not yet...not yet...not ready yet...too many questions...too many thoughts...thinking, thinking...about the blog on shapour bakhtiar...and ebi and khar and souri and q and jamshid and notanon...and david et...and about ali...ali p.
"Some are born great. Some become great. Others have greatness thrust upon them."
Thinking...thinking...about the Shah.
I believe the Shah was a great man. He was a great man because he was a good man, an ordinary man, who was swept up by something larger than himself. He had greatness thrust upon him. And he failed in many ways. He failed because he was human. But I believe he tried his best.
He has to be forgiven for everything. Everything. Even the tortures.
He has to be forgiven for the tortures because you too are responsible for the tortures you ushered in with the Revolution. You too were swept up by something larger than yourselves. You too failed in many ways. But you too tried. You did your best.
And if you haven't forgiven him yet, completely, you will never be able to forgive yourselves. Completely.
Forgive yourselves completely and then you are great. It cannot be otherwise. Because you are heirs to a great nation.
A very great nation.
Walk tall, Ali. Walk tall Ali P.
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Fish, the Ali P. post...................Allby Rosie T. on Tue Aug 12, 2008 09:57 AM PDT
the Ali P. post is by him and it is on page four of the Shapour Bakhtiar blog's thread, now closed, which is in the Most Discussed box on the homepage. It is called "Who WOuld You Have Related To?"
All: the other comments wil have to wait until iI find my ID which gives me access to free I'net. I will contact the registered users (IF you have a contact button, (you ought to...l) when I have answered you.
Other fishies, you'll just have to check this blog. Sorry. It may be easier to do by going into my account at the bottom of the home page under Contributors. rather than searching through a million new blogs.
Thanks again to all.
Politics in fiction?!!!by ThePope on Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:19 PM PDT
The novel or the movies...??! (lol) anyway...
But seriously, in our (Iranians) case, this old Persian proverb makes more sense; zamaan aabestaneh havaadeseh And that's what happened, in '79... Lets just hope (pray) "time brings all things to light" again, for us and Iran just like it was.
All the King's Menby Mazloom on Sun Aug 10, 2008 04:21 PM PDT
"Time brings all things to light."
I have concluded that theby voice from Poland (not verified) on Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:32 AM PDT
I have concluded that the Iranian revolution was really masterminded to a greater extent by external forces (US, UK , France), who deliberatly engaged in a mud slinging campaign against the Shah in the late 1970's. They supported Khomeini against him, because they couldnt stand seeing Iran making significant strides forward, eventually being a modernised and westernised strong power and regional player, classic issue of betrayal in international politics.
I think the Shah had very good intentions for Iran, but could have done more to alleviate poverty (social programs)... However he wasn't a bloodthirsty dictator--never stoned anyone to death and no mass graves unlike IRI's Khavaron's-- but an autocratic monarch who knew that a developing country must first get solid foundation before anything else follows, just like Communist China is doing today (or since 1980) - that makes sense.
You know people in every country can be manipulated as sad as its seems, even in a democracy, because they do not think as critical individuals , but look blindley to leaders and act emotionally, abandoning reason and moderation in its wake...the Iranian revolution showed that very clearly ..... the people wanted someone parochial promising heaven on earth ( but delivering hell on earth) to lead them and werent even willing to give an intelligent and well edcuated man like Dr Shapor Baktiar a chance to govern, yes their hearts and minds were tottally infested with Khomeini's venom..
Ironically , and with hindsight some people in your country now look back with regret , and think the Shah regardless of mistakes done wasnt so bad after all, what an irony or may be just plain human nature !
Sooner or later this anachronistic islamic regime will collapse against the tide of secularism (or via US military intervenrtion) sweeping Iran, just hope all mullas get summary execution along with it when it happens!.
The irony here is that whenby Anonymousaaa (not verified) on Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:14 AM PDT
The irony here is that when Khomeini, a former Muslim exile in Paris, overthrew the shah in February 1979, many of the 3,000 were executed by the ayatollah's firing squads along with 20,000 pro-Western Iranians. (Khomeini also sacrificed hundreds of thousands of its own people in extending that war for six years after an Iraqi cease-fire offer, in a bid to spread the Islamic revolution to Iraq, and it sent tens of thousands of its own youngsters to their deaths in that war, clutching plastic keys to paradise, charging artillery units or clearing minefields.What are the cost in terms of blood and treasure for Khomeini's delusional ambitions?
A golden opportunity to end the war as victors was denied to our nation and 8 years later, after so many Iranians were maimed and martyred, the poison chalice had to be drunk.)
According to "The Real Jimmy Carter," a book by Steven Hayward Institute: "Kho-meini's regime executed more people in its first year in power than the Shah's Savak had allegedly killed in the previous 25 years." (SEE: Emad Baghi's Report; He is rehabilitated former collaborator of the regime)
The fundamentalist clergy ruling elite and their subjects hated the shah not because he was an oppressive dictator. They hated him because he was a secular, pro-Western leader who, in addition to other initiatives, was expanding the rights and roles of women in Iran society. Under Khomeini, women returned to their second-class role, and citizens were arrested for merely owning satellite dishes that could pick up Western television.
Great post. Where is yourby Anonymousaaa (not verified) on Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:05 AM PDT
Great post. Where is your post on Ali P?
Sad rahmat be shahby AnotherFishFriend (not verified) on Sun Aug 10, 2008 08:42 AM PDT
Thank you for bringing up this subject. I found myself sitting here thinking about it for a while before I was ready to offer my opinion.
People of Iran started forgiving the Shah almost immediately after the Iranian revolution, when they came face to face with the criminal and ruthless clergy who became the IRI ruling force. The forgiveness, in my opinion, has been a gradual process which will go on for decades, a long time by our perception but just a speck of dust in the long Iranian history. People in Iran have been saying for the past 30 years "Sad rahmat be shah," showing their ability to compare and judge and deduce and make a decision, elements required for that forgiveness which you propose.
Ironically, one of the reasons Iranians can't forgive the Shah is how brutal and corrupt the IRI and clergy are. People hold Shah's poor policies responsible for the emergence and victory of the religious rule in Iran. Had he not oppressed and suppressed so much, they believe, these unknown quantities could not have taken over so easily. Some people also blame him for not having stayed to confront the protestors during those feverish 1979 months, thinking that there may have been some bloodshed, yes, but had he stayed in power, fewer people would have been killed overall when you consider the Iran-Iraq war casualties and the mass executions of some of our country's most educated citizens.
The Shah of Iran looks better today than he did 30 years ago, to be sure. Is this what time does? Or is he being better understood and appreciated now? I think it is a combination of the two. More time is needed for Iranians to forgive him.
One last point before I close: I don't think people of Iran want the Shah back, but they have started forgiving him.
I will just address certain points briefly until tomorrow:by Rosie T. on Sun Aug 10, 2008 08:49 AM PDT
because I can't do it right now. The longer posts I have only been able to SCAN so far. My tentative responses:
Translation into English for those who don't understand the poem (it's a prose poem)
He was an ordinary person who was born into a situation far over his head. If you can forgive him you can forgive yourselves, if you can forgive yourselves you can forgive each other. Then everything is possible.
Forgive does not mean forget.
Period. No explanations required by me. They are two different things. But absolutely, explanations of this within the Iranian historical and political context BY IRANIANS such as Khar are essential to the dialog. Thanks, Khar.
To forgive someone for torture is not the same as forgiving torture. .
This is excelent news! NOT the extent f the tortures but your post itself. Keep on writing about this with the same passion you write about the IRI apologists here and you will see how quickly some of them start to listen to you and stop their bullshit apologizing.! (Even if it's only ONE it will be WELL worth it....trust me...I'm with you ALL the way....)
I have demanded absolutely nothing of anyone in this poem. The closest I have ever come to demanding anything of anyone on this website is to CHALLENGE TWO INDIVIDUALS who are extremely adversarial to make peace with each other (If yuo can do it, Isaid, anyone can), I don't demand anything of anyone, except my students. and my leaders. Because that is my responsibility.
And anyway why would I demand anything of anyone here? I'm not even Iranian. To do that would be both ridiculous and disgusting.
I will read the history lessons tomorrow. I POMISE! Can't do it now. Just scanned.
I am a devotee of history. But my primary focus on this website is to try too understand the RIFTS between you and to try to help heal them in whatever way I possibly can. I get my most important ideas about this through the PATTERNS of the conversations I observe over time on this website. I listen to EVERYONE equally. My conclusion for now is that forgiveness is essental.
But I'm perfectly open to being persuaded otherwsie. :o)
Please focus the conversation on each other as well as on me. DO CONTINUE COMMENTING TO ME TODAY if you want toY. But ,to repeat, I am an observer.
And don't forget that saying he should NOT be forgiven perhaps implies explaining to millions of Iranians within and without Iran who have forvien why they should UN-forgive....
Please keep up the conversation if you want to. I'll be back tomorrow Thanks to all the commenters, esepecially the challengers.
Re: Rosieby jamshid on Sun Aug 10, 2008 04:11 AM PDT
Torture? You just don't get it Rosie, do you?
No, I don't think he should be forgiven for torture. Similarly, he should not be forgiven for killing more than 600,000 (six hundred thousand) adult Iranians during his reign. Nor should he be forgiven for putting 300,000 people in political prisons.
Shah ghabrestaanha ro aabaad kard. (The Shah developed the cemeteries).
Oh, I forgot about the more than 10,000 (ten thousand) who were massacred in the Jaleh square.
He ruined Iran's economy.
He tortured too.
Now let's talk about what the truth really was. According to Emad Baghi, a former IRI Islamist, all these numbers were false. 600,000 turned out to be less than 3500. The 300,000 figure was closer to 3000. And the 10,000 turned out to be only 97.
Torture was used as a propaganda tool to entice the masses and the Westerners against the Shah. That too, like everything else was exagerated. I don't think Savak's interogation techniques were any different than the Americans, or the British or the Israelis.
Regardless, torture as a propaganda tool worked effectively. It successfully brought to fruition its deceptive intention. YOU, Rosie, are the proof of that.
Because after 30 years, after so many lies, after so much miseries, you are still unknowingly repeating the false propaganda that was fed to us and to the rest of the world by the very same inhumans that are in power now. And by doing so, you are unintentionally making yourself their pawn, and reinforcing those propaganda.
To answer your other question, whether I consider Soraya, Trita and so on as IRI supporters, the answer is I don't know if they are or not. However, I do know that there are so many who don't agree with IRI's ideology, but as a result of their misguided views, they act in a way that contributes to the longevity of the IRI. So in a way, they are supporting this regime.
To forgive Shah, we must go first to the poetsby AmirAshkan Pishroo on Sun Aug 10, 2008 02:49 AM PDT
In her interesting post entitled Shah, Robin demands forgiveness for Shah: “He has to be forgiven for everything. Everything. Even the tortures.”
What is unfortunate here is that Robin misses, with all due respect,
the opportunity to do her homework-- to explore the concept of
forgiveness itself. We must go first to the strong poets, and then to
The concept of forgiveness is currently garnering much attention in
the areas of ethics and social-political philosophy. Derrida’s On
Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness is a good place to start.
Derrida makes an important distinction between the idea of "pure
forgiveness" and the more strategic notion of "reconciliation." He
regards the former as "Christian" and its practice "impossible," while
deeming the latter politically and socially valuable.
Derrida goes into a discussion of how pure forgiveness only can be
such if it is forgiving the unforgivable, and says that forgiveness is
madness. Posing forgiveness as madness makes clear the uniqueness and
individuality of forgiveness as an act of the will. The essence of
responsibility and of ethical behavior is the free will of the
individual. Forgiveness is an extreme act of individuality and freedom,
it is an act that is aimed at the Other and not at the self of the
forgiver. Forgiveness, according to Derrida, means that we are able to
restrain ourselves willingly, that we are able to attend the Other and
be responsible to the welfare of our society:
"Indeed, if we start charging ourselves, while seeking forgiveness
for them, with all of the past crimes against humanity, not a single
innocent person would be left on earth, and hence there would be no one
left to sit in judgment or to arbitrate. We are all heirs, at least, of
persons or events tainted by crimes against humanity."
For those who want to forgive and seek forgiveness, Derrida will seem
liberating and inspiring. He helps explain some of the following
"We are good people...by ThePope on Sun Aug 10, 2008 02:47 AM PDT
We just do bad things"!!!
How can it be possible? To be good and do bad? AZ KOOZEH HAMAAN TERAAVAT, KEH DAR OOST.
"He has to be forgiven for everything. Everything. Even the tortures."!!! "When a king judges, he carefully weighs all the evidence, distinguishing the bad from the good". "The king's fury is like a lion's roar; to rouse His anger is to risk your life" (-king Solomon). But the problem was that He (Shah) never got angry, unfortunately.
In my opinion, we (Iranians) need Shah's forgiveness...
We have to be forgiven for everything. Everything. Even the betrayals.
Forgivenby Khar on Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:18 PM PDT
The old saying says you can forgive but may not be able to forget. And that is the human nature. This same analogy perhaps one day will be true for IRI. But the point is not the man the point is the process of history and to know the history is to not make the same mistakes again. We Persians, I guess by nature, are very forgiving people and in the act of forgiving we forget as well. And that's why we after 150 years struggle for democracy we haven't achieve even a relative democracy in Iran. Since we forget so easy we don’t remember our own (collective as a nation) role in the past and the future. That is why throughout the history we always found somebody or something to blame for our own short comings. Someone once said; in Persian thinking the shortest distance between the two points is not a straight line but it’s always a circle.
PS. Welcome back.
We are good peopleby Mazloom on Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:51 PM PDT
We just do bad things
very good statementby Prince Kafka (not verified) on Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:08 PM PDT
Rosie, very good points. Believe it or not our history is loaded with forgiveness. An average Persian is a forgiver, their rulers are always an avenger. Fear promotes submission, submission leads to fearful praise, admiration and "band-tonbanee" poetry.
Shah has been forgiven by the people, but Khomeini did not forgive him and people who do the next revolt most likely will not forgive the current "innocent criminals". So the show must go on.....
But all in all I like your sentiments.
Rosieby Doosteh Ali P. (not verified) on Sat Aug 09, 2008 07:56 PM PDT
Don't you worry dear
he's walking tall already, any taller and he'd have to play basketball instead of soccer.