Thursday, November 22, 2007

The arranged marriage

This article about an Iranian yenta from Nazila Fathi of the New York Times made me wonder: do expat Iranian women ever return to Iran to find a husband?


''But I do not like to be called a matchmaker,'' he said, laughing. ''It reminds me of old women.''

In business for the last three years -- and swamped since newspaper articles publicized the opening of his office three months ago -- Mr. Ardabili is doing a unique job in a country where, after the 1979 Islamic revolution, dating was banned and extramarital relationships became subject to severe punishment. Some restrictions eased after the election of President Mohammad Khatami, a moderate, in 1997.

Still, Mr. Ardabili is careful to work within approved Islamic standards. His Web site has links to statements of permission from half a dozen prominent Iranian clerics.

''I just want to be a true cleric, and as a cleric my job is to help bring balance and happiness to people's lives,'' he said, adjusting a white turban over his clumsily dyed brown hair. That, in Persian culture, means marriage and having children.


Marie said...

Tori, unlike some of the Pakistani, African and Arab women I have met, Iranian women I know are just so not into the hejab, arranged marriages, the old ways and all that. I would describe my female Iranian friends as Persian rather than Muslim. I do think that Iranians that came to the US after the revolution are not representative of a devoted, Muslim culture, otherwise they would have stayed there.

Rodman said...

Marriage in today's Iran is not arranged in the usual sense of the word. that is parents choosing partners for their kids without their decision being taken into account.
However,it is also far from liberal. Iranian marriages are rituals that involve many backward beliefs,values and expectations that are in contradiction with modernity and have roots in years of supression of women. Many of which are not related to Islam at all.

Anonymous said...

In the '70s for five years when I was in graduate school, I had a beautiful Iranian girlfriend. Our relationship began like this: She invited me to supper one afternoon after class. I showed up on time with no flowers. We exchanged some small talk, and I told her that that day was my birthday. She excused herself, left the room and called for me to join her. I found her in a bedroom, naked and posed seductively, saying, "Come and get your present."
This is the "Western morality" of the ruling class under the Shah that the Islamic Revolution seeks to overthrow. I wish the Iranian people success in imposing a true morality.
dana johns

Anonymous said...

dana, If it was so bad, why did you stay in the relationship for 5 years?

Anonymous said...

A hand in the bush is worth two in the bird.

another anonymous said...


But you also partook in this "western morality" of the ruling class, explaining hypocritically that "A hand in the bush is worth two in the bird."
Are you not as guilty as they are?
Why you are you now accusing them but not accusing yourself?

Uh, uh, and btw you call it "western morality" some protestants would call it "eastern depravity" I call it "a life of high and mighty in persia"

Anonymous said...

I did not say that I accepted her offer. Your eagerness to jump to conclusions reveals your true motivations. You want to prove me wrong more that you seek truth.

another anonymous said...


What, according to you, are my true motivations?
How otherwise would you explain your answer (A hand in the bush is worth two in the bird.) to ilse?
This answer - she behaved according to "western morality" which I condemn, but nevertheless she was my girlfriend because she was available, - is your explanation for 5 years of relationship with a girl?

Anonymous said...

You don't know enough about us to judge me. Lighten up, dude! Gee, I bet you have been in love and had a caring relationship with every girl you have screwed.

another anonymous said...


I am not judging you, I am just applying logic to what you have written. That's all.
As for the rest of your post - you lost your bet. Try to figure up why.

Anonymous said...

There is an old, true psychological law that expresses how we do to others as we have experienced, or, have had done to us. A Christian rule addresses this dynamic: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
aa, who seems to have left his homeland, has painfully lost the natural context of his behavior and exists in a foreign context, perhaps not his preference.
We can see how aa deals with his unhappiness by noticing that he strips the context from the conversational moves of his partners in discourse. He is doing to others as he has been done to.
This is a crazy-making conversational strategy, and I advise that engaging aa will be neither pleasant nor productive.

Marie said...

My goodness gracious, how ridiculous is that? You enjoy a relationship with a beautiful woman for 5 years, and then you look back and judge her lack of 'true morality'? Thank heavens, being of mainly Christian and some Jewish heritage, and having been married to a Muslim, I choose not to embrace that patriarchal morality, and live a blessed life with my husband of 25 years and 5 sons. I really can't imagine my sons having the same attitude as you, mr. anonymous, thank heavens for that!

another anonymous said...

aa, who seems to have left his homeland, has painfully lost the natural context of his behavior and exists in a foreign context, perhaps not his preference.
Quite wrong. I like the country I live in and I am quite happy, thank you. I also did not "painfully lost natural context of" my "behaviour" and do not exist in "foreign context"
Please try not to get too much pop psychology, ron, into your answers because your mistakes are getting larger.


If what Dana (anonymous) wrote is true, I think he got religion later on in life. And now he is looking back to his earlier behaviour trying to explain his infatuation with a beautiful girl by accusing her of "western morality" and explaining his own by her "availability"
My apologies. Just followed others' example and engaged in a little pop psychology. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I do not think we can trust anything that aa says.

Anonymous said...

In "Why isn't the blog fun anymore?" aa wrote: "Nevertheless, knowing from my own experience how difficult it is to start a life in a new country." Later, in "The arranged marriage" he wrote: "I like the country I live in and I am quite happy, thank you. I also did not "painfully lost natural context of" my "behavior" and do not exist in a "foreign context." Gee, seems like we are on the cusp of a huge contradiction here!! I am sure that aa was very happy while dealing with the difficulty of starting a life in a new country. Kinda makes me warm all over thinking about it!

another anonymous said...

I do not think we can trust anything that aa says.
So don't, nobody is asking you to.
As for ron, there is a difference between present tense and past tense.
For example, in the past filmmaker Mehrnoushe Solouki was living in Canada. Then she went to Iran, stumbled upon a mass grave there, was arrested and put into Evin prison. At present she is in Iran where her trial was adjourned to some future time. She can not come back to Canada. And her work never was a "political" one.
See the difference between the present and the past tense, ron?

Ali Sanaei said...

You've lived in Iran for years now and are somehow aware of the Iranian culture.
I've seen many Iranians who live in the UK and Australia either go to Iran to find their desired match or seek for an Iranian one where they live. Not all of them though.
It's not about the Religion, but the culture. But we must admit that the Islamic culture has penetrated to the culture in some aspects even for those who say they're not adherent to Islam.

Anonymous said...

Gee, aa knows about present and past tenses in language! I wonder what he knows about present and past in the human mind. Seems he doesn't realize that our past configures our present and our present transforms our sense of our past.

Anonymous said...

If Islam promotes science and reason among Iranians and restores a sense of moral solidarity in the populace, I am all for it!

Anonymous said...

There is something really stupid going on here. Tori and friends condemn the government of Iran for "the world's largest brain-drain." Iran can't provide employment opportunities for the highly trained work force that graduates from its universities, so highly skilled youth leave for work and/or further training elsewhere. This scenerio doesn't take into account the undeniable fact that the Unites States is doing and has been long doing everything that it can to wreck Iran's economy. Hard to produce enough new jobs each year when the US is organizing the entire world against your economy. LET'S PUT THE BLAME WHERE IT BELONGS!!

another anonymous said...

You are saying that wrecking of Iranian economy is done mainly by the USA who does not want IRI to take its rightful place in the community of nuclear-armed countries.
USA, who, from the beginning, was so up against the IRI government that it broke the relationship with IRI only after the start of the siege of american embassy in Tehran.
It seems to me that you agree that IRI government should arrest Iranian journalists and bloggers whose view on who is doing the majority of destruction of IRI economy is somewhat different from your own and from the present government's view..
If you do not agree with the last sentence, say so. I would be delighted to be wrong on that.
These journalists and bloggers writing about bribes, inefficiency, and kleptocracy of many government officials are, according to IRI, guilty of destroying security of IRI and of badmouthing current government who ,as every Iranian know, has been working tirelessly to improve well-being of Iranians against immense odds.
I also assume that, some would say, banning some Omar Khayam verses from publication is a fault of the outsiders who want to destroy the IRI government by allowing Iranians to read all of Omar Khayam poems.

Anonymous said...

aa, your hostility is directed against trivia. What are you really angry about?

Tori said...

aa, marie, Don't leave me...! I am so confused by some of the recent comments on the site. I really, truly do not understand where they are coming from? And I know you 2 at least know what I mean.

Tori said...

Ron, The Iranian government, Iranians, everyone admits to the brain drain. Perhaps you are unaware of Khomeini's comment about the brain drain:

“They say there is a brain drain,” Khomeini said, “Let these decayed brains flee. Do not mourn them, let them pursue their own definitions of being…Let these brains flee and be replaced by more appropriate brains...Why are you discussing these rotten brains of lost people? Why are you questioning Islam? Are they fleeing? To hell with them. Let them flee…”

This was from an interview in Etalat, an Iranian newspaper. We have the paper copy of this newspaper.

And while the relationship with the US is certainly a factor in Iran's struggling economy, so is the lack of a coherent economic strategy. This is not something that we are making up.

And one only has to look around at the astounding success of Iran's exiles to know that the problem of the brain drain is a serious one.

And while I am critical of Iran it is because I am realistic about the situation. I do not think Iran is the next Nazi Germany. I am even, at times, cautiously optimistic about the country.

I do not think it does anyone any good to pretend that Iran is either evil or angelic. It is a country with real problems: many of them internal, some of them external.

Which gets me to my original question: anyone out there know of an Iranian woman who has returned to Iran to get married to a man there?

As Ali points out: the "arranged" marriage process (which is not as "arranged" as the term implies) in Iran is more social than Islamic. So, the question is: do only expat me go back to find spouses? or do expat women do so as well?

Anonymous said...

tori, thanks for the quote from Khomeini; I agree with him. He is happy to have them leave. Saves him the trouble of having to kill them.

Marie said...

You can always point your finger outside yourself and say, "oh I am a victim". It's too easy to blame the U.S. for the Iranian economy. I am aware of some history, recent and past, of the meddling, the conniving, the stupid, deadly and greedy conduct on the part of British and American powers, the awful mess they have made of things. The problem though, is that won't change things in Iran. It's an old game, blaming the powerful other. People have to claim their own power if they want things to change.

No, Tori, I don't know any Iranian women with arranged marriages. The ones I know are not even married to Iranians, or not married at all. But they are probably not representative.

Anonymous said...

RIGHT ON, MARIE!!! You have to claim your own power, if you want things to change. Looks like that is exactly what Iranians did in the Islamic Revolution. They got power, and things changed, just like you want!

Marie said...

"They got power, and things changed, just like you want!"

This has nothing to do with what I want.

I am talking about the blame game. I can sit and blame George Bush for many things, but even though I did not vote for him, and even though I detest everything about him, I know that the U.S., as a country, is responsible for his leadership. I don't sit and blame Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda for the act that pushed the U.S. into an insane war, a greed fest for the oil and security companies, even though I could make a good case for it. If you don't take responsibility, you cannot change anything. You cannot even imagine change if you have given away your power. 'Oh it's all their fault'. When you believe that, you have mortgaged your dreams.

Anonymous said...

Pretty good writing, Marie. And, I find nothing in your last blast to argue with.

Anonymous said...

RE: Demonstrators marching for the death of the grade school teacher whose class named a teddy bear Muhammed...
As we descend past peak oil into the abyss, we will see Arabs as they truly are. This is going to make the Iranians look like paragons of stability and sanity.

Anonymous said...

anyhoo, everybody, who ever said that I "enjoyed" my relationship with the Iranian girl? Have you ever gone to grad school? Nobody enjoys relationships (or much of anything else) there!
dana johns, mfa

another anonymous said...


You said that you are aware ....... of the meddling, the conniving, deadly and greedy conduct on the part of British and american powers. Of the awful mess they made of things [I assume in Iran]
Now, that you said that, could you give me an examples of how that greedy, meddling, conniving American power had made the mess of the things in Iran.
Apart, of course, from the complicity of CIA in removing Mossadeq.
And one more thing, if you were a president, what would be your answer to Taliban government in Afghanistan after 9/11?

Anonymous said...

aa, you might search Yahoo on American profits from the Shah's Iran and select Iran and the Revolution: an Esposure of the American plan. You will find extensive information about British and American machinations re: Iran. Here's a little bit:

Finally, Mussadiq fell in August of 1953. With Mussadiq out of the way, the Eisenhower administration rushed to support General Zahedi, who had already been chosen to replace Mussadiq as the prime minister. The US provided Iran with $68 million, mounting to roughly one third of the total revenue Iran had lost as a result of the British oil embargo. Over $300 million in additional US economic aid was given to Iran during the next ten years. The United States also began a major effort to strengthen Shah's security forces soon after the coup, reorganizing and training his domestic intelligence apparatus and giving him almost $600 million in military assistance during the next decade. l6 As a result, Iran's economy grew rapidly. With the more effective security apparatus in place, Shah consolidated his grip on power in the late 1950s and early 1960s. By late 1963, this process had been completed: Shah presided over an authoritarian, repressive regime under which organized opposition to his authority was not tolerated, and there seemed little chance that he would fall from power.

For twenty six years, Iran was a virtual colony of the US corporations and the Pentagon. During these years, the process of Iran's integration into the global capitalist market dominated by the US was consolidated. Iran's role, along with other countries in the region was to deliver cheap oil and receive mostly finished consumer commodities.

Gee, whadaya think of them beans, aa? There's more? Want another plate full?

another anonymous said...


I have written that Mossadeq coup has been an done by the CIA with the help of some mullahs inside Iran to help British. Here I agree with you, that was wrong.
Now, you mean that oil embargo was for a well-being of Iran and the US should have not provided Iran with 1/3 of total revenue lost?
You are also claiming that US should not have given $300 million additional economic aid and some financial advisors whom, by the way, shah booted out of Iran?
What was wrong, according to you with initial reorganisation and training of SAVAK? I am saying "initial" because according to the documents US soon stopped its training.
You are saying that economy of Iran has done better during the Shah era that it has done during 20+ years of IRI rule and that was so bad for Iran?
As for opposition to Shah's authority - you are forgetting that although SAVAK was keeping lid on many things, economy was booming. The problem was that Shah himself opened floodgates to critics of his authority. He sent students abroad to study, he allowed to start many newspapers which he later closed. There were, btw, some major protests about that from the US.
What on earth was wrong with Iranian integration into global market?
You are also saying that Iran "role, along with other countries in the region was to deliver cheap oil and receive mostly finished consumer commodities ".
Tell me, what IRI is doing at present vis a vis China? Getting mostly finished consumer commodities as well as some help with nuclear program and in exchange delivering oil.

Anonymous said...

aa, Let me repeat: "For twenty six years, Iran was a virtual colony of the US corporations and the Pentagon." That means, among other things, exploitation of Iranians' labor, no unions, no workers' rights, no indiginous control over production processes, little indiginous product development, subordination to external command and control, and dependency on external sources for national defense.
Of course, some people thrive on such conditions. Are you one of the exploiters, aa?

another anonymous said...

If you only read from which you took the article ( author unknown) I am sorry for you.
I particularly liked beginning of part 2 of the article
Since Shah was serving America's interest so well, the question comes to mind is why he was removed from power. Was there a sincere and honest to goodness revolution which brought Khomeni[sic] to power? In this section we will demonstrate that it was the United States who used Khomeini and his colleagues to oust the Shah.

Well, here we are:
- Iran was virtual colony of US where economy was so good that Iranians at present still live worse than under the shah
- Shah was removed from power by USA who thought Khomeini will be better puppet
- USA helped Khomeini to install Islamic Republic in Iran.
- Everything is a fault of USA.

I am having trouble following "logic" of the cited article - logic, my foot, it is pure "conspiracy theory". I think I will quote the answer from Mind you, I do not agree with many of people over there, but I do agree with part of commentary which I quote below:
Mr Saleh Ali Sufi,[the guy who put the article on shia chat] what exactly is your source for this gibberish? ........Be careful what you write, without sources, your opinions and regurgetations are no more valuable than those who distributed "ahadeeth" for profit - especially ahadeeth regarding "Onions".

Marie said...

aa, you addressed me: "You said that you are aware ....... of the meddling, the conniving, deadly and greedy conduct on the part of British and american powers. Of the awful mess they made of things [I assume in Iran]"

I said I was aware of "some" meddling, because I assume there is much information I am not privy to.

I was not thinking only of Iran, but Iraq, Afghanistan, South and Central America, Africa, and so on. Al Qaeda was heavily financed by the U.S. during the Afghan wars with Russia, you recall. Same as Saddam Hussein, once a U.S. ally... as was Noriega, of Panama. Our memories are so short. It's almost a joke, how convoluted it gets.

I remember when I lived in Iran, after they took the hostages, the Carter administration withdrew the diplomatic corps. Now I am actually an admirer of Jimmy Carter, but that was when diplomats were most needed. Instead, the U.S. media stayed on, inflaming people's indignation and behaving like pigs overall (the New York Times and Le Monde being the exception). I remember one NBC reporter calling all Iranians 'monkeys' in front of their drivers. Big no no. An American woman correspondent putting on make-up in front of a crowd chanting "Death to America", and then later screaming how much she hated the country. Stupid! This is not even meddling, just stupidity. At the time, I joked that the "hostage crisis' was a media inspired event. To this day, I believe it would have been resolved much quicker if the American media had not created such a circus atmosphere.

I really cannot answer your question re: the Taliban. I am not president, so it's a moot point. As a U.S. citizen and New Yorker, I would have preferred the events on 9/11/2001 be treated as a criminal acts rather than an acts of war. Instead, our president used the tragedy as an excuse to create wage more war, expand executive powers and tilt our country toward fascism - not a happy development.

Anonymous said...

aa, attacking the source and not addressing the argument is not especially logical, if you get my drift. So, still, I want to know... are you an exploiter?

another anonymous said...


I don't remember events of 1979. I can only read on it now.
How Iranian government called US and the west? You must remember Khomeini speeches.
Circus it may have been, but it was a circus from both sides, started by the IRI. If IRI wanted to stop that circus it may have stopped it quite easily just by asking students to get out of the embassy.

As for al Qaeda, afghan mujjahadins were financed by States, al Qaeda was mainly financed by Saudi Arabia and their mukhabarat. Yes, US did helped also al qaeda through Pakistani ISI but US government thought of al Qaeda as no different from afghanis fighting against CCCP. They were mistaken.

Sadam Hussein was an ally of the US in the same way as he was an ally of Saudis, Jordanians, Gulf States, Egypt and Europeans.

As for 9/11 US wanted it to be treated as criminal act and asked taliban to extradite usama, but they refused.
Al qaeda treated 9/11 as act of war.

You say you were living in US during the Iranian revolution.
You probably also remember what some people in US and in Europe were saying communists.
That they are not really threat at all. That nuclear armaments are really for peaceful purposes. That your governments are lying about them and about their purpose. That they are really good guys, no like the governments in the west.

Our memories are short. True.

Marie said...

Of course the hostage crisis was two sided...not even. The students took the embassy employees hostage, simple as that. That was not my point and it's not even an issue. There are always two or more sides to a story. Which is why Palestine and Israel are locked in a death grip for close to 60 years...

It's also true that the Saudis have their hand in it thick, to this day. Interesting, they are our 'allies'(along with the enlightened Pakistani government). I am sorry my country is on par with the government of Saudi Arabia. We can always say, "Hey look, the Saudis are doing it too!" Cool.

But that was not your question, and I don't have the time nor inclination to give history lessons here. As a matter of fact, all of this is well documented. Including the fact that the CIA was behind Saddam Hussein's rise to power in Iraq. Well documented. It was Henry Kissinger who said (regarding the CIA's betrayal of Iraqi Kurds) "covert action should not be confused with missionary work."
The CIA has been behind regime change for many years. I don't think it's worked, overall. No, not at all.

I feel really blessed to be born a U.S. citizen; growing up, I was schooled with a set of values that did not include torture, undermining human rights and invading sovereign states unprovoked. I studied the U.S. Constitution in depth, and still think it's one of the most beautiful documents ever written. I was taught that it's my right and duty to speak out when I think something is wrong. People who say, "My country, right or wrong", I think that's really unpatriotic.

Regarding your statements on communism, what are you trying to say? That the Soviet Union was the big evil? That we in the U.S. are always right, rah rah hurrah? My husband is Hungarian, born right after WWII. I am very familiar with the problems associated with the former Soviet Union, thank you very much. And I chose not to live in Iran. Don't exactly love the government there!

Realize this though; after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States in August 1945, no nation has used nuclear weapons against another nation. Period.

Marie said...

aa, regarding your statement "As for 9/11 US wanted it to be treated as criminal act and asked taliban to extradite usama, but they refused. Al qaeda treated 9/11 as act of war." As a matter of fact, prior to 9/11, all acts of terrorism were treated as a criminal violation of federal statutes against terrorism, whether the perpetrator was available or not.

So I must respectfully disagree with your opinion that the U.S. wanted to treat 9/11 as a criminal act. Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan for one reason: the Taliban government refused to comply with his demand to unconditionally deliver bin Laden to the United States. But there was no extradition agreement between Afghanistan and the United States. The Taliban did express a willingness to deliver bin Laden over to the United States or to a third country if U.S. officials provided convincing evidence that bin Laden had, in fact, been complicit in the 9/11 attacks. The U.S. and any country other would make such a request. Instead, Bush’s response was that U.S. officials would not furnish any such evidence to the Taliban government. The Taliban had to follow U.S. orders and turn bin Laden over to the United States, with no guarantees of what would happen to him once he was in U.S. custody. Their refusal led to the invasion, which was technically not legal. The U.S. Constitution requires the president to secure a congressional declaration of war from Congress before waging war against another country. But that doesn't seem to stop the U.S. from waging war these days.

Many innocent people have been killed in Afghanistan due to this war. Osama bin Laden was never apprehended. Yes, you can say that many people get killed there anyway, or that the U.S. was justified to invade and liberate Afghanis from the Taliban. I personally hold my country to a higher standard. I want the U.S. to live up to the ideals of its Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, which states that all men are endowed by the Creator with "certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Anonymous said...

I am going to follow Tori's lead and select a sentence each day, but in this case from what aa writes. The sentence I select will be his most meaningless of the day. Here's an example:

Circus it may have been, but it was a circus from both sides, started by the IRI.

Really inane, aa. But, thanks for your effort.

another anonymous said...

Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan for one reason: the Taliban government refused to comply with his demand to unconditionally deliver bin Laden to the United States.

But there was no extradition agreement between Afghanistan and the United States.
Because Taliban government was recognised by three states: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and UAE. None of the other countries recognized Taliban government.

The Taliban did express a willingness to deliver bin Laden over to the United States or to a third country if U.S. officials provided convincing evidence that bin Laden had, in fact, been complicit in the 9/11 attacks. The U.S. and any country other would make such a request. Instead, Bush’s response was that U.S. officials would not furnish any such evidence to the Taliban government.
Not quite true.
Bin Laden has been indicted in US court on murder charges in connection with August 1998 bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzanya and has been placed by FBI on the list of ten most wanted terrorists. After US asked Taliban to hand over Bin Laden. Taliban spokesmen Tayyab Agha on February, 1999 said that Usama bin Laden "has gone missing,We had not told him to leave, and we do not know where he has gone to or whether he has left the country. " Taliban also said that "bin Laden would not be allowed to use Afghanistan as a staging area for terrorist activities, and called bin Laden "an honored guest and a friend who helped the Afghan resistance fight invading Soviet soldiers in the 1980s."
Also in 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton convinced the United Nations to impose sanctions against Afghanistan in an attempt to force the Taliban to extradite him.
Without any results.

Bin Laden acknowledged that he masterminded the plan to bomb embassies because "US planed to partition Somalia" he also told that "the genocide in Rwanda had been planned inside the two American embassies" Nevertheless with all the the evidence taliban sharia court declared bin Laden "a man without a sin" .

After the attack of 9/11 Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan said that they would not hand over bin Laden, his translator added that they would not hand him without evidence. As well he demanded that the bin Laden should by tried by sharia court.
Taliban had all evidence of bin laden complicity in the previous attacks, and declared him "without a sin". After 9/11 they wanted evidence too, so they could declare him not-guilty?
Sorry, but if you think that US should have believed Taliban at all I think we have different view on what Taliban is and was.

Marie said...

aa- this conversation is sort of dead in the water for me. I respect and understand your point, but I don't agree with you. You say what I wrote was not true, but what is not true? You have your counterpoints, but they do not invalidate mine. Yes, the Taliban was a rogue state and it was (and is) a horror. Does that justify the U.S. invasion?

A war obviously was not the solution to apprehending a criminal or criminal in point - Osama Bin Laden is still to be apprehended. Al Qaeda has metastasized into numerous factions and just keeps growing. The Iraq war especially was a bonanza for them. To my way of thinking, the number of civilians killed and maimed did not justify the ends. Afghanistan is not a finished chapter. Osama Bin Laden (if he is still alive) is probably in Pakistan, which we have not invaded, and there are no plans to do so (there's no real strategic, geopolitical reason to do so). The fact of the matter is, plans were drawn for both the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq before 9/11 - ('A few days before September 11, the U.S. Energy Information Administration documented Afghanistan's strategic "geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural and gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea," including the construction of pipelines through Afghanistan.'
Today, the U.S. administration is still trying to justify war against Iran, even when 'intelligence' does not support it. Why? These 3 countries are very important strategically for global oil, energy and security businesses.

There have been instances when the U.S. has refused to hand over a 'criminal' to another country requesting extradition. One case in point: Luis Poasad Carriles, a self-admitted terrorist and former CIA operative, wanted by Venezuela---but Venezuela is not our ally, and "On September 28, 2005 a U.S. immigration judge ruled that Posada cannot be deported because he faced the threat of torture in Venezuela."(from This is just one instance of the hypocrisy of our foreign policy.

I might feel differently if the war had stopped in Afghanistan and we had really helped that country to rebuild with all the billions we have poured into destruction elsewhere. That is why I honestly cannot answer your question re: what I would have done as president. But recent history demonstrates (to me, anyway) that a criminal prosecution was never seriously entertained by the Bush administration. The Afghani war was their gateway to war in Iraq and in their dreams, war in Iran. Or as Nabil Shaath, who was Palestinian foreign minister at the time, said: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I am driven with a mission from God'. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."

OK... but if I say, 'God told me to shoot up the town next door and end the corruption there', I would probably be considered insane and incarcerated (and rightly so).

Anonymous said...

Why is it that aa never engages anyone's points in an issue in dispute? What is going on with that? Does he think that only he knows the truth in the controversy and that his ideas are the only ones worth anything? I have never seen such (words fail) in my life. Hey, aa, get real!

another anonymous said...

I did miss your post at 1:49

Of course the hostage crisis was two sided...not even. The students took the embassy employees hostage, simple as that. That was not my point and it's not even an issue.
Students took the embassy emplyees hostage, it was as simple and as complicated as that. It could have been broken by one word from Khomeini, it was not. the issue here is that although it was a media inspired event it could have been stopped by the government of IRI.
However it was not a main issue. Main issue was medling by the US.
You said that it is on par with SA, I say that US behaved like EU.After all Hussain was helped by the USA was the satelite photos. EU helped with armaments, Gulf states with money. That said SA had legitimate grudge against Khomeini government. IRI helped with the siege of Mecca, it called loudly for a destruction of SA government, it staged demonstrations of Iranians during the haj in Mecca, it sent money to disgruntled shia in SA (they had right to be disgruntled considering how badly they are treated by sunnis in SA, nevertheless IRI did work to change a regime there) IRI also claimed that as Saud is an illegal custodian of two holly places.

You also mentioned Kurds, yes. That CIA was responsible for Kurdish uprising.......... wrong. The Kurds were fighting long time before gulf war, in Turkey and in Iraq. In Turkey they were killed, they were prohibited to talk their own language, to have their own radio stations, and none of the people of the "arab street" protested. US for 10 years provided Kurdish no-fly zone. What did other countries do for Kurds?

I also have no time for history lessons for you, for the documents disputing and proving your statement "he fact that the CIA was behind Saddam Hussein's rise to power in Iraq." Well documented, indeed. Badly, I would say.

Pakistani government...........who do you want to have as a government there? Benazir Bhutto, who skimed millions of dollars and is as corrupt as other politicians? People from madrassas, who get money from SA and follow Mawdudi/salafi teaching? Judges, who protest against Musharaf but drive in cars many times more costly than their yearly salaries? At least, with the government of Musharaf economy of pakistan is beter than it ever was.If as you say that supporting Musharaff is wrong and hypocrytical, you must have some ideas on the candidates there and whom should US support in Pakistan.
That said I do not like Musharaf, there will be democratic elections there ( I understand that US and EU protest against what Musharaff is doing, probably also against what he is doing in Swat ;-) ), but the government chosen in that election will not be democratic or liberal One is not equal to the other.

CCCP - I am saying that US was right in describing it as undemocratic and totalitarian and in trying to work against it. If you have, as you say, very good idea of what Soviet Union was then have a different view?

Saying "my country right or wrong" is neither patriotic nor good for well being of the country. But believing that "my country is nearly always wrong" irregardless of the circumstances and believing in the sliding of the said country to facism, where the said country is as far away from being facist as ever is also not good for well being of the country.

As for Hiroshima and country but USA did use it, that does not mean that no country wanted to use it or that no one will ever use it. Period.

another anonymous said...


Your argument goes like that: because Usama bin Laden have not been apprehended the action taken by the US government and the countries of NATO have been wrong.
The above argument would be similar to the following argument: because criminal has not been yet apprehended and some members of the criminal organization (be it mafia, tongs, or any other criminal organisation) are still active the actions taken to apprehend criminal and the members of the criminal organisation by the police forces of the country are wrong.
If you agree with the first it follows that the second one is also true.

You said that what Usama bin Laden, his organisation and the Taliban who give Usama and his organisation was doing did not justify the invasion. You do not propose any other solution in response to attacks of 9/11 explaining that you are not a president of the US. Clearly, than, what is evident from your post is not only your disagreement on the invasion of Afghanistan, but also in consequence and in view of previous Taliban behaviour, an agreement to do nothing at all.

War is not a solution to apprehend criminal or a criminal organization, but bin Laden is not a criminal, he is a terrorist. His organisation is not a criminal organisation as are mafia or Tongs but a terrorist organisation. There is a whole difference in a meaning between terrorist organisation and a criminal organisation, between a terrorist and a criminal.

Afghanistan is a open chapter, but why is it open?
Where are the money promised to Afghanistan from EU, from Arab countries, from the whole UN? US should have concentrated on Afghanistan, that is true, however the problem of Taliban, its teaching, the Usama bin Laden as well as his organisation are not exclusively US problem. Nevertheless majority of the countries did less than they promised, the ME governments did not changed their propaganda and teaching and now the birds have come home to roost, in the gulf states, in SA, in Pakistan, in Egypt, and, in consequence, in Europe.

As for no plans for invasion of Pakistan, I am sure you are mistaken. I am quite sure that China has plans for invasion of USA and/or Russia. These plans are not crystal clear, but they are there, vague plans, just in case. As were the US plans for invading Afghanistan or/and Iraq. As are the Russian plans for invasion of Ukraine. However US have not plans to attack Pakistan,, as you said, Usama bin Laden may be somewhere in the border area in Pakistan, nevertheless Usama bin Laden and his organisation do not have support of the government of Pakistan for what they are doing, and they did not lauch attack on 9/11 from the Pakistani soil with the agreement of Pakistani government.

Talking about US plans regarding transportation of oil through Afghanistan, of course there were plans. Afghanistan has quite a good position, oild-wise. Why do you think Iran also wanted to have influence in Afghanistan and was talking to Taliban disregarding even the killing of its ambassadors, and why Iran and Russia are right now talking to all and sundry in Afghanistan?
US do not try to justify, a war against Iran. US government is trying to justify the sanction against Iran. Newspapers and some journalists, like Seymour Hersh in 2005 ( US will attack Iran soon, probably this year), talk about war citing former government officials, about "generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran", and so on and so forth. The government does not talk about war.The statements that all option are open by Cheney means just that, the war is not excluded - some time in the future. After all war should not be excluded if a country attack another country. In fact Bush was saying on January that US has no intention of invading Iran. Bush was also saying couple of times before that he has no intention of invading Iran, the newspapers are saying that he has.

Nabil Shah said everybody heard Bush, Abbas was there and it seems that he somehow did not hear that, This report is not true," the Abbas statement said today. "I have never heard President Bush talking about religion as a reason behind the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Bush has never mentioned that in front of me on any occasion and specifically not during my visit in 2003."
So, no, Bush did not say that, but many other people did say that the reasons for 9/11, for killing of Iraqi shia, for killing of unbelievers are the god's commands inscribed in holy book. Do you agree that all of them, the leaders and the followers, should be locked up?
So yes, you may say that if 'God told me to shoot up the town next door and end the corruption there', you should be considered insane and incarcerated, but then you will have a company with many people who really believe it. You will not, however much you would have liked to, have a company of the guy who did not say it.

Posada - You are forgetting that it was a U.S. immigration judge ruled that Posada cannot be deported because he faced the threat of torture in Venezuela.On May 17, 2005 he had been detained by the Department of Homeland Security and has been kept in prison until 2007, but the immigration judge stated
"As with each and every defendant who comes before this court, defendant in this case is entitled to certain rights under the United States Constitution. This court will not set aside such rights nor overlook government misconduct because defendant is a political hot potato. This court's concern is not politics, it is the preservation of criminal justice", said judge Cardone.So it seems that she and all others have different view on the rights of her terrorist defendant. There are such people in every country, even in the judiciary of the USA.

Marie said...

aa- with all due respect, this can go around and around. I am not Chinese or Saudi but American, a US citizen, and my concern is what my country does in the world. This has blown up into a much wider and actually weirder discussion than I care to continue. You are talking about fairly recent history, and you have a different spin on it than I do. We can go back and forth with our facts and beliefs - if you read my words carefully and with an open attitude, you would see, you have attributed statements or sentiments I don't have and beliefs I don't share. I am not critical of the U.S. for everything - I already argued one cannot always blame the powerful other for all problems - but my country has used force and power with a global reach that has been destructive. That is my concern. That is my sorrow.

another anonymous said...


I understand your concern regarding what US have done or that it is using force "with global reach that has been destructive" But not all use of force by the US has been destructive and a global reach with a threat (or actual use of force, proxy or direct) is common to all countries. We do live in globalized environment and every country or organisation has influence on what other countries are doing. You may hold US to higher standards than other countries, but it seems that you believe some things about your country and/or president of your country, that are simply not true (see: Bush words you quoted, US slide to fascism). I myself hold some countries to higher standards than others and sometimes they do not live up to them. But I am also a realist, and realize that it is next to impossible to always follow these standards.

Marie said...

aa- Regarding a slide toward fascism, there are many incremental steps that constitute such a slide. One of them is a consolidation of power in the executive branch that threatens or attempts to undermine other constitutionally equal branches of government. Another is a blatant disregard for law from the top office of the land. In any case, this is a matter of opinion, as is the judgement of who is the greater realist.

Regarding George Bush's assertions that he talks to God. Perhaps you are privy to information the rest of us are not. These are just a few of the news items on the subject.

From the BBC Press Report:
Press Releases
God told me to invade Iraq, Bush tells Palestinian ministers

Category: News
Date: 06.10.2005

President George W Bush told Palestinian ministers that God had told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq - and create a Palestinian State, a new BBC series reveals.

In Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs, a major three-part series on BBC TWO (at 9.00pm on Monday 10, Monday 17 and Monday 24 October), Abu Mazen, Palestinian Prime Minister, and Nabil Shaath, his Foreign Minister, describe their first meeting with President Bush in June 2003.

Nabil Shaath says: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm
Abu Mazen was at the same meeting and recounts how President Bush told him: "I have a moral and religious obligation. So I will get you a Palestinian state."

The series charts the attempts to bring peace to the Middle East, from President Bill Clinton's peace talks in 1999/2000 to Israel's withdrawal from Gaza last August.

Guardian Unlimited,6903,1075950,00.html
Paul Harris in New York
Sunday November 2, 2003
The Observer

President George W. Bush stood before a cheering crowd at a Dallas Christian youth centre last week, and told them about being 'born again' as a Christian...

Behind Bush were two banners. 'King of Kings', proclaimed one. 'Lord of Lords', said the other. The symbolism of how fervent Christianity has become deeply entwined with the most powerful man on the planet could not have been stronger...Bush said to James Robinson: 'I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.'
George W. Bush and the G-Word

By Al Kamen
Friday, October 14, 2005; Page A17

In July 2004, he stopped to campaign with some Amish folks at Lapp Electric Service in Smoketown, Pa. Just as the meeting ended, Bush, according to Mennonite Weekly Review columnist Jack Brubaker, told the group: "I trust God speaks through me. Without that I couldn't do my job." This also produced White House denials that Bush used those words.

Anonymous said...

Tori wrote: "I think every society is layered, Ron." Well, we were not talking about "societies." We were talking about "conversational practices." Tori's statement implied that Iranians' conversational practices were not genuine, sincere, and that, regardless of what was said, something else actually was going on. Don't you think that such a condition would put an insufferable burden on Iranians wanting to conduct the simple, ordinary, practical activities of life? Actually, the "layering" idea is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

If a host says to an obviously distressed guest, "You may use our bathroom," the guest doesn't want to have to figure out what the host may really mean by that statement or what is really going on. In polite situations, contextual clues enable interactants to interpret utterances. If host says, "Please stay for supper." and it is 2 a.m, one may be sure that a polite excuse is appropriate in most circumstances. The thing is, foreigners do not know most contextual clues. Learning them requires intelligent immersion in Iranian society, something Tori managed for 4 years to evade.


u know what??? im 20 i lived in iran for ten years LOVED IT had a bf at da age 14 loved him to bits mummy found out went mental ive always rebelled just like da rest of persian gals!! and what is dis about considerin iranians as persians not muslims im sorry who da F*** are u to judge yo friends i never talk about dis but..i party, date, go out wiv freinds, sing and dance and perform AND i try and fast EVRY SINGLE DAY OF RAMADAN n try n get into da habit of sayin ma prayers and i always pray wen wakin up steppin outa da house and before goin to bed but NOONE KNOWS cuz its what i believe in so if they dont tell u doesnt mean theyre not muslims...U KNOW ghoran was written SOOOOOOOO MANY YEARS AGO i love ghoran and alah wiv all ma heart but ... e.g wen it sez yo nails have to be clean.. doesnt man NO NAIL POLISH.. becuz back then woman used to have "HANA" on their fingers and it was dirty or some sort of thing like dat... but now we are aware of out hygein this is just a very small example im so disappointed in some of yo comments.. yall need to lighten up!

and about marriage?? dude as long as da boy has a job, clean heart, good person then who cares what race and where hes from or whatever im sure parents would come around once they see how in love you are and how happy u become!!!
but if u think im wrong....... IM NOT haha jokes !! holla PEACE!

Anonymous said...

wha u no bout wuv nehow?


Anonymous said...

Totally insipid.


Anonymous said...

Crosso-cultural marriage is a long, hard trip, if not sooner then later. Shadow doesn't have a clue.