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February 19, 2004

 Life 
The cost of Iranian life
Ghazal Geshnizjani  [info|posts]

death.jpg

"And when you pour into my goblet the bitter drink of death, I'll kiss the goblet full of joy, dear, and drunken I shall die." Rumi

Well here is another one: "Nearly 300 people are now known to have died in Iran when a train carrying fuel and chemicals exploded." (BBC News, 19 Feb, 2004) It was just a week ago that we were once more on the headlines because of a disaster: "An Iranian plane has crashed near Sharjah airport in the United Arab Emirates, killing at least 43 people." (BBC News, 10 Feb, 2004) Not to mention less than two month ago, when we had the Bam earth quake: "Iranian officials say they now believe at least 41,000 people were killed in last month's devastating earthquake." (BBC News, 16 Jan, 2004)

Is it only me or has it occurred to you too, that Iranians, more than other nations, seem to die due to noisy incidents like earth quakes, plane crashes, train crashes, war, executions, the commercial airline being shot by Americans or the pilgrims being shot in Saudi Arabia! Some of these things do happen for other nations as well but it appears that even in those cases whenever they happen to us, the numbers exceed the normal standards.

I might be oversensitive and there definitely needs to be accurate statistics to make such claims, but somehow I think Iranian life has become very cheap. Last week I heard host Don Imus of MSNBC in the Morning show, responding to the news of Iranians killed in the airline crash, had remarked "When I hear stories like that, I think who cares," and afterwards he had only regretted the fact that they weren't Saudi Arabians. Leaving aside insensitivity of his remarks, deep inside I felt well at least literally, he has got a point, nobody really seems to care!

I mean, what do we really do about all these? We grieve and wait for another one to happen, don't we?

If we really cared about the life of each individual Iranian we would really start thinking of more effective ways to prevent such outcomes and by that I don't mean announcing three days of national mourning for each of them!

Comments
a jew at February 19, 2004 09:04 AM [permalink]:

in judaism, one says the "shema" prayer when faced with death, and the most popular israeli singer, sarit hadad, made a song on that theme.. its the most beautiful song.

here is a very rough translation.. doesn't even come close to the hebrew original..


When the heart cries
only G-D can hear.
The pain comes up from inside the soul.
The blood falls, unto the earth it sinks.
After a little prayer, everything goes silent.

Listen israel my G-d
All power is yours.
You gave me my life, you gave me all I have.
In my eyes theres a tear, the heart cries in silence,
and when the heart goes quiet, the soul itself cries out:

Listen israel my G-d,
now i am alone.
Make me strong my G-d,
and take away my fear.
The pain is large and there is nowhere to hide.
Do something, make it stop, because there is no power left in me.

When the heart cries
the time halts in its path.
The man suddenly seen all his life in front of him.
To the unknown he doesn't want to go.
To my G-d he calls on the verge of purity.

Wessie at February 19, 2004 12:10 PM [permalink]:

". . . Last week I heard host Don Imus of MSNBC in the Morning show, responding to the news of Iranians killed in the airline crash, had remarked "When I hear stories like that, I think who cares," and afterwards he had only regretted the fact that they weren't Saudi Arabians. Leaving aside insensitivity of his remarks, deep inside I felt well at least literally, he has got a point, nobody really seems to care!. . . "

The "insensitivity" of the remarks aside—The problem is that the world sees Iranians and MEsterners in general don't care about anything, not even themselves. They don't seem to revere life as other cultures do. They glorify death—especially death via jihad.

The world sees that they breed indiscriminately, without regard for being able to care for their children. They use their national treasures to enrich their bureaucratic despots who attempt to build nuclear bombs instead of developing their cultures and providing opportunities for their populations. To add insult to injury they then expect the world to "help," when disaster after disaster strikes. And still they continue to sponsor Islamic terrorism against humanity.

I have asked this question many times on this website—Give us ONE reason why the world should care?

Wessie


AliS in Wonderland at February 19, 2004 04:13 PM [permalink]:

Today when I read the article in the morning Molawi's poem was the topic but now you have changed it! I just want to say the poem was a great topic itself. The new subject is kinda spoonfeeding what you want to suggest.

Alienated Persian at February 19, 2004 04:14 PM [permalink]:

Is not this time to organize and raise funds to overthrow the regime, as opposed to rasing funds to help people when they are subjected to this painful "accidents" as tragic as this?

It is elections' time...haaahaaaa!

I am so tired of this kind of talk, ...., so tired...,

Is it not worth getting killed in the course overthrowing this madness, instead of getting killed as a result of stupid, crazy, and corrupt way of handling the whole country?

Or maybe all these accidents from the Kish Air crash, to the earthquake and this one and all the others that happen every now and again are just natural.............?!

AIS (Another Iranian Student)! at February 19, 2004 06:59 PM [permalink]:

Maybe, you are just a bit more sensitive about the news related to Iran!

For example, did you notice the news about the roof of a swimming pool collapsing in Russia? Dozens of people were killed, or the bombing in the under ground train in Moscow? Or Bird flu in Asia, a few people died as a direct consequence of it in Vietnam? Or the UNDP report about ex-soviet bloc facing HIV crisis?

That report was especially very alarming! In one part it said “Should these data be correct, it would constitute 0.9% of the region's adult population - a devastating figure. Experience throughout the world shows that 1% as an infection rate is a threshold. Beyond 1%, efforts to turn back the epidemic have failed in many other countries."

Or people dying in Africa daily as a direct consequence of HIV! Or the outbreak of SARS in Asia last year! Or the massacre of 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda! Or The Palestinian and Israeli civilians dying either because of some Israeli incursion or a suicide bombing?....

Plane crashes happen in Iran mostly because they use Russian aircrafts which don’t have a high record in safety related issues. As a direct consequence of the US sanctions on Iran they can not buy them from the western companies! You may have heard about the longstanding issue between Iran and France regarding the civilian airplanes that Iran tries to buy from France! Despite the fact that they paid the big part of the payment they have not received the planes yet!

To “a jew” :
I liked your poem but why did you write God like G-D?

AliS in Wonderland at February 19, 2004 07:49 PM [permalink]:

Wessie
"I have asked this question many times on this
website—Give us ONE reason why the world should care?"

If as you say you have asked your question many times and nobody answered I guess either they don't know the answer or don't want to answer or don't care or ... . I don't think repeating it would prove anything or get you a decent answer. In case that you even get an answer that would be answer given just to get rid of the same question being raised many times and wouldn't be what you are after. And believe they will never forget your questions even somebody like me who does not follow the posting frequently have seen your
question many times and well whenever the answer that would satisfy you is found it would be posted for sure. I might be wrong so if your initiative on repeating a question is not getting a decent answer please let us know.

Wessie at February 19, 2004 08:54 PM [permalink]:

Ali, it is a rhetorical question to which no one has given an answer. I don't expect one.

It does not matter. The only thing that matters is what people do. Past performance is highly predictive of future performance.

The wold knows who is performing and who is sitting around waiting for allah or Uncle Sam to fix things.

oo at February 20, 2004 12:24 AM [permalink]:

Wissie,
u are so simple minded that recognize religion as the root of all problems. Things are a lot more complicated .. just remember that Bush was elected based on his standing on gun legistelation and religiousity. Though the same stupid religious red-neck people who voted for him won't suffer the same disasters that third-world countries do. Of course Religion contributes to people's ignorance, but only to some extent.

هزار حرف نگفته at February 20, 2004 08:49 AM [permalink]:

i love your articles this is my weblog :
http://alinonline.blogspot.com
good luck

Wessie at February 20, 2004 12:20 PM [permalink]:

No, oo, I see Islam as the root of Islamic terrorism. Bush, was not "elected" on 'gun legistelation and religiousity,'— he was appointed by the Supreme Court. And lots of people besides "stupid religious red-neck people" voted for him. They may not do that this time.

" Things are a lot more complicated"

Really! Just what are those "complications"—can you elaborate? All the despots in Islamia base their "right" to govern on their allah given right— via the Qur'an.

MEesterners/Muslims like to make everything very "complicated"—while never changing anything in their miserable, failed Islamic societies. Quite frankly, we don't care! Just as long as the Islamofascists stay in their part of the world and don't want to take over civilization.

Yasaman Farzan at February 20, 2004 06:41 PM [permalink]:

I was reading some of the comments posted in this web-site and I couldn't help noticing the comments
written by our dear friend Wessie. Regardless of
whether we agree with his comments or not, I think his comments deserve attention.
Well, I do not know what is his intention for posting these comments. However, his enthusiasm
fascinates me. My husband and I are both physicist. We have decided to return to Iran next year and play our part to establish a scientific community in our homeland. Everyday, we go through the reasons why this is useful and is worth the effort. However, still we are not so passionate about our decision as Wessie is in his crusade to show us that we are a good-for-nothing nation. Perhaps, this lack of conviction is the root of our problems.


Wessie at February 20, 2004 09:38 PM [permalink]:

". . . However, still we are not so passionate about our decision as Wessie is in his crusade to show us that we are a good-for-nothing nation. Perhaps, this lack of conviction is the root of our problems. . ."

Yasaman, it never ceases to amaze Wessie how much Iranians/Muslims on these boards read into HER posts that is not there— while claiming to be "open minded" and oh, so superior to the "decadent, misguided," West; that place they escaped to and are now able to bash with impunity because they dare not do the same of their own land. That is not to say that you have those sentiments. However, enough people here have exhibited this mindset that it bears noting—again.

It is certainly clear that the MEsterners' lack of conviction about anything but Islam has given them the misery they claim to deplore. Coming to the realization of that truth, however, appears to be nigh on impossible. Perhaps they are comfortable wallowing?

"At the Computer Capital mall, Ali Reza Jafari said, at 30, he was too old to emigrate to a foreign land. "I'm married, and it's difficult to start over with nothing. For now, we are just sitting here with nothing to do."

Growing gulf between Iranians and their leaders

Apathetic youth don't share mullahs' anti-U.S. sentiment

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4325421/

---

Here is the problem. The defeatist attitude of Iranians. Thirty is young—extremely young in the civilized world. You can't even get enough respect to obtain a good restaurant table at thirty.

With such negativity, these people will never be instruments of change! NEVER!!!

This website is owned, populated and read by the crème de la crème of Iranian/Muslim intellectual life. What better place to make a point? Why preach to the choir at the NY Times or other Western sites?

Far from a crusade, Wessie's only point is to point out that a nation is only as good as its people and how they conduct themselves. I will say again and again and again that it is up to YOU to change your nation. The 'great unwashed' will not do it and neither will the West. Iranians blathering here about "how terrible" everything is back home will do nothing to change anything!

An attitude adjustment is what you all need!

If not now—when? If not you—then who?

Wessie

Niayesh at February 21, 2004 12:11 AM [permalink]:

Wessie,

What is so bizarre about your style is how you use oversimplifications and rough generalizations and stereotypes to justify your categorical beliefs, while, somehow, you find every single response irrelevant.

"The world sees that they breed indiscriminately, without regard for being able to care for their children."

In fact Iran has one of the most successful birth control programs in the region, if not in the world. Various birth control methods are available for free from the public medical centers, while media and school books advocate small families.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1949068.stm

"They use their national treasures to enrich their bureaucratic despots who attempt to build nuclear bombs instead of developing their cultures and providing opportunities for their populations."

Our bureaucratic despots may want to build nuclear bombs, as yours did (although you find no evidence for that, except for the claims of American and Israeli governemnts), but it has nothing to do with the will of the ordinary people. Believe me, they don't want to enrich their despots, any more than you want to enrich yours.

" To add insult to injury they then expect the world to "help," when disaster after disaster strikes. "

I don't see why, and to whom this is an insult. The rich usually enjoy giving away to charity. Otherwise, how would they spend their money?!

"And still they continue to sponsor Islamic terrorism against humanity."

Ok..Iranians might have close ties with Hezbollah, but somehow, most of "humanity" don't consider Hezbollah terrorists. Well, not more than they consider American governement, anyway!

"I have asked this question many times on this website—Give us ONE reason why the world should care? "

Saadi answered your "rhetorical question" seven centuries ago:

The sons of Adam are limbs of each other
Having been created of one essence.

When the calamity of time afflicts one limb
The other limbs cannot remain at rest.

If thou hast no sympathy for the troubles of others
Thou art unworthy to be called by the name of human.

I've heard that this poem is also written at the entrance to the liberty statue, but I haven't seen it myself.