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November 01, 2006

What the ... ?
Arash Jalali  [info|posts]

warning.jpgWhen he had not yet officially taken office, the sheer thought of him being the president caused the markets to collapse. I thought it would all be temporary and the country would soon go about its usual business, because after all, he might be the president but he will have to leave the day to day affairs to the people who know, more or less, what they are doing.

When he claimed he was surrounded by a glow of light during his UN speech last November, I simply thought he is just a delusional man who is, in a rather twisted way, obsessed with the idea of being among "the chosen ones".

When he called for Israel to be wiped off the map, I thought he was a tiny man trying to please his islamic vigilante audience; someone who has forgotten that he now represents a country, and not his neighborhood's company of Baseejis. The world took it very seriously, but I thought there is no reason to be alarmed, as he could not even manage to move an exhibition complex out of Tehran, let alone a country out of the Middle East.

Then, he started with his election-time gestures, maneuvers, and publicity stunts, disregarding and bypassing the institutions and the beaurocracy that he himself is the head of, making everyone wonder if he actually realizes that the election is long over, and that he indeed is the president. He continued with his ridiculous trips to the provinces, and holding cabinet meetings in different provinces, as he had promised, spending God knows how much money on the trips, and collecting what is now claimed by the state radio as close to 3 million letters of request from people. When Saeedi, his "executive deputy", who is also in charge of dealing with these letters was asked about the costs of the trips, he said we only eat bread and cheese, and the president himself most often does not even eat that. "So what?" I said. "Populism works for them, and they are simply taking advantage of it. Millions of dollars have been being plundered each year during the past three decades. A few more wasted on these populist shows won't make much of a difference."

Then, he decided to play "chicken" with the EU and the UN security council, and poke fingers into the eyes of pretty much everyone on the planet whom he sees as infidels, ironically except for Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Threat of sanctions and military action started hovering over our heads. I started getting a little nervous about the prospects of having to relive the experiences of 1980's, when I was a child, this time, however, as an adult. Thanks to George Bush's insane way of handling the affairs in Iraq, and North Korea's just-in-time adventurism, Iran went off radar screens every time it got close to a serious showdown.

Right before Nowruz (the Iranian new year holiday), he decided that the idea of daylight-saving time is a nonesense and that "there is no evidence that it actually helps reduce electricity consumption." "It just causes inconvenience for people's noon-time prayer," his spokesman said. But as usual, I brushed it off as yet another one of those things the people will have to cope with when they elect someone like him. "It would cost the people a lot of money but I suppose it won't kill anyone," so I thought.

Then he decided to write to George Bush, and then Angela Merkel, and then Jacque Chirac. I thought that he made a complete fool out of himself and that we were once again the laughingstock of the World, but then again, weren't we already? So I actually did not worry about it and even hoped that in their twisted idiotic ways, "The Luminescent Man" and the other not so bright politicians in the world would indulge in what one might call a harmless ranting in writing, if not "dialog among the civilizations".

Then, when the political atmosphere was anything but tense, and for no apparent reason even by Islamic Republic's standards, he started attacking peaceful gatherings and arresting people. First, it was the women's gathering near the city's theatre complex. Then, it was Ramin Jahanbegloo, a philosopher who was very careful not to step on anyone's toes or cross anyone's "read lines". Then it was another women's gathering along with the arrest of a former parliament member. Then his police force started raiding homes again, to bring down people's satellite dishes. Then, an executive order was issued to stop providing high-speed Internet services to people, putting a 128Kbps cap on the bandwidth. During all that, I said to myself: "well, it's only natural for him to do so. He is an extrimist fundamentalist. What did people expect when they voted for him, Roosevelt?"

During all that, and much more, I was silent, or in denial, depending on how one looks at it. Not that I usually would, or can, do much, but I did not even write about it on FToI. It was, for lack of a better word, insipid to complain about something so obvious. To me it was all clear. He is a guy who took office, partly through coercion and vote-rigging, and partly, and a great part I might say, through the votes of simple-minded uninformed people. "They asked for it. And as for you, well, I suppose it is time for you to cut your losses and leave Iran like almost everyone else you know," I said to myself.

Recently however, The Luminescent Man's actions and words have become very alarming. Not that they have necessarily become any more idiotic or more irresponsible than, for instance, the "wipe off the map" speech, but his latest comments concern matters that are prefectly within his realm of control as the president, as opposed to his delusional babblings about the world affairs. A few weeks ago, he suggested to dissolve the "planning and management organisation", a place where all key and strategic policies ought to be conceived, assessed, and planned, not to mention laying out the country's annual budget. By doing this, he is practically dismantling the final remaining institutional elements that stop him from running the country like a grocery shop in a small village. Not stopping there, he suggested that the "no more than two children" policy enforced with so much difficulty by previous administrations was a nonsense, that it is "yet another one of those vices of the West induced upon us, because they are so much affraid of the idea of us outnumbering them." He said: "we have the capacity for a population of 120 million people." He suggested that working women should be persuaded to stay home by getting a full pay but having to work a lesser number of hours depending on how many children they have!

Last Tuesday was the Fitr holiday, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan. The government, at the very final hours declared both the following Wednesday and Thursday as national holidays bringing the country to a four day long halt. Some people say he is planning to abolish the Nowruz holidays and replace them with a four day holiday at the end of Ramadhan like many Arab countries. I would say we would be giving him too much credit by assuming that. This deranged man is out to ruin this country, not by any calculation but by sheer madness, which makes him even more dangerous. The world has every right to be affraid of him, and I am now just as affraid of what he will do, to me, to my family, and to my country. I have to agree with Saeed Hajjarian this time, that the abolishment of this government is an immediate necessity.



When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

- Martin Niemöller

Comments
Aatash at November 1, 2006 07:07 AM [permalink]:

beshin binim baba, shompate-e shaskool. Long live Ahmadi nejad!

By the way, I didn't read your posting actually.

AIS at November 1, 2006 05:45 PM [permalink]:

Well Arash,
to all you said I can only say this. Ahmadinejad is honets. he is teh real true picture of this system.
The truth is that piece of stinking filth who just received a PhD from St. Andrews was and is way way more frightening, dangerous and poisonous for us, our country and teh world than this buffoon who makes too much noise.
Once all of us get to understand this, things will start to get better.

Niayesh at November 1, 2006 06:54 PM [permalink]:

I wonder what else it takes for some to accept that there could be people worse than Khatami!

AIS at November 1, 2006 09:06 PM [permalink]:

Well, their actual existence for one.

Arash Jalali at November 2, 2006 10:14 AM [permalink]:

I am beginning to suspect that the pro-Khatami students and people were (and probably still are?) as much mistaken (and dare I say ignorant) of Khatami's unwillingness to bring freedom and so-called reforms to Iran as the lower class (socially and/or economically) are of Ahmadinejad's unwillingness to bring them any prosperity and economic relief. I think the bottom-line is that nobody should expect anything truely good come out of the Islamic Republic, moderate or otherwise. Yet, the point is, neither Khatami nor his so-called reformist allies have any power whatsoever, whereas Ahmadinejad and the pro-Mesbah thugs do have power, and very much so, both publicly as well as behind the scenes. So talking about which one between Khatami and Ahmadinejad is more evil is pointless. There's a mad man who is now the president, and he has the means, both consitutional and non-constitutional, to bring real harm to this country.

yaser at November 2, 2006 01:06 PM [permalink]:

Dear Arash, not quite sure if I understand your comment (the article I understood and enjoyed:-)). To me the willingness of Khatami or Ahmadinejhad is not important. Neither who has the power. The only important question for me is that under the ruling of which of them, the quality of our life (both short-term and long-term) is better. And my answer is by far Khatami, the reason being your article.

Arash Jalali at November 2, 2006 03:21 PM [permalink]:

Dear Yaser,
You are right. I agree that the country was in a lesser amount of trouble during Khatami's presidency than it is now. It reminds me of the old Persian proverb: "embracing fever in fear of death", with which I have no problem by the way.

To me, Khatami's greatest disservice to this country was the fact that he gave false hopes to many people, young people mainly. Many became willing to make sacrifices for the realization of that dream. Many did pay heavy prices, with their lives, their youth, their reputation. Khatami betrayed them all, because he is after all a survivalist Mullah, who puts the survival of the "system" that breeds and nourishes them before anyone and anything else, even their own close friends. My problem with Khatami is not because I contest the claim that the country was in less trouble then than now. My problem with him and likes of him, is that they represent themselves as being far more than just a nice Mullah. He redecorated a corrupt degenerate inhumane ideological system as something that can be "reformed", and people baught that, and some still insist on the idea that the Islamic Republic can be "reformed". I know there is not much that you and I can do, that it might in fact be reasonable to opt for the lesser of the two evils, but I reiterate, Khatami represents himself, not as the lesser evil, but as "the nice thing the Islamic Rebulic could be", which is an absolute lie, and that is what I think would make him also a bad recipe for this country.


AIS at November 3, 2006 07:27 PM [permalink]:

All you mentioned Arash is the doing of this system that has reached thsi stage due to its very nature. It would have reached this stage one way or another. The problem is this system not Ahmadinejad or Mesbah... . You can play this act as long as you like but it is simply wrong.
Didn't people, many many get arrested under Khatami? Didn't they get murdered on streets? Weren't newspapers closed? Now all of this is Ahmadinejad's doing?!
Truly people, this is Orwellian. You know it was only two years ago, three years ago... are you really seeing 5 fingers now?

The problem is the system and those who have based all their lives and intelligence and power to preserve it, thsoe who even rape words out of their meanings to keep the system going are personally and directly risponsible for all that this system does. Whatever, Whatever! Ahmadinjead and his gang of lumpens and hooligans does is also directly the doing of Khatami and his ilk. But Khatami and his ilk do much more than Ahmadinjead. They rape meanings, they fool simplistic superficial wetsreners, they... .
It doesn'yt surprise me that someone here is tearing himself for Khatami and hsi reforms, someone who was named after am alien arab murderer terrorist whose every bit of existence was against what our culture stands for, such person coming from such background, of course his relation to Iran is identical to that of the system that is made up of gangs of the same background, merely as a resource to feed upon for your immediate benefits without a single thought on others, its history and so on.
Of course, who else should they shout out for but thsi system and its guardians?

But what about you Arash?

AIS at November 4, 2006 02:17 AM [permalink]:

I'm sorry. It came about too harsh. I didn't mean it to be so harsh.

Babak S at November 4, 2006 02:05 PM [permalink]:

First, thanks Arash for your detailed article.

Second, here's a question about the Ahamdinejad vs. Khatami debate. I contend that Ahmadinejad's successful ascendence to power was caused mainly by the hollow "reform project." Yes, a good number of people voted for him, and yes, the elections were rigged, but why could he do it now and not 8 years ago? Now here's the question: Given that, and disregarding even the hardship that many people went through during Khatami, can we insist that the situation was better during Khatami? Was it really? When a solution X causes Y, is it not true that if Y is bad, then X is worse (wrong in fact)? If you eliminate Y, is it not going to be caused by X again? Should you not eliminate X instead and replace it with the right?

Arash Jalali at November 4, 2006 03:34 PM [permalink]:

Babak,
You have a point there. Khatami's hollow promises and unwillingness to commit to what he pretended to be advocating were the prelim to the Ahmadinejad phenomenon. This, from a very broad outlook, can be, and most probably is, the truth. So you won't hear me arguing in favor of someone like Khatami. I didn't even vote for him, neither in 1997 nor in 2001.

Yet, in your last sentence you said something very interesting. You said "should you not eliminate X instead and replace it with the rirght?" I would say by all means. Except that:

1- I don't know of any viable right.

2- I don't know what I can do about it even if I do know of it.

Do you? Because I really want to know, and until I do, I just have to say that death is worse than the fever. Besides, while we are at it, let's just forget about X, because it's long gone. What can we do about the Y?


AIS at November 4, 2006 05:40 PM [permalink]:

But The X is not gone. It is parading around teh world doing the other side of the same project, trying damage cotrole. It was never gone. Didn't khamenei appoint rafsanjani shorty after teh elections?
is Khatami, Hajjarian and the rest of teh gang under torture in prisons or do they have official positiosn and enjoy the multifaceted generosity of their supreme leader?
You see, that is the problem to say X or Y- that is the cover they are trying to pull over our eyes. the truth is it is X and Y. It has always benn like that since the beginning of teh revolution, even before that while they were rebeling together.
The do not oppose, they complement. You acn't get rid of Y alone without making sure X is also got rid of while going forwards with its poison in teh back ground.

And why is it that you don't know what is right in this situation of ours? We, as a species, have experienced teh renaissence, teh enlightenment, modernism, the fascistic reactiosn to it in the forms of comuunism, Nazism and Islamofascism now. You have all the results in front of your eyes. East Germany , West Germany, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Eastern Europe, India, even China....
How come it is not evident what the next step for us should be?
We need a free market capitalist secular liberal democracy. Period.
It is more clear than the sun in a bright midsummer day.

How to get there? That si teh big challenge. But one thing is clear. We will NEVER get there if we don't try to , if we still decide stubbornly not to see what is in front fo us and for sure, if we continue to degenrate and vegitate under fever and death choices.
Now this one is a 100% certainty.

Arash Jalali at November 5, 2006 02:02 AM [permalink]:

"Free market capitalist secular liberal democracy."? I am all for it. Let's do it. How about I immigrate to Canada or the US and then we can discuss it in the sunny beaches of Vancouver and/or California?

"That is the big challenge"? Good thing you noticed. But why is it a big challenge? Is it because there are prices to pay? Like going to jail and being tortured to death? Sure, but these are not what makes it a real challenge. The real challenge is that the majority of people are at the far bottom side of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Freedom of speech? Freedom of religion? Culture? They could not care less about any of these and beyond. Offer them 50 thousand Toman monthly stipends, and they vote for the devil himself. Let's not kid ourselves. We are not a liberal nation. Do you know how many times I hear this sentence during the day: "This country needs a Reza-Shaah!" And that comes from people from all sorts of socio-economic classes. Put that together with the old sickness this country has been neck-deep in for the past several centuries, i.e. Shi'ism. It takes a liberal nation and culture to instill liberal democracy in their country. Not a nation that is corrupted deep to their genes with a poison like shi'ism.

That is exactly the mistake the U.S. and the so-called coallition of the willing made in Iraq. Even if you bring outside force to take out X's and Y's the people will push you back to square one and then some. I was watching a documentary about the youth in Southern Iraq, about the boys and girls in the Shi'ite part of the country, where they should now meet their boyfriends and girlfriends and hold parties in silence and with absolute secrecy, as opposed to the time when Saddam was in power when they could freely meet and have fun, because now the Shi'ite rule is in town, thanks to the UK style of administration there.

Ahmadinejad is the product of our people's collective state of mind, and what makes him an imminent danger is not because he is like the X or the Y, but because he is taking it too far and too fast. To be honest with you, I am not so much worried about liberal democracy in Iran at the moment, as I see it as a lost cause. I am worried about the country in short term, because I don't see any outlook for any long term sturggle if there's nothing left in the mean time to struggle for.


AIS at November 5, 2006 04:59 PM [permalink]:

I understand what you say and I agree with most of it.
Nevertheless a freemarket liberal secular democracy should remain our aim. This does not mean that it is going to be ready and taylor made, but it means that all actions should be judged on whether they bring us nearer or further away from it, even if infinitesimally so.
I agree about Shiism too. It is a desease, an evil actually that needs to be exorcised from thsi nation's body altogether., But that will take years, decades amybe centuries. We can't wait for that to happen and then aim for a liberal democracy.
In teh very short term though it is clear that we need an inetrim period that fights the religuous fanatics that will continue to contaminate our society, if necessary with iron hands, and which will force- because that is the only way possibel- certain necessary actions untill eevntually it can get hold. For instance given the neferarios and poisonous influence that the filth of the left has had on our culture for the past, what, 60 years, it is inevitable that there would be many oppositions against a truly free market economy. You need an iron hand to force it down their throats at the beginning.
I also see no real conflict with I said and a Reza Shah style attitude in short time, if by that is meant, as i think it is , a strong will to fight the bastards and to stay the course with what needs to eb done in the short term. But it is no longer possible to have another Reza Shah with all its baggage and I don't think that is what the people mean either.

You see, the main thing is to allow new ideas, especially from the (pre -post modernist) West to enter the society and to weaken the traditional holds. Free market is an immense force Arash. Huge forcve if unleashed.

So I repeat what i think would work after this regime falls. Using force without hesitation agains any armed religious islamist group no matter what the cost.
plus using force whenever the inertia of tardition tries to resist the advent of new ideas of modernism. That is protect new ideas and foreign values agaionst traditional ones- the opposite of what si proclaimed today and actually before teh revolution as well. This will of course mean that most of our decedant left-stricken "intellectuals" and "elite" will begin to scream and howl with their usual nonsense and they shoudl all be allowed to speak, to letteh steam out this way, but nothing more than that. any action, any that tries to resistfree market or safe guard any traditional value under any lovely nice poetic title should be crushed, by any measure of force necessary, until the infrastructure is set secure.
It is very different from a nice lovely liberal heaven you thought I had meant.
It would be harsh and it would be bloody sometimes.
Again it would be a great challenge but it could be done.
It is still dreaming? Maybe but i see no other way out of thsi sh*t.

But ultimately the point is what I said before. This is the way out. Either we can manage or else we are doomed.
As for Iran to even exist, the best option is for thsi system to go. If it stays, there would be no Iran at the end and the longer this regime remians the higher the rsik of disintegration.

AIS at November 7, 2006 05:30 AM [permalink]:

BTW, since I can't help it in such occasions as before I wanted to congratulate the death sentence of yet another mass murdere in our region.
May he soon be followed by "others" like him. Starting from that polluting human waste in southern Lebanon who should have actually been vaporized by now. :)

JFTDMaster at November 10, 2006 06:30 PM [permalink]:

AIS: Just wanted to note that the average poor person outside of Tehran (who likely happens to be religious) will be more likely to support you if you offer them a simple vision of freedom of choice, and contrast that vision with those who would take their choice away i.e. fanatics.

AIS at November 11, 2006 03:54 PM [permalink]:

Yes. Indeed.
I are completely right.

AIS at November 11, 2006 06:16 PM [permalink]:

Comment removed by the FToI Editorial Board due to violation of Rule 4 of the comment policy.

AIS at November 11, 2006 06:19 PM [permalink]:

Think about it, they could even have nano-powerd little light bulbs for divine halos around their heads by then.
Nice!

AIS at November 13, 2006 12:31 PM [permalink]:

A fantastic point by point demonstration of what Khatami really is:
Khatami myth busters

Khatami and IRI pimps whop lurk around this site, take note.

Rancher at November 16, 2006 04:07 PM [permalink]:

You guys are pretty depressing. Our only hope we have in Iraq rests in our getting Iran and its stooge Assad out of the game. Our only hope of doing that without resulting to open warfare is if the great numbers of disaffected Iranians overthrow the regime. You paint a dismal picture of our chances of that happening.

uninfomred voter at December 15, 2006 05:41 AM [permalink]:

I am sorry I voted for Ahmadinejad who allows his opponents to criticize him and bad mouth him and not do anything to them. Those students who yelled at him at Amir Kabir university went home free without a scratch on their face. I wish I had voted for someone like King Bush ...soory I meant president Bush who arrested 1800 demonstrator in one shot in New York because they were too noisy. I wish Ahmadinejad would break the neck of his critiques and his opponents. I am sorry I voted for him even the Tehran Stock Exchange is doing so much better. I dont know what is happening to our country. read this about BBC's report of Tehran stock market.

http://www.bbc.net.uk/persian/business/story/2006/12/061215_ra-rm-tse-dec15.shtml

again I am sorry for voting for Ahmadinejad

refugee at December 16, 2006 06:22 PM [permalink]:

"When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out."

...such a nice poem. I wish when the Zionists came to stole my land somebody had helped me fight them back. Nobody did. I wish somebody had and somebody will someday.

Arash Jalali at December 17, 2006 10:37 AM [permalink]:

Dear uninformed voter,
just to add one more reason why you should be sorry, I can't read the BBC link you provided, because it is filtered by Agha-Mahmoud's free-of-charge censorship service. Kindly let your "informed" colleagues know that they should not filter pages that put in a few good words for Brother-Mahmoud !

Arash Jalali at December 17, 2006 10:44 AM [permalink]:

Dear refugee,
I too wish you get back what you have lost. Just remember, my only interest in your problem is that the very same people who are oppressing me, are fueling war and hatred so that you and your family will never be able to settle down and live in peace.

Asking for help is important. Knowing whose so-called help to refuse is even more important. Not every hand offerred to you is there to help, especially if it gives you rockets and bombs to blow up innocent people like yourself!


Arash Jalali at December 17, 2006 10:57 AM [permalink]:

Oh by the way,
Since our "refugee" is the same "uninformed voter", I am just wondering, do Arab-Americans get to vote for our presidents now, or is it that our uninformed voter just happens to have taken refuge from his beloved president Mahmoud, in Virginia US of A?

nonvirginian at December 23, 2006 09:44 PM [permalink]:

Nice try but u missed it and I have no clue how u missed it. I have never been to Virginia. it is a redneck country out there. they still openly talk about "thim nigggers en jeeews " .Try again. Go west young man go west..

innocent_refugee at December 23, 2006 10:15 PM [permalink]:

Dear Arash you wrote to me : "Asking for help is important. Knowing whose so-called help to refuse is even more important. Not every hand offerred to you is there to help, especially if it gives you rockets and bombs to blow up innocent people like yourself"
You are so right again. I wish you could give this advice to Israelis not to accept any arms (like rockets and bombs, and many bombs and many rockest...)from Americans. Many innocent people like "me" would not be killed.

Ben at December 24, 2006 04:34 AM [permalink]:

"innocent"

Arash Jalali at December 24, 2006 04:47 AM [permalink]:

"innocent" refuge a.k.a. "uninformed voter" a.k.a. "nonvirginian",

So you do live in the US! Why there when you can enjoy living under Mahmoud's superb style of governance?

Whether Isaelis should accept help from the US or not, is certainly not my business. I am neither an Israeli nor an American tax payer. I am however very much an Iranian, and I pay taxes, reluctantly, to likes of the Luminescent Man, and he is spending it on Hizbollah and Palestinians. The bitter part is that the money plundered out of my pocket, the money denied to my own fellow Iranians in need, is being used to kill people, not to educate them, not to bring them jobs. THAT is why I make it my business and allow myself to give them advice, not to take the help that is going to bring them even more misery, hardship, bloodshed and hatred.

As for YOU, dear phoney refugee, if you are in fact an Iranian, living in the US no less, I advise you to mind YOUR OWN business, which is Iran and Iranians, and try not to be a bleeding heart for other nations.

Unless of course, you tell me that you get paid, by likes of Mahmoud, to do that, in which case I understand. It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it, right? I am sure you have a family to feed, and I don't pass judgements on you. By all means post comments under my article, if it puts food on your dinner table. I don't mind that. Just remember, it's someone else's hard-earned tax money and oil money you are being given to live in the US and act as part of Mahmoud's propaganda machine!

still_refugee at December 24, 2006 06:11 AM [permalink]:

First you cited a beautiful poem

"When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out."

I was so excited when I read the peom because I thought it meant something, then you wrote:


"Whether Isaelis should accept help from the US or not, is certainly not my business. I am neither an Israeli nor an American tax payer..."

I am not excited anymore. Looks like 2+ 2 = 0
Thank you for clarifying yourself. It was very fast and efficient.

Arash Jalali at December 24, 2006 08:23 AM [permalink]:

Dear Mahmoud-lover/footsoldier,
Exchanging comments with you has turned out to be a total waste of time so consider this the last time I care to respond to you, as I have already given you permission to use the comment section under my post as an opportunity for you to get on your employers' good graces and maybe get a promotion or something.

Having said that, just for the record, the quote from Niemöller is there to make a point not to excite people (I don't find the account of a person's suffering exciting, do you?). The point was that watching a deranged man like your dear Mahmoud to destroy the country will make the bystanders end up with the same fate as what Niemöller said had happened to him, when he stood and watched the Nazis persecute different groups of people one by one.

I stood by and watched him do all the things I mentioned in my post, and then some, and I did not even bother to do so little as writing about it on FToI. Not any more...

shrink at December 26, 2006 01:13 PM [permalink]:

Thank you for your time and thank you DEFINITELY for the POEM. It was a very beautiful poem but I think you ruined it. I think your anger/hate/dogma about Ahmadinejad blinded you so bad that you failed to realize by citing that poem you were opening a can of worms you would not like it one bit and you would not be able to handle it either. You demonstrated a great deal of anger toward me simply for "opening that can of worms" and letting them crawl all over your article. I don't take your frustration with me "personal" because I simply look at it as a "smarting" process , something very human, specially for some of us, Iranians who are more inclined to be either "authoritative/controlling" or "appeasing/kissing" in our politics, beliefs, and in our interactions with others. My disagreement with some of your politics aside, Since I consider you a smart and a decent person I will help you do a little bit of soul searching in light of your last few comments. What comes next is an attempt to make you ask yourself how a smart person like you can allow yourself to be so wrong so much that so easily your typical mathematician's "clear cut, down to point and focus" gave way to some emotional fuzzy accusations and tauntings.
I did not vote for Ahmadinejad, even if I ever do vote for him I would never embrace some of his "personal and religious" beliefs. I would never embrace his religious mentors' "dogma/belief". Ten years ago just mere mentioning of Ahmadinejad's religious affiliation with some of his mentors would be enough to bury him in voters' minds, but now he has been voted in and I don't look at his votes as a vote for his religious mentors' preachings. In fact I think Ahmadineajad's election is a sign of Iranian voters' political maturity who are willing to give a chance to someone like him who would be dumped just on the grounds of his religious affiliations a few years ago. If I ever wanted to argue for changes in constitution to allow non Muslims to run for presidency's office I would use a great deal of Ahmadinejad's election. This maturing is bound to happen, the same applies here in US. A few years or decades ago a Mormon (whose God lives in a hotel in Salt Lake city and someone who can marry as many wives as he wants!!who consider drinking alcohol and smoking is a sin) running for presidency would be a laughing matter. Now there is a Mormon who is considering doing just that. Mormons are the same people who committed the Mountain Meadow massacre in which they killed everybody in a caravan from babies to adults simply because they were Christians and not Mormons. The man who committed that massacre was the grand grand father of a friend of mine, who once attended a Mormon annual meeting at the insistence of his father. When I asked him how was the meeting , his answer was" I am more ashamed that my grand father was a Mormon than a mass murderer." But now someone with such a faith is considering a run and he has already been elected as the governor of Massachusetts twice. If you think Mesbah is bad , then google the "mountain meadow massacre". A man belonging to that faith and "cult" was elected twice by Liberal Massachusetts and can someday be a US president.

Iranian analyst at January 27, 2007 03:21 PM [permalink]:

Hi, A very interesting article. Has Ahmadinejad really caused the Iranian's market's collapse? Yes. But only in part. Iranian economy suffers from a wide range of minor problems. On the other hand, his provocative comments have lead to a rise in oil prices, leading to real GDP growth. But his government failed to capitalize on the oppurtunity and instead created inflation. Actually I'm an Iranian economical analyst and I'm writing an article about this matter on my site. I'll post it in a day or two. If you have any interest, it's www.gulfeconomy.blogspot.com

Khoda Hafez