Only option

A free market approach to foreign policy

For more than 3 years now, the same arguments have been traded and recycled in US policy talking/making circles regarding Iran's nuclear program and what must be done to stop it. Most "analyzes" go something like this: Iran can't have nuclear weapons because it would upset the balance of power in the Middle East (thus revoking Israel's cart blanche uses of force against whomever, wherever), would trigger an arms race (in which arms dealers would make a killing), and would destabilize the entire region (since it is so stable right now in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, etc...). The conversation has boiled down to 3 options--do nothing, attack Iran, or sanction now and try to negotiate. Two of which are pointless in my opinion (guess which ones!), leaving only one viable option on the table.>>>


Time traveler’s nightmare

How long would it be before the mob would dare to pull down the statue of Ataturk?

Sometimes a loss is best left alone because looking back may entail a whole new defeat we can no longer handle. That’s how I felt when I visited Turkey, a land with an uncanny resemblance to Iran of forty years ago>>>


Death with a smile

This summer season’s nationwide public execution tour has a strange new twist to them

A strange trend is unfolding in the Islamic Republic of Iran. True, it would have to be incredibly strange phenomena to be considered as strange in the context of the Allah-land. And yet there it is in color photographs, even in professionally produced videos alongside the grainy mobile phone-video variety from different parts of the country... The advent of a new uniformed “Morality Corp” tasked to oversee populace’s adherence to heavenly prescribed mode of conduct which includes dress code barely worth’s the mention. It is none of those or a laptop full of other listed oddities that are modus operandi for the Islamic Sultanate.>>>


Post-Sept-11 neo-con mentality

It is not the Muslim who is blind from hatred

To narrow down all Muslims as sheep, and implying that all Muslims do is concern themselves with hatred of Jews and Baha'is, and which hand to use to wash themselves is not only ridiculous, but if it was about Jews it would be slammed down as downright anti-Semitic. I, a practicing Muslim, have both Jewish and Baha'i friends, and even if the myth was true about concerning myself of which hand to use to wash myself (which is not a concern of a Muslim), I would say that it is ridiculous to think that somehow any of this would blind site me of the realities around me.>>>


Adultery vs. savagery

Let's learn from Europe's mistakes

Stoning is a form of human rights violation, it is torture. Even based on Iran's Islamic Penal Code, it should happen in very special circumstances, almost close to none. Jafar Kiani who was stoned to death, well, not in a progressive manner, did not have a fair trial. None of the Penal Code conditions for stoning applied to him. Can you imagine for a second, how it is to be killed that way? Can you imagine the lives of the 2 men and 9 women who are now in prison, nightmaring their life, waiting to be stoned one day?>>>


Naïve Noam

Imagine ceding moral high ground to the neo-cons

Don’t you miss the good old days when Noam Chomsky was a humble groundbreaking linguist? These days the MIT professor is increasingly an apologist for Islamists (last year he met with Hizbollah). Now, in an excerpt from Interventions, his latest book, he writes that Washington is bent on “demonising” the Iranian leadership in order to pave the way for US-led assault. How, he must be asked, can you demonise people whose power, after almost three decades, remains pegged to death, torture and imprisonment?>>>


Nothing, nada, zilch

Giving credit to the Islamic Republic

Iran has a GDP of less than $2000, $1200 of which is from oil. For the past 30 years, the Islamic bastards did not do a damn thing to build any type of an industrial or service base. Nothing, nada, zilch. South Koreans or Japanese, without a liter of oil or a cubic meter of natural gas built world class industries and became industrial power house in 30 years. What did the Islamic Republic or Iran do? Japan is #1 in auto and consumer goods industry. Korea is #1 in semiconductors & ship building and fast approaching #1 in electronic consumer goods. Korea's bioengineering industry is ahead of the U.S.and France.>>>


Agreeing to sharply disagree

Exchanging sharp views on Islam and tolerance

Mr. Imani seems to collapse his political hatred for the Iranian government with anti-Islamism, presuming that the two are not mutually exclusive. In his entire article Mr. Imani attacks Ahmadinejad for resembling Hitler. Ironically, in his distate for Ahmadinejad and Hitler, Mr. Imani has done nothing more than demonstrate that he is more similar to them than they could possibly be with each other. At least Ahmadinejad never called Judiasm an evil religion. It’s never a good thing when a dictator appears more tolerant than you are>>>


Murder & order

Ending life knowingly

History proves to us that capital punishment always has been an answer to the gravest crimes. Regardless of cultural differences, religion or race, the notion of "eye for an eye" is known to all mankind. Somehow there is almost no state or tribe that doesn't have a smudge in its history regarding capital punishment. I have always wondered what it is that makes us civilized people think that only by giving a name to an act we are exempt from the main character of the action. We call it capital punishment because it is executed under a certain law by known executors and in accordance with a verdict. But the act itself remains the same as first degree murder. It is still ending a man's life knowingly.>>>


Special treatment

Lamenting the absurdity of the UK sailors saga

Oh, the absurdity! The callous disregard for justice, honesty, and fairness is depressing, more so because of the chorus of lofty claims to these values. Well, there is a new twist in the saga involving the 15 British sailors who were captured in (very likely) Iranian waters. There is plenty of evidence to refute the British claim regarding that incident. Now, it turns out that the maps used by the British government to make their case were inaccurate after all, according to a British parliamentary report. These are the very same maps plastered all over Fox, CNN, BBC, etc. usually along with the word “hostage” to add that extra dash of Western righteousness>>>


East meets West at their best

Photo essay: Istanbul and more...

Turkey has advanced in many ways in the last quarter century. Istanbul continues to be a city of amazing historic sites, Byzantine churches, Ottoman mosques, palaces and bathhouses, and splendid museums. But instead of the somewhat drab, downtrodden place that it used to be, it also has become a cosmopolitan city filled with color, life, and modern amenities, where restaurants and cafes serving great food and beer are overflowing until late at night, and where tourists from all over the world are made to feel welcome >>>


Dial 1 for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Although Ahmadinejad is unpopular, the West must not think that it has a blank to check to do what it wants in Iran

While Ahmadinejad owes his initial success to polls, his presidency has since to come to rightly fear them. Although many have ruled out polls in Iran as an objective yardstick, the very fact that politicians are nevertheless scared of them shows that they do present some valid information. This was demonstrated recently when Radio Javan, an Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) owned radio station, asked its listeners, on the second anniversary of Ahamadinejad’s victory, to SMS the candidate they would vote for if the election were held again. The listeners had the same seven candidates to choose from as they did in 2005. The results of this poll were never publicized. According to reports from Iran, this was due to pressure from Ahmadinejad, who had been informed of his performance>>>


No nukes for Iran!

Unambiguously oppose any nuclear energy development in Iran carried out by an unaccountable government

In Iran there is no accountability for anything the government does. For example, and directly related to this topic, there is no accountability for the fact that in an oil-rich country, refined oil (for the everyday consumption of the people) is mostly imported! Refining oil is not exactly nuclear science (no puns intended, but take as many as you like). This is a century-old technology. Why is it that the Iranian government is not investing some of its vast sums of petro-euros-and-dollars on improving the oil-refining capabilities of the nation, thus reducing the need for importing (much more expensive) refined oil products? Would this not be safer, more logical, more efficient, and a more economically viable short-to-mid-term investment of the national resources?>>>


Cinema Evin

A film review. Really.

The prison interrogator who directed Haleh Esfanidari's "confession" video -- we will call him Evinpour -- does not have Makhmalbaf's skills. His attempts at realism fail at the levels of set design and editing. Evinpour has succeeded, however, in manipulating Esfandiari into believing she is speaking to a friendly listener. In the video aired on Iranian TV, Esfanidari sits in a couch, comfortable and relaxed, surrounded by the earth tones of the furniture. As our minds cooperate with the director to suspend disbelief, the small refrigerator intruding clumsily into the frame suggests that Evinpour himself has been unable to shake off the prison aura. If this prop is meant as an association with food and therefore good treatment, a basket of fruit on the coffee table would have harmonized much better with the intended scheme>>>


Repressive measures help pro-war forces

Statement on the detainment of Iranian-American

Detention and harassment of individuals, academics and NGO or political activists for expressing their ideas or promoting different cultural positions, are deplorable acts, regardless of the diverse contexts and vastly different dimensions in which they might take place, be it in the United States, Guantanamo Bay, Israel, the UK or any other place, including Iran. In addition to being abhorrent in their own right, such acts in a country like Iran which is threatened by warmongers in the west, also play directly into the hands of those determined to bomb Iran>>>