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May 8-12, 2000 / Ordibehesht 19-23, 1379


* Politics
- Pie in the sky
- Main point

- Funnier, if...


* Iran:
- Journey to Shomal
- Wouldn't the Shah ban 16 newspapers?

- Superpowers shape our destiny
- Solidarity & strikes
- Democracy from a theocracy?

* Women:
- There IS purity left in this world

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May 12, 2000

* Pie in the sky

I read with some amusement the rantings of Maziar Shirazi, who, in his fired-up mode, could be hard to match for not only verbosity, but outright ignorance. I also find it ironic he should call himself 'a real Iranian' when it is so obvious that he was the first to flee the kitchen when it got too hot!...

What is going on now is people are saying that the constitution, incidentally for Shirazi's information, ratified by Khomeini, should be the rule of law, and not self-styled militias who impose their own brand of justice at every corner. The people are saying certain things should be relegated to the public domain, and others to the private. Which brings me on to my final point, which is, incidentally, the clincher in Professor Shirazi's splendid argument.

"There are no limits to freedom", he says. Ha ha. If that were so I would encourage Shirazi to walk into the White House and kiss Clinton. Or even better yet, blow up the White House. Or kill someone who didn't give you a seat on the bus. Or drive on the wrong side of the road. Or don't pay tax. The possibilities are endless.

Were it not for the very real fact that the existence of a state is in itself proof there are indeed limits to freedom. When an individual is a citizen of that state, she or he agrees to forfeit total freedoms in return for protection from, and benefits from that state. In Iran this was overblown, which the government itself is now admitting, and is under pressure to change. To say such a ridiculous statement only proves that Mr. Shirazi has a pie in the sky dream about an Iran that exists and can only exist in his dreams >>> FULL TEXT

K. Hoseini (Ms.)

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* Main point

What you've written is a master paint of what we see very often on TV showing cops stopping drivers for one reason or another ["Beh salaamati"]. It is a great tragedy, for drivers and others involved, to die due to drunk driving. Nevertheless, it shows, as you've depicted, how satisfying it might be for the one on the long side of the stick to be in control of the one on the short end and this seems to be one of the main roots of problems in human relations.

Hasan Alizadeh

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* Funnier, if...

Damet garm!!! I was laughing my head off as I read your story about the police stopping you for swerving ["Beh salaamati"]. Here in England, the police would just ask you to do the breath test without all the American formality.

It's a pity this did not happen to you in Iran. The story would have even been funnier!

-- "Hello mester. You vere esverving, you crossed red light, you are drunk!!! Oh oh. Very bad, you vill go to jail. Now vat you vant to do??"
-- " I thought you said I was off to jail"
- "vell der is a vay to avoid jail"
--" Oh I see. Okay. In that case here are my driving documents. Be carefull -- there is something in there that I think might be yours."

Policeman takes couple of "hezaree" notes, gives you a military salute and you are off!!!


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May 11, 2000


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May 10, 2000

* Wouldn't the Shah ban 16 newspapers?

After reading Ms. Farah Pahlavi's letter about the 1953 coup I would like to urge her to explain to me one thing: She speaks of freedom -- I would like to know what does she exactly mean by this word...

Yes it was better when the Shah was around. But still, one wonders, would the Shah not have closed down 16 opposition publications? Were the courts in that time any better than they are now? Would fewer student demonstrators have died if the Shah was the one giving the orders? Let's ask questions without any taarof. Let's find answers >>> FULL TEXT

Sahar Nahrvar

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* Journey to Shomal

I recently took my American wife to see the new Majid Majidi movie Color of Heaven. I was in awe of the scenery and the beauty of the northern part of Iran. I have not been back to Iran since 1985 and well, I have to admit, I had forgotten how brilliant the scenery was.

I was very moved by the combination of the story line and the setting. Shomal. I wanted to show some pictures of shomal to my wife, so I looked it up in Goggle's search engine and this story came up ["Shomal: The pleasant reality"].

I can close my eyes and actually join Mr. Shaffer in his journey through Chalous to Ramsar. It's a great reminder of how one should always appreciate what he has; you never know when you'll be losing it. Great story.

Koorosh Khashayar

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May 9, 2000

    * Superpowers shape our destiny

    I think your article explains well some of the recent problems in Iran ["Reform in retreat"]. However, the past and present reality shows that unlike what you have stated ("Great Britain or the U.S. have little to do with what is happening in Iran"), the superpowers have always played a detrimental role in shaping Iranian destiny, even though in theory, we all say that only Iranians can shape their destiny.


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* Solidarity & strikes

In the three point options for the people of Iran in your leader, no mention was made of solidarity , mass organization and strikes ["Reform in retreat"]. Often the best way to change things fairly peacefully is to organize, and force the ruling classes to relent through mass strikes.

I have two memories of such movements. In 1976 the Junior Doctors in England staged a country wide strike to improve the health service and after a period of three months we won most of the concessions that we wanted from the Heath government.

Later in 1986 we did the same in Tehran and to begin with we had them pretty scared but through lack of initiative and organization we did not succeed. If we had managed to keep going for a few more days and brought out other professional and blue collar workers then we would have succeeded.

Dr. Jim

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May 8, 2000

* Democracy from a theocracy?

In response to Abdy Hashemi's "Final destination: Democracy":

I am a 21-year-old university student in the United States. My immediate family escaped the wrath of the mollas and their disgusting government. Why are you supporting the current regime? Do you honestly believe that a democracy will develop from a theocracy? It seems to me that you are so biased that you neglect the facts.

During Mr. Khatami's time as president, there have been over 250 documented cases of public executions (AmnestyInternational). Your tone implies that you dislike monarchies. Yet, Iran has a "Supreme Leader" right now, with broad veto power which renders the president powerless.

People cannot afford any decent standard of living (except the agents of the regime). The youth of Iran are sick and tired of what is going on in their country. When the students demanded their constitutionally-guaranteed rights, they were attacked and murdered.

If it were not for the young people that were born after the revolution, I would say that the people of Iran are getting what they deserve. I wish there was a way for the people to change the current government without violence, but it may be inevitable. I am sure that you can provide some facts to back up your claims.

Ilosh Azar

P.S. Quit slamming the Pahlavis with propaganda. It is about time Iranians relied on the truth to make up their minds.

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* There IS purity left in this world

Is the sole purpose in anyone looking for a certain type of mate based on one criteria? For instance, the issue of chastity? Certainly not. But it is a starting point ["Real Iranian girls?"]. It is also the projecting of Ms. Shahmanesh's self-loathing psyche,which makes evident in her statement,"...he needs to believe there is some purity that is left in the world" which leaves me to believe how truly innocent and righteous are even the worst-girls in Iran compared to the likes of her and her comrades-in-degredation and corruption.

This is a reminder to all of us to take heed of the type of sick and perverted mindset that can develop and destroy marriages and which can find no purity in the world. This is depth of moral decay when a young woman cannot see any purity in anthing or anywhere in the entire world! May God bless our grandfather's generation of men who knew right from wrong and up from down!>>> FULL TEXT

Cyrus Raafat

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