Saturday, April 21, 2007

I heart Iran

I am so sad…

For so long, our blog has been exempt from the kinds of commenter fist fights that we are having now.

Listen… Despite what you all might think, I love Iran. Yes, you read correctly. I love the country. That might be why both Keivan and I can be so critical sometimes. It is out of a kind of passion for what Iran is, was, and can become.

Iran is far from monolithic or doomed… It is diverse and delightful and filled with people who are unbelievably welcoming. Can you imagine Iranians traveling to America or Europe and being met with sincere kindness by 99.9% of the people they run across? Yet, when I travel Iran, I *am* met with kindness. Yes me. An American. I tell everyone who asks that I am American. Yes I do. I tell everyone. I tell the Revolutionary Guards and the soldiers and the police and the school girls and their mothers and brothers and fathers and friends. I tell cab drivers and business men and oil execs and refugees. Everywhere I go, I am met with kindness. When Iranians say to me, “It’s your government we hate, not you.” I say, “The government represents me. I may not have voted for it, but you must hold me and other Americans responsible for its actions.” Yes. They should, but they don’t.

The West sees images of Iranians throwing smoke bombs and burning flags and shouting down with America… You don’t see the 16-year old girl trying out her English with me. You don’t see the soldiers who greet me with jokes. You don’t see the families who have served me countless dinners. You don’t see any of this.

The West has chosen to demonize Iran. I don’t agree with Iran’s politics; I don’t agree with its legal system; I don’t agree with a lot of things here. Iran is flawed. Well aren’t we all…?

Do I have to turn off the comments for awhile? I will start deleting comments that are not civil and self-serving. I hate to do that... I will not delete comments of people who disagree with me or others as long as they are civil. You are on notice.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your Nation before all else? Before your common sense? Before your humanity?

As an innocent you have the right to object to all things.

Simply beware of your Rulers, which have tried to teach others love them; so that they can't be shaken off.

They sqanderer all Nations innocene by their deeds.

ET said...

This is exactly the kind of false start to the comments section that I do not want to see. This comment is a complete misreading of my post and makes no sense to me. I won't delete it, because I find it harmless. I just encourage others to comment on the post and NOT on the first comment. And not on this comment that I am writing now.

christopher said...

re-start . . .

i don't whether you would call it above the din, or below it. but when we can get around all the the noise and cacophony that is telling us that we should hate one another (or at least be very very weary of their motives) and sit down and have a conversation (and coffee! and sweets!) what we so often discover is that those people love their families too. and they dream of a better future for their kids too. and they're trying to do what they think is right to make the life of their family, and friends, and their country better too.

and when people can sit down with the small things (coffee! sweets!) it becomes so much easier to share the big things. like the agreement that we share a common humanity.

you want to repudiate your political enemies? nothing gives a bigger middle finger to them and their demagoguery than to sit down with the people that they claim to speak for and share with them an open and respectful conversation. or a laugh. or a flirt. or coffee and sweets!

danielspengies said...

I think we need to realize the governments in general are really what's to blame. The US government's policies towards Iran have pushed the individuals who run the Iranian government into actions that are both predictable and sad. As a result the Iranian people have suffered. But, as you point out, the Iranian people themselves are a beautiful collective. Of course, here in America when we think of Iran, we think of it as a giant group of frothing individuals who want to kill us for "no good reason." And that's the problem, since I think the average populous of both countries have a lot to learn from one another.

Anonymous said...

As a Persian;

Great news, Iran and US have started to talk thanks to Bumper Stickers:

Iran : If everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane!

US: I told you don't follow me, I'm lost too...

Iran : Cover me. I'm changing lanes.

US: Dear Lord, please save me from your followers.

Iran: Don't you like my driving? Then quit watching me.

US: Drive carefully! Remember, it's not only a car that can be recalled by it's maker.

Iran: Don't you wash your car?

US:Don't run your fingers over my car and I won't run my car over your fingers.

Iran: I would give you the finger but it's up my nose.

US: Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change ready.

Iran: Instead of being born again, why not just GROW UP?

US: If your car was a horse, I'd have to shoot it.

Iran : Forget About World Peace... Just learn how to Use Your Turn Signal!

US: Someday we'll look back on all this and plow into a parked car.

To be continued...

Chris said...

Daniel,

Do you blame every problem in Iran on the US? I've been reading your comments and that's what I get from you.

Sure, the US has a bad history in the region, but you can't blame everything that happens in Iran on the US. Is it the US governments fault that Iran executed and tortured two gay youth? http://gayorbit.net/?p=2459

As I've said, our government (US) has done many stupid things. I hate this war and I hate that these nut jobs in power seem to want war non-stop. However, that doesn't give the Iranian government a free pass.

danielspengies said...

No, the Iranian government does not have a free pass, nor do I give them one. However, in terms of foriegn relations, I DO blame the US for Iran's reactions on a global level. The nuclear issue, the Iranian revolution, and the sponsoring of groups such as Hamas can be directly tied into the behavior of the west. In some cases it has to do with the wests behavior towards Israel. In others it simply has to do with past history.

As far as Iranian domestic issues go, that is a different story. However, the US IS at fault for the government in which Iran has, since the revolution was indeed a response to the atrocities the west was pushing upon Iran via the Shah.

But Iran's government, like any other, is run by idiots who are more interested in their own power than they are in the will of the people. This is not the fault of the west, nor do I blame them for this.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

It's not about blaming the US. United States has always had a short sighted view, conditioned by it's egoistic national interest, so much so that it has extended it now into preemptive war on false assumptions with no proves.
And you are wrong when you say that the US has a bad history in the region,
It has had a bad history in many regions in the world.

It is fair to inform people about misdeeds by the Iranian regime in Iran, towards the people of Iran.
But I'm afraid that what you brought up (2 teenagers executed) is merely made up by the gay lobby which is very strong in the west and has no shame to distort facts into what it can exploit to better exist.
The question of righteousness of any execution of a human being is debatable and as you know is still a hot topic even in the US.
But those two teenagers were rapists who raped a younger boy. Now call it what you want, gay, pedophile,...

I find that the gay lobby has gone too far in distorting the facts, either about those teenagers or even about ancient Persian poet and mystics that they wrongfully present as "Homoerotic" in order to justify their own way of living.

danielspengies said...

There is homophobia in Islamic culture, as there is in the culture of other religions. And the execution of the gay teenagers was an atrocious human rights violation, given the fact that gay behavior is biological and completely normal, and executions in general are horrid extremes of violence. I hesitate to get into a human rights debate, however, because human rights are not universal, but instead are very much contingent upon the cultures they are anchored to. Not being Iranian, I cannot begin to argue what Iranians consider to be violations of THEIR human rights. However, I can state that at least SOME percentage of the Iranian population is probably of homosexual orientation, and thus the need for them to exert their rights and protect themselves is an important issue.

Anonymous said...

daniel...

I think exploiting the rape of a young boy by two teenager boys, and presenting it as an acceptable and natural behaviour is wrong.
This was a case of rape which has been used and abused by those who are shameless in advancing at any cost what they beleive to be their cause.

danielspengies said...

I don't believe that anyone is exploiting a rape. If the two individuals were punished for rape, that is one thing, but, if I remember the case correctly, there was some speculation that force was not involved, and that the sex was consensual. It has been a while though, so I might be completely wrong.

However, I don't believe that gay rights advocates in any nation would defend a rape case to further their valid agenda, since there are plenty other, less controversial cases which could be touted.

danielspengies said...

Apparently you were correct. I looked it up and, since the boy in question was 13, it was considered rape under Iranian law.

That doesn't make the issue of gay rights, or any other related issue for that matter, go away, but it does give a better "public face" than "we killed them for being gay."

Anonymous said...

As you were able to check it for yourself, this is an example of how a lobby group uses misinformation in advancing their cause. That was my point.
As for the gay rights, even in the west it was not that acceptable 10 years ago. But as I said the issue for me is the dishonnesty of people abusing the facts for advancing their agenda, be it the necon lobby or the gay lobby.

Winston Effingham Smith said...

ET,
It is a pleasure to read your posting (I heart Iran), in fact any reminders of the humanity of Iranians, is a welcome change to the constant torrent of negativity pointed at all things Iran, and Iranian.

The process of dehumanisation of any 'target' population is designed to pave the way for the next step, which in this case means war, and destruction of many lives.

The difference between constructive criticism, and mendacious bile is a hair's breadth, this can mean reinforcement of the negative propaganda under way, as opposed to a heartfelt suggestion with a view to seeking an improvement in any direction.

Considering the sums of $75 million set aside for the 'Democracy in Iran' project, it should come neither as a surprise to find the paid delinquent trolls, whom frequent any debates concerning Iran, to cut and paste their carefully drafted propaganda. Nor to find an ever growing population numbers of blogs, that are purportedly those of Iranians, which are normally closed off, and engaged in a one way hate Iran dialogue, appealing to ye olde nationalist Ideals of Iranians, and or the points of paramount importance for an ex pat population, who are locked in the warp of 1974 Iran, sort of 'mass Ahmad Challabi movement', the Persian Version. In both cases, somehow missing is the target audience being the 'Western' population in search of finding answers to their many questions concerning Iran, and being faced with a secondary wave of negative propaganda reinforcing the bile spewed by the main stream media. In other words 75 million buys lots of dissent.

As you have already pointed out, posters following their own agenda, have been carrying on their relevant fist fights, which already have been subject of calls for deletion of posts, and or suspension of the replies. These troubling reactions to the flame posts are clearly indicative of intolerance, and obtuse world view, that as yet have not abstracted the ideals of democracy.

This phenomena is not an accidental event, the obtuse interpretation of democracy that has been the corner stone of the 'Western Democracies' in fact promote the tick on the ballot, followed by being a passenger on a roller-coaster ride, with no control over the following unfolding of events, good or bad. Further, the consensus of the majority rule completely over shadowing the minority rights, and or any other issues not in vogue. This can be construed as rule by decrees of 'echo chambers', which do not allow for the free competition of the ideas.

This lack of free competition of ideas results in bankruptcy of minds, and poverty of thought, that is so well reflected in the paucity of the solutions found for the plethora of self inflicted difficulties with in the 'Western Democracies'.

Hence, if you cannot stomach the rough and tumble of the debate in this corner of the cyberspace, then you should start asking the searching question of; do you deserve to live in a democracy?

Competition of ideas, and the emergent properties as yet unbeknown can only be attained through vigorous, and frank exchange of ideas, which at times may well threaten the security of the comforts derived from their relevant echo chambers that some of the posters are so used to.

Finally, although some of the posters on this blog, are contributing very little in the way of thoughts, and too much in the way of regurgitating the residual mims resulting form the mind enemas these have been subjected to, on the other hand there are others whom are valuable contributors that can help building the future that we are busy constructing, without any of the pay, and or fringe benefits.

May peace, and prosperity be upon you and yours.

danielspengies said...

For most outside of Iran, the question in the execution of the two teenagers was whether or not "rape" was being used simply as a cover-up excuse to punished homosexual behavior. Since I am not Iranian, I am in no place to talk about this issue, nor the culture it stems from. If it WAS used in that manner, then this is horrid. However, my knowledge on the subject is limited only to the western filters in which information is channeled.

On a whole I would disagree with any type of execution for any manner, anywhere in the world, but that is a completely different issue better left for other blogs.

Chris said...

I had no idea that there was any issue of pedophilia involved in that case. Sorry about that.

How far back can blame go? Can we blame Osama bin Laden for what's happening in Iraq because of 9/11? If that would not have happened W would have been a one term president and he wouldn't have been able to fabricate a case to get us into the current mess.

This just came out of a moment of frustration. I just don't think it's fair or right to blame everything on the US government. Bush isn't the only lunatic in the world.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the debate is open whether any execution is acceptable. However, the problem has not been solved by any society and certainly not by the US which has the record of execution of prisoners in the world.

Winston Effingham Smith said...

daniel,

Having verified that victim, was or younger than13 years old, then it should be safely assumed that the encounter could not have been based on consensual conduct. No country on earth, including Holland permits those of such a young age to be free to lawfully engage in homosexual liaisons. Hence the whole planet would consider such conduct; simply as rape.

Therfore, to find your subsequent prevarication is somewhat puzzling, although I can see your effort to convey the self determination of the target population as paramount, however, don't you think it would be more helpful to cite your sources denoting the age of the victim, as well as considering the comparative arbitration with respect to this particular mode of homosexual conduct, across the globe, while leaving the punishment to remain the prerogative of the victim, and or his family, guardian, etc.

danielspengies said...

It has to do with human behavior Chris. The United states was indeed responsible for the attacks of 9/11 based on the fact that our government has committed atrocity after atrocity within the middle east (Operation Ajax is just one of many examples). These atrocities have marginalized individuals, destroyed families, limited options, and above all else, reminded people of their own mortality. There is a large body of research within social science which shows that when people are reminded of their own deaths, they are likely to "cling" to the elements of their own cultural heritage. In the case of terrorism, such as what occurred on 9/11, people are forced into joining terrorist organizations because those organizations have appealed to their cultural connections, and seem like the best way to fight back against the bullying of the western superpowers. Therefore the US is in no way "innocent" even when it comes to attacks on our own nation, since we have leveled untold death and destruction on the people who have finally found the means to push us back.

Is the US to blame for every evil thing in the world? Of course not, and even middle eastern politics are much more complex than what I am introducing here. However, we cannot ignore the fact that the Us has more blood on its hands than almost anywhere else at this point.

danielspengies said...

anon, you are completely correct. The US, and western individuals in general, are very quick to condemn the actions of Iran and other Islamic -majority countries, and yet refuse to condemn the same patterns of behavior here in the US. The truth be told, if the fundamentalist radicals in this country could legally and socially execute people who were homosexuals, they would be overly happy to do so.

The US is almost an incredible violator of human rights, even while it tries to point fingers at everyone else.

That doesn't mean that we SHOULDN'T examine the hangings in question, but it does not make Iran unique in such things.

P.S. I would say that the responsibility for such an examination lies int he hands of those within Iranian culture, since THEY are the only ones who know how to define human rights for themselves.

danielspengies said...

Winston, I am a believer that most human rights are culturally defined. I draw the line though with the idea that the very BASIC human right is the ability of an human organism to exist without the infliction of outside pain from other human organisms. From that line of thought, I tend to believe executions are horrid and disgusting across the board, regardless of the situation.

My attitude on humans rights is still in flux though, as I'm still sorting the issue in my mind.

Winston Effingham Smith said...

For the benefit of those students of the facts, and truth;

'Rogue State:'
'A Guide to the World's Only Superpower'
by
William Blum

Also

'Killing Hope'
by
William Blum

These books blow apart the veneer of pretence that evidently US has been hanging onto for the duration of the cold war, and thereafter. Although those neo-cons have found that William Blum (Jewish by the way) is in cahoots with one Osama the infamous.

Neocons Connect Author Blum to Osama
http://tinyurl.com/2btszk



daniel,

Human rights is a much abused and misused term of reference, hence it needs careful considerations and thought. However, just to highlight the hypocrisy of US concerning 'human rights' the following should be noted; (that is other than the Gitmo detainees, and some 500,000 souls whom are languishing in jails across the planet, just cuz Uncle Sam says so! BTW this figure is extracted from Washington Post)

A- UN charter on human rights, was proposing the right to food, the right to shelter, and freedom from fear, molestation, and poverty.

B- Needless to point out that none of these terms of reference were to be included in the final draft, and the convention to this date has not been ratified, despite the fact that all countries agreed on the right to food, and the right to shelter, that is all of the countries of the world other than US.

danielspengies said...

I don't disagree Winston. I find it disgusting that we have a constitution that, supposedly, "guarantees" the right to own a gun as a basic human right, but completely ignores the natural need of a human being to have proper food, housing, and health care. If there were ever basic and universal human rights, the latter three would fall into that spectrum.

ca reader said...

ET-
I don't read that many blogs, but one I'm pretty addicted to is BitchPhd (bitchphd.blogspot.com). Her comments policy sounds pretty similar to what you may have to adopt ("comments are welcome, obnoxious comments get delted. deal.") She also has an anon email where people can bitch at her directly. I imagine, though, that responding to emails could take up a ton of time....

Anyhow, sorry the comments seem to be turning into fights. That sucks.

CA reader

Anonymous said...

please watch this BBC documentary about daily life in Iran. it proves the points mentioned by ET.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=554201962695917482&hl=en

Anonymous said...

here is a cleaner URL:
Watch it

Matt said...

Your post speaks volumes. We only hear a) what the media reports and b) what our government says. Daily life, I am sure, is often forgotten by the majority of people that listen only to a & b in places like Iran.

ET said...

Thanks for the advice ca reader, I will add that text to my little spiel at the beginning of the comment area.

danielspengies said...

I dunno, I thought this particular comment thread was rather civil. Personally ET, I have no problem being respectful, as long as the person I'm talking to isn't spouting off pure drivel that's going to effect everyone.

Seraph said...

"Can you imagine Iranians traveling to America or Europe and being met with sincere kindness by 99.9% of the people they run across?"

I don't know about 99.9% of Americans (I have only been to 48 States or 96% of the country), but I am pretty sure that 97% of Americans would treat a regular Iranian visitor with kindness. This country is really a melting pot and the vast majority of Americans are quite comfortable and pretty used to cultural diversity.

Actually, even after the horrific events of 9-11 there was not mass rioting in the streets, burning effigies or lynch mobs in Muslim neighborhoods. I am not saying that it is impossible, only that it did not happen and that this is a living testimony to the fact that Americans, like Iranians, can distinguish between governments/organizations and regular people.

"I tell everyone who asks that I am American. Yes I do. I tell everyone. I tell the Revolutionary Guards and the soldiers and the police and the school girls and their mothers and brothers and fathers and friends. I tell cab drivers and business men and oil execs and refugees. Everywhere I go, I am met with kindness."

What would happen I wonder if you were to say that you are a Bahai, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Sunni or Jew? I wonder if you were black or a poor Afghani if you might be treated differently. Try telling the Revolutionary Guard or your interlocutors that you are an Israeli citizen...

I am sure that you are met with kindness, but I am also pretty sure that being an American in Iran comes with its limitations. As long as you are a housewife it will be fine, but if you ever want to work outside of the home/family circle, you will come face to face with limitations. In the US a naturalized citizen can work for the US government. Granted that you may not want to work for the Iranian (or US government for that matter), the fact that it is possbible speaks volumes.

I suspect that your being American will have innate limitations, some of which you may not have experienced yet. Unlike in the US, where over time these limitations disappear and people become equal in every way under the law, I doubt that this is true in a country like Iran. Heck, it is not even true in Europe, so I really do not expect that it would be true in Iran.

Then again, I am willing to be proven wrong about this.

ET said...

spengies,

You'll note that I did not delete any of the comments here.

Seraph, You make a lot of good points. I think Iranian society is racist, but I do not have to bring up negative points in every single post.

I do work outside the house... I interact with a lot of Iranian men. It is a pain. If I never had to work with men, I would be very happy in Iran. And for me it's a million times easier than for an Iranian woman. Western women are treated like honorary men and are allowed to behave very differently from Iranian women.

Iran can be difficult to manouver. What do you tell whom? If I were Bahai, I would feel compelled by my religion to tell everyone. As a Jew, I don't feel the same compulsion. I tell some people and not others. I have never had a bad reaction to this revelation, but then Iranians are very polite.

That said, I have been here 3.5 years without hearing the kind of casual anti-Semitism that I heard on a regular basis when I lived in Europe. Go figure...

CA reader said...

Seraph,

Do you really think that in the US over time innate limitations “disappear and people become equal in every way under the law”? Technically, perhaps. But, let’s be honest... in practice, it’s not really that way in the US. (Incarceration rates should tell us something about how “equal” we all are under the law in this country.) This is one I’ve been very torn over for a long time – I do like to think of my country as being culturally accepting, a ‘melting pot’, if you will. But, the older I get the more I feel like we’re slipping backwards a bit. For example - Americans seem to be rather frightened of Mexicans lately, don’t you think? “we’ll keep the tamales, thanks, but you have to go back to Tijuana!” That said, compared to Europe (well, the UK) where I just recently lived, I do believe that we have less of a tendency to exclude immigrant groups and have, at least on the surface, a bit of pride in our immigrant history. Just my 2 cents....

CA Reader

ET said...

ca reader, you make a good point. The point is that we are not perfect. In the case of the US some of the law protecting minorities sometimes stays a couple steps ahead of public sentiment and sometimes a couple of steps behind.

In Iran, the worst offenses are often committed outside the official system. The law is in flux: it is an ongoing project. Every adult in Iran breaks the law, which makes life here insecure and uncertain. Let me give an example: satellite dishes. Reports were that 9 million of 17 million residents of Tehran had dishes before last summer's crackdown. The dishes are illegal. Yet there is a serious problem with a law that the majority is breaking, isn't there? A bit like some of the arcane laws that are still on the books in the US (and that I will not describe here. ;-) )

Seraph said...

ca reader,

I think you have a valid point about incarceration rates and Hispanics. Certainly the US is not "Paradise on Earth", nor did I mean to remotely imply that.

Nonetheless, I do think that while not all first generation immigrants make it, that (for the most part) a second generation Hispanic is as American as TexMex. By the third generation, they would feel lost across the border.

I think that along with the incarceration rates, we should also keep our eyes on the admission rates at American universities. You will find many 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants studying law, medicine, engineering and getting their MBAs.

As for Blacks in America... Some things got much better under Clinton and many African Americans entered the middle class. That many have not is a testament to the longstanding systemic inequalities and lack of opportunities that exist in their communities.

et,

It does not surprise me that you experienced off-hand anti-Semitism in Europe. Ironically, while in Europe the state is officially opposed to anti-Semitism there is a growing malaise in the society. It sounds like in Iran that while the state is officially anti-Semitic (no doubt they believe they are only anti-Zionist) the society is not.

It is indeed one of the great ironies of (modern) history that "civilized" Europe produced the Holocaust and "backwards" Muslim countries had vibrant, thriving and protected Jewish communities.

peosmom said...

et

I am very heartened to read the comments on this topic. The comments might not agree on everything, but they are being polite and using their intelligence to make their points. Keep it coming people.

Randi said...

et, I love Iran too. I know exactly what you mean...I miss it also, the smell of the air, the light, the diversity and kindness of people. You have in Iran some of the most annoying and despicable, and yet, you have also the most noble and generous people I've met anywhere. I lived there 25 years ago, and it is part of my soul. I love reading your blog, and often wonder how different my life would have been if I'd had the internet then. Bravo to you for humanizing this complex culture and providing a window into your world.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

Those of you who think the US is so bad need to travel more, and with their eyes open.

Crybabies in the west have no concept of what constitutes a human rights abuse. People who faint at the mere mention that there may be a difference between men and women would be shocked to see interactions in muslim countries. People who are shocked and outraged that they police will beat someone who spits on them at a protest here need to think about what would happen to them if they spit on a cop or religious policeman in a muslim country. Can the levels of "abuse" that they recieve really be compared?

I think liberals have whipped themselves up to such a frenzy over every imagined slight that they peg the needle on the offence-o-meter way too soon.

I think weak minded people set a low bar for abuse, and then grade on a pass/fail basis. Due to their multicultural tendencies, anti-US bias whatever, they intentionally set the bar so low that they make sure that the US qualifies. Then, with a sence of moral rightiousness (and equivilency), they can point at us and say "you are no better than anyone else, but you think you are".

That is the true hatred in the world today.

Anonymous said...

you are no better than anyone else, but you think you are.


That's the truth, whether you like it or not.

Catherine said...

ET, I think your blog consistently and faithfully describes the compassion, humor, talent, and beauty you find in Iran. Anyone who reads your work and thinks otherwise must take a deep breath and look again, and again, and perhaps then find a voice to be critical thinkers of their own home. I love the Iran you show me. --C

Leila said...

et,
This is my first visit to your blog. You do a great job explaining the complexity of life in Iran. I am glad that you have found Iran to be so welcoming. As an Iranian-American (half & half), I cannot say that 99.9% of the people here are so gracious. It seems that every single day I encounter anti-Iranian or anti-Islamic rhetoric. It seems that it will never end. People (not knowing my heritage) have looked me in the eye and told me that Iran should be nuked. It sickens me. My mother is a hospice nurse, and since 9/11 she has had patients spit at her and call her a terrorist, and refuse to speak with her. True, these conversations are limited. But there is an undercurrent of hatred. I am tired of hearing "If you don't like it, leave" or "It's worse everywhere else." Why does it always have to be us vs. them? I think there is a way to call for change in both countries, and remaining loyal to both. It starts with recognizing each other as human beings.

ET said...

Leila, Thanks. That was a nice comment. You point to something that upsets me as well: the notion that some (I know, they are a minority) people wear t-shirts saying "Nuke Tehran" but do not seem to understand what Tehran is or who lives here or how utterly offensive such pop culture can be. Here the hate speech is mostly official (which also bothers me)... but you would be hard-pressed (As a westerner) to find casual examples of hate speech. Now... that is not true if you are an Arab in Iran or an Afghan.

Anonymous said...

I can easily see why, as an American, the Iranian populace does not mind you. I wonder if their kindness would extend to you, if, in fact you did not agree with their ideals? perhaps if you were christian or jewish? I have always seen fit to blame horrendous actions on the people who commit them. Not the people they are commited upon. In whatever case. In other words, it is not a womans fault, if she is raped. Even if she wears scant clothing. Similiarly, I do not believe it is the United States Fault for the World Trade Centers, as you stated, Nor is it responsible for Hamas. Such an outlandish comment, I have never before seen. Blacks are NOT responsible for the KKK, Just as Jews are NOT responsible for the Nazis. Will you attempt to say that Hamas is not in the same catagory? If you would like to blame the US for something (which is entirely possible) blame it for the Shah. Sure. But do not try and alleiviate responsibilty from Hamas because, "once a long time ago". As for Isreal. . . Isnt it the Iranian goverments stance that Isreal is to be wiped off the face of the map? I thought that was a pretty upheld belief over there? Is that in any way justifiable? You seem, a level-headed person. I appritiate that. I do. Please, do not assume that any of this was written in a tone of anger. I am most sincere.

ET said...

Anon, Why do you think that I believe that the US is fault for the WTC? Why don't you think that I *am* Christian or Jewish? Why do you think that I agree with everyone I meet? I have never written anything like that here.

Why do you think that most Iranians believe that Israel should be wiped off the map?

But, now let's take your argument a step further: I remember when one of the bombing raids over Iraq (during the Clinton administration) killed a boy playing football and an artist in her home. I am going to pose an extremely difficult question now, one most people will not like to think about including me. If we Americans can fight a war on someone else's home turf, why are we exempt from retaliation on our own home turf?

I hate that question, but it haunts me every single day.

Anonymous said...

et, you've hit the nail right on the head. Why is it OK for our military to kill non-combatants and call it collateral damage, but it's not OK for it to happen here? Is it b/c our military killings are state-sponsored and considered 'official'? Is that a good enough reason for an innocent person to die? This is the problem I have with this war and with all modern wars. Too many bystanders have to die in order for national 'obejctives' to be met. There has to be a better way.

Dave said...

Et, Allow me to appoligise.

I made a mistake and took what "Danielspengies" said, as something you said. That is my fault. I had thought you were justifying war atrocity. That is my mistake.

Alas, my argument still stands. And your "taking it a step futher" only validates my point.

Your logic is faulty, Im afraid.

The US Army kills two innocent people in Iraq, ergo, Hamas can retaliate?

Do you see the fault in that? How many people are an embassy full of hostages worth, in death toll? How many for the Shah?

And who are the innocent bystanders? The Innocent artist in her house, assurdly. The Jewish boy on the bus to school also. Also anyone who has Ever been the recipiant of violance. Including two homosexual boys who were executed in Iran. How about the Nun in Africa who was murded in response to the Pope Benidicts speech? Was she innocent? That leads into a nother question.

Who commited that crime? who is responsible for that? Muslims? No. Africa? No. That man's Family? No. He is. fairly simple. Who gets to claim retribution? All Catholics? No. that nun's Family? No. No one.

Your view is skewed by the very Idea of retaliation. There should be No retaliation, or else we begin a spiral of blame and atrocity of which all are equally guilty.

A woman who is raped is not responsible. But if she kills the man who raped her. . She is a Murderer as well.

I will not go into a diatribe about the horrors of war, and how unjust it is. That would be rediculous and off point in this conversation. But what you are saying is, An eye for an eye. Which makes you no different from the people walking around wearing (as your blog so eloquently put it) "Nuke Tehran" T-shirts, and or burning the American flag, effigys of the Pope or killing Nuns in Africa because of a danish Cartoon.

Understand also, that I know this is simply Moralism. Political entities and unions can not always act in accordance with these ideas, yet they are sound world wide. As for DanielSpegial, All credibility for this schmuck is to far gone. Complaining about the war dead? All Soldiers are evil for supporting the system? When you have pictures of yourself and your obviously well fed family. . At Disney World? How many cluster bopmbs have you payed for with internet hosting fees, Stupid pictures with Pluto, the stuffed dog and Super sized Mcdonalds meals? Be less of a Hypocryte. . then. . Troll, kid.

Thanks for the civil discussion, Et.

Dave said...

It seems in my hurry, i did not adress the questions you asked. I appoligise.

"Anon, Why do you think that I believe that the US is fault for the WTC? Why don't you think that I *am* Christian or Jewish? Why do you think that I agree with everyone I meet? I have never written anything like that here.

Why do you think that most Iranians believe that Israel should be wiped off the map? "

I already addressed that first one. and Again, I appoligise.

The Christian or jewish thing. I caught a bit of your blog about, It not being your choice to wear (please excuse my ingorance) a scarf. You would prefer it to be your religious choice to wear it, instead of an oppressive law, making you do such. I assumed you were muslim, forgive me if my assumption was incorrect.

Agree with everyone you meet. I must say, I dont remember putting it that way. That was a bad call on my part. Honestly, from mistaking that Danielspegal(shcmuck) quote. It seemed that you agreed with all that extremist nonsense. I again, appoligise for that. I believe my point was to ask, would the Iranians respond so well to you if you held radicaly different believes than they do?

As for Isreal. . . Isnt one of the stated goals of the Iranian goverment. Eradication of Isreal? Did they not just hold a Holocaust revision convention? I understand the goverment over there is not the sole voice of the people. I think I might just find it hard to seperate the two. Which is insightful.

I also notice. . . you did not actualy. . Answer any of those questions, only asked me different ones.

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