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July 01, 2004

 Life 
My Relationship With The Defendant
Ghazal Geshnizjani  [info|posts]

Saddam on Trial Here he is, the man who doesn't know me at all but has made the oldest memories of my childhood. Well he is on trial today. Do I qualify as a witness? I think my memories are quite related!

Our 10 floor building is shaking. Our vacuum cleaner is left in the middle of the room and it starts moving on itself. I can hear a loud sound from outside and some noise from the above. Now it is night, we are at a neighbor's house, all the lights are turned off. People seem scared, shocked and quiet; I remember a small red, black-and-white TV and some thing about a red alarm. Then a young man comes in, he has found some black pieces of plastic or something like that, everybody tries to take a look at it and so do I.
I was 3 at the time.

Yes, the war had started. We used to live close to a major factory (Zob Ahan*) and it was one of the first targets as the war started. Later my father’s aunt and his cousins arrived from Khoramshahr, in their slippers! They had got only enough time to get in their cars and drive with no belongings all the way to Esfahan; all of a sudden they were homeless! All of our neighbors' relatives arrived too. Little by little all those half built buildings which were I think remainings of an unfinished project from before the revolution were filled by dark skinned people who were coming from the South. They were poor. I didn't like going to their buildings. They had plastic bags for their windows and cloths for their doors.

I couldn't remember anything at all from before the war. When I turned on the TV it was always something about the war. When you looked in the streets there were always some slogans about the war. War was part of our life, sun rises, you wake up and Iran is in war, as simple as that.

When people talked about the countries that weren't at war I wondered for myself what exactly that meant. Most of the young boys were either going to the war or were escaping Iran. I remember families discussing the future of their sons as they were growing: “Hmm, should we send our 14 year old son out of Iran to some unknown country before he gets eligible for the military service or should we let him go to the war?”

I was in the forth grade when bombing the cities started again. This time ballistic missiles! Our schools were not regular any more. They were building bomb shelters everywhere. They were so popular that we children decided to build one of our own in the back of the garden where nobody could see it and then give it to our parents as a gift! Bombing became an every day thing. We'd count them as they were hitting each time, “1, 2, 3 ... and 10! Oh Saddam is getting better!” It had become very natural to see people who have lost someone in bombardment or in the war.

Saddam used Chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers and Kurds. They told us in school that we had to carry a garbage bag and wet towels with us and they taught us how to stock ourselves in the bag in case we hear a gray alarm. We compared our towels with each other at school and wondered which one of us can play this game better and faster.

People were making jokes about Saddam: “You stupid Saddam! You are forgetting the other side of the river!”, “Oh Saddam with golden hands, please don't come to this side of the river!”, “ Saddam is hitting on Charsogh St. because he fears his mother-in-law!“ Of course, they all rhymed in Persian. It came to the point that he sent us a share of missiles for each meal; “breakfast 4, lunch 6, dinner 7, and now time to sleep!”

People fled the cities. It was too risky to stay in. Our house was almost hit once; fortunately it didn't explode right away. Our door exploded into a thousand pieces; as my parents ran to see how our neighbors were doing I took a look at our yard: it was full of fire bushes as if it was Chaharshanbeh soori**. They came back with my little cousin; he was wounded by broken glasses. They told me to keep an eye on him and they went to get others. The only thing I could think of, was to put the sheets on the wounds to stop the bleeding. The schools were closed but we had to go back as my parents had to work anyway. Life had to go on. We lived in our basement. My mother's favorite prayer had become: “Please God let our family either live together or die together. Don't let one of us be left alone” . . .

Another image is carved in my mind forever,

I am in my mother’s workshop. People are acting crazy, my mother is happy, her friend is crying, her other friend seems shocked and quiet. They tell me Iran has accepted the UN resolution 598. I ask them “ What does that mean?” “ It means peace! War is over!” I wondered by myself, “Hmm..., what does that mean?!”

I was 11.

Notes:
* It is a major steel factory, located close to the city of Esfahan in central Iran.
** A Persian holiday, observed on the last Wednesday of the year, when one of the traditions is to make (small) bonfires and jump from one side of them to the other side.

Comments
James at July 1, 2004 09:09 PM [permalink]:

Ghazal, Thank you for sharing this. There is so much about that time in the lives of friends and family that I'm only gradually becoming familiar with.

In my case with my wife, who was 10 and living in Tehran with her family when the war started, she now and again tells me stories of the war, how she'd see the rockets in the sky as they came to land in Tehran or the night air raid alarms that would take her and her family out into the streets of Tehran to avoid the bombs that might land on their home. She told me a story about the missile that landed on a laundry for a soldiers' barracks in Tehran, and coming out into the streets with her older sister seeing nothing but pieces of cloth flying through the air, and thinking that these were the shards of the clothes of men who had died.

You're all defendants, Iranians, Kurds, Kuwaitis, and God likely only knows who else. And for all of that, as far as Sadaam is concerned, it's George Bush who's the criminal. How this man can be a hero to anyone in that part of the world, given the pain he's brought into the lives of so many innocents, is a puzzlement for me.

yahya at July 1, 2004 09:15 PM [permalink]:

The shocking news is that Saddam's invasion of Iran is not a part of the crimes brought up against Saddam. I wonder how this court is going to have any legitimacy when it has ignored the biggest single crime by Saddam resulting in death of about 1 million Iranian and Iraqis.

Do you think this was a decision by Americans (such as Rumsfeld who met Saddam at 1984) not to include that crime in the list, or a decision by some nationalist Iraqis who are still proud that they undertook that war?

Seeker at July 2, 2004 03:29 AM [permalink]:

And I can be a witness.
I am about 6 years old. It is the time when Saddam bombed Halabcha and Iranian soldiers by Chemical bombs.
I see my family shivering and screaming. They hear the news that my uncle was among the Iranian troops who were gased by Saddam.
Now it is 1 month later, I see my uncle in the hospital. His eyes cant see and tears come out of his eyes constantly as a result of chemical bombs.....
I see the news on the TV. News of Halabcha where thousands of innocent people died. There are Iranians still dying as a result of chemical bombs Saddam used against us.
Who is to blame??
I remember the time my Father was in Ghasre Shirin , the city that fell to Iraqis .They destroyed it compleyely sparing no one. We were all shaking from fear and desperate for the news.
I still have nightmares of those days .
I can be a witness. He has taken my childhood and filled with horror and depression.

Seeker at July 2, 2004 03:37 AM [permalink]:

Remember!
Palestinians and all the arab world were supporting Saddam. They called all Iranians Majus(Fire worshippers term used quite incorrectly for Zoroastrians)and infidel.
Now we are all against US and Isreali policies in Palestine and at the same time we remember how they cheered for Saddam when he was gasing us with chemical bombs.

Arash Jalali at July 2, 2004 03:44 AM [permalink]:

I was 13 when it all ended. I have vivid horrifying memories of the wreckage left from the bombardment of Geisha Avenue (an upper-middleclass neighborhood in Tehran). I was in Isfahan when they bombarded the power plant at Dorche-Piaz. The river was filled with all sorts of fuel used in the power plant. I saw the wreckage in Baharestan. I was in Isfahan when they hit the Shahzeid Mosque in Isfahan. In fact, we were a few blocks away from it. I remember the first ballistic missile hitting Tehran. There were two hospitals close to one another. One was a maternity hospital which was hit by the missile. We had just reached home, coming back from paying a friend a visit at the other hospital when we heard the explosion.

My uncle was a soldier serving his compulsory military service during the final two years of the war. He had to spend a few weeks in the hospital to be treated for gas poisoning because the gas masks they had been given to were for training and did not have real anti-chemical filters. Of course they didn't know it when they got the masks!

My cousin spent 3.5 years in Iraqi P.O.W. camps. If you could just listen to his stories of them being punished by Iraqis. Being beated up was the easiest one. It was not Auschwitz of course, but imagine not being allowed to go to the toilet for a week, and then having to use your own pants or the bowl you eat in to do you-know-what!

Everyone suffered during the war. Some less, some more, but I for one can't blame Saddam for it all. Afterall, he was doing what a great number of his people approved of; getting rid of the "filthy Persians"! and he was being helped by Americans, Germans, French, and the Russians! If it were up to me, I would put the man and his thugs, who took them 8 years to eat the poison hemlock, on trial. The guy who said: "Even if the war goes on for twenty years, we will stand!". I would rather see Rumsfeld, George Bush Sr., and the now late Ronald Reagan go on trial. How about the German companies that sold Saddam the chemicals? Or the Russians who not only sold him Scudd missiles, but also sent him technicians for launching them against our people? And also, I would like to see on trial those who joined forces with Saddam and fired against their own people. I would like to see the so called "people's" Mujahedeen on trial. They too should bear a substantial amount of responsibility when comes to Saddam's crimes against Iranians, and the Iraqi Kurds.

I am thrilled to see Saddam like this: miserable, battered, old, broken, and wripped off his mighty stature, but I am not content. I would say this sick man could just be tried as an accessory to the crimes committed against Iranians.

James at July 2, 2004 05:52 AM [permalink]:

Yahya, The prosecution of Sadaam is now an Iraqi event, and what he's tried with is decided by the Iraqi to my knowledge. I'd hazard to guess that to this point he's charged with enough to bring his trail to the desired conclusion, which as I understand it is his execution.

Mohammad at July 2, 2004 09:26 AM [permalink]:

It felt good to see that ogre (no relation to the loveable ogre, Shrek. This ogre is really nasty!) on trial.
One omission kept me wondering though: when I read the summary of charges brought against him (the list follows), I did not see starting a war against Iran and causing material and emotional damage to thousands of people (let alone using chemical weapons against Iranian troops and conducting experiments on POWs to assess the impact of chemical and biological agents on human beings) as an item in the list.
Am I being paranoid, or is it another case of Arab racism that does not count harm done to Iranians as a crime?
Here is the list from Yahoo! news:
the use of chemical weapons against the Kurdish village of Halabja in 1988; the killing of members of a prominent Kurdish family, the Barzani clan, in 1983; the murder of political party leaders over a 30-year period; the murder of religious leaders; a campaign of brutal attacks against Kurds in the 1980s; the violent suppression of Kurds and Shiites after the 1991 Persian Gulf War (news - web sites); and the event that prompted that war, Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
I don't see the invasion to Iran as part of it.
Share your ideas please.

Mohammad at July 2, 2004 09:26 AM [permalink]:

It felt good to see that ogre (no relation to the loveable ogre, Shrek. This ogre is really nasty!) on trial.
One omission kept me wondering though: when I read the summary of charges brought against him (the list follows), I did not see starting a war against Iran and causing material and emotional damage to thousands of people (let alone using chemical weapons against Iranian troops and conducting experiments on POWs to assess the impact of chemical and biological agents on human beings) as an item in the list.
Am I being paranoid, or is it another case of Arab racism that does not count harm done to Iranians as a crime?
Here is the list from Yahoo! news:
the use of chemical weapons against the Kurdish village of Halabja in 1988; the killing of members of a prominent Kurdish family, the Barzani clan, in 1983; the murder of political party leaders over a 30-year period; the murder of religious leaders; a campaign of brutal attacks against Kurds in the 1980s; the violent suppression of Kurds and Shiites after the 1991 Persian Gulf War (news - web sites); and the event that prompted that war, Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
I don't see the invasion to Iran as part of it.
Share your ideas please.

Ghazal at July 2, 2004 09:29 AM [permalink]:

have you noticed that images of Halabja that are shown in media these days bear the Iran media sign? Is it because they don't have any of their own? I don't know how reliable it is but I have heard that other media (western or even muslims) didn't cover Saddam use of chemical
weapons at the time because Saddam was considered a friend back then, so killing Kurdish people was not a crime! About Saddam charges, BBC persian had mentioned that invation of Iran was among the charges but when the English version of BBC lists them in specific details it isn't among the charges while the invasion of Kuwait is among the charges! In fact one of the debates Iran has always had with UN was that they were never willing to mention the obvious fact that Saddam started the war, in any of the resolution they passed about Iran-Iraq war because most countries in the world were in favor of him. For what I know if he hadn't invaded Kuwait and hadn't threatened their interests nobody would have cared about his other crimes either.

Bakhshaei at July 2, 2004 11:01 AM [permalink]:

I remember those days too; now that I am going to describe them I see that I am getting emotional.
We were living in Hamedan (A city in west of Iran) for some years, before we came back to Tehran. And because of being closer to Iraq we were more favorable for the F-14s, I remember that one day these F-14s were so close to the ground that the people of the neighborhood were talking about the face of Iraqi's after the attack.
Some times I feel that I miss those lightning sky’s of wartime, as a child I was scared, I was almost 10, but looking at those flashing lights, was somehow interesting to me, I think as a child I was not so aware of the possibility of dead that those lights were offering us.
We had to leave Hamedan for a while, it was too dangerous to stay there, and we found a house in Famenin (a small city outside Hamden). We were living with my uncle and also some friends in that small house, almost 20 people in 2 rooms. Thanks god that at least we had this opportunity to leave the city for a safer place, people who could not leave the city were really in danger of loosing their own life or their loved ones.
After all these years, seeing HIM, the person who started the war against Iran and Kuwait, seeing that he still believes that he has done all these outrageous acts, to honor Iraq, and to see him responding easily to genocide in Hallapche as” I heard it in radio" is disgusting.
RESPECT is something that this man has not learned in his whole life, he even killed his best friends from BAS party to get the power in his hands. He calls his Arab neighbors DOGS, and he thinks that he has still the power!

I personally do not think that killing him will solve anything, I heard this Iraqi man in CNN saying that Saddam should be punished gradually as he has done it to Iraqis; some one who has killed his own nation and still thinks that has got the power to call others DOG is not a human being. There are millions of people in Iraq, Iran and Kuwait who are still suffering because of him. Husbands, children, and loved ones who are killed during the war or people who were never found till those massive graves were opened last year in IRAQ. He is not only responsible for his acts against Iraqi people; he should also respond to the crimes that he has done against IRAN and KUWAIT.

James at July 2, 2004 11:04 AM [permalink]:
I haven't seen any charges against Sadaam for the war and I'm inclined to think we won't see any. Part of the problem with who to blame for the war and the destruction it brought to Iran is the Iranian government's complicity in everything that occurred after the summer of 1982. The war began on September 22, 1980 when Iraq invaded the southwestern portion of Iran in an area that had been historically disputed between the two countries. Iraq had every reason to believe that it could win the territory it was after given that the revolutionary government and the country as a whole was still in upheaval and Iran was then an international pariah, not apt to get support from anyone. Moreover Iraq had a better organized, more heavily armed military than the Iranians did. What the Iraqis didn’t count on was the large number of Iranians who’d be willing to martyr themselves and the religious/revolutionary zeal that the leaders of the Iranian government (IG) would be able to take advantage of. So the brave men of Iran kicked out the invader by the summer of 1982, before any gas was used, before too much devastation of either country. Iran had won, everyone should have been happy, no more bloodshed. Alas, Ayatollah Khomeini was not happy apparently, as he then lead the nation into nearly 6 more years of war, which included gassing as well as bombs and missiles that far too many of you recall from your days growing up or living in the country. So we have two sets of criminals here (there’s a lot of blame to go around, to many different countries, the U.S. --- who sold arms and provided intelligence to BOTH sides ---, France, Russia and others), one Iraqi and the other Iranian. The Iranian criminals, led by Khomeini, were willing to expend the manhood, even the boyhood, of the country on a war that they should have well known they could not win by bringing it into Iraq. The Iraqis were too heavily armed, and this time they would be defending their territory and thereby expected to fight that much more vigorously. None of this stopped the mullahs; common sense doesn’t apply when you believe Allah supports your cause, or some such monkey turd logic. Oddly enough the American shooting down of Iran Air 655 apparently contributed to the war ending. The following is from Nikki Keddie’s “Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution: “In July 1987 the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 598 calling for a cease-fire; Iraq accepted, but Iran did not respond. From September 1987 through April 1988 the U.S. destroyed a number of Iranian ships and oil platforms, partly in response to Iranian attacks on U.S.- flagged ships. On July 3, 1988 an American cruiser, the U.S.S. Vincennes, mistakenly but recklessly in view of the information available to the captain, shot down a civilian Iranian airliner, killing 290. In Iran pressure was growing to end the war. Khomeini transferred command of the armed forces from Khamenei to Rafsanjani, who was becoming known as the leading pragmatist. The economy was collapsing, enthusiasm for the war was gone, and the U.S. was increasing its support for Iraq. Backed by Khamenei and majles leaders, Rafsanjani said there was no choice but to accept Resolution 598. Khomeini had to agree, saying on July 20, 1988, that the decision was for him “more deadly than poison” but was needed to save the revolution.” For anyone interested in the Vincennes incident, which I’m confident was a tragic accident with unintended consequence ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
James at July 2, 2004 11:11 AM [permalink]:

Bakhshaei, I'm not sure this makes a difference, but Iran had F-14's, the Iraqis didn't. The Iraqis were likely flying French Mirages, or Russian Migs. Of course Iranians were flying F-14's, an American plane, that they couldn't get any spare parts for, making the pilots of those machines even braver men in my estimation.

WhoMan at July 2, 2004 11:49 AM [permalink]:

I am no legal expert, but I think (might be worng) that when Nazis were brought to trial, there was no charges on invading other countries per se either,

Starting a war can be (philosophically, economically, etc) justified as necessary for a greater good of the country. I don't think that a leader can be brought to court for starting a war under the current laws. But annexing a country and killing people the way Nazis and Saddam did constitute war crimes. And those were the charges laid against them.

That was for 2 cents. But I would like to hear from someone with a good insight into the internatiols laws on war crimes.

Mohammad at July 2, 2004 12:05 PM [permalink]:

Dear Friends,

Mistreatment of POWs is clearly a case for trial and conviction under international law. Using weapons of mass detruction against enemy combatants is also a valid charge.
There is overwhelmimg evidence that proves Irqis used nerve agents against Iranian soldiers. There is also evidence pointing to the fact that Iraqis performed weapon trials (chemical and biological agents) on Iranian POWs.
I think these are valid enough cases for pressing war crimes against Mr Hussein.

ghazal at July 2, 2004 12:12 PM [permalink]:

Dear James,
what you are saying dont justify the fact that Western and arab governments were and are
willing to close their eyes to the crimes that Saddam had done do Iranian people (back then
included Kurdish people). There is a lot to say about the politics of the war but what is always
missing is the real tragedies of people living through them .
you are right we can go forever finger pointing or talking about double standards, like historic
disputed areas in Iran and liberating the historic Kuwait! which for anybody who knows the
history of the region for longer than 100 sounds ridiculous and I personally don't buy invading
countries or starting wars just based on historic bases. you see, one thing people ignore is that
not only the UN resolution passed after 1982 didn't recognized Saddam starting the war even
before that nobody recognized it, as they viewed Iran as a threat knowing the chaotic
circumstances after the revolution and that Iran had one of the most advanced armies in the
world at the time so they were more than happy to see Saddam using the time opportunity to
disarm Iran. But none of that really matters now, what bothers me is not the fact that I believe
he has to carry all the blame for the eight year war as long as he can not harm anyone any
more but what upsets me is the fact that even today the international community is willing to
over look some of the crimes that are by any standards crimes against humanity for political
reasons.

James at July 2, 2004 12:46 PM [permalink]:

Dear Ghazal, It's not clear to me, or apparently to anyone else that I've read anything by, that going after Sadaam for the war would go anywhere. Even here in the U.S. what a criminal is charged with is not always the full measure of what they're necessarily considered to be guilty of. A prosecutor goes after the criminal for what they believe they can assuredly prove them guilty of to get the conviction they want. That there's a deliberate slight to Iranians with regard to the charges against Sadaam is not clear to me, though I'll concede that's it's possible.

I think we can agree on the fact that the region in question for the war had been historically disputed. Getting into who is guilty of what in this specific case, especially when the IG was more than willing to continue the mess for three times the length of time Sadaam was, mires the process down in a debate that may make people happy to have resolved in some way (for as much resolution comes from something like that) but does little to get some measure of justice out of prosecuting the man for something so fouled up with complications. I appreciate Iranians wanting recognition of what this man did, but it also opens up what the Iranians did to themselves.

If Khomenei continued the war because the U.N. resolution didn't recognize who was the responsible party for the conflict then he's all the more the criminal for killing the men of Iran for words. My understanding of the situation was that the thinking of he and the mullahs in '82 was that they could push into Iraq and capture sections of the country that were important to the Shias. They also counted on support for their efforts from the Shias of Iraq, which by and large never materialized. My understanding is that the IG may have on some level felt slighted by the U.N. resolution's wording, but ignoring it (I'm not aware of their protesting the wording and asking for something different, are you?)and proceeding to push into Iraq was in their perceived self-interest at the time, resulting in the misery that 6 additional years of war brought to the country.

James at July 2, 2004 01:08 PM [permalink]:

Mohammad has good points. On the question of using chemical weapons against Iranians, we have the following from DefenseLINK News: Iraq and the Use of Chemical Weapons:

"Iranian leaders, with a population of 55 million at their disposal, had no compunctions about launching low-tech "human wave" attacks against the Iraqis. Hussein's blitzkrieg devolved into a trench war of attrition, but one he couldn't afford with a population of only about 20 million.

"The war was clearly going against Iraq by 1983, when Hussein ordered the use of chemical weapons against Iran. The first of 10 documented chemical attacks in the war was in August 1983 and caused hundreds of casualties, according to CIA sources. The largest documented attack was a February 1986 strike against al-Faw, where mustard gas and tabun may have affected up to 10,000 Iranians.

"To this day, no one really knows how many other Iraqi chemical attacks went undocumented or how many Iranians died in them. Iranians call the survivors of the attacks "living martyrs," and the government in Tehran estimates that more than 60,000 soldiers were exposed to mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin and tabun."

My point here is, if Iraq was losing, and the Iranian army was considered a threat against Iraq as it most certainly was, who would prosecute Sadaam for doing what he could to stop the Iranian army after it invaded his country a year after a cease fire was offered? Gasing the Kurds, on the other hand, was due in part to his success with gasing the Iranian army, and that's certainly a clearcut crime against humanity, as is the mistreatment of POWs, but how far you'd go with those is again open to question.

Seeker at July 2, 2004 02:00 PM [permalink]:

For years Iranian govenments and people were talking about the chemical bombs used against the iranians but NO ONE cared. Both in the Arab world and in the West. What about the German companies who provided saddam with the chemical weapons?
My friends, Iran and Iranians have always been oppressed by ARABS and the West. The western powers are after their own interests and ARABS change their faces too fast and take different sides depending on their interests.
The west specially the Americans DO NOT CARE about the harm done on OTHER PEOPLE.
This is western democracy. It is democracy for their own people and race but for others.....
what can I say?
However, it is a surprise to me when I see James strying to justify this?? maybe I am not right in feeling this....

James at July 2, 2004 02:24 PM [permalink]:

Seeker, You're absolutely incorrect. I'm taking the position on the issue of the use of chemical weapons against the Iranian army as it not being a clearcut legal win for anyone to go after it. I don't justify the use of chemicals or any weapon of mass destruction, in Iran, in the trenches of WW I, or any other time. But when you've invaded a country, when your troops are on that countries soil, many people would argue that what you use to get rid of that army and to dissuade it from ever coming back falls into an "anything goes" situation, especially when you had the option to prevent ever getting to that point by accepting a ceasefire offered a year before the chemical weapons were ever used.

Bottom line, making a case against Sadaam on the basis of his using chemical weapons is more likely than not a no-win situation. That doesn't justify what he did; it merely states the case as it is to anyone other than those who had to suffer what he did. What any of this has to do with democracy, western or otherwise, is beyond me to fathom, so please do take the time to enlighten me.

Ordak D. Coward at July 2, 2004 03:15 PM [permalink]:

James, you wrote "But when you've invaded a country, when your troops are on that countries soil, many people would argue that what you use to get rid of that army and to dissuade it from ever coming back falls into an 'anything goes' situation, especially when you had the option to prevent ever getting to that point by accepting a ceasefire offered a year before ...".

What about enslaving the POWs of such a conflict then? Or mutiltating them? What about using them as human subjects for microbial weapons? Do your 'many people' still argue for such acts? Or those noble 'many people' arguments are only in favor of certain countries/ethnicties?

James at July 2, 2004 03:50 PM [permalink]:

Ordak, I'm not at all clear where you're going with this as I'm not trying to excuse or justify anything Sadaam did. I'm merely trying to convey the complexities of what is being faced here. Atrocities committed by Sadaam against Iranians, which by and large would have been avoided had the IG not pursued a futile war which encouraged a homicidal sociopath to use weapons of mass destruction and do all else he may have done, do not outweigh what he managed to do to his own people when the trial is in an Iraqi court. That's especially the case when far more Iraqis died at his hands than Iranians did.

If you're going to have to pick what you prosecute a killer for when that person has committed multiple murders, you focus on the murder that's easiest to get a prosecution for. This is an Iraqi court, likely with a jury that will be populated by Iraqis who were in the war against Iran or knew someone who was, and you tell me what you would pursue for a case in that situation if you were the prosecutor.

Evidence of Sadaam's acts against humanity, against Iranians, Kurds and Iraqis is more than ample. If this were the International Court in the Hague, where Slobodan Milsovich is being prosecuted, I'd say that the chances of going getting crimes against Iranians on the list of crimes to prosecute may be greater, but even there the case would be a mess due to all the complexities associated with it. In an Iraqi court it doesn't take a PhD to figure out where the emphasis for prosecution will lay and I don't think it's solely due to an Arab or Iraqi conspiracy against Iranians.

PKG at July 2, 2004 04:03 PM [permalink]:

”Bottom line, making a case against Sadaam on the basis of his using chemical weapons is more likely than not a no-win situation”

Dear James,
You’re absolutely right, going after Saddam for his use of chemical weapons against Iranian is a no-win situation! After all, The Us government sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange all cross Vietnam and there are more than 150,000 children who were born with birth defects and it seems that they are no way close to get justice and bring the perpetrators to at least admit it! Well at least for the time being! I’m sure the Iraqi-Iranian victims of Saddam thought the same way. It might “enlighten” you to take your time and read this short article, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3798581.stm.

Please before recycling the same old garbage about the historical disputes about the border; don’t forget that most of the current countries in the ME were created by the west after the collapse of the Ottomans! Likewise the borderlines were set by them. Iran and Iraq had signed an agreement about their border in 1975 in Algeria. When Saddam came to power he decided that he didn’t need to honor that anymore.
It is not so clear to me that had Iran accepted his cease-fire proposal in 1983 the war would have ended. Many people believed that He was just trying to buy time and rearm again. Even in 1988 after Iran accepted the cease-fire he decided to take his chance one more time and staged an offensive.
Here, we have some people who are trying to sue the Saudi government for the emotional damage caused by 9/11 on their kids and get some money but you seem not willing to admit that thousands of children in Iran were traumatized by a war which was initiated by Saddam and supported by the west including your country.

Ali Mostashari at July 2, 2004 05:04 PM [permalink]:

I am normally not a person who is happy of another person's misery. But despite my strong opposition to the war and the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, seeing Saddam in the court gave me a satisfaction that can only be surpassed by seeing his Iranian (and not to forget American) counterparts in the court as well.

Ghazal at July 2, 2004 05:12 PM [permalink]:

BBC Persian has started some reports on whether the invasion of Iran was among the charges or not. It says that there have been some reports that it was in the original drafts but it might have been dropped later!
It also quotes from an Arab expert on Arab world politics that it might have been dropped due to two facts, either the pressure from US as it could reveal the relations between Saddam and his supporters and the other is the public opinion of Arab people about Iran-Iraq war. He also categorizes attack to Iran as a border dispute while attack to Kuwait as breaking of international laws! I simply can’t understand how initiating the war by tearing up the contract that was signed between the two countries, on TV, moving the tanks in cities or villages like Khoramshahr and occupying them attacking its inhabitants and bombarding central parts of Iran in just a few days where IG was completely taken by surprise is considered a border dispute according to international laws!

James at July 2, 2004 05:47 PM [permalink]:

PKG, Why in the world do I need to be enlightened about something I'm well aware of? The difference with agent orange was that at the time it was not well understood to be mutagenic and carcinogenic, so Americans were also poisoned by the use of the chemicals. Your point, other than to take an extraordinarly tangent onto an unrelated issue is what? I don't question that the Vietnamese are due reparations for the use of agent orange, in much the same way as American servicemen were awarded damages for their exposure.

You're also WAY OUT THERE with what I'm admitting. My wife is one of those people who were traumatized by the war. Instead of my subjecting you to my re-hash of the border disputes (at what time in history did those borders become set in concrete by the way? Was it when Iraq, Afghanistan, and on and on was part of Persia, or was it some time else?), I'd invite you to re-read what I've posted. I do not invalidate anyone's trauma from the war, you can't point to that in anything I've posted. What I've said is that trying to get a hearing for Iranian concerns in an Iraqi court, which is exactly what we're talking about here, is not apt to happen for many reasons. If you have something to add to this that might help me to see this differently I would appreciate the insight.

James at July 2, 2004 05:53 PM [permalink]:

I'm not sure how the U.S. manages to lose anything by having Iran's issues drawn into the charges against Sadaam. The U.S. role in the war is well documented and I'm quite sure that if Sadaam has anything to add that would incite any embarrassement for the U.S. he doesn't need a trail to go about that, especially now that he's under Iraqi control and detention. I suppose we'll see, maybe he has something to tell us.

I'm still hard pressed to understand how it would or even should be expected that Sadaam would be charged with crimes against Iran in an Iraqi court and then expect to find Iraqi jurors to truly care about the matter. Maybe I'm not seeing something there.

As for whether the Iraq-Iran war was a war or not, nothing I've seen calls it anything less than a war. Anyone calling it a "border dispute" is being more than disingenuous, in fact is being something of a liar. When two countries are engaged to the extent that Iraq and Iran were, for as long as they were, nothing else but "war" defines what occurred.

PKG at July 2, 2004 06:34 PM [permalink]:

“I'm still hard pressed to understand how it would or even should be expected that Sadaam would be charged with crimes against Iran in an Iraqi court and then expect to find Iraqi jurors to truly care about the matter. Maybe I'm not seeing something there.”

Dear James,

I’m afraid that you seem to have missed the whole point! Or at least the big part of it. If you just scroll up and read the list of charges against Saddam which I guess was in one of Mohammad’s posts, you will see that his invasion of Kuwait is one of the charges, using your own argument why an Iraqi court should be expected to care about the Kuwaiti matter? If they care about the Kuwait invasion why they should overlook the suffering of Iranians. After all, the Kuwait saga was over in a few months and Iraq has been forced to pay 5% percent of its oil revenues as war reparations to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Iran suffered 8 years with so many people killed, maimed and billions of dollars damage to the infrastructure.
If you still fail to see the point, I’m afraid that I can’t do much!

“especially now that he's under Iraqi control and detention. I suppose we'll see, maybe he has something to tell us.”

To make a comment on the above comment of yours, I’d like to say that no one thinks that his trail is an Iraqi trail! It’s a show!
The Judge, Ra'id Juhi, a 33-year old Shia Muslim who had been a judge for 10 years under Saddam's own regime, was appointed--to no one 's surprise--by the former US proconsul in Iraq, Paul Bremer. He was also the same judge who accused Muqtada Sadr of murder last April, an event that led to a military battle between Sadr's militiamen and US troops in Najaf and Kerbala.

Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, people in the ME are much savvier to be fooled by these things. People here might buy such things but not the ME people!

Seeker at July 2, 2004 06:52 PM [permalink]:

The US government at the time fully supported Saddam and I am sure they have approved him of using chemical weapons. No one forgets the meeting of the US secretary of the state and Saddam at that time.
So get real please,you wont get justice in an American/Arab court. US is responsible for Saddam's atrocities and must be convicted if the court is just.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at July 2, 2004 07:01 PM [permalink]:
I agree with most of what James said here. The fact that the war became one of invasion after the second year complicates everything. However using chemical weapons (was it banned since WWI? I think I read something about it somewhere) even in self-defense as well as inhuman treatment of POWs like subjecting them to deadly experiments should very well have been included in the charges (After all it wouldn't be reducing his charges, would it? Its not like there would be distructive interference effects or something :)). It would have been if our region was a civilised part of the world. The main reason it is not included IMO is that, as others have mentioned, many arabs still regard Saddam's war with Iran as a justifiable act of honor. Arabs' disregad about anything that is not about them is not a new thing. I still have pictures of Palestinians, the same that take OUR money and national wealth, carrying pictures of Saddam and calling him a hero before and during this last war a year ago in front of my eyes. (Which might be a matter of interest for those who still care more about 'Palestinian hardships' than that of their own country). That damned war was indeed part of our childhood. I remember when Geisha street was hit too. (Arash you lived there as well?) I remember how surprised I was when instead of one big BOOM-what you heard when the explosion was not near you- there seemed to be an endless stream of smaller explosions one after the other all taking place in front of your eyes. I remember the blood and smashed body parts on the walls of what was left of a birthday party (as people used to say) the following day. The time 'Barghe aleston' was hit and the sky went totally white for a split second, the first thing I thought was a close encounter by an alien UFO!! I remember people getting in fights because someone was lighting a cigarette while we were all standing in the street in front of our houses, waiting to see if we would survive anoter night or not. (Bomb shelters were very few and by the time we would reach there the raid would be over!) How people used to call the number of bombs, it used to be five for every raid. So after counting the fifth we knew we had survived this round. Or how we used to look for the plane in the sky, it was like a star that moved relative to the background night sky. Of the period in which we drove all the way to Shahryar (a small town near Tehran) every eveningt to stay by distant relatives when Tehran was hardly bombed, and returning in the mornings to Tehran to go to school or work. Of sleeping with the radio left on. Even really silly and crazy stuff: How we all watched bad quality Betamax copies of 'V' (it was an 80's mini series about Alien inavsion!) then lights used to go out. We went outside. Counted the bombs. Came back and continued watching th film to forget what just went on. Somehow I can't think of 'V' in any other ontext than those days of war.... But as others said before, the Islamic regime is equally, if not more, guilty of crimes commited in this war. I won't be satisfied unless I live to see similar trials for these islamic animals currently in power in Iran. and although it hurts to say this, these mullahs didn't invade Iran or came to power by a coup, but by a popular revolution. The millions who celebrated the arrival of that beast in Mehrabad airport and all those who voted for this kind of hybrid 'republic' brought this upon themselves by bringing this regime-th ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
An Iranian Student (AIS) at July 2, 2004 07:11 PM [permalink]:

"If Khomeini didn't die with a guilty conscience for that war I'd be very, very surprised; I'm inclined to think that the results of the war are what killed him in the end."

You obviously didn't know him. Guilty conscience? That moron? For him War was a blessing. A divin procedure to bring epople to their senses. For him prophets had come to kill people.
He might have died because his beloved bloodshed in the war came to an end too early...

James at July 2, 2004 07:13 PM [permalink]:

Seeker, The "Let's blame the U.S. for everything" crowd is well represented by you.

As I've pointed out before, BOTH Iraq and Iran were helped by the U.S. during the war. You may remember something called the "Iran Contra Affair" which seemed to find some light after the death of Reagan. At different times the help was different, but the chemicals for the weapons used by Iraq (and Iran, too --- after 1982 the Iranians apparently used confiscated Iraqi chemical weapons and afterwards engaged in their own program to manufacture them, which unfortunately under the circumstances was a sound decision) came from Germany --- but of course, Germany's a puppet of the U.S. so it was the U.S. again.

It's nice to have a nation to blame everything on, it does tend to make one's thinking about things so much easier.

James at July 2, 2004 07:21 PM [permalink]:

PKG, Along with Seeker another member of the "Blame everything on the U.S." club, or certainly so it seems.

You want to know why the Iraqis care more about Kuwatis than Iranians? The Kuwaitis' gave into them, they're seen as weak, they lost and needed the U.S. and a slew of other countries to come to its rescue. The Iranians kicked Iraqi butt, in the course of that went head to head with a better armed foe for 8 years --- of course 6 years of that was totally unnecessary, which just went to show how difficult a foe Iranians were. There are many Iraqis, who regardless of the fact that Sadaam started the war, hate Iran because of their personal suffering, the suffering of their relatives and friends. So if you're going to make amends for doing something rotten for all the world to see, who are you going to do it for? The one who tried to kick your teeth in and whom you still look suspiciously at, or the one who truly, truly wants to be your friend if you'll just leave him alone? Do you really need to have a picture drawn for you here?

As for Sadaam having anything to say --- I tend to lose your train of thought PKG as I'm not sure what the judge has to do with anything Sadaam may have to say and share with the world. It doesn't matter what sort of trail there is, he'll have a lawyer, he'll have his day in court, and if he has something to say about how the U.S. was pulling some strings that up to now no one's managed to find, he'll have his day.

James at July 2, 2004 07:25 PM [permalink]:

AIS, Yes, you're right, traties banning the use of chemical weapons went into effect after WWI. As concerns the Iraq-Iran war and the use of chemical weapons, I'd recommend going to Fact Sheet: Chemical Warfare in the Iraq-Iran War from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. It discusses the treaty and the chemical weapons used specifically by Iraq.

PKG at July 2, 2004 07:36 PM [permalink]:

Dear James,
You may want to check out this. Regan played a very important role in Saddam’s survival, let’s at least have the facts straight.
Power brings responsibility and America bears a huge responsibility for its actions in the world. I’m not sure that things would have been better if we had another country in the place of the US! But that doesn’t give the immunity to the US to act unlawfully or unjustly just because of the sheer fact that they are the powerful of the moment and can afford it. The crux of the matter, to me at least, is why as a nation you believe that your government should be accountable to you but when it comes to the relationship of your country to the rest of the world, you believe that you’re not bound by any law and should be above criticism!
This is all.

PKG at July 2, 2004 07:49 PM [permalink]:

“There are many Iraqis, who regardless of the fact that Sadaam started the war, hate Iran because of their personal suffering, the suffering of their relatives and friends”

I’d like to see some these Iraqis that you just mentioned or perhaps you know them personally! You have just run out of things to say and started screaming nonsense and I really have more important things to do.
Have a nice 4th of July holiday!

James at July 2, 2004 08:33 PM [permalink]:

PKG --- Have a great Fourth!

James at July 2, 2004 08:43 PM [permalink]:

PKG --- Let us indeed get the facts straight, here we go: the U.S. helped Iran AND Iraq. I recommend you do a Google search, read Sciolino's "Persian Mirrors" or Keddie's "Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution" so you can get to the root of those tricky facts. While I appreciate the authority of Yahoo as a source of historical support I'm reluctant to rely on just one internet source.

Where you go sometimes in these discussions is a tad bit confusing. Specifically, I fully appreciate that the U.S. has a responsibility to the world, that it should often act better than it does, and that it in fact is and should be bound by law, as well as open to constructive criticism. My problem here is that no where in anything I've written have I indicated anything to indicate that I don't believe that. So if you're going to put words in my mouth I dare to ask that you put MY words there --- that does give us a basis for discussion vice factless rant.

Anyway, sorry I missed your first post and find myself responding a bit out of order here, and my wishes for you and yours to have a great Fourth still stands!

S at July 3, 2004 01:33 AM [permalink]:

I am looking forward to see Saddam asking Rumsfeld as a witness. Unfortunately Regan (hell-be-upon-him) is dead and he can not participate in this game.

This will not be a fair trial since the witnesses will be absent!

SB at July 3, 2004 01:36 PM [permalink]:

James,
Thanks for telling us about your google skills!
Chechk out the result of my search buddy.
http://www.counterpunch.org/boyle1214.html
The guy seems to understand the law better than you and me!

James at July 3, 2004 02:09 PM [permalink]:

SB, You're apparently amongst those readers who don't really read what they read inasmuch as I never gave claim to any particular Google skills, instead relying on the references of two books, one by a well-respected academic expert on the Middle East, specifically Iran (Keddie), and the other a well-respected correspondent for the NY Times (Sciolino). If you were doing a Google search for information I'm sure you came up with more than just Boyle's piece, but I imagine they didn't support the specific point you were making or have the sort of credentials Boyle appears to.

I'm not sure who Boyle is, but if I wanted left wing screeching I'd surely waste my Googling on any site dedicated to Chomsky --- he's at least reasonably entertaining in a certain sort of left wing sorta way. Boyle is a lawyer and thereby should appreciate the law, but I'm not sure what aspect of the law we're talking about here as his piece was written well before Iraq II and the events we're addressing now.

Glad you enjoy Google, though --- support them by buying some stock!

An Iranian citizen at July 3, 2004 02:44 PM [permalink]:

Iranian expert criticizes US for reluctance to charge Saddam with unleashing Iran-Iraq war

17:03 2004-07-03
Hushang Amirahmadi, a political scientist in charge of the American-Iranian Council, has criticized the United States for its reluctance to charge the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein with unleashing the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

The US is trying to avoid the topic as a highly sensitive one to it. The Americans deny that Hussein was the aggressor in that conflict, this despite the fact that the United Nations recognized him as such a long time ago, the expert said in a RIA Novosti interview.

Earlier this week, the Iraqi judiciary charged Saddam with several major crimes, including the murder of religious and political activists, the use of poison gas against Iraqi Kurds in 1988, and the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. But the indictment makes no mention of Iraq's aggression against the neighboring Iran over a territorial dispute. This war, which spanned the 1980-to-1988 period, claimed about 2 million lives on both sides to become one of the bloodiest standoffs of the 20th century.

It is no secret that the Ronal Reagan Administration provided aid for Iraq throughout that war, supplying it with double-purpose hardware and with intelligence information about the maneuvers of Iranian troops.

Given the above, it is highly unlikely that the United States will be willing to have the former Iraqi dictator recall the details of its involvement in the conflict, Mr. Amirahmadi said. "Iran is playing the same role for the US today as Iraq used to. There are outstanding problems between Iran and America, and the United States doesn't think it should defend Iran in any way," our interviewee pointed out.

On the other hand, even those charges that have been brought against Saddam are hard to consider outside the context of the Iran-Iraq war, the expert said. To illustrate his point, he cited Saddam's use of poison gas against the Kurdish population of Iraq.

Saddam made the step because he believed that the Kurds had betrayed Iraq's national interests by siding with Iran, Mr. Amirahmadi recalled. "I believe the Americans are wrong in trying to avoid the Iranian theme as this makes it clear to the global community that the trial over Saddam won't be a fair one. It raises only those issues that can serve US interests," RIA Novosti's interviewee said in conclusion.

James at July 3, 2004 03:19 PM [permalink]:

I'm sure Hushang Amirahmadi is a well-respected individual, but last time I checked the U.S. wasn't running Iraq, didn't run its courts, and didn't have the right to tell Iraq what to charge its prisoners with.

That said, surely there's nothing to stop the Iranian govt from taking this issue to the International court and charging Iraq, specifically Sadaam, with crimes. It begs reason as to why such a tactic isn't being pursued, and I'd welcome any legal expert who could possibly clarify this.

PKG at July 3, 2004 03:44 PM [permalink]:

“but last time I checked the U.S. wasn't running Iraq, didn't run its courts, and didn't have the right to tell Iraq what to charge its prisoners with.”
Oh really! When was that last time that you checked? 50 years ago?!!
There are 160,000 American soldiers in Iraq and there is nothing called the Iraqi army, thanks to the Bremer for disbanding the army and you think people believe that the US is not running the show! Were they ghosts those people who were torturing Iraqis in Abu Gharib? Oh, I'm sorry "abusing" the Iraqis!
You are either a fool or number one hypocrite.
Read this :
"In a parallel but equally deceptive move, the US handed over Saddam's legal file but the tyrant is still in US custody. Saddam's defiance in court largely stems from the fact that many of his accusers - including Prime Minister Allawi, a former cadre of Saddam's Ba'ath party, and some of the non-Ba'athist forces represented in the transitional government - were allies of his regime. Many Iraqis feel that the US-appointed transitional government has no moral authority over the man in the dock, both because of their past association with his regime and because they came, in the words of a now common Iraqi saying, "on the backs of American tanks". As one Iraqi observed: "If they give Saddam a fair trial, they will all end up with him in the dock - Kissinger, Reagan, Thatcher, Blair, the two Bushes and Allawi."
Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1253111,00.html
Are those Iraqis who said these, among your Iraqi friends that hate Iran so much and greated you with sweets and flowers?!
spare us from your nonsense please!

James at July 3, 2004 04:43 PM [permalink]:

PKG, I believe last week the government of Iraq was stood up, the American administrator left, and the Iraqis have it to run, with American military assistance, similar to how Japan and Germany (last count there's 45,000 Americans there in uniform --- not quite what there are in Iraq, but we created something of a mess in Iraq so we should be there for a while at least cleaning it up) run their countries with American troops on their soil --- you may have missed that, I suggest you look into it. Ergo what Sadaam is charged with is an Iraqi call.

PKG, it would be nice if you could learn to have a dialog without resorting to calling someone a hypocrit, or stating that they're spewing nonsense. I suppose nonsense is in the eye of the beholder, but I'll not call yours what I think it is if you could be so good as to keep your opinions regarding this in the future to yourself. As for being a hypocrit, I assure you I'm anything but, though again that's a personal view of yours and you're welcome to it. I merely state what I know, interpret what I know as I see it and try to leave myself open to different perspectives and facts that may indeed help me change my mind. I'm quite earnest, very dedicated to the truth as best I can find it, and I do appreciate polite discourse, which I strongly urge you to consider.

PKG at July 3, 2004 05:26 PM [permalink]:

Sorry James if I have hurt your feelings but let’s face the truth! Unfortunately the facts on the ground does not support your theory/fantasy whichever you like to name it! By reading a couple of books about Iran, you don’t become an Iran or the ME expert. To tell you the truth, I’m amazed at the way you indulge in your assessments about Iran/Iranians and the Middle East without thinking for a moment that most of the people here actually lived their lives in that reality which you may have encountered a glimpse of it in a few books.
You like to think that Iraq is being run by the Iraqis, then so be it! But bear in mind that if you go to Iraq tomorrow and say that to the first Iraqi that you see on the street, You’ll be mocked by him/her! Iraq and the Middle East today are not the defeated Japan and Germany after WW2! You fail to understand that, you’ll pay a heavy price in the future for it. The events in the past 14-15 months should have taught you something! And by you I don’t mean you as a person! I mean whoever was in denial and making fantasies about Iraq becoming a beacon of democracy…
I tend to think if someone in the face of these overwhelming facts coming from Iraq and the region in large, fails to acknowledge it, must be a fool, ignorant or hypocrite! BUT, I don’t have a window into your mind and conscience, so maybe you’re doing your best to understand and what you say is to the best of your understanding! In that case, I’m sorry if I was not understanding!

James at July 3, 2004 05:46 PM [permalink]:

PKG, Do you ever get tired of using exclamation points in what you write, !!!!!!!!, I mean it must be quite the burden on your keyboard. Hurt my feelings? Dear me, no, I merely expect courteous discourse and an exchange of intelligent ideas; not quite sure what you're here for, other than to practice exclamation points and putting words in the mouths of those who don't necessarily quite see things the way you do.

Now as far as being an expert on Iran or the ME, no where have I ever claimed anything of the sort, I've merely quoted the experts. As for qualifications regarding expertise, living somewhere doesn't make you an expert on that place, but if you would like to make that claim, or anyone else who has merely "lived" somewhere, delusions abound and that's to one's individual taste. Rarely does anyone take the time to understand the socio-political-economic dynamic of what goes on in their country, they mostly just know what's happening in their lives and the lives of those they know (second hand, so even that's somewhat suspect.) I should say that this is the case for Americans who think Bush is doing a great job, Iraqis who don't know or appreciate who's running their country, Iranians for whatever, and you name the nationality.

Before you took me to task for making claims about Iraqis who hate Iranians, now you'd like to tell me what the Iraqis think. Maybe you are the expert, hidden behind your initials, on all things Iraqi. Of course there's no way to discern that, and given your histrionics here it's hard to see how you would be much of an expert anywhere, other than as a user of the exclamation point.

Again, have a great Fourth!

An Iranian Student (AIS) at July 3, 2004 05:54 PM [permalink]:

Houshang Amirahmadi is a lobbyst of the Islamic Republic of Iran. that should say all about him that is necessary.

James at July 3, 2004 06:03 PM [permalink]:

PKG, I was checking the NY Times and came across the following article
Iraqis Watch With Wary Pride as Little Changes, and a Lot. I guess they hadn't heard that bit about the Iraqis not thinking anything's changed. I think you need to check your sources, something's happening over there.

PKG at July 3, 2004 06:17 PM [permalink]:

I might get tired of using them when you get tired of informing us of the "experts" 's opinions, specially when they are The NY times experts.
Aren't you supposed to go and prepare your 4th July BBQ ?
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

James at July 3, 2004 06:34 PM [permalink]:

Actually I don't do barbecue, really nasty stuff as a rule.

I give you the experts, and you don't want to hear about it because ... why? What you have to say is more important than what the "experts" have to say? We're heading down a slippery slope here PKG. So I guess we should assume that you're not interested in trying to understand something, i.e. getting the perspective of experts, rather you're more interested in a particular personal agenda. You see what you have to say on its own isn't worth a whole heck of a lot, you need to have references to support your contentions. Surely you appreciate how to put together a good term paper?

Dear me, no the experts I refer to are the ones I alluded to earlier, but you can't seem to keep the thread of the conversation in your mind, likely you're too focused on those exclamation you're trying to get across. You need to focus PKG, focus. As for the NY Times correspondent, he's there, he's talking to the people in Iraq, if you're not doing the same that does put your contentions to the contrary of his in a hard spot, wouldn't you say? His point, the correspondent that is, is that the people of Iraq by and large do see a change, they're not quite sure where it's all going, but it's not the same as under the Americans, it sure and heck isn't the same as under Sadaam, and they're a tad bit hopeful. At least something good may be coming out of all of this mess, and hopefully Bush won't try to get credit for it, but you can be sure that he'll do his best to try.

SB at July 3, 2004 06:47 PM [permalink]:

"s that the people of Iraq by and large do see a change, they're not quite sure where it's all going, but it's not the same as under the Americans, it sure and heck isn't the same as under Sadaam, and they're a tad bit hopeful. At least something good may be coming out of all of this mess..."

Alice,
Wake up, Wake up Alice :)

Atmikha at July 4, 2004 08:16 PM [permalink]:

BTW, it is not true to say that Americans didn't care about Iraq using chemical weapons. I remember very well the images everywhere in the media when the gassing of the Kurds was discovered. Everyone was talking about it, everyone was shocked and quite horrified. That single incident, amongst all the other atrocities was probably what ignited the interest and judgement of the general American public in the whole situation. We had seen bizarre images of young Iranian boys marching off to be slaughtered in dirty ditches with ragged headbands and keys tied around their necks, sent by the madman ayatollah, we were told, but the sight of all those women and children laying dead in the streets of that Kurdish village is what cleared away the fog of cultural and political complexities. No doubt about the criminality of that act in our minds. And actions were taken, such as could be done at the time. I remember Germany's part in supplying the technology and materials was investigated and brought to light. There were recriminations and attempts at enforcing accountability. These attempts may have been feeble, and may or may not have been futile, but it is not true to say that "Americans didn't care."

PKG at July 5, 2004 12:49 PM [permalink]:

"I remember Germany's part in supplying the technology and materials was investigated and brought to light. There were recriminations and attempts at enforcing accountability. These attempts may have been feeble, and may or may not have been futile, but it is not true to say that "Americans didn't care."

Bringing Germany’s guilt to light IS NOT ENOUGH. Over the course of years, the dirty laundry of a lot of other countries including the US has been brought to light, including the recent ones, lying their way to their illegal war in Iraq and systematically torturing the Iraqis.
And what have they done? Did they bring Germany and other countries which were supplying Saddam with his chemical and biological weapons to justices? What are they doing in response to what happened in Abu Gharib and Afghanistan? Putting some low level soldiers in trail. This is not how we define justice in our dictionary and certainly would do little to ease the suffering of the people who lost their loved ones. Also, caring about something in our dictionary doesn’t mean that you feel bad about something for a moment and then go by your life!
Americans staged two wars and destroyed two countries because of 9/11 tragedy and they expect others to forget about their suffering?!

Mohammad at July 6, 2004 05:32 PM [permalink]:

Dear Friends,

The most important reason why invasion of Iran was deleted from the list in my opinion (and after reading the relevant news) is what Ghazal mentioned earlier from BBC Persian site.
Let's call a dog by its name: the truth is that there is a long, historical, and in my opinion moronic enemity and covert racism directed from Arabs to all their neighbors!
Regardless of what you think about Arab-Israeli conflict over the past two, three years, the type of racist propaganda coming out of Arab media is astounding. They have deep problems with Iranians, Turks, Kurds, Barbars, and Balck people! I mean if you want to look at Sam Huntington's clash of civilizations, you don't need to look for Western-Islamic clash, just look at Arab-non-Arab clash in the middle east.
It has nothing to do with Islamic republic either. Arab street and intellectuals loved to hate both Reza Shah and Mohammad Reza shah (the Pahlavi kings).
So the fact that some Iraqis suffered through the invasion in 1980s does not bother me a bit. So did Germans during WWII! Saddam and most of his administration are guilty of invading Iran, and Iraqi people did nothing to acquit themselves from this crime.
As far as I can say, based on rabid racist rants that you hear from a good number of Arabs here in the west, they don't feel sorry either!

Eswin at July 6, 2004 06:31 PM [permalink]:

I cannot agree more Mohammad.

I recently finished a study on rationality and religion in Iran-Iraq War.

Iraqis, the Iraqi government sponsored media, often connected the insistence of Iranians on qualifying the Gulf as the Persian Gulf with the fact that the Islamic rulers of Iran were aware that Aryanic/persian rhetoric would strike an unequivocal cord of support with Iranians of all stripes. In an article published by the ministry of information, indeed, it has been mentioned that Iranians in their subconscious psyche identify Arabs as an inferior race.

In Iraqi high school history books a large protion was dedicated to the defeat of the Persians in the hands of Arabs (no mention of Muslim Arabs).

There is an "ok" book that touches a little bit upon this subject, although it is more related to religion and the Iranian side, but it cites some sources about the Iraqi side's propaganda as well:

Saskia Gieling "Religion, and War in Revolutionary Iran", I.B. Tauris: London, 1999.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at July 6, 2004 07:22 PM [permalink]:

"So the fact that some Iraqis suffered through the invasion in 1980s does not bother me a bit. So did Germans during WWII! Saddam and most of his administration are guilty of invading Iran, and Iraqi people did nothing to acquit themselves from this crime."

Muhammad,

Do you think Americans also have the right to say the same about Iran and Iranians under the Islamic Republic, after the Hostage Taking of the American Embassy, the hostage takings in Beirut and of terrorist attacks in Khobar?
What about Israelis?
If ,God forbid, another terrorist attack is carried on on US soil, with all the terrorist cells, including Al Qaeda, now active in Iran, would you agree with Americans who would say the same thing about Iranians in general?

I agree with you about the facism in Arab/Islamic culture and the disrespect of others inherent in it as I wrote earlier, but I don't agree with this kind of over generalization and collective blame on an entire people. How much could Iraqis do under Saddam's dictatorship. Do you think only those who supported that invasion got hurt and not all the silent others in Iraq? Don't you think there were Iraqis who opposed the war and wanted to just live in peace?

I would still support such retaliations when necessary, that is the reality in the world, but I can't say that the fact that some people will suffer does not bother me. It does and that is the tragedy in all of this. That is why the cultural and ideological roots of such fascims must be fought and destroyed. When the intelklectual battle is forsaken, it will eventually lead to the physical one, and then many die. Those who are ready to forsake 'human rights' and the likes for 'highre!' ideals would be responsible, those who close their eyes on the bestiality of a particular worldview are responsible. Those who ask for respect for inhuman mentalities are responsible....
That is also why I think any rational person must support the current US war on terror NOW, before it is too late and things get out of hand especially before these bastards mullahs get their hands on any nukes.

PKG at July 6, 2004 07:28 PM [permalink]:

Mohammad and Eswin,
Then what do you suggest? Should we go and wipe them all out from the face of the earth? Really do you have a solution for the Arab hatred towards Iranians? There are little things that we can do about this. We can’t simply relocate our country to another continent (e.g. next to Germany) Arabs are right out there, our neighbors!
I remember a fellow countryman in a party talking to a group of Germans about our “common Germanic background” and in return she just received a few polite smiles!
Arabs or to be more accurate the Semites who were living in the Near East were subdued by the Persians for centuries before the coming of Islam and there are incidents in the history that their cities in Levant and Syria were destroyed by the Persians who were in fight with the Romans. Likewise, Iranians suffered during the Arab rule after their conquest of Iran. Saddam tried to portray the Iran-Iraq war as the old story of the Persians trying to dominate the region and some Arabs bought it.
Having said that, I should say that I have seen more distrust and suspicion from Iranians towards the Arabs than vice versa. We tend to look down on them or in general on all our neighbors (we make fun of Turks, Arabs, Afghans... all the time).
The bottom line is that people want to live in peace and in their day-to-day life, they don’t care if they are Aryan or Semites or Slavs…..I think we can be aware of our differences but still live in harmony and honestly as long as, Arabs don’t impose their culture whatsoever on us I have no problem with them.

Eswin at July 6, 2004 09:53 PM [permalink]:
PKG: I am sorry that this is going to be long: Actually, you cannot wipe humans out like that, it has been tried before, hmmm let me think of a few names Stalin and Hitler are the two that figure prominently in that club..., and it has not worked. But I have a question: Do you think the mistrust that we have towards Arabs is unfounded? If you really think so you are very naive, with all due respect. My friend, just google UAE and the gulf islands and see how far back this hostility dates. These Taazis, if you don't mind me, are really after the territorial integrity of our ancestral land that we all hold dear. If you think our nationalism is blind and harbours racism, I would be more than happy to see that all the people on this planet come together and reject the ethno-cultural pride and its centrality to human's identity; remove the borders and understand once and for all that we are all the same species who share the same planet. However, in reality, people are very identity oriented, whether you like it or now, and use identity to compete over resources that are available to them, whether they are natural, intellectual, or simply cultural. It amazes me how some people can claim to be ardent pacifists and internationalist and yet forget the fact that insistence on ethnocultural difference can often be anything but wanting to irradicate other peoples! I am a proud Iranic! I am proud that I belong to an ancestry that refused to lose her identity upon constant Tazi, Turkic, and Tartar invasions. Indeed, I am proud that we should celebrate our ethno-cultural resilience that they were assimilated by us. Why does the Constitution of the Islamic Republic protect the education of Arabic until high school but does not protect the education of Iranic languages that are on the verge of extinction? Is not this another type of worshiping the foreigners? The bottom line is that people want to live in peace BUT on their own accord. They want peace as it suits them. Why do you think Arabs are reacting like this? Because they are no longer the top-dogs. They have forgotten their humble origins. They have forgotten how Iranian bureaucrats helped them to manage their empire. For them families like Barmakies and Nobakhties are just Ajami names. It is killing Arabs to see that they are so weak and overridden by the US. But whose fault is that really? The Ottomans? The Iranians, who were the first people that liberated themselves from Arabs? The British? The US? What about their own leaders? And who are those leaders? Have they come from Mars? No, they are Arabs themselves and very proud ones as well. Just look at what is happening in Sudan right now. And those Germans, well, let me tell you one thing, many Germans today do not even want to know their own history before WWII. They are suffering from a huge guilt complex. Indeed, they have set the precedent for all of us that there is a limit for nationalism, but this does not mean that I would be ready to fall victim of Utopian Pacifism. Let me, first, back track to the question of ethno-cultural pride. Those of us who have concluded that Iranic people existed do not place their opinions on nonsense. There are many studies out there. (I am currently working on a project in that regard that I can send it to you if you want.) Moreover, how come being Jewish and being proud of it does not make some people wonder and they do everything and propagate their survivalism and ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Eswin at July 6, 2004 09:57 PM [permalink]:

Is it not interesting that the Arab states are so silent over ethnic cleansing in Sudan, as they were over Halabja almost 16 years ago??

Where are the masses who demonstated against the US intervention in Iraq?

Mirror at July 6, 2004 11:42 PM [permalink]:

If you remember, almost all massive Iraq war demonstrations were in western countries.

Ali M at July 7, 2004 03:06 AM [permalink]:

Well sorry for butting in mates but can't help being surprised by the sheer amount of tosh I keep reading on here. Before jumping on the "Hang Saddam" bandwagon and mouthing the usual platitudes about his wartime atrocities.... you'd be doing a better job to remember that:

1) If there's anyone with a cause for complaint, it's the true victims: those who were killed or crippled in the warfronts, those who perished in the bombarded cities, and people inside Iran and Iraq who are feeling the after-effects of inflation, poverty and unemployment. Certainly not the patronising pseudo-intelligentsia who, from the quiet and comfort of Westwood and Beverly Hills, are quick to trot out loads of sloppy, patriotic tripe on each and very occasion. How very convenient for you! Or is the fact that Saddam is alive and kicking actually robbing you of an opportunity for self-pity, I wonder?

2) Broadly speaking, politicians around the world – the whole f***ing lot of them- share one prominent feature and that is they are prepared to do ANYTHING to gain power and/or remain in power. And that’s true on both national and international level: George Bush rigs the vote in Florida to win the elections, his soldiers brutalise and torture prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo… and look what his predecessors did to the people of Vietnam or the passengers of Iran Air Flight 655. Khomeini kills some 50,000 dissident prisoners in the space of one week. Saddam drops deadly chemicals on the children of Halabja….The list is endless.

Politicians all over the world can be considered as members of one big association built around the concepts of deceit, tyranny and hypocrisy. The fact that sometimes conflicts of interest get them into wars should not detract attention from their common nature. Who gave Saddam those weapons? Who supported him in his aggression against Iran? The same fine people who are now interrogating him! Indeed, doesn’t he look like an angel beside those who cooked up the whole thing? After all, he was just doing as he was told! If he's lynched, it will be a classic case of dog eat dog; if he goes scot-free, then just another good day for world "politics".

3) Slightly off topic: You are all students, right? Ain’t you got anything more important to do than spouting rubbish on this site? I hear that in the US and Canada, to do any good in the field of science, you’ve got to study as hard as you can. Small wonder that of the million or so Iranian “academics” and brainiacs in N. America, not a single one has ever won a decent science prize! (After so many years up there, most of you still haven’t got your English right!) What kind of students are you?

Ali M., Conspiracy Theorist

Ali M. at July 7, 2004 03:09 AM [permalink]:

Correct: "the sheer amount of tosh I keep reading here"

Ali M. at July 7, 2004 06:29 AM [permalink]:

Correct: "should not distract attention from the fact that..."
Gotta do a little more practice with the keyboard, it seems :-))

Eswin Oakman at July 7, 2004 06:41 AM [permalink]:

Ali M.

I was in Iran during the war. I was in Tehran during the Mooshakbaaraan. So you don't need to cast your rant upon people like me who just lived 500 meters north of Hafteh Teer Square where the first Scud hit in February 1988.

Your make some good points, but you talk as if politicians are totally different species from the People themselves.

You talk about the fact that the West supported Saddam, any one with a limited knowledge of International Relations knows that.

The West under Chamberlain supported Hitler, if you don't mind. The simple fact concerning support does not take away responsibility. Even the worst kind of realists in International Relations, Hitler Himself, are concerned with doing thing in a way that at least looks human.

Saddam is responsible in the final analysis and must be brought to justice.

Your statement concerning his predecessors and their crimes is irrelevant in this view.

It is like saying: well, modern criminology suggests that no human commits a crime without the existence of sociological and psychological factors, so let's forgive all criminals! After all, none of them would have committed those crimes if those causes were not in place!

I am sorry Saddam exercised his own "will" when the circumstances were ripe and he used everything, from Arab nationalism to the US and the former USSR, France and Germany (the most ridiculous anti-war coalition), to advance his cause.

However, I still draw one strong conclusion from your contribution: "Broadly speaking" politicians around the world reflect some crazy and unfortunate aspects of their national psyche!

Khomeini represents that aspect of Iranian psyche that worships Islam to the point of Arabizing the Iranian state through a Cosntitution that protects the education of Arabic and opposes protection of Iranic languages!

Zeh Torko-Zeh, Zeh Dehghano, Az Taziyan

Nejadi padid ayad andar meyan,

Na Torko, Na dehgano Tazi bovad,

Sokhanhaa beh kerdareh baazi bovad,

Ferdosi

Ali Mahani at July 7, 2004 08:10 AM [permalink]:

Eswin Oakman: “So you don't need to cast your rant upon people like me who just lived 500 meters north of Hafteh Teer Square where the first Scud hit in February 1988.”

For your information, I too lived in Tehran at the time (I still do :-(( ) and was very nearly hit by an Iraqi Scud (our windows were all shattered). So no need to tell ME what Mooshakbaaraan means, I assure you.

February 88 was not the first time Tehran was being targeted. Iraqi planes bombed the city back in 1984, and before that, people in Khorramshahr, Abadan and Kermanshah were suffering hell with 9-metre missiles landing on their homes since the start of the conflict. What they’ve been through must be far worse than anything we have seen.

Would you believe it? During the war, we were still having it easy and leading relatively comfortable lives (petrol at 30 rials a litre, and there were just 700 rials to the dollar.... Oh the days!!). War WAS a catastrophe, but all that utter hell was nothing; it was bliss compared to the horrors of the so-called Reconstruction Period. Prices soaring, unemployment hitting double figures, crime and prostitution reaching all-time records…. So put these on Saddam’s bill too…

I did not for one moment suggest that politicians are a separate species or anything like that. They are, as you correctly point out, the finished product or rather the perfect epitome of a morbid (inter)national psyche which has nurtured the likes of Hitler and Stalin.

To show you how I feel about the Iranians’ collective character and their responsibility in getting where they are, I refer you to a contribution I made to another forum on this site:

freethoughts.org/archives/000238.php


And I didn’t intend to exonerate Saddam. Point is, justice should be applied equally and to all those who were involved in crimes against humanity-directly or indirectly. James' post at the beginning of this page is especially worth reading.

Take care,
Ali Mahani

Mohammad at July 7, 2004 12:15 PM [permalink]:

I guess it is my turn to butt in :)
Generally, I think people who let history of their great grand fathers dictate their current actions need to see a doctor.
When I mentioned Pan Arab nationalism/racism, I was not referring to Islamic conquest of Sassanid empire! My aim was closer to home and now: 1950's and Gamal Abdul Nasser's idiotic rivalry with the Shah, the disgusting ethnic cleansing in Sudan that has been going on since 1960s, slave trade that still goes on in Sudan, Yemen, Saudi, and UAE and other Persian Gulf mini-states, the disgusting anti-Jewish (against Zionist and non-zionist alike) ranting and raving coming out of Arab media (some of our IQ-challenged compadres in Iran and abroad are catching this virus too), and last but not least, the very alive anti-Iranian bias (we saw it when Saddam's war crimes against Iranians were deemed OK, or when that piece of turd, Muqtada Sadr opens his mouth, or when all Arab countries gang up against both Imperial or Islamic Iran). It is here, it is alive, and part of it have to do with the fact that after ahistoricizing ME history, middle easterners in general, and Arabs in particular, get a way blown out of proportion idea of the "Golden Age" of Islam.

Mohammad at July 7, 2004 12:27 PM [permalink]:

First, this age was over by 15th century. By that time, ME was happily heading into a fast decline. Second, compared to what was before and came afterwards, it was not that great. Third, why get murderous for something that ended 400-500 years ago?
I mean, be realistic!
Then, there is the question of what would I do if suddenly there is another attack in the US soil and this time it is linked to Iran.
Well, I guess I just need to grin and bear the consequences. Put it this way: if our parents generation were stupid enough to make the choices that they did (and that includes the lefty-loonies, the religious nutters, the Mossadeq-maniacs, and the Shah-toadies), and our generation has not done anything about those decisions or can not do anything about it, or does not care; then we have to COLLECTIVELY pay the price for bad decisions made.
It is all good and well to be pacifist and internationalist, and progressive, and ... but when push comes to shove, the world follows a brutal logic and does not care much about musings of touchy feely latte-drinking cafe-hoppers.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at July 7, 2004 05:31 PM [permalink]:

Ali M,

If you are stuck in Iran, it is not really the fsult of many here who are now abroad. So what is the point of bringing this up in every single one of your comments lately?
Conspiracy theory is unfortunately the sign of things going not so well up there in the head-if you don't mind me saying so-and if you think what happens in democracies is the same as what lunatics like Saddam, Khomeini or Castro were and are doing...well you are wrong. Maybe you should read other things beside Sadegh Hedayat?

Eswin,
You have every right to be proud of the ancestory and live the way you want. Good points here.

Mohammad,

again I agree with most of what you say here, except the part about collective punishment. Also I see nothing wrong in using historical past to define your identity, as long as thatr is done in a meaningful and progressive way with an eye of present and future needs of a society.

As for "Islamomania", you said it as it is!
Here is yet another example. This is indeed a huge cultural 'desease' and a fatal one for that.
I mean how sick, pathetic, disgusting and despicable can these Islamic animals really get?! (and that includes their bestial cousins comprising 'our' regime as well, like 'Parliament' members and islamic thugs signing for suicide attacks lately. Is there really no limit to 'khariat'? I wonder....

PKG at July 7, 2004 07:24 PM [permalink]:

“Everyone reading the David Duke Report understands the crisis faced by the White World. All White nations have a severe non-White immigration crisis. Every White nation has a critically low birthrate that will result in a greatly diminished White population. In America, even the U.S. Government has officially projected that those of European descent will become a minority in four or five decades. We will be outnumbered and outvoted in the nation our forefathers built!
When that happens our people will be politically prostrate at the feet of those who have envied and hated us for generations, and the result will be similar to the wide scale murder and dispossession White farmers now face in Zimbabwe. If the dispossession of our people would occur only in our beloved America, at least our genetic and cultural heritage would survive elsewhere, but every White nation on earth is undergoing a racial transformation similar to America's.”

“Unchecked, low White birthrates, massive non-White immigration and intermarriage will mean the complete genetic destruction of the great European race that produced an overwhelming share of the world's great art and literature, scientific and economic advancement. Make no mistake about it: unless our people wake up and act courageously, our very genotype; our people as a unique, living breed of life upon this planet - will be wiped out! Such would be the greatest ecologic and evolutionary disaster ever to befall our planet!”

Doesn’t this sound similar to what some people say here? You want to read the whole thing? Check out http://www.duke.org/dukereport/10-00.html
David Duke was also elected to the House of Representatives in Louisiana, AIS and other like-minded people, if it was up to this guy, you would have been shipped back to your country .There is a real danger when people become to obsessed with their race, nationality ethnicity etc. You get blinded by your own rhetoric.
None of you could have lived wherever you are (US, Canada and Europe) if majority of the people were insane enough to buy such things. You would have been one of those brown-colored people who should have been sent back to their tents and camels.
BTW, I think one reason that this guy’s name might not be so much heard of, is related to the fact that he is very much anti Semite (read anti-Jew) too. Although he is popular in the south.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at July 7, 2004 10:52 PM [permalink]:
No PKG, these insane meaningless mumbo-jumbo doesn't sound similar to what I have been saying here. (Since you mentioned me by name) Cultural heritage of an ethnic group is a very different thing than such crazy nonsense about 'genotype' and 'living bread'. Let me explain more: It might be illuminating to divide the approach towards any community-devotion into two categories. 1- In this camp the basic foundations are morality and the general humanism. They are the goals. A realist and unbiased look adds to this the realization that there are laws and forces working in social and cultural realms like those of the natural world. An impoortant one is the fact that people tend to live nad 'belong' to communities that are more or less well defined and which they can identify themselves with. This can be partly explained with methods of evolutionary biology. Realizing this and the organic nature of such communities, the advocats of this approach tend to try to reach the moral goals through implementing them within the cultural traits of these communities, instead of abolishing any division of this sort based on ideal and ideological aspirations. In short here ethnicity and cultural attachment is secondary and seen as (albeit necessary and indespensible)means and not ends in themselves. As I said some time agi , this is like building airplanes where you understand and take advantage of natural laws and limitations instead of 'transcending material nature..' in order to fly. 2- In this view the communities are ends in themsleves. The worldview is in its foundation a partioned one. This is in essence the opposite of the first approach although it might seem superficially similar in some circumstances. Extremist nationalism and racisms belong to this camp. Ironically this camp includes all those who try to dispense of ethnic and cultural divions as well. They are also striving for the dominence of a particular community and have partioned view of mankind. Only they define their communities differently. Communism defines it with class. Islamism with believers and infidels (these two are the most common anti-ethnic traits in Iran). Racism by race. The defining community can be even defined negatively (which is more common actually) AntiCapitalism for modern leftist activists. Anti-West, anti-Zionist, anti-globalization...all belong to this second camp despite their superficial 'internationalism'. It can even be seen in more intellectual realsm, anti-realists, moral relativists (including multi-culturalist extremeists themselves!) post-moderns. It is very interesting to see how different groups of this camp, almost instinctively, find each other despite their loud and different outside masks. Iran finds n. korea and Cuba. Leftists find Islamists. Anti-semites find both... In contrast to this vast spectrum of lunacies, the first camp simply consists of those practically minded realists who keep to objective realism and independent moral values and who try to find how the world, including human communities, actually work instead of imposing models uopn them beforehand. The organic nature of human communities is very important. It means you can't impose idealist musts and must-nots just like that on them or change them as you please. It means that instead it is better to strengthen the social conditions indirectly and leaving people free to choose for themselves. To let the system follow its natural evolution as possible. One other impo ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
An Iranian Student (AIS) at July 7, 2004 11:44 PM [permalink]:

PKG,
I've been reading the insane garbage of this lunatic 'white' guy you linked to.
If so much misery had not resulted from such crap, it would have been ideal for a good laugh at the end of a long day! (Maybe it still is. Things like what you quoted or "...a book that expresses the spiritual commitment necessary for European mankind to win the coming struggle for our survival and evolutionary advancement." or "When a racially aware Russia and reawakened America become united in our cause, the world will change. Our race will survive and together we shall go to the stars!" are funny jokes by themselves. The guy is obviously a psycho!)

Personally I think if an individual decides of him/herself to preserve his/her own precious genoype (whatever that means here!!), as long as that is an individual thing and does not hurt others or impose anything on others, should be free to do whatever he wants with his genes. :))

Unfortunately as this guy here shows, this is usually not thecase, Somehow the thing is rekated to all sorts of other things I said in my previous comment.
The common bond of antisemitism bewteen his like and ofr example the "less-white" (even writing such things is funny :)) Islamists shows what I was saying before. Another example, now between lunatic left and Islamists is how Chomsky books get published so easily in Islamic republic or how Hizbollah is trying to promote that looney Michael Moore's film in the ME....they all instinctively find each other.
I also want to say that the use of the terms Semtic and Anti-Semitic to be used for ethnicities is first devised by Eurpean anti-Jews to give a pseudo-scientific aura to this old hatred. Again it is interesting how the Nazis didn't seem to have any problems with Arabs which they considered as allies as well (The famous Mufti of Jeruslame and his visit to Nazi Germany is known enough I guess. Any time I hear an Arab/Islamist say they can't be anti-semitic because they are 'Semites' brings a sneer to my mouth)

All this is yet another proof of the absurdity of this whole thing!

Eswin at July 8, 2004 12:03 AM [permalink]:

Ali M. Thank you for your feedback.

Mirror:

Actually, there were a lot of demonstrations in the Arab World, the biggest one was in Cairo, led by Mubarak's son. I think he is now crying for the Darfur people in one of his Dad's palaces and thinks that Arab supremacists should be stopped.


AIS:

I think your analysis is way more profound and thought provoking than my frequent rants. Thank you very much indeed!

PKG:


The democratic and judicial institutions of the Western world are still far more resilient and justice based than fear mongering and victimization of the Islamists and Arabists in North America.

It was just last week that the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that, “enough is enough”, regarding the Guantanamo Bay Camp prisoners’ rights to justice.

Your attempt to argue that ethno-cultural nationalism is the same as racial nationalism shows that you have chosen to disregard the most important component of my post.

Allow me to reiterate my core points.

Briefly, I am of the opinion that ethno-cultural awakening can be a cause of self-reflection and intra-communal deliberation, unification, and convergence.

It will also reveal to us that we should use it as a unifying denomination that makes us hyper-aware about the possible consequences of radical racial nationalists propaganda of foreign neighbours, who attempt to undermine our national, cultural, and territorial integrity.

Preservation and promotion of our historical survival skills under occupation, as quasi-colonized state, and/or a semi-client Imperial government is perhaps one of the most viable ways by means of which we can remain a hopeful civilization, as opposed to a one that is just of interest of historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, criminologists, and mass/social psychologists who specialise in dissecting dying peoples.

As per your other points:

The existence of some idiots like the one that you cited in the US Congress does not necessarily prove anything substantial when juxtaposed with the US Supreme Court's ruling.

Ironically, to shock and awe of the leftist demagogues, this is largely conservative gang of judges and the ruling speaks for itself.

I also do not believe that the Court was impressed by the leftists of any stripe; this court is way more conservative than that. The administration failed to make a case and the basic principles of the American Constitutionalism prevailed in consequence.

Ali Mahani at July 8, 2004 01:35 AM [permalink]:

An Iranian Student

Well first thanks for the twopenny worth of advice on my reading habits-which you obviously don’t know anything about.

Of course it ain’t your fault. Who are you to deny me or anyone else the right, or rather the privilege to live in this or that place? The fault- if there is any- must lie in an economic system where there are haves and have nots. The former group gets the opportunities, the latter will become “stuck”.

Though this is none of your business, I’d like to tell you that I’m not “stuck” here, as you’ve assumed. I’m not without academic qualifications and I’ve got brothers and cousins in US and New Zealand. So my chances of getting a US visa-though not great, I admit- must be as good as anyone’s. Would you believe it? I somehow like this sodding country; it’s the only place I feel at home. Definitely not the best place to be, probably the worst or something close to that. But it’s my bloody, goddamned home. So instead of lording it over us here, you’d better focus on your studies and just count your blessings: money, fun, education (hopefully), living in the US,… and a thousand other privileges you never deserved.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at July 8, 2004 02:04 AM [permalink]:

Ali Mahani,

don't get upset. Sorry if I hurt your feelings.
your reading habits is non of my concern, but your points sound very...well nihilistic. That's what I meant.
If you chose to stay in Iran, then maybe you shouldn't keep bringing it up all the time as a psuedo-argument. You had your reasons to stay, others had that of their own. You think all should have folloowed your suite, that's fine. But the fact is that they don't. So something is wrong here in all this. Just repeating what these sinners should be doing doesn't seem to be working, does it?

And what makes you think I am floating in wealth and pleasures, enjoying high standards of education or that I am in the US for that matter?
Just because I don't wail all the time here doesn't mean I am a milionair.

Mirror at July 8, 2004 03:59 PM [permalink]:

Eswin, I used "almost all" AND "massive". Even for Iraq war Europeans shouted a much louder voice than Arabs ... Your comparison is rather emotional:

The true comparison will also see the lack of protests + coverage, all over the world, not just in the Arab world ...

eswin at July 8, 2004 05:00 PM [permalink]:

I appreciate the feedback Mirror.

My emotional comparison does not mean, as your qualifications indicate, that we can absolve people in the West or the Arab world of hypocrisy.

I am awaiting thousands of humanists who waged demonstration last year against the war in Iraq, to show the same unequivocal support for the Africans of Sudan.

I would still understand if people are too busy for the forgotten continent.

PROUD BASSEEJI at July 8, 2004 08:49 PM [permalink]:

SADDAM ON TRIAL!!!!

ref lexxo at July 14, 2004 04:52 PM [permalink]:

Sadam om trial,

What whill be the outcome and will it be justified.
I gues the outcome won`t change the history, what ever the so called truth might be.
It will be a different history for me as an european citizin as for most of you iranians.
I was impressed when i visited some war graves in tabriz, to see it for real and not as an shot in the eight hour clock news.
It`s good to read al these experiences and views above,and there for i would like to thank all of you.
I can`t contribute on the same level as most of you do into the discussion, simply because my knowledge isn`t enough.
These coming years will be crucial for the future of iraq and i guess also for the future of iran.
I saw some comparisment between hitler and sadam, so i would like to make the comparisment between the netherlands and germany.
Today we are on friendly terms(at least most of us),what originally was the main goal of the european union and all country`s in europe still profit from this every day.
It`s a pitty some people forget that peace is not as common as it seems, they should read the first lines in this discussion.
My question is will there be a possibility in the near future that also in the middle east there will be a union of country`s working together.
When i visited Iran last year i got the impression people where very open minded, there for i thought Iran is going to be the spill in future developments in the region.
Although i must say the outcome of the elections was quit dissapointing.( there was a reason for that!)
For the sake off all iranians and everybody living in the region i hope future will bring some changes in which everybody believes.

About sadam, just keep him out off control!

An Iranian Student (AIS) at July 20, 2004 12:41 AM [permalink]:

This might also throw some light on what we were talking about,Arab culture's unlimited obsession with domination and its ferocity.
Just one example among many.