Letters

March 2007

Part 1 -- Part 2 -- Part 3

March 31

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I would have taken all of you hostage

On Heresh Rezavandi's " Iranian sailors detained in English Channel":

It is quite clear that the ENGLISH COWBOYS drifted into Iranian waters, but I think you should let them go. It is quite clear they put there tails between there legs, that is why they did not fire on you. You have made your point ! Besides it is time for the world to learn to live in peace.

Mind you had I been on that boat I would have taken all of you hostage.

Sergeant ROSSI
UNITED STATES MARINE

P.S. When we all live in peace we all prosper , GOD BLESS.

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Story reversed

On Heresh Rezavandi's " Iranian sailors detained in English Channel":

Excellent satire - loved it. Shows you how people would view the story had it been reversed. Of course Iran would've been blamed for the agressive act. Look at what today's article in yahoo news said: (see news). The Russians probably know where the boats were as well. I don't support the Islamic Republic but I can't blame them for their stance.

We've had decades of foreign involvement in the affiars of Iran through multiple regime changes when they've benefited from the regime changes. Iran's borders are threatend on the east and west. US and England are talking about impending war and then are engaging in acts that could instigate what they want.

Mehdi

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Why were the British there in the first place?

On Heresh Rezavandi's " Iranian sailors detained in English Channel":

Dear Heresh:

I really enjoyed reading your short piece in Iranian.com; I only wish that many Iranians would be as perceptive as you are. You are right, the important question to ask is why were the British there in the first place?????? We've had a long history of exploitation by European countries mainly Britian and France, and of course USA. However, they are always apt to portray themselves as the "victim"!

Leila Farjami

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I do wish we had more fair people

On Heresh Rezavandi's " Iranian sailors detained in English Channel":

Dear Mr. Rezavandi:

Thank you very much indeed for your nice article. I do wish we had more fair people among the so called Western civilisation and also Iranians residing outside Iran.

Good for you

Apadana

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Nice take

On Heresh Rezavandi's " Iranian sailors detained in English Channel":

Nice take on the subject.

Kourosh Taghavi

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Just "the Channel"

On Heresh Rezavandi's " Iranian sailors detained in English Channel":

Just a quick response to Rezavandi's newsflash:

What "English Channel"? Didn't you hear, it's now just called "the Channel".

pers550

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Wouldn't mind confrontation with the West to divert attention

On Tinoush Moulaei's "This is not our way":

I just wanted to commend you for your eloquent piece, which hit the nail on the head and expressed precisely my own feelings on the matter.

The parading and flaunting of the British sailors and in particular the sole female sailor, on the Iranian TV and broadcast for the World to see was not only distasteful and stomach churning, but very probably against the International law. Although the sailors appeared to be physically well, the discomfort of the female sailor, being interviewed, was clear to see.

Iran has every right to defend its borders and detain anyone illegally crossing, be they British or anyone else. However, whether these sailors were in Iranians waters or not does not excuse such behaviour. If the Islamic Republic thinks that is getting one up on the British, on the propaganda front, by parading Seaman Turney on Television and getting to express her "regret" and "sorrow" for crossing into Iranian waters, it should think again. The reaction in many countries has been far from supportive towards this charade and it is fanciful to believe her words were reflective of her genuine feelings and that neutral observers are gullible enough to buy into it.

This crass display of cruel stupidity has been further compounded by the Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki's, earlier comment that the female sailor could be released being later contradicted by Mr Larijani, chief nuclear negotiator, who ahs blamed UK for its "incorrect attitude" over the issue.

The Americans, have already shown their lack of regard for International conventions with their Guantanamo fiasco and the detention of Iranian nationals in Iraq without any due regard for their rights. But those who usually rush to the defence of the Islamic Republic should note that it is no better, when it comes to due regard for Human Rights, and in may cases far worse.

One would've thought that during a period when talk of possible US military action against Iran for its nuclear activities is ubiquitous, the regime in Iran would do its utmost not to antagonize the atmosphere. But then maybe the Islamic Republic, or at least certain elements within it, wouldn't mind confrontation with the West to divert attention from problems at home and consolidate their hold on power.

Bande Kafsh

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Roughing up prisoners until they admit to something obviously not true

On Tinoush Moulaei's "This is not our way":

Unethical and Immoral just sums up the IRI. Hands up we Brits have done some (a lot) bad stuff in the past, but roughing up prisoners until they admit to something obviously not true (see l) is so... amateurish, no-one in the west will believe it.

All it is is a distraction from resolution 1747, sanctions are biting and the economy is getting worse, Ahmedinejad has no idea how to fix it (Plan A - wait for the imam, Plan B - errr..), he can't make the regime popular, so its time to distract the population.

Nuclear power - (as if Iran needs it for 50 years) - low level conflict with the US and UK, little wars in Lebanon; look over here away from your empty wallets and non-existent jobs. Roll on the next election when you might get a normal crook, oops I mean pragmatist, back in charge.

Peter Corner

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What about Iranian detainees in Iraq?

On Tinoush Moulaei's "This is not our way":

What about the 6 Iranians who were picked up by the US forces in Iraq? Please give me your response to that.

FNML

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Total humiliation of Iranian passengers

On Tinoush Moulaei's "This is not our way":

Sorry to hear a fair person is upset with the picture of English Navy perssonel on TV. In those picture nobody was attacked, nobody was cursed, nobody was chained,...

If you are upset that much, you should get to one of Birmingham or Manchester Airports to see the treatment of Iranian passengers by English officials when they get there with Mahahn Air from Tehran. Police with guns, dogs and total humiliation. We are ashamed of these acts from so called civilised people. You should see the fooage from British Army treating the local people in Basra.

Apadana

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At least they did not end in Guantanamo

On Tinoush Moulaei's "This is not our way":

At least they did not end in Guantanamo or secret prison camp in Eastern Europe. Which is more than what I can say for those who were captured by British and American including Iranian diplomats.

If it is a bout the SHAME then the Americans and British should be most ashamed of their act for kidnapping Iranian diplomats in Iraq (whatever our differences with IRI).

Now do not get me wrong I am by no mean a fan of IRI but these solders trespassed to Iranian waters and had no business to be there.

I doubt very much that if some Iranian solders have illegally entered into American or British waters (even by accident) or even were seen near the Atlantic ocean, they would be treated any better of even as decent as these guys have been.

I fact they would definitely be labelled as illegal enemy combatants or even terrorists and would definitely end up in a secret prison camp in Eastern Europe or even worse in Guantanamo, with no rights no access and no interview as all at all

So my friend, be ashamed of yourself if you might, but do not drag the proud men and women who defend our border and sovereignty, down with yourself

It is always the case with the American and British that if we give an inch out of good will they would take a mile and claim it as their resilient and shrewdness.

Just open your eyes to see how the have illegally invaded another country half way across the world and how arrogantly they are trying to change the name of Persian Golf which has been known by that name for over five millennia and if you still can not see who should be ashamed of their action, then I am afraid you might have a problem with your values and loyalty and identity.

B Roshanravan

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This is where God comes handy

On Tinoush Moulaei's "This is not our way":

In addition to what Tinoush is saying: This issue that Iranian Regime has always releasing female hostages is demeaning to women. This is the regime saying that women are not to be taken serious and they don't even matter. As far as the regime is concerned, they should go home to take care of their men and children and leave the important things to other sex.

For us Iranian out of our homeland, this is the greatest tragedy to be between a rock and a hard place. If s... hits the fan, none of the parties involved will show any concerns about the well being of our innocent country men and women and children. A regime that breaths and survives on conflicts and outsiders that can't tolerate a third world country talk and walks like themselves.

This is where God comes handy.

AK
Allaff Va Sargardan

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Try quenching your thirst with dough again

On Nazy Kaviani's "Doughi terrorists":

Hi Nazy,

I just read your satirical piece "Doughi Terrorists" on iranian.com. Indeed, it was a very humorous article.

I've had to explain dough (aka yogurt soda) to many of my American friends and colleagues throughout the years. In one case, one unsuspecting girl drank it as if it were milk only to return it from her nostrils! At other times, I've seen guys take a sip before asking if the Persian restaurant had any beer.

Anyway, you should try quenching your thirst with dough again. If not for yourself, do it for your country!

Mehran
Chicago, IL

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Tell the world about these real facts

On Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich's "UN security or gang rape?":

Hi. Thanks for this very good essay(article) about the current situation of Iran and its relationship with other states. And keep these kind of information coming, someone have to tell the world and its people about these real facts and not all that angled news and propaganda. There are really few that I know of that know of or accepts these facts and arguments, and I guess they never will but one have to try the best to let them know!

Ali Kesmaei,
Norway.

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We all remember how Native Americans were shown in the movies

On Naz Ghassemian's " N-O-R-E-S-P-E-C-T":

Allow me to express my deepest sorrow about the kind of (I can only guess) response you might have gotten for voicing your opinion. I too believe that only a discussion at an intelligent level is worthy of what we call ourselves, human beings!

I have recently come across many views on the matter of what happened in the movie 300. Yours, Azam Ali (one of the singers of the movie 300) Reza Alamehzadeh (noted Iranian director)... , which have a very similar take on the subject, that this movie is a work of fiction and has no historical credibility which I agree with. Given the fact that Hollywood is not known for its accurate representation of historical events, make understanding this matter even easier.

Having said that I also believe that this movie and its characters and content where chosen very carefully. Without falling into the usual "anti Iranian" conspiracy theories that exist I would like to direct your attention to the systematic misrepisentation of Iranians in the west whenever it is to their benefits. The Persian Gulf suddenly becomes Arabian Gulf, Alexander becomes a hero in the history without considering his atrocities committed against others (I am referring to the movie Alexander) Ibne Sina is an Arab and Abdolghader Maraghei(famous Iranian music scholar) becomes an Arab as well, etc.

Hollywood chooses everything very carefuly -- it is its job! We all remember how Native Americans were shown in the movies for years.

I totally agree with your thoughts that some Iranian leaders have had done more damage to its name and culture than we can imagine. I also strongly condemn the kind of vulgar responds that may have come from those who themselves have done nothing to insure the rightful place of Iran in the world. At the same time I think an intelligent response is a must as I would have done if there was a movie portraying the African American heritage or any others wrongfully.

I congratulate you on being so brave to say what is right to you in an intelligent argument. What we need as you mentioned is an open minded society that is so secure that it can only use logic.

Kourosh Taghavi

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Most Iranians don't think with an open mind

On Naz Ghassemian's " N-O-R-E-S-P-E-C-T":

Hello I read you're article NO RESPECT, wanted to say very true , and unfortunately, most Iranians don't think with an open mind.

Dehghani

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We should do the same thing in Toronto

On Ali Afshar's Persian Parade photos "New York, New Year":

Dear Ali,

It's very nice Iranian in New York took initiatives to organize this event. We should do the same thing in Toronto.

Mandy

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Culture is not a bunch of losers holding signs

On Ali Afshar's Persian Parade photos "New York, New Year":

here we go again, same shit different year. a bunch of idiots parading down the streets of manhattan with signs reading "ghashgai of iran", "bandari of iran", etc etc etc. Dare i ask how in the hell does that showcase Persian culture to non-iranians? Culture is active and interactive. It's not a bunch of losers holding signs up for people to read -- I mean those people aren't even doing anything. they're just walking down the street holding these inane signs. arrgh! how pathetic is the iranian community in new york?!

nariman namazi

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How fucking cheezy?

On Ali Afshar's Persian Parade photos "New York, New Year":

Persian New Year parade in NY keeps getting more "ommoli" every year. Cheap customs ... floats are truly 3rd world garbage. Who ever is in charge of their banners/artwork must have graduated from U of Ommolistan. Our ugly "Persian pride" isn't cheesy enough so we have to hold low budget public parades about it in NY. Dude looks straight out of Bangladesh posing like Cyrus the great!!! How fucking cheezy?

This year's horrible show was a manic-depressing koo koo about Persian pride and protest about movie 300. Poor kids were losing it between posters of scary creatures from 300 and saving the last cheetah in Iran! Crowned "Dokhtareh Shayesteh" was cheez tahdeeg. Worst of all is watching the faces of young African-American marching band following some jackass dressed as nigga-firouz! Dude ... how many years are you going to stay stupid? Ali and Cyrus are dead ... stop reaching for past!

Saman

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Great photos

On Ali Afshar's Persian Parade photos "New York, New Year":

Great photos of the parade! Thanks for sending them!

Laura Fitzgerald

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Why not authentic Persian music and poetry?

On Mohamad Navab's "Happy day" and Ali Afshar's "New York, New Year":

We Iranians seem to be big-headed about our culture and traditions and speak to its richness. However, when it comes to displaying a thing or two about our culture, the made-up LA style tribal dances sum it up for us.

Whether it is the New Year's celebrations in Santa Monica, the Persian Parade in NY or the Norooz party in the San Francisco City Hall, there is one common theme; young girls dressed in colorful tribal like outfits twisting their bodies. Reason I say "tribal like" is because most of those outfits are far from being authentic in design and the dances are made up for most part.

Maybe we do it because it is the only thing this supposed cultured generation knows or cares about. What ever the reason(s), I find it very shallow. Instead of portraying a rich culture, it depicts lack of culture. Why don't we instead have events where musicians play authentic music and Persian poetry (in English and/or in Farsi) is read. It could be because only a handful would understand and appreciate it.

Talaieh Joon

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Responsible for our own actions or inaction

On Farid Parsa's "Past & present 'Persians'":

Kool! I was going write you a nasty comment but you present your argument well! I support your view on being responsible for our own actions or inaction as the case may be!

Fathali

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Yes, we feel betrayed by those who have the means to shape public opinion

On Farid Parsa's "Past & present 'Persians'":

Parsa,

No, let's blame Hollywood. It is our mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers who will be bombed to stone age as a result of bias public opinion. If you are blind not to see where this is going, leave others alone. We are trying to raise awareness not for the sake of our past glorious days in history, but for now and the future of the land called Iran.

Yes, we feel betrayed by those who have the means to shape public opinion. I don't know how long you have lived here, it seems you haven't gotten it yet. I hope you do one day. I don't understand why you call this identity crisis. Our history is our identity.

Ala

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Hollywoodian misrepresentations

On Farid Parsa's "Past & present 'Persians'":

Salaam, chetor hastid?

My name is Giorgos, I'm a Greek student. I thought it'd be worth to share my opinion on this movie, especially when considering that most of my Greek and European friends have enjoyed it and have proudly identified themselves with their brave ancestors... First off, it is far from being coincidential that such a movie's produced those days, when the U.S. have started fancying Iran for their next war victim, and when, of course, in search for a noble historical narrative to take courage and ideological determination from, the 300 are always #1 in the list...

Demonization of your opponent and rewriting of history in order to achieve that has always been the favourite method for the ones in power when they want to convince others for things done or things to be done. I certainly shouldn't go into detail about historical inaccuracies for the representations of both civilizations- if you're Greek, you get pretty much used to it: Troy, Xena, Hercules, Alexander, etc etc.... No one mentions the helots - Spartans' slaves, or that the efors were perhaps the strongest democratic element in aristocratic-conservative Sparta.

I really do not understand Farid Parsa jun's attempt to distance himself and his Iranian readers from Iran's preIslamic historical legacy. The very same changes have been applied in my country, such as religion, foreign politics,construal of the world etc,and these are unavoidable historical changes with an almost deterministic socioeconomic substructure. But modern Greeks do not hesitate to call themselves children of Agamemnon or Leonidas, even if this is accompanied by certain political connotations. And certainly, Hollywoodian misrepresentations are by no means the reason why Iranians should try to distance themselves from their Persian past.

Giorgos

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Couldn't put it to words

On Farid Parsa's "Past & present 'Persians'":

Very well said. This is what i have been thinking for a long time but couldn't put it to words.

Well done.

Behrouz

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Hafez meets Tom Waits

On Mohsen Namjoo's "Zolf bar Baad":

Hafez meets Tom Waits.
This is great music.
Thank you.

Shervin

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"Genius", I think he is not

On Mohsen Namjoo's "Zolf bar Baad":

1. I very much liked the original singing style and vocalization. We should complement the singers' creativeness and ingenuity.

2. Of course, I like Hafez, Sa'adi and all of our classical poets as much as any other Iranian; but I wonder why ever since the time of those giants our greatest musicians could not come up with any new message. A quick survey of the modern musical productions indicates that a large majority of the most notable works is based on 700-year old poetry. No doubt this is a reflection of the repressive atmosphere of our culture that prohibits innovation and ingenuity. However, the musicians are not entirely blameless in this either. For their lyrics, Iranian singers very often rely on the safety and acceptability of old recognized poems rather than taking the risk of composing original and new lyrics. We are desperately in need of courageous intellectuals and artists who can break the self-imposed restriction and lead a reform of our culture to encourage experimentation and innovation.

3. It seemed that the video that featured Ms. Amir Ebrahimi was a montage of her previous movie clips. Certainly, the background of her prior scandal had a strong influence on the viewers' impression of the whole production and give added dimensions to interpret its lyrics. This point had not been lost to many observers, as it was evident by the introductory notes to the video at the "Iranian.com" website. I do not know if the video was made with Ms. Amir Ebrahimi permission or it was an unlicensed montage of her movies. At any rate, if it were made with her permission, then it would be indeed saddening to see how a young woman's life is shackled by a scandal and what desperate attempts she has to endure to get her message out. On the other hand, if the video were not made with her consent, then it would be nothing short of exploitation and an outrage to see how a woman's disgrace provided material for other men's "artistic" exploits. We would appreciate if the video's producer or administer of "Iranian.com" website could clarify the history of this video's production

In short, the music merits recognition and indicates the group's daring experiments to find a new voice; but "genius", I think he is not.

Sattary

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You get the sense that this guy is living and breathing music

On Mohsen Namjoo's "Zolf bar Baad":

Thank you for posting this. I've been a fan for some time now and own a couple of bootleg copies of his CDs. Have you listened to Toranj? It is truly an amazing piece, I get goose bumps anytime I listen to it and makes me wonder what a professional editor could do with this raw talent. It is also a shame that he can not publish his work in Iran although I hear that he might get permission to release some of his work.

I recently saw a documentary about underground music in Iran (sound of silence) of which interview with Namjoo in my opinion was the highlight of this movie. It shows his true love for music, his curiosity and quest for finding common roots between Khorassani and Blues music.You get the sense that this guy is living and breathing music and not in it for fame or fortune.

KM

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To say that this guy stinks would be a nice thing

On Mohsen Namjoo's "Zolf bar Baad":

Mohsen Namjoo should go and sing elsewhere (where people actually like out of tune songs, bad voices and extremely bad music). To say that this guy stinks would be a nice thing. He is so bad, that people think that he is doing it on purpose. He is not acting!! He is a bad singer. He must have a lot money to be able to get promoted. God knows, his voice doesn’t make it.

Baygani Kamran

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Iranian music is finally stepping into 21st century

On Mohsen Namjoo's "Zolf bar Baad":

Working with Abjeez I've always been bias towards Iranian music ... till Abjeez introduced me to 2 of Mohsen Namjoo's albums few months a go. I was shocked to hear how amazing he really is. Instrumentally he is Iran's Jimi Hendrix and far ahead of his time. He's too good for his own audience. He's broken all the rules that needed much balls to destroy and moved on to another phase of Iranian music ... we all need to run after him and support his work! Politically/socially he is as powerful as Bob Marley. Not to mention his fantastic voice. In my opinion Mohsen is a true revolutionary with his work. He's a national treasure for me. Between Abjeez and Mohsen Namjoo, Iranian music is finally stepping into 21st century. Velcome to year 2007 my ferendz.

Saman

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Complicated & clever

On Mohsen Namjoo's "Zolf bar Baad":

Another dimension of complicated Persian music and very cleverly done by the artist. I really enjoed it and wondered where can I buy the CD?

Amir

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3 MP3s

On Mohsen Namjoo's "Zolf bar Baad":

Thank you so much for featuring Namjoo. He is brilliant. I have not been able to find any place online where one may purchase his CD. I did, however, run into an obscure British site that hosts 3 of his songs in mp3. These are great songs too. I don't want to advertise the site where the songs are because I think this guy is one of the few Irooni artists that MUST BE PAID for his art. I thought you may want to host a non-downloadable/listen-only version on your site for your readers. Just a thought. The website is: mystudios.co.uk/music

SR

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Iranian government is playing for time

On Ali Ghaemi's "U.S. vs. Iran":

From one Ali to another. Your essay is well written and analytical, however you are missing some very key points and end up contradicting yourself on a number of occasions. The distrust between the United States and Iran is not rooted, as you claim in the overthrow of Mossadegh. The roots of distrust stems from taking 52 American diplomats and embassy staffers hostage for 444 days. Funding and training the attackers of the US Marine barracks in Beirut, Hezbollah attack on the Khobar tower and numerous acts of insurgency in Iraq. Oh wait, I forgot to mention that from day 1 following the so called Islamic revolution, there have been chants of "Death to America" and "Death to the Great Satan" in the streets of Tehran.

All of these activities along with many more have been funded and directed by the Iranian government. Now you do point out that Iranians are, in general, sympathetic to the United States and wish for a rapprochement. Now how could a population that resented the American's role in the overthrow of Mossadegh wish for such a move? The reality of Mossadegh's myth is that he fully intended to usurp constitutional power and assume full control of the country. He exemplified this by dissolving the parliament and essentially putting the Shah under house arrest. Furthermore, his rash approach to Western powers and nationalization of the Iranian oilfields put the Iranian people under undue economic hardship.

I'm not sure how old you are, but the Iran we had under the late Mohammad Reza Shah was not what you describe. I would not claim that we had a functioning democracy or for that matter, Iran represented heaven on earth, but we did have a nation of rules and respect for rule of law. Women had equal status in the eyes of the law, our economy was one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In the 50 years of the Pahlavi reign Iran went from a grossly underdeveloped nation to the strongest economic, political and military forces in the Middle East.

Iran was respected around the world and we had finally raised above the stigma of a backward country. The population was receiving free education and healthcare and despite the unfortunate corruption, Iran was on its way to prominence. That all changed in 1979. We are now a rogue country with military and political aspirations to rule the region and the desire to export our brand of hateful Islam to the world. When President Bush referred to Iran as being part of the axis of evil, he was merely stating the facts. Don't blame the Bush administration for stating the painful truth, blame Tehran for opting to become the pariah of the civilized world.

The Iranian government has never cooperated unilaterally with anyone much less the United States unless there was an underlying motive. Tehran's role in the war against the Taliban is easy to explain. The Taliban are a Sunni extremist movement that had superseded Tehran in its hatred for the West and had precipitated the involvement of US military in the region before the Mullah were ready for it. Tehran's cooperation was geared to end Western military presence with a swift victory over the Taliban. Unfortunately for them, they underestimated the Bush Administration's understanding of their motives.

The reality is that Afghanistan was only the first step in a physical encirclement of Iran, which ended with the US invasion of Iraq. While the attackers of 9/11 came from training camps in Afghanistan, that country was not the one the United States feared. The real target has all along been Iran and its totalitarian regime. Outside of the US military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran represents the next most significant military presence in the region. Tehran would like nothing more than a humiliating retreat by the United States from Iraq opening up the opportunity for its surrogate regimes to establish themselves in the oil-rich regions of Southern Iraq. With enough time to fully develop and deploy its nuclear arsenal, Iran will undoubtedly become the bully on the block.

Today, the Iranian government is playing for time. They know that support for their brand of hatred is eroding in Iran and that their grip on power is tenuous at best. They will continue to wage war against the United States through their surrogate insurgent movements in Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon. These actions are designed to distract the world from Tehran's nuclear ambitions. As an Iranian, I hope that we will never see an attack on our soil and treasures.

The only sure way to prevent such an attack is to stop the Mullah's from further advancing their sordid plans of domination. The Iranian people need to stand up and let their feelings and desires be heard. A secular democratic Iran will represent the cornerstone for a more moderate and peaceful Middle East. Don't kid yourselves by thinking that the West will stand by and wait for Iran to roll out its nuclear missiles aimed at Israel. Also, don't for one minute believe that the United States is limited in its capacity or desire to strike at Iran and its nuclear ambitions.

In short, time is running out for the Islamic Republic and for the freedom loving people of Iran. It is time for the common Iranian to stand up and say enough. Iran's 5000 years of history and 2500 years of monarchy should mean more than just a footnote to history books. The future survival of our beautiful culture and history is at stake. I beg of all Iranians to unify under the leadership of Reza Pahlavi to create the much needed change in our beloved country. God bless Iran and its people.

A. Behbahani

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I got hooked

On Siamack Salari's video blogs:

Dear Mr. Siamak,

I've been watching your video clips since you first started and I should say that I got hooked. Clips are real and fun, your twins are adorable

Elham

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Large

On Siamack Salari's video blog, "Chicken should be eaten with hands":

Fat Pig, get some exercise...

Benni

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Have you ever thought those kids need you to be around to raise them?

On Siamack Salari's video blog, "Chicken should be eaten with hands":

Dear Siamak;

I have read your stuff on Iranian and watched your clips a lot. But this is the first time I am commenting. Do you know what me made to do this? Seeing your kids innocent face at the end of the clip! You have a big belly and you have said you father has died from heart attack, then you eat greasy back of chicken like that! Have you ever thought those kids need you to be around to raise them? The way you look with that big belly, the way you eat and with your family history you may not!!

Arghaven Matin

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Someone you would like to be friends with

On Siamack Salari's video blog, "Chicken should be eaten with hands":

I like this man. He is honest, interesting, and with enough sense of humour. Someone you would like around and to be friends with.

I wish him, and his wonderful family, good health and happiness with enough money to enjoy life.

Abdy

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Why do we need to see this video?

On Siamack Salari's video blog, "Chicken should be eaten with hands":

Dear Sir/Mad,

Why do we need to see this video of disgusting eating habit of your personal friend in this public site? Is there any more disgusting habit of your friends you want to show in this site to your captured visitors? This is what is called abuse of the costumers?

Esmail

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300 is like a fart in the wind

On Afshin Afshar's "Do not take it out on Leonidas!":

Dear AA,

Just saw the movie 300 and I've got to admit that I'm more than a damn sight disappointed. Last weekend, me and a few of the boys was playin some poker over at Billy Bob's new double wide trailor. Somehow that topic of movies was brought up and someone said that there was a new movie about these cat lovers called the Purr... zhyuns... and they was fighting an epic battle against the Geeks, a mutant race of computer nurds who wore high-water pants and had lazor resistant pocket protectors stuffed with an assortment of pens and pencils in their metalic front pockets.

Well, low and behold, I went to that damn movie expecting some first class entertainment and what did I get... a cartoon, a stinking cartoon...and it didn't have no damn cat lovers battling no geeks. Well, I'm mad as wet hen at Sunday sideshow. I want to start a good-ole-boys & gals petition against this damn lie called the movie 300. You want me to count you in?

I looked on the Internet and saw that Eye-rain-ee-ans everywhere were mad as hell too. Shit, I was releived to see that I wasn't the only one who felt gipped by this movie. Hell if they're as pissed as me about no fights between cat lovers and geeks, they just might wanna sign my petition. I know they got lots of petitions goin now. I'll sign theirs if they'll sign mine.

They're getting the better end of the deal though cause I'm only mad about this damn movie, but their always mad about something. Hell, the spics, jews, waps, gooks, krauts, limeys, niggers, geeks, fags, and a-rabs don't raise as much hell about how they're protrayed in movies as Eye-rain-ee-ans. I guess that cause the rest of us in the damned ole melting pot know that we're all going to get a little fun poked at us every once in a while and we've all learned to take ourselves a lot less seriously. We'll laugh at ourselves faster than we'll laugh at the next guy. Even though Eye-rain-ee-ans been here 30 years now, they still haven't learned who we are. They think they know who we are, but they don't. They think we're the boogy man, the enemy. If they're ever going to start to try to see the rest of us as friends and neighbors instead of "foreigners" or "non-Eye-rain-ee-ans" then they're either going to have to develop a thicker skin or a sense of humor.

We've all got to share this hopeless mutt-n-jeff, Heinz 57 mish mash of a country called "Amerika" and if they're ever going to be able to feel like this is their "home", too then their going to have to stop thinking the rest of us are against em'... cause we ain't.

Maybe they forgot, but our grandparents were immigrants, too. If we've learned to live with each other and call this place home, Eye-rain-ee-ans can too... they've just got to want to do it. Right now, lots of them like keeping their distance and thinking the rest of us hate em, but that's projecting. They are the ones that hate us because just like our grandparents couldn't go back home, everytime they look at us, it reminds them that they can't go home either. They think we don't know how bad they talk behind our backs or the kinds of things they write on iranian.com about how ignorant, backward, stupid, and uncultured we are.

That's ok though. It's not important that they know what they think of the rest of us Amerikens. We probably are as stupid and ignorant as Eye-rain-ee-ans say, but we aren't mean and cruel people. That don't mean we're all angels, but overall we aren't mean spirited and ice cold like lots of hooty tooty snooty hot shot Californi and D.C. Eye-rain-ee-ans.

Think about it. When they needed a new place to call home, we didn't slam the door in their faces, but if the shoe was on the other foot, dollars to dounuts says they wouldn't help up in the same way. They may be smart, but their not smart enough to know that we know how much they hate the rest of us...spics, waps, limeys, jews, gooks, niggers, krauts, fags, and all the rest of us who live in this fruitbowl of a country.

The movie 300 is like a fart in the wind. It may stink a little now, but no one's going to remember it after the stink fades away. All people are going to remember is that all the Eye-rain-ee-ans who jumped up and down about this stupid frigging cartoon movie looked like a fella who picks his own nose and eats his own boogers ....in short they looked like fools.

Rufus D. Redinecki

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Hate speech

On Mahasti Shahrokhi's poem, "Feminizme maa bee norooz ast":

Jahanshah Jaan,

I know you believe in freedom of speech as a principal and Iranian.com's slogan is that nothing is sacred. I admire your policy and adhere to that.

But I'm also exercising my freedom of speech to tell you that in my opinion putting the so called "poem" by Mahasti Shahrokhi on Iranian.com was a poor choice. The "poem" is full of hate speech and I was surprised to see that Iranian.com is promoting that hatred at a time that the women bashed, attacked and misrepresented in the so-called poem have recently had the most difficult time of their life being imprisoned and tortured for defending women's rights in Iran.

I think there is a fine line between freedom of speech and hate speech, as mentioned in the international human rights charter. I hope we don't see the promotion of hate speech in the beloved Iranian.com again.

S.

REPLY: It is not a so-called poem, it IS a poem. And you didn't like her point of view. Hameen! Cheraa beh man meeparee?! :o) -- Jahanshah Javid

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What is your measure to publish a "shit"?

On Mahasti Shahrokhi's poem, "Feminizme maa bee norooz ast":

Mr Jahanshah,

what I wrote in my Persian font e-mail that you could not read was simply a question:

What is your measure to publish a "shit", (I am sorry , I could not find a better word!) like Mahasti Shahrokhi's apparently poem about " Feminism without Norooz". please just let us know what you were thinking? every body knows you as a moderate person. I am desperate to understand what has been in your mind to publish this, since the only reason I can find is that you have not read it and just has put it there without any knowledge about the content. I hope, I pray that I am right. It would be pretty disappointing if I find out the opposite.

Sir, what is written there can easily be read as hate literature, bullying and anger. I assume all of them are considered crimes in the country you live in.

It is obvious that writing is not crime but what about bullying? what about spreading hate through words? I don't want to argue if it is a crime or not. what I am asking is: in the name of freedom of speech you are humiliating others! I mean come on! "BOOYE SHORTE NASHOSTEYE SHADI O MAHBUBEH MAHALEH RA BAR DASHTEH" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What kind of freedom of speech is that? I am wondering if you would talk about your colleagues in your workplace like that, what would be the consequences? No matter how different are ideas, Don't you see yourself somehow the colleague of these women? If you still insist that nothing is wrong with these words, I have nothing to add and I consider this discussion over.

Anyway, apparently you don't see that and it is disappointing with Iranian.com.

M.N.

REPLY: I don't see anything wrong with publishing the poem. I do not agree with her point of view, but if she thinks that way, that's fine with me. If there's any criticism, it should be directed at the author's point of view, instead of banning her from publication. Writing is not a crime. Everyone on this planet has the right to say and publish whatever they want -- no matter how "disgusting". You can criticize points of view all you want. But shutting people up is not the answer to any problem. The whole essence of free speech is tolerating all forms of expression, especially those that insult us, or else free speech would be hollow and meaningless. -- Jahanshah Javid

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It's only Bahai missionary work!

On video of Aref, "Iranian African world citizen":

You showed this tape a few months ago, why showing again as it is something new! I hope you are charging them for publishing and playing this article and tape, since it is not a new story anymore, it's only Bahai missionary work!
What's so big deal about someone who doesn't look like average Iranian to speak Parsi? I saw many African looking men in Bandar abbas not only speaking Parsi, they even wore Iranian army uniform! is that surprising? I don't think so! news worthy? Yes, and no. if they had converted to bahaii then it was news worthy!

JG

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That doesn't jive

On Fariba Amini's "Meeting Comrade Dabashi":

This is a summary of Hamid Dabashi's resume and accomplishments. Compare it to Azar Nafisi, or any other of his opponents. If anyone can take sword to mediocrity it's Dabashi.

And you are doing the same thing that you accuse him of doing; you put him down while accusing him of putting others down. That doesn't jive.

Ramin Tabib

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Fair critique

On Fariba Amini's "Meeting Comrade Dabashi":

It was an interesting and fair critique by Fariba Amini. I would say to her, 'keep up the good work'.

Ahmad Eshraghi

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Why "oppurtunism" accusation?

On Azadeh Forghani's "Do us a favor":

Just read Azadeh Forghani open letter to Farah Pahlavi whom she accuses of trying to recuperate the Women's movement in Iran as well as Akbar Ganji and opposition forces she calls opportunistic.

As much as I respect her comments, I cannot but think that her reaction ressembles to a forced confession similar to what one could see in former Soviet Satellite States or in Far Right regimes like Pinochet's Chile where any opponent to the Regime or critic to the shortcomings of the totalitarian state was forced to do a self criticism and try to find some kind of justification to avoid the wrath of the regime that supress them.

I just have one question and that is how come while she is so vehemently asking the Former Shahbanou of Iran to shut up that one of her own colleagues and detainee Fariba Davoudi Mohajer on the contrary welcomes the opposition media like VOA to do an interview with them on RoundTable with you which is widely watched in Iran while being cursed by the Islamic Republic's censorers.

Clearly Azadeh Forghani speaks for herself and while her views are respectable and understandable but one can also question whether her colleagues equally share the same point of view.

In addition I do not understand why the "opposition" should be accused of "oppurtunism"? Is it that not precisely the role and function of an opposition to sieze any oppurtunity to critisize a regime or support the people who oppose those in power ? Were this opposition present and recognized as in all Democratic systems, such intimidations by the ruling government would be considered as undemocratic and illegal.

If the regime uses Azadeh Forghani as a pretext to suppress courageous freedom fighters like her in pursuing her struggle it is clearly to intimidate Freedom fighters by forcing them to write such a letter of auto flagellation?

I find it regrettable that Iranians outside Iran feel the inclination to translate such a baseless letter as a kind of so-called subtle warning to discourage any form of support be it political or not of Iranians seeking more freedom and justice for their genders and fellow compatriots.

That the open support of people like Akbar Ganji or a personality such as the former Empress could be of nuisance to those in Iran who are taking risks is one thing, but to expect to use this testimony to further discourage and intimidate any form of external support of freedom fighters seems like a typical conspiracy (which is nothing new) to undermine and disqualify any opposition to the Islamic Republic and its henchmen.

Darius KADIVAR
Author of an article on Akbar Ganji at the time of his imprisonment.
Paris FRANCE

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Ghorbooneh dahanet khaahar!

On Azadeh Forghani's "Do us a favor":

Dear Ms. Forghani,

Ghorbooneh dahanet khaahar!

Finally someone real telling those superficial had-beens to shut up and butt out. No backing from them can do a movement any good--on the contrary. Not one of the Pahlavis or their cronies has had the decency to face the fact that they made very grave mistakes that cost the nation much. No hatred for the Mullah's can erase the collective memory of a people who were and are fed up with the corruption, crimes, and the empty posturing and blatant parroting of the West committed by the Pahlavis.

Farah Pahlavi is especially adept at taking advantage of unfortunate events to promote herself. She first pissed me off when she used her own daughter's sense-less death for political ends by doing a heartless and manipulative interview with radio Israel only a couple of days after the poor girls passing (see 'Diana Not').

The Pahlavis and their cronies use every opportunity they can get (if it is for free, mind you) to promote not any particular cause or ideology but their own reputations. Their interest in matters concerning Iran is so fake and superficial that even their political posturing is more for themselves than anything else. It is all about the Ashraf camp vs. the Farah camp and so on and so fort.

As much as I hate the mullahs in power in Iran the old taghootis, my own people really and perhaps because I know them so well, I find revoltingly vulgar and empty. I would like to personally thank Ms. Forghani for putting this silly Mrs. Empress in her place as a little side note to the real struggle for freedom that former is so boldly persuing.

Setareh Sabety

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Blame your parents, not Her Majesty

On Azadeh Forghani's "Do us a favor":

Dear Miss Forghani,

I have read your translated article more than once to fully understand the scope of your argument. Once I was able to weed through the barrage of subjective insults, envy and more of the same “implausible” Islamic Republic propaganda which has lasted for over 28 years, I was able to discern the following: Your views on the plight of women in Iran are valid ones indeed. However, I take exception with you singling out Her Majesty as the sole cause of the oppression brought on women in today’s Iran under the Islamic Republic.

If you are seeking a cause and effect rationale as to the plight of Iranian women basically having NO rights whatsoever, you should take an introspective at your parents and their friends who took to the streets in 1978 to loot and plunder a once prosperous and promising country while chanting “marg bar Shah”, “Allah’o Akbar, Khomeini rahbar” not to mention having seen Ruhollah’s face on the moon and thank them directly for creating the monster which is the Islamic Republic. Once you have done this simple task, you will be able to understand why the women of Iran have been relegated to second-class citizens in their own country, not to mention being forced to turn to prostitution as a profession simply to make ends meet.

For you to blame one person is overly simplistic and extremely naïve, not to mention ignorant. You must bring facts to the table to substantiate your claims and leave those deep-seated “myths” (a term freely used in your article) you have ingrained in your mind at home.

As it has done many times before in the past, Iran will rise again.

Babak Kalhor

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She has the right to speak

On Azadeh Forghani's "Do us a favor":

How arrogant of her ladyship, as if what she and her friends are doing is just unique to them and people other than this group are not allowed to even offer their support! I am not a fan of Mrs. Empress, as she puts it, but I think she has the right to speak her mind and to yearn to be included in the life of the women of her country.

As Ms. Azadeh mentions herself, she was born in 1978 and doesn't know anything about what this same woman whom she accuses of many things has done for the women of Iran and for their at least social freedoms.

Many of us have suffered for years, some have been away from our land and our family for the last 28 years. I don't think she can fathom what it means to lose everyone and everything, leaving a life of vagabond, stooping the lowest to find refuge, working like donkeys to take care of one's family in an unfamiliar and usually unfriendly (at least towards Iranians ) environments. What some of us have gone through including Mrs. Empress, she cannot even dream.

She and her friends can keep their glories for themselves. Ms. Azadeh and her friends can enjoy the fame and safeguard their achievements, nobody wants to grab it from them!

How arrogant, I can't believe this, an Iranian woman cannot talk and express her own opinion about millions of her own compatriots? If that causes suspicious of the authorities in Iran, then should she keep silent for ever, you have just accused her that she did not do anything before and was having fun losing her position, husband, daughter!

OR, you think now the pay off time is close and you are afraid to share (whatever it is) with others, specially with Mrs. Empress. Again, I can name many faults with Mrs. Empress but not this one.

Shirin

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With power comes great responsibilities

On Azadeh Forghani's "Do us a favor":

I have read your article in both Farsi and English over and over again and have come to realise that such bravery among the Iranian women puts many idle and indifferent Iranian men and women in exile to SHAME, the message is loud and clear and the recipient is clearly the former first lady of Iran to coin the phrase, I suppose I should consider myself lucky to have spent a small part of my life under the Shah's rule in Iran and therefore, less to read on the history of my country given the strain that it puts on the eyes. In follow up to the Azadeh Forghani's message to the Empress I have also this to say that: your husband betrayed the Iranian nation with yourself standing alongside him and your silence was the approval of that betrayal.

A small look at Iran's not too far back history we see that all our rulers were either religious or illiterate men with little or no political knowledge but your husband studied in the most expensive educational institutions in the capitals of free and democratic countries such as France and Swiss, he grew up with the knowledge of democracy and freedom of speech in those countries, he was highly educated and knowledgeable but on sitting on the peacock throne he denied the basic freedoms to the Iranian nation, sensored the newspapers, abolished the parties and dictated a single Rastakhiz Party onto the people, his secret service closed down the newspaper agencies who dared to criticise either him or his government and his policies...

If he was illiterate then I wouldn't criticise him, but he knowingly denied a nation its right to speak and think is a crime on historical proportions, why did he think that we must be oppressed to be ruled and destroyed the seeds of freedom of speech to lead the country into chaos, why were you silent? Isn't that true that we could hold you personally responsible for being the partner in crime, were you not educated like him in the western society and kept silent when Iranians were bribed by oil money in exchange for their obedience silence, did you not encourage education! but denied the material that the educated needed to read and the atmosphere that they needed to exercise their opinions, why is it? That after being ousted from power and living in the United States for the past 29 years you have adopted such occupation as Freedom lover and issue statements after statements of human rights and women liberty directed at the Iranians within Iran not to mention Freedom of speech and democratic rights that lacked under Pahlavi Dynasty...

Maybe the answer to all this is that you made mistakes like any one else, then why not stand up and apologise for the mistakes to the Iranian nation in general and freedom fighting women in particular and it could just be possible that the kind hearted Iranians may forgive you, but it also takes courage to apologise and if that is not forthcoming then let every one be and please refrain from placing our brave women into mortal danger by such statements.

WITH POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITIES, then it must be true to state that you used the power in an irresponsible manner that changed the course of Iranian history, you belong to the past and please stay in the shadows, since these brave women have the light on their side. Last night I caught the glimpse of the heir to the throne on the VOA channel (Voice Of America), who I have been following his TV appearances since he came of age politically, I notice that his voice has grown much harsher and a tint of anger and frustration covered his statements, I feared him for the first time, it reminded me of the Irish Republican statements at the beginning of their political struggle against the British occupation of Northern Ireland before the frustration of such political opposition exchanged its place with armed struggle, reminding me that such armed struggle might be the US army intermingled with the political statements and related activities which could undermine the very fabric of society in Iran, I say this simply because your son tried to leap into United States foreign policy and world political arena using Israeli prime minister Arial Sharon ( the butcher of Palestinians) as a spring board, a reminder of how your husband was promoted to power during the CIA coup in Iran.

Like many others I look at the past to learn for the future, and therefore, have no inclination for supporting your cause here or in Iran, but I do not change the channel when you or any member of your family appears to talk, I just hope that one day you may use the opportunity to state your regrets and apologise to Azadeh Forghani and women like her whose today's predicament is a direct result of the time that you ruled and denied freedom to their fathers and mothers.

Today our culture, the way of life, and the very fabric of our society is under scrutiny by the powers who accommodate you and your family, they demonise us and mock our history through their films and rhetoric, they plant seeds of hatred among the ethnics in our society and they try to divide us inside our borders and outside, they fabricate lies and sell it as truth, colonisation and division of Iran has never been more apparent and real since the invasion of Arabs some 1400 years ago, I believe there are enough material here for you to fight against and stand for, or issue statements to prove your loyalty and well wishing than sending statements in support of our freedom fighting women, the apology can come later.

Kayvan Mobini

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Disinformation does not work any more

On Azadeh Forghani's "Do us a favor":

Dear Ms. Forghani,

Just one glance at your accompanied photo reveals a lot, which I do not want to go into it, since it is so damn apparent.

But if iranian.com had not become one of the IRI propaganda tool, your long accusatory, full of nothing article would not have been published anywhere!!?

Thanks to J.J. for venting out some deep rooted anti Pahlavi prejudiced steam?

Moreover; why did J.J. hide your address??? That also tells a lot!!

You & that J.J. can keep on trying your hand. This kind of disinformation & adverse propaganda does not work any more. Our people have become more informed & alert. But it seems that you & J.J. insist to keep you eyes wide shut!!

H. Hakimi,
Oslo – Norway

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Important matter brought to light

On Azadeh Forghani's "Do us a favor":

Thanks for a great translation and for bringing this important matter to light for a wider audience.

Moe

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High priority

On Abtin Assadi's "Misdirected anger":

On March 22, 2007, iranian.com featured an article named "Misdirected anger" by Mr. Abtin Assadi whom I have had the pleasure of meeting on occasions in the past. He is a very dedicated and hard-working Iranian activist who cares so much about his community. I enjoyed reading his article and generally agree with him about the need for our community to learn from the AIPAC and try to influence the policy makers when it comes to policies directly affecting our community or our beloved home country Iran.

However, I don't agree with him that the recent outrage expressed by the Iranian communities here in the US and around the world at the creation of the movie 300 by Warner Brothers (a huge media outlet constantly feeding one-sided and distorted news and analysis to the American and world public for the sake of the power-holders and war-mongers) and screening it at the time where the tension is high between Iran and the west, was misdirected.

Learning from what AIPAC has been doing, and raising our voices as a community whenever we see malicious and deliberate humiliation and contempt of our cultural heritage and portraying us as a barbaric, inhumane and uncivilized nation, are two sides of the same coin and must be done with due diligence and in parallel with each other. When National Geographic Magazine used Arabian Gulf instead of Persian Gulf on their maps, it was the strong reaction of the Iranian communities around the world that made them retreat.

Yes, we have to set our priorities of course, but I think exposing the lies in this outrageous movie to the public is high up there in the list. In fact, it is this kind of propaganda which keeps the public in dark and enables the war-monger politicians to attack and destroy other nations at will, with quiet approval or at least the inaction of the society. Once they establish in the hearts and minds of the people that the countries being attacked are barbaric, uncivilized, inhumane, brutal and ignorant, and their people have nothing on their minds but destroying 'our freedom' and 'our way of life', then the rest is easy! Attack and wipe the bastards from the face of the earth!

During the Vietnam War, American bombs killed 3.5 Million Vietnamese! 3.5 million innocent men, women and children! Percentage-wise, that's equivalent to 27 million Americans! It took years before American public finally realized what was happening there. How did the politicians got away with so much murders and blood shed?! The answer is this: the used their vast propaganda machine and kept telling Americans that the ones being killed are ruthless communists who are bent to destroy our democracy!

Vahid Naraghi
Sunnyvale, California

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Beautiful and optimistic

On Zohreh Ghahremani's "Lilies growing in a dark lagoon":

Dear Dr. Ghahremani,

Thank you for your beautiful and optimistic piece. When I gathered with my family/siblings around “Sofreh Haft-Seen” last night, I was not thinking about all the good things you mentioned in your article, but I will do my now best to think about them and hope for the best.

As always, I enjoyed your writing and thank you for sharing your ideas with your readers.

Faezeh L

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My heart is happy

On Zohreh Ghahremani's "Lilies growing in a dark lagoon":

First let me wish you, and yours abundant blessings of good health, happiness, and success all through 1386, and many years to come.

Your article has a much needed message for all of us, and you have successfully expressed your positive attitude, and I am sure every reader will be touched as I am.

Then the beautifully translated sweet message of the prayer;” YAA MOGHALEBOLGHOLOOB...” which is always enchantingly nostalgic for me, and I was lucky to hear (the tape) again at the right moment of SAAL TAHVIL inspiringly recited by the one and only “Raashed” of blessed soul.

Thank you for reminding me to read this energizer!

You made my day and my heart is happy.

Respectfully yours,

Parvaneh

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Story of the underdog trying to succeed

On Iranian reaction to 300 movie:

My dear Iranian Friends:

I have seen the movie 300 recently and found it to be a fictionalized work of Hollywood art. The movie was great, and being a Greek, I found it interesting since I have a real fascinition with ancient history and cultures. I hear that the Iranian public is outraged at how the Persians were depicted in this movie and that it is an insult to Persian history. I disagree with this.

People do not see the big picture with modern day Hollywood. The movie depicts modern day politics on the flip side. Xerxes and Persia represent modern day United States and George W. Bush-rich, decedant, and with large military forces. Leonidas and Sparta, represent the Middle East, the ones being invaded by an empire. Xerxes and Persia had as much success subdoing Greece as George W Bush and the USA have in subdoing and stabilizing the Middle East. Hollywood, is the one aspect of American culture that dislikes Bush and the war's he has started.

So before we jump to conclusions and condemn a great movie with great special effects, let's have an open mind and see the real message of this movie. Every nation has had it's time to rule the Earth, Persia had it's time and lost, Greece took the helm and lost to the Romans, and so on and so forth. History continues with a vicious cycle, of one nation ruling over another nation, this cycle continues today.

Another thing I noticed in the movie, is that the Persians were shown as a superior force than the Greeks, they had more troops, money and decadance. Historically this story is a story of the underdog trying to succeed, no one debates the fact that the Persians were superior to the Greeks, however, maybe Persia had gotten too decadant and overconfident, and that's why they eventually collapsed under Alexander the Great's invasion later on.

For the Iranian people I say don't worry too much about this movie; the message is for someone else to read, not the Iranian people or the Greek people.

Best Regards From a Greek Friend,

Luke Panousopoulos

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Anyone living in the United States as a citizen is an AMERICAN, period.

I cannot believe what I heard from Trita Parsi last night (March 20th) on the Factor. In addition to referring to himself as an Iranian-American, a title I will never accept, not only from Parsi, but also from all other 1st generation, or 2nd generation Americans who consider that the hyphenated term is accurate. I'm a 1st generation American whose parents are native born Italians. I do not consider myself as hyphenated. I am an AMERICAN. Although I am concerned about Italian politics because I still have relatives in Sicily, I do not consider myself to be an Italian American.

As far as I'm concerned anyone living in the United States as a citizen is an AMERICAN, period. That holds for every nitwit who says he is a French-American, Irish-American, German-American ad infinitum. Why concern about what is going on in Iran? if he is, or any of you are, why not move back to Iran and attempt to correct the supposed problems?

In addition Parsi was concern about the hit movie "300," which dramatizes a battle in 480 B.C., is considered offensive by some Iranians (formerly known as Persians.) Trita Parsi explained why he finds the film objectionable. "This is turning things into something that wasn't, and it's done so in a way that seems to be a deliberate intent to insult. It makes Persia look as if it was just a bunch of dehumanized brutes, when actually Persia was a place where people had rights. This is bad for the United States because average Iranians tend to have very favorable views of Americans.

Don't we have enough current events to be concerned about? Why does he get his panties in a twist about an event that happened almost 2500 years ago, before the birth of Christ, Muhammad, Buddha. How does it matter? Actually he doesn't have a complaint because the Persians were the aggressors. The 300 were trying to slow them down so that the main force could get into position. But then who gives a fuck. This is 2500 years old, and Persians, Iranians are getting upset. Therein lies the Arab and or the Persian problem. They are still fighting battles that not many of the earth's population has any interest in. Shi'a killing Sunnis, Sunnis killing Kurds and Persians, Persians threatening annihilation of Israel and the United States, and on and on. Grow up, face today's problems and forget those supposed insults.

An AMERICAN
Salvatore Reale

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Organize a massive protest

I have read several letters categorizing “300” as fiction and therefore dismissing the anger of the Iranian Community toward the film. I seriously disagree with these people. If the Iranian Community chooses to sit aside quietly and let Hollywood portray its glorious past the way “300” does who knows what they might do next.

The fact that “300” is based on a graphic novel by the author of “Sin City” does not diminish its importance. It’s being distributed by a very powerful studio and it’s accessible to a very large audience who will largely believe what they see. They will believe the Persians were savage monsters and that their King Xerxes was a feminized brat.

Last year during the release of the movie DaVinci Code, Christians protested against that film because they felt it was insulting to Jesus and even when it was pointed out to them it was a fictional work, they didn’t hesitate to back down and that’s what Iranians should be doing now.

As long as “300” was an obscure graphic novel in Barnes and Noble I would not care about its existence because not too people were aware of its existence. However, it’s now out there for everyone to see and it has made millions. It’s time to stop the Petitions on the internet and organize a massive protest against this film in the large cities of the Untied States.

A Kasra

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Sulukis were Greek

On Quiz "Greek-ish":

Agha in Quize shomaa eshkaal daare. Sulukis were not influenced by the Greek. They were Greek. The right answer is "Ashkaanian" (Parthians).

Sourena Mohammadi

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Writers and producers who love to take advantage of the world political situation

On Bruce Bahmani's "Jerxes":

Behrouz,

The article that you have posted at iranian.com it is well thought of and accurate. Unfortunately there are many viewers that would watch such movies / TV programs since they don’t have "time" to read real books and historical facts (in some cases there are HS grads that can’t read). However, mean while, there are many movie mongers, writers and producers who love to take advantage of the world political situation and spread of information or publicity that I am sure the government has definitely back that idea up, no doubt, and promote ideas just to make buck or two despite the affect on the viewers.

Anyway, awesome article with well depiction; keep up the good work...

JohnE

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A cause that TRULY benefits all Iranians

On Siamak Baniameri's "What are you going to do about it?":

This is a wonderful idea. Wow!!!

But just to make it a little more attractive and just so Mr. Baniameri would not risk losing precious audience when the words "Give money" is used, why don't we make an agreement to devote the profit gained from the movie, to a cause that TRULY benefits all Iranians, rather than just preserving our reputation here and now!! and prove that we matter. If that is really what we ought to be doing, then tiny sum of 500K!! which is all that is needed to finishh the project, should go a heck of long way to satisfy every Iranian.

Can we do that? If the answer is yes, then by all means let's talk.

Kyle

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Gole eghbaal man ey ghonche-ye naaz bahaar aamad

On Nazy Kaviani's "Come on baby light my fire":

Dear MS. Kaviani,

Well said in your 4 parts "Come on baby light my fire!" But hear my part! As I said in "Miraase NoRooz-e Maa".

We have been preparing for NoRooz since two weeks ago. My Sabzeh has never fallen and if so, I have no where to go and buy it here in New Jersey, anyway! Mojdeh started cooking shirini keshmeshi, ghotab, gerdoee, nargili and she will make baklava which is a piece of cake compare to the others!

My brother teased her last Sunday and told her "You poor people you're making your own sweets, we go SAREH KHEYABOON and buy what we want!" During my lunch time yesterday, I went to Trader Joe's and bought different types of spring pots, Sonbol, Laleh, Narges, miniature roses and ... We started setting up our Haft Seen after dinner yesterday. Our 12 years old Son, Tackin, was born and raised in North American. Our 5.5 years old Tina was born here in NJ.

I made a colorful flyer, colored eggs for every kid in her K-class grade (three classes of 18 children) and one Sabzeh dish for her classroom. One of the teachers was passing by and thought Sabzeh was a cake!!! That pissed me off but ...! All the kids were waiting for the event and they all were going to watch "Babak's first NoRooz" DVD in Tina's class, sometimes this morning.

I did the same last year for her kindergarten class in smaller scale and everyone loved it. We have done the same for my son up to his fifth grade. My kids will recive gifts and money today after Tahvil. We have to make up it for all grandparents, and uncles! Since no one is around. They love 4 Shanbeh Souri. We will go to DIDO BAZDID and they will speak only English with other Iranian kids but they all know it is for NoRooz! I think they are excited in their own little world! That is all we can do!

After I dropped off her and turned on to NPR, it was talking about Iraq, war, killing.. I whished for some Spring news and turned off the radio right away. I do not want this today! I started singing .. Bahaaram dokhtaram az khaab barkhiz, ... Gole eghbaal man ey ghonche-ye naaz bahaar aamad to ham baa oo daraamiz.

When I turned on the radio again, about 8:50 am this morning, after a short lag, S. Johnson announced "today Spring starts at 8:07 PM and so Iranian new year so called Eid NoRooz", then he went on and gave a brief history of Norooz and said that it will end on April 2nd (sisdeh bedar) with a huge outdoor picnic. He mentioned that the Persian Parade will be on this Sunday at NYC. My wish came true quickly on this beautiful snow melting NoRooz day! I wish you all the same and keep the flag of NoRooz up and running!

Alireza
New Jersy

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Blinded our Soul and Spirit

On Naanaam's short film, "Blind man":

Sprititual Blindness is worst than the physical.

Our preoccupation with Things "Material", has blinded our Soul and Spirit.

Faryar M.

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Rambo 2007 and his horde of 299 beefcake soldiers

On Ari Siletz's "Black is white":

It saddens me that more people considering themselves somehow as "Persian" today did not pay attention to this insidious movie. On the other hand maybe the apathy of our Persian brethren deprived "300" of more free publicity.

This pile of dog doo got away with the illusion of being a historic account, and by that extension the illusion of being "a true story".

Ah, but would it not be nice if "Truth" could be discerned so easily? Anyone's version will masquerade as the "Truth" in the age of digitally enhanced manipulation of memories. When in today's reality show driven America four years of disastrous war can be hyped, promoted, started, botched up, botched up again, repackaged, repackaged again, and continued on basis of nothing but convenient lies of a handful of people in power, followed by the logic of "It is too late to back out. It will be so much worse if we do", we cannot expect much from Rambo 2007 and his horde of 299 beefcake soldiers.

Farzin

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Buy real estate in Greenland

On Tina Ehrami's "What is nature trying to tell us?":

I wouldn't worry so much about global warming. Instead act! Buy real estate in Greenland, Northern Canada and Antartica!

... for cheap!

Mark

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Untalented, un-original

On Saman's Norooz cartoons, "Happy *O#%!@ Norooz!":

Man I've seen many untalented, un-original caricaturists... but this "Saman" character takes the gold. :-(

Farhang Nejadpour

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So short and intense

On Rosi Canales's "First love":

This lady can write ...

It was a long time ago I read a story so short and intense.

Farhang Nejadpour

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I just hope my govn't (USA) doesn't mess it all up

Just wanted to thank you for the interesting perspectives and thoughtful commentaries. For years I have watched Iran with interest... not because I am afraid, but because I respect them.

It's hard to explain, but I just hope my govn't (USA) doesn't mess it all up. I think we could have great relations. Once Bush is gone (SOON!) we should see things get better.

Anyway, keep up the good work.

Peace,

Derek Y.

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Iran is not a country that the U.S. and Israel can push around

On Maziar Behrooz's "I hope none of this will matter":

Interesting statistics. But the most important factor about Iranians in the event of any attack is their fierce and amazing spirit when it comes to the defense of their homeland. This is something that no amount of war planes, patriot missiles, tanks, and technological progress can match. They have proven this time and again throughout Iran's long and bloody wars and attacks starting with the Greeks and continuing with the Arabs, Mongols, Turks, Afghans..., up until the latest war with Iraq.

Iran has been attacked, occupied, and ravaged by all kinds of armies, but none of them have ever been able to stay or change anything about this land. If anything, it is this land that has affected and changed the attackers or the occupiers.

Iran has not attacked or threatened any country for the past 250 years. But during the Iran-Iraq war Iran learned the hard way that the so called "International Law" is really just ink on paper and the U.N. is just another organization doing the bidding of big powers. When Saddam was attacking Iranian civilians with chemical weapons (an illegal act according to the Geneva Convention) Iran's protests to the U.N. were ignored. No U.N. member even raised a simple protest when Iran, a member of the U.N., was attacked by another member of the U.N. Iran was left alone to fend for itself. That's when they learned the reality of the world and the unreliability of International Laws.

After the war, they began developing their missile system and stockpiling chemical weapons of their own and developing their nuclear program. To hell with the U.N. and International Law, they said, it is a matter of the "survival of the fittest" and they were going to be "fit" for the next attack.

So now with an advanced missile system, a relatively sizeable standing army armed with both nationalistic and ideological spirit, a rugged and vast terrain impossible to invade and hold on to, oil and gas uncer this terrain and 70 million nationalistic people on top of this terrain, Iran is not a country that the U.S. and Israel can push around and bully around. They know this quite well and that's why they are once again using this ridiculous organization, the U.N., to put pressure on Iran -- the same U.N. that did nothing when Saddam was dropping chemical bombs on innocent Iranians.

Stay tuned... Iran has become a major headache for the U.S.

N. Shafiei

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The attack on Iran will be devastating

On Maziar Behrooz's "I hope none of this will matter":

Mr. Behrooz,

Israel is not going to attack IRI. I understand a lot of Islamo fascist and their supporters in Iran and out side of Iran are begging and itching for Israel to take military action. That way they can come and say "see we told you so" "see we told you how awful Jews and Zionism are" " "see we are actually doing good for Iranian people so never mind our occasional executions, handing, stoning and stealing billions of dollars of money which should be spend on the poor and needy", "we IRI are good, you infidel bad", you get the picture.

If any attack comes, it will come from U.S and NATO for sure. If you think bunch of outdated missiles and airplanes can prevent or cause a big damage to U.S and NATO operation, then I seriously think you have to brush up on your military knowledge!

With three air careers, numerous war ships and submarines in Persian Gulf, planes and missiles in Iraq and Afghanistan the impact of devastation on Iran will be so fast and furious that IRI will not be able to take any kind of meaningful action. It's not as if U.S military is going to call days in advance and say to IRI leadership, well let you guys Fire first shots and then we will respond a week from now and we will take it from there on!!!

Mr Behrooz, the attack on Iran will be devastating. With thousands of sorties, misiles flying all over the country in matter of several hours all communication, airports, missile sites, military bases, bridges, etc will be destroyed. Suppose couple of missile sites survive and you fire couple of shahb3 and hit Israel so what? (didn't sadam do the same thing with SKUD misiles?) Challenging U.S military like this, is a dumbest thing I have ever heard. It's as if you take a fight with George Forman or Mike Tyson. I think in the end you know what the results will be even if you manage to through couple of punches.

Sinaki

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Isreal is nothing without US-Europe help

On Maziar Behrooz's "I hope none of this will matter":

I wish people were not comparing the neo-cosmetic country of Isreal to the great country of Persia. Isreal is nothing without US-Europe help.

Apadana

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Majority of Kurds in Iran are happy to be Iranian

On Kamal Artin's "Independence is inevitable":

Dear Mr. Artin

I have written you before and I am going to repeat my comments from the past email. I didn't read your article but the title says it all. I Full heartedly agree that if a nation wants to be free and independent then they deserve the Rights to be independent. Yet you and most of the non Iranian Kurds missing one point. You non Iranian Kurds are living in foreign nations, among Arabs or Turks, who have not much in common with your history or language hence culture. To one it is clear that you don't feel "you belong" (Ata Turk called the Kurds the Mountain Turks!).

Iran however is a country that the Kurds are part of. They are Iran and the culture and language is shared historically. This lesson can be long, but to prove my point I wish that the government of Iran would allow a free Kurdish referendum so the Kurds in the neighboring countries know that Iran is a different scenario and the majority of the Kurds in Iran are happy to be Iranian.

If you take the Iranian heritage from the Kurds, which has happen to you and all the non Iranian Kurds, then you take the history and the identity of the Kurds. Then people like you rise up to claim their "Separated" history as a country and culture etc. etc. Iranian Kurds don't share your identity crises. If Kurds of Iran divide from their country, then Iran will miss a grand part of her culture and so do the Kurds, who will miss a grand part of their history and culture. A question to you would be to explain the Turkish historical connection with the Kurds. I bet you can't.

Today Iran is a country that the middle east should become, diverse and multicultural. Those who preach separation, specially during the time that unity is a must, have only their own interest in mind rather than the benefits of the nation.
Having said all of the above, I hope in the future all the Kurds see the day that their suffering is over.

Arman Nosrati

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Off his chain

On Hossein Derakhshan's "Iran awakening?":

Hossein Derakhshan needs to be in a mental ward... he's off his chain; I resisted reading this crappy article; too many flaws as always, but this time he is accusing the women's rights activists of being neo-con puppets??!!!! Foreign pro-democracy, he calls it! now, we're not going to get into grammatical errors and typos in his writing, but Guardian is publishing his B.S.? I thought they would have a more refined filter than that!

L.

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Nothing on Mina Assadi?

I was searching for the poet and author Mina Assadi and didn't find anything about her at iranian.com

How come?

Mina Assadi has written songs for iranian singers like EBI ("Halah"), DARIUSH ("Zendegi jek basie" and "Ahay javoon"), HAIDEH ("Onkeh jek rosi barajeh man khoda bod") and RAMESH ("to aftabi, to baroni") to name a few

Here is some information about her that I have collected:

Mina Assadi, (born 12 March 1943 in Sari, Iran) is a famous poet and author who lives in exile in Stockholm, Sweden. She is known for writing controversial and provocative, especially when she describes the fight against the Iranian regime.

Recently she wrote the poem called "Bastards" (Djakesha). It caused a lot of discussion for being to vulgar. The poem is about those who live in Iran and in exile that have forgot the struggle. She wrote her debut book, a collection of poems named "Mina's Gift" (Armanghane Mina), at the age of 18.

Assadi has written 14 books, including "Who throws rocks" (Che kasi zang miandaazad) which has attracted most attention. In Iran she wrote for the magazine Kayhan. In 1996 she won the Hellman/Hammett awards (human Rights Watch) in New York. She has been compared to poets like Forough Farrokhzad, Simin Behbahani and Parvin E'tesami.

I hope you'll put up info about this great poet of ours, especially when she's been a part of the poetry and music of the 60:s and 70:s, and still is going strong.

Nima

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Worse than claiming the Two Towers from "Lord of the Rings" is about 9/11

On reaction to "300" movie:

Dear god man, the movie is based on a graphic novel written almost 20 years ago. Please actually research topics before you rant about them. If you have any qualms it's with the book itself, which, like all of Frank Miller's work, is stylized and exaggerated.

That article was worse than the people claiming the Two Towers from "Lord of the Rings" is about 9/11.

Arlen

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Brazen act of disrespect

On reaction to "300" movie:

Persian Community,

Salam, This has come to my attention very recently. It is of great concern to me and many other Hamvatan. The recently made, fraudulently, spiteful and vile movie called "300"!

This is worst than any movie about Iranian historical figures. Aside from the fraudulent use of historical figures such as Kouroush Kabir(Xerxes) as an bisexual, effeminate, psychotic person, etc...The very physical depiction of him was completely innacurate historically. For instance, based on the Greek writtings of Herodotus, and known Iranian carvings in Pasargadae, Kouroush, like all previous Achamenid Shah's they had short or long cropped-beards and were fully clothed in robes and clothing. This movie did not even attempt to show this reality.

There are so many other false light, defamatory, depictions of this historical, national hero, of Iranian history. And to be released on the Eve of Iranian New Year's Celebration is a brazen act of disrespect to the Iranian People of the Diaspora.

Please make note of this.

Cyrus

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Hasn't war taught us anything?

On reaction to "300" movie:

All I can say is I think it's pathetic how some Iranian Muslims think that 300 is American propaganda. The word Islam means peace if Mohammad was alive today he would be very disappointed how a minority of Muslims are behaving. Myself personally think that the English, French and Americas should have left the Middle East alone and let the Ottoman Turks run the Middle East rather than splitting them up into individual countries. The only reason America's interested in the Middle East is beacause of oil.

I myself I'm not a religious man. But I do know the diffence between right and wrong. I wish that the Middle East would get together and irradicate these evil terrorists that give proper Muslims a bad name and stop this foolish irrational behavoiur so every one can live in peace.

The Amercans and the English are just as bad. It's a pity that humans in the 21st century are behaving like children. Hasn't war taught us anything? Millions of innocent people die each year because of greed and religious wars. For humanity's sake pack it in and behave like adults not spoilt stupid children. I get sick and tired of humans warring with each other and this stupid conflict with the Middle East has to stop before we all get wiped off the face of the earth. Then your stupid governments will be happy.

Jim Lockless

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Pity Iran has lost these great gentlemen

On Fariba Amini's interview with her father Nosratollah Amini "Twenty eight years later":

Mossadegh was an exceptional man, practically everyone who worked for / with him is typically a similar person! :)

Pity Iran has lost these great gentlemen as higher officials. (Why are we Iranians doomed?) :(

With Love & Respect,

SP

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You can't be more wrong!

On Naz Ghassemian's "Fiction doesn't deserve a petition":

To Ghassemian and those who think that this is just a movie, that we should just sit back, chill and keep our mouths shut, that it's just fiction which people are not dumb enough to believe or be influenced by... you can't be more wrong! Just check out the links below to read just some American comments posted on the topic. There are a lot more "Dimwits" in this world than one could ever imagine. This is why people like Glenn Beck can get hour shows on CNN.

* "Iranians outraged by `300' movie"
* Comments

M

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Why make fun of your own people?

On Peyvand Khorsandi's "Out of all places in the world...":

I was amazed to read that supposedly "funny piece" here with a title of "300". At a time when Iranian artists should defend Persia against the great lie and insult inflicted upon it in the movie 300 - preparing the Western public for war and destruction against Iran - why should an Iranian funny guy start making fun and insulting his own people? For any good reason he should have found another occasion for doing that!

Bob Shariat

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Master of foul language

On Naanaam's "Out of all places in the world...":

I admire your mastery of foul language and the fluidity of its use, however: yekee be to kharkhoste bayad bege ke chera you did not renounce your Persian heritage along with its Persian genetic componants, in order to be a fucking red neck. But keep on writing because a lot of us are fucking idiots who have surrenderd our country to other idiots.

Fabian

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Need attention?

On Naanaam's "Out of all places in the world...":

Dear H. Naanaam,

Well, I guess you forgot the days that you were glorifying your beloved president Khatami who's responsible for so much bloodshed and crime and tyranny.

I wouldn't suggest that you should carry some of those titles that you addressed to the ancestors! (why family member should suffer like: Khaahar... Maadar...!!)

But why blaming the geography or the locations? What bothers you my dear? Your national identity? or you deny having one? Why swearing your head off?

Or you think you're a kind of "Akbar Sardouzaami"? I don't think you are...! chill out man? How big of a difference you found between Khatami and Ahmadinejhad?

Or need attention??!! you've got it !!!!

Mohsen

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It's a shame, because I like Persians.

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

"now the Spartan Marines need to head out to Iran and destroy it in order to protect our American freedoms. The fantasy movie “300” is just another of the propagandistic (sic) tools to reiterate this preposterous belief and to get the American people, children and adults, ready to endorse another Shock and Awe operation. I am saddened that we never seem to learn from history..."

I agree. Iran's hollow chest-beating didn't work back then, either.

In *my* fantasy, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is standing at a pretend press conference telling everyone how Iran's slave army is slaughtering US troops, when M1A1s start rolling in behind him. Get him out before we do.

Yes, hopefully history repeats itself. Provoke anyone enough, you will get bitten. No room for cry-babies then!

I do not believe in war, but sometimes ya gotta do something when the rest of the world stands by and watches such an oppressive regime behave soo badly for soo long without some kind of a spanking.

It's a shame, because I like Persians. It's just your country has been hijacked and undermined by greedy, religious hypocrites, just like the USA. Except you won't admit it.

To suggest that '300' is politically motivated is insane, and shows that you don't understand how Hollywood works!!!! The ONLY motivation for them is money!!

Oh, I'm British-born and educated.

Gary Wise

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Let Hollywood rape some more stupid moviegoers

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

Who gives a shit -- it's just a movie, in movies (movies are "duh" ENTERTAINMENT, not news, not history -- duh!) Hollywood can make up its own script to sell tickets so people can make money. Does 300 advertise itself as a documentery? NO -- so if you have to alter up a bunch of (why should we believe even you) yak about a part of history no one gives a shit about and which has no bearing on modern times other than to those who are sore losers or arrogant "winners" who both don't want to let whatever happened lie and want to change or capture minds which will by the next movie they see forget almost everything of interest other than the gore and sex scenes. So don't go getting a hard on whoever you are. Chill, relax. Let Hollywood rape some more stupid moviegoers of their ten spots so they can live their sorrid make-believe lives and export more money to the Jews in Iseral and the hopeless minorities in the U.S. Just remember, what relly happened and what was portrayed in 300 is just dust for the mind waiting to or already blown to and scattered up the vast wasteland that lies between the ears.

Bill Poet

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Create a movie that depicts what YOU like to see

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

It's a fucking movie for the love of god. You don't like it, create a movie that depicts what YOU like to see.

TS

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Reading way too much into a childish movie

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

Your article is interesting, and your explanation of the Greek-Persian conflict is generally very accurate, yet I think you’re reading way too much into a simple, essentially childish movie which was based almost entirely on, and is amazingly true to, a comic book written by Frank Miller in 1998, itself based on a movie made in the 60’s. This is obviously well before Bush II came into the presidency and well before 9/11 or the current heightened conflict between the U.S. and Iran. Furthermore, Hollywood and the movie industry in general are very anti-war and usually quite democratic/liberal politically, so I very much doubt that movie-makers want to “anesthetize the American population to war in the Middle East”.

So, in essence, to claim that Leonidas represents Bush and his general represents Jesus simply sounds quite preposterous. Feel free to criticize the historicity of the film, but don’t try to find analogies, metaphors and symbolism in a movie which is ultimately, at its core, nothing but a macho, violent, hyper-dramatic re-imagining of the Battle of Thermopylae designed to entertain young boys and teenagers (the comic book demographic). Perhaps the creators chose to make this movie at this time to tap into anxiety over the middle east and garner greater ticket sales. I find it more likely that this movie was made now simply because Frank Miller’s other heralded “graphic novel”, Sin City, was also recently made into a movie and did quite well, and 300 is generally regarded as his second best graphic novel, right behind Sin City, so it makes sense that he would want to create that one into a film next.

To see how close the movie is to the comic, examine this Flickr photoset.

Tom Richter

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Just be proud to be Iranian and accept the virtues of the Greeks

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

Dr Daryaee,

How frightening that you represent Cal State Fullerton and the University's history department. Are you teaching students factual history regarding the Battle of Thermopylae or history based on offending geographic regions and/or ethnic groups. Furthermore, I truly fail to understand your correlation of the Battle and your claim that the movie "projects war on terror and challenges historical underpinnings."

You and your Persian community should accept the movie 300 as approximation for the Battle of Thermopylae where the Greeks not only out-smarted your Iranians (Persians) in physical combat but also won the battle of spirit and values. Yes, historically Persians were barbaric and yes Spartians were "sculpted speciments". I fail to understand your problem here.

Rather than pout to your student about the Iranian defeat at Thermopylae you should correct an ongoing misconception of terminology. As a graduate of Geography from Cal State Fullerton, I remain confused why your ethic community adopted the heritage title of being Persian. Is there such a country? You are not Persian but rather an Iranian; just as a person from Pakistan is a Pakistani, an Iraqi from Iraq and on... Persia is not a county, county or city but rather a historic region that ranged from Pakistan to the Mediterranean.

Enough for your history lesson for today. Just be proud to be Iranian and accept the virtues of the Greeks and our history!

Perhaps your objective of such protest in today's newspaper is to achieve your name in publication. From all the readers that are familiar with history, the article is shame to your professional title.

Respectfully,

M. Zito-Ellas

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Persians liberating USA from neocons

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

There are really two possibilities concerning 300. Gluteus Maximus and Rectus Abdomius are so prominently and abundantly featured in 300 that one can actually see how “Buns of Steel”, the workout video might have served as inspiration for the film. In this sense 300 does well in inspiring obese America to do more sit-ups, to firm up those jelly belly abs and harden the sloppy jalopy glutes, because one just never knows when the Iranians are going to try to invade the US.

The other possibility has even more merit. Given the current batch of failed US politicians, and US military adventuresome around the world, 300 could be seen as a call on Iran by Zack Snyder to actually invade the US so as to prevent the enslavement of the world to US neocon ideology. It is abundantly clear from Persian history that Persians have generally been liberators, and it is exactly the absence of this verifiable historical tendency in 300 that proves Zack Snyder is trying to draw attention to it and is therefore a traitor to the neocon establishment.

Eski Sepehr

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Effective and impressive

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

Thank you for this powerfull criticism. I was always defiant agains Iranian reactions against the movie; so emotional and thoughtless. But this one was perfect, effective and impressive.

Ali Hamidi

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Messing with Iranian identity

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

By now we should all get accustom to this phenomena that every time Western nations get annoyed by Iranians (government), they know how to push the wrong button. Yesterday they changed the name of the Persian Gulf to Arabian Gulf in the Atlas and today Fiction 300 depicts the mighty Persian Empire as savages (blacks, Arabs, Mongols, Ninjas, punks, etc) and tomorrow? God knows. By the way, they know better than ourselves that this portrayal is totally wrong, but they just do it because they know what hurts us the most, messing with the Iranian identity.

A.H.

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Excellent

On Touraj Daryaee's "Go tell the Spartans":

I read your excellent article on 300 movie @ yahoo community forum.

Farzaneh

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Good to know we were not savages

On Hamed Vahdati Nasab's " Bad history, worse timing":

Dear Dr. Vahdati,

I was so impressed by you making your point against Warner Brothers in regards to the movie 300. In this time and era in the history of civilization we need to speak the truth. This was also an education for me to know that we were not savages. We should be proud to be Persians.

We need to do this more often.

Sima Samiy

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American Jewish PR against Iran!

On Cyrus Kar's "The power of film":

American Jewish PR against Iran! They are the ones who control the movie business along everything else!

I am going to donate money from little I have saved to Mr. Kar helping hum to finish his movie.

JG

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Fine line between fiction and fraud

On Darryl Narcisse's "Ummm…it’s a movie man":

Dear Darryl,

Although I understand and respect your position, I am afraid you are missing one important point. There is a fine line between fiction and fraud. Insulting the identity of a nation and fabrication history in the name of fiction simply does not stand

Could you tell me how would you feel if tomorrow the Neo Nazis in Europe made a film showing Hitler as a humane figure and deny the Holocaust ever happened, or even worse pretend that the Holocaust was really the fault of the evil Jewish community in Europe?

What if a film was made about allied forces landing in Normandy, showing the SS troops as heroes defending their people and demonising and degrading the Americans and British invaders as inhumane monsters? Would you still praise the movie? Or take the same cool position

Come on man get real.

B Roshanravan

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Suffering nation more important than a movie

On Vandad Yousefi's "Well, for many of us, this IS important":

Dear Ahghaye Yousefi,

Ba salaam. I am sorry for the tardy reply As you did not send me a copy of the vicious letter which you directed at my article, but sent only to iranian.com, I did not see it until just a short time ago. Please permit me to repond.

Although you accuse me of trying to prove your project worthless, I must confess that I had never heard of your project until you made your stinging accusation.

It makes me happy that you and hundreds of others beleive that your project is worthwhile and although you further accused me of trivializing it, I never did such a thing. What I said was that all the the words which have been wasted on the movie 300 could have been better used in the service of our nation and our beleagered people. No where in "What's wrong with this picture" did I reference you, your supporters or your project nor did I "lecuture" you on what you should think is important. How you were able to twist and misconstrue my words is quite mysterious and cannot be readily explained unless, of course, you failed to carefully read what I wrote, or, perhaps, unless someone dropped you on your head as a small child.

I am sincerely sorry that you took what I wrote so personally, but as I do not know you and until your scathing letter disparaging me appeared, I had never heard of you or your project. My article was not directed at you. If anyone ought feel aggreived, it is me.

I wish you and the many hundreds of others who wish to participate in your project every success in the world as this seems to be the number one priority facing our people in your book.

I hope that you will forgive me for not joining you, but even after you impassioned diatribe, I still beleive for some wacky reason that the suffering of our nation and our people is marginally more important than a movie... a cartoon movie at that.

I would very much appreciate it if you would be so kind as to clear up one small thing that I'm still not clear on. You never did tell what your "project" was. You merely accused me of trying to sabatoge it.

Wishing you and all Iranians everywhere a Happy and Prosperous Nowruz,

Lance

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Not funny issues, but issues

On Hossein Hajiagh's cartoons:

I remember some time ago there was a flap about Hajji Agha's cartoons. I happened to see a few today and thought, "Man, this person has issues." Not funny issues (unless there is some subtle level of Persian humor I can't access as an Iran-Am), but issues.

Is there, if you will, demand for his work -- people who will complain if his latest isn't there? Or, is his presence on Iranian.com more a statement about freedom of speech being the only "sacred" thing on your site?

I'm not complaining, just curious.

CA

REPLY: Hajiagha is as crazy as they come. In my view he represents Iranian emigrants stuck between tradition and modernity. What can I say, his dementia fascinates me... :o) -- Jahanshah Javid

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Cheap and literally "mobtazal"

On Hossein Hajiagha's cartoon, "Prostitutes in front of Majles":

I am a frequent visitor of iranian.com and I find most of Hajiagha's "art" works full of anything but art.

Tell me just one reason why you would publish something like this?

Are you trying to provide a different view? At what cost? Is any cheap and literally "mobtazal" work with a different point of view worth putting in front of your visitors?

I am disappointed with what you call freedom.

Amir R.

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Afraid to tell who you are talking to?

On Cameron Batmanghlich's "A moment of letting go":

Beautiful writing only if you indicated who your opponent is or was. Are you addressing an imaginary opponent? If not, are you afraid to tell who you are talking to?

Khody

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Can't wait!

On Kiosk' music video "To Kojaee":

These guys remind me of Dire Straits/Mark Knopfler! And just loved their videos. We're so going to see them and Abjeez in SF on May 4th... Can't wait!

Monda

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Mr. Knofler

On Kiosk' music video "To Kojaee":

Lack of creativity, Mr. Knofler!!

Sahba A. Kia

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How could ancient Persians be Muslims?

On Miss X's "The more offended you are the more you will be ridiculed":

How ironic, Miss X, you speak about being ridiculed while your post must be one of the most ridiculous comments I've ever seen! Which proves once again that ignorant people will watch 300 and believe that ancient Persians were a bunch of muslims, blacks, homosexuals, ogres etc.... You might be a very young person (8-10 year old) who do believe that Iranians are Palestinians or arabs and that the president of Iran represents Iranian people. Or you might just be an ignorant person.

Anyways, I understand that you are into the "cliché from the Muslim world", but that is your obsession. Not ours, since we Persians do not feel "targeted", but our forefathers are being personated as something they weren't. Our forefathers were no muslims and it doesn't take a big brain to figure that out. But anyway, as an Iranian, I will give you some useful info:

First of all, the Persians appeared in history around 1000BC (the battle occurred around 480BC). Islam ("Muslims") was created around 600AD. How is your logic? Islam was created almost 1100 years later so how could the ancient Persians be Muslims? Actually you are the one putting the word "muslim" into the debate. It has nothing to do with religion. We Iranians feel offended by the misrepresentation of our heritage which is certainly not related to the Arabic "allah" or islam as you impertinently have put it in your comment.

Persians were Zoroastrians, and not Muslims. The Persians and the Greeks actually belonged to the same heritage. I suggest you open a book an read some more before you write such gobbledygook on iranian.com.

I will repeat, once again, ancient Persians were not muslims as well as ancient Greeks were not Christians. The misinterpretation of the Persians in "300" is historically non-accurate.

Today, Iran has a regime ruled by a primate. The primate/monkey makes a conference about the Holocaust and so in Hollywood they feel like now they have to attack Iran's non-muslim, non-savage and prideful heritage (Ancient Iran, Persians and Xerxes) and Snyder produces the movie "300".

I am totally pro criticizing Islamism and religious fanatics and that is why we Persians/Iranians live abroad. But PLEASE do not involve the history of Persians and our Great kings in this! The stories of our forefathers are not at all related to savageries of today.

Marmary

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Checkout Europe and best of all Belgium

On Faramarz Fateh's "If not for my kid":

Hi there. I am Peter Murphy from London England but with a great understanding of Iranian culture and history. US is only material gain. I know LA (The Valley), Chicago, Tampa and the best of all Seattle. I have friends living in Glendale. If you want money without due regard for morals, US is the place. Iran to-day would not be the place with all the control, though I guess you know it yourself North Terhan is very Western even now.

I suggest you checkout Europe and best of all Belgium.There I know people from your country who could well move to other places but prefer life in Ghent or Brussells. It is a great place to live. I go there frequently. I respect your Persian culture but in US do they know the difference between Shia and Sunni. Do they know that Iranians are not Arab??? They know gas is more expensive and that they get a good deal at Chucky Cheese or Dunking Doughnuts.

In Chicage the main news was lakeshore temperatures. Mr Rumsfeld thank God has gone but when he said LOOK THEY ALL ARE WAITING TO GET IN HERE. Yes the poor from the south but only for a job so they can send all their dollors home to the family or give an education to a niece. They need to survive. I say checkout Belgium in the north they all speak English well. If you have US papers you can go anywhere.

I tell you a story. Here we have a refugee centre with many from Iran.So I had just bought a CD of Googoosh and in the shopping mall I saw a group of these guys. I said Chetoury and then gave them the CD. They could not believe it. An Englishman understanding what they like. Here on Sat T.V. I get a good eight Iranian Channels so I see what the deal is. For me the big question is why did everyone vote against Khatami and for this Luny now in charge. Perhaps a vote again Cultural Terrorism. Who knows. Have a good day now Yall. With cordial regards and stay well.

Peter

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I could pack up and leave

On Faramarz Fateh's "If not for my kid":

you are right, it's life in an strange place, differnet culture and no real friends, I wish I could pack up and leave, but; I only have one son and I can't live without him. I miss Tehran, period.

Shamsi

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"Now What" phase

On Faramarz Fateh's "If not for my kid":

Mr. Fateh:

Congratulations - you have fulfilled the American Dream and have graduated to the "Now What" phase in life.

Your story of middle-class ennui has made me think just how bored Angelina Jolie must be with her affluence if she is compelled to keep adopting kids from foreign lands. :)

I cannot say that my 30 year report card in this country is as glowing as yours. However, one thing I can share is that in my experience "Asemoon hame ja ye rangeh". Peace has to come from within - and THAT is the key to a good night's sleep whether in West LA or some less glamorous surrounding. :)

Nasim Bagheri

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"Visualizing" phase

On Faramarz Fateh's "If not for my kid":

I feel the same way as you have described. Except my only daughter graduated from college last May and is now working in Santa Barbara. If I haven't met and married my current wife 3 years ago, with my daughter's graduation I would probably been be in the planning phase of the move to a small country. Now the plan is put off for about 6-7 years. I guess they say you need to visualize yourself in new circumstances before you will act on it. So, I guess you and I are in "Visualizing" phase right now, and have to help our spouses do the same.

Hameed

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Too interested in lower part of women's anatomy

On Heresh Rezavandi's "Crossroads":

Dear Heresh,

It seems that just like Aakhoonds you are only interested in the lower part of women's anatomy!!?? The American soldiers are stationed in UK. Germany, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, & some other parts of Europe. And in Japan, South Korea, Philippine, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, etc. Are the natives of all the above mentioned countries as much concerned with the lower part of their women's anatomy as you are?

What they do in those countries when they get horny? Or even better, you are not American soldier residing in UK. What you do when you get horny? You use British girls or prostitutes? Do you? Or use your tiered hands? Can you be honest with your self? At least once in your life!? Huh, come on, let us know!

You said you have lived in UK since you were 2 years old, then what did you learn of social relationships? I found your writing childish. You better get your PHD in social science & then start talking through your hat!?

H. Hakimi,
Oslo – Norway

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We are all connected

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

I can't believe the ignorance spewing from this letter. It sounds like something that someone in the current US Administration would say. The whole 'hooray for the team' mentality of the world must stop. We live on one planet. We are all created by the same (insert name here) Universal power. We are all connected in some way shape or form to each other. It's high time we started acting like it.

Most people in the world just want to enjoy the gift of life that has been granted to them in peace. Instead, we have leaders and media constantly creating conflicts and mis-leading us until we begin to hate 'them'. Those bad people that are causing us trouble. So we go off to war fighting 'for our country'. One day - the light comes on and we realize that we've been duped. But now we're so deep into this conflict that we must stick with it to show that we don't back down, and to clean up the terrible mess that we've created. Sound familar?

But to make it worse, instead of focusing on cleaning up our mess, we decide to focus on another crisis. When in the beginning, if we were only looking in the mirror, we would have seen that we should really be focusing on improving ourselves and being the solution that we wish to see in the world.

Tim DuBois

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