Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 13, 2006

Fakhravar Thread cont.

by Bauback

(Lifted from a comment on the Fakhravar thread)

I stumbled upon this blog and I want to make a few comments as an Iranian American born and raised on the East Coast.

First off, the frustration and high emotion (including insults) being expressed are clear indicators that there are parallel processes at work (including venting which discourages dialogue). We are all engaged in a frustrating political world where voices are neglected so lets try to make the best of it by "getting to the point" without having non-Iranians walk away thinking poorly of our character.

To succumb to our tempers does not serve a productive purpose and mitigates social resources. I would like to share an independent opinion because of the heavy handed arguments being made.

It is common among descendants of countries that have experienced turmoil to be socialized by their families into believing extreme arguments and eagerly supporting political parties (which can discourage independent thought). Unfortunately, many of our arguments are not our own and as the sociologist Gouldner put it, we acquire them at too early an early age to offer intellectual consent. This means we are all limited in our mental categorizations, not just backers of one approach to social change or another. The dichotomy of Shah/Western supporter or Mullah supporter are more reflective of that which powerful political figures encourage us to limit our minds to than what is best for the country and its people. Having a narrow range of options is the best way to avoid innovation (and the powers that be do NOT want innovation in Iran).

That being said, it is common fact that the CIA removed a democratically elected Iranian leader to bring in the second Shah (former CIA officials even talk about it in a documentary on the History channel). We all know the West has had its business in the natural resources of other countries for a long time now. England has also played an ENOURMOUS role in this, not just the U.S., and if you research the origins of BP it will lead you to the Persian Gulf, Iran and Mossadegh’s removal. Some have argued that in removing Mossadegh, the U.S. triggered a cascade of political events that led to the now dreadful Mullah situation in Iran.

Oil has shaped the geopolitical constellation of the Middle East to its very core. In 1953, when nationalist Persian leader Mohammed Mossadegh nationalised BP's assets in Iran, the CIA and British intelligence engineered a coup d' etat to overthrow the regime and restore the Shah to the Peacock Throne. The bitter memory of Western intervention in Iranian politics stripped the Pahlavi regime of any legitimacy, led to the Islamic revolution of 1979 and resonates in Iran's determination to enrich uranium in Bushire.

I think countries should be held accountable for crimes, and that it is a crime to overthrow a democratically elected leader – period. But that won’t happen so it is neither here nor there. Next, let us be clear that it is not above a very power hungry and selfish Mullah to falsify voting documents, so I agree that the facts on the most recent Iranian voter outcome cannot be considered realistically. We can’t even get a real vote count in the U.S. so it is not that difficult to imagine. Simply put, the majority of Iranians HATE the fanatics in power and did not vote for them.

However, (and here is the part of the story that elicits strong opinions and anger in Iranians who are very hungry for change) whether we like it or not, no Western power is going to embrace Iranian political change in the sole interest of happy and prosperous Iranians. It is false to think this isn’t a game of control. If I am wrong, just name a time that the U.S. went into another country for the good of that country? Whatever your answer here, I promise there are counterarguments suggesting that it was in U.S. self interest.

America is using Iran as a board game for its own self interests just like the other times they intervened. Fanatics are in power because of the West, as are puppets like in Saudi Arabia. That is the game. Now, I am not one of those people who sit around blaming countries for acting in their self interest, I mean if they don’t, who will? (here I will consciously avoid a tangent into the complexity of whether or not it is possible for governments to one day act in the collective interests of the whole world). However, our problem is a systemic one. Democratic leaders in Iran are a dangerous thing to reckless people like Cheney and Bush. This is why Neo Cons keep backing either a pro-America potential or a religious fanatic. It saddens me that we as Iranians and Iranian-Americans continue to swing with the U.S. Government’s pendulum of puppet/Mullah while they benefit time and time again as Iranians suffer.

No aspiring Iranian leader will work with American Neo Cons and bring about the best for Iranian people – it may be sad but it is true. Fakhravar may have the best interests of Iranians in mind, but he is misled in thinking he would ever lead Iranians to a sustained empowered Iran by siding with Bush. He claims that Iranians love Bush for standing up to the Mullahs but we all know people in other countries hate Bush and see him as the greatest warmonger they have ever witnessed in their lifetime. In my international consulting travels around the world I have seen nothing but contempt for our U.S. government’s foreign policies. I have family in Iran and around the world and I know the majority of Iranians feel no differently.

There is a core of Iranians who benefited financially and otherwise when the second Shah was in power, and those people in my experience are the quickest to announce that Iranians love Bush, them and rich Californian Iranians who save on taxes - but that is another story. One simple explanation for this is their perceptions that they would likely regain the spoils of their family’s name if/when an American-backed leader returned to Iran, or that they would get some sort of preferential treatment because their grandparents were in the “inner circle” (which by the way left a minority of people well off, and many starving).

This reinforces our default thought processes of embracing the ridiculously simplistic dichotomy of Mullah or American Puppet. We all hate the Mullahs, and some well off Iranians in American loved when the Shah was in power, so we keep highlighting two options (I firmly believe anyone who is invited back to power in Iran by American Neo Cons will be a puppet). There has to be an Iranian people-led alternative. We all know things are unacceptably bad in Iran with that idiot as “president”. The current regime is completely unacceptable in Iran. However, we do not know what Iran and the rest of the world will look like if America drives the regime change, and this cannot be taken lightly.

What if the true strength of Iranians could be tapped in an innovative way that would allow for them to decide the fate of their country rather than having superpowers continue tampering? One reason we don’t consider this is that there is a lot of money keeping fanatics strong and scary in that country and superpowers have financial power that can counter the Mullah’s strongholds. Another reason is that we are tired, drained, and looking for a quick way to change the status quo, which is something that superpowers play on time and time again to manipulate us.

I for one would like a real revolution to happen from within and agree with Annie that if the U.S. really wanted to help this happen, they would change their economic policies. However, in my opinion any governments with real power do not desire an empowered democratic Iran with a leader who represents the people, which is why there is something really illogical about turning to Western powers for help. Like it or not, real sustained change will only happen the hard way with sleeves rolled up and by the people themselves. And if that doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon, it doesn’t mean we should invite a reckless host of new variables in an already unstable region.

Hopefully we can consider one another’s perspectives in this blog because between all of us, our knowledge base is powerful. To those who are counter to Arian in this blog – imagine how frustrating it is for an Iranian-American to hear you say that the U.S. Government should not be involved in changing a country they have helped screw up so badly. The natural thought is “oh, so now that the U.S. can actually benefit the Iranian people (a questionable assumption), they should just bow out?” Similarly, to those countering Annie and her supporters – imagine how frustrating it would be to hear someone ask for one of the most corrupt and violent Governments in the world to “liberate” Iran, when they have such a horrific track record of destroying countries that have oil and when their inner circle of power elites are so dependant upon a war economy that it would be impossible to attack the Mullahs for pure reasons and in a just way.

To all those Iranians who look to Bush for help, I would love to cry out to you – Bush does NOT want to help us. What he and his people say has more to do with international chess games than helping civilians. It is hard enough to get him to help civilians of his own country, so assuming his office has the knowledge/foresight to help Iranians is just illogical. I would hesitate to assume we know what the best action step would be just because we so desperately want change to happen. It is easy for our desire for change to drive us to favor specific actions prematurely. However, if we are too quick to do this, we forego the possibility of homegrown innovation and end up just supporting options that are created by the Western political figures that have had too large a hand in Iranian fate already. A wise victim of abuse would never seek love from his abuser.

Posted by b on July 13, 2006 at 4:49 UTC | Permalink


Due to a TypePad problem all comments on this thread made on July 12 got lost.


Posted by: b | Jul 13 2006 5:01 utc | 1

Now now, don't worry, we can get an FOIA copy from from you know who...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 13 2006 5:26 utc | 2

The mullahs strike again! Is there anywhere they cannot reach?

Posted by: Rowan | Jul 13 2006 5:45 utc | 3

Arian, I understand your concern, believe me. However, I think as the clerics grip further and further, the people will resist more and more. If there is data counter to this please let me know of it. We live in a world with blurry and messy boundaries. There are many ways that Iranians learn of the outside world and the rights that they deserve. I can't see this flame dying, unless the torch is held in the hands of a superpower. I think our hearts are in the same place but that this is the main point we take different stances on. The key to empowerment and enablement is supplying a person with the tools to do something for him or herself, not doing something for that person. I think you would agree with this statement. But America does not do this with economic policies because they don't really want an empowered Iran. So in the end the question is, do we want real change? It would be a tragedy if the Persian ruins were damaged (I have to look into that to believe they may actually do it), but they can easily be damaged by bombs as b's post demonstrates. Alot of the ruins that were damaged in Iraq were Iranian as Baghdad was a major city of the Iranian (Persian) Empire (and for those who are reading, it is true that Iran means "land of the Aryans" and that it has always been our name, one that is now demonized by a Western media/government). In the end if I had to choose, I am more concerned with the people thriving than the outcomes of the ruins so even if this was the case, and a severe loss it would be, it would not justify asking someone like Bush for help. In terms of poisoning our youth from within, there is always threat of that when democracy doesn't exist - it is just a question of which poison. However, with the internet, and the sheer intelligence of the average Iranian student, hopefully this will be limited. I understand that Mullah's keep people poor so that they turn to religion instead of real education, that has always been the way of theocracy. Trust me that I want them out. Do you know the story of Babak Khoramdin? It is a beautiful story about a Persian rebellion from within to fight the Arab Empire out of our lands. It is the reason we still speak Farsi and maintain a separate identity from Arabs etc... This is the only way revolts work. I am not trying to convince you, so I hope you don't see it that way. Frankly one of my biggest points is that we don't have enough insight to know what the immediate next step should be, so I would contradict myself if I spoke with too much action orientation. Regardless, your posts stimulate thoughts and I appreciate that. I would just be cautious when you hear the case for immediate change in Iran from Neo Con supporters. Alot of the Persians who make these arguments have a personal interest in getting home and running the show, whether or not it would be in the best interest for the country in the long run. I have seen this first hand. Though they genuinely want the Mullah's out, I think they have been sucked into the dichotomy so their minds become equally limited.

Posted by: Bauback | Jul 13 2006 15:08 utc | 4

Bauback, you make a lot of good points. And yes, I know the story of Babak getting cut to pieces by Prince Afshin and still standing, and Arash the Kamangir, it's in our history to overcome with triumph, indeed. So once again it's time for history to repeat itself. The only other problem is, if we do get the mullahs out, who will take power? And if it was in fact a legitmate, democratic group, that Iran wanted, then why America let that happen? It wasn't in their best interest in the 1950's so why would it be in their best interest now. We are fighting for our country from the Islamic Republic, we are fighting them from everyone else who takes an interest in our land, the Mujahedeen Khalq, psuedo-Iranian democracy groups (who believe Iran can coexist with Islam in a democractic government), and most importantly, the U.S., and we put just as much energy into seeing their interests represented whether that be in support or against the current Regime. Like you said,

I can't see this flame dying, unless the torch is held in the hands of a superpower.


But America does not do this with economic policies because they don't really want an empowered Iran.

America does not want an democractically empowered Iran. So even if we got the mullahs out, what then? What happens to the torch? There is just so much uncertainty. And it's for sure that America is going to take an active interest now that Fakhravar has gone and spoke with Rice and Bush in congress. So, where does all this leave us?

My only question for you is, when you said, "I would contradict myself if I spoke with too much action orientation." are you in support of armed revolution as well as peaceful? Armed revolutions by Iranians themselves, or if a democractic underground Iranian militia for example existed.


Posted by: Arian | Jul 13 2006 18:05 utc | 5

Hi Arian,

I am in support of a revolution, but a revolution of the people. If there is a way for that to happen, that doesnt exploit our people even more, of course it would be a positive turn of events. What Iran really needs is for superpowers to just get out of the way and a revolution would be possible, Iranians could do it. But I agree that they won't leave Iran alone. You didn't say anything I disagree with. And I don't think its a coincedence that Iran has now been referred to the UN... The Mullah's need nuclear power because they know that without it their only financial stronghold is oil, which is a finite resource. So time may just be on our side yet... Whether people like it or not, when the oil runs low, something is going to change...

Posted by: Bauback | Jul 13 2006 21:10 utc | 6

Bauback, an incredible post up there. I'm cynical in the best of times, but reading hints here and there, I'm convinced that BushCo. is going to invade Iran before the 2008 elections; whether the military can do it (I personally think it will be the downfall of our military) is almost irrelevant. I'm reading stuff that could have been cut-and-pasted from the Let's Invade Iraq playbook and I simply don't think that short of an unlikely Democratic sweep of both houses in November --> impeachment that it can be stopped. *sigh*

I used to work for an Iranian woman who fled with her family after the 1979 revolution. They were upper-middle class and they got out just in time. She was a fascinating woman to talk to because she had nothing but scorn for the US and British overthrowing the government in 1953 but she loathed both the Shah and Khomeni too.

What a world we live in.

Posted by: Henry Holland | Jul 14 2006 3:44 utc | 7

wow,i am on holiday and have been out of touch, very much regret missing the comments here. i am also impaired as i have been partying but may not have access to a computer for a while so will not hold back.what an excellent post. i agree w/so much, unfortunately cannot elaborate on the specifics now. iran is the prize. iran is the ultimate western control goal. nothing coming from the noecons should ever be trusted. personally i am in so much doubt and scepticizm i believe both in iran and palestine there was possibly a design to have the most radical win elections for the benefit of those wanting to control.

the past is the past, whatever the fault of the west ib irans past, just klike with any unpaid debt, these considerations will only weaken ones power. every single ounce of attention and forethought must be directed to the future. the people planning in the past are dead or irrelevant. do not confuse the west, or some image of freedom and democracy w/what we have now. both iran and the US are held captive by fanatics. somehow this can only be solved by the people.

at some point people will align w/different borders. the way we have survived thus far may not be applicable. we are becoming the slaves of the global elite who do not care for history, past, culture, there is only one god for them, the god of $$ and power. we are held , paralized by our perception of their strength. they serve themselves by dividing us. for a world to exist where america can help iran, we need to be represented by those who speak for us. when the populace, the people of iran and the people of the america can work together for a better world, we both must first deal w/the demons within our own societies. the absurdity of current us policy solving anything for iran is as absurd as the mullahs making political decisions for the us. iranian need to find their voice. just like the public here. even if we found our voice, even if 90% of the people hated cheneyco, would we have the strength and power to stand up to them? we have our failed elections, oh, so much i could go on. to ask the worlds most evil self grandising regime to 'help' any country, truly absurd. any 'gift' or 'help' would come w/horrid payback. what on earth would make any iranian think the braintrust in this country for any solution would be more than in your own? somehow your answers are there. i only have one iranian friend. a doctor cambize. that could be the wrong spelling. i went to a house warming party at his house last fall, probably about 15 other iranians. we didn't talk politics. they were all educated and attractive dynamic people. why, what, how, could any american be more qualified than the best of iranians to solve the problems that exist there.

ok, i warned you, its late i have been abusing substances. all this highly speculative. our future? the divisions will not be drawn on the physical land borders. they will be drawn between the peoples. the haves the have nots, the power hungry the socially conscious. we have to hold strong in our beliefs in the basic common good that resides in the majority of us, the human need for truth and have faith these truths will prevail. placing trust in psycopaths and asking for their help, 'can i borrow your fanatic to get rid of mine' please, tell me the best niranian minds have not adopted this mentality. we must create bonds beyond borders to support communities to rise up against their own tyrants, then we can join forces and hopefully, the meek will inherit

Posted by: | Jul 14 2006 8:23 utc | 8

massive typos sorry,am impaired, i want the other comments

Posted by: | Jul 14 2006 8:29 utc | 9

sorry, me again, forgot to post my name on my friends computer

Posted by: annie | Jul 14 2006 8:31 utc | 10

Great comments guys. I think we can watch the news today and see a glowing demonstration of the Neo Con's insanity... If I believed in God I would say "God help us".

Posted by: Bauback | Jul 14 2006 22:07 utc | 11

it seems, as annie says, as clear as day - that the ultimate prize is iran

& that as debs suggests for all the talk of freedom & democracy - the words, empire & oil are far more exact

i have posited here that iran for the american empire is the first of the movements towards a war - economic or military - with china

there seems in this instance little room for turning, turning back -for the israelis - there is no one to negotiate with in palestine - they have treated lebanon with brutal contempt & it is clear they are heading directly for syria & iran if you want to read between the lines of the israeli ambassador today at the u n

of course they would prefer neater destabilisations, they would prefer to support 'democratic movements', they would prefer others to do their dirty work - but the prize is never in doubt

what is in doubt however is the competence of the empire to fulfill even the most limited objectives either directly or for their proxy in the middle east, israel

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 14 2006 22:55 utc | 12

on the prize, here is john bellamy foster's take, from an article that lonesomeG drew to our attention here last month

With the wars on and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq still unresolved, Washington has been stepping-up its threats of a “preemptive” attack on these states’ more powerful neighbor, Iran. The main justification offered for this is Iran’s uranium-enrichment program, which could eventually allow it to develop nuclear weapons capabilities. Yet, there are other reasons that the United States is interested in Iran. Like Iraq before it, Iran is a leading oil power, now with the second largest proven oil reserves behind Saudi Arabia and ahead of Iraq. Control of Iran is thus crucial to Washington’s goal of dominating the Persian Gulf and its oil.

Iran’s geopolitical importance, moreover, stretches far beyond the Middle East. It is a key prize (as in the case also of Afghanistan) in the New Great Game for control of all of South-Central Asia, including the Caspian Sea Basin with its enormous fossil fuel reserves. U.S. strategic planners are obsessed with fears of an Asian energy-security grid, in which Russia, China, Iran, and the Central Asian countries (possibly also including Japan) would come together economically and in an energy accord to break the U.S. and Western stranglehold on the world oil and gas market—creating the basis for a general shift of world power to the East. At present China, the world’s fastest growing economy, lacks energy security even as its demand for fossil fuels is rapidly mounting. It is attempting to solve this partly through greater access to the energy resources of Iran and the Central Asian states.

-- monthly review june 2006, A Warning to Africa: The New U.S. Imperial Grand Strategy

prize or not, iran may likely be the space upon which to end this game that the imperialist revolutionaries & the capitalists who bankroll them are playing. and don't expect the other wing of the business party in the united states to do anything other than stick to the same game plan for as foster refreshes our memory of the clinton regimes' moving of u.s. foreign policy from containment & rollback to that of enlargement. beyond iran, the new imperialism is aiming for big game - an entire continent still full of natural riches.

The Council on Foreign Relations’ 2006 report on More Than Humanitarianism, which supports the enlargement of U.S. grand strategy to take in Africa, was cochaired by Anthony Lake, National Security Advisor to Clinton from 1993–1997 and Christine Todd Whitman, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency under Bush. As Clinton’s National Security Advisor, Lake played a leading role in defining the U.S. grand strategy in the Clinton administration. In a speech entitled "From Containment to Enlargement, delivered to the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University on September 21, 2003, he declared that with the collapse of the Soviet Union the United States was the world’s "dominant power...we have the world’s strongest military, its largest economy and its most dynamic, multiethnic society....We contained a global threat to market democracies; now we should seek to enlarge, their reach. The successor to a doctrine of containment must be a strategy of enlargement." Translated this meant an expansion of the sphere of world capitalism under the U.S. military-strategic umbrella. The chief enemies of this new world order were characterized by Lake as the "backlash states," especially Iraq and Iran. Lake’s insistence, in the early Clinton era, on a grand "strategy of enlargement" for the United States is being realized today in the enlargement of the U.S. military role not only in Central Asia and the Middle East, but also in Africa.

Posted by: b real | Jul 15 2006 3:01 utc | 13

Hello Arian,

Your comments about Akbar Ganji relate to recent, very recent events. He was definitely in the IRGC (Revolutionary guards) - posted to Turkey for a while and DEFINITELY harmed people including using torture.

Revolutions often turn on their own and he ran into that. Yes, he was imprisoned, went through very hard times but to think that the Regime would allow him to leave to collect his prize in Russia, to then go traipsing around and end up meeting Chomsky (very left winger) without comment or impediment, shows either you are not in the loop or too young to know much except the recent past.

I have not written him up the way you did Fakhravar since I do not waste time on street level people who fall into the rabble-rouser categories, not future leaders after the Mullahs have been "removed". This also is the category for Fakhravar and Ahmad Batebi and others.

To learn more about Iran and those in charge spend some time at Antimullah

I do not visit Moon... too often but feel free to Email me.


Posted by: Alan Peters | Jul 16 2006 5:09 utc | 14

I never said that...I am also fully aware of everything you mentioned and most definently not `not in the loop` or "too young".

Posted by: Arian | Jul 16 2006 13:00 utc | 15

alan peters

you are a pornographer. you who delight in the violence committed on others ought to have no place here. you have no arguments that do not have roots in the deeply racist worldview of fascists - the world over - but have a particular virulence in the country that has only suffered twice for its criminal policies - pearl harbour & twin towers

the mythology of your warriors is so impoverished that it cannot sustain even the weakest of scholarly researches. you have been decisively defeated in every terrain you have placed your ugly feet

you do not have to support the mullahs of the middle east - to see that you are a mullah of exactly the same dimension

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 16 2006 14:52 utc | 16

mr peters

do not whoever the fuck you think you are send me an email full of the filth you just sent me

people like you are the inheritors of the einsatzgrupen terrible legacy

you are one of the idiots laughing on the adge of the abyss at the ravine of babi yar while your jewry is being put to death

your soldiers are perpetrators in the first instance & perhaps one day in a just world they will serve out their time in cells

in any case, do not, i repeat - do not ever send me an email again

i leave my email here because i have enormous confidence in our community which has always proved correct - it is not there for filth like yourself

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 16 2006 17:07 utc | 17

@ Alan

How interesting that your website would show pictures of Iranian torture victims to create an emotional anchor for right wing bigotry when right wing policy is what has enabled the fanatical power in Iran for so long. So long as U.S. leaders announce when dictators are allies and when they are "terrorists" or "evil Muslims" or whatever other mindless category the marketers come up with to promote, there is no progression toward the deeper values that your discourse community supposedly aspires to. Some more recent examples of deciding when they are good guys and when they are bad guys that you may neglect include loading Saddam Hussein and Osama with weapons to fight Iran and the Soviets, respectively. Why aren't the tortures of these "evil" people considered then? This is exactly why we mustn't take right wing value based claims seriously. Our country (the United States) is better than this. We can lead the world as an evolved diplomatic entity. But to do this, some people will have to forgo pumping growth hormones into their bank accounts (I wonder to what degree your bank accounts are impacted by the acquisition of natural resources and whether or not this somehow has influenced your political mental models). Either you believe that right wingers are truly concerned with people being tortured by dictators (which would reveal severe over socialization), or you are using it as an argument to convince people to believe in a right wing argument regardless of the fact that you do not believe in these arguments for the same value-based reasons. Either way, it is completely illogical. Since when do right wingers care if Middle Easterners (Muslims, or just general brown folks) are killed, beaten, raped, or tortured? Aren’t you the same people who support Guantanamo? Your site actually argues that the only prisoners there are bloodthirsty, murdering savages, which we all know to be false. If that were the case then our counter terrorism activities are far more organized and efficient than the media is telling us, and we must be doing amazingly well in Iraq to get these fanatics out as well. It is utter nonsense and all backed by another political agenda. You think it is okay for your heros to torture prisoners who have different political perspectives, and you rationalize it by saying that your prisoners tortured other prisoners for having different political perspectives. This has been the trap that begets violence since the beginning. If I do it, it is good because I am right and if you do it, it is bad because you are wrong. Can you not see this cycle of insanity? For you not to see this "shows either you are not in the loop or too young to know much except the recent past". Since you are experienced in your career, one would only deduce that it is the former and that you have rationalized all your experiences to fit a very limited schema of good v.s. bad, which we all know does not reflect the complexity of the world. IT IS THE TIME to transcend emotionally convenient thoughts or we are being just like the Islamic fanatics. This is the only way to create change in the world, if that is what you desire... I can see how it would be easy for you to feel comfortable in your arguments as it hardly sounds like you have had to embody the complexities of being anything other than a privileged majority member in this country. With so many in your community egging you on, I suppose feeling internal pressure to transcend emotionally convenient dichotomies isn't on your personal growth agenda. However, with arguments so biased and drenched in political corruption and illusion, it is difficult to take any of your statements seriously. If your goal is to "convince" people of a particular argument, you may wish to at least trigger a perception of open mindedness to those who you wish to convert. Perhaps creating a less biased website that does not insult the intelligence of its readers would be a start.

Posted by: Bauback | Jul 16 2006 18:13 utc | 18


not only does his site insult the intelligence - it is an offence against common human decency

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 16 2006 18:29 utc | 19

Ahh, but to purposefully limit our emotional reactions is critical. I for one try to engage my argument with enough of my emotion to feel authentic, and try to limit my emotion enough that I still focus on the argument at hand. I don't see him as a leader based on his site; he seems more a follower. But somewhere leaders are benefiting when others lose their cool. When we address the argument personally, rather than addressing the weaknesses of the argument, we offer too many of our own vulnerabilities for others to exploit. No? Obviously human decency is a matter of opinion and perspective. Religiosity suggests otherwise, and I for one think universal statements of ethics can be twisted to serve corruption very easily (as his website demonstrates). This is most likely explains why the parallel of Mullah and Alan is triggered for you.

Posted by: Bauback | Jul 16 2006 19:30 utc | 20

there is no substantial argument in mr peter's discourse. on the contrary it is little more than nonsense

i would not have commented on it other than its genocidal impulse is articulated as vulgarly as is possible

what exists in iran today is a direct result of american foreign policy articulated both through its state department & through the evil work of the brothers dulles

you as an iranian might permit the demonisation of your country & its people but i cannot - making a mockery of the elections that elected their current leadership (with whom i feel no sympathy, no sympathy at all) is an argument which will always short circuit itself because in its decent or indecent for it is an argument commandeered by elites that serve elites. the mass of iranian people have the right for their own self determination

the iranian people & the iraninan people only will make the decisions of their own destiny - the influence of the american empire can only bring harm

i advise all to regard the edward said that uncle $cam has posted elsewhere on another thread

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 16 2006 20:32 utc | 21

I must not have been clear enough in my comment. My main point was that you have some solid arguments that are diluted when you throw curse words and insults at Alan (who many of us feel the urge to insult, I am sure), and that I am trying to focus on the weaknesses of his argument (since there are so many) rather than the weaknesses of his character (which turns you into an aggressor like him). Regarding your comment:

"you as an iranian might permit the demonisation of your country & its people but i cannot - making a mockery of the elections that elected their current leadership..."

I have the following responses:

1. I appreciate your passion but it most likely led you to losing your temper and getting off track (which reiterates my point). If you believe I want the people I love to suffer, I would suggest re-reading my previous comments more carefully. Frankly the fact that my relatives and family friends are the ones being impacted in Iran most likely brings my emotional distress closer to the reality of what is happening there... In other words it really hits home for me, I imagine more than for people who do not have family and friends there. I could easily lose my cool and counter insult you now, as such a statement feels like an assault on my character but I want to practice what I preach so I will stick to the arguments :)

2. I wish I had the choice to "permit the demonisation" of my country but unfortunately as a commoner I don't have the authority to permit much beyond my own opinion being expressed in a blog. If I had the authority to permit it, then I could also deny permission and help the country in a productive way.

3. I already commented on the corruption of the elections, as you can see in the first post of this thread.

4. I think if you reread my comments you won't feel the need to influence me regarding what Iranians deserve.

5. You are now commenting that there is no substantial argument in Alan's discourse, and I agree with some of this, however it is easy for me to see where Alan's passion has misled him into extremism and falsity. What I wanted to share with you in my last post was that human decency is a matter of opinion and filtered information which is an argument that both Neo Cons and the Mullahs make. (I agreed with your seeing parallels between Alan and the Mullahs, I just think by using curse words and insults, you are disempowering yourself). Losing your temper almost gives points to the other side of the argument by default. Anyway, hopefully this clears things up... We are not enemies here.

Posted by: Bauback | Jul 16 2006 21:17 utc | 22


no we are not, surely

Posted by: r'giap | Jul 16 2006 21:25 utc | 23

Alan, you're going about all this in a very close-minded and self-defeating manner, leaving yourself no room for sympathizers and no room for growth. Insulting Americans and martying Iranians. Well what if it was the other way around? TWO WRONGS DO NOT EQUAL A RIGHT. Learn that, or else like Bauback said, we're gonna end up in the same circle of insanity that the Mullahs execute right now. We can't trade one extremist for another.

Posted by: Arian | Jul 17 2006 1:17 utc | 24

Even if he's a fraud, who is not, that's not your damned business.

If you are unhappy and angry where you live, go to Iran or North Korea and live there dude. You may love islamist Mullahs afterall, since you and them hate freedom as much.

Stop minding our business!

Posted by: Winston | Jul 18 2006 6:21 utc | 25

"Inja chah nist" = "This place is not a ditch".
The confusion there, seems to be the "ch" sound. "ch" in "chah" (=ditch) is pronounced as it is in "chair". "sh" in "shah" is pronounced as it is in "shirt". Now if you were a francophone, you would pronounce "Shah" and "chah" the exact same way, and that's where the confusion comes from.
i.e. there's only one book here and its name is "This place is not a ditch".
Ambitious young people like Fakhravar, who want to be heros and have fantasies about being leaders of a regime change in Iran and thereby joining the intellectual elite, while not missing out on girls and cash, despite little education are not unique phenomena in Iran. I have met a couple of these kids and I can tell you they are masters of bluffing and extremely sharp in deceiving others into believing that they are indeed very important and heroic figures. Learning about people like Jane Kokan reminds us that some young Western journalists also share the same trait and will surface their unrealistic visions if given premission.
All in all, it is clear to me, based on what I see in this whole story, that Fakhravar is a fraud and could be very dangerous if given attention to by neoconservatives who happen to share those visions about a world of blacks and whites, and a need for a perpetuating war between good heros and an evil villains.
The only way to avoid being deceived by the lies of such people is to ignore them. So just ignore Fakhravar and try to convince people to do the same!

Posted by: Nima | Jul 18 2006 21:03 utc | 26

while not missing out on girls and cash?

Yeah, cause that's what political prisoners are up to, they get jailed because they love to party it up...that's pure nonsense. The man's been beaten nearly to death, jailed for years, walks with a limp, and you go as far as to say he has that degree of fun on the side? How do you even know what the hell he does in his spare time?

Posted by: Arian | Jul 18 2006 22:39 utc | 27

I didn't read all comments but some of them for me just sounds funny. you know why? let me tell you something. i came to US from Iran not more than 1 year ago and didn't know too much about iranians living in US. For first days that I met some of them I just shocked. they were so funny but I didn't take it serious. I thought I have met the funny ones and others are not like this but I was wrong. I don't want to make fun of them but the image they have from Iran has nothing to do with the country I spent most of my life there. That is a country like many other countries around the world with a sophisticated and complicated culture, language and goverment of course which makes many foreigner confused. yes this is my opinion. to know iran's political system, I just recommand learn about Iran's culture including. let me tell you something. sometimes that I talk with my freinds in iran it happens that they use a slang and I don't understand. you know why because that's a new slang. don't forget I left Iran just year ago. ofcourse slang is not sth just for persian language but the rate of generating new slangs is not really normal. it may seem to be irrelevent but I think Iran's political system is as peculiar as persian and other features of our culture. let me give you another example. You invite me to have some tea. i really like to accept it because I am badly thirsty. but you know what I do as an iranian. "No thanks, I alreay had some tea I really can't" then if you are an iranian you would know that I really want some tea and you will repeat your invitation. This may continue for 3 times and just if I rejected it even 3rd time you will stop it. well see how complicated a simple invitation is. Now what do you expect from the political system of such a country.
But about this dude. Amir Abbas or syavash or whatever he likes to be called. we call such a person in persian "xaliband" which is not so offensive. this is a slang meaning, one who packs nothing or empty. Who is really this guy? This is so stupid comparing such a fake person with Ganji for instance. most of Iranians know ganji but who knows this guy. And if you wanna know about iran ask the actual people of iran not this funny community of iranians in Us. ofcourse I am not gonna generalize the personality of this funny "Aryan" to all iranians of US because he is not into account at all but generlly speaking iranians in US are not good representatives of people of Iran.

Posted by: paria | Jul 18 2006 23:46 utc | 28

Winston, what on Earth are you talking about it? I was born here and raised here, and you are not more than a few generations in because the country isn't old enough. Like it or not "your" country, ain't yours anymore buddy. So it is everyone's business who is an American citizen, and if you check out your local graduate school program you will see there are far more worldy people than not which makes the people you are bigoted against even more important in terms of how they impact the world. They are the world's future leaders, hopefully not people like you. Personally, I can just about promise you judging on your ignorant comment that I will help build this country with my career far beyond any contributions you make.
How can you promote freedom when you can't even follow a thread in a blog with enough patience and discipline to properly assess people's beliefs about freedom?

Regarding whether this guy is a fraud or not, who knows? That thread topic is misleading and dichotomous in itself. They are all people socialized into believing what they believe. Whether he knows he is lying is unknown, however when he voices the beliefs of Iranians, he is speaking inaccurately. That is enough to know not to support him. The rest of the reasons lie in the "friends" he is turning to. I have no doubt he wants the Mullah's out, its just the way he is going about it will not help Iranians. Hey Winston, did I say enough for you to agree with me and categorize me an American or am I still eh foreigner in your eh lands... Personal question: what is the difference between you and an oversocialized slave of the media and power elites? Hey I know! Not much... Keep unconsciously working that elite agenda while their bank accounts grow and your work opportunities diminish because of outsourcing...

Posted by: | Jul 18 2006 23:48 utc | 29

And I take full credit for the last post, so bring it.

Posted by: Bauback | Jul 18 2006 23:48 utc | 30

I don't know this man personally and never claimed that I did. I was talking about the 'type' of people that behave in similar ways as Fakhravar (as he's been described here) and how they may influence others with their bluffs.
As for "girls and cash", well, ask yourself: what is Fakhravar doing in America? If he's the symble of heroism he claims to be, why wouldn't he stay in Iran, at a corner of the Evin prison, study and write while taking all the calamities? Afterall, wasn't that what Ganji did?
But he fled, he's now in the US, he will get paid to tell the neocons what they want to hear, and in the process get famous and popular, so on and so forth...
I don't blame him for wanting to get to the US, meet with the big guns, get famous, and all that. But it strikes me that he wants to get to all the above by dubbing himself a national hero, something I really really doubt he is.

Posted by: Nima | Jul 19 2006 4:24 utc | 31

Paria...I dont know who you think you are calling me funny? 'The Iranian Political System is as peculiar as other elements of Persian Culture?' Excuse me, the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC is NOT an element of Persian culture. And the gesture of kindness, 'tarof', that you mentioned is in NO WAY comparable in cultural cultoms to the various crimes and executions they government commits. You are one of the many who do you not wish for democracy in Iran and try to stir American perception of Iranians and what Iranians really want by making this very misconvieved division between Iranians in the US and Iranians in Iran. 90% of my family has always and still lives in Iran, and I have visited Iran on numerous occassions, I know what it is like, I know what Iranians want, and most off, I am one. You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to defend the Islamic Republic, even white Americans know that Iran's government is a terroirst regime. Im sorry Paria, it is not I who is funny, it is you.


Posted by: Arian | Jul 20 2006 10:36 utc | 32

Ok Nima, 'As for "girls and cash", well, ask yourself: what is Fakhravar doing in America? If he's the symble of heroism he claims to be, why wouldn't he stay in Iran, at a corner of the Evin prison, study and write while taking all the calamities? Afterall, wasn't that what Ganji did?'

Maybe you need to do your research. First off, why do you have to stay in a prison to be credited? That's pure garbage. He was in prison, for years, and he wrote his books on sheets of toilet paper that were smuggled out. He came to America (NOT TO GET PAID) but to vouch for Iranian Freedom. People may disagree with his procedures but there is no doubt that he wants democracy in Iran and wants the mullahs out. The fact that you say a hero must be in a constant and dehabiliting imprisonment in order to be taken serious just boggles me. Any person in their right mind imprisoned wrongly by a terrorist regime would escape the first chance they got. And what did he do when he got out? He came right back and started fighting, it doesn't matter what country he's in Nima, or if he's in a prison or an internet cafe, he's still fighting for freedom, and that's what gives him credit.

Posted by: Arian | Jul 20 2006 10:45 utc | 33


Leading Iranian dissident Akbar Ganji is sitting on something many people would only dream of: a personal invitation to the White House today to meet with top U.S. officials overseeing the United States policy toward Iran, including the National Security Council’s Elliot Abrams and State Department’s Iran nuclear negotiator Nicholas Burns. It's even been dangled before him that President Bush may drop by the afternoon meeting of Iranian opposition activists. But Iran's most famous former political prisoner, who arrived in Washington earlier this week for a month long U.S. tour after six years in Iranian prison says, while tempted, he's not going to accept the invitation. And he’s not the only Iranian pro-democracy activist choosing not to go: among the others are former Iranian Revolutionary Guard founder-turned-dissident Mohsen Sazegara; student leaders Akbar Atri and Ali Afshary; Iranian American human rights activist Ramin Ahmadi; and Reza Pahlavi, the son of the former shah. Their demurrals hint at the complexity of the relationship between those Iranians seeking democracy and regime change and the American administration that says it has the same goals there.

“Democracy is not machinery that can be exported,” Ganji told me, through a translator, at a ceremony Monday night where he was the recipient of a press freedom award. “Democracy needs social infrastructure. Another precondition of democracy is to live in urban areas. Another precondition is a division between the public and private sectors. Another precondition is the separation of government from civic society, and the separation of religion and state. Another is tolerance”

“Can you make a society that is urban, tolerant, democratic with $75 million?” Ganji asked, referring to the money the Bush administration has sought this year from Congress to promote dissident forces in Iran. “You could not even do that with $75 billion,” he concluded.

So who is coming today to the White House? According to Iranian sources, Amir Abbas Fakhravar, a 30-year-old Iranian writer, student leader and former political prisoner who has become close with former Reagan-era Pentagon official and neoconservative thinker Richard Perle; Bijan Kian, an Iranian American Republican activist and businessman from California who has sought a position on Iran policy in the Bush administration; and Abbas Milani, an Iranian scholar at Stanford University.

Posted by: b | Jul 20 2006 18:22 utc | 34

"Any person in their right mind imprisoned wrongly by a terrorist regime would escape the first chance they got."
That in itself is evidence that you condcede Fakhravar is just like any other 'person in their right mind', not an exceptional hero that may play the role of a savior for a country whose greatest heros with a vision failed to save, not to mention a normal person with childish ambitions and a brief stay at a political prison.
While Ganji refused to meet with Bush and Chirac, Fakhravar is not missing a single opportunity to give the neocons a blowjob! (sorry for the language.)
See the contrast there?

Posted by: Nima | Jul 20 2006 20:27 utc | 35

b, thank you for that post. That exemplifies the best of our people: honor, integrity, intelligence, humility, and passion for REAL change...

and then there is the one who decided to accept the invitation that not even the Shah's son accepted...

Posted by: Bauback | Jul 20 2006 22:37 utc | 36

Nima, you make a very bad point. Just because someone holds exceptional qualities, doesn't mean that they can't be sane. You're making it seem that Fakhravar should be superhuman in order to be credited. Your points are extremely farfetched and very polarized. First off, I have never referred to Fakhravar as an 'exceptional hero', but rather as a determined freedom fighter. Second off, even if he was an exceptional hero, and this applies to anyone who fits that description, that person is still going to be human, and it still going to abide by general natural human laws. When you touch a hot stove, you move your hand away. Pure and simple. When you are being beaten to hell within an inch of your life, whether ordinary citizen, serial-rapist, or hero, you're not gonna like it, and you'd escape that kind of abuse the second you got. You're holding Fakhravar to such high standards that essentially the only way for you to be convinced that he has any credit whatsoever is if he was killed in a prison. That is an extremely flawed way of thinking, and is unrealistic, nor does it give way for anyone to meet your expectations.

Posted by: Arian | Jul 21 2006 11:12 utc | 37

file this mention away for future reference just in case...

wayne madsen report for july 21, 2006 reads

Informed sources have told WMR that arch-neocon Michael Ledeen, who acts as an unofficial foreign policy adviser to Karl Rove, was at the White House yesterday with a group of Iranian opposition figures. Among the topics discussed was a promised $25 million grant by the Bush administration to the Iranian insurgents. The money is to be used to plant Desert Storm-vintage biological and chemical weapons shells, confiscated by U.S. forces in Iraq, on the Iranian side of the Iraqi border. The weapons will be used as "proof" of Iran's plan to "attack" U.S. troops in Iraq. That will be used to justify, ex post facto, the coming U.S. attack on Iran. Our sources report that George W. Bush dropped by the White House meeting to offer his support to the Iranian opposition operatives.

Posted by: b real | Jul 22 2006 4:31 utc | 38

Hi Everyone,

The following website provides a few pictures of the right's way of liberating. These are graphic images of Lebanon so if you have a weak stomach you may not want to click the link. It begins with Israeli children signing missiles with quotes like "To Lebanon from Israel and (whatever their names are). It then shows where missiles are landing and the ridiculous atrocities that are taking place. Regardless of your politic, if you think this is a good way to change the world (by attacking innocent people that have nothing to do with Hezbollah) then keep pushing the Neo Con Iran agenda. People, these air attacks are not influencing Hezbollah and the Israeli government knows it. It is a show of might, at a horrific cost, and one more act of hypocrisy. Doing this in Iran would not get rid of Mullahs, just as doing this to Lebanon doesn't get rid of Hezbollah long term... If you believe it will, you need to research the Shiite - Sunni political struggle in the Middle East to understand the real reasons for the supporting clerics in Iran and Syria and their motivations. There is enough information in the world to deduce clear logic of how real progressive change happens. We don't need to lose our cool over whether Persian Neo Cons are frauds, they are just misled, emotionally detached, and under a disgusting illusion in which they think a monster will make them a saint for their people. Look at this site if you want to see the power elite's way of dealing with change and then tell me whether or not you want Iran to have the same fate.

Posted by: Bauback | Jul 22 2006 14:43 utc | 39

@Bauback - we had a War Porn thread about that picture. It is not "to Lebanaon" but "to Nasrallah" (which doesn´t make much difference to me in judging that picture).

(click on Main or the Moon-logo to get the homepage of this blog for other threads)
Laura Rozen has some info on that recent White House meeting:

Here's an after-action report on the gathering of Iran pro democracy activists at the White House Thursday (see here for my original post). Michael Ledeen and Amir Abbas Fakhravar, a 30 year old Iranian student activist and former political prisoner, got shut out, because they were 15 minutes later coming from testifying at a Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform committee hearing on Iran's nuclear impasse. Richard Perle, who did attend the White House gathering hosted by the NSC's Elliot Abrams and State's Nicholas Burns, tried to help get them in but the Secret Service at the Eisenhower Building wouldn't budge, those there say. Also among those who attended, Bijan Kian, a Los-Angeles-based Iranian American Republican organizer and businessman who has sought a position on Iran policy in the Bush administration; Manda Zand Ervin, of the Alliance of Iranian Women; Manda Shahbazi, a Los Angeles-based supporter of Fakhravar; Sam Kermanian, a Los Angeles-based Iranian American Jewish community leader and businessman; Rahim Shahbazi, an Iranian Azeri separatist who spoke at an event on Iran’s ethnic minorities at AEI last year, causing a firestorm with what some perceived as anti-Persian comments; an Arab Iranian community activist; and an Iranian Kurdish human rights leader and journalist. Several other Iranian pro-democracy figures, including most notably Reza Pahlavi, the son of the former shah, and Akbar Ganji, a leading Iranian dissident and former political prisoner currently on a US tour, declined the White House invitation. Kermanian summarized for the NY Sun the message from the US administration officials yesterday: "The administration's line was that this was not the policy of the United States to engage in regime change in different countries, even if they did not like the policies of that country. They said they hoped the people of Iran would achieve their goal of a democratic Iran."

I wonder what the "Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform committee" has to do with Iran? Hmmm - maybe that's where the money comes from.

Posted by: b | Jul 22 2006 15:15 utc | 40

Thanks for the correction! I agree, the message is the same...

Posted by: Bauback | Jul 22 2006 16:49 utc | 41

For those who know Persian, I suggest reading Ebrahim Nabavi's new post in roozonlie. It is about our new hero, Mr. Farkhravar. Nabavi has used the nickname Kambiz for him. He says satirically kambiz is not Mr. A. A. F.
I just translate the beginning:
"After appearance of a new star in the sky of politics of Iran, who told Hasani "don't come out because I am coming out", I withdraw my support from Akbar Ganji to give all my support to Kambiz so since today you can read all his statements, writings, and interviews in my page and probably the audio files would be available soon. Meanwhile, by Kambiz I don't mean Mr. A. A. F."
This satirical article continues by a funny interview with Kambiz(Fakhravar) about "regime change" but the funnier point is the fact that, this interview is not so different from the original one (Jahanshah Javid's interview with Mr Fakhravar) and yet funny enough to be a satirical article. I bet his supporters are as funny.
This is why I called this so-called "Arian", funny.
Also I need to make myself clear about this word, funny. Once I called all iranians in US, "funny" but I didn't mean they are like this so-called Arian for instance. Fortunately I haven't met anybody like him so far and most of Iranians I have met here are really good guys because being funny is not necessarily bad. Iran is a big country. Although I have lived there for more than 2 decades, I can't simply claim Iranians are like this or like that. There are many people and many opinions though I haven't been in many cities and even many parts of my home town, Tehran.
This is easy to say "You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to defend the Islamic Republic" as you can say the same thing about Mr. Nabavi and anybody who makes fun of your beloved. But with this simple-minded attitude you just make the process of Democracy in Iran, more difficult. Ask your "white american" friends to give you something to read, about the Process of Democracy for instance in America itself, if it was like what people like Fakhravar is doing?

Posted by: paria | Jul 23 2006 7:52 utc | 42

I appreciate your efforts to undermine me Paria, but it is in fact you that is funny. For someone whos been living under the Islamic Republic for over 2 decades, you sure have an uncanny degree of ignorance. I don't know why you constantly try to undermine me when the topic of discussion in this chatroom has progressed to different subjects but for some reason you find me your focal point of discussion in every post. I guess I am kinda of flattered actually. You can call me what you want but that doesn't change the fact that yes, if you defend a torturous, oppressive, and terroristic regime, you should be a ashamed indeed. There is nothing 'simple-minded' as you so clevery put it, to want democracy in Iran, which is the main point behind everyone of my posts. In fact, the majority of people express this very same point, yet you do not accuse them of being simple-minded. I think you need to move on, and realize your arguments hold little to no merit, and start focusing on the bigger issues at hand on this website. And for the record, Fakhravar does genuinely want democracy in Iran, you may disagree with his methods, which I am starting to do as well, but his ambitions and his allegiances are without a doubt sincere. Regardless of your opinion of him, it is unfair and irresponsible to mock someone like that by making a 'satire' out of him. This is a very serious and dedicated man who has risked everything to bring democracy to Iran. Do not patronize him, and do not patronize me.


Posted by: Arian | Jul 23 2006 13:06 utc | 43

Arian, Look! I don't really care who you are but I can't bear your support for Fakhravar, you know why? he is simply a liar and you can find many inconsistencies in his claims but this is not my problem. Considering him as a representative of Iran's Democracy movement, this is a tragedy. This is an insult to Democracy movement. If people like Ebrahim Nabavi and others mock him this is not because they "defend a torturous, oppressive, and terroristic regime". They simply defend themselves as true representatives of pro-democracy movement who have done really something for that. Your objection to Nabavi's satire just proves your ignorance and nothing else. What he has done so far for Democracy with his political satire is outstanding and what Fakhravar is going to do is just shameful.

Posted by: paria | Jul 23 2006 18:34 utc | 44

Paria and Arian,

I hope you don't mind me intruding but I wanted to make a few observations. It seems you two see more eye to eye than these messages indicate. You are just starting the conversation from different perspectives. I saddens me to see two intellectual Iranians hack away at one another like this, and it reminds me of how Iran allows itself to be divided and conquered time and time again.

Arian has already said that he is starting to disagree with Fakhravar's methods, and I really admire than in him. It takes a wise person to open himself to new information and adjust opinions along the way. That was beautiful. Paria, I understand your frustration, and some of the issue here may be using a second language, but there is definitely a sharp/agressiveness to your tone that borders focusing more on insulting the blogger than arguing for one cause or another. Since your arguments are backed with nice data, why not try to focus more on the valuable information you have? That way you can educate the rest of the readers without them losing track of your argument while they assess the degree to which you may sound overly aggressive (which distracts the reader from the facts). Arian, you come off aggressive as well sometimes in your replies to him though you seem to have a better grip on the riegns these days.

For me, when insults are thrown around, it indicates a lack of confidence in argument. Since we are sharing information and learning together, it serves no purpose but to relieve stress and/or get the other so upset that he exposes a weakness in his argument. Remember, this is not personal. If someone believes something counter to what we believe, it helps to consider that person has had unique experiences to be socialized into those beliefs the same way we have been socialized into ours. Let me take this time to say I feel like I kind of messed up in the blog where I blasted that neo con guy. I was overly aggressive so it may seem hypocritical to write this blog (nobody is perfect). But you two have MUCH more common ground than you may think, you are merely focusing on highlighting your differences to the point that you do not see the similarities. You both want the best for the country, and we are all dealing with the complexity of how that might best come about... Anyway, again my apologies if I am intruding where my opinion is not welcomed. Hopefully this post will come off as supportive rather than critical.

Posted by: Bauback | Jul 23 2006 21:27 utc | 45


Thank you for the post. It was in no way intrusive and I appreciate your objective perception of the matter at hand and most of the matters you comment on. It's always beneficial to have unbiased outside parties comment on particular issues, or whenever mediation is nessessary as well. I have no real 'beef' with Paria, however I feel an uncalled for degree of hostility from him toward me. I reconize we both want the best for our country, and I have, as you mentioned, noted that my opinions toward Fakhravar for example, have shifted a bit.
This is an important mark because it indicates that 1)I am open-minded and always ready for change (which contradicts Paria's statement that I am 'simple-minded') as open-mindedness is a virtue of the wise, and 2)That I am not here to blindly argue my point at all costs to the end, but to hear people's opinions and heed their message as well as express my own voice. Of course Paria would not notice my dynamic nature and goes as far as undermining my credit on this board entirely by refering to me as the 'so-called Arian'. Unfortunately people and attitudes like this do exist however and we must find a way to deal with these attitudes intelligently as opposed to going around them or confronting them emotionally. So once again, thank you for your post Bauback, your opinion is always welcome.


Posted by: Arian | Jul 23 2006 23:01 utc | 46


Thanks for your attention but I din't find your comment that fair. Let me explain what I mean. I know Arian just from his posts and I don't agree with most of his ideas though I don't ask him to be "ashamed" of his attitudes as he asked me and I don't call him "one of the many who [..does] not wish for democracy in Iran" as he called me. I just said this makes "the process of democracy more difficult". I called him funny and he called me too but I do agree with him. Actually most of people I know are funny including me. Fun is part of the life. And I gave an example last time about Nabavi's satire that had and has an important role in Iran's pro-Democracy movement. I still recommend reading his sunday's article in roozonline (to those who know persion). His satire is kinda stinging one, sometimes, but he never asks people aggressively to be "ashamed" of themselves neither do I.

Meanwhile I don't see any open-mindedness in Arian's attintude though open-mindedness doesn't contradict simple-mindedness, I beleive. He can say the same thing about me, I am not offended because these things are relative. Yes I said he has a simple-minded attitude but in a certain context when he just asked me to be ashamed instead of criticizing my opinin.

In addition, I didn't see any real change in his opinion at least about the main point, meaning if Fakhravar is a fraud or not. Saying he is not a "superhuman" or "exceptional hero" has nothing to do with this main point.

Bauback! I don't want to teach anybody because I don't know too much. What I am doing is just asking people like Arian to think more on the consistency of their views.

Thank you again for your attention to my posts but I am not interested in this conversation anymore at least in this manner. I just wrote my opinion and gave some examples to support it. I don't care if it makes sense to Arian or not, this is not my business and I am not really about selling my opinion to other people. That is just an opinion and it may make someone think about it, that's it. I would appreciate any criticism but not lecturing.

And finally I didn't get why you guys use the pronouns, "he" and "him" for me.


Posted by: paria | Jul 24 2006 6:20 utc | 47

I am not saying in anyway that Arian didn't counter attack you, but your blog was a straight up attack from any common perspective. Arian threw out insults as well, as I said in my last post. If you don't consider a change in perspective indicative of being open minded then I think we just have to agree to disagree on that point.

My question to you is: what is your purpose in engaging in this blog? If it is to share an opinion as you say, you have done more than that in insulting another blogger, as he has done the same by insulting yourself and others.

Regarding your disinterest in this stream of conversation, if you aren't up for a neutral and open ended question then what is the point of joining a blog?

Posted by: Bauback | Jul 24 2006 17:22 utc | 48


What I did, wasn't attacking people just as an emotional response for instance. I just explained my opinion. Different opinions and ideas are attacking each other and this is normal even if you try to soften the situation, not using harsh words for instance (as I did to some extent). I used the word 'funy' which is not offensive as I know. I don't know Arian and what I dislike is not him. My problem is with the idea, he is supporting that simply sounds funny to me. That's it.

I didn't use any offensive word and I didn't shout insults to anybody. You personally use offensive words in your posts. Yes, I am talking about you Bauback, not anybody else. When I say 'insult', I don't mean insult to me but I don't care to whom. Bloggers, polititions, Iranians, Americans or others, I don't care. I may attack opinions and even people that support those opinions (just in that certain context) but I don't use offensive words. This is my idea of morality no matter who likes it.

Since you don't like my way of blogging and I don't like to change it so no problem, I get out of your blog. That's so easy.


Posted by: Paria | Jul 25 2006 6:11 utc | 49


Its hardly "my" blog. I joined it randomly recently just like you. I don't understand why everything has to be over-emotional and heated. Just forget I said anything.



Posted by: Bauback | Jul 25 2006 17:52 utc | 50


Don't take my over-emotional reactions serious. I was just playing a role. Playing with bloggers is just a hobby.


Posted by: paria | Jul 25 2006 20:59 utc | 51

I think were using up a lot of good blog space, energy, and time on frivolous debates. How about we all just start with a clean slate and all agree to be more...'thoughtful' in future blogs, myself included.

Posted by: Arian | Jul 26 2006 0:31 utc | 52

Important note I forgot to mention: Our lack of unity (as Iranians) seems to be our greatest downfall. So I think at some point something needs to change, whether that be more sacrifices being made or something else, I dont know, but we need to start banding together. (And I don't just mean here, but on a much grander and global scale).

The disunion is apparent in the greatest levels of society from the different perspectives of the Shah's son to Akbar Ganji to Fakhravar, and on the most miniscule levels like here in this blog room. We just lack leadership and union.

Just something I wanted to say.


Posted by: Arian | Jul 26 2006 0:38 utc | 53

I totally agree Arian and its a point I brought up previously. At the same time I have studied social and individual change for over a decade and I know that people and systems go where they go and that interventions at a grand scale rarely go where a minority of individuals want. So some questions are: What can we do to urge Iranians to come together? Is it even realistic given how passionate and proud Iranians tend to be? Sometimes people are just in completely different spaces and that is something we have no choice but to accept and respect. We are not the only ones by the way. The whole mideast has been divided and conquered.

Posted by: Bauback | Jul 26 2006 14:53 utc | 54

salam be shoma jenabe fakhravar,vaghean amsale mesle shoma ghabele setayesh hastand.
mostaghim miram sare asle matlab.
man ye javone 24 salam ke kama bish mesle khode shoma yeki az on daneshjohaye 18 tir hastam,ba in tafavot man tonestam farar konam az daste gardia,albate man dar sene 16 salegi 99 zarbe shalagh khordam,on moghe faghat man 16 salam bod mifahmid ..,ghabl az zadane shalagh man 10 rooz bazdasht shodam ke hichkas khabar az man nadasht,az hamon lahzeye aval mano be shedat kotak mizadan,va bad az shalaghha mano 3 sal dar hamon sal tabeid kardan,amma bazam mobareze kardam,ta residam be 18 tir.allanam ba kolli bad bakhti be shoma E-mail mizanam,moshkele man allan ine ke ,mamoraye sepahe pasdaran,donbale man migardan,ta ye joor az share man khalas beshan,ina koli badbakhti baraye man o khanevadam dorost kardan,va man 8 mahe to in saita donbale refugee hastam,ta betonam khodamo be amrica beresonam,to in modat man tamame ghanonha va marahele refugee ro midonam,amma mikham az kasi komak begiram,ta motmaen besham salem pam be onja mirese.
shayad ta behal esme mano nashnide bashid,man Arash Asgari hastam.albate man passport daram.


Posted by: arash | Aug 14 2006 23:20 utc | 55

Arash...Dorood bar Shoma,

Sheneedam keh me-khan mesleh 10 sal peesh doh-vareh zendanee-eh-sia-see beh danashgoo-ha ro hameh ro bekoshan. Jomuriye eh Eslami goftan keh digeh kar nadaran barayeh een zendani-ha bah een danashgoo-ha. Har rooz keh mireh een dolat me-fameh keh beeshtar ahdam-ha az shatan-basi-ehshoon me-famam. Daran me-tarsan, vakhti am yeh dolat me-tarseh, az tarse bishtar adamah ro azyat me-koonam eh me-kooshan. Shomah khodet-to am een harf-ah ro me-dooni. Valey man me-porsam, shoma een-ja family dareen? Shomah-am chedoori ko-mak me-khai az ma? Lotfan begoo.

Een mogheh-ha mah Irooni-ha bahayad baham bechasptan baham komak koonan. Baham-am bayad Iran eh maroh dorost koneem.

Payandeh Bad Iran
Zendeh Bad Azad


Posted by: Arian | Aug 15 2006 16:57 utc | 56

My apologies for the multiple seems like my computer stalled.

Posted by: Arian | Aug 15 2006 17:14 utc | 57

Could please keep your comments in English. I, as this blogs maintainer, would like to know what you are posting.

In future, I will delete all comments in languages I do not understand.



Posted by: b | Aug 15 2006 17:16 utc | 58

Fair enough...except I don't think Arash speaks english, as he doesn't live in the states. So, there lies the problem.

Posted by: Arian | Aug 15 2006 17:28 utc | 59

arian, perhaps you could carry on your conversation w/arash at another blog? why would arash be here if he/she doesn't speak english?

or perhaps you could also include a translation if you (for some reason)think this is the only place you can communicate w/arash?

Posted by: annie | Aug 15 2006 17:39 utc | 60

Well, then you're free to ask him if he speaks english cause i honestly dont know.

Posted by: Arian | Aug 15 2006 17:41 utc | 61

@Arian - My apologies for the multiple seems like my computer stalled.

I did delete the duplicates after checking that all five had the same text. Multiple post sometimes just happen with the Typepad system this blog is running on.

Aside from that to the language issue. Please do not see this as any attempt of censorship. I hardly ever delete comments here other than commercials or double posts. I just do not want any "special group", whatever its direction may be, to take the space here without my knowledge. There are some people in this world who I do not want to give a forum. (I guess you and me would not have to argue about who these people are.)

So I agree with annie. It would be helpful if you could give at least a hint of what is talked about.

BTW: Thanks for commenting here. Your contribuitions have been helpful for the not-Iranians here to understand a bit more of what is going on.

Posted by: b | Aug 15 2006 18:10 utc | 62


Thanks for deleting the multiple posts, I was wondering why the were taking so long to load. I was going to ask you about that anyway.

I totally understand your concern, and believe me I do not want those kind of 'special groups' emerging on the forums either. I respect the fact that this is your forum and appreciate the privelege of being able to voice my opinions here.

I think this forum has educated many people as to the true nature of the conflict in Iran and the diversity of opinions between Iranians themselves. I feel it is my duty and my pleasure to educate the world, Iranians, and myself about the facts that are either tainted or censored by the Islamic Republic or neglected by Western media. Together with this knowledge, we can better and quicker aid the cause and efforts of democracy in Iran.

So thanks again, and in the future I'll try to translate native Iranian commments so you have a picture of what is going on in your blog.


Posted by: Arian | Aug 15 2006 18:22 utc | 63

Thanks Arian - if you would like to write a piece about what is going on in Iran and in the exile community, I certainly would like to publish it just like I elevated Bauback's well argued piece.

You will find my email address in the "About" link on the "Main" page.

Posted by: b | Aug 15 2006 18:35 utc | 64

Oh ok, I'll look into that. I've been thinking about something like that except I haven't had time to get around to it. I'll definently let you know though if I do.

Thanks a lot, I appreciate it.


Posted by: Arian | Aug 15 2006 18:41 utc | 65

More on Fakhravar: Double-Fraud

Posted by: b | Oct 7 2006 5:37 utc | 66

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