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The Race for Iran

MEETING AHMADINEJAD IN NEW YORK

We have just returned from New York, where we spent the last few days observing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinajed’s visit to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).  Hillary provided “color commentary” for Al Jazeera’s UNGA coverage, and both of us had a number of conversations and meetings with a range of interesting interlocutors.  We were able to meet with President Ahmadinejad twice, and are especially grateful that the President took the time yesterday, at the end of one of his typically very long days in New York (which included his address to the General Assembly), to meet with students from the seminar on U.S.-Iranian diplomacy that Hillary is teaching at Yale University this semester.  (Please pardon our backs to the camera in the photo above.  For a  report and some additional photographs from our meeting, as published by IRNA, see here.)   

We will be weighing in next week with our reflections about Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York, the state of U.S.-Iranian relations, and other issues.  In the meantime, we would encourage everyone to look at Ahmadinejad’s interview with Charlie Rose taped earlier this week, see here, and to read the transcript, see here.

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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245 Responses to “MEETING AHMADINEJAD IN NEW YORK”

  1. Goli says:

    Liz,

    I agree with your statement and stand as a testament to it as a secular woman who voted for AN. And this myth about the harassment of young people resuming with his election and by deduction, as a result of his election, is just that, a myth.

  2. Liz says:

    The majority of the youth and women actually voted for Ahmadinejad.

  3. fyi says:

    Goli:

    I agree with what yoiu have written.

    But the harrassment of young people, both men and women, also resumed with his election. The young people recall the period of Mr. Khatami’s presidency as one of “freedom”.

    If Mr. Ahmadinejad does not agree with or endorese the moral polics, he should be more vocal.

  4. James Canning says:

    imho,

    Thanks for response. Because the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran was not ordered by the Iranian government, it obviously was not an “act of war” and it truly is a pity that Carter felt obliged to over-react (due to idiotic US news coverage of the situation).

    Revolutionary fervor in Iran, and an apparent threat to the Gulf monarchies, gave the US cause to put forces into the Gulf. And, of course, the USSR invaded Afghanistan in 1979. I did not see that invasion as having anything whatever to do with oil and gas resources in the Gulf, and regretted the effort many in the Carter adminstration made to convince the American public the Soviet Union had its eye on taking control of the Gulf. I knew the USSR was fast approaching a terminal crisis, due to adverse demographics and a sclerotic economic system.

  5. imho says:

    James Canning,

    I know, Khomeini did not know, so what? He changed his mind so many times on so many issues that one can think he was only a symbol and his advisers (mostly with Anglo-American background and connections) played the main roles even if he had the last word.

    I’m not obsessed with Hostages takeover but I talked about it to answer a post claiming it was a kind of Iranian habit and secondly, most important, to better understand the consequences of it and who benefited the most and why. One of the consequences was that the Americans had a good pretext to send huge military forces into the region. Exactly what happens now for apparently different reasons.

  6. James Canning says:

    Humanist,

    Excellent points. One must wonder whether Obama is being deceived by Hillary Clinton (and James Steiberg, who is a key Clinton lieutenant at State). Is the rubbish Obama spouts a matter of his attempt to placate the warmongering neocons and idiot stooges of the Israel lobby (many in his own party)?

  7. Humanist says:

    James Cunning,

    Re: Obama saying “Iran wiping Israel off the map”

    That was not the first time Obama used noecon fabricated hoaxes,

    In his fiirst Noruz video message to Iranians he indirectly repeated the neo-con lines when he in a lecturing manner implied Iran cannot achieve legitimacy through “..terror and arms…”. Everyone understood by “terror” he meant supporting Hezbollah and Hammas who are only resistant groups fighting the occupation of their lands.

    And by “arms” he obviously didn’t mean the conventional defensive arsenal but the neo-con trumpeted “ Iranian nuclear weapons”. I found this mind-boggling questioning myself “how come Obama is ignoring America NIE and repeating the neocon lines which were fabricated to cast off and denounce the devastating NIE?.

    His second Noruz video message was worse.

  8. Humanist says:

    Pirouz_2,

    (I wrote a wrong reply to your note, in second reading I decided to delete 3/4 of it, here is what was left)

    The topic we are discussing about touches vast areas of Western, Iranian or Islamic history. I think without careful analysis of many related past events in those places a definite (or clear) conclusion is hard to achieve.
    That kind of extensive study or close examination is well beyond my capabilities and knowledge.

    Now I see that in my last note I told you only about my ‘impressions’ that are based on the information I have acquired during my adult life. Those impressions are very strong leading me to draw a ( subjective) clear-cut conclusion. However after reading your last comments I thought maybe there is some validity in what you are saying since my knowledge on present Iranian society is sort of limited.

    I decided in time to get more info reexamining my old impressions. (and for the first time try to make a “comparison” of the “freedom of expression” in Iran and the West).

    Thanks again, once more your comments are making me think.

  9. Nasser says:

    Fiorangela,

    I see you have been skipping your medications again. Didn’t your doctor already warn you how that could affect your sanity?!

  10. Nasser says:

    imho,

    “The US embassy has been seized with the knowledge and support of the Carter administration. The goal was to create an international shock , a pretext for US to send huge military forces to Persian Gulf and even threatening to send troops in Iran.”

    - *shakes head* You have a very active imagination :)

    - Sticking more to the issue. The Iranians have a nasty habit of mistreating diplomats and having a total disregard for international norms.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Griboyedov

  11. Nasser says:

    K. Vorhees,

    “Regarding Israel, I’m sorry, but there is something about the whole enterprise that just makes no sense. For all the trillions of dollars and all the wars and deaths and misery and military hardware and nuclear weapons . . . its still a tiny country. “Greater Israel” is a small country. Theres something about the whole enterprise that seems like a shell game; we’re not really seeing the real point.”

    - ?????? Why do you need to bring Israel into this?!

    - There is currently no strategic imperative from the US perspective (and from observing their behavior I suspect the same is true for the Iranians) to seek a rapprochement.

  12. James Canning says:

    Dan Cooper,

    Bravo! Yes, Americans need to know the truth, and it will set America free. How many trillions of dollars has it cost the American people, for the blind “support” of Israel provided by the US government? To what degree is the savage destruction of the middle class in America, and indirect product of idiotic US “support” for Israeli oppression of the Palestinians? How many scores of stooges of Israel are to be found in the US Congress? And are they helping to subvert the Republic, by fostering endless war to “protect” Israel?

  13. James Canning says:

    K. Voorhees,

    Bravo (re Rick Steves). And bravo, Rick Steves. Steves got it right on the money, when he noted that taxi drivers in Tehran shout “death to traffic!” Message to uninformed Americans: do not “sweat the small stuff” – - meaning ignore signs, or crowds, proclaiming “death to American” (or death to China, or death to Russia, etc etc etc).

  14. James Canning says:

    imho,

    Are you aware that Khomeini did not even know the students were going to seize the American embassy in Tehran, before it took place? Why are you obsessed with the Ghost of the Hostage Crisis? The Carter administration blundered by over-reacting to the problem – - an over-reaction caused by idiotic US newsmedia coverage of the event.

  15. imho says:

    « – On a sidenote, you guys don’t seem to realize what kind of psychological imprint the hostage crisis left on the Americans. When the Iranians murdered mongol traders and diplomats the mongols responded with an invasion and umm genocide! Americans only managed to keep their emotions in check because Iran then served as a crucial buffer against the Soviets. »
    « In an ideal world storming into an embassy and taking diplomats hostage is an act of war! That’s how the mongols responded. The US not so ideally had a wimpish president in Jimmy Carter who decided to show restraint and mercy. »

    Was the Mongols’ response similar to the beginning of the WWI i.e. because and following the assassination of archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne in Sarajevo ? Or the US entry to WWII because of Pearl Harbor ? Or Gulf of Tonkin, or USS Liberty, or …
    Is that the kind of history you like to be true ?

    Well, forget about those and keep concentrated on American embassy in Iran so you may learn something.
    The US embassy has been seized with the knowledge and support of the Carter administration. The goal was to create an international shock , a pretext for US to send huge military forces to Persian Gulf and even threatening to send troops in Iran. Why ? again to blackmail France and West Germany to abandon their European Monetary System and their deal together with Japan, with the developing world : Peace through Development.
    Each and every time the US sent military forces in the Persian Gulf region, whether through wars or risks of war, it was to blackmail its « allies » of western Europe and Japan (recipient of the Persian Gulf’s oil) to capitulate to their will. A disguised threat to stop the stream of oil. You may add China this time as well to the list.
    September 1979, Ibrahim Yazdi, the « American-citizen » foreign minister is in US for delivering speeches in UN against « the Great Satan ». He meets several hours with CFR officials between those speeches. He meets Secretary of State Cyrus Vance as reported by Financial Times of October 3. It is possible that the decision to seize the embassy was taken in September 1979 as the chain of events afterward may indicate. Sultan Qabus of Oman « asks » for US bases on its soil to protect oil sea lanes. Ramsey Clarks advises his friend Yazdi to seek damages from the the Shah when in US. At the same time Kissinger and David Rockefeller are busy opening the way for the Shah’s admission in a Rockefeller funded hospital in New York for « humanitarian » reasons while the Shah is already under the right treatment in Mexico. Official State department cables dated August 1979 until October and released by representative George Hansen warned repeatedly that the Iranians would probably storm the embassy if the Shah is allowed to enter the US. The New York Times of November 18 (2 weeks after the embassy’s seizure) has a story saying Carter took the decision to let the Shah enter the US despite knowing the consequences and even asked to an adviser « what should I do then… ». After the seizure of the embassy, Carter freezes all Iranian financial assets in the US resulting in a financial panic where OPEC countries stop lending to Western Europe at a moment where those countries need these funds for their EMS plan which would have replaced the IMF. The director of FEMA declares in Executive Intelligence Review : « We at FEMA had this plan to freeze Iranian assets 2 weeks before we did it and I spent that two weeks to kill the rumors that we’ll do it ». This means some elites knew that a crisis will happen and took measures to protect themselves. Three days before the takeover of the embassy, Yazdi received his last instructions from Brzezinski in a meeting in Algeria. Following the embassy takeover, the US entered into negotiations with most Indian Ocean littoral states including Somalia, Kenya and Saudi Arabia for building bases. Also Egypt was put under pressure for allowing American forces presence. All of these were not against Iranians. The US could easily occupy Khark island disrupting Iranian oil sales or even launch a naval blockade or bomb Iranian oil fields.
    I don’t know much about The Mongol’s genocide but recent history shows that everything is not black and white.

    Iranian people may be guilty for not knowing who really are their elites betraying their national interests, just as American people, but apart from that, this is not fair to use silly shortcuts.

  16. K. Voorhees says:

    Nasser – You should go to Rick Steve’s site (the travel guru) and watch his lecture. He talks of the taxi driver in Tehran shaking his fist and saying, “Death to Traffic!” Its an expression. Rick likened it to Americans saying, “Those damned kids” but not really wanting those kids to die and go to hell!

    Regarding Israel, I’m sorry, but there is something about the whole enterprise that just makes no sense. For all the trillions of dollars and all the wars and deaths and misery and military hardware and nuclear weapons . . . its still a tiny country. “Greater Israel” is a small country. Theres something about the whole enterprise that seems like a shell game; we’re not really seeing the real point.

  17. Fiorangela says:

    I’ve observed giyus/megaphoners for three or four years now; Nasser is one of the more sophisticated devotees of that xenophobic/jingoistic endeavor.

  18. paul says:

    Funny too that Cyber Attack is a terrible outrage when anyone does it to us or to an ally of ours, but when we or Israel seemingly do it to Iran, it’s virtuous…

  19. Iranian@Iran says:

    Has anyone been watching Aljazeera International over the past few months? It seem that the news channel and its website are slowly becoming more and more western in outlook.

  20. Dan Cooper says:

    Iran test flies upgraded C-130 plane

    http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/1756715.html

  21. Dan Cooper says:

    Israel Suspected in Worm Sabotage of Iran’s First Nuclear Plant:

    The worm has spread to over 10,000 computers in Indonesia. Computers in the U.S. have also been infected.

    http://bit.ly/bSgMzE

  22. Goli says:

    M.Ali: “I understand the anger of MEK people, somehow Bahaeis…what I don’t understand is these young people who lived in Iran for more than 2 decades in the IR era from the very beginning. how can a byproduct of a system be that antagonized with the source ideologically? and they were not really under pressure on all fronts. they have had relative social freedom, mostly good economical situation. MEK are gone, I don’t care about them and their actions. but these young people are the ones supposed to make the future. a country with these people is nowhere near its glorious era.“

    You raise some interesting questions. Here are some thoughts.
    There are many reasons for the antagonism of this specific segment of young Iranians toward the government. First, for this segment of the youth influenced by secular values, there is a lack of individual freedom of expression, affecting women far more profoundly, via hejab. Unfortunately, due to various external and to some degree internal factors, Iranian society has historically been unable to find a middle ground where women are free with regards to their appearance while simultaneously displaying respect and consideration for values of the religious majority. If Iran had been given a chance to gradually assimilate the values of the more secular segment of its population rather than having it shoved down its throat by Reza the Gardan Koloft and his genius son, perhaps it might not have been in a place today where the rights of its more secular minority are not valued and respected. Instead, the poor peasants and fisherman of Gilan and Mazandaran had to tolerate bikini clad women frequenting their ghahvekhoones.

    Another factor is the all powerful omnipresent western propaganda machine. There is a constant barrage of western propaganda pumping into Iranian households primarily via numerous specially designed satellite television channels. The west has been at this for a long time, using various aspects of its culture to advance colonization and now its hegemonic interests. In the 50’s during the cold war, the US State Department and the CIA would send famous jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington to the ME, including Iran, to soften the perception of the US a racist country. Today, millions of dollars is spent on programs to influence the youth, crafted by top Madison Avenue advertising executives. While many Iranian youth watch these programs, the most influenced by them are the ones harboring the decadent values of the Shah’s era passed down to them from their parents and grandparents.

    The most fascinating factor causing these expressions of antagonism among some, however, is rooted in the system itself. Through many of its policies and programs based on fundamental principles of justice, equality, and progress, the IR has empowered a great many people who otherwise likely had very little expectation as many other masses in the ME. Since the revolution, the entire lower social and economic stratum has been lifted by all measureable indications. While the majority in this class understand what the system has offered them and count their blessings, there are those among them frustrated with the system’s shortcomings and the lack of much prospect for upward mobility and economic prosperity.

  23. Nasser says:

    James Canning,

    “The UK, France, Germany, etc etc have diplomatic relations with Iran.”

    - The Europeans do maintain relations with Iran. They do not exactly have good relations though now do they?!

    “I think the Gulf monarchies would prefer the US have diplomatic relations with Iran.”

    - I disagree. As the Leveretts have pointed out several times, the Gulf monarchies with the Saudis in particular see it as a zero sum game with Iran. UAE for its part has expressed alarm at to what such a radical reorientation in US policy would do to their claims on those islands and this might result in massive capital flight away from UAE and into Iran. The Gulf monarchies would thus consider themselves to be the losers if the US were to radically reorient their policy towards Iran. The US tried having very close relations with Iran; it ended disastrously. The Arabs have more oil, they are more stable, more predictable in their behavior and the US thus considers having closer relations with them to be more beneficial.

  24. Nasser says:

    M.Ali,

    “um..The US is neither petty nor foolish. It rightly feels hurt and betrayed.???”

    - The F-14 back then was the most advanced interceptor in the world! Noone but the US and Iran had it. Imagine if the US were to give some country the f-22 today! How was it repaid?!

    “And, Nasser, while I respected a lot of your posts, supporting the deliberate shot down of passenger plane by an officially uninvolved 3rd country is…well…sick, and doubly sick, given that you are Iranian. This will come as a personal insult, and it probably is, but you should be ashamed, my friend.”

    - The war should have ended six years ago! It saved thousands of lives! Both Iranian and Iraqi. Only ones that should be ashamed are those that advocated a continuation of that war; which Iran was losing anyway, badly!

    - On a sidenote, you guys don’t seem to realize what kind of psychological imprint the hostage crisis left on the Americans. When the Iranians murdered mongol traders and diplomats the mongols responded with an invasion and umm genocide! Americans only managed to keep their emotions in check because Iran then served as a crucial buffer against the Soviets. I think Iran got off easy with the Americans.

  25. Persian Gulf says:

    Pirouz_2:

    there a major difference with the media in the U.S and the media in Iran. actually, they do the opposite things. the media in the U.S spreads less lies about the internal affairs. mostly they offer different views and what they say makes sense for the people in the streets and people mostly trust it. what they say about forging policies is kind of crap most of the time. for Iran, it’s the opposite, what you hear and see in the media, the IRIB in fact, is distorted, barely you see different views about internal affairs. on the other hand, Iran’s media are relatively reliable for the foreign policy analysis. I think, this is the main source of distrust for people in Iran. when you see somebody lies about something that is more than obvious for you, how can you trust that guy for something far a way from your boarders? there are reasons for this weird actions by the IR.

  26. Persian Gulf says:

    M.Ali

    for Rigi’s case, Kamangar…, most of those active people I know actually sympathized with them! this is really sad. some of them openly defend them. it’s more than making point. sadly most of these people are human rights activists, there are the ones making noise here and there.

    I understand the anger of MEK people, somehow Bahaeis…what I don’t understand is these young people who lived in Iran for more than 2 decades in the IR era from the very beginning. how can a byproduct of a system be that antagonized with the source ideologically? and they were not really under pressure on all fronts. they have had relative social freedom, mostly good economical situation. MEK are gone, I don’t care about them and their actions. but these young people are the ones supposed to make the future. a country with these people is nowhere near its glorious era.

    p.s; the picture on the top of your link is very familiar to me! long live Iran and her northern part.

  27. Dan Cooper says:

    ‘Some great men make history, and history makes some men great’,

    in an age dominated by the media– internet, television, radio, and newspapers, the portrayal of Ahmadinejad is an artificial construct of the mainstream media.

    The President and I
    An Interview With President Ahmadinejad’

    By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26462.htm

  28. Pirouz says:

    Pirouz, just to add to what you’ve already said:

    I write a blog on sensitive Iranian defense topics. It isn’t blocked in Iran. I have the stats to prove it.

  29. Dan Cooper says:

    The Truth Will Set U.S. Free

    Breaking Israel’s Stranglehold over American Foreign Policy

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26466.htm

    “The American people must learn that Israel is and always has been a strategic liability that has done immense damage to the United States and its worldwide interests,” concludes the former CIA officer.

    If Israel’s stranglehold over U.S. foreign policy is to be broken, Americans will need to be informed about the harm that Washington’s unconditional support for the Jewish state is doing to American interests, say leading analysts of U.S.-Israeli relations.

    According to John J. Mearsheimer, co-author of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, “The only plausible way to weaken the lobby’s influence on U.S. foreign policy is for prominent policymakers and opinion-makers to speak openly about the damage the special relationship is doing to the American national interest.”

    “Plenty of people in the United States, especially inside the Beltway, know that Israel is an albatross around America’s neck,” says Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. “But they are afraid to stand up and say that for fear that the lobby will attack them and damage their careers.”

    “Hopefully, some of them will develop a backbone,” he adds.

    Philip Giraldi, executive director of the Council for the National Interest, believes that Tel Aviv’s stranglehold over Washington can be broken “only by directly challenging the power of the Israel lobby and the false narrative about how it is of value to the United States.”

    Giraldi, a contributing editor to The American Conservative, says that “it must be done from the bottom up as Israel cannot be challenged in the mainstream media, Congress, and in the White House.”

    “The American people must learn that Israel is and always has been a strategic liability that has done immense damage to the United States and its worldwide interests,” concludes the former CIA officer.

    If there is to be an end to Israel’s decades-long “sway over Congress and intimidating presidents,” says Jeffrey Blankfort, a prominent Jewish American critic of Israel and its American lobby, “it will require appeals and actions beginning on a local level that inform the American people not so much about what Israel has done to the Palestinians but what its unregistered agents in the U.S., euphemistically described as ‘lobbyists,’ have done to destroy what little is left of American democracy and the attendant costs in flesh and blood, as well as its tax dollars.”

    A long-time pro-Palestinian activist noted for his trenchant critique of Noam Chomsky, Blankfort attributes the failure of such efforts to get off the ground to “the continued unwillingness of the leading figures of the Palestinian solidarity movement in the U.S. to acknowledge the invidious power of the Zionist Lobby,” who, following Chomsky’s anti-imperialist analysis, prefer to “place the primary responsibility for Israel’s crimes and U.S. Middle East policies at Washington’s doorstep.”

    “So the first steps,” Blankfort suggests, “may be to publicly challenge these figures while at the same time moving past them and addressing the American people directly.”

    No American President will ever have enough latitude to resolve the conflict in Palestine “unless and until enough Americans are informed enough to make their democracy work,” according to Alan Hart, former Middle East Chief Correspondent for Britain’s Independent Television News.

    “In other words,” explains Hart, who was also a BBC Panorama presenter specializing in the Middle East, “if President Obama or any of his successors is ever going to be free to confront and defeat the Zionist lobby’s stooges in Congress and the mainstream media, there has got to be created a constituency of understanding about why it is not in America’s own best interests to go on supporting Zionism’s monster child right or wrong.”

    The essence of the problem, Hart argues in the three-volume American edition of his book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, is that “Americans have been conditioned, brainwashed, to believe a version of history, Zionism’s version, which is a pack of propaganda lies.”

    Jeff Gates, former counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, believes that “transparency, accountability and better design” are required to break Israel’s hold on American foreign policy.

    “At present, the American public is ignorant of Israel’s all-pervasive influence. Its control includes the media-enabled deployment of fixed intelligence to induce this nation to war for Greater Israel,” says Gates, author of Guilt By Association: How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War.

    “We will know that accountability is underway when we see federal grand juries convened to consider charges against Israel’s agents, assets and sayanim (volunteers). When a jury brings in the first verdict for treason, Americans will know that the rule of law is being restored. We will know that a solution is within sight when the many appendages of its lobby are required to register as foreign agents.”

  30. James Canning says:

    paul,

    We probably have been over this ground before. My understanding is that Russia and China both support Iranian enrichment of LEU. But object to Iranian enrichment to 20%. Which Iran seems to accept should be suspended as part of the TRR exchange. Why should Iran be so upset with Russia and China?

  31. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    The UK, France, Germany, etc etc have diplomatic relations with Iran. Does this cause problems for them with the Gulf monarchies? I rather doubt it. I think the Gulf monarchies would prefer the US have diplomatic relations with Iran. And if Israel doesn’t like it – - so what?

  32. paul says:

    Canning, I think Iran has a lot of damn good reason to be angry with Russia and China. Both those astoundingly hypocritical nations complain endlessly about bullying and threats from the US (well, in the case of Russia, they don’t complain anymore, but up until six months to a year ago they did), then turn round and help the US to bully and threaten Iran!!!

    Yup, it’s that ole RealPolitik again…

  33. paul says:

    When one sees RealPolitik on display, and it sounds like the way ‘leaders’ and diplomats thought about foreign policy a century ago, when ‘civilization’ was on its way to the most horrific bloodbaths in history, it’s really rather terrifying. What’s more terrifying is to realize that this is probably EXACTLY the kind of thinking that lies behind a lot of foreign policy. Thus, when WE or our proxies shoot down civilian airplanes, we are actually – as incredible as it may seem – saving lives! When WE or our proxies attack another country and cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands to millions, it’s really hard on our delicate feelings that they don’t appreciate what we’ve done for them! Such is the Nietzschean logic of Power.

    If that kind of logic unfolded in dreams, turning them into nightmares, maybe it would be benign, perhaps a healthy release of dark psychic forces. But when we accept it as the ruling logic of our actual lives, of how we run our countries and our relations between countries, it creates Hell on Earth. And it IS hell on earth when the single most powerful country in the history of the world, a country with something like god-like power to make war with impunity, follows the logic of Power, while pretending to follow the logic of Virtue. The nation that thinks its own threats, economic assaults and outright wars are magnificent amalgams of pragmatism and virtue … such a nation can do more harm without even really thinking about it than some of the most reviled names in history.

    And such a state inevitably treats its own citizens with the same logic it uses on others. Maybe not so much at first, but eventually, it must. And yes, we do see this happening today in the US. Is there censorship in the US? Well, you go ahead and try being out-and-proud with any serious antipathy you may have against Israel’s crimes and see how positively that affects your career, in almost any field, but especially in politics, media and academia…

    What’s interesting about censorship is that we can always see it in another country, but it’s always invisible in our own country. Just this weekend we saw peace activists’ homes assaulted by SWAT teams, on the basis of what appear to be transparently political charges. “Ah,” the defenders of the Virtuous Hegemon will say, “those nasty activists broke the law!” Sure. Maybe that’s even true, though probably not. It’s always possible to find a way to claim that. What do you think they do in Iran when they throw some dissenter in prison? Oh there’s always a legalization of it. There’s always some reason why it was necessary, for the greater good, to curtail the rights of one or a few or many or – in the end – all.

    Pragmatism, carried to an extreme, is as dangerous as any other fanaticism, or maybe even more dangerous, because of its camouflage. A truly committed pragmatist cannot even begin to see how far off base he or she has gone, which may go far to explain a lot of the truly crazy posturing about Iran that now passes for commonsense about Iran, for political consensus.

  34. Goli says:

    M.Ali and Bussed-in Basiji,
    Thank you for some excellent posts. This article from August on Aryan race and Iranian identity might interest you.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2010/08/post-2.html

  35. M.Ali says:

    um..”The US is neither petty nor foolish. It rightly feels hurt and betrayed.”???

    And, Nasser, while I respected a lot of your posts, supporting the deliberate shot down of passenger plane by an officially uninvolved 3rd country is…well…sick, and doubly sick, given that you are Iranian. This will come as a personal insult, and it probably is, but you should be ashamed, my friend.

  36. Nasser says:

    James Canning,

    “Of course it is absurd for Iranians to be calling for death to two countries providing significant support.”

    - It is absurd!

    “The US is being petty, and foolish, in not having diplomatic relations with Iran.”

    - The US is neither petty nor foolish. It rightly feels hurt and betrayed. Currently it also feels no strategic need to make amends with what it regards as a “nuisance.” The Soviets no longer border them and the Arabs have so much more oil, so why bother? Any investment requires an assumption of risks involved. The Iranians are simply too unpredictable and unstable to risk a disruption in relations with the Southern PG states, Saudi Arabia or Israel.

    “Are you claiming the USS Vincennes deliberately shot down the Iranian civilian airliner?”

    - I don’t know but I suspect so. The Captain was awarded for this, was he not? It ended the war James! It saved lives! Whether it gave Khomeini political cover to do what was necessary or just put the fear of God to in him to compel him to action is irrelevant.

  37. M.Ali says:

    Pirouz, you argue the same thing I always try to argue (but you have done it much more effectively!)

    Freedom of expression means nothing when it does not challenge the System. Anyone can do that. Did USA afford complete freedom of express when it had a significant threat from communist USSR in the 50s?

    And during aftermath of the 9/11 attack, how did US administration and media handle it? A personal anecdote of mine. I remember having a comedy site hosted in a US server (like most sites). After the 9/11 attacks, I made a comical flash game spoofing the attacks (in bad taste, but it was 9 years ago, and I admit, I enjoyed the shock comedy route). Anyway, few days after I put the game up, the company deleted my site and banned my account…

  38. James Canning says:

    The Italian foreign minister seeks to restore the good relations Iraly formerly had with Iran, in the interests of fighting terrorism and illegal drug smuggling from Afghanistan. Regrettably, the US secretary of state is too much a stooge of the Israel lobby to seek the same for the US, that Italy is seeking.

  39. Pirouz_2 says:

    @Humanist:
    It is always a pleasure to come across someone whose world view is close to one’s own. So the pleasure is mutual!

    Of course since we all have our independent minds, it is only natural to have disagreements on some issues. The world would have been a very boring place if we all agreed on everything.

    Now, as for the differences between Iran and the west on the issue of freedom of expression:
    I think I may have been misunderstood, so let me try a different way and explain my point of view; not to convince you, but simply to make my own view a bit clearer for you.

    I do not deny the tangible facts. I do not deny, for example, that there is a freedom to have a “communist party” in the USA and that in Iran we don’t have any such legal party. Nor do I, for example, deny the fact that we have an “Antiwar[DOT]com” website which is not being filtered out in USA whereas the equivalent of such a site in Iran would be probably filtered (although neither antiwar[DOT]com nor informationclearinghouse or cunterpunch is being filtered in Iran –as opposed to CNN or BBC which are filtered out!)

    However, is this freedom of expression? You see, shallow differences in the appearance are not what concern me. Furthermore people like you who know better should go beyond the smoke screen and look for the real differences (if any) and the real similarities (which are many).

    Question: When is it that an idea is censored? Answer: When it becomes “dangerous”!
    Question: When does an idea become “dangerous”? Answer: when it starts challenging the system and when it has a social base or at least the potential to have the social base to become a “force”.

    Does it really matter if an idea is being expressed freely when it offers no challenge to the system, or when it does offer a real challenge but it is FAR –VERY FAR- from having a significant social base?

    Does it matter that just now for example anarchists can express their view on an obscure website which is visited by no one except a handful of intellectuals who have no social base? How many anarchists are in the whole god damned world anyway?!?!?!
    Who cares if Michael Moore screams at the top of his lung, does he really stand any chance of offering any real challenge to the system?

    Did you know for example that all classical Marxist literature (such as the collected works of Marx and Engels) are all freely sold in the Iranian book stores with the full permission the ministry of guidance?

    Why don’t we, instead of looking at just some dissidents who are being “tolerated” by the system, look at those dissidents whose view does challenge the system and see how they are being treated?

    Why don’t we look at Helen Thomas being fired from her position for a simple expression of her opinion? Why don’t we look at how the tenureship of a luminary such as Finklestein is being refused?

    Why is it that when anyone challenges the US foreign policy and the foundations that those policies are based on, he or she is being reprimanded?

    Why is it that despite the fact that sources such as antiwar[DOT]com and informationclearinghouse or monthly review offer infinitely more significant challenges to the structure of IR, those sites are not being filtered in Iran and yet puny sites such as BBC English and CNN are filtered out in Iran?

    Could it be that sadly (in fact very tragically) such sites have no significant base in Iran, and Iranian middle class is simply too ignorant and stupid to look at their substance and instead, like the stupid, spineless ready-to-use butlers (نوکر صفت) that they are, they only look at VOA and BBC???

    Now I remind you that there is a significant difference between USA and Iran. Iran first of all does not have a middle-class which constitutes the solid majority of the population, nor is it safe and sound within its borders with its mighty armies occupying this or that country and threatening this or that regime to be overthrown! On the contrary it has the armed forces of the world sole super-power surround it from all sides and threatening it on a daily basis with a military attack. USA on the other hand has no reason to think that its radical dissidents are on the payroll of a foreign force that is choking it with sanctions and threatening it with military attack on a daily basis.

    Do we know how USA or UK were treating anyone who was even remotely suspected (in the vast majority of the cases wrongly) of having sympathies with the Nazis or with the empire of Japan during the WWII? Did you know that George Takei (from star treck) and his family like many other Japanese-Americans were forcibly sent to detention camps during the WWII?

    Did you know that German scientific journals were forbidden during the WWI in the UK? I am not talking about any political material, I am talking about “SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS”! I didn’t know that until the other night when I was watching a movie about “Eddington and Einstein”, so I thought maybe you didn’t know it either.

    Did you know that AT LEAST up until 2007, IEEE was refusing to even read any article sent by Iranian, Syrian and N. Korean university scholars for publication?

    Where was this freedom of expression then? And is Iran –with its massive privatizations, subside cuts and foreign investment incentives- really offering such a “radical threat” to US capitalism? I mean more than the anarchists and the communists???

    What happened after 911 when there was a “sense” of insecurity in the country? What happened to Ward Churchil and Debbie Almontaser? If a bunch of rag tag fanatics with 4 hijacked aeroplanes could do that to the “freedom of expression” in the West, CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT A THREAT OF MILITARY OCCUPATION would do to the US “freedom of expression”?

    Or is it that only the ideas which pose no danger are free???

  40. M.Ali says:

    I agree, Persian Gulf. Whenever I debate with Tehranis regarding politics, I always claim that there is a kind of problem with us culturally, that we have become extremely negative and one-sided.There are people who always argue that “anything is better than Ahmedinijad” and I try to say that no, there is a lot things worse. This is why we keep messing things up. We are so easily manipulated because of our emotions.

    Sites like EA show how Iran is NEVER EVER praised for anything. When the terrorist Rigi was captured, how many anti-Ahmadenijad praised the administration? When the recent terrorist action happened, read comments in sites like EA, instead of showing sympathy, quickly using the opportunity to claim that the government was behind it, ignoring the fact that the wives of top ranking officials were killed. In other countries, such as US, at least when a terrorist attack happens, all sides join together in grief. In Iran, its just another opportunity to use to win points.

    Your comment holds through and thinking about it, makes me sad.

  41. Persian Gulf says:

    M.Ali:

    does your last comment mean you that don’t know people like Nasser and in general this kind of sick mentality?

    Iranians are masters of asymmetrical policy. and very good at running lose-lose games. when they dislike something, WHAT ever that can increase this dissatisfaction is acceptable to them. Most of the young ones, at least the ones abroad, are no different than the old ones! anything good on the part of IR, virtually anything (let’s say building a small bridge in a remote area), makes them sad and vise versa. no wonder, Iran has this situation, despite so much resources and talents. inevitably, most of the politicians are like that too. there is something wrong with culturally.

  42. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    I think the Russians and the Chinese are able to take in their stride some chanting by an Iranian crowd. Of course it is absurd for Iranians to be calling for death to two countries providing significant support.

    The US is being petty, and foolish, in not having diplomatic relations with Iran.

  43. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Are you claiming the USS Vincennes deliberately shot down the Iranian civilian airliner?

  44. M.Ali says:

    Nasser, are you saying that it was a GOOD thing the passenger plane was shot down?

  45. Nasser says:

    James Canning,

    “That Iranian crowds chant “death to China” or “death to Russia” does not prompt either Russia or China to cease to have diplomatic relations with Iran. Why should the US be so childish in its foreign policy, as not to have diplomatic relations with Iran?”

    - It proves how unstable, unpredictable and ungrateful they are. Russian foreign ministry infact said as much using those words! What did China and Russia do to deserve such a treatment? Aren’t the Iranians alienated enough already? Why do they alienate themselves even more? All good reasons to question the value of even having relations with them.

    - Shooting down the airline did end the war! It proved the Americans were serious. You overestimate the importance of the tanker wars. And the Japanese could not keep the sea lanes open then with their diplomacy because their tankers were repeatedly attacked. Its only afterwards that the US saw the value in retaining a militarized posture in the region.

  46. M.Ali says:

    While, I dont think what Ahmedinijad says is 100% correct, I am not against him saying it. Unfortunately, we live in a world that has been spouting lies against his administration, by western media and certain Iranians. His statements like “wipe Israel out of the map” has been taken completely out of context. His statement “no gays in Iran” was misrepresented. His holocaust questioning was not taken with honest understanding. His request for the 9/11 to be independently investigated was claiming he was a 9/11 denial (did he even DENY the 9/11?? how ridiculous of an accusation is that?!)

    We live in a world that immediately after the election, the media claimed the election was fraudulent without any evidence and most still refuse to acknowledge they were wrong. This is the world where major powers are dishonest about Iran’s nuclear enrichment. This is the world where Obama and Clinton repeat Ahmedinijad’s misquoted “Israel of the map”. This is the world where a few years back there was a media news sensation that Iran was to make Jewish minorities wear badges, and politicians in the west used the opportunity to attack Iran, and when a few days later it was proven to be false, who apologized?

    If Ahmadenijad says, “Sure, there may have been some mistreatment of the prisoners but…”, everything else will be ignored and next day, all around the world, would be headlines, “Ahmadenijad claims rape and torture in prison”, next headline would be “Iran President supports rape in prison”, and then “Iran President LOVES torturing babies in Prison”

    If we are honest, Ahmadenijad is actually one of the most honest politicians we have and the world has seen (comparatively to other politicians). He is certainly more honest than Karoubi who had no answer to give to the President’s accusations of corruption. He was more honest than Mousavi for having the courage to speak out against Rafsanjani and Nouri, while Mousavi tried to be PC about it. And he has been honest by refusing to not be diplomatic when it is the easy way out, but pushing issues into the world’s face.

  47. Liz says:

    Congratulations! Despite the western media claiming for days that Chavez may lose the vote in Venezuela’s elections, his party won by a significant margin.

  48. Liz says:

    Binam,

    ”No newspaper in Iran has been closed for criticizing me and my government”

    He’s right, no newspaper has been closed for criticism. Right now there are numerous newspapers in the country that are very hostile towards the president.

    ”Iran is the freest country in the world”

    In many ways it is. In how many countries in the world can a man without the support of political parties, major businessmen, or foreign powers become president.

    ”The judiciary is completely independent in Iran”

    It is not under the control of the president. Read the constitution. There are many checks and ballances, including for the Leader.

    ”Sanctions are not important”

    The economy is growing and Iran’s independence is what is important.

    ”No one has been imprisoned for taking part in demonstrations”

    Those who went to prison were violent lawbreakers.

    ”No one is tortured in Iran”

    There is no policy of torture. On occassions when it has happened there has been accountability.

    ”Our critics and competitors are freely active in Iran”*

    That’s right. As long as they don’t kill police officers, attack public buildings,…

    You can hate the guy as much as you want, but it is not without reason that most Iranians like him.

  49. Binam says:

    This guy points it out well M. Ali, Bussed-in-Basiji:

    محمد معینی

    حرف های احمدی نژاد در مجمع عمومی سازمان ملل خیلی خوب بود؛ خیلی؛ بی تعارف. از لحاظ توجه به ارزش های انسانی، متعالی و صلح طلبانه بود. و واقعا کِی برای دنیا و مردمان فقیر و جنگ و مصیبت زده سخن گفتن از بدی های سرمایه داری، حرف زدن از عشق و صلح و محبت بد بوده که حالا باشد؟

    … امّا باید یا ایرانی نباشی، یا بی خبر از ایران باشی تا بتوانی از این سخنرانی لذت ببری؛ ندانی آن که منع رطب می کند، خود مهمان اصلی بزم ِ رطب خوران است. اگر چنین نباشد از پیشنهاد تشکیل کمیته حقیقت یاب برای یازده سپتامبر خشمگین هم می شوی که در مملکت ِ خود ِ مدعی، هنوز مساله ای به نام حمله شبانه به کوی دانشگاه تهران رازی است بزرگ، یا کسی حتی نمی تواند بفهمد بالاخره سر ِ خودسرها کجاست که هر چند محکومند، ولی آزادند و بی قید.

    اگر ایرانی باشی نمی توانی سخن گفتن از حکومت محبت و عشق در دنیا را با حکم انتصاب دادن به متهم اصلی پرونده کهریزک یک جا جمع کنی! نمی فهمی کسی که از بدی های سرمایه داری خبر می دهد چطور قراردادهای بزرگ و میلیارد دلاری را بدون مناقصه واگذار می کند؟ کسی که از اصلاح ساختار سازمان ملل و دمکراتیک شدن آن حرف می زند، چطور به قوانین مجلس و مجمع تشخیص مصلحت مملکت خودش هم بی اعتناست، یا دولتش تشکل های ساده دانشجویی منتقد را هم بر نمی تابد، چاپ خبر و عکس منتقدان را ممنوع می کند و وزیرانش را به جرم ناهمخوانی با اراده خودش حتی تا مرز از اعتبار انداختن “عدد” کابینه از کار برکنار می کند؟ …

    باید یا ایرانی نباشی، یا بی خبر از ایران باشی تا بتوانی از این سخنرانی لذت ببری؛ این سخنرانی گوارای وجود آنانی که ایرانی نیستند و از ایران امروز خبری ندارند، نوش ِ گوش شان؛ ما که عاجزیم از راه بردن به این لذّتکده سیاسی.

    منبع: وبلاگ راز سر به مهر

  50. Binam says:

    M. Ali,

    You might be right when you say the Greens have no agenda. Though one could argue their agenda is getting rid of Ahmadinejad. Which isn’t exactly the best approach. A cool charismatic Leader like an Iranian Obama would have been able to rise to the occasion and lead them forward. Regardless of what you think of Obama now, i’m referring to the man who managed to come out of nowhere and garner 65 million votes. Because Ahmadinejad is to Iran what W. Bush was to America. He messed up the country so bad that people were just happy to get rid of him. To his credit however, AN isn’t nearly as bad as Bush. Plus he’s not much of a powerplayer at the end of the day for as long as we have an office of an unelected mullah/shah Khamenai.

    But the realist in you should also acknowledge his lies.

    ”No newspaper in Iran has been closed for criticizing me and my government”

    ”Iran is the freest country in the world”

    ”The judiciary is completely independent in Iran”

    ”Sanctions are not important”

    ”No one has been imprisoned for taking part in demonstrations”

    ”No one is tortured in Iran”

    ”Our critics and competitors are freely active in Iran”*

    Come on? Can’t you at least laugh at him? I would have respected him a lot more if he came out and said “yeah, we torture people because we want to stay in power.” or “There’s not much of a freedom in Iran, because I believe it’s in the best interests of my country if voices opposition were silenced by any means possible.” I would totally respect that! But I can’t take these lies. I just can’t.

    * His quotes as pointed out by Gary Sick in his latest article on Iran.

  51. James Canning says:

    Spiegel online today has an interview with Salehi, Iran’s nuclear chief, who says Iran will continue to enrich LEU, whereupon Spiegle responds that Iran will continue on a “path of confrontation”! All too typical of what appears in Western news reports.

  52. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Re: Sept. 26th, 7:57pm – - The tragic blunder by the US, in shooting down the Iranian civil airliner, did not end the Iran-Iraq War. The US destruction of Iran’s navy played a much larger role in prompting Khomeini to end the bloodshed.

    Wasn’t the defence system (that shot down the civilian plane) called Aegis, and it cost $1 billion for equipping just one naval vessel?

  53. James Canning says:

    Goli,

    Thanks. I’ll try to find a link for the Charlie Rose interview with the Emir of Qatar (about two years ago, if I recall correctly). The Emir believes Hamas and Hezbollah will not be a threat to Israel if Israel ends the occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights. I agree with the Emir.

  54. James Canning says:

    Humanist,

    Re: Sept. 26th, 7:48pm. Bravo! And how pathetic that Obama would use the BBC to reiterate the obvious slander against Iran, that Iran threatens “to wipe Israel off the map”! Truly pathetic. Can Obama be so ignorant as to be unaware this is a vicious slander and libel? Or is he pandering to the Israel lobby?

  55. James Canning says:

    Humanist,

    Re: Sept. 26th, 7:46pm – - Yes, I think Charlie Rose blundered in his previous interview with Ahmadinejad, in dredging up the ghost of the hostage crisis – - a largely artificial creation of foolish American “news” casters, especially Roone Arledge of ABC News. Wasn’t Arledge’s area of expertise sports, rather than diplomacy?

  56. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    That Iranian crowds chant “death to China” or “death to Russia” does not prompt either Russia or China to cease to have diplomatic relations with Iran. Why should the US be so childish in its foreign policy, as not to have diplomatic relations with Iran?

  57. M.Ali says:

    Here is an interesting commentary:

    http://www dot worldpoliticsreview dot com/articles/6517/ahmadinejads-nationalist-attack-on-the-islamic-republic

  58. M.Ali says:

    I’m a realist, Binam. While its nice to say that a group leads the man rather than the man leads the group, at best, what does that say about the leader? Whats the point of a leader who gets led around by the mob? And what happens when such a leader gets in the office? Can he ask all his supporters to come to his office and decide on a policy together?

    The Greens arent anti-IRI, for the most part, they’re just anti-Ahmedinijad with no clear agenda, policy, or anything. This is why I got disillusioned with them.

  59. Binam says:

    M. Ali,

    I think I’m actually a fan of Rahim-Mashahi! Now here’s a guy who isn’t much of a religious person who could in fact overthrow the mullahs! But then again, I can’t bring myself to fully support anyone who is in one way or another associated with the arrests, tortures, rapes and killings of the past year. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not much of a Mousavi supporter either, but he would have been the lesser of the four evils! And to me the Green Movement isn’t lead by Mousavi, the Green Movement are anti-IRI anti-extremist Iranians who lead HIM and Karoubi.

  60. Persian Gulf says:

    یعنی میشه من اون روزی رو ببینم که این هاشمی رو بگیرن چوب تو — کنند؟ کارهایی که این بشر کرده حداقل تو این 5 سال اخیر کاملا بر خلاف منافع ملت ایران بوده،‌ قبلی هاش بماند برای تاریخ. نمی شد این شیطان خفه خون بگیر بعد از این مسافرت زرشو بزنه؟

  61. M.Ali says:

    Binam if you put aside some of the Green analysts, you’ll see there is no real truth to that. What has Ahmadenijad done to indicate that he wants to put Yazdi in power? Do we constantly see the two together? Does he name drop his name?

    If anything, I remember a bit back, Yazdi attacked Rahim Mashaei, Ahmedinijad’s BFF.

  62. Binam says:

    M. Ali,

    “If Ahmedinijad wanted to keep the status quo, he could have just continued supporting the clerics, appeasing them, and funding their mosques, and lets see how many of them would have raised their voices then…”

    That’s where you’re wrong my friend. What is terrifying about Ahmadinejad is that he’s funding and supporting the most right-wing mullahs while fighting the moderates. He wants to bring into power his mentor Mesbah Yazdi – who is the most right wing mullah in Iran. Even Khomeini thought of him as a nut-job! Look at the mullahs Ahmadinejad IS funding and being passionately supporter by: Ahmad Khatami, Nouri Hamedani, Taeb, Mesbah Yazdi.

    In an ideal world there would a total separation of mosque and state and no mullah would be in any position of power. But we’re far from that. So the best we could hope for is keeping power away from the most extreme elements within the establishment. If AN and IRGC have their way, they’ll make Mesbah Yazdi the Leader and that’s when all hell will break loose. Literally.

  63. Pirouz says:

    BIB, the DNA specialist states that the data pool so far for Iranians is small. He does, however, offer the opinion that he doesn’t think a larger pool will affect subsequent results that greatly.

    As far as Iranian racism is considered, I’m pretty much the only one in the family that will admit to being 1/4 Azari-Iranian. Isn’t that a shame? Not even my full-blooded grandmother would acknowledge it when she was alive.

    Myself, I’ve no patience for racism or bigotry.

  64. Bussed-In Basiji says:

    Pirouz-jan
    I’ve seen that report and there are some problems with it. First the issue of what sample is used as “Iranian” is a problematic. A genetic sample from Busher or Bandar Abbas will be different than one from Isphahan, Tabriz or Mashhad. In terms of an “Arab” genetic sample, a genetic sample in Basra or Bahrain will be very differrent than one from Cairo or Casablanca. I didn’t say that there no genetic differences, my point is that there are no hard and fast genentic types into which people fit. Nearly all genetic samples are a mix of genes from various ethnic groups of course with degrees of diversity. But there is no such thing as a genetically “pure” Iranian, Arab or Turk

    The main point is that during the Pahlavi era they tried to define Iranians as a race based on European-style fascist nationalism. This model might work in Sweden or Germany (even there it’s not based on gegentic reality as many modern Germans are mixed stock of various different Germanic tribes and slavs), but it is not appropriate for Iran which is racially and ethnically very mixed.

    In fact the British, Americans and Israelis are very happy to have Iranians, Arabs and Turks at each others throats based on b.s. racial nationalism of the Nasserite/Saddam, Ataturk and Pahlavi type versus Iranians, Arabs and Turks working together based on their common religion, history and culture. The fact that Turkey, Iran and Syria have decided to strategically work together is severe historic defeat for the US/UK/Israel and their client states in the region (please refer to the Crooke article)

    Also the iranian site is a pro-monarchy site not very credible (last thing I remember run out of a room in the villa of a prominent monarchist family in the Berkeley hills).

  65. Pirouz says:

    Iranian, yeah, there’s a lot of disgruntled exiles on that site- I’ll sure give you that! (Believe me, they don’t like my views one bit.)

    But the DNA specialist involved in that post is apolitical. The findings he mentioned were pure science.

  66. Iranian@Iran says:

    Pirouz,

    Iranian.com is a racist, ultra-nationalistic, and pro-American website.

  67. Iranian@Iran says:

    Binam,

    Many baseej members are students and all are volunteers. They are not paid to do anything. You can go to any mosque and ask.

  68. Pirouz says:

    Bussed in Basij, not to counter your aversion toward racism, but Iranian DNA results have found a marked difference from those carried by persons living in Arab countries. Please see:

    www iranian dot com/main/blog/jahanshah-javid/genetics-iranians-least-similar-europeans-or-other-near-easterners

    (dots missing to avoid filtering)

  69. M.Ali says:

    And I don’t think the attacks are a systematic approach by Ahmadenijad. The President can’t change everything in a day. When he tried to push out the Rafsanjani clan, he brought the Greens against him. Once he pushed them away, he then had to deal with the Larajani team who has their own agenda. He also has to deal with the clerics who wanted for things to go on as normal. As he’s being attacked by reformists, principalists, and clerics (who all actually just wanted things to remain the same!), he, for now, can’t be in conflict with elements in the government that are carrying out his attack.

    If there wasn;t an unnecessary protests from the losing side, things would have been much better now.

  70. M.Ali says:

    Why did suddenly all these victimized akhounds get a conscience and become the “good guys” recently? Was everything before 2009 elections great and Iran was the land of love and flowers, but suddenly after 2009 things got bad?

    If Ahmedinijad wanted to keep the status quo, he could have just continued supporting the clerics, appeasing them, and funding their mosques, and lets see how many of them would have raised their voices then…

  71. M.Ali says:

    Binam, where did you ever get the idea I was a good Muslim?

    I’m not religious at all!

    If anything, one of the reasons I LIKE Ahmedenijad is that, contrary to popular belief, I feel is decisions and policies don’t seem to do much with religion. Sure, he spouts some religious stuff and he has been called many things, but looking at his actions, it seems most religious stuff he says is to appease the government and the people itself. To me, Ahmadenijad seems much more secular than Mousavi, Karroubi, and Khatami!

    Its also amusing to me that a lot of anti-IRAs were constantly complaining about the “akhounds” but the minute Ahmedinijad tries to push them out of politics, the akhounds suddenly become the poor victims!

  72. Binam says:

    M. Ali

    My post wasn’t hateful, it was sarcastic. Plus I did say “new Basijis” referring to the neo-Basijis or pro-Ahmadinejad Basijis who are paid to be thugs. The type that are brought into universities to pose as students – I’m sorry, but Tehran University students for example don’t look like the Taliban! I did say that if he or you for that matter were true Muslims you would defend any Muslim who is in prison for all the wrong reasons. You talk of respecting democracy, what is so democratic about imprisoning voices of opposition? What’s democratic or Islamic for that matter about ATTACKING THE MOSQUE OF A GRAND AYATOLLAH IN SHIRAZ?! Are the followers of Dastgheyb all US spies in your opinion? In your view, are they not Muslim? Do they not pray and fast? If you don’t defend their rights, even if they are a minority, then you can’t exactly call yourself a Muslim and you sure as hell can’t use “brothers and sisters” in reference to other fellow Muslims.

    And like I said, you’re not much of an Iranian either if you don’t defend the life and liberty of even ONE Iranian that has been wronged, let alone MILLIONS of Iranians. You keep saying the voices of opposition are rich secular northern Tehranis, as though that would discredit them. You ignore the fact that most people killed during the protests came from poor and middle-class backgrounds. Some were students from out of town. They were chadoris as well as bad-hijabis. They were religious and secular. Old and young. And their numbers were higher than you’re admitting.

    If I were you and if you are a “good Muslim” as you say you are, I would lose faith in them the second they attacked the Mosque of a Grand Ayatollah. Now let’s here how you JUSTIFY it. Because that’s all you guys do. You justify thing, you don’t acknowledge problems we’re having in Iran.

  73. Nasser says:

    Bussed-in Basiji,

    “It’s ironic that you are so racist against Arabs given your Arab name.”

    - I can’t help what my parents name me now can I? You misconstrue my arguments as being racist. I merely point out the fact that fostering enmity with Israel is strategically unwise. But I will ask you the same question I asked Mr. Ali; if you like your country’s foreign policy choices to be dictated by moral considerations rather than geopolitical necessity then why not recognize the Armenian genocide?

    “My guess is that if you (and most Iranians) did a genetic test, we would discover that our DNA is swarming with Arab, Mongolian and African (if you are junubi) strands. I know its blasphmeny to say this according to the Pahlavi era Aryan quasi religion.”

    - Look man, some of us (not you apparently) just don’t like those that invade our country. That’s all! There’s nothing racist about that :)

    “And mentioning Amir Kabir and Mossadegh in the same sentence with the other two idiots is really, well…dumb.”

    - No its not dumb at all. You see they were all modernizers and at the end of day the Iranians very much prefer to remain backwards. They were all killed or done away with because Iranians are jealous by nature and cannot tolerate themselves to be governed by competent men.

    “More than the oil and gas, the best thing about Iran today are the educated and positive young men and women I see everyday, who are working for their country and their religion. People with views like yours are fortunately irrelevant to the reality of Iran today.”

    - You are wrong about this. The only reason anyone even cares about Iran is because of its hydrocarbon resources. That is the only reason Iran can make stupid foreign policy decisions, withstand sanctions and not starve as a result. Decades ago Iran was considered a crucial geostrategic pivot because it served as a buffer against the Soviets. This condition no longer applies today. The Americans can see that the Arabs just have so much more oil that they don’t really need to deal with Iran!

    “You have said some nasty things about poor and rural people and you don’t have a high opinion of Iranians in general. Thank God we got rid of elitist-racist types like you.”

    - You are partially correct on this issue. I hold such people (poor people you call them, I call them village yokels) in great contempt! What you somewhat mistakenly describe as a low opinion of Iranians is because unlike others when I make criticisms I do not make a distinction between Iranians in general and the Islamic Republic. I believe the Iranian people have made a lot of bad choices and continue to do so. I also think Iranians have a self perception of their country that is not in touch with reality, and this in turn animates their foreign policy decisions in ways that is just not in line with their capabilities! Unlike most anti IRI types you will never find me arguing that the problem with Iran is a lack of democracy. The problem is mob rule!

  74. M.Ali says:

    Also, one more comment. Generally anti-something people make more noise than pro-something people. We need to take this into consideration when we talk to people around us or see things.

    If we vote, and we win, its unlikely that I would run into the streets every day, throwing rocks, and shouting slogans. I won, I’m satisfied, I’ll stay home and watch Farsi1 or something. But the person who loses goes out and complains because he is upset.

    Its like having a business and getting a complaint call every day, shouting, scream, insulting you, and writing big blogs on the net. Does this mean your business is bad? Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe your budiness is doing 100 transcations per day. Its unlikely the 99 customers that are happy will call you praising you for getting a satisfactory service.

    When people have an expected outcome and that outcome arrives, then they are satisfied and things will go on as usual. But when the outcome does not meet with their expectations it is when people will act out of norm behaviour.

  75. M.Ali says:

    Also, a quick comment to Bussed-In Basiji. I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts and its a shame that most of our brothers and sisters don’t have a physical English presence in the web, which unfortunately means that LA diaspora Iranians have a bigger voice…

  76. M.Ali says:

    “Yes quite so. I don’t know what is so shameful about this though given that the feelings are very much mutual :)”

    Because I can be shameful of my Iranian brothers and sisters, but I can’t be shameful for the Arabs.
    However, I do think the Iranians are more anti-Arab than vise versa. Arabs have a lot of admiration and respect for the Iranians, which is not obvious, but its there. After Ahmedinijad, I remember a lot of Arabs liked Iranians more, because they felt closer to us. I feel the Saudis are the most anti-Iranians, but generally, the rest not so much so.

    “Iranians and especially the current government underestimate Arab ajam. I think efforts to win over Arab opinion including those of Iraqis is an exercise in futility.”

    Why? The problem are the shiekhdom governments usually, but the people can be won over. If it were not for the war and Saddam, Iraq and Iran would be extremely close. But I’m glad to see, that day by day, the Iraqis and the Iranis are getting closer. And with the Arabs of the gulf countries (minus Saudi), the Arabs also like us, because we have been part of their countries for so long (and well, countries like Bahrain have been OUR countries!)

    A lot of Lebanese are positive (specially the south), Syrians love us, Egyptians and Jordanians not so much so, but its more like apathy than dislike.

    “I also think fostering enmity with a far away country that one has no territorial disputes or intrinsic conflict with to be geopolitically unwise. When that said country also has influential lobbying power in Washington and a substantial force projection capability including a full fledged nuclear force such actions can be described as downright stupid!”

    No, I think buddying up Israel will damage Iran in the long term. Iran needs to be steadfast and strong, so that when it raises in regional power, it has the moral superiority to win over the PEOPLE, the way it is doing now. I think if Iran werent a nation of Shias, they would have already been much more trusted.

  77. M.Ali says:

    I would like to address Binam first before I respond to Nasser. The reason is Nasser’s post was respectful while Binam annoyed me. I hope to give a more respectable attention to Nasser’s post after I get Binam’s out of the way.

    “With your perfect English you must be one heck of an educated Basiji! Most new Basijis I met barely speak Farsi, let alone English. All they’re good at are beating young and old Iranians who they are brainwashed to believe are the enemy. And the sad part is that they no longer believe this, they are just getting paid to do be thugs. ”

    This is why people like you can’t accept the election result & I think are very against the democrat process. You are so HATEFUL against the opposition. Why do you think educated Basijis are a strange thing?? There is a lot of negative connotations with a Basij, but not all are baton weilding guys. A lot of young Basijis are hard working, educated, religious Iranians with a sincere desire to see Iran improve. Obviously there are bad apples, but thats expected. If the government needs some people to stand against the protestors, they’ll call in a certain calibre of Basijis, they won’t call the meek, engineer student.

    You then talk about where the 63% supporters are. You see them nowhere, but I see them everywhere. I have passed small towns where Ahmedinijad’s posters were up in the wall of sandwhich shops. I have people from Shiraz and small cities that are pro-Ahmedinijad, not for any big ideological reasons, but simply because he has done something minor that has improved their lives. Most people in shahrestans have had someone pay attention to them and maybe do a small contribution in their city, and that’s mroe than anyone else has done for them, and they are happy. Majority of Iran is not involved in a great political and philosophical debate on how to change the landscape of Iran, but they live their normal lives and vote for anyone they think makes their day to day lives a bit easier. Ahmedinijad obviously fet the bill more than forgotten, out-of-politics Mousavi or his buddies, the ultra-rich mafiadon Rafsanjani (do you honestly did the shahrestanis liked him?) or Khatami, whos policies and slogans were irrevelant to the urban folks.

    ” For the past few hundred years empires have fallen in a few cross streets of the capital and the Islamic Republic is no different. ”

    This is a very telling statement. And that is why I admire Ahmedinijad. All previous Presidents and politicians knew this. Keep Tehran happy and the rest can be ignored, and you won’t have to worry about your job. As long as Tehranis are kept quiet, you can go on and build an empire for yourself in your 4-8 years. Ahmedinijad refused to do this. He actually focused on the rest of Iran too, which TEHRANIS HATE.

    One of the things I dislike about Tehranis is how they act like all Iran is Tehran (and shomal for their monthly vacation) and anything else for them is a joke, to be ignored. So, good on Ahmedinijad. His policy got him the votes, but predictably, his policy also got him a lot of hate from both Tehran people and politicians.

    You then mention politics taxis. I don’t know people even bring this up. Taxis guys like to talk and complain! This is like the taxi stereotype all around the world. It comes with the job. But try this as an experiment, sit in a taxi, and
    be very pro-Ahmedinijad and anti-Greens. Talk about how the Greens are with USA and are damaging our country and whatever. Make it up as you go along. 9 out of 10, the taxi guy will passionately agree with you. Why? because they are stuck in a car, 12 hours a day, and they like to have someone to talk to, and because of Iranian politeness, they won’t argue with you, but take your side.

  78. Bussed-In Basiji says:

    Nasser-jan
    It’s ironic that you are so racist against Arabs given your Arab name. My guess is that if you (and most Iranians) did a genetic test, we would discover that our DNA is swarming with Arab, Mongolian and African (if you are junubi) strands. I know its blasphmeny to say this according to the Pahlavi era Aryan quasi religion. Incidentally, if our Arab brothers in the PG and Iraq did a genetic test they would see it swarming with Fars, Lor and Turkish genes. Anyway, your racial views are misguided and if you are young, you still have time to think about them a little.

    One other thing which you will hate to hear: Ahmadinejad has done more for Iran than Amir Kabir, Teymourtash, Mossadegh and Nim Pahlavi did put together. And mentioning Amir Kabir and Mossadegh in the same sentence with the other two idiots is really, well…dumb.

    You have said some nasty things about poor and rural people and you don’t have a high opinion of Iranians in general. Thank God we got rid of elitist-racist types like you. More than the oil and gas, the best thing about Iran today are the educated and positive young men and women I see everyday, who are working for their country and their religion. People with views like yours are fortunately irrelevant to the reality of Iran today.

  79. Binam says:

    Bussed-in-Basiji,

    With your perfect English you must be one heck of an educated Basiji! Most new Basijis I met barely speak Farsi, let alone English. All they’re good at are beating young and old Iranians who they are brainwashed to believe are the enemy. And the sad part is that they no longer believe this, they are just getting paid to do be thugs. No different than brainless-Shabuns of the years prior.

    I personally don’t see where Ahmadinejad could be hiding his 63%. Where are these joyful happy-with-the-times people you speak of? Are you a well-paid Basiji fooled by your immediate surrounding of other well-paid flown-in-Basijis? I come to Iran frequently and I do take the time to speak with the people. Be it in southern Tehran where I get my favorite Ali Baba majoon or in northern Tehran where I buy the latest filter-busting softwares on Mirdamad. I am yet to meet a single person who has anything good to say about Ahmadinejad or the IRI for that matter. The Taxi drivers are the best, because they don’t give a rats ass about pouring their hearts out. In fact, Ahmadinejad is the butt of every other joke it seems.

    And this is not limited to Tehran. On road trips out to the desert or north by the Caspian, from Isfahan to Mashhad people are fed up. To be fair I have met some Ahmadinejad supporters in the most remote parts, but I don’t think they make up 63% of the population. For the past few hundred years empires have fallen in a few cross streets of the capital and the Islamic Republic is no different.

    So live up the good life in your local mosque for your days are numbered. With such a young population fed up with your anti-Islam anti-Iran antics, your brainwashed fake-Hizbullahi pals better start saving up in their Syrian bank accounts!

    And my idea of a free Iran is not just so you can drink in the streets (though trust me, a Persian beer on Valiasr would be lovely), but so people from all background can live in a free Iran without the fear of being prosecuted for having different beliefs. The mandatory Hijab laws enforced by your baton-wielding Basiji friends is as backwards as Reza Shah’s anti-Hijab campaign. People should be free to wear what they want. It’s Iran, with a hijab-by-choice law people aren’t going to walk around naked! But they won’t be making a mockery out of the Hijab either (seen the type of clothes women wear? if I was a Muslim believe I would be pissed at how sexified the Islamic hijab has become!).

    But then you’re not much of a Muslim. if you were you would protest treatment of your fellow Muslims in Evin. people like Nourizad and Majid Tavakoli. They are religious. Families of true Basijis Hemmat and Bakeri are also devout Muslims and look at how they’re being treated. You’re not much of an Iranian either. Because again, you would protest treatment of your fellow Iranians — even if they’re just 30% of the population. You would protest closing down of newspapers and jailing of journalists. Even if the Greens are a minority, wouldn’t a just “Islamic” country treat its minority better than the majority? Isn’t that from the teachings of Ali and Hussein or whoever it is that you believe in? But I stand by my claim that the opposition is made up of the majority of Iranians, because frankly the 63% are nowhere to be seen…

  80. Nasser says:

    M.Ali,

    If you like your country’s foreign policy decisions to be dictated by moral considerations rather than geopolitical merit then why not recognize the Armenian Genocide?

  81. Nasser says:

    M.Ali,

    “I hate to say it, but a lot of Iranians, specially middle-class to upper-class influential Iranians, are shamefully anti-Arab.”

    - Yes quite so. I don’t know what is so shameful about this though given that the feelings are very much mutual :)

    “But I still do think it is time for Iran to take more pro-active steps in befriending the Arabs.”

    - Iranians and especially the current government underestimate Arab ajam. I think efforts to win over Arab opinion including those of Iraqis is an exercise in futility. I also think fostering enmity with a far away country that one has no territorial disputes or intrinsic conflict with to be geopolitically unwise. When that said country also has influential lobbying power in Washington and a substantial force projection capability including a full fledged nuclear force such actions can be described as downright stupid!

  82. M.Ali says:

    Nasser,

    To me, Iran’s dispute with Israel is commendable. I don’t even mean the ethical reasons, but also for geopolitical reasons.

    You mentioned here and in previous posts that Arabs are not impressed. But I would disagree. I think Iran has gone a long way in befriending the Arab PEOPLE (not gov). Polls indicate that Arabs are favorable to Iranians, which is a HUGE step, given the historical disputes between Iran and Arabs. I mean, when Iran-Iraq war happened, all Arab countries (exception of Syria & Libya) supported Iraq. So from the get go, Iran had enemies.

    But it seems opinion is shifting. This is a combination of Iran’s anti-west stance (not shared by many Arab leaders) and Iran’s anti-Israel cause. They, of course, still remain suspicious of Iran due to historical misunderstandings of each other and Shia-Sunni conflicts. A major cause of this dispute is just purely cultural. I hate to say it, but a lot of Iranians, specially middle-class to upper-class influential Iranians, are shamefully anti-Arab. Because I have grown up in Dubai, I have always had good relationship with Arabs, so I personally feel very uncomfortable and embarrassed talking to my fellow Iranians in Iran when they call the Arabs “susmar khor” (lizard eaters).

    However, it seems that a President like Ahmedinijad does not share the same sentiments from his actions. And finding a common cause between the two races (being anti-Israel) is a great thing to do. Without this factor, Iran would be even viewed with more dislike.

    But I still do think it is time for Iran to take more pro-active steps in befriending the Arabs. Unfortunately, this is a problem on both sides. Iran might be not showing enough good gesture but, at the same time, the Arab countries are comfortably on the US payroll. With Jordan & Egypt getting the highest US aid after Israel, I doubt they would want to upset their Sugar Daddy. And the gulf countries, of course, would roll on the ground for Uncle Sam because as long as the shiekhs can afford their $12,000 a day hotel rooms, WHY care?

  83. Goli says:

    James Canning,

    I have not seen the interview you are referring to, but I will look for it when I can. Thanks.
    Unlike many of his colleagues, I don’t think Rose is intentionally “just playing a line intended to help Israel deceive the American public about what really is going on”. But I do think that is the de facto result of the limitations he and many others in the media feel when it comes to covering anything with Israel-related implications. I have not seen any indication that he is particularly interested in helping to “bring about a resolution of the dispute between the US and Iran.”

  84. Rehmat says:

    Now, since it has become official that Moscow will not make delivery of S-300 to Tehran – it shows Iranian cannot trust Moscow anymore. Therefore, China’s joining the nuclear reactors’ export could be a blessing in disguise for Tehran. Furthermore, in order to give Russia taste of its own medicine, some Iranian law-makers should their long-awaited support to the Islamic Resistance in Checnya.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/more-chinese-nuclear-plants-for-pakistan/

  85. Nasser says:

    M.Ali,

    “Using the above, my argument is that Gulf Countries population is very low, therefore they can have a higher per capita. For example, the full gulf countries combined barely have half Iran’s population, and exclude Saudi, and the rest (Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and UAE) are more or less Tehran’s population.”

    - This is true. Iran’s population size means that Iranians can’t just be lazy and eat themselves to 300 pounds like some of your neighbors do. It also means that Iran needs more than just a resource extraction economy that it currently has.
    - I think you missed my point though. Iran has ample resources. By endowments it is supposed to be one of the richest places on earth. But in economic performance it continues to “punch below its weight.” Its oil production was infact higher before the revolution. My point being it need not remain a poor country but because of decisions of its government and people it will remain so.
    - I think Iranians misunderstand the point when those in the West criticize Iran’s economic performance. As a major oil producer, Iran will never really starve! Notice I said not rich. What people really mean to say is that Iran it continues to underperform because it never really developed. It could have gone past its third world status but because of its decisions it didn’t.

    “And then you take a ocuntry that has all the cards stacked against it, enemies all around, 8 years war that cost it 500 BILLION dollars, has its money frozen in US banks (and now UK banks), projects cancelled by the west after the revolution without any re-imbursements, sanctions, etc, etc.”

    - I am glad you brought up “enemies all around” and all these problems already. So why given all these does Iran foster enmity with a country called Israel that is about a thousand miles away and has no territorial disputes with Iran. You share many of the same enemies and it helped Iran out (much to Washington’s displeasure) in your bloody war with Iraq. What geostrategic benefits does it bring to Iran? The Arabs are no more impressed by Iran’s support of the Palestinians than the Iranian mullahs were by cries of “Allahuakbar” by the Greens!

  86. Nasser says:

    K. Voorhees,

    “The US embassy hostages back when Carter was president – Gee whiz, I’d think it was obvious that the Iranians NEEDED some hostages to possibly prevent the US from doing another coup on them or some other kind of military invasion, just like the US and Britain engineered in the 50’s with the Shah so the US and Britain could get that oil.”

    - Americans didn’t attack because Iran then served as a buffer against the Soviets! They thus kept their emotions in check. If the US had a less wimpish President than Jimmy Carter it could have played out very differently. Today the Americans will not attack without a major provocation because they do not want to risk a major disruption in oil supplies. But the Iranians are superb at provoking people!

    - The role of the CIA in the overthrow of the Mossadeq government is greatly exaggerated. Throughout Iranian history every competent man from Amir Kabir to Teymourtash to Mossadeq and later Pahlavi II were either killed or done away with for one simple reason. The Iranians will not under any circumstances allow themselves to be governed by competent men! Many Iranians including the bazaris, the mullahs, the monarchy, the military, the communists among others wanted Mossadeq out; the CIA is not nearly as good as the conspiracy nuts would have you believe!

    “Shooting down a civilian airliner on a scheduled flight!”

    - This ended the war. It saved lives!

  87. Humanist says:

    Persian Gulf

    Re: Obama / BBC

    I didn’t notice the issue that caught your attention. Thanks. For me, Obama repeating a gross lie manufactured by warmongering neo-cons is inexcusable. He repeated the “Iran attempts to wipe Israel off the map” lie. Hilary Clinton did the same in her interview with Christian Amanpour..

    It is saddening to watch a small group of zealous, self-righteous, ruthless greedy, hegemonist and psychopathic individuals buy their way towards centers of power by persuasion, pressure, bribing, blackmailing or using all kinds of trickery. As I see it now these extremely powerful lunatics practically hold the helm of the biggest ship and are sailing it towards dangerous waters..

    If instead of these crazies just a bit above the norm civilized persons were in control then we could’ve had started to build a world where EVERY ONE could’ve lived a better life. Better from any angle you look at it, instead of the types of miseries are on the horizon for many, especially for the Middle Easterners.

  88. Humanist says:

    Pirouz_2.

    First of all you should know at times your past comments in this site has corrected my world-view errors especially regarding the Iranian issues.

    Next thanks for your clarifying reply. After reading it carefully I noticed that I agree with all your points (except one). It also crossed my mind that for most parts our curves of thought move up and down in parallel. I found this pleasing since I think with high probability we have been brought up and educated in different environments at different times.

    However, on comparing the freedom of expression in Iran and the West I strongly believe there is a VAST difference exists not only in the ways the laws are written but in the foundations for those laws. I hope I am wrong but as far as I know stoning to death is a legal form of execution in Iran. Just imaging how it is done, imagine the people who are throwing the stones, imagine the slow torturous death and the rest. Who were those primitive savage Islamists (un-Iranians) who wrote that law?…….I feel deep shame envisioning that kind of brutal barbarism.

    Stoning was an example to show you how the ‘foundations’ of laws are so different in the two places. I extrapolate that fact towards the freedom of expression. I can give you dozens of examples where Iran is clearly different with the West.

    Of course I have read enough about the history of suppression of free thinking in the West, regardless, I maintain Iran, as far as the freedom of expression is concerned is no France, no England or no USA

  89. Humanist says:

    K. Voorhees

    You must be the type of person I would like to have a coffee with, donating blood to those you do not know !

    On what US did to Iran I remembered last year in Charlie Rose’s interview with Ahmadinejad. President of Iran implied “the list of Iranian grievances against US is very long ”, Rose then said something like “..you also took Americans hostage..”. Apparently Rose can’t realize the fact that “if there was no 1953 coup, if there was no SAVAK, if…., then hostage taking never could have happened”

    Imagine the situation was reverse. Iran overthrowing a popular US government and installing a vicious puppet government. In the following 25 years ruling US with iron fist, torturing to death the best, brightest and most honorable personalities of US such as Walter Cronkite, Gregory Peck etc and ruthlessly plundering the wealth of the country and much much more?

    Imagine what would Americans have done after a revolution similar to 1979, overthrowing the deeply hated ‘Iran’ imposed regime? My guess is Americans would have tried to annihilate everything resembling Iran or Iranian.

    There were tens of thousands of Americans in Iran during the revolution. Do you know how many Americans were killed during or after the revolution? Just a few who were assassinated by today’s MEK terrorists (who are now deeply detested by majority of Iranians). I guess during the revolution, in general, the ordinary Iranians didn’t attempt to do the same ‘bad’ things American had rained over them for such a long time.

    I think overall, Iranians are no better or no worse than average human beings around the world. Yet there are couple of evolved traditions in their culture that makes them slightly different. One of them is every year at the time of the New Year (Novruz) both side of feuding parties are encouraged (by friends or relatives) to visit the home of their adversary as a gesture of making peace and ‘forgetting the past and starting a new beginning’. This in most cases works (after hugging and kissing cheeks while others cheer or applaud)..

    There are lots of other nice traditions. Explanation of them is beyond the scope of this note.

  90. Humanist says:

    Goli,

    I didn’t intend to belittle anyone. I believe only backward persons unnecessarily insult, belittle, harm or kill others to satisfy their animalistic yearnings. I fully and wholeheartedly respect what others believe. Who am I to tell others what to believe. I just present my thoughts and ideas in this arena. If they are not worth further discussion they’ll habitually get ignored.

    As most atheists, earlier in life I was religious . After discovering the benefits and elegance of impartiality and analytical thinking I started to doubt the validity and wisdom of religious doctrines. Further studies proved to me the harms and divisive nature of any religious zeal. If you think you are open minded and impartial on the Internet search for “contradictions of Bible (or Koran)” and study the authenticity and strength of the opposing arguments then you might realize why I am fervently opposed to mixing religion and politics.

    Not only I’m not against Ahmadinejad since last year’s presidential election I have been fiercely defending him in different forms. As an example here is a part of one of my comments to an article in Payvand after the election:

    “….Conscientious Iranians now have only one choice, ie the to ACCEPT the will of majority of Iranians and declare IRI as a legitimate government. This courageous civilized act will nullify the plots of neo-cons and will reduce significantly the DANGER of an unnecessary yet a very probable war of the Israel/West with Iran….”

    I support him fully because I oppose vehemently his opponents’ war plans yet I repeatedly argue he should avoid saying things that could be used by Iran’s enemies or reduce Iran’s standing in the complicated international political platforms.

  91. Nasser says:

    Iranian@Iran,

    “The embassy takeover was because the US gave refuge to the Shah, a mass murderer who they supported and also because the US embassy was trying to help overthrow the new Iranian government.”

    - Denying a dying cancer patient medical treatment seemed like the absolute height of barbarity to the American people. Showing total disregard for international norms by invading an embassy and later by sponsoring terrorism only exaggerates the barbarism.

    - Chanting deaths to Russia and China when you are already so isolated in the global community and have no friends left makes them question the soundness of your state of mind!

    - Accusing the US of murdering millions in the Middle East (pure nonsense) especially when those acts have helped out Iran more than anyone else just seems bizarre!

    - No wonder the Americans doubt the value of even having relations with Iran (NO other country not even N. Korea gets that treatment).

  92. Nasser says:

    M.Ali,

    “One of my posts had three links and is awaiting moderation and was respond to Nasser’s post. Hopefully, it gets approved soon.”

    - Perhaps you included too many links to your post. I don’t think this site allows more than one or perhaps two web links in a single post.

    So use this format: www dot name of website. Like www dot wikipedia.org
    Or: Leave out www. and just type in name. Like, wipipedia.org instead of http://www.wikipedia.org

    Hope this helps.

  93. James Canning says:

    Goli,

    Have you seen Charlie Rose’s interview with the Emir of Qatar? Try to see it if you have not. I will agree with you Charlie takes care not to offend the “pro-Israel” crowd, compared to how he deals with the “anti-Israel” crowd. Nonetheless, I think Rose does want to help bring about a resolution of the dispute between the US and Iran. Do you think he is just playing a line intended to help Israel deceive the American public about what really is going on?

  94. Dan Cooper says:

    I didn’t believe it was possible, but the Obama administration has just reached an all-new low in its abysmal civil liberties record.

    In response to the lawsuit filed by Anwar Awlaki’s father asking a court to enjoin the President from assassinating his son, a U.S. citizen, without any due process, the administration late last night, according to The Washington Post, filed a brief asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit without hearing the merits of the claims.

    That’s not surprising: both the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly insisted that their secret conduct is legal but nonetheless urge courts not to even rule on its legality.

    But what’s most notable here is that one of the arguments the Obama DOJ raises to demand dismissal of this lawsuit is “state secrets”: in other words,

    not only does the President have the right to sentence Americans to death with no due process or charges of any kind, but his decisions as to who will be killed and why he wants them dead are “state secrets,” and thus no court may adjudicate their legality.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26460.htm

  95. Dan Cooper says:

    It Is Official: The US Is A Police State

    By Paul Craig Roberts

    The US media, highly concentrated in violation of the American principle of a diverse and independent media, will lend its support to the witch hunts that will close down all protests and independent thought in the US over the next few years.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26452.htm

  96. Fiorangela says:

    yeah, you’re probably right, Mohammed; Ahmadinejad should try to get with the western programme.
    Wear a necktie.
    Open the shirt collar to display chest hair.
    Open the shirt to show 6-pack abs.
    Wear cowboy boots — get a little John Wayne thang going.
    Confess that he uses rogaine.
    Work on his golf swing.

    Or better yet, ask why Obama has never bothered to set foot in Iran
    or find out what efforts Obama has made to understand how to appeal to Iranians on their own terms rather than Amisraeli terms.

  97. Bussed-In Basiji says:

    Mohammad-jan,
    The great thing about Ahmadinejad is that he doesn’t give a rats … about America- unlike our previous President who was just gushing to receive honoray doctorates from anyone western or our President before that whose western business connections and bribes where more important to him than other things.

    Ahmadinejad’s constituency are Iranians first, then Muslims and other third world populations (other audiences not really relevant). Unlike many other Iranian politicians he knows that the vote of Iranians allows him to govern, not kissing … of westerners as is the case with most ME rulers.

    People in our part of world are used to systems where their rulers stay in power because of foreign support. The revolution changed that in Iran but old habits persist. This change is also the basis for US hostility towards Iran.

  98. Bussed-In Basiji says:

    I don’t know how your comment is related to what I said. But if you want to open this can of worms the very same “Western civilization” (I’m guessing you mean European countries post-Renaissance)inherited nearly every single piece of scientific data (the a strange concept called “Arabic numerals”) plus Greek philosophy from Islamic scholars (Arab, Persian, Turk etc.) OK but that’s history no need to dwell on something that western scholars themselves acknowledge.

    Imitation can be flattery it can also be the result of conquest and mass murder of members of other civilizations. Yes, here I concede no civilization in human history has been so good at mass murder and theft than our European brothers (mostly brothers). In fact the more domestically liberal the more globally vicious according to Prof. Michael Mann (British teaching at UCLA).

    Alas, let us not forget that all “advanced” civilizations were conquered by barbarian hordes. So when when we barbarian Iranians, Arabs and Turks arrive in the US or Europe (wherever you are), I will make sure to come by your place and chop your head off, steal your SUV, burn down your house and rape your womenfolk (hahaha said with evil barbarian voice).

  99. Goli says:

    Is that so fyi? We are and have always been barbaric and they/you are civilized? Then how is it that we have not attack another country for 300 years whereas your civilized west has murdered at least over a million in the past 10 years and your “gangster” state of Israel with its “professional killer” PM continues to surpass any measure of barbarism set by any one in the past?

  100. Mohammad says:

    Ahmadinejad needs to get more familiar with the American taste. As an Iranian, I think his interviews fail to convince the Americans. While he’s good in garnering support from the Muslims, he should also become more focused on the American mindset when preparing for speaking to US media. His language and arguments are not of the type raising sympathy for him in the west.
    Am I right?

  101. Goli says:

    James Canning,
    Let’s not kid ourselves. Like all the other media types in the US, Rose’s point of departure is what not to say that would possibly possibly bring on accusations by the Israel interest that he might be on shaky grounds when it comes to Israel (that would be any diversion from Netanyahu line), and petrified of the consequences of such an accusation, which as you know, will mean the end of his career and more.

  102. fyi says:

    Bussed-In Basiji:

    The Western Civilization, without a doubt, is the most advanced civilization on Earth.

    While Iran and other have moved far from where they were 100 years ago, they still have a long way to go.

    Imitation is the highest form of flattery and every non-Western people in the world is copying West due to the intrinsiv merits of many Western methods and ways.

    2500 years ago, when the Persian constructed the first Universal Empire, they were a barbaric people that copied liberally from the more civilized people around them: Ilam, Babylon, Assyria.

  103. Fiorangela says:

    well then.

    James Canning and Rehmat, and my own self as well: one of your main arguments, that the Israel lobby’s too-strong influence on US policy skews US relationship with Iran, has had the legs cut out from under it.

    Mitchell Bard, who edits a vicious little rag that circulates among Jewish people in Washington’s Maryland suburbs, has also published a book about the exceeding power of the ARAB lobby.
    Apparently Bard’s arguments were so well supported that none other than the great Alan Dershowitz reviewed it favorably: The Arab Lobby Rules America

    Here’s my favorite line from Dersh’s rvw: as Bard demonstrates, the Saudi lobby has beaten the pro-Israel lobby over and over again in head-to-head conflicts, such as the sale of sophisticated weapons to a regime that doesn’t even have the technical skills to use them, and the conflict over whether to move the United States’ embassy to Jerusalem. Even now, Saudi Arabia is lobbying to obtain a multibillion-dollar arms deal, and it is likely to succeed over the objections of Israel.

    Here’s what’s so funny about this paragraph: David Petraeus and Robert Gates have been marketing American weapons systems to Saudi Arabia (and the other Arab princedoms in the Persian Gulf region) for at least half a dozen years. Their main marketing tactic has been, “Iran is a threat!! You must defend yourselves against Iran!!! Iran gonna get you, BOOO !” Petraeus and Gates started to hit paydirt in 2009, achieving about $18 billion in sales, but just in the last week or so the $60 billion sale of F-15s to Saudi Arabia was announced. Bard’s nightsweat fears have come to pass; Saudi Arabia will have the ability to defend itself against Iran, whom Israel has been proclaiming as the “world’s greatest state sponsor of terrorism” since Hector was a pup.

    But wait! All is not bleak, friend Bard: Israel is to receive US F-35 stealth technology, so that Israel can STILL be more powerful and defend itself against the Saudi menace.

    Incidentally, Israel will then have the capability to undercut the most sophisticated technology of the US military, but hey, Iran is an existential threat!!! Saudi Arabia is a threat!!

  104. Bussed-In Basiji says:

    If your definition of “developed”, “civilized” and “advanced” is insisting on publicly drinking alcohol (privately is not a real problem in Iran for those into these things), or as a women insisting on going into public without headscarf or as man for that matter going out in shorts, or publicly blaspheming- again privately not really a problem, not even a real problem apparently in some universities (haha a little joke for fellow Hezbollahis)- then yes you will not be happy in the Islamic Republic of Iran- better to stay in current domicile.

  105. Bussed-In Basiji says:

    Binam
    Ahmadinejad actually represents the majority of Iranians pretty well. That’s why an overwhelming majority have voted for him twice against candidates which where very different than him. The problem with some (I don’t necessarily mean you) in Iran- regardless of whether they are pro or anti govt.- is that they cannot accept the choice of the majority of the people, just as some could not accept the election of Khatami. This attitude is fundamentally anti-democratic. Interestingly one person who insists on respecting all election results is the Supreme Leader. After the election of Khatami many Hezbollahis (including me) where very upset. There were even riots in Isfahan and Tehran (gee, CNN didn’t seem to report that). That evening the Supreme Leader released a congratulatory message to Khatami, signalling to us “hotheads” that the decision is to be respected.

    I know some of the particpanst in this forum who have mentioned some very derogatory things about poor and rural people will hate what I say, but the fact that thirty years ago 60 percent of Iranians where illiterate and 100 percent royal subjects and today 99 percent are literate and 100 percent get to vote for President, their local Majlis memebers, their Local Councils, and members of Khobregan who appoint the Supreme Leader is a MASSIVE historic event- something which you are unfortunately trivializing.

    And yes sometimes they vote for a person I don’t like and sometimes they vote for somebody you don’t like. And next time they might for somebody neither of us likes. It means that a very narrow elitist-royalists-”khan-salari” culture is being replaced by a mass political culture. The elections of Ahmadinejad are the clearest example of this very important social shift. If you are an (arrogant) elitist you will have problems with this shift- regardless of whether you are pro or anti Islamic Republic.

    Moreover, with the establishment of the nation-wide primary and secondary school system we have for the first a common popular culutre and language. For the first time a younfg girl in Qeshm and a young girl in Gilan (substitute whatever region and ethnic group) are studying the same educational material in a common language which is the same as the rulers. This is important if look at Iranian history where often the the ruling court and the peasants couldn’t even speak to each other and which increased the power of local and tribal interlocutors leading to big problems. There are many other very significant consequences of this one issue which inshallah we can discuss at some other time.

    In terms of development every major nation that is “developed” (except Britain) did it with protectionist industrial strategies similar to what Iran is doing (see development of US, Germany and Japan in the 19th). One of the best aspects of the Ahmadinejad period is the major emphasis on this- after some weaker years during Khatami and Rafsanjani II admin. Also his focus on rural development is the best economic social policy imaginable with many positive demographic, social, environmental and economic consequences in the future (for example the problems of uncontrolled urbanization in the Pahlavi and previous IRI admins). If you are Theran elitist used to have the govt. serve your interets, you might be upset that the govt. is giving “your” money to the folks in the countryside.

    Anyway, I think if come spend a little time in Iran (and listen less to people who will NEVER say anything positive about Iran for whatever personal reason- which the definition of irrational and unreasonble), I think you will see that Iran is actually doing pretty nicely.

  106. James Canning says:

    CORRECTION – - illegal war with IRAQ (obviously not Iran).

  107. James Canning says:

    Alternet.org has a good story on its site today: “New Documents: Bush Team Planned Iraq War from Start”. New proof is available showing Donald Rumsfeld conspired to set up the illegal war with Iran, starting several hours after the “9/11″ attacks. I don’t believe Rumsfled was so ignorant and stupid as to believe Iraq supported al-Qaeda and backed the attacks. Instead, he conspired to use the “9/11″ attacks as a pretext for an illegal invasion of Iraq.

  108. James Canning says:

    Fahad,

    I too like Charlie Rose. And I think he sincerely wishes to help to resolve the dispute between the US and Iran. If this is in fact what obtains, shouldn’t Rose have done his best to keep things as calm as possible, by acknowledging Ahmadinejad’s many denunciations of nuclear weapons? Shouldn’t that have been Rose’s point of departure?

  109. Liz says:

    Come on Fahad, President Ahmadinejad granted an interview to FOX News.

  110. Fahad says:

    But James, he is a liar. There is nobody who would believe him. We need hard talk, not fluff journalism. I like Charlie. He knows that letting Ahmadinejad rant will do the job. They had an agreement. He would not have come if Charlie would have promised him hard times. That was the point. It wasn’t about Blair.

  111. James Canning says:

    Fahad,

    Yes, the context was important, but I think Charlie Rose should have said something along these lines: “Mr. President, although you have said several times in recent days that Iran does not want nuclear weapons, and would not want them even if the “West” were not opposed, Tony Blair has spoken to a number of Arab leaders in the Gulf who worry about Iran’s nuclear intentions.”

    I think the mention of Blair’s name arouses a great deal of emotion in many people, especially in the UK. Is Blair essentially a propagandist?

  112. Fahad says:

    James, consider the context of Charlie’s question. Blair (as United Nations ME envoy) talked to Arab leaders.

    Liz, sort of ta’arouf, right?

  113. James Canning says:

    PressTV today quotes a general in the Revolutionary Guard as saying Mossad was behind the recent terror attack in Iranian Kurdistan (at Mahabad). With help from the US. More information on this is welcome.

    Some idiot neocons are calling for an independent Kurdistan in Iraq, to set stage for cutting the “Kurdish” area of Syria away from the rest of the country. Part of a larger neocon fantasy of “Greater Israel”.

  114. James Canning says:

    Binam,

    Ahmadinejad made use of his visit to New York to meet with a number of Americans (and others), to make his point that Iran does not want nuclear weapons. Regrettably, in my view, the Iranian president went off on a tangent in his address at the UN, opening himself to attack by the “Israel-first” crowd.

  115. James Canning says:

    Fahad,

    If Chaarlie Rose did not want to anger Ahmadinejad, why did he cite Tony Blair as authority for concerns Iran was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons?

    Why didn’t Rose cite the numerous comments made by Ahmadinejad in recent days, that Iran does not want nuclear weapons, and would not want them even if the “West” did not object?

  116. Liz says:

    Fahad, President Ahmadinejad asked Charlie Rose not to get angry. No matter how insulting some of the western reporters were, Ahmadinejad was calm and logical.

  117. James Canning says:

    K. Voorhees,

    Ahmadinejad says Iran does not bear a grudge against the US or the UK, arising from the events of 1953. That is effect is water under the bridge.

    The Iranian president is more concerned with events of the recent past. One of which obviously is the very stupid failure of the US to help push through the nuclear exchange to that fuel was provided to the TRR. This error can be corrected in the weeks to come.

  118. Fahad says:

    James, you didn’t get the point here. It’s not about Blair. It’s about Ahmadinejad’ and Rose’s ‘agreement’. Charlie didn’t want to get him angry. When you watch the interview, you might notice how tired he is of all the president’s rant, the lies, torrent of words. We tried this afternoon to get the pro-regime faction here to admit that Ahmadinejad is a liar. It’s evident, but so far they are hesitant.

  119. Binam says:

    What complicates the discussions on this board is the fact that if you come out criticizing Ahmadinejad you’re automatically assumed to be a pro-West pro-USA pro-Israel person who is also anti-Iranian. What we have to remind ourselves is that we’re posting on a blog named “Race For Iran.” Meaning the discussion is mainly about Iran. One could be against all that the Western powers in general, America in particular does and still be against Ahmadinejad.

    I think the difference of opinion is mainly in the two approaches. I think Ahmadinejad is helping Israel and Western powers advance their anti-Iranian agenda, while you pro-Ahmadinejad supporters think he’s standing up to them. What I’m saying is that he comes to New York, does a little dance and distracts away from real issues. He discredits all good arguments against Israel and USA by sounding more like a conspiracy theorist than a head of state. He plays the part of an evil dictator/scarecrow down to every beat.

    I keep saying how none of you RFI folks seem to want a better future for Iran. You want things to stay as they are. You want Iran to stay a third world country without acknowledging the fact that Iran has potential to be at a much better place. Instead we have a President that despite your many claims to the contrary does NOT represent the Iranian people, and only helps serve the interests of Israel and the US.

  120. James Canning says:

    Castellio and Fiorangela,

    Hillary Clinton’s call for “democracy” in Iran is a cover story, concealing her true purpose of pressuring Iran because Iran suuports Palestinian resistance to Israeli oppression. Clinton is a stooge of powerful Jewish financiers manipulating US foreign policy to “benefit” Israel – - no matter how much damage is inflicted on the national interests of the American people.

  121. James Canning says:

    K. Voorhees,

    Ayatollah Khomeini did not even know the students were going to take control of the US embassy in Tehran, before it happened. And Iran probably would have released the hostages in a matter of weeks, if US newsmedia had not gone berserk (ABC News in particular – - thank you Roone Arledge). This in turn caused a gross over-reaction by the Carter administration.

  122. James Canning says:

    Fahad,

    re: Sept. 26th, 1:46am – - So Charlie Rose relied on Tony Blair, for pressing Ahmadinejad regarding Iran’s nuclear “intentions”! This is the same Blair who argues that it did not matter if he relied on false intelligence to back the US invasion of Iraq, because we all know Saddam was a “bad guy” who needed to be driven from power. It seems clear Blair did not want “good intelligence” because his object was to back G W Bush even if Bush was violating international law.

  123. Jay says:

    Fahad — I am trying to understand your position.

    Are your objections to lying and misconduct based on principle, or is it more nuanced? For example, if one is working within your paradigm, is it relevant as to who tells the lie and how “big” of a lie it is? Or, you are simply opposed to all forms of dishonesty, you don’t pick and choose, and you condemn all liars and cheats?

    I hope this is not difficult to answer.

  124. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela writes: “Moreover, the complaints of Clinton and her cohort give the lie to US intentions that what they want to see in Iran is democracy — in view of the reality that nascent democracy is taking place in Iran, the US and Israel are even more afraid that their real goal of recreating a shah-like puppet regime in Iran is less and less likely.”

    Yes. Precisely so.

  125. Goli says:

    Correction,my last comment on Iran spin was addressed to M.Ali.

  126. Goli says:

    Yes Fahad, you are exactly right. When it comes to Iran, the spinning apparatus is at its optimal performance.

  127. Goli says:

    Fahad,
    Your intimidation attempt at the Leveretts is alarming and frightening and very much reminiscent of SAVAK.

  128. M.Ali says:

    The joke is, Fiorangela, that no matter what the internal situation is in Iran, the west and anti-Iranians make it look bad. If there is unity, then its a mullacracy. If there are disputes within, then its falling apart. And the same media will one day call Ahmadenijad a dictatorship and the next day he will be a puppet of the mullahs with no real power.

  129. Fiorangela says:

    two observations after listening to Charlie Rose host a gab-fest with Iranian ex-pats:

    1. Hillary “Obliterator” Clinton complains that the military is gaining power in Iran, displacing the mullahs, but isn’t that exactly what the US and Israel CLAIM they want to see happen, for Iran’s “theocracy” to be overturned and the state to be run in a fashion more like the US and Israel — (that is, by an oligarchy composed of wealthy elites with deep tentacles in the military-industrial-information-congressional complex)?

    Israel is run almost exclusively by military — see

    >> “Generals in the Cabinet Room, [where] Professor Peri forcefully and persuasively argues a premise that, while once Israel’s military was the servant of its civilian political leadership, today it is the generals who are leading the foreign and defense policymaking. He traces recent military-political Israeli history with a special focus on the 1990s and beyond and warns of a future in which democracy itself could potentially fall victim to excessive militarization. The repercussions for Israeli- Palestinian relations, Israeli democracy, and militarily led democracies are potentially earthshaking. “>>

    And the US is, of course, in thrall to the MIC, and ‘defense’ and intelligence operatchiks are numerous and ubiquitous in US federal government — Washington’s regional economy has not experienced the same level of economic downturn as many other parts of the country because DC thrives on militarization.

    (slight tangent/rant/examples of the pervasive threats to liberties of US citizens: Dana Priest’s massive project, exposing the extent of intelligence networks criss-crossing the US and US citizens’ lives, was in the spotlight for a very brief moment before it was conveniently replaced by the next crisis du jour, the scandal of Wikileaks; and after Pennsylvania’s governor uttered his “heartfelt” apology to PA citizens concerning the fact that an Israeli-based corporation under contract to PA state had spied on PA citizen-protesters, the issue disappeared.)

    2. This passage, from Abbas Milani, inadvertantly revealed several astonishing realities about Iranian government: (quoted from the Charlie Rose interview)

    >>”ABBAS MILANI, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: Well, I think there is tension between the president and the spiritual leader, and more importantly, I think, there is increasing pressure amongst the conservatives, particularly in the parliament.

    I think one can say safely for the first time in Ahmadinejad’s five year there has been open talk of the possibility of impeaching him. Two very prominent members have in the last two weeks written either open letters to Ahmadinejad or have given interviews where they have said we can impeach you if you continue defying us, if you continue not implementing our orders to you, if you continue talking about the supremacy of the executive branch, as he has done, we might in fact impeach you.

    And if they haven’t done so far it’s because the international situation has not allowed it. So the tensions within the conservatives and then the tensions within the top clergy and the regime and within Ahmadinejad’s camp and the IRGC, even, the Revolutionary Guard I think have never been as fierce as they are now. “>>

    a. It reveals that Iran’s government has checks and balances in place, that major power sources in Iran are exercising those levers of check-and-balance power, and that nobody is being “stoned” or, apparently, imprisoned for doing so: the parliament and factions are contesting with each other through open letters and statements and initiatives.

    b. Ahmadinejad is accused of attempting to garner too much power in the Executive! Are Dick Cheney and David Addington consulting with Ahmadinejad, advising him on how to create a unitary executive in Iran?

    This is truly amusing.

    What is boils down to is this: H “Obliterator” Clinton and the US foreign policy establishment as well as a number of Iranian ex pats are pissed beyond containment that Iran is evolving, in its own fashion, a rough-and-tumble representative form of government, complete with corruption, power struggles, and intrigue, and the US, ISRAEL, and wannabees like Sadjadpour ARE NOT PART OF IT, not calling the shots, not raking in the graft.

    Moreover, the complaints of Clinton and her cohort give the lie to US intentions that what they want to see in Iran is democracy — in view of the reality that nascent democracy is taking place in Iran, the US and Israel are even more afraid that their real goal of recreating a shah-like puppet regime in Iran is less and less likely.

  130. K. Voorhees says:

    Re poverty – I saw a show on NBC recently that featured an extended family in Ohio, 14 people. They’d all moved into the grandparents home because the grandparents got Social Security so it kept a roof over their heads. But barely. They had a tent in the yard and some of them slept there, even in the winter. And these were white people — if you know the US, you know that means something as most Americans easily shrug off black poverty in the US.

  131. K. Voorhees says:

    Nasser,
    Re the US embassy hostages back when Carter was president – Gee whiz, I’d think it was obvious that the Iranians NEEDED some hostages to possibly prevent the US from doing another coup on them or some other kind of military invasion, just like the US and Britain engineered in the 50′s with the Shah so the US and Britain could get that oil. At least the Iranians had some hostages so there’d be some dead Americans if the US wanted to bomb and kill Iranians. Entirely understandable.

    The agreement not to bring up the past with Charlie Rose and not to get angry (which, as per usual, the American doesn’t honor, for example, we didn’t honor our agreement to provide reconstruction aid to Vietnam) was obviously at the American side’s insistence. The balance of grievance is so overwhelmingly in favor of the Iranian side. Imposing a tyrant for 25 years! Shooting down a civilian airliner on a scheduled flight! Instigating Saddam Hussein to attack Iran! Up against that you’ve got the embassy hostages??? Were any of the embassy hostages killed? I don’t recall that happening.

  132. M.Ali says:

    “@Ali, it was 23.1 kg meat in Iran in 2002, not 28. Please provide us with recent data if available. PPP was estimated $12,900 in 2009 (87th). Sorry, but the comment with the links (Guardian, Wikipedia) is awaiting moderation. ”

    I meant for 2008, its 26 kgs (sorry, not 28), according to a link referenced in Wikipedia in the Agriculture in Iran wiki page. The source for the 26 kg 2008 number is:
    IRAN: Food, Beverages and Tobacco Forecast”, Economist Intelligence Unit, August 18, 2008

    Its an offline reference, I don’t have an access to it, but I’m going to take it good faith.

  133. Fahad says:

    @Ali, it was 23.1 kg meat in Iran in 2002, not 28. Please provide us with recent data if available. PPP was estimated $12,900 in 2009 (87th). Sorry, but the comment with the links (Guardian, Wikipedia) is awaiting moderation.

    @Iranian, accepted. Many people are doing that.

  134. Iranian@Iran says:

    Fahad

    You may be right on that one (being lumped together) and if so I’m sorry. Scott Lucas does that sort of thing so sometimes one feels that this sort of thing keeps happening.

  135. M.Ali says:

    I’m trying to argue most of my points with facts, which unfortunately, it seems most anti-Iranian government arent, and just relying on heresey and keywords and basically the same tactic most anti-Iranian sites use.

    Here is something I found on the “who can afford meat in iran boohoo!” comment below,

    url is (changed to not get filtered) GaurdianDotCoDotUK /environment/ datablog/ 2009/ sep/ 02/ meat-consumption-per-capita-climate-change

    The above shows up to 2002 but meat per capita is now at 28 kg, so furthur increase.

    What I want you to look at is the numbers before the revolution and after the revolution. Before it was 14, went to 20, and now is 28, double pre-revolution numbers.

    So, when you ask, who can afford meat at these prices, the answer should be, many more than they used to.

    Its not the best in the list, but its not terrible either. 28 kgs per year is 0.078 kgs/day, around 78 grams per day. For an Iranian stew meal (gormeh sabzi, for example), I’ve noticed that around 150 gram is good for me. So for someone like me, with 28 kgs, I could have meat every other day. Not a great number, but also no reason to denounce Iran for it, given that it is been increasing year by year (although, I think the numbers in some countries a bit vile! Denmark at 400 grams per day is a lot!)

  136. M.Ali says:

    As this comment is waiting for approval, I’m reposting it again with modified links:

    Nasser,

    I wrote a long post, but something went wrong in the process of posting.

    I don’t want to write it again, so I’ll make it breif.

    You mention this,
    “Iran has one of the highest endowments of hydrocarbon resources. This means it is supposed to be one of the richest places on Earth (like your Gulf neighbors). Its not though is it? Per capita income of $4800 does not a rich country make!”

    I used these three resources:
    Population – url removed, list of country by population in wiki
    Oil Production – url remove, List_of_countries_by_oil_production in wiki
    Per Capita – url removed – List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita in wiki

    Using the above, my argument is that Gulf Countries population is very low, therefore they can have a higher per capita. For example, the full gulf countries combined barely have half Iran’s population, and exclude Saudi, and the rest (Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and UAE) are more or less Tehran’s population.

    So when you have Saudi at 22k per capita while Iran is 11k, you have take into consideration, Saudi’s double production WHILE having 1/4 of Iran’s population.

    Or, UAE being 34k, while Iran is 11k, calculate that UAE has half Iran’s production with only 6% of Iran’s population!!

    And then you take a ocuntry that has all the cards stacked against it, enemies all around, 8 years war that cost it 500 BILLION dollars, has its money frozen in US banks (and now UK banks), projects cancelled by the west after the revolution without any re-imbursements, sanctions, etc, etc.

  137. M.Ali says:

    “@Ali, “just put them on a diet” as Dov Weissglas suggested for the Gaza Palestinians. Meet costs you folks 13,000 tomans a kilo, chicken 7,000. Who can afford that? Those who still support Ahmadinejad?”

    Was it 10% of that before Ahmedinijad as Biman claimed? Do this experiment, google “meat prices in” and mention some country, egypt, india, pakistan, etc, and you can see news articles about how meat prices have gone up. A lot of Iranians can afford it (and certainly meat is cheaper in other cities and other areas, USD 13 is my knowledge, because I buy it near my house, a decent, above average place where they cut they debone the meat, cut it in small pieces, and remove the fat).

    I’m guessing, in other areas, meat is cheaper than what i quoted, and I hope that it will come down in the future.

    Regards the gay comment, Iranian@Iran has clarified what I said. Its obvious what he meant, but you can take that to saying he meant there is no gays period. You are taking a western talking point which, frankly, is irrelevant to Iranian society. Do you think Iranians are worried late at night that Ahmedenijad is not wearing a pink ribbon?

    If you have problem with Ahmedinijad’s lack of support for homosexuality, then you should, as I mentioned before, take the issue up with the Iranian society, by trying to educate them or change their perspective. As a representative of Iranian people, in this regard at least, Ahmedinijad is not against the tide. If anything, he is more moderate than the average Iranian by not taking an active role in attacking gays (by saying he doesnt care what people do in their houses). The average Iranian would be more anti-gay than that.

    Finally regarding your “Free press” concept is a joke. USA can afford to have “Free Press” when all major media networks all are in sync with the governments line. Why make a law restricting something when your system is so well created that all major, with the exception of a few ignored, ineffective blogs, tow the party line? What is the point of freedom when it does not challenge the status quo?

    Be a realistic, Iran doesn’t have the media network like USA. Iran doesn’t have dozens of Anti-USA channels prodcasting constantly in America’s homes. Iran doesn’t allocated millions of dollars to support an anti-US government regime change. Iran does not control major news networks that can influence millions of Americans.

  138. Fahad says:

    @Iranian, “… it is extraordinary how they even blame the victim! The embassy takeover was because the US gave refuge to the Shah, a mass murderer who they supported and also because the US embassy was trying to help overthrow the new Iranian government.”

    I do not like being lumped together with people I do not even know. You, Iranian (no clue who you are or what’s your background), don’t have the faintest idea.

  139. Fahad says:

    @Ali, “just put them on a diet” as Dov Weissglas suggested for the Gaza Palestinians. Meet costs you folks 13,000 tomans a kilo, chicken 7,000. Who can afford that? Those who still support Ahmadinejad?

    As regards the Columbia speech:

    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hATGOzv6YSmgeMY1zdYbdpyrG2cw

    I hope it is not blocked. I’am not posting the respective youtube video where you could check his exact wording since it is blocked in Iran. Free press has the great advantage that you may inform yourself from different sources. Otherwise, unnecessary theories emerge as regards what he has said and what he has meant.

  140. Iranian@Iran says:

    Ahmadinejad didn’t say there are no gays in Iran. What he said and meant is that the glorification of gay culture that exists in the west does not exist in Iran. He, and many others in Iran, believe that there are far fewer gays in Iran than in the West. If you knew Farsi well, you would understand what he said (if you’re honest). Whether you agree or not, that is beyond the point. Fahad/Benam/Nasser seem to be the sort of people who will not accept reason or logic when it comes to Iran. However, it is extraordinary how they even blame the victim! The embassy takeover was because the US gave refuge to the Shah, a mass murderer who they supported and also because the US embassy was trying to help overthrow the new Iranian government.

  141. M.Ali says:

    “@Ali, so what the president means and what he says differs? ”

    No, you quote him wrong! He DID say, “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country.” and its easy to know what it means. He’s not saying we have no homosexuals at all, but that the subculture is not there. Its not a major aspect of Iranian culture. Maybe due to Iranian culture restrictions, but nevertheless, its not similair the way it is in the west. Simple as that.

    “Again, do you want to put your folks on a diet?”

    I dont know what this means.

  142. M.Ali says:

    “Ironically, these very people are now attacking families of the martyrs the pretend to respect, as events of last week when they attacked families of martyrs Bakeri and Hemmat. But that’s just another story…”

    One of the things I like about Ahmedinijad is that is slowly chipping away at the idoltary of martyr families, clerics, and even Khomeini. No one else has dared to do this and Mousavi kept trying to raise this idols up again and was actually constantly invoking their name. But Ahmedinijad does not constantly name drop their names (see his UN speech this time, instead of quoting Khomeini or a cleric, he quoted an Iranian poet).

  143. Fahad says:

    @Ali, so what the president means and what he says differs?

    Again, do you want to put your folks on a diet?

  144. M.Ali says:

    One of my posts had three links and is awaiting moderation and was respond to Nasser’s post. Hopefully, it gets approved soon.

  145. M.Ali says:

    Fahad, Ahmedinijad regarding your gay comment, the President meant that we don’t have the same homosexual subculture in Iran. “We don’t have gays like in your country”, not “We dont have gays”.

    And he is right. Iranian society and middle eastern culture, whether religion or secular, are not very gay friendly or open to gay subculture. As the elected President, one would expect the President to respresent the veiws of the people. You should have a problem with Iranian people, not the President in regards to this. Why not educate the people so that in the near future, politicians also get in line with people’s needs and wants are elected.

    For his part, Ahmedinijad later mentioned that they don’t go in people’s houses and arrest them. What they do in the privacy of their home is up to them. ANd given Iran’s track record recently, this seems to be true in terms of homosexuality. Most cases seem to be regarding homosexual rape (which the west media and politicians usually drops the “rape” part, like how they dropped the “murder” part in Sakineh’s murder & adultery case)

    If Ahmedinijad wanted to cleane out the gays, all he had to do was send his Army of Gay Executioners to Park Daneshju in Tehran, unofficial (and infamous) for gay people to hook up.

  146. Fahad says:

    Lying in Iran starts with daily ta’arouf, goes on with the scientific misconduct of its Minister of Science, Research and Technology Daneshjoo, continues with claims about its peaceful nuclear program and ends every year in New York with Ahmadinejad’s rants in interviews with Rose, Amanpour, King and tirades in the UNGA. Or, a couple of years ago at Columbia (“we do not have this phenomenon;” I have been in Mashhad the very day when these two minors were hanged for their homosexuality).

    @M. Ali, so you want to put your folks on a diet?

  147. Binam says:

    Nasser,

    You’re right on. Both the Taliban and Saddam were not exactly loved by anyone in Iran. US did Iran a favor by getting rid of them. You would think being the kind country that Iran is we would have returned the favor by getting rid of Al Qaida and other extremists and help stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan. But no, we instead help destabilize and now are calling US the occupying forces! (Granted, Bush, being the most evil man of this century had a lot to do with looking the other way when Khatami’s government helped them in Afghanistan in the beginning.)

    The very people who at least on the surface worship the “Holy Defense” and the 8 year war with Iraq, the same people who called for occupation of Iraq during the 8 year war, are now calling Americans the occupying force, when America did exactly what they wanted to do with both the Taliban and Saddam but failed to. Ironically, these very people are now attacking families of the martyrs the pretend to respect, as events of last week when they attacked families of martyrs Bakeri and Hemmat. But that’s just another story…

    The thing with these fools on this website is that they want Iran to stay a backwards country. They set their expectations low and are easily happy. They can’t dream a better future for Iran. Instead of talking about all that Iran has potential to be and is not, they talk about all the wrong-doings of the West and Israel.

    Can they for once at least acknowledge that Ahmadinejad lies?! Can they admit that he hasn’t exactly been good for Iran? Not sure if Mousavi would have been any better, the whole IRI system is corrupt. But at least Mousavi would have been an elected official, not a selected one by the Leader.

  148. Nasser says:

    M.Ali,

    Iran has one of the highest endowments of hydrocarbon resources. This means it is supposed to be one of the richest places on Earth (like your Gulf neighbors). Its not though is it? Per capita income of $4800 does not a rich country make!

  149. Nasser says:

    Iranian@Iran says:

    “The US has invaded the region and murdered over a million people.”

    - US didn’t kill anybody; those people died in their own ethnic conflicts and civil war! Besides the country that most benefited from the overthrow of Saddam and the Taliban has been Iran; so you guys really shouldn’t talk.

    “An inquiry is the least that can be done. In an ideal world US leaders should be put on trial.”

    - In an ideal world storming into an embassy and taking diplomats hostage is an act of war! That’s how the mongols responded. The US not so ideally had a wimpish president in Jimmy Carter who decided to show restraint and mercy.

  150. Fahad says:

    Academics such as the Leveretts (they are not journalists, are they?) may want to be very honest and analytical. Otherwise they would easily be blamed of scientific misconduct, not only propaganda. So, we are looking forward to reading a careful analysis of their encounter with Ahmadinejad in New York. Dean and President of PSU should read carefully what they write. The Leveretts might be able to rebut recent allegations of being the Iranian regime’s mouthpiece in the US.

  151. M.Ali says:

    Here is something interesting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late-2000s_recession#Countries_maintaining_growth_or_technically_avoiding_recession

    During the recession, Iran was one of the few countries that had a growth. Anti-Iranians find every excuse to belittle Iran, but conveniently ignore all the positive aspects of it. In sites such as Scott Lucas’ EA, you will never hear any mention of such reports.

  152. Iranian@Iran says:

    Binam/Fahad,

    Those of us who live in Iran know more about Iran and Islam and we are used to propaganda like yours.

  153. Binam says:

    Iranian@Iran

    “Your people in Birmingham know much less about Iran and Islam that we do over here. The fact that I and others know more about Islam and Iran than you do is a major weak point of yours. Ahmadinejad was honest in the interview and he obviously won the elections.”

    Where did you get Birmingham from?! I’ve never been there in my life. In case you’re wondering I’m in New York. But I don’t see what our location has anything to do with our opinions. Specially in the age of Internet! I personally am against religion and specially Islam. Lost all respect for Islam when my seventh-grade religion teacher back in Iran stabbed a classmate of mine with a pencil because he hadn’t memorized a certain verse from the Quran. The image has stuck with me and to this day I associate Islam with violence. So I pride myself on never having been to a mosque — unless it was a historic site worth visiting.

    If all you can say is that Ahmadinejad was honest without even addressing the lies we’re pointing out to you, then that’s just your arrogance. You’re ignorant. And honestly, I probably know more about Islam than you. All you AN-supporters know about Islam are the Jamkaran version of an Islam based on superstitions. AN’s version of Islam believes the world has to get so messed up that the 12th Imam returns! Perhaps he’s working towards that goal.

    Again, i’m sorry that you are fine with the way things are in Iran. I’m sorry you don’t want something better for Iran. I do. I demand more because I think all of us Iranians deserve better. If you don’t, that’s a shame, but you’re entitled to your opinions…

  154. M.Ali says:

    And look at Iran on this map, where do you see it falls?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Percentage_population_living_on_less_than_$1.25_per_day_2009.svg

    With which countries? Iran is categorized with “civilized” nations, even though one would expect it to be less, given sanctions, foced isolation, 8 year war, revolution, etc.

  155. M.Ali says:

    Binam, its interesting that you couldn’t respond to Goli’s great responses.

    And to add my two cents,

    ” Price of meat, fruits and vegetables have increased ten folds since he came to power. ”

    Why do you make silly statements? Prices of food items going up is the sort of thing everyone complains about in every country at all time. It’s almost like the common human trait, feel nostalgic about how cheap everything used to be and complain how business is bad.

    The price has gone up (as it has been gone up in Iran since ever, I guess), but “ten folds since he came to power.” IS A HUGE LIE.

    A kg of meat is 13,000 toman and a kg of chicken is 7,000 toman. So, you are saying that meat was USD 1.3 six years back and chicken was 70 CENTS? One batch of vegetables is something like 10 or 20 cents, so you are saying, it used to be 1 cent?!?

  156. Fahad says:

    Iranian@Iran, “Ahmadinejad was honest in the interview and he obviously won the elections.”

    Maybe you want to comment on this:

    http://stopstonningnow.com/wpress/4097

    Whether he won ‘obviously’ or legitimately certainly makes a difference, Sir. That the 6-12 election has carefully been rigged remains a possibility (just as 9-11 had been hatched as an inside job).

  157. Fahad says:

    Iranian@Iran. Well, the liar is not excused when pointing to another liar. Ahmadinejad also lies to his folks in Iran, so you’re right, it’s not taqiyya. It’s dirty lies.

  158. Iranian@Iran says:

    I shouldn’t have said that’s called Taqiyya, rather I should have said that’s sort of like Taqiyya.

  159. Iranian@Iran says:

    Sorry Binam/Fahad,

    Your people in Birmingham know much less about Iran and Islam that we do over here. The fact that I and others know more about Islam and Iran than you do is a major weak point of yours. Ahmadinejad was honest in the interview and he obviously won the elections.

    What is Taqiyya?

    When American soldiers burst into a home in, let’s say Fallujah or a village near Kandahar, and ask the man in the house if are there any other people there and the male knows that if he says yes, after killing him they will find his wife and daughter, rape them and then murder them, he can say no. That’s called Taqiyya.

  160. Fahad says:

    From the interview:

    Quote

    CHARLIE ROSE: I hear you, but there is enormous concern today — and
    I’m telling you, it’s not just in the United States, and you know this. In
    a recent interview with Tony Blair, the former prime minister of Britain.
    He talked to other Arab leaders. They’re concerned about nuclear
    intentions. They’re concerned about how do you take this conflict and make
    it better? Give us a roadmap. Give us a roadmap.

    MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD: Mr. Rose, the agreement was that we would not
    get angry here.

    CHARLIE ROSE: I’m not.

    MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD: You got angry here!

    CHARLIE ROSE: I did not.

    MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD: We’re just having a conversation here. If we
    want to unearth the cases and go dig into history, I think —

    CHARLIE ROSE: I know. I want to look forward.

    MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD: I think it’s to America’s benefit even more than
    Iran’s. The more we expand the issues, the worse the U.S. problems are.
    Neither Hezbollah nor Hamas have left their own territory to go somewhere
    else. They’re active in their own territories, in their own homeland.

    Unquote

    So, apart from the fact that Ahmadinejad again turns the table here, the agreement was not to poke too deep in order not to anger him? What kind of interview is that? That’s not hard talk.

  161. Fahad says:

    Liz, “Taqiyya is, of course, not one of the main principles of Islam. When you don’t know something and you speak about it you reveal the fact that you have little to say. Your hostility towards Muslims and Islam is also interesting.”

    We are talking not about knowledge on Islam here (you’re a convert, right? So just finish your studies). A liar is a liar. In particular Charlie Rose, who was apparently tired of Ahmadinejad’s rant in his interview, should not have let him go so easily.

    I’m not hostile towards Muslims and Islam, just the opposite.

  162. Binam says:

    Liz,

    “The fact is that the rest of the world deserves to know everything about 9/11 and not from the perspective of the US establishment. After all they invaded 2 countries as a result. Ahmadinejad is right to call for an independent inquiry. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he believes that parts of the US government were behind the attack, but it sure cuts US leaders down to size. That is one reason why most people in Iran like him so much.”

    When millions of Iranians questioned the election results and asked “Where is My vote?” (regardless of what you say, you can’t deny they were millions, even by government numbers) they were shots at, tortured, raped and killed. Many are still in prison. No one can question the elections or look into it. Any journalist or newspaper that does will but shut down or arrested. People INSIDE Iran can’t ask their so-called elected officials to look into it. Opposition leaders are not aloud to appear on national TV to make their case. A total oppression. Ahmadinejad himself says the election is closed and no one can question it.

    And yet, AN comes to NY, and says 9/11 was an inside job and asks UN to look into. If any foreign leader, be it Obama or Sarkozy asked UN to look into Iranian elections AN and his fans (you and a handful of Iranians) would raise hell and say they are meddling in Iranian affairs. Now on 9/11, yes, there is a percentage of Americans who believe it was an inside job. They haven’t exactly poured into the streets in the millions. They’ve made some films about it (best of which was a film named Loose Change btw) and none were arrested. The films or their conspiracy theories were widely distributed — and the most famous film won the best picture at Cannes and an Oscar (Farenheit 9/11). None of these people are arrested or tortured.

    Meanwhile in Iran, Jafar Panahi tries to make a film that has something to do with the elections and ends up serving 3 months in prison. Nourizad writes a letter to the leader and is still in prison. All they did was question the election… The list goes on…

    GOLI,

    The difference between me and you is that I think Iran and Iranians deserve better. You think they are doing just fine. I want much much much more for Iran. You are fine with the way things are. That’s a shame. Because you rather see Iran stay a third world country ruled by theocrats who only send us backwards — to the middle ages. I want an economically powerful Iran where Iranians can take advantage of the many resources their country offers and prosper. I’m sorry you feel the way you do about Iran, I’m sorry to hear that you’re happy with the way things are…

  163. Iranian@Iran says:

    Nasser,

    Liz is correct. The US has invaded the region and murdered over a million people. An inquiry is the least that can be done. In an ideal world US leaders should be put on trial.

  164. Nasser says:

    Liz,

    “The fact is that the rest of the world deserves to know everything about 9/11 and not from the perspective of the US establishment. After all they invaded 2 countries as a result. Ahmadinejad is right to call for an independent inquiry. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he believes that parts of the US government were behind the attack, but it sure cuts US leaders down to size. That is one reason why most people in Iran like him so much.”

    - That is retarded! The only purpose such delusional rantings serve is to give weight to the claims that Iran has ties to Al Qaeda and helped 9/11 happen!

  165. Goli says:

    Clarifying a give and take form below

    Binam: Really?! Where’s your proof? There are 40 million people living under the poverty line. 13 million under absolute poverty.

    Goli: I am not sure where you get your stats from, but the latest stats I have seen from the UN and the World Bank, people living below the poverty line is 12.8%. That is still too high, but lower than each previous year.

  166. K. Voorhees says:

    There are so many holes in the official 9/11 story. Here are my top 2 and you don’t have to be an architect or engineer to know this is fishy:

    1. Mohammed Atta’s passport and drivers license found in checked luggage that didn’t make the connecting flight. His luggage was the only bag that didn’t make the connecting flight. Who packs their passport and drivers license in checked luggage? An Egyptian guy taking a plane in the US wouldn’t do that and its known that Atta had already had his passport stolen or lost it a few years earlier. Sounds more like he was taken and his passport and drivers license kept and planted.

    2. The big one: Adnan and Ameer Bukhari, reported by CNN on 9/11/2001 to have been among the hijackers; reported by CNN to have been on the flight manifests; reported by CNN to have rented the car in Boston, later changed to Atta rented the car . . . because . . . Adnan was found alive in his apartment the next day (and cleared of any involvement in 9/11) and Ameer was dead a whole year by 9/11/2001. How could their names have gotten in the mix and given to CNN unless someone had been collecting names of Middle Easterners prior to 9/11? Specifically, Saudis who had flight training. We have no evidence of the official story that is as strong as this evidence that identities are suspect. Find the person who gave CNN those names and question him, thats what a serious investigation would have done.

  167. Goli says:

    Binam,

    Goli: “Under President Ahmadinejad, the minimum wage has been increased four times,”

    Binam: Probably at half the rate of inflation. Price of meat, fruits and vegetables have increased ten folds since he came to power. Plus he increases payments before the election, after the election takes them back!

    Goli: Inflation, due to various causes, has been a problem for the Iranian economy for the last 40 years, and a particularly grave one since the revolution. This is not due to economic policies under Ahmadinejad. In fact the latest economic data out of Iran indicates that the inflation rate fell to 8.8 percent during the 12 month-period through August 22 from an annual rate of 9.1 percent. Overall, inflation rates under AN beat the average inflation rate of 15% in Khatami years. Iran’s real GDP under AN has reflected growth of the economy and inflation and unemployment have actually decreased under him, due primarily to better economic management.
    What is your proof for the nonsense statement about taking payments back?

    Goli: “women have been granted nine months paid maternity leave,”

    Binam: It’s part of his plan to exclude women from the work force and universities. He is wants to reduce to ratio of women in college and his $1000 promised payment for new babies goes against all the hard work of the population control folks who were doing such a good job during the reform years.

    Goli: Is that right? Granting maternity leave is part of the grand plan in your delusional opinion to exclude women from the work force and colleges! He must have learned that trick from the Swedish, Danish, and French, all of whom have excellent maternity leave laws!
    I do have to admit however, I was not pleased for his call to have more babies.

    Goli: “standard of living for the poor has greatly improved,”

    Binam: Really?! Where’s your proof? There are 40 million people living under the poverty line. 13 million under absolute poverty.
    I am not sure where you get your stats from, but the latest stats I have seen from the UN and the World Bank, people living below the poverty line is 12.8%. That is still too high, but lower than each previous year.

    Goli: “necessary state subsidies for the underprivileged have been put in place,”

    Binam: He’s taking away subsidies! Haven’t you been following the news?!

    Goli: The across the board cuts on over $40 billion in government subsidies that was benefiting everyone has to be made to improve the economy and reduce the budget deficit. Iranians who can afford it should pay fair market prices for energy. In fact, much of the subsidies the President is seeking to cut have been in place for ever and benefit the wealthy more than the poor. AN’s plan includes monthly cash handouts to the mainly lower-income sectors of the population. It sounds to me that you are the one who is only reading the propaganda headlines and not the news.

    Goli: “hospitals have been built in places where people previously had to travel hours to get their sick to care,”

    Binam: The infrastructure was put in place during Khatami years. What new hospitals are you talking about?

    Goli: I don’t have the stats right now, but I can tell you during my extensive travels across the country last year, I learned of many many new hospitals and clinics that had been built in the past three years. I can also share a little anecdotal evidence on this. In Ghazvin, I asked a cab driver why he thought his city voted for AN. He responded, “you know khanoom, I myself don’t vote for any of these …that is just how we are in our family, we don’t vote. But I can tell you that Ahmadinejad visited Ghazvin two times during the past four years. During each visit, he spent four days here and met with many many Ghazvini people. During his tenure, many new streets were built here, but most importantly, two hospitals were put up as a result of his direct involvement. Prior to that, we Ghazvinies had to haul our ill to hospitals in Karaj or Tehran. Now we have two hospitals of our own. That’s why I think they voted for him.”
    No infrastructure was put in place under Khatami. There was a lot of planning since after the revolution and into the post-war. Some planning was expanded under Khatami. However, it was and continues to be under AN that the infrastructures were and continue to be built.

    Goli: “roads have been built all over the country,”

    Binam: Like what, the Shiraz railroad that opened before it was finished?!

    Goli: That’s terrible! These premature announcements and similar gaffes don’t happen in any other developing country or even developed ones!

    Goli: “and woman causes have been advanced, i.e., President’s shot at allowing women to attend football games.”

    Binam: Well they still can’t attend football games. Less girls can go to college. He’s totally against advancement of women in society – wants them at home. You use “Goli” as your name, when the actress Golshifteh Farahani was banned from every playing in a movie because she went to a red carpet premiere without a head scarf. They have increased arrests of girls who don’t abide to the Talibanesque dress code. The mandatory hijab is being enforced on and off with full force.

    Goli: Did AN arrest this woman? I don’t really follow trivial actress stories that appear to be your green revolutionary champions, but from what I understand she is free to continue her thing now. And no, they should not have arrested her for that. AN recently appealed to the brothers and sisters to leave the youth alone. Did you not hear about that? And your claim that girls are forced to abide by Talibanesque dress code is a huge exaggeration. Again, the streets of Tehran and other big cities are full of women that with the exception of a tiny headscarf barley and strategically put on the top of their Eifel Tower hairs and a light extremely tight coat a little longer than a suit jacket, looked like freely dressed western women (well, with the exception of the horrifyingly exaggerated makeup that Iranian women wear) and nobody bothered them.

    Goli: “Ahmadinejad continues to do what he can to fight corruption within the existing constraints, such as his recent efforts to take Azad Universities out of the private hands of the most corrupt and reprehensible mullah, Rafsanjani and making them public. And what matters is that the majority of Iranian people know and see this, not what you think.”

    Binam: Oh do they? Majority of Iranians cringe when they see him on TV. As they say in Iran, aberooye hamaro bordeh!

    Goli: There are those who like him and those who don’t. That is true with any democratically elected leader. You choose to focus on those who don’t like him, primarily in Tehran and a couple of other big cities. I am sorry if he embarrasses you and your upper class friends or if he is not pretty enough for you and your revolutionary compatriots. I and the majority of Iranians, did not vote for him for his looks.

    Goli: You last two comments are purely rhetorical nonsense which I have already addressed. Now, put a lid on it.

  168. Liz says:

    The fact is that the rest of the world deserves to know everything about 9/11 and not from the perspective of the US establishment. After all they invaded 2 countries as a result. Ahmadinejad is right to call for an independent inquiry. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he believes that parts of the US government were behind the attack, but it sure cuts US leaders down to size. That is one reason why most people in Iran like him so much.

  169. Nasser says:

    “1300 professional architects and engineers are crackpots.”

    - They most certainly are. Their professional colleagues infact say so!

  170. paul says:

    1300 professional architects and engineers are crackpots.

  171. Nasser says:

    “The comments about Ahmadinejad on Ifil’s program yesterday was simply astonishing: it is hard to imagine that any 5 people could be so ill-informed and, what is worse, would think that not a few Americans are aware of the extent of their lies and propaganda-shaped opinions.”

    - Americans getting upset upon hearing crack pot conspiracy theories about a national tragedy from a tin pot dictator … Imagine that!

  172. Nasser says:

    Binam,

    Sorry about the mixup. Pak was a user name of a poster on this site who shares most of your views. Since you realize that we don’t get too many anti Islamic Republic posters on this site I thought you might be him/her.

  173. Fiorangela says:

    Binam, I honestly don’t know what is the level of oppression in Iran. That’s one of the ironic consequences of the persistence of propaganda about Iran that is standard fare on US main stream media: no one with an ounce of sense believes anything one hears on US media about Iran. For example, Gwen Ifil, a supposed liberal, hosts a 30-minute roundup of Washington news, with guest journalists who are also supposed to be the best of the breed.

    The comments about Ahmadinejad on Ifil’s program yesterday was simply astonishing: it is hard to imagine that any 5 people could be so ill-informed and, what is worse, would think that not a few Americans are aware of the extent of their lies and propaganda-shaped opinions. Yet, they continue to use the public’s airways to perpetuate destructive propaganda. No doubt they are protecting their careers by paying obeisance to the US government party line and by genuflecting profoundly to Israel.

  174. Persian Gulf says:

    Humanist:

    thanks for the link to Obama’s interview with BBC.

    It’s very interesting just to pay attention to this point in his interview. In minute 13.31 of the interview he says: it defies not just the basic sense and common sense to believe a gov. of a country conducted such an attack like 9/11 against its own people, but also it defies the decency of governments that is common to the entire world.

    So, why does he believe then that the Iranian gov. acts against the interest of it’s own people? why should Iranians believe when it’s the basics of decency in all over the world? he seems to believe that Iranians are dumb, not to understand the basic and common sense. this is seriously a big insult.

  175. Binam says:

    Nasser,

    Pak as in Pakistani or پاک?! Cuz I’m neither! I have no name!

    Those of you in Iran who have to get some sleep… It would do you good to admit to the wrongdoings of the Iranian regime. Sleep well knowing there are innocent people not far from you in Evin prison. Perhaps the sound of Allah-o-Akbar in support of the leaders of “sedition” a few nights back made you lose some sleep. Better make up for it then… The blinder you choose to be, the harder you will fall when the whole thing comes crashing on you.

  176. Nasser says:

    Iranian,

    “Those of us who actually live in Iran have to get some sleep now, so the UK branch of the State Department can go on bashing Iran.”

    - Say hello to the Evin inmates for us.

  177. Nasser says:

    Binam,

    That you Pak?

  178. Nasser says:

    “…who stood by and watched while the US attacked Iraq and Afghanistan and now Pakistan killing millions of innocent civilians, and continue their complicity while Israel is committing most atrocious human rights violations in Palestine.”

    - US didn’t kill millions of civilians! They died in their civil war.

  179. Pirouz_2 says:

    Goli;

    Didn’t you read the rest of my comment?
    As I said:
    “Granted, Iran stands on a very low moral ground when it comes to human rights issues, BUT THE MAIN POINT IS THAT THE WEST STANDS ON EVEN LOWER GROUND THAN IRAN (IN FACT FAR LOWER GROUND) WHEN IT COMES TO HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION”

    By the way I am sorry for having used capital letters, I don’t know how to use a bold font in my messages on this site.

  180. K. Voorhees says:

    Re the Holocaust – How can anyone who enjoys posting their thoughts on the internet disagree with Ahmadinejad that it is just wrong for those European countries to maintain laws criminalizing speech and writing skeptical of the official version? People have gone to prison quite recently under those laws. You don’t have free speech if you can be put in prison for saying what the government doesn’t like. Those laws are shameful.

  181. Goli says:

    Pirouz says,” …Iran stands on very low moral grounds when it comes to human rights issue.”
    Actually Pirouz, Iran, while it does not have a perfect human rights record, it stands on a much much higher moral ground than most of the rest of the world, including the “super civilized” Scandinavian nations, who stood by and watched while the US attacked Iraq and Afghanistan and now Pakistan killing millions of innocent civilians, and continue their complicity while Israel is committing most atrocious human rights violations in Palestine.

  182. K. Voorhees says:

    Re Religious language

    I don’t Obama is religious but when he wanted to go into politics, he knew he had to join a church and he knew it had to be a black church. You can’t look at him and think the idea, “What would Jesus do?” ever crosses his mind when he’s keeping people locked up without trial, even keeping people the courts have declared innocent, I believe. Or when he’s drone bombing. But every chance he gets, you betcha, he sure loves saying, “I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.” The magic words for a big segment of America.

    And lets not even start with Gog and Magog Bush or that religious lunatic Blair.

  183. K. Voorhees says:

    “But don’t you think Ahmadinejad makes it EASY for them to demonize him?” – Binam

    I used to keep a handy guide to different kinds of fallacious reasoning but I lost it. Maybe that one is “blaming the victim” fallacious reasoning, like a woman wearing a short skirt is asking to be raped.

    In this case, anyway, its irrelevant. Why do they want to demonize him? is the question to be asked. We are in over our heads with these damned wars already and look at our media drooling for an attack on Iran. They are not US patriots, the whole lot of of them. They are like that Peter Galbraith (sp?) who was one of the Democrats instigating for the Iraq War and it turned out he had a deal with the Kurds that will make him millions. I saw that S.O.B. on TV not too long ago as an expert; thats how shameless our media is that they still trot out the warmongers even when they are proven to be corrupt opportunists.

    This is a really good interview with Gen. Hamid Gul formerly of Pakistan’s ISI. This is the kind of information the US public needs but we don’t get it from our media. Very clear, with historical perspective: “Why America Cannot Win in Afghanistan”

    http://www.gunsandbutter.org/docs/transcripts/WACWIA_Transcript.pdf

  184. Pirouz_2 says:

    @Humanist:

    I am not sure that you were referring to me when wrote your last comment, but since I am one of those who challenged those who challenged Ahmadinejad on this site, and furthermore, since -like yourself- I am an atheist, I would like to write this reply.
    However, please bear in mind that I am writing about my own point of view (and I am not an Ahmadinejad supporter) and therefore what I write of course does not bind Ahmadinejad supporters on this site.

    What should be done (and unfortunately is rarely done) is to judge Ahmadinejad like ANY OTHER political leader. We are living in a world whose political leaders are the likes of “Bush/Obama/Clinton”, “Sarkozy”, “Blair”, “Berlusconi”, etc. As such whenever we criticize Ahmadinejad, we should be questioning ourselves on how we judge other world leaders. Is he any worse than the rest?

    Is Ahmadinejad honest? Of course not! Is he any less honest than Western world leaders? Absolutely NO! Does he lie a lot? Of course he does! Does he lie any more than Western leaders? Of course he does NOT! In fact I am inclined to think he lies less!
    Does he lie more than his predecessor (Mr. Khatami)? Of course not! Does he lie more than Mr. Rafsanjani or Mr. Mousavi or Mr. Karoubi? HELL NO! He lies less!

    Why does he have a “dual opposing” character as you put it? Well it really depends on the particular case where he behaves in a self-conflicting manner. In certain cases he is plainly lying. In certain cases -just like Mr. Khatami- he does not have a free hand so he has to walk right on the line.

    I think what we need to understand (and I think Fareed Zakaria has understood that part very well) is that Ahmadinejad’s most salient characteristic is neither his honesty/dishonesty nor his democratic/dictatorial tendencies and nor his religious dogmatism; the most important aspect of his character -in my opinion- is his INTELLIGENCE!

    And the root item which always determines the outcome of the debates/inteviews that the Western journalists conduct with him, is not the fact that the Western journalists are not well-informed or that they want to give him a break (far from it, they are looking for blood when they interview him). The root cause of Ahmadinejad’s gaining the upper hand (pretty much always) in the interviews/debates is that he KNOWS the weak spot of his opponents, he knows exactly where to strike and he knows very well that his opponents are FAR worse and FAR guiltier and FAR more dishonest than he is. This was the case in his debate with Mousavi/Karoubi (which he won very clearly) and it has been almost invariably the case in his interviews with the main stream western media.

    He knows perfectly well the West is in no position to critize Iranian government on its actions (such as the post-election crack down, trial of Sakineh Mohammadi, treatment of the journalists etc.).

    Granted, Iran stands on a very low moral ground when it comes to human rights issues, but the point is that the West stands on even lower ground than Iran (in fact FAR lower ground) when it comes to human rights and freedom of expression. AND AHMADINEJAD KNOWS THIS. And the problem is that pretty much all of the journalists who interview him try to pretend otherwise and base their argument otherwise and most importantly never question the West on the sensitive human rights issues. They have no fundamental problem with the Western “system” on the human rights and justice issues, they all belong to “corporate media” and then they want to judge Iran on its record of press freedom!!

    It is only a stupid and hollow hubris on the Western journalists part to think of the West as the champion of human rights and democracy and then try to scrutinize Iran; and Ahmadinejad KNOWS this.

    How can a journalist or reporter from CNN, PBS, BBC etc. raise the issue of the absence of a “free and independent media” in Iran? How can US object to the death penalty for Ms. Mohammadi when there is the case of “Theresa Lewis”?
    Can Adolf Hitler criticise Charles Manson for his acts and try to be a model for him and win a debate?!?!?!

  185. Goli says:

    Humanist,
    I am not religious, but President Ahmadinejad is. I respect that and refuse to belittle him for it. The majority of Iranian people are deeply religious and it was their democratic wish to vote Ahmadinejad into office. But many more like myself voted for Ahmadinejad because we were able to focus on what mattered, namely his policies and actions. Also, while I wish Iran had a secular political system, I believe in democratic values and refuse to impose my wishful thinking upon the Iranian people. I fully respect their desire and effort to build a system of governance that is responsive to their unique cultural and religious values, democratically. Now, I saw the video you are talking about a while ago. If I remember correctly, it was not clear whether he was talking about the UN or where or what, but it did appear that he was talking about some light somewhere. It is not unusual for deeply religious Iranians to tell such stories and in the context of the culture, this is not so crazy at all. If you think that terms such as “divine holy books,” etc. are absurd and indicative of AH’s irrationality, then you don’t understand the religious nature of Iran and its son and president.
    Ahmadinejad is a humble man, a man of few needs and wants who connects to the people, and regardless of his fame and popularity in Iran and the ME, I have not seen anything that would indicate that he has at all changed in that respect. That is admirable.
    The question on Holocaust on which the President was trying to focus attention was actually quite similar to what he laid out re. the various 9/11 attack theories. Namely, that they have been used as pretexts for atrocious acts of war and occupation and need to be reexamined. Let’s see who committed mass murder of European Jews and who is paying the price and what price? Who were the 9/11 hijackers, where did they come from? Who allowed them and what caused them to be indoctrinated with such hateful ideas that led them to this despicable act?
    On your last point, AN calling the Iranian Nation a great one should not logically be interpreted exclusive of the other nations. I am not sure why you are interpreting in this way? In fact, in past interviews, I have heard him calling the American Nation, a Great Nation.

  186. Binam says:

    K. V.

    But don’t you think Ahmadinejad makes it EASY for them to demonize him? They are building a scarecrow out of him and he’s providing all the right material. When Khatami was Iran’s president and called out for Dialogue of Civilizations at the UN he didn’t get much coverage. Compared to AN he got NO coverage at all. They couldn’t demonize him. But Ahmadinejad act like an Israeli agent almost!

  187. K. Voorhees says:

    Humanist,

    Personally, I find Ahmadinejad’s demeanor very mild. Does he ever say the kind of nincompoop stuff American presidents say, like “kick somebody’s ass” (Obama) or “bring it on” (Bush)?

    I was in the hospital donating blood yesterday and a news clip came on about Ahmadinejad’s speech. The 2 nurses and I all agreed that the US news media is out of line demonizing Ahmadinejad. One of the nurses had seen the Charlie Rose interview and she couldn’t believe how disrespectful Rose towards Ahmadinejad; she’d never seen an interviewer treat someone like that. The other nurse said it was all about oil, stealing oil; she’d seen a Discovery Channel show on how the US helped Saddam Hussein to be dictator of Iraq. I agreed with both of them and threw in my 2 cents that Iran hasn’t attacked another country in hundreds of years and they’ve got a right to be angry with the US. We imposed a tyrant on them for 25 years and we shot down a civilian airliner on a scheduled flight.

  188. Humanist says:

    Watch full interview of BBC/Persian with Obama here:

    bbc dot co dot uk/news/world-us-canada-11409325

    and the full text here

    http://thepage dot time dot com/wh-transcript-of-obama-interview-with-bbc-persian-092410/

    Amazing stuff…lots of food for thought…..and… somewhat frightening.

  189. Binam says:

    I think we’re all on the same page about Ahmadinejad being able to outsmart those in the Western media who were able to interview him. No questions about that. I also agree that he at times does make good points. For example he’s often very right to point out US hypocrisy in the region. His point about US having the most percentage of its citizen in prisons than any other country including Iran is right on. But he’s such a nut-job that he ends up making the case for like of Israel — possibly the most criminal government on the face of the planet. He ends up helping the Zionists, because he lies through his teeth. He’s the boy who cried wolf. He lies so much that when he tells the truth no one trusts him enough to believe him. LIES LIES LIES. If you think otherwise, you’re either blind, deaf or both.

  190. K. Voorhees says:

    Flynt and Hilary,
    I hope you will address the part of Ahmadinejad’s speech that got news coverage: His call for a serious investigation of 9/11 attacks. There has never been a serious investigation. Most of the UN member did not walk out on Ahmadinejad and polls in Muslim countries do not accept the official US government story of 9/11, probably because all it is is a collection of stories, with no evidence ever having been revealed to the world’s people.

    I was surprised at how lame the State Department’s information page is on “debunking” 9/11 skeptics:

    http://www.america.gov/st/webchat-english/2009/May/20060828133846esnamfuaK0.2676355.html

    Look at the State Dept.’s “proof” that it was Al Qaida: bin Laden “confessions” that their own FBI and CIA don’t stand behind. An audiotape from 2006 (probably from SITE Intelligence’s Rita Katz) when CIA head Panetta has said out loud that US intelligence has no good intelligence on whether bin Laden is dead or alive. The 2001 “confession” is the one the US army “found” in Afghanistan where bin Laden, scrawny his entire life, looks fat enough to play Santa Claus without any padding.

    Our government just insists that the whole world play dumb, just like the mainstream US media. You must play dumb! Do like all the Ivy League graduates in the news media and play like you haven’t a brain in your head. Its not working; 30% in Mexico think the US government itself did 9/11. In Turkey, its 36%.

  191. Humanist says:

    Arnold (re Pirouz)

    You wrote @ 4:09 am:

    “…Western news agencies edit their interviews with Ahmadinejad before releasing them”

    Watch this (devastating) proof your argument: (Mike Wallace interview with Ahmadinejad).

    youtube dot com/watch?v=4mScWWtRfGQ

    Email it around.

    Wallace got an award for that interview. Watch it here: (Katie Couric handing it over to him and moer)

    youtube dot com/watch?v=onNzrNEFs1E

  192. Liz says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    That’s possible, but I think Americans are just too tired of war to support another conflict.

  193. Bussed-In Basiji says:

    The likelihood that the US will produce some incident in the Persian Gulf as an excuse to “retaliate” against Iran is high.

  194. Bussed-In Basiji says:

    I’m agnostic on who did it on 9/11, however the US government lied about the Gulf of Tonkin incident which led to Congress allowing President Jonson to use the military in Vietnam. Does it prove that the govt. did it on 9/11? No, but it shows that the US govt. is capable of making up and distorting incidents and lying to its own people in order to justify a large scale war.

  195. Liz says:

    lol

    Taqiyya is, of course, not one of the main principles of Islam. When you don’t know something and you speak about it you reveal the fact that you have little to say. Your hostility towards Muslims and Islam is also interesting.

  196. Iranian says:

    Boring debate. Ahmadinejad beat the western media at it’s own game. Those of us who actually live in Iran have to get some sleep now, so the UK branch of the State Department can go on bashing Iran. Have fun. I’m sure the fact that you’re always on the losing side can be painful, but that’s life.

  197. Humanist says:

    To those in this site who do not criticize Ahmadinejad at all and unquestioningly defend whatever he says: :

    Couple of years ago I saw the video and read the text of Ahmadinejad telling a few mullahs about his 2005 address to the United Nations General Assembly. It was an incredible story. He was claiming his friend saw a a light surrounded him during the speech and other similar farcical claims such as the ‘mesmerized’ audience etc. At the time I thought Ahmadinejad, despite some reasonable thing he said in UN, is either a crook, hypocrite or is delusional having a crazed sense of self-importance. (or both).

    These days I think he is a puzzling complex man.

    No doubt his logic is very strong in identifying the ‘arrogant’ bullies or violence-obsessed Zionists who are the source of so much suffering in the Middle East. No doubt his words are music to the ears and souls of so many oppressed and humiliated Middle Easterners. No doubt when so many corrupt ME politicians are quiet about the atrocities of Israel and/or the West his distinctive, passionate and ‘courageous’ depiction of the oppressors touches many pain-felt hearts. No doubt one of the shallow reasons Israel plans to destroy Iran is to silence voices of his genre teaching lessons to all of the Israel’s adversaries……..

    The list of his arguments that make sense is quite long.

    Yet at times, intentionally or otherwise he shows his disagreeable, ill-informed, superstitious or ugly side. Doesn’t he know what Nazi’s did to Jews is not about numbers and even ‘one’ was too many. (Doesn’t he notice when he proudly claims the merits of ‘Great Iranian Nation’ he implies some nations are not great)
    Doesn’t he know when talking about historic, sorrowful events of other nations he should avoid words that touche the sensitive nerves. Or avoid talking about unsubstantiated theories or at least by using careful words he should shroud his ideas in humane, thought provoking and sympathetic words.

    As another of his flaws I recently commented in this site:

    “…I think Ahmadinejad’s statements reveal his dual opposing characters. Most times his arguments are convincing or right on the point yet at times in his reasoning he uses “divine holy books”, “god almighty”, “monotheistic prophets” etc. In my view, nearly all the time, mixing those antiquated (and at times absurd) rationalities with today’s complex politics is nonsensical..”

    The list of his unacceptable remarks are also pretty long. Thus I humbly urge his fierce defenders trying to see all sides. As many important political issues of our time there are no two distinct colors of black and white, there are only numerous shades of gray in between the non-existent extremes.

  198. Fahad says:

    Sorry Liz, I forgot to mention taqiyya is, of course, one of the main principles of Islam. Why shouldn’t he lie!

  199. Liz says:

    Pirouz_2,

    These people (or this person!), who probably live in England knows quite well that what you say is correct.

  200. Fahad says:

    Ahmadinejad mentioned that ‘stoning is an ancient method (to execute someone) that needs to (be) change(d).” He said that in Amanpour’s interview. So far, nobody has noticed that in western media. Otherwise, he was lying, about the stoning sentence, human rights in Iran, freedom of speech, that opposition figures are more or less under house arrest, the effect of sanctions et cetera pp. Charlie Rose was visibly tired of all his rants and lies and torrents of words.

    Liz, wake up!

  201. Pirouz_2 says:

    Binam;
    I just tried to read the letter from Masih Alinejad in EA. I am sorry to say that I really didn’t find it worth my time of reading the whole thing through. I could only get myself to waste so much of my time to reach the end of 5th of 6th paragraph.

    Trying to pretend that there is something called “freedom of expression” in the West that some how is missing in Iran, is such a lost cause which is an absolute waste of time for its defenders. I have written about it on this site so many times and honestly I feel a lack of energy to write it again for people who simply choose not to see the plain reality.
    Believe me, if it had been so “easy” to beat Ahmadinejad in an interview, if his case were so “weak” that any well-informed journalist could refute it and expose his “lies”, by now, Mr. Rose, Ms. Amanpour, Mr. King (and so on and so forth) would have done it 10 times over! You really think western journalists from main stream media, “support” Ahmadinejad and would like to give him a break??

    He simplly beats them using LOGIC and the OBVIOUS, PLAIN and UNDENIABLE FACT that in terms of human rights, freedom of expression and free media, the West in general and USA in particular is in no position to lecture Iran! After his interview with Ahmadinejad, Larry King spoke to Farid Zakaria about the interview. Try to listen to what Zakaria said. Even those guys have started to see the reality, why do you guys still persist on burrying your head under the sand?

  202. Nasser says:

    Liz,

    Its ok Liz I realize that they are threatening your family and forcing you to say this
    (why else would someone choose to live in that hell hole) …. so hurt feelings :)

  203. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    Obama’s response to the quetion of whether Mubarak is a dictator, reduces itself to:
    “I tend not to use labels for folks . . . who [have] sustained peace with Israel.”

  204. Liz says:

    Nasser,

    Keep dreaming…By the way no one denied 9/11. It is people like you who are in denial.

    :)

  205. Nasser says:

    “The guy in England got his 15 minutes of fame and this is an old and boring story. Ahmadinejad is popular and his trip to NY made him even more popular. Many of his critics liked the way he dealt with the US media.”

    - No many point out those who deny 9/11 are crazy and irrational and cannot be taken seriously.

  206. James Canning says:

    Lysander,

    I agree with you that Ahmadinejad conducted himself very well at Columbia University several years ago, after being ambushed by the president of the U, Lee Bollinger. Who was under heavy pressure from rich Jews in New York.

  207. Nasser says:

    Liz,

    - I pray for the quick release of your husband. Clearly the grief has driven you completely insane.

  208. James Canning says:

    Bravo! More exchanges of this sort are welcome.

    I wonder why Charlie Rose thought interviewing Ahamdinejad was difficult.

  209. Iranian says:

    The guy in England got his 15 minutes of fame and this is an old and boring story. Ahmadinejad is popular and his trip to NY made him even more popular. Many of his critics liked the way he dealt with the US media.

  210. Goli says:

    Benim,
    it is perfectly alright for the Leveretts to take a minuscule share of the colossal money that is going around to perpetuate war, destruction, environmental degradation, occupation, poverty, hatred, and lies, even if it comes from those who are to one extent or another responsible for this perpetuation, if the Leveretts somehow are able to create and maintain a little niche for an alternative view point. One might argue that they are playing us and that might be right, but you are too a part of this game.

  211. Liz says:

    Binam,

    Keep dreaming…

  212. Liz says:

    Binam,

    Unlike your president, people in Iran loved the way their president handled the American media and drove your president Obama up the wall.

  213. Binam says:

    “Iranian”

    People here have been saying the same BS over and over. For the past year you’ve been saying the Green Movement is dead, Ahmadinejad is a just leader and everyone in Iran loves him. Where’s your proof? Iranians are happy with him. Just go anywhere in Iran. Even the conservatives are fed up with him. Even the Leader is starting to turn his back on him. No one except for his own stooges are happy with him.

  214. Liz says:

    Binam, Why do you insult your own website?

  215. Iranian says:

    Binam,

    You are joking right? People here are too intelligent to be fooled by people like you and green Americans.

  216. Binam says:

    Liz,

    Fine, EA is stupid and evil. I didn’t ask you to look at the website, I asked you to read a letter by an Iranian-journalist-in-exile. Is that so hard to do? Find it elsewhere and read it. Or are you afraid that you’ll find it agreeable?

  217. Binam says:

    Goli,

    “Under President Ahmadinejad, the minimum wage has been increased four times,”

    Probably at half the rate of inflation. Price of meat, fruits and vegetables have increased ten folds since he came to power. Plus he increases payments before the election, after the election takes them back!

    “women have been granted nine months paid maternity leave,”

    It’s part of his plan to exclude women from the work force and universities. He is wants to reduce to ratio of women in college and his $1000 promised payment for new babies goes against all the hard work of the population control folks who were doing such a good job during the reform years.

    “standard of living for the poor has greatly improved,”

    Really?! Where’s your proof? There are 40 million people living under the poverty line. 13 million under absolute poverty.

    “necessary state subsidies for the underprivileged have been put in place,”

    He’s taking away subsidies! Haven’t you been following the news?!

    “hospitals have been built in places where people previously had to travel hours to get their sick to care,”

    The infrastructure was put in place during Khatami years. What new hospitals are you talking about?

    “roads have been built all over the country,”

    Like what, the Shiraz railroad that opened before it was finished?!

    “and woman causes have been advanced, i.e., President’s shot at allowing women to attend football games.”

    Well they still can’t attend football games. Less girls can go to college. He’s totally against advancement of women in society – wants them at home. You use “Goli” as your name, when the actress Golshifteh Farahani was banned from every playing in a movie because she went to a red carpet premiere without a head scarf. They have increased arrests of girls who don’t abide to the Talibanesque dress code. The mandatory hijab is being enforced on and off with full force.

    “Ahmadinejad continues to do what he can to fight corruption within the existing constraints, such as his recent efforts to take Azad Universities out of the private hands of the most corrupt and reprehensible mullah, Rafsanjani and making them public.And what matters is that the majority of Iranian people know and see this, not what you think.”

    Oh do they? Majority of Iranians cringe when they see him on TV. As they say in Iran, aberooye hamaro bordeh!

    “So, please put a lid on it.
    In every interview, the President has responded thoughtfully and eloquently to every propaganda/question posed by the interviewer.”

    you mean by answering questions with questions and lying through his teeth about everything? Like there being absolute freedom in Iran, no one being arrested for protesting, opposition newspapers and activists being free? Nothing that comes out of his mouth is the truth.

    “What is more likely occurring is that the interviewing entity is pulling post production tricks not vice versa.”

    No need for post production tricks when he straight up says stupid shit which he later repeats and repeats. He repeated his 9/11 claims as soon as he landed in Iran. Repeated his absolute freedom claims. All lies.

  218. Lysander says:

    “Do you really think Ahmadinejad would agree to do a live interview void of any post-production?! I highly doubt it.”

    Binam, do you recall about 2-3 years ago Ahmadinejad gave a speech and press conference at Columbia university, live iirrc, and despite being ambushed by Columbia president Lee Bollinger, handled himself very well.

  219. Liz says:

    Binam,

    Of course, you fail to mention that there are numerous newspapers in Iran that are completely opposed to ahmadinejad.

  220. Liz says:

    Binam,

    People who support cop killers, rioters, and those who are allied to foreign governments, shouldn’t expect too much from the Iranian government. Your government won’t even allow Iranian reporters into the country to cover events there.

  221. Binam says:

    They are now stopping film productions! If you can read farsi, here’s the news of the head of Ministry of Culture describing why acclaimed filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s permission to shoot was canceled; due to his speech at the House of Cinema celebration a couple of weeks ago.

    So yes, its come to that… In Ahmadinejad’s “absolute freedom” country, smallest voice of dissent is not tolerated.

    http://www.isna.ir/ISNA/NewsView.aspx?ID=News-1619635&Lang=P

  222. Liz says:

    Binam,

    Your website is a tool of US public diplomacy. The people behind this website are under pressure from the US political establishment. You aren’t a fool, you are dishonest.

  223. Goli says:

    Binam,
    Under President Ahmadinejad, the minimum wage has been increased four times, women have been granted nine months paid maternity leave, standard of living for the poor has greatly improved, necessary state subsidies for the underprivileged have been put in place, hospitals have been built in places where people previously had to travel hours to get their sick to care, roads have been built all over the country, and woman causes have been advanced, i.e., President’s shot at allowing women to attend football games. Ahmadinejad continues to do what he can to fight corruption within the existing constraints, such as his recent efforts to take Azad Universities out of the private hands of the most corrupt and reprehensible mullah, Rafsanjani and making them public. And what matters is that the majority of Iranian people know and see this, not what you think. So, please put a lid on it.
    In every interview, the President has responded thoughtfully and eloquently to every propaganda/question posed by the interviewer. What is more likely occurring is that the interviewing entity is pulling post production tricks not vice versa.

  224. Binam says:

    Liz,

    a) Isn’t Race For Iran “US Funded?” That doesn’t stop you from being such a big fan. It’s run by former CIA agents! Which is fine, they are presenting a point of view. But your rational is flawed. US Funded is fine by you as long as you find it agreeable, but the second you don’t, it’s an evil thing. Your sources of news are all IRI-funded. One sided. Fox News crap on crack!

    b) It’s not the website I had you look at, its the letter by an Iranian-journalist-in-exile. You can find the letter elsewhere online. There are hundreds of them. People Ahmadinejad is most afraid of!

    If you had an ounce of reason in you you would at least read the letter then talk. If you’re choosing to not even read it, then you’re not worth talking to.

    c) Don’t be a fool. Many have been arrested and jailed for doing interviews – under the disguise of threat against national security. Baghi is the latest victim:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/23/world/asia/23tehran.html

  225. Persian Gulf says:

    Obama pushes for the world to place all sorts of sanctions on Iran, and yet some Iranians (particularly some of the young, educated and presumably brighten ones) still can’t praise him enough. this is an interesting development. sounds like MEK has recruited some young energetic members.

    one of my friends says, this is because these people have not been “trained” properly for this area, and consequently their works don’t have that much of dept. I personally don’t buy this notion. some of the ones I see are pretty much informed. and they are highly intelligent.

  226. Liz says:

    Binam,

    Your US funded website is not worth looking at.

  227. Liz says:

    Binam,

    Don’t be a joke. No one has been jailed for doing an interview.

  228. Binam says:

    Do you really think Ahmadinejad would agree to do a live interview void of any post-production?! I highly doubt it. He doesn’t want to be surprised. Do you think he has “courage to listen” to opposition voices inside Iran?! Voices of people like Nourizad for example. Mr. Baghi just got 7 years in prison for his interview with a Grand Ayatollah (Montazeri). IRIB is not the only news sources, but its the only TV outlet inside Iran.

    He won’t do interviews with Iranians who don’t find him agreeable, because he knows they can call him out on his lies from a mile away. If Mousavi or Karoubi did interviews with any one of the Western journalists he interviews they would be labeled Western spies and puppets of the West. Heck, many of the charges against Mousavi’s supporters were cooperation with Western journalists. Maziar Bahari was in prison, among charges brought up against him: interview with Jason Jones from the Daily Show!

    The letter from the Iranian journalist in exile Masih Alinejad says it all:

    http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/2010/9/24/iran-special-a-letter-to-christiane-amanpour-about-the-media.html

  229. Arnold Evans says:

    Pirouz: Western news agencies edit their interviews with Ahmadinejad before releasing them the way Binam fears IRIB (which is not the only Iranian news organization) would do with an Obama interview. I was making that point because we never find out what was left on the cutting floor, even for long interviews like Charlie Rose’s or Larry King’s. Which, Binam aside, is really a shame.

  230. Rehmat says:

    Ben Obama on Friday condemned as “hateful” and “excuseable” suggestions by Iranianian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the US government may have been behind the September 11, 2001 attacks. Dr. Ahmadinejad’s response to the ‘self-denials’ was that they should have the moral courage “to listen”…..

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/911-obama-lives-in-self-denial/

  231. Nasser says:

    Speaking of Charlie Rose interviews the Leveretts should have a field day with this one haha.

    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11219

    The last bit of self important drabble really makes me nauseous. “Trend setter” …..Please

  232. Pirouz says:

    Arnold, I agree with you. And your Obama quotes are spot on, in proving your point.

    For transcripts, have you struck out with google?

  233. Arnold Evans says:

    Has anyone seen a full length and unedited interview with Ahmadinejad? Or a transcript of that in any Western or English-language news source?

  234. Arnold Evans says:

    Last year at this time I would have been disappointed in the Obama interview with BBC Persia for a whole host of reasons, starting with his choice of BBC Persia, rather than an actual Iranian news organization.

    Today, this is exactly what I expect from Obama, which is very unfortunate for the United States if other people in the world have seen their expectations of him change the way mine have.

    http://thepage.time.com/wh-transcript-of-obama-interview-with-bbc-persian-092410/

    The single most outrageous though expected statement is his claim to oppose oppression.

    We have no interest in meddling in the rights of people to choose their own government, but we will speak out forcefully when we see governments abusing and oppressing their own people.

    Because of he was asked if Mubarak is a dictator last summer and answered this way.

    Justin Webb: Do you regard President Mubarak as an authoritarian ruler?

    President Obama: No, I tend not to use labels for folks. I haven’t met him. I’ve spoken to him on the phone.

    He has been a stalwart ally in many respects, to the United States. He has sustained peace with Israel, which is a very difficult thing to do in that region.

    But he has never resorted to, you know, unnecessary demagoging of the issue, and has tried to maintain that relationship. So I think he has been a force for stability. And good in the region. Obviously, there have been criticisms of the manner in which politics operates in Egypt.

    And, as I said before, the United States’ job is not to lecture, but to encourage, to lift up what we consider to be the values that ultimately will work – not just for our country, but for the aspirations of a lot of people.

    “Obviously there have been criticisms.” This is how Obama speaks “out forcefully when we see governments abusing and oppressing their own people” if those governments are members of the US regional colonial structure.

    Obama has reached the point that he likely sounds at least as bad – when honestly quoted in full – to Middle Eastern audiences as Ahmadinejad sounds – presented with deliberately distorted soundbites – to Western audiences.

    Obama seems not to have much interest or talent at foreign policy. In a different way he is as much a liability to US interests, especially in the Middle East as George Bush, at least by Bush’s second term.

  235. Binam says:

    Oh PLEEEAAASSEE! Don’t act like it’s your first time meeting him. Considering how you’re such big fans and his mouthpiece in the US, I’m sure there has been more meetings. Your back is to the camera because you don’t want us to see how brown your noses are! Obama will never do an interview with IRIB because he will be censored and they will never air any interviews anyone does with him in full length. Furthermore, how can any of you claim the Rose (or any other Western media) interviews were good. They basically provided Ahmadinejad with a podium to spit out his lies. His lies about the “independent” judiciary, lies about “Iran is a free country where no one is jailed for protesting” or “free country where journalists say what the want.” His lies about 9/11, his lies about his nuclear intentions, his lies about treatment of opposition leaders. Will he let them interview Rose, Amanpour or King?!! I think not.

    Leveretts are idiots to side with him from the start and anyone who ever posts here who defends their actions are idiots as well. All this is not to defend the West, they have had their own share of evil-doing.

  236. Nasser says:

    Iran now target of cyber warfare? Yea sounds a little fanciful.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0924/Stuxnet-worm-mystery-What-s-the-cyber-weapon-after

    stratfor.com/analysis/20100924_stuxnet_computer_worm_and_iranian_nuclear_program

  237. Bussed-In Basiji says:

    Most revealing sentence by Charlie Rose:

    “It is not an easy interview and sometimes the questions are more important than the answers.”

  238. Iranian@Iran says:

    The interview between President Ahmadinejad and Charlie Rose was excellent too.

  239. Iranian@Iran says:

    Good for you! I also agree with Pirouz, by the way.

  240. Pirouz says:

    There you are! That’s great.

    So when will Obama be providing the same to Iranian-based academics and analysts such as Mohammed Marandi? (rhetorically posed, obviously)