Letters

January 2007

Part 1 -- Part 2 -- Part 3 -- Part 4

January 30

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If Bush decides to invade, my ticket is ready

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

THANKS FOR YOUR BRIGHT ARTICLE. YOU ARE RIGHT BUT I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THIS TIME THE POKER WILL NOT SURVIVE. I AM AN IRANIAN AMERICAN. A 51 YEAR OLD FEMALE. IF BUSH DECIDES TO INVADE IRAN MY TICKET IS READY. I WILL DIE FOR MY HOME COUNTRY NO MATTER WHAT. SO HE BETTER THINK TWICE.

BADRALSADAT MADANI

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Real disaster

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

Thank you for pointing out the similarities between the 2001-2 period and the build up to the invasion of Iraq and what the U.S. government and its pseudo-intellectual neoconservative warriors are preparing us for. The outcome of this new policy debacle may turn out to be not a only negative-sum game but a real disaster-all-along-for-a-very-long-time game that may change the face of international relations and coexistence between different civilizations more profoundly, albeit, for worse, for decades. An old Iranian (Persian) proverb says "insane rule when wise are quite."

Be well.

Mehrdad Emadi

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Iraq war as a big success?

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

Dear Daniel,

Thank you for the superb job you continue to do.

On the other hand is it possible that as Mr. Cheney said, they consider Iraq war as a big success? One: it has brought success for their friends (financially etc.) and Two, they have succeeded in destroying a country that did not go along with what the US/Israeli government wanted. Could this be what they mean by having been successful in Iraq?

Mohamad Navab

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Shuster & Ali Quli Khan

In response to Amir Rostam Begli Beigie's "Komiteh Javaher":

Thank you for this very interesting piece of history.

Morgan Shuster selection for his assignment in Iran, as he mentions in his preface to Strangling of Persia, was all due to the positive impression left on him by Ali-Quli Khan. the then Persian Charge'd'affaire in Washington DC. In the book, he mentions that it was Ali Quli Khan who at the constitutionalist government's request , recommended Shuster for the job.

The story of Ali Quli khan, is a fascinating story of a true patriot, who throughout his diplomatic career had to resist the relentless onslaught of the various foreign interests, in trying to buy him; as was( and still is) the norm in those days, His favourite response to these proposals, was" I am not that kind of a Persian.."

Ali Quli Khan, one reads, was rarely paid his salary by his government ; too proud to ask, too honest to compensate in other ways, as others did having to resort to giving lectures on Persian Art; thorugh which he befriends Mrs pheobe Hearst, the mother of William Randolph Hearst.

Ali Quli Khan, married a Bostonian aristocrat,perhaps the first Persian American marriage, giving birth to three children. Marzieh Gail, his eldest daughter was an author who wrote extensively about her father's achievements.

In the book "The Arches of the Years", she describes her childhood; Ali Quli Khan's friendship with President Woodrow Wilson, The activist role of his American wife for the interest of Iran, in their effort to get aid for an impoverished Persia in the post first world war period. Through these efforts, they were able to gain access for Iranian delegates to be present at the Versailles conference along with a meeting with President Wilson. One that never took place due to our Persian delegates having overslept, due to the previous night's activities in Paris.

Faryar Mansuri

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No sign of unity between different sects of Islam

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

Here is a lesson I learned in school: A student memorized every thing there was about elephants, because he had heard that his teacher always asked his students to describe elephants for the final composition examination. Unfortunately for the student, that year the teacher asked the students to describe ants. The student, after sweating it a lot, began writing his assay in this way, " Ants and elephants are both animals, however elephants are bigger than ants. Elephants are cold blooded... " and went on to describe every thing he had memorized about elephants.

You learned a lot about NSC, Operation Gladio, and Oded Yinon (all elephants), but when it comes to prove or show reference that the Al-Askari Mosque bombing (ants) was the work of USA's operatives, or MEK being the USA's P-2 operatives (ants), you come up real short. By the way, I heard this week MEK published names of over 15,000 IRI operatives in Iraq. If any truth to it, I wonder what atrocities could be blamed on them.

Also you make several other assertions without merit:

"A single MEK member can be captured with explosives provided by the US, and Iran would be implicated. Mr. Bush would have the American people on his side, and indeed, the world... " Indeed "indeed", you have a wild imagination! You could have been writing for Hollywood, or if you were not against NSC, you could have got a job there. The USA has lined up a lot of excuses to attack IRI, and they don't need to fabricate a bomb attack with the help of MEK.

You want Pope Benedict XVI to stick his nose in the conflict between Sunnis and Shia? Don't you think the Muslim World will tell him to mind his own business? But, I think I am misunderstanding you here, you want Pope to tell Bush and Blair not to make Sunnis and Shias fight each other, which in that case I suggest you read "Jurassic Park" by Esmail Nooriala to find out that the root of the problem between Sunnis and Shias goes back over fourteen hundred years, and Bush and Blair are new instruments in this ancient hatred.

Shiaism was institutionalized is Safavid government to say that we are different than them (Ottomans) so we can go to war with them, and kill them without feeling guilty that we were killing other Muslims.

Khomeini in his "kashf al-asrar" wrote, "Sunnis have made themselves guilty in the case of justice, fairness, equity, honesty, and humanity. Omar Abn Al-khetab was a nonsense yacker who will be a template for blasphemy and dualism till eternity." Wow! Eternity is a long time!

Meanwhile, Saddam Hussein compared the Persians (Shias) to flies and menaces in this world as he invaded Iran, and repeated his believes in his execution day, because he saw it as the result of Persian influence on Iraqi Shias.

Last month King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told an Iranian envoy that Shia Iran was putting the Gulf region in danger, and this week issued a veiled warning to Iran to quit efforts to spread Shi'ism in the Sunni dominated Arab world.

These kinds of exchanges does not seem to be signs of unity between different sects of Islam, no matter how you try to sugar coat it with atomic-bomb-help-from-Pakistan excuses.

The chaos created in Iraq by the super powers will continue for the next decade and there never be any unity between Sunnis and Shias. Thousands of Iraqi refugees in Syria, Jordan, and Egypt will create unstable circumstances for those countries. The USA has no real power in Iraq; Shias are dominant in Iraq, which Saudi Arabia is not willing to tolerate, and will help their Sunni brothers to fight it out with the Shias, which the fight will spread to Iran.

Good luck with your unity scheme!

Mazloom

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Iranian.com is a site with open arms for IRI lobbyists

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

Reading another piece from our new starlet, Soraya, I wonder if behind her feminine name and coquette photo there is no an ugly face of a certain Zainab sister, a veiled Haji khanoom, a typical Zahra Khanoom, or even a male Islamist with a hideous and bearded face. Whatever this character may be, I am sure that it sounds fishy to believe that a woman living up to a western way of life can be at the same time a lobbyist of a misogynous system like the IRI.

Although, such a disguised face would not be necessary in pro-IRI media in Iran. However, it is needed to enter the secular media abroad. Iranian.com, which has never defined its position towards the IRI, can be a site for such an abuse. Needless to mention, this Soraya character would not be allowed to defend Mullahs’ cause in other Iranian secular and democratic media. Unfortunately, Iranian.com is a site with the open arms for IRI lobbyists and a reluctant one for the opposition and their articles.

It is imaginable that the hateful Mullahs can forge any tactic and trick to enter media abroad. Today, Mullahs, who have monopolised all key media in Iran, need their disguised journalists abroad to drum up supports for their regime which is at the peak of its unpopularity. Some journalists, experts, scientists have always served and continue serving totalitarian regimes without any remorse.

Instead of publishing articles attempting to prolong parasitic life of such a totalitarian IRI, the democratic media must ignore such articles. The fact is that the IRI is not a legitimate regime and consequently all its different lobbyists, under any Soraya-guise, must not be allowed to write in the democratic media.

Jahanshah Rashidian

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Stereotype cliches scrutinized

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

Excellent article Khodadad! It is good to have the stereotype cliches scrutinized by experts.

Historical hatreds often blind us from accurate judgement!

Babak Shariat

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Style-less sisters

In response to Abjeez music:

The Abjeez group lacks direction and style, and to describe what they do as "world pop" , is an inaccurate coining of a phrase. They just imitate other styles without depth and understanding, and present with a jambalaya of genres. They are truely a great disappointment. They should be called style-less.

RR

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US and Israel want to control the Middle East and the world

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

Let's not forget that this is all the work of Israelis, and powerful Jewish lobbyist in washington, who are the real enemies of Iran! they use the american might to loot and destroy Iran. Unfortunately, Ahmadinejad is giving them the stick to whip Iran! US and Israel want to control the Middle East and the world, and they want puppet governments everywhere, so when iran doesn't bend in front of them, they want to take him out and replace him with someone like MOGHOL Rafsanjani who is the No. 1 thief in Iran!

The truth is that the nuclear is only an alibi that israelis created to blast iran with, and iran has let them! If it was not that, they would find something else to dominate Iran, like DEMOCRACY!

Down with Bush-Cheney, Israeli and Iranian fascist governments!

Jon Goldust

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Nuclear first-strike

In response to Amil Imani's "Ayatollah Strangelove":

The mullahs could indeed make nukes and give them to non-state actors to use against the US. So could China, Japan, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Mongolia...

Meanwhile, the only people who have actually been explicitly threatened with a nuclear first-strike are the Iranians, not the Americans and not the Israelis.

Cyrus Safdari

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Good news for mother language

In response to 2nd grade textbook, 1960 "First day of school":

In a very positive measure, Iran's Ministry of Education has put almost all elementary and high school textbooks online. This is good news for Iranians who want to teach their children in their mother language abroad, faculty members who teach Persian, and researchers who want to study Iranian textbooks. The books are uploaded in pdf files and easy to download. Here is the link: //chap.sch.ir/MaghtaList.asp

Monda

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Great to refresh memory

In response to 2nd grade textbook, 1960 "First day of school":

It is very kind of you to do publish these pages. I think it is great to refresh memory. You did a great job. I am sure evey one who sees this this textbook will love it.

Farzaneh

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Cannot thank you enough

In response to 2nd grade textbook, 1960 "First day of school":

Cannot thank you enough for refreshing these good memories.

Please publish more of these if you can.

Aziz

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This is fantastic

In response to 2nd grade textbook, 1960 "First day of school":

Thank you very much mohammad for showing me my childhood book! This is fantastic to see the book that I had competely forgotten!

Jon Goldust

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Joke?

In response to Florian Riahi's "U.S. turns focus to Iran missile systems":

Is this supposed to be a joke?

Alex A.

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Did your experience ruin some of the old fond memories?

In response to Shahriar Zahedi's "The Requiem":

Very moving!

I left Iran in 1982 at 19 and have not been back since. Not many relatives left, a khaleh here an amoo there. But they all insist I should come back for a visit. I am apprehensive because I have very good memories from when I lived there and don't want to replace them with bad ones. I don't want to see the old house in ruins or replaced by an high-rise and don't want to see sweethearts fat and married with a bunch of kids. You know what I mean? Did your experience ruin some of the old fond memories?

Kaveh Niakan

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They are so alive

In response to Farah Ravon's photo essays:

I don't usually email people I don't know, but wanted to say how much much I enjoy your photo essays on Iranian.com. They are so alive.

Diane Hajirnia

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NOT FUNNY!

In response to Jahanshah Javid's video, "Jim cancelled":

JJ,

The YouTube video you posted on your web site was NOT FUNNY!

This is a very unethical and tacky thing to do: “Irani Bazi” all over again. It looks like some Iranians have physically immigrated to the US but have kept their old “bi mazeh” ways! No wonder a lot of Americans tell foreign nationals to go back to where they came from...

One last thing: I EXPECTED a lot more from a person of your stature.

Alex Aminian

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Mordam az khandeh

In response to Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

Vaaay ... az daste in Hajiagha'e khol... mordam az khandeh.

Bahar

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Hahahaha...

In response to Siamack Baniameri's "Iranian Men User's Manual":

Hahahaha...

Dude... that article was so great.

Keep up the good work

Salar

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Every medication has side effects

In response to Sholeh Ja's "I'm not making this up":

With all due respect, you sure don't come across as someone who has been in the health care, basing your writing material on TV commercials !! Your comments don't match up with your credentials.

Even if you claim you have been in the pharmaceutical environment, after reading your comments on taking medication, I wander what you have been doing for these many years.

Every medication has side effects, but your reaction to the side effects is as though you know nothing about them... maybe you don't. Side effects are not contra indications or adverse reactions, they are SIDE EFFECTS!!!!

If someone has hypercholesteremia and is taking Lipitor to reduce the LDL levels, a little constipation (as you claim) is no match against the benefit of the drug, which is to reduce the chance of a heart attack!!!

Or if a patient is taking Zantac to control GERD (look it up if you need to), that out weighs a mild dizziness or headache now and then.
Lipitor, Zantac, etc ARE taken for serious conditions!!

And you talk about constipation as though it's a plumbing problem!!! get my point??

**** Always listen to your doctor's orders regarding your health and medications ****

TV commercials are what they are -- commercials!!

FB

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I value my life too much

In response to Jahanshah Rashidian's "Holy problems":

Although the authenticity and divinity of Islam has been challenged in many ways before, the dare is on to discuss it in this venue. Secular Iranians here is your chance.

Please count me out, I value my life too much.

Mazloom

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Beautiful

In response to Mahsa Meshkli's "Remembering a childhood":

This poem is beautiful.

Tara Shirani

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Blatantly racist against Aryans

In response to Ben Madadi's "Pompous Persian":

Ben Madadi's lack of knowledge of Iranian history is lacking. He claims: ''The US does not even have an official language. People can send their children to any school they wish,''. Yet Ben forgets that the official language of Iran was legally chosen in the 1906 constitutional revolution. Furthermore all US public schools teach English as their first language.

Secondly Mr. Madadi's recent antics against Aryans (Iranians) was blatantly racist. The fact is Aryans or Indo-Iranians are the largest group in modern Iran and the name of Iran is cognate of Aryan. Also let me add that proponents of Turkish identity for Azerbaijan have an identity crisis. The main reason being that Azerbaijan became Turkified around the Safavid era and thus anything past the Safavid era including Babak Khorramdin, Zoroastrian fire-temples and etc. are excised out of Azerbaijani identity. Note also that Ben forgets to mention that Rezashah's mother, wife and Mohammad rezashah's wife were all Azerbaijani. Only Rezashah's father was from Shomal. Note also that Ben forgets to mention that in the Qajar era, only Persian and Arabic were thought in the traditional maktab schools and Azerbaijani was not thought in those schools.

Thus when confronted with the lack of historical accuracy in the writings of by Ben Madadi, readers well versed in Iranian history will simply not take him seriously.

Yadegari

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It does not necessarily have to be done by Iranians

In response to Esmail Nooriala's "Biyaabaangardaan chegooneh pirooz mishavand?":

Excellent writing as usual.

One comment, neither Edward Gibbon nor Alexander Demandt were Romans (Italians). Edward Gibbon who wrote "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" was English, and Alexander Demandt who published a collection of 210 theories on why Rome fell, called "DER FALLS ROM", was German.

Any scientifically unbiased historian who writes about that period of Iran should be good enough for re-examining our history of that period. It does not necessarily have to by done be Iranians.

Mazloom

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I wouldn't be surprised

In response to Jeesh Daram's "Proctologists Without Borders":

Having a father with the nickname of Jeesh Daram, and tendencies of being a total shithead, I wouldn't be surprised if your child wanted to become a urologist or proctologist!!!...

Farshad

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Path to this peaceful unity is strewn with wasted lives

In response to Hussein Sharifi's "Chizi ke avaz daareh geleh nadaareh":

Dear Writer married to a Bahai,

The ideas you express so clearly in your editorial seem very true and could be a door to open people's minds to at least discuss the important issue of racism and prejudice.

Until people, all the people in the world, come to realize that when one of us is suffering while any of us is sitting in comfort, that is manifest injustice. The changes needed are minor: accept the unity of the world, not its homogeneity and honour the diversity that makes us human, brothers and sisters under one God.

It is inevitable, however, the path to this peaceful unity is strewn with wasted lives and opportunities.

keep writing!

Susan

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Seriously screwed up shit

In response to Sima Shirazi's "I'm the boss":

Seriously screwed up shit.

You trying to promote racial hatred for iranians or something?

People read this crap and think that all iranian men are abusive scum.

Do you even have a screening process?

Peach Pellen

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Hilarity race

In response to Jeesh Daram's "Color me green":

This man is funny. He started the race late, boom, boom, boom, boom, he has written four satires since December, and now he is in front of everyone in hilarity race. Short of disqualifying him to continue the race, or running out of steam, I believe he'll finish first.

Mazloom

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Instead of fueling the situation

In response to Hussein Sharifi's "Commander in grief ":

Do you really believe the stuff your shoveling? Or are you forced to write the pathetic garbage? The Iranian Consulate in Iraq was never attacted by the United States! A few of your fanatical countrymen were caught causing trouble in Iraq and now your saying the United States raided the Iranian Consulate.

The sad part is, sveral of the Irianian countrymen (who would be ignorant enough to believe the ramblings of your paper), will have to pay with their lives, because of the propaganda you put out.

Do you think for one min. that The United States is going to stop any actions because of the this type of propaganda? I would think If your country isnt bombed within one month due to Ahmadinejad running his mouth, it would be shocking to the American people.

Instead of fueling the situation maybe you would want to re think the trash you write, tell the Iranian people the truth, OH wait! That is nonexistent over there!

Good luck in the future, I hope you can straighten out your news prior to the the next world war that the arrogance of the iranian dictator is fueling!

The problems are world wide. I dont think we need Iranian people need columnists like you writing inaccurate or fabricated stories. Try to have a little respect for your country men or the people that your putting in harms way.

Eric Lien


New recruit for pro-IRI campaign?

In response to Hussein Sharifi's "Commander in grief ":

Mr. Hossein Sharifi,

In a part of your article you wrote “No war with Iran. No war with Syria. Terrorist who blew world tower all came from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirate. Their leaders are in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Go and clean those mountains. Leave Iraqis to themselves” Are these emotional and racist slogans really the analyses of a journalist or you are a new recruit for a pro-IRI campaign which is now running in Iranin.com?

Although, one can criticise the Bush policy in the region, but like Bush, you systematically use the word “Iran” for the IRI! In another word you attach Iranian fate with that of the anti Iranian Mullahs. In your patriotic sentiments, is Iran a doomed dar-al-Islam for the current Islamic ruling Mullahs? What does Iran mean for you and your like?

I do not know your real job or your real intentions, but let me tell you that after the event of the IRI, political Islam has become a more visible force, not only in Iran or in the Middle East and Asia, but also in Western Europe and the United States. Greater attention to religious propaganda has accompanied the creation of new institutions. Religiously inspired social and political movements have proliferated. Mosques and Islamic centres are found in Europe and America. For all of these, IRI’s direct or indirect agents are very active; for more propaganda, they also try to sneak in secular Iranian media through the back door while some editors are not carefully watching.

Jahanshah Rashidian

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Nothing rong

In response to street and commercial signs in Iran:

Dear Sir,

If a country belongs to an international automobile association, which, among othe things, issues international driver's licenses, one is obligate to provide road signage in an internationally recognizable fashion. That may explain why the Iranian traffic and street information is the way that it is. As far as the odder stoph goz, der is nothing rong wiz the other sines as long as folks can understand the message. But I am so vestoksicated dat I do not care what spelling people use as long as they use the lateen alpha beta.

Guive Mirfendereski

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What do you think is a fair solution?

In response to Nahal Rose Lalefar's "Just not fair":

In some way's I agree with part's of what you have writen, but tell me what do you think should happen? Do you think the victims and there families are asking to much in these suit's? Tell me , do you think that just maybe some of the truth is what hurt's the Iranian people? What do you think is a fair solution?

Keeper

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Not sure which one is worse

In response to Maziar Shirazi's "Sit and have a shot of vodka":

I am not sure which one is worst? an idiot such as Daniel Pipe or my fellow Iranians who have ideas as such.

Omid 7

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Final Solution for bad Muslims

In response to Maziar Shirazi's "Sit and have a shot of vodka":

Just when I was about to give up and was contemplating divorcing Iran, there comes another great Iranian man to instill hope in me that the future of Iran is bright. This man is Maziar Shirazi who has so eloquently condemned Amil Imani and his article "Mistaken Insanity".

Maziar, I don't know how you set aside time in your busy medical school schedule to read Imani's articles. To me it sounds like you'd be wasting your precious time, till I read "Sit and Have a Shot of Vodka", then I knew even when you take a break from your studies you still try to be a righteous man.

Let me tell you, you have done a great job. I laughed and cried at the same time when I read your article. I laughed because I know you used sarcasm in dealing with him, but I don't know how funny you tried to be, this was funny. I cried because of the hateful things Imani says, and here you were exposing him.

Here is some thing that was missed in your article: you spoke of his unashamed lack of subtlety, but actually I think he was trying to be subtle when he said, "they flock to the source of power, as flies to honey", I think he was being subtle to use "flies to honey" instead of "flies to shit". And then how he has the gall to throw in democracy in his arguments as if he or his ideas have any democratic merit.

Since I am not an "intellectual", here is what I do when I am confronted with a difficult problem: I break it down to its simplest components, but when I am trying to figure out the so called political activists and politicians, I do the opposite: I ask myself what if he is in power and there is a severe social upheaval, what would he do? And here is what I think:

* Khamenei will massacre thousands of Iranians to save the Islamic Republic of Iran
* Masoud Rajavi will crush the opposition and will execute thousands of guilty and innocent ayatollahs
* Amil Imani will install his Final Solution and will get rid of thousands of bad Muslims
* Reza Pahlavi will blame the crisis on his Prime Minister, declare martial law, leave the country and hope to return again when the crisis is over

And you my friend, you will be attending the wounded because you are a great humanitarian.

Mazloom

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Ultimate example of sick sense of humor

In response to Saman's cartoon's "Save our children":

To the cartoonist and the editor of iranian.com,

That was an ultimate example of sick sense of humor, which at its very core is rooted in the same mentaility that is responsible for the dogmatic religious regime that is ruling our country. Especially at a time when 330,0000 worldwide united to help a 19 year old unfortunate child.

VERY SINCERELY!

David Etebari

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Communism? Childhood? Future-land?

In response to Bahar Mirhosseini's "The end of Atal Matal?:

Dear Bahar,

I enjoyed reading your piece. Is Atal-Matal-land communism? Our childhood and future-land?

Majid Naficy

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Where exactly is this place?

In response to Fereshteh Saheli's "Paradise":

I enjoyed the pictures of your vacation immensely. I was wondering if you could tell me where exactly this place is and what kind of accommodation did you arrange? Was there a tour of this Island or a package deal or did you just pick and go. I am very interested to visit this place and any info on how to get there and what to do or not to do would be greatly appreciated.

Ghaffar Namjou

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What has Africa got to do with us?

In response to Fereshteh Saheli's "Paradise":

I love these "Travelers" articles pictures but I don't think pictures from Africa has anything to do with this site even if they are taken by an Iranian.

Shahriar Heyari

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Like a farmer who has thrown millet seeds

In response to Jahanshah Javid's "Iran A.":

You have once again topped your own set of precedents in excellence by so graciously covering your cousin's book signing ceremony and by sharing such set of nostalgic photos of your noble family! For that and much more, I remain eternally indebted!

As I tend to age and now cross the BIG FIVE, there are few events that spontaneously let our tears of joy and appreciations down my eyes. and yet, what you just shared, did exactly that.... Please share this with your cousin, the good Ms. Iran Davar Ardalan, and congratulate her for having produced such fine piece of work, and wish her every success in her professional NPR and personal endeavors...

WE LOVE you and your extended family, now scattered all around the world, like a farmer who has thrown millet seeds (72 offsrping from evey seed) everywhere...

David N. Rahni

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Certainly brought back fond memories

In response to Jahanshah Javid's "Iran A.":

Its Sunday and first email I got was your post from Iranian.com. Bloody marvelous.

I was quite chuffed looking at your photos and your comments. Reminded me of Abadan also, cause, yours truly is from there! I went to Parvaneh kindergarten, Dad was in NIOC.

Certainly brought back fond memories. Thank you. I have not been home in 33 years since I left there in 1974. Procrastinator of the century I am. Always, next summer... Next summer did not come. And it has been 39 years since we left Abadan. I was just a kid when we left, but it has left a lasting impression.

Siamak M.

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Viva Abadan!

In response to Jahanshah Javid's "Iran A.":

I was born and raised in Abadan and graduated from 25th Shahrivar High School. Those days were my best days and still remember them.

Viva Abadan!

Sasan Afsoosi

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Hidden culture

In response to Sasan Afsoosi's public baths photos, "Washed away":

Dear Sasan:

I really liked your photos, the public baths seem to be an important but yet hidden part of the culture.

Leila Farjami

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Canada not better than Iran

In response to Iranian woman living in Moscow airport seeks asylum in Canada:

non of the Iranian land in Canada are refugee most of them came with story and most of them having good life in Iran, they pay from $500 to over $100.000 to Iranian immigration office mafia in Canada or in Iran to land here because they thinks in Canada life better as Iran, I was working as journalist in Iran and political actives I am telling you only one groups are having problems to live in Iran and they are members of MLA, Mojahedin Khalg Iran they are fighting to change Iranian regime. I saw many Iranian land in Canada make story and after became citizen are going back in Iran? Canada should stop and giving hard times to such this people to stay at own home land and to keep own job and own money and why they paying large Numbers like this to came here which I am Canadian citizen and I know I should stay in Iran and keep my job and never talk about human right....only %1 of Iranian are in danger to land as refugee and not all of them.

Hossein Hajiagha

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Nothing honorable about GWB

In response to Hashem Hakimi's "Liberation without warfare":

Funny idea!!! "The Honorable George W. Bush"! There is nothing honorable about this GWB and likewise to any Iranian, who advocate direct interference of another country into Iran internal affairs specially that is on the brink of attacking Iran, which would constitute war crimes. US has not shown any evidence that it is for democracy, only for installing a puppet. And we don't have to go 50 or 60 years back to Iran to see its evidence, look at Palestine. They still refuse to recognize a democratically elected government.

Mehrdad

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What's in it for America?

In response to Hashem Hakimi's "Liberation without warfare":

With all due respect, I think there is one fact you have not considered:

What's in it for America?

Hamid

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Typical LA shahi position

In response to Hashem Hakimi's "Liberation without warfare":

This is the typical LA shahi position. People of Iran will choose how to deal with mollahs. Iran has a very strong tradition of student poletical activity. They do not need western impositions. The shahi's should find bread at some other door.

Salehi

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Brush your teeth

In response to Quiz question about the cover of a magazine:

I am guessing the answer is "Mesvaak bezanid!".... :)

Sara Yazdi

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Magical

In response to Cameron Batmanghlich's "Let me...":

Magical read - I loved it. Thank you so much.

Daryanli

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Concerned

In response to Cameron Batmanghlich's "Let me...":

Are you OK!?

Fereydoun

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Shoa're eslah talabi

In response to Tina Ehrami's "Regime change - for dummies":

Khanoom midoonesti ke "rah'ro an ast ke aheste o peyvaste ravad" ye shoa're eslah talabi ham hast ?? hahaha

Bahale artikelet, jigary

Hassanpur Golriz

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Is there one rule for Muslims and another for the rest?

In response to Amil Imani's "Friends of the Jews":

Dear Amil,

Thank you for your wonderful article.

I could not agree with you more. I do believe that religion is a private matter and no religion is perfect. It is up to individuals to choose their own faith.

We should respect all religions and their followers and more importantly start taking responsibility for our own actions instead of using others as escape goat and shifting the blame to them

Discriminating against people because of their religion is totally wrong and unacceptable by any civilised society or any individual with the faintest sense of fairness. Although there might be a few bad apples in every society and religion, it is utterly wrong and unacceptable to condemn a whole group of people and their choice of religion just because of the misconducts of a few.

I could not agree more with your statement stating:

"People being people have a difficult time looking at themselves for their problems. It is by far easier to find others to blame than to try to mend one's own ways. So the Jews became convenient scapegoats for bigots, the fascists, and all manners of malevolent louts. "

So, as I was admiring the wisdom while reading your article. Suddenly every thing came to a squeaking hold. I had to quick reverse everything to the start of your letter and your previous articles.

It is so wonderful and liberating to see someone defending the right of a group of people (in this case Jews) and asking others to look within themselves for the reasons and solutions to their problems, instead of playing the blame game. It is so noble to realise that there are misfits in every society but one could not and should not judge a whole society, based of actions of a few.

But tell me sir is there one rule for Muslims and another for the rest???.

Every single discrimination insult and denial of rights that you accused others to inflict upon Jewish people you are inflicting against Muslim.

If you do not believe me have a read of history. Learn about the reasons that Nazis came up with for discriminating against Jews. I assure you that you will find many discomforting similarities between your views on Muslims and Fascist views on Jews.

It is so ironic that on one hand you claim to respect Jews and condemn discriminating against them and on the other hand you adopt the same discriminating attitude toward the Muslims. You do not even seem to respect the majority of people in your own country and their choice of religion

The only difference is that you are too pompous to realise it. You do not want to accept you are following the same path.

I am afraid I must inform you that I fail to see much of a difference between your view and attitudes and those of people like Ahmadinejad and George W Bush. You are all fascists, discriminating against one group of people and their religion without wanting to address the underlining problems and the part that you had to play in exacerbating these problems. Now, the fact you chose different groups of people to discriminate against is merely relevant or of any significance

On the other hand for people like me discrimination is discrimination is discrimination no matter under what banner or against whom.

I am a Zertoshty, a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew, and an atheist. I defend the right of all people to choose their own religion and serve the God they see fit. As I believe that was the sprit that made Cyrus The Great the companionate and noble ruler that he was

If a person commits a crime it is he who should be on trial and punished according to the law of the land and not his religion or his whole society. I do also firmly believe that being a victim does not give you the right to victimise others

My only suggestion to you sir is to take some of your own advice and look within yourself and your attitudes for the cause and solutions to your problems

So as I was coming to the end of your article, reading your contradictory views, there was only one thought lingering in my mind

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Very sensible

In response to Amil Imani's "Mistaken insanity":

Great piece. Very sensible and well argued. I wish there were more contributers like you on Iranian.com :)

Craig B

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Confrontation does not require military interference

In response to Amil Imani's "Mistaken insanity":

The global growth of political Islam, especially its militancy, is implicitly encouraged by the belligerent policy of the US over the last few decades. It is more a policy of the pressures of favouring Islamists than a reaction to stem them. In moving beyond the US hegemony in the Islamic world, more common in conflict of Israel / Palestine, the US policy provides a new foundation for growing Islamists’ sentiments and political Islam.

Some Islamists aside, many Muslim Intellectuals in the Islamic world take a critical stand towards their own Islamic culture and share an interest in dialogue and intellectual exchange with the West. However, the controversial interference of the US in the conflict of the Middle East and then Afghanistan and Iraq reduced the chance of such a dialogue.

The confrontation with Islamic regimes does not require military interferences. It is enough to internationally isolate, denounce and condemn them. So is the best way to help the people to get rid of their Islamic regimes. The Bush administration does not confront the international political Islam, but uses accordingly, as it is the case of Islamic regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Bush administration might look for a compromise with a faction of the IRI to favour a government, à la Iraq or Afghanistan. At best, it might play the card of MEK, or “Muslim” Monarchists. I am sure the administration should have a card up their sleeves for any political intrigue, but I am sure, it has no interest for an Iranian secular, democratic opposition.

Jahanshah Rashidian

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Fashion to trash Islam

In response to Jahanshah Rashidian's "Holy problems":

How about a similar analysis on Christianity, Jesus, Judaism and Moses? Would you write articles to scrutinize the other two “Great” religions? Or is it just Islam that has become a fashion to trash? Would you show us your unbiased approaches on other religions, including Baha’i? Or shall we say your pragmatic self interest will not permit to do what is right and balance.

Arash

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Can Islam answer this basic requirement?

In response to Arash's "Fashion to trash Islam":

Thank you for letter. I acknowledge that the article was not written because of my love for Islam. I acknowledge also that it has been written as a reaction to the plague of the IRI. And finally let me say, it has been written rather in an emotional reaction to the painful realities and the ills of our people, for which I see Islam as the main responsible.

My critic on Islam, you blamed as “fashion”, this proves that we, the majority of Iranians, do not like to be ruled by Islam.

I am nor in love with any other religion. I criticise all religions alike, but our today’s plague is not Christianity, Judaism or a little sect of Baha’i. I am not an expert in this field and do not like to waste my time learning about religions. However as a democrat, I respect all religions as long as they unconditionally respect dignity and liberty of people. Tell me my friend, can Islam answer this basic requirement? Is today Islam in absolute harmony with dignity, liberty, gender equality, social justice, science and progress, and many other needed fields?

Jahanshah Rashidian

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Talking openly about mother

In response to Bita Ria's "My mad mum":

Oh dear! if all you said is true and is bothering you then in order to save your sanity you should keep a physical distance from her. Saying this of course I do not mean to cut off yourself from her life totally, but it seems to me you are describing a situation that is harmful to you. Most of us know what we need to do when the time comes, but due to our upbringing we hesitate to do it partly because of guilt issues. You have to do what is good for you and keep reminding yourself it is alright to want to live a happy and healthy life, all of us deserve this. In this way once you get a chance to live away she may realizes the value of having a daughter around. She may even be reformed! But you must take the first step and get yourself out of a miserable living situation. There are not many people who would be talking openly about their mother in the way you did, for this you should admire your honesty. I give you lot of credit.

Faegheh Shirazi

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Expecting your mom to change is almost impossible

In response to Bita Ria's "My mad mum":

I hope that things are improving between you and your mother, and you have received "Imdadeh ghaib" (miracle) from the divine power which, I am sure your mom knows and talks about it often enough. In any case, this is a very delicate situation and you are not the only one who is going through this. Unfortunately, this is a common characteristic of many Iranians and there is no quick fix or cure for it. You, on the other hand, sound smart, reasonable, honest and daring, which are the greatest gift and the strongest tool you have to overcome this predicament. Utilizing this unique gift in right direction will give you the strength and the ability to deal with your mom. Avoid any type of argument, be respectful of her, and don't disagree with her for little things... Encourage her, support her, and acknowledge her. Don't compete with her, I know that's not what you are expecting

Topto hear, but this is perhaps the only way to establish a new line of communication with her, which will help you to land the plain in a safe ground and save all the passengers on board.

I am sure you know by now that expecting your mom to change is almost impossible. She sees things from her own perspective and you have your own perceptions. You mention the word "mantegh" logic, as we know the definition of logic is not understood the same by everyone. What one might find valid, the others may find it wrong. Most people draw their conclusion solely based on what they already know. Since you seems to be on the valid and rational side of logic, I am sure by considering the above recommendation you and your family will live in the world where there is no place for Bush and Ahmadinejad. Peacefull...!

Ghafour

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War equals the prolongation of the mullah regime

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

These may be useful comments for you to consider,

- Do you really think that war is a policy for the ONLY Middle-Eastern country where the over majority of its population are pro-American?

- Do you really think that this administration or even maybe the other is going to change its policy? They will like;y fuel ethnic rivalry in the Southern provines near the Persian Gulf which are also for your information the most oil rich areas of the country, and again for your information where Iran's Sunni live.

- Iran is a nation. Although the majority are Shia, it also has other ethnic and relgious groups. You may have heard of them? Sunnis, Azeris, Baluch, Zoroastrian, Chriastian, Bahais, Jews, Kurds... etc etc.

- In stead of war maybe you should realise first that its not Mr. Bush's daughters who are fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan but your countries loyal and dutyful soldiers who have been fighting for those wonderful values that you phrased. Of course Iranian want freedom and democracy but also respect the process that in going on in Iran right now. Let the peope of Iran themselves define freedom and democracy not the Republican way, not the Democratic way, but the Iranian way. Provoke thought and reason with a mullah regime. Not War rethoric. War equals the prolongation of the mullah regime.

In what way are you any different from the fundametalist muslim progating war...

Azadeh Tajdar

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I pray you grow a brain

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

Jason,

Before praying for anyone else, make sure that your prayers are solicited. This particular Persian doesn't need your prayers. I seriously doubt if any Persian needs your prayers or anything else for that matter. If anything, Americans need Persians and Iran more than Iran needs the U.S. Look back at 1973-1974, when Richard Nixon kissed Mohammad Reza Shah's imperial tuchis in order to get the petroleum that the Arabs cut off. 1953, when the CIA meddled in Iranian domestic policy because the U.S. needed Iranian petroleum. It was Iran that kept those big-block Chevys and Fords running.

Believe me, no one wants to hear the bile masquerading as prayers or rhetoric, especially when disguised as Christianity. I am so sick and tired of Americans or anyone else for that matter who offer their prayers for someone who they actually hold in contempt, whether that contempt is justified or not. This almost invariably is an American Christian behavior trait, along with the delusion that non-Christians are condemned to Hell. Such so called prayers are in fact loaded with conditions placed upon your adversary, in the hopes they will blindly capitulate and acquiesce into adopting your belief system, one that is deeply flawed. Prayer, friendship, and love can only be pure and from the heart when they are without condition.

One more thing, Jason. If you take any of these as being a stand in favor of the current Iranian cluster fuck of a government, I pray you grow a brain.

Kaveh Nouraee

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Silent majority

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

Dear Jason,

I had red your, "Letter from America," and as an Iranian-American, it resonated well with my feelings and frustrations towards the current regime in Iran and the practical alternatives in dealing with it while simultaneously keeping the Iranian masses on the side America. I deliberately delayed my response to you so that I could read the others' first. The editor of this site, Jahanshah Javid, should have prefaced this letter "Promises" not "Threats"!

Well, as I had correctly anticipated and predicted, the responses you received would come from the following groups:

1) Frozen in the history group (e.g., followers of the Russian Imam Stalin and Imam Mosadeq),

2) Supporters of the current regime group (e.g., followers of the current Arab Imam Khamenei),

3) Somewhere in between group (e.g., followers of the 12 dead Arab Imams).

As responses, It was expected to get hot air out of these folks. These are the kind of people who raise their fists in the air and chant death to this and death to that and run like hell when you go after them. I wouldn't worry about these guys.

The group that you didn't get any response from is the silent majority who want to live in peace with the rest of the world. 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! How else can one interpret their silence!?

God bless America and God bless Iran and its peaceful people!

KK

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All it takes is a desire to see the best in others

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

Jason King's "Letter from America" had two very obvious shortcomings. First, it was not a letter and second, it was not from America. It was quite clearly written by an individual who possesses limited intellectual abilities or perhaps a remedial level of academic achievement. When I read it, I knew his chest-pounding diatribe would provoke a negative reaction from some, but I was shocked to read some letters written in response to it.

Instead of the many expletive filled letters dripping in hate and contempt for America and Americans, I would have thought that far more Iranians would have just ignored his obvious ignorance. Right now, I feel sick to my stomach about being half American and half Iranian. It nauseates me that there are so many ignorant Americans running around spouting off about things of which they know very little. It also nauseates me that there are so many pompous Iranians that are so quick to judge all Americans based upon the ignorance of a few. After reading the original article and many of the letters responding to it, I feel shame and disgust toward both.

I can't step out of my skin and become someone else or divorce myself from either my Iranian or American halves, but tonight as I sit here, I would do it in a heartbeat if I could. From where I sit, no one took the moral high ground. King's article was undoubtedly boorish and ill-informed, but quite a few of the responses to it were so debasing and savagely ill-mannered as to make them as intellectually unsound as that to which they responded. Two wrongs don't make a right.

With so many ignorant Americans hating innocent Iranians and so many ignorant Iranians hating innocent Americans, I am sometimes amazed that my sister and I even exist. We have grown up in a home where our American parent and our Iranian parent complement one another instead of holding each other in contempt. I have been raised in an environment where instead of hating one another, they helped one another. Instead of loathing one another, they loved one another. I can't help but think that if my parents could do it, everyone else could if they just gave it a try.

Instead of speaking the language of arrogance, haughtiness, condescension and pomposity toward one another, why can't both Americans and Iranians try showing a little kindness, respect and understanding for the other? Truthfully, there are no two people in the world more different from one another than my two parents, but each one of them would gladly sacrifice their life to save the other. If these two people, who I see each and everyday treating each other with affectionate compassion have found a way to get past the typical racist ranting one hears in both American circles and Iranian circles then anyone can do it. All it takes is a desire to see the best in others instead of the worst.

Tonight, I feel sick of being American and I feel sick of being Iranian, but at least I'm lucky to have my parents to remind me that anything is possible whenever people would rather love and respect one another instead of hating and hurting one another like Mr. King and many of those who responded to him would clearly rather do. Shame, shame, shame!

Lance Raheem

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Pick the thorn from your own eye

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

Dear Jason,

I was raised by a wise and noble man who taught me that when I confront ignorance, I should maintain silence. I would do well to heed his advice, but I am not as wise as he. I therefore choose to respond to you (in blue).

You wrote:

I know most Iranians are like everyone else in the world. Correction – we have a superior culture, and had you pursued higher education, you would realize that we are among the brightest. They just want to raise a family and live in peace. It is the small percentage of radicals in Iran that will cause all the hardships to the normal citizens.

Iran has its share of radicals. However, they do not start wars, can you make the same claim about your radical leader? God gives all humans the free will to choose which god they serve even if it is not him. Only God will judge each and every person that has ever lived. You may believe that God gives human free will, for a person who does not believe in ‘creation’, I prefer to have the intelligence to analyze instead of being brainwashed.

Although no one likes war, I believe it is just.

You believe that ‘it is a just war’. Regrettably, you seem to have no clue what ‘just war’ means in the international arena. The criteria for engaging in a ‘just war’, first summed up by the Dutch philosopher Hugo Grotious in the 17th Century (and drawing on older, medieval Catholic theologians) consists of seven elements: (1) that there be a just cause; (2) that there be a right authority (legitimate sovereign) to initiate the war; (3) a right intention on the part of the parties using force; (4) that the resort to force be proportional; (5) that force be the last resource; (6) that war is undertaken as with peace as its goal (not for is own sake); (7) and that there be a reasonable hope for success. What you are referring to are crimes against peace. I trust this definition will help you better understand ‘just war’ and realize that the US and the army you serve in have no regard for international law.

Now if you are talking about ‘just war’ in the sense of a crusade’, I rest my case. I will pray for the innocent Iranians as the US takes care of individuals, organizations and countries that support terrorism.

But the US is taking care of terrorists in Iraq – the very place you invaded, ravaged, killed, in an unjust war. Are there more terrorists that you are partial too? The American tax dollars are paying for their room and board.

President Bush has warned Iran and Syria and I hope they do not take his threats lightly. Ask Saddam Hussein what happens when you do that. War in Iran would be a bloodbath for all involved, but don't ever underestimate the will of the American people. Some may not agree with the government and the war, but one thing is for sure. If you mess with our country, ...

Frankly, Jason, the bellicose attitude of the Americans has made them one of the most hated nation in the world. If instead of huffing and puffing, you read once in a while, you would realize that you have lost your glitter in every part of the world... you will live to regret it.

As I said earlier, I will pray for all Iranians. At the same time, I will not hesitate to once again put on my uniform and defend my country.

You need to learn the difference between defense and assault. You are not defending America, your are assaulting other nations. Instead of listening to Fox News, why don’t you educate yourself? I am a Christian and this is not about religion. That is between man and God. What I can guarantee you is that we will be on the winning side of a war with Iran. Are you afraid, Jason? Is this what you told yourself when you were deployed to Iraq? Because that war you lost. Iran will be that much tougher.

We all know that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Anyone that thinks otherwise is foolish and naive.

A man who knows so little, who has abandoned his mind to the hearsay of gossip, to declare that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, is truly the pot calling the kettle black.

We the American people will stop at nothing to stop madmen from obtaining nuclear weapons. Yes, I know you are saying we have nuclear weapons and that we are being hypocritical. Yes, we have them, but we will not use them unless absolutely needed.

I wonder if you think the massacre of the Japanese was necessary when in fact the US could have dropped them on an empty island to show their power? I wonder if you think that it is necessary for the US to develop more nuclear weapons when it has an arsenal unmatched by the world? Do you seriously believe that your ‘Christian’ and radical leaders saw fit to use illegal chemical arms, white phosphorus bombs against civilians in the Iraqi city of Falluja and in violation of the Geneva Conventions?

If the radicals in Iran get them, there is no doubt in my mind they would use them to further terrorize the world.

I wonder who is more insane, Bush and his neo-con advisors and the soldiers like you who believe in God, Free will and just war, or the Iranians who are trying to defend themselves against ruthless soldiers like you.

We should have dealt with Iran 25 years ago and that was our country’s biggest mistake. But we will rectify that mistake. If Iran’s people want to live peacefully, I would tell them to leave or demand that their people overthrow the government that does not care about them, but only their warped religious beliefs.

Soldier, you are the dark of side of America. The kind of recruit this President relies on – mindless.

Do Iranians not want freedom of choice, religion and the pursuit of happiness.

I am a Christian and I know Iran is a Muslim country, but what gives a man the right to force a religion on another? God does not force all people to love him, he gives them the choice. I just wish all the fanatics in the world -- Christians, Muslims, Jews and all other religions -- would also allow each individual to choose for themselves without fear of being tortured and murdered.

I don't know exactly why I'm writing this but Iran has been on my mind a long time before President Bush's speech tonight. I will pray for all Iranians, regardless of religion. I pray that they will be safe, prosperous and end their support of the terrorists that are destroying their country.

I hope all Americans and Iranians can live in peace and that I will not have to once again bear arms and leave my country and family to fight an Iranian, who has had to leave his family to fight for his country. May God give you peace and happiness...

I do not wish you peace, for peace does not come to a person without a mind. The only thing that will set you free is the truth. I hope it will come to you sooner than later. Turn off the T.V. and give up the hand that is holding your popcorn for one that will hold a book. If you are truly a Christian as you claim, you should know that you cannot judge, lest you be judged. You should also know that you cannot take a man’s life. Pick the thorn from your own eye before you pick a log from thy neighbor’s eye. Learn about the history of your country from its inception to date. This is not about defending your country; this is about subjugating another nation.

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

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Iran dose not need us, we need Iran

In response to Mahtab Gibbs's "Enshallah":

These days on almost every website, blog, e-paper... there is something about Iran. There is a campagian economically, culuturaly and also militarily, all with a pshycological component against Iran, from US to Isreal from London to the heart of Arabia.your article is just another one. biase mixed with sheer fabrication. I dont care about the former but the latter is just too gross to just ignore it.

I read your piece twice I still am not sure if You went there to get a passport(must be iranian) or apply for a visa on your US passport??? My fault i guess I havent mastered that powerful language of yours!! If You wanted a visa first You must denounce your iranian citizenship which is granted by birth (your father must be iranian) after you denounced that, You can apply for tourist, pilligrimage or even family visit visa meant for those who dumped their iranian identity. However that will be up to the authorities discretion I guess It is a common senes.

If You were there to get a passport then the first thing You need to do is to prove you are Iranian by birth. this may explain why they wanted to talk to your dad,if that wasnt another fantasy or fabrication.In neither case you as not married adult person will not need the permission from anybody(no bs please). not believe it yet check this www.salamiran.org Iranian embassy in Ottowa. I always mail in my documents and They mail me back I cannt see that would not be possible in US!!!!!

I can go on and tell how easy and fast I was able to get Iraian passport for wy wife who neither was born in Iran nor her dad was iranian. Now she goes to Iran without me being in her company by now she knows every good shopping centre in Tehran and bet she speaks farsi much better than you do.

I also consider it a typo when you say Iran won US 2-0 It was 2-1 watch some sport if you are going to report it and what kind of grade you got on the subject of history in school when you told your professer Ayatollah Khomeni lived in France for years before He went to Iran, He was expelled from Iraq city of Najaf in sep went to France end of Jan next year he was flown to Iran by an airfrance flight, did you say you are a journalist? then read history before you get involved.

Last note on your article, Iran dose not need us, We need Iran for the sake of identity, back gound and so on. What I can suggest you, dont go to Iran, if you want to see your family invite them to US (lol I wonder how that is going to look like, the story of your family ending up in guntanamo just because they make mistake speaking english)and if You a self-proclaimed writer Iran wouldnt be right place for you not many speak that powerful language. Stay home where you fit in.

Bahram Ghaemmaghami

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I have no problem the readers doing the attack, but the editor?

In response to Jahanshah Javid's reply to a letter about Jews:

Dear JJ,

Even though I totally agree with your response, but i find it that you are not totally practicing what you preach, namely "Nothing is Sacred." i have noticed that anytime you don't like some of the letters, you as an editor take upon yourself to attack those opinions as you are trying to shut them down! sounds more like a republican, than a progressive! i have no problem the readers doing the attack, but the editor? It's perfectly alright if you write an editorial on your own behalf without attacking the individuals who wrote a letter.

I think you would be a good attorney, but not a good judge. Nothing is sacred, to me, it means to say whatever, no matter how stupid, you wanna say, without the fear of backlash from the editor. May be I am interpreting this Nothing Is Sacred, as a western (San Francisco) point of view, not an Iranian editor.

I guess you are as hot blooded a human like the rest of us! (Now don't get mad at me, since I am only expressing my opinion and trying to have a constructive feedback.)

Take it easy, and be cool.

(BTW you dont have to publish this, this is only a friendly observation, and suggestion)

Jon Goldust

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They need to reap what they have sown

In response to Cyrus Mossaddegh's "It will be too late -- after the bombs fall":

One month ago I read an article called "Shekate nezaamiye amrikaa" written by 'Intellectualism Movement of Iran', and I thought wow America was utterly defeated by the Iranian opposition movement abroad. I was so happy, I thought if they can defeat the Americans so easily maybe they can also defeat other menaces in this world such as, but not limited to, AIDS and starvation.

Now I read "It will be too late -- after the bombs fall" and I am completely confused. Am I suppose to celebrate the defeat of the Americans or mourn the impending war? I tried to find out who the "Intellectualism Movement of Iran" is, but no luck. But, that is my own fault because I only used the useless search engines of google. If I had access to Library of Congress maybe I could have found out more.

Anyway, Cyrus Mossaddegh brings up the question of citizenship and pledge of allegiance to America, and what kind of passport people hold. I am sure his citizenship, allegiance, and passport is declared somewhere, but I think he should have declared it in his article first before asking others.

For one, my citizenship is none of anyone business except my immigration caseworker! But, sooner or later I have to draw a line and decide which side I want to be on when, and if, the American invasion of Iran begins. Ahead of that time, I have defined the word "invasion" for myself and I have decided my side already, so I won't be confused later. I believe each person has to decide for himself.

To me "invasion" occurs when any soldier, his equipment, his weapon, or any projectile from his weapon crosses well-defined borders (be land, sea, or air) of another country. Notice that in this definition such thing as RADAR weaves, aerial photography by satellites, unmanned aerial surveillance drones, and things like is left ambiguous, and to me is not an invasion. For one thing I don't know how to exclude all of these things in one sentence, and for another the list of what constitutes an invasion, and what not, gets so big that it becomes a useless definition. Never the less, notice that when a soldier fires his cruise missiles from hundreds of kilometers away but never sets his foot in another man's country, to me, that would also be an invasion.

This is just for me and is not how others may define the term, for example North Korea considers sanctions as an act of war (invasion), and mainland China considers military exercises by Taiwan to be an act of war. To me newspaper headline word games, sanctions, dispute over nuclear issues, etc. is not an act of invasion.

I am going to be against Islamic Republic of Iran up to the moment of an invasion, the way I defined it for myself. Once the invasion began, but not a moment sooner, I will switch sides and support whoever is in power in Iran and I oppose any and all invaders.

To me the facts are clear; IRI disfranchised me for almost thirty years. The situation they are in is the pinnacle, the apex, the sum total of all the wrong things they have done, and they need to reap what they have sown.

Mazloom

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Ahmadinejad's lumpanism

In response to Massoud Noghrekar's article on Ahmadinejad mental state "Tavahome pishravandeh":

Subject:

The fact that Ahmadinejad is son of a blacksmith, and was probably brought up in a poor family is his only shield against hail of facts proving his deviation from his social class. His extreme right-wing tendencies have nothing to do with his social background. There is no doubt that such a character would join any other racist, fascist and right-wing fanatical groups when Islamism was not available. Hitler and Mussolini were also from poor milieu, but by contrast to their social background, they turned into extreme right-wing activities. Many other examples can be found throughout history that son of rich family belong to the left, Fidel Casrto, Che Guevara, Engels, Chu En Lai were typical examples.

Ahmadinejad’s personality disorder is not only due to his family background or his hideous looks, which can only cause a complex of inferiority, but mainly to his irrational religiosity and lumpanism, which both led to his character formation. So his definitive personal disorder comes from a combination of right-wing lumpamism and Islamism. In general, personal disorder comes in every shape and form. No specific class or background does seem to generate more psychopaths than others. The psychopaths can be as good looking and clever as the next person with an Ahamadinejad’s looks.

We see similar personality disorder by some other religious, i.e., Khomeini was extremely sociopathic, he never learnt to conform himself to normal norms; his stiff glance, his dumb and imitated gestures, his lack of remorse and emotional appearance, his impulsively revengeful feelings and his week command of rhetoric were all symptoms of his personality disorder. Although, people like Khomeini, Rafsanjani,
Khatami or Khamenei, Bani sadr, Soroush, Moein… are traditionally right, conservative and retrograde, but in a common sense, they are not considered as lumpen.

What distinguishes Ahmadinejad from these people is his lumpanism. The lumpanism is his most salient attitude. This is not only his vice, but added to it his Islamism, makes out of him an Islamist lumpen, who can be psychopathically more dangerous. It is clear that Islam, especially under Ahamadinejad’s lumpanism, cannot offer plausible rationalisations to the real problems. This brings him into increasing conflict with the realities.

His constantly deteriorating behaviour can be threatening even for his surrounding and we can witness more and more about its consequences. This is the reason that our friend, Dr. Nogherekar, classifies his mental disorder as “deteriorating”.

Jahanshah Rashidian

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Is quick change a gateway to democracy?

In response to Cyrus Mossaddegh's "It will be too late -- after the bombs fall":

I read your article on Iranian. Com.... It is as truthful as it is sad. Many Iranians indeed believe that any attack against our motherland necessarily means a democratic government-change. To these naive but lovable Iranians I only can extend my condolences ahead of time!

We need to study our past political mistakes in Iran, especially when it came to a change. Securing a better future does not happen accidentally or because we like it to happen. We need to see if our people, at this day and age, realize the power of true democracy and law or just like these words! Are we, as a nation, ready to stand for it and pay the price?

I believe our children need to be taught the values of liberty and human rights before expecting them to pick up arms against intruders. This, unfortunately, takes time and planning.

Change can happen over night. The U.S. can bring it quicker than any other country. But is a quick change also a gateway to an open and democratic government when Iranians are still facing archaic rivalry and animosity between religious sects inside the country?

What guarantee do we have that in Iran, where human life is at its lowest value, a judicial system can raise to uphold equality?

Eradatmand,

Saeed Shirazi

Author of "A Concise History Of Iran"

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Supporting parasitic regime

In response to Cyrus Mossaddegh's "It will be too late -- after the bombs fall":

Mr. Cyrus Mossaddegh,

Iranian Diaspora is mostly against any military attack on Iran. People do not need your dubious campaign. The appeal of anti war your organisation puts forward is implicitly not for the sake of Iran and Iranians, but only to deviating them from the fact that their country since 28 years is already occupied by Anti Iranian Mullahs.

You pretend you are independent, but your rhetoric is that of an obvious proxy of the IRI. You and your likes seem to abuse any delicate situation to drum up support for parasitic life of the regime. As an Iranian, you not only ignore the anti Iranian nature of the IRI, but shamelessly defend its armed protegés in the region namely Hezbollah of Lebanon and Hamas of Palestine. Yet you call yourself independent!

Mr. Mossaddegh, please do not humiliate such a great name!

Jahanshah Rashidian

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Casting a shadow

In response to Don Cox's "Actually it is quite easy":

Thank you for reading my article and taking time to make a comment about it.

Actually it would be very difficult for me to travel and measure the length of a stick in two different places at the same time. It would even be more difficult for a layman to do so.

But, if a layman had an assistant, let's say one thousand miles away to his south, he could conduct the experiment in this fashion. He could wait for that day of the year when at noon, sun would be directly above and a vertical stick would not cast a shadow. At that moment he could call his assistant on his cell phone and ask him to measure the length of the shadow of another similar vertical stick. Whatever that length turns out to be, to a layman it would be proof that the earth is flat, yes proof that earth is flat, because common sense tells a layman that when a source of light is directly above an object, that object will not cast a shadow, but when the same source of light hits an object at distant, with an angle, that object will cast a shadow.

Unless a layman can prove that the source of the light, which the sun, is so far away that its rays of light are parallel to each other, therefore both object should have no shadows if the earth was flat, and round if one of the object has a shadow and the other doesn't. If he could do that, then he could go on to use simple geometry and complex algebra to figure out the roundness of the earth.

I doubt a layman can prove that the sun that far away and its rays of light reach the earth parallel to each other.

Mazloom

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We should move forth shoulder to shoulder with the international community

In response to Esmail Nooriala's "Khadamaate Eslam beh Iran?":

Dear Mr. Nooriala,

I enjoy reading your last article in Iranian.com. Your articles are of course so good argued that many readers only enjoy reading without commenting them.

Your discussion about the development of Islam in Iran was of course a short display of your great knowledge and the references are opening new leaves in our history. These also remind us that we all Iranians are before a fork of choice: either we have to accept the IRI or one of its Islamic alternatives or we must resolutely get rid of the whole IRI then deislamise the whole space of Iran for. For reaching such a new era, we need intellectual and courageous people like you to shakedown the backbone of the IRI or its political Islam.

For the matter of fact, there is no place for some fence sitters. Either the IRI or a secular and democratic regime; there is no third way but a fork before our people. If we want democracy, progress and dignity, the only perspective left is to get rid of the plague of the whole IRI and then mobilise all our forces to rebuild the country for the coming generations.

To rebuild our country, we need more self actualisation, more pragmatism; we must develop cultural paradigms, in which more unbiased, unprejudiced, and courageous adaptation to the civilised world can be promoted. Nevertheless, our references to our pre-Islamic civilisation are our historical pride, but not a route of our future. Let’s be proud of our pre Islamic museums, all of which are symbolic signs of our past grandiose for tourist attractions, but let’s finally think of our future and all our unsolved problems on our shoulder in such difficult time.

We should move forth shoulder to shoulder with the international community. To do so, we do not need nationalism which can always turn into the catastrophe. It is time to learn from the past, from all forms of crime, corruption, and treachery. It is time to recognise the common factors of anti national ideologies, with a “pan” attached to it. We should never forget monsters like Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon, and little beats like the Shah, Saddam, Pinot Chet and many other nationalists. They all not only destroyed their “imaginary” enemies, but their own people.

In our Iranian culture, we often confuse patriotism with the word “nationalism”. Nationalism, in actuality, is an exaggerated pride in own country. It shows willingness to sacrifice not only other people, but also own people for the country. It looks down on other people because they do not belong to the same race, religion, language, history etc. In reality, nationalism can be a pretext for a corrupt, despotic, belligerent or aggressive regime, as historically experienced.

By contrast, patriotism is understood as a legitimate love for his people and country. Patriotism is an altruistic regard for own people and their direct interests. It does not, in the contrary to nationalism, humiliate other nations. It dose not violate the verge of coexistence with other people and doe not abuse the values of democracy for own people. We mistakenly call Mossadegh ”nationalist”, to mean his patriotism. In fact, he was a patriotic and democratic PM and this was his main difference with the Shah, who was a typical despotic nationalist. The “nationalist” is not a fair attribute for patriotism.

Through nationalism, manipulation is an appeal addressed to people's emotion. The appeal is to the heart. Not to the mind. Ambiguity and irrationality of appeal is the central point, otherwise the appeal may be drained off into any uncontrollable reaction. One of the easiest skilful emotional appeals is to sensitise people with their national values, a perfect tool in the hand of any propagandist to use and abuse for determined targets. Nationalists have sooner or later interests to boost nationalistic campaign against foreign and neighbour countries in order to label themselves as patriotic.

The history of humanity shows us how nationalism can flaw the humanity. Nationalism is not only an ideological weapon, but also it is a mask to hide the real face of tyranny against democracy, progress and all human natural evolutionary instincts of normal developments . Nationalism is an analogy to a religious faith with firm reliance on the protection of divine providence which promotes the fanaticism, as the nation's traditional highest value through the recognition of the sacred. Psychologically, nationalism is a projective egocentricity, a collective selfishness, a collective paranoia. The nationalist perversely uses this collective mechanism to justify his individual interests, no wonder that many of nationalist politicians are psychopath.

Jahanshah Rashidian


>>> More January 2007 letters: Part 1 -- Part 2 -- Part 3 -- Part 4
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All past letters

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