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Opinion

NOVEMBER 2006
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VIEW
Addicted to war

President Bush has reverted to discredited rhetoric of the days immediately after 9/11. Isn't this pathetic?
Ardeshir Ommani

Can the American sophisticated and gigantic war machine neutralize the Iraqi resistance movement, Sunni or Shiia, impose U.S. will on the people of that country through the medium of the puppet regime ruling from inside the "green zone" and take possession of the country's oil and other natural resources? That question sharply divides the warlords today in Washington as to the plans for domination. And there are many of them tossed about by those in officialdom, by the retired generals at the paid-service of the corporate media and the former servants of imperialism and today's honorary members of the corporate boards with entitlement to gilded paychecks from the disproportionately over-grown bank accounts of the oil and arms industries >>>

DIPLOMACY
Start with respect

U.S. foreign policy toward Iran
Majid Behrouzi

Carrot and stick “diplomacy” is clearly a crude and unproductive way of getting the desired results. Moreover, to those citizens of the world who follow the world events and have a sense of justice, especially to the ones living in developing countries, the carrot and stick "diplomacy" appears as an unfair and predatory way of engaging in world affairs. Furthermore, the carrot and stick “diplomacy” is immoral in that it violates the dignity of the nations which find themselves at the receiving end of this "diplomacy". Lastly, it is immoral in that it is a prerogative, exclusively, of the most powerful nations. Only they can exercise it because they can carry and lift big sticks. Smaller and less powerful nations, especially in the South and the East, cannot exercise this option over more powerful nations. And because of the inegalitarian nature of such diplomacy, these nations resent being subjected to it >>>

MIDDLE EAST
Khaavare Miyaaneh dar miyaane khoon

US and UK seeking help from Iran and Syria? God help us!
Hossein Mirmobiny

DEAR MAHMOUD
Why don't YOU do it?
David Etebari

In a new effort to gain popularity among Arabs and Muslims, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written another letter, this one to the American people! I have never believed in giving credit to a sermon from a thief against theft, a killer against murder, or a dictator against dictatorship... I think you get the idea. It really doesn't matter what Mahmoud asks others to do in their countries when he and his spiritual leader Khamenei don't do the same in Iran. Why are they not so concerned about their own people as they are about Iraqis and Palestinians? Isn't Mahmoud supposedly elected to handle affairs of Iranians? Where in his 5-page letter did he even bother to discuss the fate, present and future, of Iranians and Iran? Is he the president of USA, Iraq and Palestine -- or Iran? >>>

IDEAS
Blind visionaries

From Anti-monarchists of yesterday to today's anti-Islamists
Areyo Barzan

Over the past few years I have several collisions with the anti Islamists who were writing a shear load of none sense on the net and on this site. Most of these anti-Islamic self-declared experts do not even have a clue about what they are opposing and did not even bother to study the religion in order to find the fact for themselves, and funny enough they call the rest of us ignorant. The odd thing is that whenever I have engaged in a debate with these people and tried to point them into the flaws in their arguments I have been accused of not accepting my personal responsibility while they on the other hand had shamelessly washed their hand of theirs and shift all the blame to a religion >>>

FOOTBALL
Wrong penalty

FIFA vs Iran
Arash Mahmoudi

Soccer is not big just in Iran, its safe to say that it’s big everywhere but in the U.S. and for many countries soccer games are as important as any other national event. FIFA’s accusation about Iran may be true, but it is not an isolated event. If you look at most countries, being the in charge of the soccer federation is not the most stable job, but it has the most exposure nation wide (remember we are not talking about U.S). To be in charge of a soccer federation, you have to have very good connections and some back ground related to soccer. In fact in most countries the head if the soccer federation has very close ties with political figures and other high end people >>>

WOMEN
Modern maiden

Stop blaming premarital sex for your broken homes
Hiedeh Farmani

I am a married woman living in conservative Iran, where women are expected to keep their hymens intact for wedlock and many among more traditional families still have to get their virginity verified by a doctor before tying the knot -- to guarantee the future groom has not been sold damaged goods. Yet, marriages fail and divorce rates are ramping up. Many of those wandering about in family courts were good old blushing virgins when they married. So what went wrong? Men's drug addiction and unemployment are said to be the main reasons but there are studies and statistics showing adultery as well as sexual incompatibility and dissatisfaction are also -- if not equally -- playing important roles. Reluctant to lift our heads out of the sand, we still perpetuate and promote "values" of honor and chastity, chanting into young women's ears to keep away from sex, putting a halo over an orifice >>>

COLLEGE
Support WHAT exactly!?
Rana Rabei

Let me cut to the point: What other school organization do you know of that gets a $500 check from a trendy lounge in the US capital to funnel in a young crowd of alcoholics to their venue on a Thursday night, in the last 2 weeks of the school semester? Other than the Iranian Student Organization, I have no idea. A friend of mine who's an officer in this organization confronted me the other day, “You haven't supported us once this semester!” And I thought to myself, support WHAT exactly!? To me it seems like this “cultural” organization continues to exist because it provides students with a legitimate family-friendly excuse for wasting time >>>

VIOLENCE
Tasleem yaa eestaadegi?

Resisting or surrendering to domestic violence?
Shokooh Mirzadegi

OBSERVER
Oonee keh beh maa nareedeh bood...

UCLA police, Patrick Swaze and me
Cameron Milani

After a few failed attempts to raise my earnings to a dollar or two above the U.S. minimum wage, and pulling all kinds of strings through my powerful friends, Hassan the Aashpaz, Reza the Panchargeer, and Fazee Rashtee's older brother Hamdollah (who preferred to be called, Jonothan) , the "Night Manager" at a local nightclub, I was finally offered the big one, the job that would set me aside from all those minimum-wage earning losers: Bouncer at a local night club. As good as it sounded, I had my reservations. "I don't want to be a doorman like Hamdollah haa," I told Fazee Rashtee. "Ehh, I told you baabaa, besh nagoo 'doorman', shaakee meesheh!". Then he cracked and said, "and you need to call him 'Jonathan' there." Well. He was nice enough to put a good word for me. Those positions were hard to come by. Lights, sound, disco, wild women (plenty of action, I assumed), cool guys, and the best part, $8.25, every hour, in my pocket. I started thinking: "Bah bah,... Haajeet deegeh raft daakheleh aadamhesaabee haa!" American dream is finally coming true for your 'pilgram'! >>>

VIEW
I have boycotted Iran

... and all those who travel to Iran are traitors
Amir Nasiri

Almost 30 years have past and Iran is still ruled by a theocratic and fascist government. And nothing has changed since the revolution, or maybe I should say that things have gotten worse: Overcrowded prisons (mainly political prisoners, not drug dealers or rapists), over-population, pollution, inflation, unemployment and poverty are all facets of the Islamic revolution. I was asked by a friend why don't you visit Iran my reply to him was I have boycotted Iran and all those who travel to Iran are traitors. Yes I have not visited Iran for almost 22 years. My grandfathers had passed away and my grandmother just recently passed away and although I would love to go to visit their graves and say my prayer, I refuse to go. I will not buy products made by the Islamic Republic of Iran and I refuse to own an Iranian satellite dish that carried the Islamic Republic's TV programs >>>

IRANICA
Tashkilaate daaneshnaameh

Encyclopaedia Iranica and politics (2)
Massoud Noghrekar

IDEAS
Women are women

Clearly, a rights-based discussion can’t begin with Islam but has to begin with the woman and her rights
Maryam Namazie

It is crucial to speak about the rights of ‘Muslim’ women, go beyond the issue of the veil, and talk about secularism, particularly in light of the political Islamic movement’s assault on women and their rights, but restricting the debate in this way is seriously flawed. Firstly, the so-called grouping of Muslim women is a constructed one. Out of the innumerable characteristics women have, why focus on their beliefs? Doing so, implies that religion informs the rights of all those labelled as Muslim (including very often people like myself - an atheist). This is not usually the case. More importantly, why must women’s rights issues be discussed within the framework of religion or for that matter, with regard to the beliefs -- real or imputed - of the woman whose rights are being discussed? Generally, this is not how rights are examined. For example, do we discuss domestic violence vis-à-vis Christian women or in the context of Christianity? >>>

MIDDLE EAST
Quest for silence

The attack against academics of Middle East origin
Shirin Saeidi

A recent article in The Indianapolis Star titled “Middle East Academics Disregard the Quest for Balance” by Pierre M. Atlas, assistant professor of political science and director of the Franciscan Center for Global Studies at Marian College discusses the academic quest for “fair and balanced” scholarship and argues that “Middle East academics” fall short of satisfying this academic requirement because in their discussions of the Israeli/US/Palestinian conflict, “Middle East scholars” do not present a “balanced and fair” depiction of the actual situation. Atlas argues that during the 40th annual conference of the Middle East Studies Association, scholars from Lebanon argued that the Israeli invasion this past summer can be categorized as “aggression” and Hizbollah’s reaction as “resistance” (never mind that most of the world saw it this way too). This position is flawed for endless reasons, so bear with me as I try to decipher it for those so blinded by their nationalism and religious extremism that they openly articulate derogatory statements >>>

IRANICA
Getting personal
Mahnaz Azad

I have read Dr. Noghrekar's original and followup articles about Iranica in akhbar-rooz, and have to say that I am surprised and sad. Surprised, because I have great respect for him, and didn't expect to see such a biased and weak argument from him. Sad, because once again he shows that our so called intellectuals haven't made any progress in moving beyond their old dogmatic and ideological thinking. Iranica is one of the most valuable cultural and literary efforts of Iranians, and like any other work of this magnitude, surely is not infallible, and has errors and problems in its articles. Legitimate and constructive critiques could only help make it better. However, Dr. Noghrekar apparently hasn't found any problem with its integrity, and hasn't been able to find any bias with its content (or else he would say it loud and clear!). As it is a tradition among us Iranians (and unfortunately our most educated intellectuals are no exception), his attacks are personal in nature, and towards the people who have chosen to support this project, not their work >>>

IRANICA
Estefaadeye siaasi

Opening a critical discussion about Encyclopaedia Iranica
Esmail Nooriala

VIEW
Iranica bitaraf?

Encyclopaedia Iranica and politics
Massoud Noghrekar

COMMUNITY
Alliance of civilizations

Participatory planning helps communities not only deal with globalization and other international challenges that impact their development
Jason Yossef Ben-Meir

I suggest that fully incorporating local community participation in the identification and management of development projects throughout the Muslim world, an approach strongly consistent with the Millennium Development Goals and the recommendations of the Alliance Group, will significantly decrease the divide with the West. Before I explain how, I will begin by stating, just as the Alliance report does (as well as the 2003 Report of the Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy for the Arab and Muslim World), that without a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the horrible violence in Iraq and the intensifying violence in Afghanistan, efforts to bridge the divide "are likely to meet with only limited success." Participation in community development involves men and women of villages, neighborhoods and regions together defining their priorities for projects (in education, health, economic development, environment, etc.) and a plan of action to achieve them >>>

AMIR-EBRAHIMI
Feel her fear
Sophie Saviour

In the last couple of days everyone is talking about the UCLA student and I am thinking of Zahra Amir-Ebrahimi, the woman in Iran who is being abused in many dimensions and perhaps without any support! Imagine the case: 1) an abusive boyfriend who has already fled to Dubai , 2) a government and police system that will definitely kill her -- in her soul and heart, if not literally. And 3) family and friends and radical Moslems who will criticize her for corrupting their image! It breaks my heart and I assure you that Zahra would prefer to be tasered like Mostafa Tabatabainejad 10 times more than being in this situation! Many of you may not know what the meaning of "being trapped" in Iran is. The Spanish inquisition type courtrooms and jails. No matter what the reason, "siaasi" or "akhlaaghi" (political or moral), they have a way to make you feel you want to die. Verrry inhuman techniques: dirty, nasty and cruel! >>>

ETHNIC
Maslaeye aghvaam

Ethnic minorities and separaticism in Iran
Hassan Behgar

CONSPIRACY
Pesare bacheh akhoond

On the child preacher
Hossein Mirmobiny

DIPLOMACY
The art of compromise
A fresh look at U.S.-Iran relations

Zia E. Ahari

So far, the US has resisted bilateral discussions, which is the most logical solution for international conflicts and was used so successfully during the Cold War. Several elements have encouraged and sometimes worked quite hard to produce this outcome. This is obviously an incorrect approach and is harmful for both countries. The remedy is for the US to know the country better and change the tactics that have been unsuccessful so far. The following are the reason why two countries should resume talking, without mediators. This will help to figure out a way to find a solution for the grievances that produces the gulf in between. The past history shows that there are no mediators that do not have agendas of their own and do not benefit from fishing in the muddy waters >>>

TED KOPPEL
A gift-wrapped stab
What does come as a surprise is how hospitable most Iranians were toward a man who had done them grave damage

Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

Ted Koppel strikes again, that's all I could think about last night. But the truth is, I can't blame him for my sleepless nights. He is an American journalist, and a pretty good one at that. I'm sure it was never his intention to hurt a nation, but rather this was his poor attempt at showing that what a great interviewer such as Mike Wallace can do, Ted can do better. Watching his program on the Discovery Channel last night, I was reminded of a lesson I learned about journalism at one of my UCSD classes. Our teacher was elaborating on what he considered irresponsible journalism and telling us how much of what gets announced, or is published, has nothing to do with the actual news, which is precisely what sells tabloids >>>

MESS
Leaving Iraq in broken pieces
Maybe I'm wrong, but it's probably best to partition Iraq and leave

Ben Madadi

Iraq has been a closed issue for me for a while. I guess it's about the same for the US administration. I doubt they really believe that Iraq will become peaceful any time soon, and definitely not under US supervision, or occupation, as they say in the Muslim world. They simply don't know how to exit. George Bush is going to be remembered not as a great leader, but rather as one of the worst ones, one who started an invasion and left, defeated, having done almost nothing, and having lost thousands of US service men and women, and tens of thousands wounded. That's beside tens of billions of dollars wasted. Now it's easy to look and criticise. I myself had no idea about what was going to happen, and I was naive enough to wish for a democratic Iraq that could some day be a model for my own country, Iran. I see how wishful thinking it all was >>>

RELIGION
Siyaasat-zadegi dar noandishiye dini
Contemporary Islamic thinkers want to protect the Islamic Republic as a shield against secularism

Esmail Nooriala

UCLA
Civil disobedience deserved a civilized reaction
Ardavan M.T.

Some of your readers have condemned the UCLA student, Mr. Tabatabaienejad's, behavior in failing to obey the police officers' orders and deemed it inappropriate.However, it should be noted that his actions, inappropriate or not, would legally qualify as a civil disobedience. On the contrary, it's the reaction from the officers which was excessive and disproportionate, for the following two reasons: 1) A non-violent civil disobedience deserves a non-violent civilized response. The officers could have charged Mr. Tabatabaienejad with disobedience and given him a court notice. The issue then could have taken its legal course in the court of law, where in a civilized society such incidences should be dealt with >>>

UCLA
Overwhelmingly xenophobic
Ari Siletz

On reading the news of an Iranian-American student being tasered by UCLA campus police, I checked the yahoo message board for public reaction... A few voices on the message board do condemn the use of excessive force by the UCLA police, but the tone of the discussion is overwhelmingly xenophobic. As an educated minority, Iranian-Americans understand the urgency of spending more effort on community outreach and on the education of the general American public about ourselves. On the other hand, we also understand that if this humiliation of an Iranian-American student goes unchallenged, it will weaken our position in American society, inviting more such incidents. A collective response is appropriate >>>

POINT
Not so fast Argentina
The murky case against
Iran
Shirin Saeidi

The arrest warrants issued by Argentine Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral for a number of former Iranian officials allegedly involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community Centre (AMIA) has been lauded by the White House. However, the reports surrounding this issue have circumvented the history of US and Argentine relations. Furthermore, the case is presented in absolute terms, while in reality, it is engulfed with controversy and inconsistencies. In 1967, in a bloodless coup, the military replaced Isabelita Peron as leaders of Argentina. A military junta was formed, consisting of the commanders of the three armed services and headed by General Jorge Rafael Videla, commander and chief of the army. The Videla government imposed a "Dirty War" in Argentina to silence the "internal enemy," in essence, an all-out war was undertaken against political and non-political citizens >>>

STUDENT
You broke the law
Ron Ghana

Here we go again. A punk student disregard and disopeyed campus police and got tased and now probably will sue the school for some doe. I am sick and tired of people blaming thers and not wanting to take responsibility for their own actions. Campus police repeatedly asked him to leave the library or he will be tased. When you are a student in any university you are obligated to follow the rules (this include Iranian students). Campus police asked you to show your ID, no luck; campus police asked you to leave the libray or be tased, no luck. Oh well now that YOU HAVE BROKEN THE LAW and they have tased you and removed you, it's time to start crying and bringing up the race card and excessive force. Mostafa you are a disgrace to our community, enough said >>>

ABUSE
Sack UCLA cops
Kaveh Nouraee

After seeing the video where Mostafa Tabatabainejad is getting tasered by UCLA campus police in the computer lab, my blood began to boil. I am the first one who would stand up and declare in no uncertain terms, that the safety and well-being of all students and faculty on any school campus are of paramount importance. However, when the very people who are supposed to "keep the peace" are the ones students need protection from, that's where enough is enough >>>

CHOICE
The "basher" and the "immortal"
On Anousheh Ansari's space travel and her critics

Mahsa Meshki

I like to say, that in exercising her passion, Ansari has exercised godliness and perhaps attained it. One only needs to read her blog to sense the childish enthusiasm that imbues her words as she shares her space travel experience. I like to say, if Ansari could have explored space without paying a hefty sum of money, she would have done so; that unfortunately, the price tag of following our dreams is often hefty. I like to say, she is non-partisan, just a curious soul following her dreams. I like to say, the contribution she is making to furthering humanity's vision beyond the boundaries of our earth will have a profound shift in our consciousness beyond what our limited vision allows us to see at this time. I like to say, we each have a song and surmounting the world's hunger problems should be left to someone other than Ansari. Finally, I like to ask, why we burden Ansari with solving the world's hunger problems when she never acceded to such responsibility? >>>

SEX
Screw the Sexual Revolution
It deeply saddens me that many in second-generation of Iranian women in the West have adopted such a "ce la vie" attitude about sexual relationships outside the bounds of marriage

Jim S.

Few men in the world would desire a wife who has been intimate with another man. Unfortunately, Western men have no choice but to ignore women's past sexual indiscretions if they hope to marry and have families. If you think that Western men are just more tolerant and accepting of female premarital intimacies, let me assure you that we are not. Western men are no different from Iranian men in wanting a wife who has not been deflowered by another. Western men want their wives to come to their marriage bed as innocent and pure as the day they were born, but this is not a realistic option or ambition any longer for Western men while it still is for many Iranian men. Whether you like it or not, this is the way it is, the way it always has been and the way it always will be >>>

PROBLEM
Persians & Trojans
I applaud those women and men who take precaution and practice safe sex

Sanaz Raji

Let's face it, people have sex. The problem isn't sex, it is how people handle it and of course, being Iranian, whether living in Iran or in the diaspora, it is our culture and the fact that we have a real problem with being open about our sexuality. I have no problem with virginity; I applaud those who decide to wait until marriage. However, not everyone decides to wait -- many have sexual relations before marriage and this is also another reality. Instead of instructing women and men to not have sex or chastising those women and men who are open about their sexuality, I'd rather see Iranian men and women better educated about safe sex and are healthy about their sexuality >>>

VIEW
Change course
We have to learn that alienation of other countries is the underlying cause of terrorism that has necessitated the so called "War on Terror"

Ali A. Parsa

While it is important to learn from those terrible mistakes, it is more important to cease the moment and congratulate the American public for their victory in the midterm elections. The loss of patience of erstwhile non-voting and apathetic but decent, generous and forgiving Americans and their record turnout in the elections was an indication of the fact that they no longer wanted to subscribe to "stay the course" policies and archaic and un-informed decision making in a dynamic country and a dynamic world! I congratulate my fellow Democrats and myself for this victory after running a website against extremists in America for the past six years. I am thankful that these rulers failed to take America back to the dark ages >>>

POINT
May peace be upon you
Holding Islam to account

Amil Imani

Islam has spawned many sects that are master practitioners of the art of double standards. As far as Muslims are concerned what is good for Muslims is not good for the non-Muslims; and, what is bad for Muslims is good for non-Muslims. What complicates matters is that there is no way of knowing which of the dozens of at-each-other's-throat sects is the legitimate Islam. As sooner as Muhammad died his religion of peace became a house of internal war: jockeying for power and leadership started, sects formed and splintered into sub-sects, and bloodletting began in earnest. The internal infighting in Islam is presently playing in full color -- in red -- most dramatically, in the Iraqi theater. Shiite raid Sunni civilians, slaughter them like sheep, and toss their bodies like trash in the streets or the rivers. The Sunnis return the favor with just as much viciousness and savagery. Question: if this is the way these Muslims treat each other, how would they deal with the infidels, when they have the chance? >>>

MODELS
The choice is all yours
China/ Dubai model or Taliben/Hamas model?

Iqbal Latif

Two clear models of economic prosperity have emerged, one a 'China/ Dubai Model' that encourages economic pluralism and ensures prosperity of its masses , careful cohabitation with counter ideologies and eschews cultural alienation in name of orthodoxy other is the old self-destruct model that believes in uninterrupted struggle against hegemony, incessant hostilities of belief named 'heavenly battles' being fought on this bastardly earth. Today a progressive nation needs to be sensitively connected to the world; unity in diversity is the name of the game. All war charred nations where genocides are systematic are nations where dogma is strong and care of its populace a worthless second. When a nation state decides that heavenly rewards overtake earthly existence than rationality and logic is replaced by fanaticism. The inane voyage of disintegration and self-flagellation begins >>>

AMERICA
The other side of the War Party
U.S. Left's unwarranted giddiness over election gains

Daniel Patrick Welch

Giddy as Mikado schoolgirls, Democrats and their allies on the left are positively gushing over their election gains of November 7. In the US' two-party duopoly, voters are restricted to shifting power from one side to the other to voice their dissatisfaction with government. And, to be fair, voters did their part, kicking out congressmen, senators and governors from coast to coast. But hopes that this shift will lead to real changes in policy are, as Cosmo Kramer might say, "kooky talk." Everybody can enjoy the sight of a bully getting whooped, and the drubbing last Tuesday did indeed provide some emotional solace for those who thought Bush and his cronies could get away with anything at all. Still, this moment of schadenfreude gives way to more fundamental questions as it becomes clear that the torch has been passed from one side of the War Party to the other >>>

THEOCRACY
Akhoond sangeye roshde farhangi
Our culture ensures Akhoonds will be with us for a long time

Esmail Nooriala

VIEW
Bullying Beirut
U.S. threatens Lebanon's soverignty

Ardeshir Ommani

Determined to retain the fractious, ineffectual and to some extent parasitic structure of the state, the White House, through its spokesman Tony Snow on November 2, 2006 said that any attempt by Hezbollah to mobilize the Lebanese for the purpose of pressing Beirut's U.S.-backed faction of the government to agree with Nasrallah's plan for a "national unity" cabinet would be considered by the U.S. government as a violation of Lebanese sovereignty. Look who's talking about respect for sovereignty of other nations: an empire that tramples on the rights of the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea and Haiti, to mention just a few. Furthermore, to deflect world public attention from its policy of interference in the domestic affairs of Lebanon and its plans of intervention, Tony Snow pointed his finger in other directions and said that "The Syrian and Iranian governments, Hezbollah and their Lebanese allies are preparing plans to topple Lebanon's democratically-elected government." >>>

PRIVACY
The right to be left alone
Tina Ehrami

You and I are losing bits of our privacy everyday. Do we really need to be confronted with that much of our private lives when we personally do not choose to give it away voluntarily? The internet has made it possible to communicate more and more anonymously. Everyone can take your personal information and abuse it for their own sick purposes. A few days ago I read about this famous Iranian actress Zahra Amir Ebrahimi whose personal sex video has been circulating on the internet! I really feel sorry for this poor woman. The thought of everyone-including your family- seeing you in such a position must be devastating >>>

OBSERVER
Axis of Excellence
Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein's downfall in the same week

Bigharar

The good medicine which can cure disease usualy has nasty side effects which people have to bear in order to return to their healthy state. The Bush administration is like a bad medicine with pleasant side effects especially from an Iranian point of view, and by Iranian I don't mean the Islamic republic, rather the nation as whole, or as a friend of mine has so eloquently put it "the Axis of Excellence". The Taliban were thrown out of power, be it only officially as a bad treatment of the pain caused to the Americans on September 11th, with as side effect the reopening of schools to Afghan girls >>>

NEIGHBORS
The last invasion
The argument that Iran historically has had friendly relations with its neighbors is ludicrous

Mazloom

I wonder if Daniel M. Pourkesali knows the Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, Javad Zarif. If he doesn't, they should definitely be introduced to each other, because Pourkesali claims "Iran has not attacked any of its neighbors in the last 250 years", and Zarif says, "for 250 years Iran has not invaded any country". "Attack", "invasion", "any neighbors", "any country", "Iran", "Persia", I don't care about the subtleties of words, I decided to learn about this last invasion. 250 years ago coincides with Zand Dynasty (1747-1787). Many territories of Persia, which was previously captured by the Ottoman Empire, were taken back by some kind of conflict, but relatively a peaceful era. In 1763 Karim Khan had allowed the British to establish a base and trading post in Bushehr, which opened the country to the British East India Company >>>

OBSERVER
Sharing vs. tearing
Confessions of an Iranian narcissist

Shirin Saeidi

Aside from flabbergasting Iranian neo-conservatives aligned with the Bush administration and their sympathizers and apologists, Dr. Hamid Dabashi's recent article on Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran published in Al-Ahram Weekly fueled dialogue among Iranians in the Diaspora regarding their role and responsibilities as Iranian nationals living abroad. Through our action or inaction, and despite our religious, political, cultural, and social views, Dr. Dabashi reminded us, we have become a significantly influential factor in Iranian politics. And although he was not present at a discussion on "Iranian-American Identity" at George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia a few weeks ago, Dr. Dabashi's premise in the Al-Ahram article was at the forefront of my thought >>>

VEIL
A child has no religion
We should tear out all romantic falsification surrounding the veil

Azar Majedi

The question of the veil has become a heated debate in the British media. In this debate some fundamental principles seem to be at stake: Individual freedom to practice one's religion, freedom of choice, freedom of clothing and discrimination against a particular community, that is, the so-called Moslem community. Islamists and some human rights activists maintain that the so-called Moslem community is being stigmatized and have been under racist attack since September 11th. They argue that the latest attempts to ban burke or the nighab is a violation of individual freedom and another racist attack on Moslems. Let's examine these issues closer. Two events following one another brought up the question of the Islamic veil in the British media: Jack Straw's comment on the women wearing the nighab and the case of Aishah Azmi, a 24 year old support teacher, who was ordered to take off her full veil, including the nighab >>>

DEMOCRACY
Today is a good day
Bruce Bahmani

Like the first rat leaving the sinking ship, Donald Rumsfeld, the Robert McNamara of his time, resigned in total and utter shame today. He even looks like McNamara these days. I say shame, because I refuse to let him leave with even one scrap of the honor we are being sold by President Bush. And before he gest one, let me be the first to curse the medal he is about to receive for his "service". Of course, at the very moment when it is precisely too late to admit you were wrong, too late to admit you were warned by everyoen that you were wrong, the natural cowards way out of all this, is to quit and simply and try to quietly slink away from the very problems he hath wrought! Talk about cutting and running! >>>

ELECTIONS
Thanks to American Muslims
The importance of the immigrant Muslim vote in Virginia

Stetson Al Rigal

It was like being a kid again, I was waiting for the bending of time and space so Tuesday would come instantly. All day at work I kept looking at the clock waiting and waiting for the seconds to become minutes and the minutes to become hours, all in anticipation of Tuesday's election results. I did not care if the Republicans lost the House. I did not care if the Republicans lost the Senate. My only concern, desire and hope was for God to intervene in the course of history and produce a victory for James Webb and a defeat for George "I made up the word Maccaca" Allen. More on the historic Webb win later... Webb's narrow victory is historic not only in sending a message that Virginia is no longer the lackey of the Conservative Right, it is historic in that it signifies the importance of the Muslim vote in Virginia -- by Muslim I am referring to immigrant Muslim, indigenous Muslims and second/third Generation Muslims. For those of you that are repelled by the word Muslim, it also includes Iranians (secular or not) >>>

U.S.-IRAN
Start with a discussion about peace
Ali Mostofi

With most of the vote in, it seems that with the conservative Democrats taking charge of the House, ironically George W Bush will actually have agreement in certain areas like immigration. The only real challenge to GWB will be San Fransiconian politics of Liberal Democrat Nancy Pelosi. Iranians will need her help to fight for women's rights in Iran. As the most Liberal Democrat she will have to keep the sanity of United States in the challenging times ahead. Go Nancy.... hit GWB hard! But alas, and ironically she has the most conservative bunch of Democrats she has had to deal with. So Centre Politics is King, and the moderates are now in charge. Extremism is off the table, unless it is provoked by some incident like 9/11 >>>

SADDAM
Edaamash nakonid
Killing Saddam Hussein is wrong -- and not in Iraq's intrerest

Ali Salari

PERCEPTION
15 minutes of dignity: Priceless!
Omid Parsi

NEW YORK -- Lately, as anyone deeply familar with the Iranian spirit could have predicted, there has been an outburst of passion from assorted commentators - literate ones too, amazingly - condemning Ms. Ansari's space travel and her ensuing "15 minutes of fame" as vane and extravagant. Indeed how could anyone spend twenty million or so "beezaboon" US$$ to fulfill a childish whim of spending a night in a cold space capsule?! What is more troubling to me however is the fact that it never ocurred to our big-hearted but small-minded Ansari-bashers that maybe the recognition she has received might somehow uplift all Iranians. After all, in case some of us have not realized, lately the world's general perception of Iranians is not something we could be all too proud of >>>

SADDAM
The Neocon agenda
Daniel Pourkesali

Learning and memory are critical characteristics of human intelligence pervading all aspects of our interactions with each other and the world we live in. Unfortunately that does not seem to apply to most of the dumbed and numbed down American population today. As Mr. Bush and the rest of the politicians hail the late Iraqi leader's death sentence as a victory for the "new and democratic Iraq", no one seems to recall that crimes against Iraqis for which the butcher of Baghdad is being tried and convicted for, were carried out with full complacency of the west at a time when Mr. Hussein was considered a friend and ally of the very same powers who turned against him and brought such horrendous death and destruction on his nation that made his monstrous atrocities pale in comparison >>>

SADDAM
The Neocon agenda
Daniel Pourkesali

Learning and memory are critical characteristics of human intelligence pervading all aspects of our interactions with each other and the world we live in. Unfortunately that does not seem to apply to most of the dumbed and numbed down American population today. As Mr. Bush and the rest of the politicians hail the late Iraqi leader's death sentence as a victory for the "new and democratic Iraq", no one seems to recall that crimes against Iraqis for which the butcher of Baghdad is being tried and convicted for, were carried out with full complacency of the west at a time when Mr. Hussein was considered a friend and ally of the very same powers who turned against him and brought such horrendous death and destruction on his nation that made his monstrous atrocities pale in comparison >>>

SADDAM
We want an apology
Firoozeh Derakhshani

1- Why is it absolutely necessary to get a word of apology from Saddam in the name of humanity? 2- Why do we Iranians demand Saddam confess to the injustice he committed when he deployed chemical weapons against the people of Iran? 3- Why is it necessary for Saddam to tell the court of justice who exactly armed him with chemical weapons and actualized such acts of cruelty against humanity? As an Iranian woman writer I have demanded the replies to the same issues since 1983 in Geneva at the United Nations Commission & Sub commission on Human Rights. The western diplomats turned a sour face when I distributed pictures or pamphlets with the chemical weapon victims brought to the Swiss hospitals >>>

TRIBUTE
A class apart
Fereydoun Hoveyda belonged to a generation of Iranian Intellectuals and art lovers who were to pave the road for some of today's brilliant Iranian artists

Darius Kadivar

Much will be said and written about the Hoveyda brothers in History books as well as on their moral and political legacy that was nurtured by brotherhood love that transcended the tragic death of elder Amir Abbas in the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution of 1979... I had the honor of corresponding with him several times to talk about art and his experience in films. I have to say that I came across a man who despite the great ups and downs of life came across as not only brilliant but also a man of taste with a great sense of humor. Of all his articles and books he wrote I should say that I was mostly intrigued by those that were related to films >>>

FEMI-NAZIS
Striking a chord
For decades men in America, including Iranian-American men, have been suffering in silence
Lance Raheem

There was a time when the virtue of masculinity was celebrated in society. There was a time when men weren't ashamed to look like men, to talk like men, to act like men... .to be men. Now, in today's Emasculate Conception culture, what do you find? If a man wants to be accepted by women today, he has to be feminized, intellectually, emotionally, psychologically and to some extent, even, physically. Ten years ago no one on planet earth had ever heard of a metrosexual. Now you find them everywhere. While they aren't gay, there is still something that is very unsettling about how effeminate they behave. Am I the only one who thinks it's unnatural that straight men woul want to have a facial and a pedicure, or would want to wear male eyeliner? These poor souls are not only more interested in shopping at pretty-boy boutiques than sitting down to watch a good fight on TV, they are more interested in a good sale at the mall than their sisters, mothers or wives are. North America has turned into a continent of sissies and it's turning Iranian-American men into a bunch of sissies, too >>>

HEALING
In the name of your god
Payam Ghassemlou

It scares me to know what you can do in the name of your god. Throughout human history, you have committed so many atrocities in the name of your god like hanging gays in public, stoning lesbians to death, shaming AIDS patients, blowing yourself up in a crowded bus, crashing airplanes into buildings, bombing refuge camps, invading countries and stealing their oil reserves. You can even rape children, torture prisoners, commit hate crimes, pollute the oceans, and experiment on animals for your research in the name of your god... A cure or healing for our collective maladies needs to include teachings of leaders like Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King . When Gandhi was working toward India's liberation, he never said I hate England; instead, he loved and advocated for independence. Dr. King never advocated hatred for white people; rather, he expressed equality for all people >>>

HOVEYDA
International man
A. Jayranpour

Fereydoun Hoveyda, the former Ambassador and permanent representative of Iran to the United Nations died at his home in Virginia on November 3, 2006 at the age of 82. As a young Iranian diplomat, he was involved in the preparatory work for the San Francisco Conference that adopted the Charter of the U.N. (1945) In 1947 and 1948 he participated in the drafting and voting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He was the last living signer of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights... As an artist Hoveyda, in his many shows in the U.S., developed a new technique of "papiers collÈs," leaving a very narrow white space between papers. In the words of Andy Warhol, "Hoveyda combines his literary sensitivity, his cinematic instinct, and his international experience, to create images that are beautiful, perceptive, and funny." >>>

ELECTIONS
Vote out the Petropublics
Cyrus Mossaddegh

It is absolutely critical that normally Republican voting Iranian-Americans change their voting habit on Tuesday and play a part in keeping in check the power of the Petropublics. Why? Because your vote has a direct bearing on Iran's future. What has happened to Iraq can easily happen to Iran. If you think regime change through military force is the correct path, then you are a stooge of the Petropublics, and are betraying fellow Iranians, especially those that support non-violent paths. What are my reasons for stating the above? My reasons are based on a great deal of supporting documents that Republicans almost never read as they are too busy listening to Rush Limbaugh and fellow cretins like him. If you are prepared to get informed then there is a very good chance you will arrive at the conclusion that military force is not the right solution, and based on this conclusion it is necessary that you not vote for Republicans on Tuesday, or at least sit this election out >>>

POLITICS
Baaziye kooseh va rishe pahn
Islamic strategist Saeed Hajjarian's secular claims

Esmail Nooriala

ANALYSIS
Ready, and able?
Ahmadinejad: More than missiles and manoeuvres
Meir Javedanfar

"Mishavad va mitavanim". It is possible and we can do it. That was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election slogan. It had a positive ring to it. Many of his young supporters liked it, because it sounded optimistic. A 'can do' attitude was what many were looking for, because Iranians were tired of geriatric Ayatollahs who were much better at creating problems than solving them. The recent manoeuvres in Iran bear the hallmarks of not just Iran's defensive doctrine, but also Ahmadinejad's personality. Ahmadinejad considers himself as very calm and confident. When presented with a challenge or a problem, he doesn't just bark back. He prefers to present his answer in a very cool and controlled manner. This has been visible during many of his interviews. The famous Mike Wallace interview is a prime example. Even though it was Wallace who was presenting the tough and sometimes provocative questions, it was him who got flustered and lost his cool, not Ahmadinejad >>>

FAME
Money doesn't buy you brains
Let little Anousheh have her purchased 15 minutes of fame until she can buy her way to another venture

Azam Nemati

It is amazing that some Iranian housewives who are uneducated and being supported by the husband think the rest of us are jealous of Ansari. I have no idea why we would be jealous because she is not prettier or smarter or even more attractive than most of us. As for her money, we are not jealous because we know she comes from a family with money. We want all our fellow Iranians to be well off but we also hope that they have hearts to use their excess money to make a difference in the world. I have a bet with my friends (and I am right 99% of the time) that Ansari was very unattractive and boring as a teen-ager she still seems quite boring and lacks wit and charm >>>

OUTRAGE
Boil
So I ask you; Where is the outrage? Where is the dissent? This is U.S. of A! Isn't it!!?

Farzam

This is a story about a fictional character. Fictional only because I don't know his name. Fictional because although I am sure of his existence, as I am sure we can not be the only living presence in the universe, I do not know of his precise whereabouts or the exact details of his life. But I can tell you that he exists and like the rest of us lived a normal life, based on whatever standards that is considered normal wherever you happen to be. There are billions of people around the world with each having their own personal story. Stories that mostly go untold; just or unjust. This is his story. I can tell it >>>

OUTRAGE
Boil
So I ask you; Where is the outrage? Where is the dissent? This is U.S. of A! Isn't it!!?

Farzam

This is a story about a fictional character. Fictional only because I don't know his name. Fictional because although I am sure of his existence, as I am sure we can not be the only living presence in the universe, I do not know of his precise whereabouts or the exact details of his life. But I can tell you that he exists and like the rest of us lived a normal life, based on whatever standards that is considered normal wherever you happen to be. There are billions of people around the world with each having their own personal story. Stories that mostly go untold; just or unjust. This is his story. I can tell it >>>

IRAQ
Heading toward failure
Excitement over Anousheh Ansari's space travel has overshadowed the fact that 20 million dollars could have saved many people on earth

Ben Madadi

I was just watching a video on YouTube. The reason I went to see the video was first because I heard about it, and second, because I've so long been thinking about what is going on in Iraq that it was necessary for me to make a better analysis. It was a video, insurgent video, showing how snipers were shooting down American soldiers in Iraq. The soldiers seemed so unable to do anything, it was so much hunting-style. It was really disturbing. Unfortunately I do not understand Arabic so I did not get the whole point of the propaganda. There is so much video like this out there. More than three years after the invasion of Iraq and the bloodshed is getting worse >>>

RICH
Beh jorme sangdeli
Excitement over Anousheh Ansari's space travel has overshadowed the fact that 20 million dollars could have saved many people on earth

Fariba Moghadam

POINT
Proliferation of misinformation
Hate is not something "they" have and "we" don't

Nima Kasraie

I think hardly anyone nowadays would disagree that The United States does not ever go to war unless the idea of war is successfully sold to the public. But since when has Journalism become a tool for selling war to the public? Since when has the mainstream media been integrated into a platform for justifying pre-emptive attacks on other countries? What foul stupidity has befallen the infowaves of this great nation of America? Up until recent times, we had the likes of Daniel Pipes and Amir Taheri constantly trying to demonize Iran and Iranians in every possible way so as to prevent any infinitesimally minute possibility of a diplomatic detente between Tehran and Washington. But now, here we are in 2006, with no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq, and the Gods of War are once again gearing up to sell yet another war to the American public, this time against Iran >>>

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The Persian Garden
Echoes of Paradise
By Mehdi Khansari, M. Reza Moghtader, Minouch Yavari
>>> Excerpt

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