic material, but you keep criticizing Iran for having a book stand with material against the Bahai faith.

I find that ironic, don't you?

Dariush Abadi

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Why is equality so difficult to accept, even in theory?

In response to Dariush Abadi's "I find it ironic, don't you?":

You think the Bahai problem in Iran comes down to a single book stand? You really believe the harassment of Muslims in the U.S. is on the same level as that of Bahais in Iran?

Do Bahais have the right to publish their own books in Iran? Do Bahais have the right to defend themselves through any form of public expression? Do Bahais have the right to practice their religion? Do Bahais have the right to property and higher education? Are not Bahais officially considered outside the realm of the constitution? Are they not considered heretics ? Do I need to go on?

Dariush, Bahais are human beings. Their only "crime" is that they believe in something different. They are Iranians. They belong to the same country as you and I. They should have the same rights as everyone else. Why is that so difficult to accept, even in theory?

It's obvious that Muslims are being singled out in the U.S. as potential troublemakers -- guilty until proven otherwise. But to compare this to what Bahais are going through in Iran is, in my opinion, cruel and inhuman. I could care less about religious beliefs. I have no religious convictions. But I do firmly believe in the basic rights of every human being.

Given the choice, I would much rather be a Muslim in America than a Bahai in Iran.

Jahanshah Javid

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But I agree, being a Muslim in America is better than a Bahai in Iran

In response to Jahanshah Javid's "Why is equality so difficult to accept, even in theory?":

jahanshah,

My problem with the picture and the message attached was that you were blaming a book stand as a source of the Bahai problem in Iran. If you stand by your judgment, then I would say that you shouldn't support anti-Islamic books in the US, because that leads to eventual discrimination and bigotry.

Your message from that picture was that eventually such a bookstand should not exist in a "free, democratic Iran" (yes, i know you didn't say that, but it is the message that comes across). However, I agree with you that Bahais are human beings and should be given greater rights than they currently have under the law.

As Imam Ali (A) said, "You are either brothers in religion, or EQUALS in creation".

But I wouldn't go cursing a bookstand in Iran, as I don't go cursing at all the bookstores here in America that only carry anti-Islamic books.

But I agree, being a Muslim in America is better than a Bahai in Iran.

Dariush Abadi

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>>> More February 2007: Part 1 -- Part 2 -- Part 3
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