BBC BLOGS - Justin Webb's America
« Previous | Main | Next »

Iran's Michelle Obama?

Justin Webb | 16:48 UK time, Monday, 11 May 2009

zahra_ap226b.jpg

My colleague Bahman Kalbasi of BBC Persian TV points out that one of the moderate candidates in the presidential elections in Iran - Hossein Mousavi - is campaigning with his wife alongside him.

This is a truly landmark event, since for the last 30 years it has been unusual even to see the face of a presidential aspirant's wife, let alone hear her voice.

She - Zahra Rahnavard - is being called the Michelle Obama of Iran, though I note from the picture that her arms are well covered.

To those who scoff at the Obama approach to the outside world - this is at least a partial answer.

He (and she) might change the nature of the game, unleashing forces that no amount of "axis of evil" rhetoric ever could.

Comments

  • 1. At 5:47pm on 11 May 2009, arclightt wrote:

    It is an interesting cultural event. Whether or not it changes very much remains to be seen, since the clerical heads appear to really set the overall tone of the Iranian regime.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 6:06pm on 11 May 2009, clnt2009 wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 3. At 6:11pm on 11 May 2009, Roadkill wrote:

    Off the mark. An Irainian woman, in public, only annoys the ruler. No amount of "packaging" will change the religious dictatorship in Iran.

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 7:01pm on 11 May 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    One small change starts momentum. One needs to bend a knee to aid the forward motion of a foot. That simple movement can start a trip of 100 miles.

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 7:22pm on 11 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    It is evident that things are changing so rapidly in Iran that attempts by the Mullahs and Ayatollahs to retain their influence on state affairs may be futile.

    Let's hope the new generation of Iranians succeeds in extricating thie country from the religious zealots that have controlled every facet of life since the Shah was overthrown. Cultural changes take time and every step, no matter how small, has great significance inasmuch as they highlight changes in the way people think, as opposed to the subservience of those who are dominated by force.

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 7:29pm on 11 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    WOW

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 7:33pm on 11 May 2009, duhbuh wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 8. At 7:41pm on 11 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    3, proceednet.
    "Off the mark. An Irainian woman, in public, only annoys the ruler. No amount of "packaging" will change the religious dictatorship in Iran."

    You have to look beneath the surface to understand a country. The Iranian people, by nature, don't like to be pushed around. Iranians live to subvert the government - any government. And don't forget these same Iranian women were wearing bikinis when the shah was around. Their spirit has not changed, except superficially.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 7:49pm on 11 May 2009, newsjock wrote:

    Good on Mr Mousavi !

    To have his wife on the campaign trail with him and showing her face will be an enlightening move in a country where women are invisible.

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 8:11pm on 11 May 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    i find it very funny based on what I hear of the media coverage of iran that although iran has sucha totalitarian religous based regime running the country, iran still has a very vibrant social scene, that seems somewhat liberal and secular, similar to what iraq had before the war. Most people choose to not be engaged in politics in exchange for a peaceful existence. Maybe I am misinterpreting the media coverage or its just spin,

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 8:15pm on 11 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 12. At 8:19pm on 11 May 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    Well good for them and for Iran. The proper institutions of Democracy and representative government seem to be in place, lets just hope that this time Ayatollah Khamenei lets those institutions work like they should. I think we could work with almost anyone who isnt Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 8:22pm on 11 May 2009, Roadkill wrote:

    Reformers have tried this before. The Irainian President is but a hood orniment for the religious dictator. Any attempt to liberate the people from othodoxy will backfire and leave women and minorities even worse off than before. The entire government must go.

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 8:37pm on 11 May 2009, duhbuh wrote:

    Has anybody else experienced loss of punctuation when posting comments?

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 9:00pm on 11 May 2009, KristinaBrooker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 16. At 9:04pm on 11 May 2009, canadacold wrote:

    cell by cell

    woman by woman

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 9:09pm on 11 May 2009, Kittle wrote:

    13, Good to see we're keeping a optomistic approach to this.

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 9:39pm on 11 May 2009, U13817236 wrote:

    "She is being called the Michelle Obama of Iran" - at least by gossipy 'foreign correspondents' who are too lazy to look beneath the surface and like to imagine that everything anyone ever does in the world is in imitation of American pop culture creatures. She's Zahra Rahnavard of Iran and that's enough. "She and Mousavi might change the nature of the game" but not necessarily the way American imperialists Barack and Michelle might like to dictate. In a recent interview in Der Spiegel - a seious news source in contrast to this fatuous blog - Mousavi stated: "The language Mr. Obama uses is refreshingly different from that of his predecessor G.W.Bush. But actions must now follow. We will pay careful attention to what happens next. If his actions are in keeping with his words, why shouldn't we negotiate?" A very large "if" of course, given the Obamas' penchant for imperial doubletalk - and bombing. Mousavi also said: "we will not abandon the great achievements of Iranian scientists. I too, will not suspend nuclear enrichment." He also admirably expressed his solidarity with Palestinians, something the unprincipled Obamas never do. That would truly be a "landmark" event in American and world politics if they ever did. Instead, the Obamas will probably go on "unleashing forces" of death and destruction, like they're doing right now in Afghanistan and Iraq. There are plenty of serious reasons to scoff at the Obamas' approach of imperialist aggression to the outside world. America will have to try and find more "moderate" candidates in future elections, perhaps someday there will be an American Zahra Rahnavard.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 9:52pm on 11 May 2009, mary gravitt wrote:

    Maybe this is truly The Year of the Woman. I hope so. We see Iran through a jauntaced eye. We are not taught in our limited US History that Iran has great cause to fear and distrust America. It was the CIA that helped and backed the overthrow of Iran's only democratic government. After disposing of Massadeck in 1953, the US set up a Satrap in the Shah who oppressed his people in the name of the West. In 1978-79 the Iranians took their revenge and ousted him and installed a leader from their people. Even though he was on the take himself in Paris, but he was from the people, not the CIA.

    As a colonizer, the US has always been a failure. It should take lessons from the Brits on people control. And it should learn that a flea in one's ear can be removed.

    Power to the People and all Power to Women!

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 10:00pm on 11 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Iran never were on an "axis of evil," threatening world domination and the spreading of some sort of evil philosophy. Not since '79 anyway, which I guess is the era in focus. It's all been conditioning of the American population and the appeasement of Israel. America somehow feels better if it has a few countries on the blacklist. What I find hard to believe is that so many people are so gullible. But I guess if your government and the mainstream media keep pushing it out, and you don't look beneath the surface, you'll be happy to accept what's put in front of you.

    I understand there are around 250 candidates who have registered for the Presidential elections. Thats quite healthy. Very healthy. I'm envious. I wish we had that choice in UK. Will we be getting a better coverage of their election now that BBC has a established a Persian service?

    BTW - Iran already changed 'the nature of the game' as you call it Justin, that's a bit of a vague description. It was noticeable under Rafsanjani and especially Khatami. It takes others to 'change the nature of the game as well,' or perception which is more appropriate. Iran has maintained a fairly steady course for quite some time now: its up to others to change their glasses. Obama seems to understand that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 10:05pm on 11 May 2009, Sergey wrote:

    I glad to see another tiny crack in the Wall that surround Fundamentalist State. May be they try to counterbalance recent US moves, May be they really allowed woman appear on public stage. May be the try to spread moderates between several candidates. May be...

    Overall I pessimists. We saw this before - several hundreds moderates candidates competed for Majlis and High Religious banned most of them.
    But any move in moderate direction is positive.
    Lets keep fingers crossed that conflict can be avoided by will of people.

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 10:16pm on 11 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    A lot of attention has been given to Ms Roxana Saberi, who has received reasonalbe treatment. I haven't heard any reference to the three Iranian consular officers held by the US Military in Iraq for over two years now. All members of the UN are required to respect immunity or deport consular officials. Are there any agreements that USA will abide by?



    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 10:19pm on 11 May 2009, _marko wrote:

    To duhbuh #7, DouglasFeith #18

    Most of the blog is made up of comments from the public, more than 99% for a typical 100+ post blog. When people criticise the blog are they saying he whole thing is rubbish/fatuous/biased or just the comment at the beginning?

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 11:11pm on 11 May 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    Seems like this is all a blink of an eye to history of Iran - I am surprised Shia rule has lasted so long there.

    #7 Duhbuh - So Sarah Palin should: (a) run for office in Iran, (b) wear sleeveless tops, (c) make more sense in public, or (d) all of the above ?

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 11:21pm on 11 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    I hope the Iranian people achieve their goals and enjoy the peace, prosperity and freedoms they deserve, but I am a bit puzzled by the comparison to Michelle Obama.

    Justin, are you suggesting Michelle represents a major breakthrough for American women in politics, aside from her ethnicity? She is clearly an intelligent, articulate, and likable person but I am not sure she is very different from previous First Ladies and when it comes to aggressiveness she definitely takes a back seat to the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Clinton. Even her fashion statements are often regarded as Jacqueline Kennedy's imitations.

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 00:30am on 12 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #20. Richard_SM: "Iran never were on an "axis of evil"

    How many Irans are there?

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 01:06am on 12 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This is a thinly disguised charade just like the phony arrest, trial, conviction, and release of the Iranian American reporter. It's a diversion from the real issues, the ones that matter. Iran's support of the terrorist groups Hezbollah, Hamas, its program to develop nuclear weapons and long range missiles, its attempts at regional hegemony including taking over the government of Lebanon by proxy, its support of Shia insurgents in Iraq. Let's keep our eyes focused firmly on the ball Mr. Webb. These ploys mean nothing of substance and everyone knows it. Time to focus on the real issue, how the world is going to deal with the alarming and growing menace of Iran. At the rate things are going, nuclear war is not out of the question so lets drop this kind of cute garbage.

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 01:07am on 12 May 2009, Noliving wrote:

    Richard_SM: you don't have to be going for world domination to be "evil" nor spread some type of evil philosphy to be put on that list, never was a requirement. Look at North Korea they are not after world domination right now or spreading the evil philospy except to maybe south korea.

    When it comes to the iranians, you would be well advised to know that the office was never classified as a consulate, as a result diplomatic protection/immunity doesn't apply. So again the US didn't break any agreement, as a result the US is abiding by the agreement you accuse them of breaking.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 02:41am on 12 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    "She - Zahra Rahnavard - is being called the Michelle Obama of Iran."

    It would be more important if her husband was known as the Barack Obama of Iran; without him, Michelle would still be unknown to the general public.

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 02:47am on 12 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #27. MarcusAureliusII: "At the rate things are going, nuclear war is not out of the question"

    Now I know you're nuts. It's not as if the USA is the only party with nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver them. China and Russia could well side with the Iranians - a weapon as small as that dropped on Hiroshima would devastate New York. You need to think through the consequences of what you suggest.

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 03:10am on 12 May 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    Exactly how popular is the U S of A these days? How much are the Obamas trend setters and world shakers, in other parts of the planet?

    Mr. Webb, with all respect due to your placement nearer the center of things, aren't you getting a little Hollywoodized over this? Can it matter, in Iranian politics, that a candidate's wife participates in the campaign, or is it just noteworthy to western journalists and celebrity panders? Will Mousavi's candidacy be helped or hindered?

    I am ready to be very impressed by Mrs. Obama's contribution to American social consciousness on many fronts, but star power per se is not the stuff of lasting greatness.

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 03:28am on 12 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Canard, I know you don't live in the real world but if you think Russia or China would commit national suicide to avenge a nuclear attack on Iran, you are not even on planet earth. Besides, if China attacks the US, they don't get paid their money back :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 05:47am on 12 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #32. MarcusAureliusII: "if you think Russia or China would commit national suicide to avenge a nuclear attack on Iran, you are not even on planet earth."

    What makes you think that it would not be the United States which would "commit national suicide"? Remember that Britain went to war in support of Poland, not because she was attacked. The same could very well happen with other nations. I wouldn't want to be living in New York, Washington or other major urban centres if the USA launched a nuclear attack on Iran. The devastation caused by two aircraft flying into high rise buildings would seem minor compared to just one atomic, not hydrogen, bomb exploded over Manhattan. If China succeeded, we might all be speaking Mandarin (etc) rather than English, Spanish and Korean. It's not something I would want to risk.

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 06:29am on 12 May 2009, smileytm303 wrote:

    Full respect to number seven--but Justin Webb called Palin "fabulous" and other terms of high praise during the campaign. You were clearly not paying attention.

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 09:06am on 12 May 2009, MostonHead wrote:

    Gets me how ignorant some brits are, Iran is not the backward place you seem to think it is, it has far more intellectual thought compared to the comedians running this country and is also very liberal in its population. Iran has not behaved as bad as the US and i would say they need the bomb to stop the US from invading and stealing it, and that is pretty much the thought in the real world, not in the world constructed and lied to by the US and UK. We see plenty of anti iranian propoganda, but the truth is a spy was treated well and released, but US prisoners disappear.

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 09:24am on 12 May 2009, TanSauNg wrote:

    Oh dear, Sam! Another Michelle!

    How will you cope....

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 09:26am on 12 May 2009, TanSauNg wrote:

    Ref 33. David_Cunard
    "If China succeeded, we might all be speaking Mandarin (etc) rather than English, Spanish and Korean. It's not something I would want to risk."

    Too right! And they say English is a difficult language to learn. Mandarin is nigh on impossible for us savages to learn!

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 09:50am on 12 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 35 MostonHead

    "Gets me how ignorant some brits are, Iran is not the backward place"

    Half the posters on this particular page are American. Virtually everywhere else in the world is reasonably well informed about Iran. In the US they only seem to cover the negative Iran stories, and the positive US stories.


    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 10:02am on 12 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    A few days after moving into the White house, Obama said,"If countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us."

    Well it looks like they have unclenched their fist by releasing Roxana Saberi.

    Will the US reciprocate by releasing the three Iranian Consular officials it has held in a US Military Camp in Iraq for the last two years?

    As usual, all the evidence suggests these people are completely innocent. US has ignored the diplomatic protocol. If it wasn't happpy with them, shouldn't they have been deported back to Iran.

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 10:46am on 12 May 2009, Kittle wrote:

    I think the thing with Roxana Saberi and possibly this too, are attempts by Iran to show the rest of the world that either they're not as bad as they're made out or that they're willing to change. I'm not saying it couldn't happen. The proof of the pudding will be if they stop executing people for being gay. Visible reductions in human rights abuses are the only way to regain international support. This goes for the USA too. And Turkey. And Bahrain. And...

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 10:53am on 12 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #35 MostonHead

    "Gets me how ignorant some brits are, Iran is not the backward place you seem to think it is, it has far more intellectual thought compared to the comedians running this country and is also very liberal in its population."

    Apparently you are as ignorant as us then, considering not everyone on this blog is British, and your rather..er..liberal use of the word liberal...

    "Iran has not behaved as bad as the US and i would say they need the bomb to stop the US from invading and stealing it,"

    I agree with the first part, but not completely. The second part is BS. No one needs a nuke, the US won't invade, and the only thing they would steal if they did is oil.


    "...and that is pretty much the thought in the real world, not in the world constructed and lied to by the US and UK."

    I'm curious as to where this "real" world is.

    " but the truth is a spy was treated well and released"

    Of course she was well treated, because she wasn't a spy. If you really think she is a spy you are a bit of a dimwit. If she were a spy then:

    1. She would not have got out on appeal
    2. The court would have not been behind closed doors, and the evidence presented to the global community to prove it - thus taking away some American credibility.

    In fact this whole incident is bit stupid on Iran's part. They claim she was a spy, give her an unfair, bias trial, and then let her go to show how nice and merciful they are. She shouldn't have been in jail in the first place! It's not mercy your showing it's incompetence!

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 11:26am on 12 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    An important element that almost no one seems to be taking into account: show trials are almost always, regardless of the nation holding them, for internal consumption only. Internal Iranian politics undoubtedly played a key part in Ms. Saberi's arrest, detention, and trial.

    A foreign journalist makes a perfect pawn in power games. Hard-liners are able to claim they're being tough with the West, while the more moderate ones scramble in the background to secure an appeal because they understand the points they'll score if Iran is seen as being fair and just. International opinion didn't matter until very late in the game, where it became a lever to use to secure her appeal and release.

    Richard SM, much as I agree with some of your other opinions here, you go too far in trying to portray Iran as a bastion of justice. The Iranian people might be more tolerant and moderate than those elsewhere in the region, but their leadership- for whom they voted- has been anything but; otherwise Ms. Saberi would never have been arrested on trumped up charges.

    And to compare Iran's justice system favorably to the US belies the facts. Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib were abominable aberrations to a long history of liberal judicial traditions going back to the English (yes, English, predating Great Britain.) The U.S. is in the process of self-correcting its own abuses, which is part of a continuous process of self-invention.

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 12:05pm on 12 May 2009, Coder141 wrote:

    Hello. I am of Iranian origin and this is very normal and it is not new at all. We have had a female vice president before. So for those who might assume that your clergy or our leadership gets annoyed by this, you are totally wrong. It saddens me to see many that do not understand the function of this regime. Well for those who think women trying to go into the political system or more moderates going into the political arena, think again please.

    The clerics have SUPREME rule, a revolution is not eminent because of moderates or reformists, people there have different political ideologies and different ways of tackling problems, not to mention that we also have our share of hawkish politicians.

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 12:11pm on 12 May 2009, Andrew Prescott wrote:

    re no 7
    No one tried to hide Biden's tendency to verbal Gaffes. To describe him as on his best behaviour in a particular situation was meaningless unless one recognizes that we understand what this means. So to see some attempt at subterfuge in this is contradictory.

    Sarah Palin's shortcomings were also obvious.

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 12:45pm on 12 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 46. At 1:07pm on 12 May 2009, Kittle wrote:

    Marcus, you're absolutey correct, if nukes start flying then everyone will destroy everyone else and the world will most likely end. That's why the nukes WON'T fly. If you think Obama will want to be the man to start World War 3 then you're insane. Delusional. MAD has stopped it hapening before and it will stop it hapening now.

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 1:23pm on 12 May 2009, neil_a2 wrote:

    "She - Zahra Rahnavard - is being called the Michelle Obama of Iran."

    Oh, did she frequent a mosque that berated Iran? Did her salary triple when her husband got elected?

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 1:39pm on 12 May 2009, carolinalady wrote:

    Here's a subject I actually know a little bit about, having visited Iran way back in the pre-Ayatollah, bad, old, Shah days. Does anyone recall the Shabonou, Empress Faradiba? Now, THERE was Iran's Michelle Obama. Her picture was everywhere: gorgeous, regal and a role model for intelligent, educated, secular women in Iran. However bad things got for women in Iran under the Ayatollahs, remember they are NOT the Taleban: Iranian women are educated, have jobs, are seen in public, vote and have pretty much all the rights and freedom men have. The Ayatollas' problem is that they are old conservative fundamentalists and something like 80% of Iran's population is under 35, educated and on-line. They're not fools.

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 1:45pm on 12 May 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Richard (39),

    • "Will the US reciprocate by releasing the three Iranian Consular officials it has held in a US Military Camp in Iraq for the last two years?"
    A very pertinent question indeed.

    Geese and ganders comes to mind - Hypocrysauce...

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 2:14pm on 12 May 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    I hope after the election, if he is not elected, that they don't stone her to death. Such is progress in the Arab world.

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 2:31pm on 12 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    39. At 10:02am on 12 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    A few days after moving into the White house, Obama said,"If countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us."

    Well it looks like they have unclenched their fist by releasing Roxana Saberi.

    Will the US reciprocate by releasing the three Iranian Consular officials it has held in a US Military Camp in Iraq for the last two years?

    As usual, all the evidence suggests these people are completely innocent. US has ignored the diplomatic protocol. If it wasn't happpy with them, shouldn't they have been deported back to Iran.
    --------------------

    Thanks I'd given up on anyone here remembering that incident.too busy with their hate.
    And justin. in with a free speech discussion then onto what predictably is being turned into a discussion about how quick to nuke it.

    MADD has stopped it hapening before and it will stop it hapening now.

    Mothers against desperate dictators.

    I'd ask as I believe someone else did, why the american twist to it.

    How the hell does this have anything to do with America other than to raise the same silly questions we have been through for a year or so.

    Unlsee one is willing to learn something from the last post and say " you know what, when He posts on topic and leaves "exterminate " out we will retain the right to just simply not publish his comments.

    If the kid wants to sit down and let the class proceed then join by all means.

    If not kick em out of the class room.

    But then that would restrict the freedom of someone. and all should suffer.

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 2:40pm on 12 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    41 St gotta totally disagree with you.
    America and Israel have both threatened unilateral action against Iran for THOUGHT CRIMES.

    Then they say we in the states should not be held accountable.

    Half the "Brits" and half the crazy racist americans that turn up here are probably the same person. a noxious troll who spouts hate at all people Muslim.

    We have had hundreds of posts where the impression given to reading them is Iran is to be treated like a joke or a bit of dirt.


    Those that say the decent and truthful comments are derided and hounded by the impostor until they either don't give up and the blog is ruined or the other person has somewhere to go.

    To say to someone with a straight face "america will not invade for oil" is absolute Bull.

    America could be in Sara Palins hands in 8 years. WHAT THEN?

    Given the Americans showed the people of Iran that they support invasion and expansion plans because they are OIL junkies why should they believe your fairy tale of america leaving them alone.

    Obama is not anointed despite the rights trying to pretend we do.

    No matter what happens in 4 then 8 years the people over there will have to worry how the people over here are going to go.

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 2:43pm on 12 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    50 WOW not a racist pile of trash talking there.

    Noticing your name I hope you are not in China.



    33 DC I wouldn't mind if they don't mind me being a slow learner. I don't think war is the solution to a language change.

    Moston head good post


    I'll second the " We see plenty of anti iranian propoganda, but the truth is a spy was treated well and released, but US prisoners disappear."

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 2:45pm on 12 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref #41 SaintOne :

    "The second part is BS. No one needs a nuke, the US won't invade, and the only thing they would steal if they did is oil." .

    Up until recently, Iran had every reason to believe a US bombing was imminent. "All options are on the table," Iran was warned, many times. Not just by media commentators. President Bush said it. Sec of State Rice said it. There was a good chance the next Presdent would have been John McCain, who even sang about bombing Iran. Israel has also made threats to bomb Iran's nuclear power station. Hardly BS as you call it. Look at the track record. USA threatened Iraq for similar reasons - and then invaded it. The Iranian leadership has a duty to protect it's citizens from aggressive foreign powers, and should be especially suspicious of those having illegal nuclear weapon; countries who have little regard for international law and behaviour. Do you think US/UK would have invaded Iraq if it had nuclear weapons? Iraq was invaded because it was weak. Afghanistan was invaded because it was weak. You don't hear any talk of invading or bombing North Korea. Yet it apparently, is on the same 'axis of evil.' Iran would certainly feel a lot safer it had nuclear weapons. If "No one needs a nuke" then why has USA got them, or UK, or Israel, or China. The countries which have a "nuke" don't get invaded. You say, "the US won't invade, and the only thing they would steal if they did is oil" Is that all they want? Oh, well that's OK then. Iran don't need to worry about all the death and destruction that would be caused in the process of a bombing lead invasion. They don't need to worry they'd become totally bankrupt. They already struggle because of long-running crippling US trade sanctions. Oil trade with a limited choice of customers is their only lifeline, and you'd have that given over to the Americans as well!


    "Of course she was well treated, because she wasn't a spy. If you really think she is a spy you are a bit of a dimwit."

    Really.! She wasn't a spy! How do you know? She's been convicted. She's given a confession, evidently without torture, according to her parents. Do you not believe the CIA uses journalists as spies? Are you not aware of the methods used such as that exposed in 'Operation Mockingbird' years ago. Google it if you're not. Also check out the 'Church Investigations.' Only last summer the Washington Post reported the CIA had a non-descript stand at a Journalist's Convention. MI6 do the same: accounts from former agents have showed the first groups they contact when trying to establish covert flows of intelligence are journalists. Journalists are often cynical of government; aware of corruption; have a wide range of contacts - including people wishing to feed them off-the-record information; acquire information which they are not able to publish. Passing on what would otherwise be un-used information improves income levels and in isolation, appears to the journalist quite low level and harmless. In return, as well as money, they are also given possible leads for their primary role. Don't believe it's anything like James Bond. It's networking; grooming; establishing rapport; reciprocal back-scratching. The chances Ms Saberi was receiving payments or passing on low-level information are quite high. Maybe in return for help on her journalistic endeavours. The logic you've used to come to your conclusion is flawed: the conviction wasn't overturned, simply the sentence was reduced. Most court cases around the world involving espionage are behind closed doors or have press restrictions imposed. Whether she was or wasn't passing on some information somewhere, we'll probably never establish. I won't be so quick to call you a "dimwit" as you have done to others. Perhaps narrow-minded, naive and prejudiced though.



    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 2:45pm on 12 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    20 Rich SM great post

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 3:11pm on 12 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 41, Saint

    "No one needs a nuke, the US won't invade, and the only thing they would steal if they did is oil."

    You are absolutely right, the goal should be nuclear disarmament, but I doubt we would go along with that regardless of who the occupant of the White House is.

    You are also right in saying the US will not invade Iran, although strategic nuclear strikes or destruction of Iran's nuclear facilities are certainly not out of the question.

    Should Iran rejoice about the fact that if a foreign invasion was to occur, regardless of how improbable that may be, it would only be to steal their natural resources?

    The most likely outcome, if a new regime takes over the reins of power in Iran, is a diplomatic and economic rapproachment that is bound to include access to IAEA inspectors to Iran's nuclear facilities.

    In any case, I still don't see a parallel between Hossein Mousavi's wife appearing in public without a veil covering her face and the purported achievments of Michelle Obama as First Lady of the USA. Mrs. Mousavi is, obviously, fortunate to live in Iran. Had she been a citizen of Saudi Arabia she would have been slapped or worse by her husband for her audacity, as endorsed by the judicial system in that bastion of democracy that we love so much.

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 4:02pm on 12 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref # 42 Via-Media :

    Well, maybe you'd like to think about a few points:

    1) I haven't said that "Iran is a bastion of justice."?

    2) "but their leadership- for whom they voted." Well ..Yes. Isn't that called democracy?

    3) On what information do you conclude they are "trumped up charges."?

    4)"And to compare Iran's justice system favorably to the US belies the facts" As an Iranian- American, and a muslim, Ms Roxana Saberi could just have easily been detained by the Americans. Given the choice of being held by the Iranians or held by the Americans, I'm quite sure you would choose the Iranians. The news of her arrest was confirmed to the media. She was charged. She's had a trial. She was given the certainty of a sentence. She had a lawyer. She had an appeal. Her parents have been able to visit her many times. The duration from 'date of arrest to date of trial' was reasonable: three months. And she wasn't tortured, as far as we know. That seems uphold all the principles of justice from a civilised society.

    Compare that to what she would have received from USA if she'd been held as a muslim suspected of spying for terrorists. Firstly, she'd have just 'disappeared.' No information about who was held in Guantanamo was released for three years. Her parents would have been frantic. She'd have been tortured . Or made to walk around naked with a bag on her head, hands tied.. Beaten up. No access to a lawyer for three years. Not even any charges. No trial. No expectation on when the nightmare would end. No appeal - because no trial. No visits from parents.

    5) "The U.S. is in the process of self-correcting its own abuses, which is part of a continuous process of self-invention" And would you also grant Iran the same benevolence ? A country which is just a baby relatively, and is still developing having been established as a democracy just 30 years ago. No you did not! You were quick to condemn their leadership as "anything but .. tolerant and moderate." No benevolence. No concession for this 'baby state.' Yet USA was established as a democracy centuries ago. UK was established as a democracy centuries ago. Check back in history and see how far USA and UK had got in their first 30 years. Despite its relative immaturity, Iran has nevertheless, demonstrated not just an equal, but a higher standard in the treatment of a foreign prisoner than USA has.

    "Rome wasn't built in a day." Just over forty years ago homosexuality was illegal in UK. USA was largely turning a blind eye to lynchings and burnings of blacks. Not much further back, capital punishment existed in UK - and still does in USA. Yet you seem to expect Iran to have done it all in just 30 years, when they are still in a stage of infancy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 4:08pm on 12 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #54 Richard_SM

    Ref #41 SaintOne :

    "The second part is BS. No one needs a nuke, the US won't invade, and the only thing they would steal if they did is oil." .

    "Up until recently, Iran had every reason to believe a US bombing...."

    Please take my comments in the context they were intended. The person I was replying to said that Iran NEED a nuclear weapon. No they don't. In fact it was the very pursuit of such a weapon which is why the US considered a airstrike/bombing run/whatever. I'm not here to argue whether Iran are actually trying to get a nuke or not, although I suspect perhaps at the very least they are doing it to irritate America.

    Also an invasion is different to an airstrike somewhat, so I don't think I'm wrong in stating the US won't invade.

    "Do you think US/UK would have invaded Iraq if it had nuclear weapons? Iraq was invaded because it was weak. Afghanistan was invaded because it was weak. You don't hear any talk of invading or bombing North Korea. Yet it apparently, is on the same 'axis of evil.'"

    I think that supports my suggestion of oil quite alot (albiet unintentionally)...thanks :)

    "Is that all they want? Oh, well that's OK then. Iran don't need to worry about all the death and destruction that would be caused in the process of a bombing lead invasion. They don't need to worry they'd become totally bankrupt. "

    Again you have taken my comments out of the context they were intended - a response to someone elses post. I said the US would NOT invade, the oil part was more of a joke, in response to the poster saying something about stealing (I was not quite sure what he was referring to).



    "Of course she was well treated, because she wasn't a spy. If you really think she is a spy you are a bit of a dimwit."

    "Don't believe it's anything like James Bond."
    Really! James Bond isn't real life?! O I'm sorry I copied your use of sarcasm.

    The bottom line is if she was a spy Iran would have every reason to make sure the rest of the world knew that for a fact. They would not let her leave the country just like that. If they did it out of goodwill then no doubt they would have asked for something back with some guaruntees - if she were a spy.

    No doubt being a journalist she met people of certain persuasions, that oppose powerful people/government. That does not make her a spy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 4:26pm on 12 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    SaintOne (#41 and #58), I'm with you, save perhaps your choice of epithet. Of course Saberi is not a spy. This is all just political, as are the naive and misguided efforts to defend the Iranian government in this matter. There is not much use in trying to reason with someone who has a political axe to grind, in my opinion.

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 4:37pm on 12 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    ghost.. (#50) get a clue. Iranians are not Arabs.

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 4:40pm on 12 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #57

    ""Rome wasn't built in a day." Just over forty years ago homosexuality was illegal in UK. USA was largely turning a blind eye to lynchings and burnings of blacks. Not much further back, capital punishment existed in UK - and still does in USA. Yet you seem to expect Iran to have done it all in just 30 years, when they are still in a stage of infancy. "

    I like that arguement. When you think about it Iran isn't so different to how we were on certain issues half a century ago, some maybe a bit more than that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 4:41pm on 12 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    54 Rocking good stuff there Richard SM.

    ST
    "If she were a spy then:

    1. She would not have got out on appeal
    2. The court would have not been behind closed doors, and the evidence presented to the global community to prove it - thus taking away some American credibility."
    ----------------------------------------------------
    BIG assumptions.

    What if her knowlegde was rubbish. there were some that fed the GW admin loads of lies,opps bad intel.

    they still got paid.

    what if they thought " she's not James Bond but a Journalist making some extra dosh (as Rich points out). Her info is all useless. We thought she had somethign on her important.
    seeing as she didn't and seemed to know little of strategic value should we not just look good and release her. Point has been made that we Do know you are spying. " case closed go home and they still make america look bad, no need for an open court.


    Seem like some smart cookies to me. smarter than yours.
    Just Imagine if they did try to try this in open court(something america did not do to all the Gitmo victims) America would probably learn more from the intelligence gathered watching the trial than from this journalist.

    I'm not saying she is guilty.
    I rarely believe ANY court.
    Especially the america ones.

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 4:50pm on 12 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    59. At 4:26pm on 12 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:
    SaintOne (#41 and #58), I'm with you, save perhaps your choice of epithet. Of course Saberi is not a spy. This is all just political, as are the naive and misguided efforts to defend the Iranian government in this matter. There is not much use in trying to reason with someone who has a political axe to grind, in my opinion.
    ---------------------

    WHAT?

    Misguided. man you re the pot.HOW DO YOU KNOW?
    you are the first to say give us the proof.
    anytime I have said stuff about the americans actions that are reported you say "where's the proof"
    almost universally you have shown the highest regard for the Atoritory.

    You once derided me saying the courts did not treat me (in the US) in a way that was illegal.
    You said when people talked of freedoms in america being restricted "where's the proof".

    A HLS agent tried to stop a demonstrator who ended up tased while on the ground and witnesses there.
    The cop backing HLS got a medal for his actions.
    But no no rights taken away by the Bush US gov. they are so pure and innocent. they never do naughty things. Almost no one on this blog has shown such blind devotion to the notion of american justice.


    But the Iranians, well they are ................?

    If the country names were switched you would be going on about how this shows the system works.


    B

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 4:59pm on 12 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    57 Rich to take up the point about the nations maturity.

    Iran is still doing quite well considering that democracy has never been allowed to flourish and moderate.what with being attacked for years by Saddam then being next door to the mess when americans moved in next door.

    61 I like his point there as well.

    Same point goes for the difference between two other warring parties.

    Also remember that when there is hate . they lost so many kids it makes our wars look like they did not happen.
    Recently.

    They have genuine reason to be more than irritated.
    We had some diplomats held and they were released.
    I suspect the people in Iran would want to have their kids released.if that were possible.

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 5:33pm on 12 May 2009, dceilar wrote:

    I've noticed a number of Western posters here being rather cynical towards other non-Western countries' 'motives' while soaking up the propaganda from their governments and mass media outlets. It is hypocrisy buttressed with blissful ignorance!

    If the rest of the world's governments say one thing and Western governments say another - who do we believe? What if it is us that is giving unconditional spontaneous support for regimes that are creating terror in the world?

    I'm off to read some Gramsci!

    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 5:47pm on 12 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    dceiler

    there does seem to be some of that .

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 6:12pm on 12 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    dceilar (#65) "If the rest of the world's governments say one thing and Western governments say another - who do we believe?"

    There is a third choice, which is to not take the pronouncements of any government at face value, but to realize that there is always much more to the story behind the scenes. Governments, like the people who compose them, act in their own self-interest, or at least in what they believe to be their own self-interest. Look beyond the official statements and try to figure out what makes sense before taking a position. Realize that often, you will never arrive at the whole truth of the matter.

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 6:30pm on 12 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    What I heard on the news re: Saberi is that the appeals judge decided that the initial charge of spying, passing on classified material, was incorrect, and that charge was changed to "having access to classified material, which carries the lighter sentence, which he gave her and then suspended. So apparently it was decided that not only did she not pass any information but didn't even possess it. "Having access to" is not the same as "possessing." So it seems the appeals judge decided she was not spying. I don't know how their system works, but that sounds to me like the original conviction for spying was overturned on appeal.

    I think this was all planned ahead of time for political reasons, but of course that's just my opinion.

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 7:11pm on 12 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I'd say if there's even one thing that would get someone like President Obama angrier than seeing innocent people like the reporter being used as pawns, it's being played. The gambit is as transparent as Saran Wrap. A ten year old could see through it. As a result, I'd expect his reaction to be if anything, even harder than it would have been without this game. Nobody has been fooled for even one second.

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 7:56pm on 12 May 2009, arclightt wrote:

    @69 (MAII): I suspect that this will be allowed to die in the next news cycle or two. It would not surprise me to find out that all of this had been scripted days in advance.

    @67 (GaryAHill): Absolutely correct. Don't take anything provided for public consumption at face value, regardless of who provides it. Always review, sift, analyze, applying lots of logic and being on the lookout for emotional overtones.

    Back some 26 years ago I made a trip to a radio transmitting facility which has been operating since the 1940s. At that time about half the facility was dedicated to teletype traffic to US embassies and consulates around the world, to tell the DoS folks what to put in the local newspaper and when to put it there, among other things. Other governments around the world do precisely the same things, both then and now.

    All: Here's something to ponder: Recall how effective Goebbels was at shaping public opinion to believe the most outrageous things prior to and during WWII. Couple that with the efforts of Madison Avenue since WWII (I still wonder if they didn't get access to the German records to learn new ways to fiddle with the public psyche). Now finally throw in the ability to sort and draw patterns out of large amounts of data (including personnel data) through database queries, thereby providing the feedback loop really required to make the manipulation effective.

    a. How effective do you suppose manipulation of the population has become? I think it's probably frightening.

    b. What sort of a tool does that represent for, say, electing political figures, or obtaining public buy-in on policy decisions? Again, I suspect it's frightening.

    c. Is there anyone who believes that either political party will pass up on using such tools? I sure don't, not for a second.

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 8:14pm on 12 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Now that Roxana Saberi is out of jail and still in Iran, maybe she could interview this woman and give her own womanly perspective on it. Only she'd better wait until she is safely beyond the clutches of the Neo-Savak before she publishes it or she may be back in an Iranian prison only for a lot longer this time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 72. At 8:27pm on 12 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    These recent incidents demonstrate just how appropriate the name of the language of Iran really is...."farce...see?" :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 8:52pm on 12 May 2009, Dark Side of the Goon wrote:

    Can we have more blog entries featuring Iran? I do so enjoy watching MAII going off the deep end.

    Like: "These recent incidents demonstrate just how appropriate the name of the language of Iran really is..."farce...see?"

    Oh Marcus, there should be a LOLCat just for you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 9:08pm on 12 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    If one thinks women are treated badly in Iran or anyplace else in the world they should bear witness to what is happening, has happened and are not considered "news worthy" by the right wing corporate news media in the USA.

    Hundred, if not thousands of women are beaten by their spouses or raped and murdered in a span of 24 hours in the USA and guess what? Iran treats it's women bad! Hundreds if not thousands of children are molested, mistreated, abandoned, tortured, kidnapped in the USA in any 24 hours period and guess what? Iran treats it's women bad!

    Yet, most of the conservative right claim this nation is a "Christian" nation and a "nation of Laws"(I have time keeping from laughing on this one!). Recently, Rudy Guiliani of New York and a "good" Catholic, gave family advice to all who wanted to listen about "family' values. This is the same dude who committed adultery while being married while in government office. Most of the Republican party is no different.

    My point is, one has to take at face value anything or everything these "American" say. They just talk because nature and evolution provided them with a mouth and vocal cords, became obnoxious, and that is perhaps why the other apes kicked them off the trees.

    But they can be entertaining, if they weren't so serious about how they view the world around them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 9:25pm on 12 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref # 74 foxtrottango1

    Good point well made.

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 9:34pm on 12 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Who wants to co-chair a committee with me to take up a collection to buy a one way plane ticket to a place where foxtrottango1 can feel safe...Teheran?

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 9:37pm on 12 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Goonsquad

    You are proof that inside every silver cloud, there is a dark lining. I'll be happy to keep you entertained. What happened, you didn't like my little pun...or you just didn't get it hahahahaha.

    It doesn't have to be about Iran. It could be about anything....england for example.

    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 10:05pm on 12 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    S&M, perhaps you'd like to join her. You can chat on the plane on the way over what color hijab she should wear.

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 10:13pm on 12 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    74, foxtrot.

    It is much easier to condemn people you don't know than to clean up your own backyard. Thanks for your comment. It is nice to know I am not alone.

    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 10:43pm on 12 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    lostallyourmarbles

    Just out of curiousity if it's not getting too personal, when you were in Iran, what color?

    Complain about this comment

  • 81. At 00:20am on 13 May 2009, Alexander28 wrote:

    You must be an idiot 'newsjock', as your generalisations of Muslim countries in your statement states this quite clearly. If you ever went to Iran, you'd notice that women are indeed not invisible and are as ever present as in your own country. Unlike in many of the so-called western backed Arab countries, women are allowed to drive cars. At least Iran holds elections unlike many of your western backed Arab autocratic theocracies. So I believe you should THINK before you make such frivolous immature comments.

    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 00:27am on 13 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    #77. Muscus#2

    I'm not in a habit of responding to idiotic remarks or comments, Mucus, but in your case I'll make it an exception.

    First, I don't hate nor have enemies throughout the world, regardless of race, ethic backgrounds and even religion. And that includes the USA, which by the way, re-introduced torture to include just about everyone who didn't believe in your misguided conservative rights mentality and policies. But I can assure you, Mucus, you do and will have a problem fitting in with the rest of the human race throughout the world as events have proven during the last eight years.

    The conservative right misguided discriminate policies even offended most in the USA and that is the reason why President Obama won, and won big time! The world is now breathing fresh air and it has become hard to believe that under the GW Bush/Cheney, the US became a pathetic nation of fear, lies, warmongers, war criminals, hypocrisy and greed.





    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 01:05am on 13 May 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 77 Marcus I'll be happy to keep you entertained. What happened, you didn't like my little pun...or you just didn't get it hahahahaha.

    Marcus, you are one loopy sucker!

    Kisses,
    Pinko

    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 02:15am on 13 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    54 Richard SM

    Mine was a late post, so apologies if I misstated. You make good points, and I won't argue about Iran being perhaps on the path. Yes, they are an ancient and in many ways admirable culture. But I was objecting to your unfounded assumption that this was a real trial. The Kremlin had proceedings that lasted longer than this one in the deepest depths of the Cold War. Yes, better than it has been. Yes, more free and open now. Yes, a long way from 1979.

    But yes, a politically motivated show trial. And I would repeat that yes, this was originally played for internal consumption.

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 02:20am on 13 May 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    81 Alexander28

    Please read Mr. Webb's original comments again. Nowhere does he malign Iranian women, or describe them as hidden behind the veil. The original point was that Housein Mousavi's wife was actually actively campaigning with him, which is possibly unprecedented since the 1979 revolution. He further states that most presidential candidates have not even had pictures of their wives displayed or appeared in public with them.

    This states nothing about the general state of Iranian women.

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 02:54am on 13 May 2009, TexCannuck wrote:

    Thank you Marcus!
    I truly enjoy your posts.
    Especially your profound views on the European condition. They are dead on and Hilarious!

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 05:46am on 13 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Tex, don't you think it's time somebody told those people off? They've been getting away with murder forever it seems. Read my posting on Mark Mardell's blog thead "French Rebel With a Cause" regarding the untreatable mental disorder Eurosis of the Fliver. I also hope you enjoy all those clips of Groucho Marx on Youtube I linked on that blog thread as well

    Foxtrottangowaltzlindytwosteprhumbasambabossanova1

    First let me say that I am really disappointed that your original posting was deleted. I never complain about anyone elses posting and I did enjoy your ranting and raving so much. It reminded me why the divorce rate is so high :-) You said you didn't feel safe in America, you didn't say you had enemies. Now considering that you seemed to feel Iran is a safer place, and given my concern for people feeling insecure, I merely suggested....but if Teheran doesn't suit your fancy, then how about....Mumbai or London, or Beijing, or Moscow, or Berlin, or Tokyo, or Mexico City, or anyplace but here. Why do people complain about where they live when all they have to do to change it is move somewhere else?

    "#77. Muscus#2

    I'm not in a habit of responding to idiotic remarks or comments, Mucus, but in your case I'll make it an exception."

    I want to assure you that I very carefully choose my words and the way in which they are used to precisely calibrate them as the most suitable response to the comments they are in response to. Unfortunately, on many of these BBC internet blogs, idiotic remarks are the only appropriate ones I can find that fit.

    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 07:02am on 13 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:




    Another beautiful spring morning in Tehran.

    27/32 Marcass : Iran is not ready to commit national suicide either. Believe it or not even Mullahs love their kids. And why on earth would they risk destroying their source of power?

    41 Saint : I was in the midst of preparing a reply but then I see that it was already done very well by Richard SM in post no 54 (thank you Richard). Re your post 56, I would just point out that women in Iran do not cover their faces with a veil that would be the Arabs or the Afghans under the Taleban.

    48 CarolinaLady thank you.

    50 Ghost your ignorance barely merits a response. I would however just point out that Iranians are not Arabs. If indeed you are Chinese, that would be like calling you Japanese. (Just seen that Gary in 60 got there first).

    58 Saint : as someone sitting in Tehran, frankly the difference between invasion and aristrike/bombrun/whatever is pretty thin. You have no concept of the sort of nationalism that exists in Iranians. It would be opening Pandora s Box. The resulting resistance would destabilise the entire region and have repercussions around the world.

    74 Foxtrot Im sorry that I am too late to read your comment I wonder why it was taken off.

    All the rest of Marcasss comments are too pathetic to spend time on.

    AMM Ja-ye shoma khali. Just back from a road trip to Isfahan and Kashan. It had been years since I was there last and I was completely blown away. Isfahan truly is nesfe jahan. It is so beautiful and well cared for and with all the spring rain we have had, it was unbelievably lush. I was amazed by the number of tourists there were bus loads of them. I hope you can revisit one day soon.

    Complain about this comment

  • 89. At 08:23am on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    88, princess.
    "MM Ja-ye shoma khali. Just back from a road trip to Isfahan and Kashan. It had been years since I was there last and I was completely blown away. Isfahan truly is nesfe jahan. It is so beautiful and well cared for and with all the spring rain we have had, it was unbelievably lush. I was amazed by the number of tourists there were bus loads of them. I hope you can revisit one day soon."

    Thank you for your greetings. Your post is spot on. No one seems to understand Iran and the nature of its people. I have tried to explain in the past that what politicians say is not necessarily what they mean and that Iran would never be stupid enough to attack a world power. I also dealt with destabilization of the Middle East in the event we would be stupid enough to attack Iran. It would not be a second Iraq. And as for the topography, well, you know all about that.

    Cities like Esfahan and Shiraz truly take one's breath away. We were visiting Istanbul not long ago with a relative who had never been to the Middle East. She was overwhelmed with the Topaki Palace, the Blue Mosque, etc., and I told her that to envision the beautiful structues of Iran she would have to multiply Istanbul by ten.

    Nice to have you and your sane voice back.Shab-e-kheyr.

    Complain about this comment

  • 90. At 08:47am on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    88, princess.

    You mention how well cared for Esfahan was. Many years ago when I was in Greece and saw the Parthenon, I asked my Greek companion why there was no effort to repair it (because it was really a mess). He was horrified. It was after that that I went to Iran and saw there were workshops attached to the extraordinary mosaic-tiled mosques, and that when something broke, it was fixed. Because of this artistic sensitivity these ancient structures will be beautiful forever.

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 08:59am on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    88, princess.
    "MM "Ja-ye shoma khali." Just back from a road trip to Isfahan and Kashan. It had been years since I was there last and I was completely blown away. Isfahan truly is "nesfe jahan." It is so beautiful and well cared for and with all the spring rain we have had, it was unbelievably lush. I was amazed by the number of tourists there were bus loads of them. I hope you can revisit one day soon."

    Thank you for your greetings. Your post is spot on. No one seems to understand Iran and the nature of its people. I have tried to explain in the past that what politicians say is not necessarily what they mean and that Iran would never be stupid enough to attack a world power. I also dealt with destabilization of the Middle East in the event we would attack Iran. It would not be a second Iraq. And as for the topography, well, you know all about that. It would not be a winable war.

    Cities like Esfahan and Shiraz truly take one's breath away. We were visiting Istanbul not long ago with a relative who had never been to the Middle East. She was overwhelmed with the Topaki Palace, the Blue Mosque, etc., and I told her that to envision the beautiful structues of Iran she would have to multiply Istanbul by ten.

    Nice to have you and your sane voice back ."Shab-e-kheyr."

    MODS: You referred this entry instead of posting it. It may be because of the use of foreign words. The first, on the part of princess is a greeting that means "your place is empty." a way of saying "we miss you." At the end of my comment is the Farsi for "goodnight." I have now placed these words in quotes, as I usually do with foreign words.

    Complain about this comment

  • 92. At 12:15pm on 13 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 88, Princess

    Thank you for your post which not only highlights the aspirations and concerns that we share as human beings, but also provides a clear picture of how life is really like in Iran.

    Sadly, the demonization campaign that has taken place in the USA since the hostage taking has been so effective that many of my compatriots still see Iranians as sponsors of terrorism and barbaric medieval thugs intent on abusing women and keeping children ignorant. Plase keep posting and provide us with anecdotes of how life is really like in Iran.

    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 12:24pm on 13 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #88 Princess-on-the-pea


    "41 Saint : I was in the midst of preparing a reply but then I see that it was already done very well by Richard SM in post no 54 (thank you Richard). Re your post 56, I would just point out that women in Iran do not cover their faces with a veil that would be the Arabs or the Afghans under the Taleban."

    Firstly I am not Dominick! I did not post number 56 :)


    "58 Saint : as someone sitting in Tehran, frankly the difference between invasion and aristrike/bombrun/whatever is pretty thin. You have no concept of the sort of nationalism that exists in Iranians. It would be opening Pandora s Box. The resulting resistance would destabilise the entire region and have repercussions around the world."

    I'd say there is quite a big difference. I'm not saying either is the right thing to do. An Invasion infers to a one country attempting to occupy another, which was a response to Motonhead a good few posts back. A tactical airstrike is just what it is, and I would hope it would be aimed at infrastructure. I don't support it, nor do I think Iranians would sit down quietly and let it happen.

    And please take my comment #41 as a reply to Mostonheads psot, which was a bit odd and mentioned America stealing a nuclear bomb or something.

    #54 Richard

    "Up until recently, Iran had every reason to believe a US bombing was imminent. "All options are on the table," Iran was warned, many times. Not just by media commentators. President Bush said it. Sec of State Rice said it. "

    I do believe Iran's president also stated Israel should be wiped off the map...So how about you get off your horse on that issue. No one, American or Iranian, should state things like that about any other country. And before you say anything, I'm pro-Palestinian state.

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 12:57pm on 13 May 2009, justanothertaff wrote:

    Alive and free?? not to mention happy!
    Marcus must be totally gutted that Roxana wasn't hung, drawn and quartered before being dragged by fine Persian horses in front of a baying mob lol???
    BL Marcus (-;

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 1:16pm on 13 May 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    Wiki site has a good article on women rights movements in Iran - secular vs Islamist and a very subtle issue (like the denim and flowers in the photo-subtle) - the Islamist approach reminds me of the recent Southern Baptist position on women rights.

    The covering up vs sleeveless issue is a dilemma though. In US women used to have to wear long dresses, bonnets, gloves were required as recently as the 60's, we have Hassids who cannot show their hair in public, and evangelist women who cannot wear pants or short skirts, and there is the US Amish and LDS attire...seems to be based on an inability of our males to restrain themselves - if they see it they are compelled to jump on it and commit a sin, therefore to keep the males honest women must hide their hair and bodies (or is it superfeminism - women are better, more precious, and must be protected from the weak and evil males). A strange religious approach if you ask me - salt peter would be more reliable.

    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 1:57pm on 13 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Ref SaintOne

    I'm sorry you can't see your own contradictions. You assert USA won't invade. Then say if they do invade, it will be for oil. So which is it?

    On the question of a nuclear deterrent for Iran against aggression from USA, you've yourself into trying to separate 'a USA invasion' from 'USA airstrikes.' Are you saying a nuclear deterrent works for one but not the other?

    You're going round in circles. If USA are only to engage in airstikes, how does that secure the oil you say they might be after?

    And you don't seem to be able to make your mind up whether Iran have been guilty of having an unfair, biased system of justice - or that they are merciful.

    There's more, but this one caught my eye "If they did it out of goodwill then no doubt they would have asked for something back with some guaruntees - if she were a spy" So, as you now seem to be realising, they didn't do it out of goodwill, that's not how objective justice works, or conditional on having something back, because that's not how justice works either.

    You're tangling yourself up in your own arguments, desperate to find fault with Iran, instead of viewing the matter objectively.





    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 2:04pm on 13 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    #88

    My post #74 was referred to the moderators simply because the conservative right in USA do like, much less want to read the truth about themselves. Yes, even on international news media like the BBC. In fact, the truth is considered by many in the USA as a bigger threat than war. Lies and finger-pointing is what keeps these people going. Billions of dollars are being spent now by the conservative right news media in the USA to cover up past misdeeds, including war crimes against humanity. Especially now under the Obama Administration since repressions, reprisals, lying and torture are once more being considered unlawful.

    Complain about this comment

  • 98. At 2:35pm on 13 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 99. At 2:37pm on 13 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 96, Richard

    "...they didn't do it out of goodwill, that's not how objective justice works, or conditional on having something back, because that's not how justice works either."

    In my opinion, the Saberi affair was an attempt by an incumbent regime to improve their chances by appearing both tough and compassionate ahead of what may be a difficult bid for re-election. It has little to do with 007 or justice, and a lot to do with political opportunism.

    On the issue of oil, don't forget that whoemever controls the oil market controls the global economy and, by default, our competitors. Control does not have to be physical, boycotts or the destruction of oil field can achieve long term objectives as easily as having a hand on the spiket.

    I don't think an invasion of Iran or North Korea were ever seriously considered, but strategic air strikes to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities has been a probability for a few years. Much depends on Iran's willingness to give access to IAEA inspectors, and Israel's position on the issue.

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 2:42pm on 13 May 2009, Orville Eastland wrote:

    And, lest we forget, the US has held several journalists without charges for years. (Bilal Hussein and Sami al-Haj for starters.)

    As for Iran's nuclear program:
    -The 2007 NIE clearly stated that Iran was NOT developing a nuclear weapon. the IAEA said the same.
    -National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair stated that Iran was not developing a nuclear weapon. (While other current and previous officials may disagree, I trust him because A. He's the guy who briefs said officials and B. He was testifying before Congress- and it's a crime to lie to them. (Of course, someone should tell Bush, Cheney, Rice, Obama, Biden, Clinton, etc. that under the False Statements Act, it's a crime for any government official to knowingly make false statements...))
    -Iran's Supreme Leader (No, Ahmedinejad's not the one in charge of Iran...) Ayatollah Khameni stated in a fatwa that Iran would not make nuclear weapons. If Iran and Ahmedinejad did so, they would be running the risk of violating the religious authorities. (As for those who say he's lying- nice try. An Ayatollah lying about a fatwa is like the Pope lying about saying something ex Cathedra...)

    Oh, Justin? Will you or the BBC report on OBAMA'S attempts to withould cooperation from Britain if they allow the courts to reveal what happened to Binyam Mohammed?
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/05/12/obama/index.html

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 2:44pm on 13 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #96

    96. At 1:57pm on 13 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:
    Ref SaintOne

    I'm sorry you can't see your own contradictions. You assert USA won't invade. Then say if they do invade, it will be for oil....."

    I mentioned previously that I said oil in jest! Your taking that comment far more seriously than intended!

    "On the question of a nuclear deterrent for Iran against aggression from USA, you've yourself into trying to separate 'a USA invasion' from 'USA airstrikes.' Are you saying a nuclear deterrent works for one but not the other?"

    No, if you read my first post I said no one needs nuclear weapons.

    "You're going round in circles. If USA are only to engage in airstikes, how does that secure the oil you say they might be after?"

    Again, twas in jest. Read Mostonheads post about the USA stealing something (that something was not named - so I joked oil).

    "And you don't seem to be able to make your mind up whether Iran have been guilty of having an unfair, biased system of justice - or that they are merciful.

    There's more, but this one caught my eye "If they did it out of goodwill then no doubt they would have asked for something back with some guaruntees - if she were a spy" So, as you now seem to be realising, they didn't do it out of goodwill, that's not how objective justice works, or conditional on having something back, because that's not how justice works either. "

    I believe you are reading either to much into my comment or I simply was not clear - which I will take responsibilty for. Your saying they didn't do it out of goodwill, that they let her go because she was not guilty? Then that makes the original trial that was fast-tracked a complete shambles, that she was not a spy.


    This whole incident was nothing more than political games, a journalist was thrown in because she was an easy target. At the end of the day Iran would not have let her walk if she was a spy, or a risk to them. If she is neither of those, then there should not have been a trial (in which they previously found her guilty). Either the first trial was incorrect, or the appeal was false. Either way Iran messed it up.

    "You're tangling yourself up in your own arguments, desperate to find fault with Iran, instead of viewing the matter objectively"

    Your right. I am depserate to find fault with Iran. It just happens that every country has faults and none are perfect, and I am desperate to find the faults of all countries so that we can learn and imrpove all civilizations. I have no preference of America, Iran, China or country X. At the end of the day the trial had nothing to do with whether she was a spy or not. I'm of the opinion she is not a spy, and the fact that Iran let her go with a slap on the wrist seems to back me up.

    I'm sorry you seem to have taken such a defensive stance on this, I have no desire for Iran to be invaded by the Us, or for Israel to bomb it, as much as I hope that Iran does not fund terrorists or wish to build a nuclear weapon (No one needs nukes.)



    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 2:45pm on 13 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 103. At 2:49pm on 13 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 104. At 3:03pm on 13 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 105. At 3:05pm on 13 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 106. At 3:05pm on 13 May 2009, carolinalady wrote:

    #88 You are welcome, Princess. I fondly recall my long-ago journeys through the Iranian countryside and visits to beautiful Shiraz, Esfahan and Persepolis. En'shAllah, they are still as lovely as they were then -- and the residents as hospitable and proud of their unique heritage.

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 3:07pm on 13 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    98 - Marcass. You're losing it man! Up your meds! Delusional paranoia can be helped.
    And you're right, America is done. It was a short century and it's over. Most arrogant Empire's fade with time; yours was just shorter than most. The rest of your rant doesn't merit my time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 108. At 3:14pm on 13 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    And Marble I never been near Iran and I've always said the same thing about what people say. and do when it goes to Iran.

    Their speeches make more sense than the ones out of America.

    It is nothing but racism .
    I would say the whole premiss of this thread is not only stupid (test of the amount of freedoms we will allow after the last topic) but just a tad racist. or ignorant or to give Justin some credit an attempt to provoke a conversation about how america has allies over here where women don't show their faces.

    But then the rascists have taken over the mind of most so they cannot see that the Iranians jailed a person for holding Classified material tried them and released them ,all in good time.

    Better than America has done.

    But their internal racism steps up to the plate.and takes another hit

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 3:16pm on 13 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #107

    Best just to ignore him. If no one replied to any of his comments, he would eventually go away....

    ...I hope

    Complain about this comment

  • 110. At 3:26pm on 13 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "100. At 2:42pm on 13 May 2009, Orvillethird wrote:
    And, lest we forget, the US has held several journalists without charges for years. (Bilal Hussein and Sami al-Haj for starters.)"

    Those are not journalists, they are terrorists masquerading as journalists. Saberi was a journalist, not a spy. Try to stay focused and use your mind to understand the distinction.

    Dennis Blair is entitled to his opinion but if he is wrong as matters like this are often badly misjudged (American failure to see how advanced Libya's nuclear weapons program was, the UN's failure to detect Iran's nuclear weapons program up until 1995 when Saddam Hussein's brother-in-law who ran it revealed it to the world, America's failure to see that the USSR would have nuclear weapons capability in 1949 when they thought it was decades away) the consequences of such mistakes could be devastating. Failure to have on site first hand information based on highly intrusive inspections on demand leaves too much doubt to allow what is perceived by some well versed in this area including in Congress to go unresponded too. Lacking substantive information, to protect its citizens, government in general and the US government in particular should act on a worst case scenario just the way it did in Iraq. The invasion of Iraq was not a mistake, it was exactly the right thing to do. Any other President under identical circumstances would have made the same decision.

    Complain about this comment

  • 111. At 3:33pm on 13 May 2009, Quorulex93 wrote:

    Ok...for everyone talking about how Iran is a democratic state and liberal and people have freedom and the courts are just, please just take a quick look at this diagram of Iran's government, taken from Wikipedia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Government_structure_of_Persia.png

    As you will see, Iran is a dictatorship first, an Oligarchy second, a Feudal Hierarchy third, and a democracy a distant fourth. To call justice in Iran an illusion is to state the case mildly. The word "farce" comes to mind.

    And to anyone who says "don't the Iranians have a right to run their country however they please?"

    The point is moot. Iranians don't run their country.

    I would go on to discuss the fact that Iran has threatened the complete destruction of nearby states, and is seeking the means to achieve that goal, but really that is not surprising at all, given the fact that it is just acting like ALL other totalitarian states in history.

    Ok, now please proceed bashing the U.S. for its imperialism.

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 3:39pm on 13 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    107, Princess, we've already given him the meds, and they don't help.

    Complain about this comment

  • 113. At 3:52pm on 13 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    109 really. I've seen you post here for a long time . Has that worked yet?

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 4:04pm on 13 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 115. At 4:13pm on 13 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #133

    Unfortunately it requires everyone to ignore him. Not everyone does :(

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 4:32pm on 13 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    Take his post #114 for example. He is quite obviously fishing for a reaction. It's rather obvious he wants to start some form of arguement. Don't ask my why I'm not an expert in such matters - perhaps his mother didn't give him enough love?

    Anyways, no more replies to him please :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 117. At 4:34pm on 13 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:


    Marcus.
    Where would the blog be without you??????
    Europe, and especially France are a lesser place since you left our shores.
    Just think. France a country, not well known for its humour could have been up there with the best if you had stayed. You could have been as famous as the American singer Josephine Baker - possibly the Lance Armstrong of French humour, performing in any country and race situation, conquering the world.
    Unfortunately that success was not to be, the wheels came off and you joined the circus. All you ever now hear is others suggesting you " get on your bike" and to keep visiting the trick-cyclist.
    Do not despair. We have come to terms with our disappointment, as we hope you will too with yours..
    Our loss is America's gain, though I am not sure they deserve you..

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 4:46pm on 13 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #117. watermanaquarius: "Marcus. Where would the blog be without you??????"

    Better off.

    Complain about this comment

  • 119. At 5:06pm on 13 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    David # 118,
    As somebody who talks to trees, I have always felt any comfort offered to the mentally 'gifted' and dumb animals should be my priority these days.
    There are too many normal people in the world looking after the rest.

    Complain about this comment

  • 120. At 5:17pm on 13 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    115. At 4:13pm on 13 May 2009, SaintOne wrote:
    #133

    Unfortunately it requires everyone to ignore him. Not everyone does :(
    ---------------------
    Again "Has that worked for you"

    No they don't do they.
    Because they think the academic freedom of speech is sooooo important they would give hitler the bull horn.
    Complain about this comment
    Complain about this comment

    But no that would be stifling a racist bore that makes so many here feel OK about themselves because they are not as bad as it.

    Who has more freedom?

    Marcus because you guys are afraid that he will call you anti free speech idots.

    ;) oh and because someone always thinks they are some sort of prophet who can beat a stone and get blood.

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 5:18pm on 13 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    water trees are smarter than some here

    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 5:21pm on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    93, saintone.
    "I do believe Iran's president also stated Israel should be wiped off the map...So how about you get off your horse on that issue. No one, American or Iranian, should state things like that about any other country. And before you say anything, I'm pro-Palestinian state."

    You are being naive. All that talk is political posturing. Iran has banded together superficially with the Arabs because of the threat to all the nationalistic countries of the Middle East. Remember they are enemies with Iraq, but don;t wish to suffer the same fate. Israel was foolish to threaten Iran.

    Complain about this comment

  • 123. At 5:27pm on 13 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8048012.stm

    "Because she did not have bad intentions and did not use it, she was sentenced to a two-year suspended jail term," he told Reuters news agency.

    she did well.
    as rich says lucky she was not found with american classified papers

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 5:29pm on 13 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    "Israel was foolish to threaten Iran."
    agreed
    and america wasn't much better.

    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 5:30pm on 13 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Marbles why is it they posture but don't recognise that Iran has the right to posture as well.

    Is it because they are a bunch of people that truly don't get racism.

    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 5:30pm on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    111, quorule.

    How can anyone take you seriously when you use Wikipedia as a source for information on Iran. You obviously have no knowledge of the country and rely on propaganda for your opinions. Not particularly intellectual, fella.

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 5:31pm on 13 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    watermanaquarius #119;

    You have really aroused my curiousity. When you talk to trees, do they talk back to you? What do they say? Idle chit-chat or something worth paying attention to? What language do they speak to you in, French, English, or Arborish? Do all trees speak the same language? Is there an Oakish, Elmish, Mapleish? Are there various dialects and sub dialects? Do they talk among themselves? Are they plotting an overthrow of the animal kingdom? I'll bet if the trees have a philosophy of life, it is similar to the French philosophy, all bark and no bite!

    #117
    The French god of humor is or at least was Jerry Louis. I just can't understand why they haven't discovered the Three Stooges yet. They are so fitting of what seems to me to be the French national temperment. They're every bit as funny as that thing I saw on French TV when I lived there where two guys in a bull ring filled with soap suds took turns chasing a real bull, hit him over the head with a large hollow plastic bowling pin, and then ran for their lives through the soap to jump behind the barricades as the bull chased them trying to gore them to death. As with my experience with a bullfight I saw in Madrid, I was of course rooting for the bull. Now here on these BBC blogs, I'm fighting against it...and winning :o)

    Complain about this comment

  • 128. At 6:05pm on 13 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Marcus,
    The enjoyment with talking to trees is on a par with blogging. You are interested in those that branch out but try to avoid the saps that can appear.. These I try to leave alone, realising pruning will only exacerbate the problem.
    Re your fighting against the BBC blog .. and winning!
    Don't get too cocky! [Summer comes before the fall]
    You yourself are the 'bull' on the blog, but then every harvest is improved with the best manure around and we gardeners take what we can find, so even the chicken droppings have value.

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 6:09pm on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    124, 125, Happy Jack.
    "Is it because they are a bunch of people that truly don't get racism."

    I think a lack of sophistication.is more likely.

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 6:50pm on 13 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    waterman, 128, I believe that you have touched upon the root of the problem.
    In this case, a certain individual's bark is worse than his bite, and we
    should "knot" be swayed by someone who is intellectually out on a limb.

    Complain about this comment

  • 131. At 6:50pm on 13 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    On the question of the claim"Ahmadinejad, Israel must be wiped off the map." This is very easily understood, by anybody who wants to. I do acknowledge that some people like to demonise Iran, for their own reasons.

    The claim is that President Ahmadinejad said "Israel must be wiped off the map," at a "World conference in Asia."

    In fact, he was speaking to students in Tehran, his own country. Hardly a "World conference in Asia." There's the first distortion - the truth stretched to the absolute limits. The next distortion is that he made this quote himself - when in fact he was quoting what the late Ayotollah Khomeini had said many, many years previously. It's a quote of a quote. It gets worse. He was speaking in his own language. "Wiped off the map" is a phrase of the English language, they don't use it in Iran. In fact, when those seven words he's supposed to have said in Persian-Farsi are translated, the word "Israel" does not even appear. It's not there. Nor does the word "map" feature either. And nor the words "wiped off." That seems to leave us with...... " ______ must be ____ ____ the ____." So what did he say when it's translated correctly? Bearing in mind there is no exact 'word-for-word' translation as some people would like you to think. He said in word-for-word order, in referring to what had been spoken many years ago:


    > > > > > > > . "Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem should from page of time fade from."


    If he'd said what is claimed, "Israel should be wiped off the map," don't you think that might have sent tremors thoughout Iran? We're going to war? Or sent shock waves across Middle East. It didn't. Nobody paid any attention to it, not in Iran, not in the Middle East. It was not even highlighted by any of the media in Europe. Instead the the speech was translated half way round the world by the New York Times. Their sloppy translation gave them, what they thought was a scoop. They went ahead and printed to grab a headline to sell their newspaper.

    Did the speech call for the destruction of Israel or calls for aggression? No. He raised questions about Israel/Palestine to provoke thought amongst the students:
    Is it a fight between Muslims and Jews?
    Is it a fight between Judaism and other religions?
    Is it the fight of one country with another country?
    Is it the fight of one country with the Arab world?
    Is it a fight over the land of Palestine?

    And then said to them "I say the answer to all these questions is No. He went on to discuss the prospect of one state solution based on democracy for all the Jews, Muslims and Christians living there. He was suggesting that with a true and fair democracy the Israeli Government should fade from history, pointing out to the students just like the Shah's regime had , just like the regime of Saddam Hussein had, just like the regime of USSR had.

    There hasn't even been a series of aggressive calls to destroy Israel coming from President Ahmadinejad or other Government Heads. There is just this one inaccurate translation, originating from New York, which certain people seize upon to support their prejudice against Iran.

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 6:53pm on 13 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    SaintOne

    The above post #131 was for you, or anyone else who wants to understand the "Wipe Israel Off The Map" claim.

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 7:00pm on 13 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    Heh, heh. That Mucus#2. Reference his post # 127.

    There it is, folks. Mucus has more compassion for a fighting bull than Iranians, Brits, Mexicans, Americans, French, etc.,. Could it be mucus hates all human beings? He must have had a Southern Baptist preacher for a father. Mucus is the result of what is called the "American Tragedy!"

    But hey, he is one of the finer guys. Dick Cheney/George Bush, Karl Rove, Rummy, Condi and others who were employed by the GW Bush Administration are other matter.

    By the way, Mucus, it's not Jerry Louis, it's Jerry Lewis. You can't even get some of your countrymen names right.

    Heh,heh..

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 7:01pm on 13 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    129 Marbles. Yes, you're right there.I stand corrected.

    But would say that I never met a racist with sophistication.
    Just some that thought it.


    Waterman another witty post Cheers.

    Complain about this comment

  • 135. At 7:01pm on 13 May 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #127. MarcusAureliusII: "The French god of humor is or at least was Jerry Louis."

    So what were the dates of his reign?

    Complain about this comment

  • 136. At 7:11pm on 13 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    happy, Ms. Marbles, I think that people who don't understand the region
    tend to oversimplify solutions to problems there. The issue of Iran possessing
    nuclear weapons cannot be solved militarily, so a combination of technology
    and diplomacy are probably how we are going to go about it.

    The sooner we are out of Iraq, the better, as far as I am concerned, because
    then we will no longer be vulnerable to a low-level war of attrition, and the
    probability of a war between the US and Iran will become less likely because
    of the elimination of at least one flashpoint.

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 7:17pm on 13 May 2009, Scott0962 wrote:

    Justin,

    Your blog sinks to a new low. A candidate for president of Iran has a wife who campaigns with him and you compare her to Michelle Obama? Get serious. OK, she's a candidate's wife but that's hardly a basis for comparison with the First Lady of the United States. Michelle's husband won his election and is the head of state of his country. Zahra Rahnavard's husband hasn't won anything yet and the post he aspires to is second fiddle to Iran's religious Supreme Leader. While it may be unusual in Iran for a woman to accompany her husband on the campaign trail but it's old hat in most of the rest of the world and hardly the basis for a comparison with Mrs. Obama. I won't even go into the obvious differences in the two women's appeal to the camera.

    Come on, Justin. You can do better than this. Give us a real topic. How about letting us speculate why Obama reversed his decision to release the prisoner abuse photos? That's sure to generate some lively name calling, conspiracy theories and America-bashing, just the thing some of your readers live for.

    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 7:18pm on 13 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref # 99. saintDominick

    You wrote:

    "Much depends on Iran's willingness to give access to IAEA inspectors, and Israel's position on the issue."

    The Nuclear Inspectors have been there for years. They've crawled all over the nuclear power plant when Bush and Israel were saying it was a nuclear weapons factory. And guess what they've said. It's a power station. They continue to monitor activities at the power station. there is no activity of any sort constructing a nuclear weapon. They've even got CCTV cameras installed all around the nuclear power station. They can play it back as many times as they want. View it from remote cities. And all they see is the normal activity associated with a nuclear power station. Despite all their independent reports, Bush and Israel continued throughout 2006, 2007 and 2008 to scaremonger by saying its a nuclear weapons programme. And so do the mainstream American press and TV.

    Complain about this comment

  • 139. At 7:19pm on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    107, princess.

    We talk about the beauty of Iran, its heritage, and its politics, but fail to mention is the nature of the Iranian people. They are lively and sophisticated and, best of all, have an outrageous and quirky sense of humor. That is an exceptonal gift.

    Complain about this comment

  • 140. At 7:22pm on 13 May 2009, Quorulex93 wrote:

    126, allmymarble...Um, are you actually disagreeing with the content of my link? Or are you just saying it's inadequately "intellectual" and, and you said in another post, "sophisticated"? I could have made the same claim without citing any source, and would have upheld the standard of proof that everyone else here, including you, adheres to. Instead, I gave a demonstrative diagram that illustrates what is common knowledge anyway. Next, time, though, I'll be sure to get all my info from the Supreme Leader himself, so you'll believe me. ;) I guess you don't believe in the democratic dissemination of information on the internet, either.

    Complain about this comment

  • 141. At 7:42pm on 13 May 2009, Quorulex93 wrote:

    Oh, and p.s. if I'm wrong, and my sources are inaccurate, then find something written by a reputable source that says so! You could at least try to stick to your own standards. But I guess that would be too crass for a supposed "intellectual" such as yourself. Why don't you just go on denying reality and living in a cloud.

    Complain about this comment

  • 142. At 7:47pm on 13 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Ref 111. Quorulex93

    The Government structure of Iran is quite logical. It's system of checks and balances. The Guardian Council protects the constitution from the elected government of the day. It stops the Government tampering with the Constitution for short term gain. The people choose the Parliament, the President and Government Advisors. The Ayatollah ensures continuity on a longer term basis, having been elected himself. It's a well thought-out structure. Other countries would do well to adopt something similar.

    Complain about this comment

  • 143. At 7:53pm on 13 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    131 Rock on Richard SM.

    I don't speak Farsight but that seemed it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 144. At 8:11pm on 13 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Ittakestwototango1

    "133. At 7:00pm on 13 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:
    Heh, heh. That Mucus#2. Reference his post # 127.

    There it is, folks. Mucus has more compassion for a fighting bull than Iranians, Brits, Mexicans, Americans, French, etc.,."

    Actually I like trees. One thing about trees, they shut up when they have nothing to say. At least mine do. Not like a lot of European and left wing Americans who yammer incessantly saying nothing worth hearing.

    S&M

    "I do acknowledge that some people like to demonise Iran, for their own reasons."

    It seems to me Iran has done that very well all by itself without any help from the outside.

    Complain about this comment

  • 145. At 8:21pm on 13 May 2009, Quorulex93 wrote:

    131, richard SM:

    Very nice annulment of his statements.

    So next time Obama gets up and tells a bunch of students "My hero, George Washington, said 'let's destroy England!'" I'll know how to take it with a grain of salt. My point: inflammatory statements by national leaders ARE inflammatory. It doesn't matter whether they're "quotes" from previous leaders or not.

    And don't try to tell me you wouldn't be threatened if someone said you should "fade from the page of time." Ha! Just asking questions? Yeah right! Speaking of which, I think I'll fade from this page now, as all this quarreling is starting to get tiresome.

    Complain about this comment

  • 146. At 8:22pm on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    131, richard.

    Thank you for giving the story behind "Israel must be wiped off the map." I have known of so many distortions in the past that I pay little attention to what people supposedly say, looking instead for intent. Your information is valuable and I hope it makes our bloggers a little more aware of the techniques of propaganda.

    Complain about this comment

  • 147. At 8:30pm on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    136, guns.
    "The sooner we are out of Iraq, the better, as far as I am concerned, because then we will no longer be vulnerable to a low-level war of attrition, and the probability of a war between the US and Iran will become less likely because of the elimination of at least one flashpoint."

    I don't see war with Iran as a possibility since the Bush gang is out of power. Iran is not Iraq and a war with her would be unwinable. Also it would lead to total destabilization of the Middle East (the princess concurs}. Were there ever such a war, the first casuality would be Israel, and that country would be wise to stop making threats.

    Complain about this comment

  • 148. At 8:34pm on 13 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    138 Rich .. Sm

    Some say no one would attack but there is more reason to fear when you consider the unilateral actions of Israel in Syria last year.

    137Scott after the discussion of freedoms I think he was looking for something that would test it.
    Flimsy as hell but there you have it.

    140 Quarrel
    first Wiki is easy and not that bad . OK.
    she's saying they get things wrong and the better you are on your knowledge independent of it the less likely you are to be manipulated by it.

    I understand Blacksmithing I see stuff there(internet) that makes no sense.
    Amazed.
    Nice sight. but info LOL.

    as an exercise in who may be writing post, editing think, the people that use that language the most.

    Wiki" blacksmithing"in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacksmith english. is pretty good,contains loads and is not too confused (smith and striker bit is confused and americanised(ie the smith is said to tap to indicate where the striker hit. that is maybe the way they writer does it but not really correct. the striker is also following the strenght of the blows the smith makes. so a smith tap gets a striker tap. a smith wallop gets a striker wallop).


    wiki in some language (mods its wiki on blacksmithing so not going to contain offence but just to point out that in another randomly picked language (which I can't tell where it is from) there is very little at all.


    wiki blacksmithing http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/_()




    Just look at HYS one day. look at the most popular posts.



    And it is interesting your view on info dissemination on the net.
    Things are getting better. it used to be if I typed in Blacksmith the first 100 hits were some computer company in NY.

    something computer experts may have recognised it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 149. At 8:35pm on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    138, richard.

    You are very knowledgeable about Iran. May I ask what your connection is?

    Complain about this comment

  • 150. At 8:40pm on 13 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    I was wondering if Ms. Marbles and perhaps the Princess could comment on
    this Wikipedia article.

    Complain about this comment

  • 151. At 8:44pm on 13 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 140 Quorulex93

    If you have something which is beyond your understanding - it's better to ask for help. That another country's method of government is 'foreign' to you is no reason to chastise it. If you don't understand how it works - you could have posed a question, asking for opinions from other people, who could explain it to you with their knowledge, as well as first hand experience.

    As to their system of justice, the Iranian system appears superior to the way USA handles such matters. Ms Roxana Saberi is lucky she was detained by Iran and not USA.


    Complain about this comment

  • 152. At 8:47pm on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    140, quorule.
    "I guess you don't believe in the democratic dissemination of information on the internet, either."

    I believe only that which I can verify personally. Just because something is in print does not make it true. Given the brainwashing of governmental propaganda and the irrational hype of the media, an intelligent would take everything with a grain of salt. Rely on the internet if you wish. I prefer truth.

    Complain about this comment

  • 153. At 8:48pm on 13 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    GnR # 130
    As usual, I bough to your superior humour. You always run rings around me where I seem to have difficulty in twigging the jokes.
    Our mutual friend is no plant on the blog, though at the last pollen-count it was suggested he was a hybrid species. And a cross one! Definitely.
    Weeds can exhibit as many beautiful blossoms as the real thing so with a lack of true understanding for my hobby, I water them all.
    We bend like the bamboo or we break. I never feel trees a crowd.

    Complain about this comment

  • 154. At 8:50pm on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    141, quorule.
    "Oh, and p.s. if I'm wrong, and my sources are inaccurate, then find something written by a reputable source that says so!"

    The princess, myself, and apparently richard, are reputable sources.

    Complain about this comment

  • 155. At 8:54pm on 13 May 2009, Dark Side of the Goon wrote:

    @gunsandreligion

    "a combination of technology and diplomacy are probably how we are going to go about it".

    I think you're right, but I also think that America is underestimating the power of it's other, non-government assets. I'd go with Hollywood for one. Hollywood's ability to sell aspirations and dreams is practically unmatched, that level of cultural imperialism really hard to defend against. No matter what the French or Italians might say, America is still Monarch of Cool (the French and Italians can have matters of chic and elan instead).

    The other thing America underestimates, which is something the whole world generally underestimates, is the ability of the American people themselves to make a diplomatic difference. The average American from the heartland of the USA probably has more in common with an average Iranian than either of them realise. It would be really, really interesting to see how a small town red state American family would fare in a meeting with their Iranian counterparts.

    I have a feeling the eventual conversation would revolve around -
    work
    sport
    matters of faith
    food
    ..and what the damnfool government is up to this week, because those people are crazy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 156. At 8:55pm on 13 May 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 136 gunsandreligion

    "The sooner we are out of Iraq, the better, as far as I am concerned, because
    then we will no longer be vulnerable to a low-level war of attrition, and the
    probability of a war between the US and Iran will become less likely because
    of the elimination of at least one flashpoint."


    Or was Iraq intended to be a staging and supply area for an invasion to avenege U.S. honor sullied by the Iran hostage crisis of many years past?

    Both Bush Administrations, father and son, saw the use of our once highly modernized, well-trained, powerful military force as a means to re-establish 'face' over old failures. The elder wanting to show the world our renewed fighting ability after the drubbing of Vietnam. The younger wanting to 'finish' the war his father had halted in the Persian Gulf.

    Complain about this comment

  • 157. At 8:55pm on 13 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    And, actually, reading down into the article, I have come upon this paragraph:

    "According to IRNA, the state news agency of Iran, the conference participants agreed to start a world foundation for Holocaust studies, with Mohammad-Ali Ramin as its Secretary General. As yet, the stated purpose of this foundation will be to "find out the truth about holocaust". More immediate tasks include preparing for the next Holocaust conference and composing the foundation's letter of association.

    The main office will initially be located in Tehran, though Ramin says it will eventually move to Berlin, "once proper grounds are prepared".[31]"


    Now, if you do a little research on this Ramin, some disturbing accusations
    appear. For example, on this site, of which I do not know the
    credibility, there is the following quote:

    "'Historically, there are many accusations against the Jews. For example, it was said that they were the source for such deadly diseases as the plague and typhus. This is because the Jews are very filthy people. For a time people also said that they poisoned water wells belonging to Christians and thus killed them,' Ramin said."

    I would like to know if anyone who has familiarity with Iran can affirm
    or contradict these reports, which I find to be quite disturbing.


    Complain about this comment

  • 158. At 9:05pm on 13 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    I apologize in advance for raising a topic that has nothing to do with Mrs. Mousavi or our First Lady, but does anyone have an opinion as to why our President decided not to release incriminating photos of terrorist suspects being tortured or the revelations made by some intelligence agents during the ongoing congressional hearings in which they claim all relevant information was obtained before the prisoners were tortured?

    I suspect President Obama is frustrated by Congress's fixation on this issue and prefers to focus on his agenda and move on, but don't we have a right to know the extent of what was done to allegedly protect us from evil? Fascinating stuff with serious implications to our standing in the world and our ability to take ourselves seriously when we preach to other nations about human rights.

    Complain about this comment

  • 159. At 9:13pm on 13 May 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    155, darkside, I agree. If we can manage to defuse the situation, a few
    million blue jeans and some rock and roll ought to do the trick.

    After all, it worked against the Soviet Union, didn't it?

    Complain about this comment

  • 160. At 9:16pm on 13 May 2009, Quorulex93 wrote:

    140 Allmarbles:

    1)Ok, your complete lack of trust for all human beings is something to be worried about.
    2)If you don't trust anything except what you can verify "yourself" then why are you on BBC news at all?
    3)Again, if you don't think the diagram is correct, then try to prove it, either with sources or "first-hand" experience. I would actually believe you.

    151 richard

    1)If I needed any help, I would go to people who are helpful, not overstuffed ego-trippers like yourself.
    2)Your ignorant proclamations of Iranian supremacy are based on nothing but thin air and bombast.
    3)Your defense of totalitarianism as "continuity" is the worst type of euphemistic deception, and is utterly morally disgusting.

    Complain about this comment

  • 161. At 9:25pm on 13 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    saintDominick (#158), here is a link to a CBS News report on the administration's stated reason:

    CBS News item

    Complain about this comment

  • 162. At 9:33pm on 13 May 2009, Quorulex93 wrote:

    @154 allmarbles:

    Actually, I agree that you and Princess are reputable. The question is, has either of you actually contradicted what's in that diagram? No. Are you saying the Iranian government DOESN'T work that way? No.
    Do you even personally believe that the Iranian government doesn't work that way? I don't know, but you haven't said.

    Unless you want to contest the actual CONTENT of that diagram, we have no disagreement.

    Complain about this comment

  • 163. At 9:37pm on 13 May 2009, Quorulex93 wrote:

    Apologies Allmarbles: I misreferenced your post. In my post 160, I referred to your post 140, but that number is wrong. I meant 152.

    Adieu.

    Complain about this comment

  • 164. At 9:45pm on 13 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 149 allmymarbles

    I have no connection with Iran at all. I'm English - I live in UK. Have travelled through Europe and USA only. I just pull away and disregard the 'fluff' that politicians and media wrap around news accounts, leaving the cold fact. If it's significant - I check it for accuracy and context, and remember it. It's not difficult - from say, a hundred news stories, you just end up with 2-3 facts of importance to remember. The rest is meaningless. Fluff.

    Not everybody in UK believes the stories that are put out in media. Some do though, it's true. A large proportion in USA do seem to be far more willing to accept what they're given. USA TV is hopeless. So is their mainstrean press. Even many of the TV presenters are conditioned, so I guess that makes it more difficult for many American citizens to undertstand different countries. What date are the elections in Iran ? Are you in Iran? Or Iranian living elsewhere? Or other?




    Complain about this comment

  • 165. At 10:00pm on 13 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:





    111 Q Iran is a democracy in its nascence. It is ridiculous to compare it to a European or American democracy. However it is a democracy and people in Iran are probably more engaged and aware politically than most in the US.
    I have no desire to bash the US for its imperialism actions speak louder than words.
    Actually Iranians do run their country. But as with most countries, at this moment in time it is this particular group running the country. What percentages of Americans were dissatisfied with Bush? Did they not feel mis/un-represented?
    With regard to the BS that Iran has threatened the complete destruction of nearby states Richard gives you the answer to that one in post 131. Further I would add that any regional fear mongering is goaded on by the US to up arms sales and by Israel to give legitimacy to their pretence at victimisation. This resulted in a $60billion package to Israel, the Saudis and the Persian Gulf states. Iran has not invaded or threatened another country in centuries.

    112 Guns guess its time to get out the straight jacket!

    139 AMM. You are so right. Ive often said that one of the main things that differentiates Iranians from Arabs is the enjoyment of life, poetry and nature (they are Ahle-hal). Even an illiterate person will be able to quote variously from Hafez, Saadi or another of the great poets. No one ever dies in Iran over issues like Salman Rushdie or the Danish Cartoons that only happens in Pakistan and Afghanistan and yet it is somehow only Iran that is associated with these sorts of issues. Iran today, despite a dreadful economy, years of sanctions (pointless one can buy US made goods on a daily basis. I just bought a Dell computer) and other hardships, remains an incredibly vibrant country with the energy that comes from having 60% of the population under the age of 30 and educated.

    145 Q Oh, so its ok for Israel to feel threatened by fading from the pages of time but Iran should just grin and bear Axis of Evil, Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran obliterate Iran as spouted by the Americans??

    150/157 Guns Not one of our finest moments. I would say though, that there is 10% in the article that does bear further scrutiny. Why should the Palestinians pay for the crimes of the Europeans? Why has the holocaust become an industry? Why is criticism of Israel immediately labelled anti-Semitism? Why is every Jew who questions Israel immediately labelled a self-hating Jew? I assure you, 99% of Iranian couldnt actually care less about any of this. Historically Muslims, Jews and Christians of various types have lived side by side for millennia in Iran. Read the Roger Cohen articles in The NYT from earlier this year.

    Complain about this comment

  • 166. At 10:01pm on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    150, guns.

    This is not a subject that I have followed so it would be foolish of me to give an opinion. I do not know anything about the atendees. As to world reaction, politics are involved so who knows if it is valid or not. One does wonder why they had such a study group in the first place.

    Complain about this comment

  • 167. At 10:06pm on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    160, quorule.

    Yawn....

    Complain about this comment

  • 168. At 10:12pm on 13 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Ref: #150 gunsandreligion

    There are millions and millions of pages out on the internet. Don't make a habit of of linking to one page and asking a few people to do appraise it for you. I'm sure you can read it yourself.

    As for examining important historical events to see how we can learn from mistakes made in the past, I very much support it. Historical analysis, separating fact from fiction, looking into the causes, is both fascinating and important. What is learned from the past can help us interpret the present, ans well as contributing to the future. Well done.


    Ref #160 Quorulex93

    You sound like you're all red-faced and steaming. I might be wrong - but that's how your post comes over. I see it contains personal insults. That says more about you, than it does me. It tells me you've run out of argument, and have only your anger and insults left. That's your problem. Not mine.

    Complain about this comment

  • 169. At 10:12pm on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    164, richard.

    Then I compliment you on being a fine analytical researcher. Yes, if one spends the time to weed out the nonsense and fluff, the grains of truth can be found. But it takes an objective and open mind to be able to do this. As to Americans being more gullible than Europeans, I have to agree with you. It may have to do with isolation.

    Complain about this comment

  • 170. At 10:13pm on 13 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    AMM et al
    1.40 Tehran time, way past my bedtime!
    Shab be-kheir, good night

    Complain about this comment

  • 171. At 10:29pm on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    165, princess.
    "I assure you, 99% of Iranian couldnt actually care less about any of this (the Israeli question). Historically Muslims, Jews and Christians of various types have lived side by side for millennia in Iran."

    The stand the government takes against Israel is merely a verbal show of solidarity for the Arab nations who share their threat of western imperialism. Jews have lived in Iran since 539 BC, when Cyrus the Great brought them out of captivity from Babylon. (He also financed the building of the second temple, of which only the wailing wall remains.) When Israel was created the Jews of Iran were not harrassed or forced to emigrate. During that period some Jews from the Arab countries sought refuge in Iran.

    Complain about this comment

  • 172. At 10:32pm on 13 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    170, princess.

    I hope you stick with us. We need you. Goodnight.

    Complain about this comment

  • 173. At 10:49pm on 13 May 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 161, Gary

    "...here is a link to a CBS News report on the administration's stated reason:"

    The Administration's change of heart on this issue is puzzling to me. I suspect they either succumbed to pressure from the Pentagon;s top brass, or decided that lengthy hearings may undermine their chances of achieving healthcare, education, and energy goals.

    Aside from further embarrassment and demoralization, I am not sure how revealing these photos will put our troops in grave danger...

    Complain about this comment

  • 174. At 11:20pm on 13 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref gunsandreligion

    I looked through your link. Actually, I must admit that I find this aspect deeply worrying. Maybe they've gone way too far. I also followed it through to find these extreme ideas. It does make you wonder sometimes what reasoning they use. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to stage this whole event at all. No wonder there's criticism from around the world.


    Complain about this comment

  • 175. At 11:25pm on 13 May 2009, Orville Eastland wrote:

    110 Marcus:
    Wrong. If they were terrorists, they would most certainly have been charged. (Have you gone and read the articles quoted there?)

    Second, the actions taken by the UN were certainly justified. However, the actions taken by the US, UK, Australia, Spain, Italy, Poland, etc. were not justified- THEY were the ones ordering the inspectors out, not Saddam. (Just when the inspectors were demolishing their arguments for war.) Further, even if Iraq had WMD it could be deterred. After all there is already one (undeclared) nuclear power in the Mideast...

    Finally, it's ironic that you mention Hussein Kamil, when he was also the first one to inform us of the DESTRUCTIION of Iraq's WMD programs- three years before Clinton lied as an excuse to attack Iraq and eight years before Bush did the same.

    http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9509/iraq_defector/kamel_transcript/index.html

    173 My thoughts exactly. I'm more of the opinion that revealing the photos would endanger the Republican and Democratic leadership...

    Complain about this comment

  • 176. At 00:02am on 14 May 2009, Quorulex93 wrote:

    165 Princess: I believe that what Iran has is just a dictatorship dressed up to look like it has a couple of measly outlets for the people's voice. I truly think that, when push comes to shove, there is NO check on the Supreme Leader's authority within Iranian soil. If I am wrong about that, then I'll accept it when I see the evidence. If you have reason to believe that there IS a check on his power, then I invite you to say what it is. On the other hand, I fully believe that many Iranian people are both decent and well educated. The only problem is, I don't see how people like that can live with/under such a government.

    also 165 princess: Only one of the comments you listed actually came from the U.S. president, and no, of course Iran doesn't have to just "grin and bear" the Axis of Evil comment. It has every right to react in a reasonable way. And yes, it was a nasty epithet. On the other hand, I do think that a threat to destroy another nation warrants a more extreme response, even if it is packaged in a "quote."

    Complain about this comment

  • 177. At 01:49am on 14 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    S&M

    "> > > > > > > . "Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem should from page of time fade from.""

    Sounds like it says Israel should be wiped off the map to me. More importantly it sounds that way to Israel and the United States who don't have to take it lying down. Every action Iran has taken from its support of the terrorst group Hezbullah to its support of terrorists in Hamas screams that this is what Iran means, this is what it wants. What it gets in return will be a very different story. S&M, consider that if the day ever comes when Israel ever does face extinction, so will Great Britain and much much more.

    Complain about this comment

  • 178. At 01:57am on 14 May 2009, Orville Eastland wrote:

    Uh, MA, while those who would like to destroy Israel may want to destroy the UK, it is worth noting that even if a Mideast power were to nuke Israel (Assuming they'd be willing to destroy numerous Muslim sacred sites in the attacks, plus kill numerous Muslims by fallout), the UK would not be harmed.

    Further, it's ironic that the US's ABMs that are supposedly designed to prevent an attack by Iran on Europe are A. Located near (or beyond) the limits of Iran's rockets B. Unable to provide protection for Israel and Southeast Europe. (Now if we listened to the Russians, and put the missiles in Azerbaijan, we could have a much greater chance of shooting down the Iranian rockets...if we were indeed targeting Iranian rockets...)

    Complain about this comment

  • 179. At 02:19am on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    The only problem is, I don't see how people like that can live with/under such a government.


    That is what so many thought about americans for so long.

    Richard SM and Princess Well said.

    Complain about this comment

  • 180. At 03:16am on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    176, quorule.
    "The only problem is, I don't see how people like that can live with/under such a government."

    Ask yourself how people like us could live under Bush's rule.

    Complain about this comment

  • 181. At 03:17am on 14 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    saintDominick (#173), in any case, it appears that the controversy will be settled in the courts. I'm satisfied with that, either way it turns out.

    Complain about this comment

  • 182. At 03:35am on 14 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    OZ3

    You missed my point completely. Whether deliberately as a parting shot thanking the rest of the world for the fine way Jews have been treated these last 2000 years, or as an unintended consequence of a strike on Iran possibly setting the oil fields ablaze or creating enough radiation in the atmosphere to kill everyone, an Israeli attack on its enemies will have consequences that are not necessarily contained within the region. Same for a war between India and Pakistan if it goes nuclear. It's been a long time since the world worried about radioactive fallout. Many people either forgot or don't even know what it is.

    Complain about this comment

  • 183. At 03:45am on 14 May 2009, Quorulex93 wrote:

    179 HappyLaze: I don't know whether you are arguing with what I said, or just making an observation, but here's my take on the point you made: there were many things I didn't like about the Bush administration, which I take as your implied target in that comment, so I publicly made those things known, argued about them in some cases, and voted to change our national policy. Do Iranians have the same liberty? I don't think that they do, when it comes to their "Supreme" Leader.

    Every nation has problems, and I am not here to assert the "supremacy" of the U.S. or its policies. However, to equate the government of a nation that is fundamentally and systematically flawed to protect the power of an ingrained religious Oligarchy with that of a nation that holds truly free elections and gives people a say in their most fundamental beliefs and practices is nonsense.

    I find it shocking that so many people are misguided into thinking that they do Iran or the world some kind of service by defending Iran's outdated, blatantly unfair and repressive, dangerous, and yes totalitarian government! Where are you all coming from? And I don't mean that in the geographic sense. I personally have never lived under a totalitarian government, and I hope I never have to. In my belief, the more strongly and forcefully we confront such perverse systems of power, the better, and that's coming from someone who recognizes that perverse systems of power persist all over the world.

    The funny thing is, I would be willing to bet that many of you are the same people who would fight tooth and nail to prevent the encroachment of religious totalitarianism in your own nation, yet when you see it in a nation in the Muslim world, you give it a free pass! Don't you see the hypocrisy in that?

    What goes on in your minds is a mystery to me.

    Complain about this comment

  • 184. At 04:07am on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    182, staphylococcus aureus.
    "...the fine way Jews have been treated these last 2000 years..."

    It is time to answer this sort of thing. Just about every group since the beginning of time has been victimzed or persecuted. It is not something peculiar to Jews. What about the gypsies, the heretics burned at the stake, the victims of the crusades, the Moors, the populations decimated by Genghis Khan, slavery of all kinds.... The difference is that those groups have not used past injustices to exact present-day advantages.

    Complain about this comment

  • 185. At 04:36am on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    183, quorule.
    "I find it shocking that so many people are misguided into thinking that they do Iran or the world some kind of service by defending Iran's outdated, blatantly unfair and repressive, dangerous, and yes totalitarian government! Where are you all coming from?"

    Stop reading propaganda. It is impossible to have a totalitarian government in Iran because Iranians are not easily ruled. I lived there under the Shah and that government was said to be totalitarian as well. Big joke. The Iranians had more freedom than you can dream of.

    Complain about this comment

  • 186. At 05:07am on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    183, quorule.

    Another insight into Iranians and why they don't make good subjects for a totalitarian state.

    I was in Heathrow airport some years ago waiting for friends to arrive from the States. The plane was late and it was after midnight. I got to chatting with one of the security men while I waited. I asked him which nationalities caused him the most trouble. He said the Nigerians and the Iranians. He said the Nigerians were known smugglers and would secrete all sorts of things. The Iranians were another kettle of fish. They would come in quite openly loaded with stuff, paying no attention at all to the restrictions (if they even knew what they were in the first place), and wondering what all the fuss was about. "This is for my sister, this is for my best friend...." The security man found them likeable, but frustrating.

    Complain about this comment

  • 187. At 05:13am on 14 May 2009, Quorulex93 wrote:

    I wish that "national character" were an antidote to totalitarianism. Unfortunately it isn't. Democracy is. I think that the idea of a "hard to rule" Iranian people sounds like just a myth that people in Iran use to convince themselves that they can deal with a very difficult situation, which is understandable. If they're so hard to rule, why don't they have free elections for their leaders? Wouldn't that be the essential ingredient in being "not easily ruled" ? Also please stop making snap judgements about what is and is not propaganda, and assumptions about what I read. I'll read whatever I want and trust it as much as I choose. After all, it's a free country. :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 188. At 05:44am on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    187, quorule.

    From this point on I will not answer anyting you say about Iran. I suspect you are being intentionally dense and I am not in the mood to play games.

    Complain about this comment

  • 189. At 05:59am on 14 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    lostallyourmarbles;

    "What about the gypsies, the heretics burned at the stake, the victims of the crusades, the Moors, the populations decimated by Genghis Khan, slavery of all kinds"

    They didn't have four hundred hydrogen bombs in their back pocket. None of us might be around today if they did.

    All that Savak did when Khoumeini came into power was to take off one uniform and put on another. The rules may have changed but the punishment is still exactly the same. Murderous theocratic lunatics run that place while the population is forced to play lets pretend we have democracy. What's the matter marbles, afraid if you don't take their side, they might not let you back in next time? That would be just your luck. If you don't believe it, ask Roxana Saberi. I'd keep my mouth shut and my face hidden there if I were you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 190. At 07:20am on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    189. Read 188.

    Complain about this comment

  • 191. At 08:52am on 14 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:





    176 Q Call it what you will, but change in Iran will come from Iranians. We have a dynamic society that is politically aware and engaged. The last thing we need is interference from the outside. You have a typical black and white mentality that cannot see that there are shades of grey to every issue. Iran has been invaded throughout history and each time it has influenced the invaders more than been influenced by them. This is the resilience of the Iranian people that has seen us through more than 3000 years as a society and this is the strength that will carry us through time.

    As to living with/under this government, I will reiterate what I have said before life in Iran is just fine. How do you think Roxana Saberi spent 6 years here she was probably having a good time. People are fun, sociable and hospitable. At every level of society people enjoy life. Our temperament is in some ways quite like the Latins with very late dinners and siestas in the afternoons. Fridays usually see people going out of town or to the park for a picnic. It's not all doom and gloom as you seem to think with the boogie man around every corner.

    I note you have no comment on the fact that regionally Iran has not invaded another country for centuries and that all the rhetoric is fear mongering to give legitimacy to any Israeli action as well as to increase arms sales.

    With regard to the comments I listed, I never said they were all from a US President. However an almost President and a Secretary of State are not that far away. When it comes down to it, inflammatory statements are the tools of politicians. You seem to choose to take ours seriously while dismissing your own.



    Complain about this comment

  • 192. At 3:06pm on 14 May 2009, Quorulex93 wrote:

    191 Princess: naturally change will come from Iranians. I never said anything to the contrary, and I don't support interventionism. That doesn't mean I'm not entitled, as an outsider, to my own opinion about the Iranian govt.

    191 & 188

    While you might like to dismiss my opinions as "dense" or ahistorical, I think it more likely that I am just dealing with a much simpler issue than you are, while you choose to focus on the complications of history.

    Here's why the issue looks simple to me: I know for a fact that if, tomorrow, the Catholic church were to hijack the government of my nation, install one of its Cardinals as Supreme Leader, and tell us that, of course, we'd still have democracy...a democracy whose leaders they screened and approved, and of course we'd still have elections, for a council who would pick one of their Cardinals as the next Supreme Dictator, and of course we'd have freedom, in the context of Catholicism as the state religion..in other words, if we were just transported back in time by six hundred years or so except add to that MUCH greater military cpacity than existed back then...well I'd be pretty afraid for my well-being, no matter how "nice" life was. Furthermore, I'd feel that the cornerstone of justice and progress in this nation had utterly crumbled, and that I was living in a totalitarian dictatorship, in which all power was ultimately concentrated in the hands of an autocratic govt.

    So where exactly are the complications?

    As for P's comment regarding the statements of national leaders, I didn't dismiss either side. The statements of both "presidents" are important. But to bring in the statements of other officials is unhelpful and excessive. After all, I'm sure if we added up all the things that any Iranian government official said about Israel, in puiblic or in private, we'd end up with a MUCH more dire picture than just "fade from the page of history." But there's no point in getting into that, because it's the president who speaks for a nation's people.

    Complain about this comment

  • 193. At 3:57pm on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    188 yes you have that one pegged. and again STRANGELY Reminiscent of another dunderhead.

    his 183 shows legion is not very smart after all.
    starts by reinterpreting a simple statement to his own way then runs off answering itself.Not that I haven't seen that before in Truly dumber than a door post and Timmaaaayyy.



    Princess and marbles and Rich well done.

    ----------------
    181. At 03:17am on 14 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:
    saintDominick (#173), in any case, it appears that the controversy will be settled in the courts. I'm satisfied with that, either way it turns out.
    proving my point on your bigotry against Iranians.

    US courts are SO great. Iranians all a sham.

    Get real with yourself gary, you unlike others are smart enough.

    Complain about this comment

  • 194. At 4:04pm on 14 May 2009, _marko wrote:

    To #192: Quorulex93

    "So where exactly are the complications?"

    People appreciate good supporting arguments and sometimes things are complicated and need study of the details and perspectives.

    Instead of all this analysis, complicated history, justice and progress why not just do something because you're told by God to do it as part of a divine mission?

    Complain about this comment

  • 195. At 4:32pm on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    princess don't worry they are just one racist pretending to be two.

    Complain about this comment

  • 196. At 5:17pm on 14 May 2009, Quorulex93 wrote:

    You know what, Happylaze, your particular brand of "jeerleading" is totally unproductive and without substance. Your connection to what is happening right in front of your face--literally on the computer screen, and in the broader sense in international politics--seems tenuous at best. I'm not entirely sure that you even read what's written on this board before commenting in your sui generis disjointed, nonsensical way. SloppyDaze is more like it.

    Man, let me tell you this, for all the times I've been condescended to, called non-intellectual, dunderheaded, dense, demonic apparently--who's legion exactly?--and now literally retarded--yes I get your references-- there has been VERY little substantive contradiction to what I'm saying about the totalitarian govt in Iran currently.

    I see now how deeply brainwashed you are, that you feel the need to call me a demon in order to protect your own very fragile grasp on reality, just as the religious fundamentalist fanatics you support had to call the U.S. the "Great Satan" to protect theirs. Get over it. You're wrong. I'm not a demon; the U.S. isn't the devil. To anyone with even the slightest shred of common sense, these facts would be blatantly obvious.

    This is the grand total of what ALL of you have said to contradict my assertions about Iran: "everything is fine"

    Guess what! It's not! Live with it, change it, discuss it, but don't deny it, and definitely don't insult people just because they make an effort to actually address the real issues facing the world today. It's pathetic. Bye.

    Complain about this comment

  • 197. At 5:31pm on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    princess and marbles ,marko an rich.
    do you get the feeling your dealing with percy?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzG-AvlKBAA&feature=related

    Complain about this comment

  • 198. At 6:07pm on 14 May 2009, Poyani wrote:

    To all the posters who for some reason think that just because Obama got elected Iran is not going to be bombed:

    The person who formulates the Iran policy for the Obama admin is the Special Adviser for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia. Look him up. His name is Dennis Ross.

    Here are a few hints:

    1. He was one of the founders of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (an AIPAC "think tank").

    2. He was part of the American delegation at the Camp David peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians under Clinton. There he received the nick-name "Israel's Lawyer" for his notorious irrational demands of the Palestinians (such as for Palestinains to accept they will have to give up all of East Jerusalem to Israel and allow the settlements to "naturally" expand).

    3. He was a BIG Iraq War suppporter and is one of the original signitories of the Project for a New American Century. He lobbied heavily for the war for both Clinton and Bush (W).

    4. He has already explained that his Iran "strategy" is to make a series of ultimatums against Iran, which he said "we know the Iranians will refuse". The strategy then requires the US to claim that Iranian nukes are imminent and to proceed with "strategic pre-emptive strikes" against the country.

    As for this story, I don't understand why Justin Webb is so amazed that an Iranian woman is campaigning with her husband. There are women in the Iranian parliament you know!

    Complain about this comment

  • 199. At 6:09pm on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    once this post started to fill with the various venomous delusional and deliberately ignorant legion, who wer allowed to spout off endless racist clap trap rubbish I said why lay off the venom.
    strange it is not here that the venom hes been most abundant but on the other thread which the quarrel has not entered into.
    (comes in as MA over there) legion Quarrel is you and marcus and Truely terribly thick along with Timmmmaaayyy.
    Keep up

    You fool few.

    but yourself

    Complain about this comment

  • 200. At 6:11pm on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Oh and every one of your boils reacts the same way when they find out they are related.
    LOL

    Complain about this comment

  • 201. At 6:17pm on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    thinking of not convincing fakes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA_-PuR3JHw&feature=related

    Complain about this comment

  • 202. At 6:39pm on 14 May 2009, Quorulex93 wrote:

    Sorry Marko, I can't tell whether you're making fun of me or the Iranian govt. Please clarify.

    As for "supporting arguments," the instant I see ANY substantive argument from anyone on this board besides myself and P-o-P, I'll provide some extra ones to support the ones I've already made. As it is, people just keep on calling me names and insulting my intelligence, under the assumption that that will somehow change the nature of reality and make them right. Of course it never will. :)

    Think for yourself.

    Complain about this comment

  • 203. At 6:45pm on 14 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:



    In #192 Quorulex93 wrote: "Naturally change will come from Iranians. I never said anything to the contrary."

    OK.

    But just 12 hours earlier in #111 Quorulex93 had already written, "Iranians don't run their country."


    If Quorolex93 wanted an answer to the question, I gave one in my post #174 above to GunsandReligion which may address the issue.

    Complain about this comment

  • 204. At 6:52pm on 14 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Happylaze

    The case of the journalist Roxana Saberi receiving a higher standard of justice in Iran seems to have embarassed some in America.

    Complain about this comment

  • 205. At 7:04pm on 14 May 2009, Quorulex93 wrote:

    It seems that your comments keep multiplying, but your ideas have long since reached zero. There's no reason for me to stay here, just to get abused. To anyone on this thread who still has their head on right, just leave. This place is a wasteland. Let's go.

    Complain about this comment

  • 206. At 7:46pm on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Quarrel Marcus Timmaayy TT what ever you name is.
    Why did you come here. JUST to slag off Iran?

    Just to say Iranians are no good.
    Incapable . then you're offended at a mild dunderhead comment.

    Quick tell people he's mad leave don't listen.

    you posted NOTHING before this thread.
    Explain your interest all of a sudden and the lack of interest in any other topic?

    OH and then there is the ever classic MATTTQU comment of

    " I am the best None of you provide any evidence . you all cowards keep calling me names."

    If I could be bothered I could get all the same comments from your other aliasses.

    Fake

    Complain about this comment

  • 207. At 7:47pm on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    It was a waste land the moment you arrived.
    marcass

    Complain about this comment

  • 208. At 8:13pm on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    192, quorule.
    "I know for a fact that if, tomorrow, the Catholic church were to hijack the government of my nation, install one of its Cardinals as Supreme Leader, and tell us that, of course, we'd still have democracy...a democracy whose leaders they screened and approved, and of course we'd still have elections,"

    I justifiably reiterate that you are dense. In the first place, we put the ayatollahs in power, not the Iranians. You have a little historical catching up to do. But nothing gets through to you. It's as though you had a script and no matter what anyone (with knowledge considerably greater than yours) says, you revert to it. The princess' comment was spot on (#191). Give up on this subject. Whatever you say makes you look foolish and naive.

    Complain about this comment

  • 209. At 8:19pm on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    198, Poyani.
    "To all the posters who for some reason think that just because Obama got elected Iran is not going to be bombed:"

    Bombing Iran (who does not nuclear weapons - shades of Iraq) would be the stupidest action imaginable. No one can win a war in Iran. Look at Aftghanistan and multiply that by ten.

    Complain about this comment

  • 210. At 8:23pm on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    205, quorule.
    "There's no reason for me to stay here,"

    Oh, joy....

    Complain about this comment

  • 211. At 8:40pm on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    Princess,

    There are three people on this blog, who are either one person using three ID's, or who are fellow inmates. All their comments appear to be scripted, so I will not be replying to any of them, as of now.

    Complain about this comment

  • 212. At 8:46pm on 14 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Quorulex93 (#196), attempting to reason with an unreasonable person is futile, in my opinion, but kudos for trying.

    Complain about this comment

  • 213. At 8:47pm on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    204, richard.
    "The case of the journalist Roxana Saberi receiving a higher standard of justice in Iran seems to have embarassed some in America."

    I don't think "embarrass" is in the political lexicon. Our government will squirrel tits way out of this and make Iran look bad. Unfortunately 90 per cent of the population will fall for it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 214. At 8:47pm on 14 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    It is interesting that those who are biased in favor of Iran and will tolerate no disagreement or criticism whatsoever are very similar to the posters who display bias on behalf of the U.S or Israel. No country or government or people is perfect, and slamming and insulting those who would dare to find fault is pure bias, no matter what country is involved.

    Complain about this comment

  • 215. At 8:48pm on 14 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "204. At 6:52pm on 14 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Happylaze

    The case of the journalist Roxana Saberi receiving a higher standard of justice in Iran seems to have embarassed some in America."

    Higher standard of justice than what? The only comparison that makes sense for that statement the is cutting off the WSJ journalist's head by al Qaeda and somehow I don't think they get embarrassed by anything. Between Iranian injustice and injustice in Burma or China, I'd take either alternative over Iran. The captured British Royal Sailors or whatever they were didn't seem too thrilled with it either when they were paraded on television all over the world in clear violation of their rights under the Geneva Conventions but then who talks about that except when it is time to gratuitously bash Israel or America?

    Lostallyourmarbles;

    "Bombing Iran (who does not nuclear weapons - shades of Iraq) would be the stupidest action imaginable. No one can win a war in Iran. Look at Aftghanistan and multiply that by ten."

    A lot of people have short memories. Compared to where Afghanistan was before the US attack and invasion, things are going very well there now. Not as well as we would like but infinitely better than when it was run by the Taleban who gave al Qaeda a sanctuary there. Of course the war against al Qaeda and the Taleban will never be won if they are granted sanctuary behind international borders such as Pakistan's.

    About the only thing stupider than bombing Iran if it appears on the verge of being able to acquire nuclear weapons would be....not bombing it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 216. At 8:55pm on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    214, bere.

    It is not a case of "bias," but of knowledge. The Iranian people are extraordinarily independent. There can be no totalitarian state in Iran, given the nature of its people.

    Complain about this comment

  • 217. At 9:02pm on 14 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    In # 198 , Poyani wrote to prove to us all that Iran has actually been innocent all along, and the victim of perverted American foreign policy. Thank you Poyani for bringing this to our attention. Your claim is consistent with the similarly spurious claim about WMD in Iraq.

    "He has already explained that his Iran "strategy" is to make a series of ultimatums against Iran, which he said "we know the Iranians will refuse". The strategy then requires the US to claim that Iranian nukes are imminent and to proceed with "strategic pre-emptive strikes" against the country"

    We can also dismiss the claims USA has made about Ahmadinejad's speech, Iran's nuclear programme, supporting insurgency in Iraq, the North Korean claims. If Waashington is claiming it is going to survive the recession, we can assume it probably won't. Thanks Poyani :-))))

    Complain about this comment

  • 218. At 9:08pm on 14 May 2009, _marko wrote:

    To #202: Quorulex93

    RE: my post #194

    To clarify,

    I enjoy well-crafted and well-reasoned points from whichever direction they come. There's always something to learn and it's more entertaining and funnier than watching TV and you can get involved.

    "Sorry Marko, I can't tell whether you're making fun of me or the Iranian govt. Please clarify."

    I felt you were over-simplifying the situation and I tried to counter. There was a third party I was referencing...

    What qualities prevented you from immediately recognizing another president who spoke for a nation's people, one that justified certain actions by saying he was told by god to do it as part of a divine mission? Someone who can be quoted simplistically and who would not be considered or labelled a part of a theocracy.

    I guess I was making fun of people in general who don't appear to make much of an effort to look at something from someone else's perspective and whose potential prejudice may just be based on lack of knowledge.

    If people post unfounded speculation then maybe it's ok if they just want to provoke someone to supply better information. It's not a defence of Iran it's saying "are you sure you've got good objective data?"

    If I have offended or judged too quickly, please don't let it stop you from posting comments.

    You genuinely believe this is a "wasteland" and have learnt nothing from the exchanges and discussion?

    Complain about this comment

  • 219. At 9:10pm on 14 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    lostallyourmarbles #216

    That's the apology for every totalitarian state.

    Complain about this comment

  • 220. At 9:22pm on 14 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    It's too bad that those who display clear bias are unable to recognize it. The bias is obvious when it manifests as intolerance of those who express reasonable doubt and who are then insulted and belittled when trying to engage in reasonable discourse.

    Complain about this comment

  • 221. At 9:30pm on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    220, bere.

    Since your are not an expert on Iran, how can you determine whether my views are reflect knowledge or bias? Are YOU perhaps biased?

    Complain about this comment

  • 222. At 9:37pm on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    211 marbles.

    LOL I knew you had been paying attention to the legion.

    Bere. Face the mirror.

    What gives you reason to disbelieve that she was arrested and released because she had secret papers. Yes the origional charge was drink. Any chance they used that to find the papers they had been tipped off about.
    (just saying maybe"
    but you wish us to discount the trial( as such) the charges (as such) the whole business(as such) because of nothing better than.
    It's Iran.

    No other reason. just it's Iran.

    Gary the same You say about the Photos
    "it appears the controversy will be settled in the courts and that is good enough for me"
    But when an Iranian court decides it is nothing to do with justice.

    Both Bigoted

    Complain about this comment

  • 223. At 9:46pm on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    I'm going to wait and see when there is more to saying "well because it is Iran" as the answer to why this trial is considered so fake. phoney etc.

    Bere I'm in agreement that hanging people for being Gay IS wrong. get america to go for a world wide ban on the death-penalty (lol).

    THIS CASE. ONLY THIS CASE.

    Why are the Iranians to be not believed?

    Complain about this comment

  • 224. At 9:57pm on 14 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    Those who are secure in their knowledge and expertise do not need to resort to belittling those who have varying opinions on subjects where varying opinions are not unreasonable. Especially on a specific subject where none of the persons involved in the discussion know for a fact what actually happened.

    Questioning the actions of any government is not bigotry. Accepting the actions or statements of any government without question does suggest a bias towards that government. No matter what the country.

    Complain about this comment

  • 225. At 10:00pm on 14 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    happy, if a trial of that sort took place in any country I would be suspicious of it. It has nothing to do with it being Iran. Why is that so hard to understand?

    Complain about this comment

  • 226. At 10:21pm on 14 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:



    192 Q you are entitled to think that the moon is made of cheese I however am entitled to think that you dont have a clue. So there we go. A nation as old and complex as Iran cannot be defined in the simplistic mindset you have of your barely 250 year old nation. Particularly you, with your paranoia about Europe and denial that the foundations of all your laws and your democracy come from Europe. Guess what! Democracy was not invented in 1776 much as you would like to believe it.

    196 Q Bye!!

    198 Poyani A man/woman who knows what she/he is talking about.

    202 Q you still here????

    205 Q Bye again..

    211 AMM - Pretty much figured that one out. Kheili Khare.

    215 Marcass Things better in Afghanistan!! What planet are you on? No they are not better. For the perhaps 10% of the population in Kabul thing may seem better on the surface, but beyond that things are the same if not worse. The Taliban are just as strong throughout most of the country. If you think otherwise, dream on. While your eyes are closed they are also taking over Pakistan.

    Did anyone read in todays headlines that Saberis lawyer said that she actually had classified documents? In the US she would definitely have disappeared into the system by now over such a thing (unless of course she were Isreali, in which case it is usually ignored after a bit of posturing).


    Complain about this comment

  • 227. At 10:25pm on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Questioning actions is not bigotry. that is right.

    But assuming this case is bias is a bit.
    I'm not saying It has no bias. But I will say there is no evidence for it yet.
    And if the courts decision in the states means anything so does that in Iran.

    Complain about this comment

  • 228. At 10:29pm on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    225 fair enough.
    just understand Iran does have american agents in it. America has said so.

    She turned up just after america showed more interest.
    That is bound to make them suspicious.
    She was found (supposedly) with a classified paper.
    she was held and tried.

    The only reason to doubt them is
    she seems so nice.
    She is a woman
    or well it's Iran.

    Complain about this comment

  • 229. At 10:40pm on 14 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    2.10 Tehran time. It's way late for me to wait for the Mods (they are a bit slow tonight, no?) Good night

    Complain about this comment

  • 230. At 10:48pm on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    224, bere.

    On this blog, a subject may come of which I have little knowledge. In a case like that I may read what others have to say, but do not offer any opinion. In fact at one point people tried to goad me into replying and I stated that it was not my area of expertise and so had nothing to say. Not everyone adheres to that standard.

    Complain about this comment

  • 231. At 10:50pm on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    230, further.

    I think the issue was the arrest of the journalist. I said that I had no inside information to make any judgment.

    Complain about this comment

  • 232. At 11:04pm on 14 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    226, princess.
    "Did anyone read in todays headlines that Saberis lawyer said that she actually had classified documents?"

    If that is in fact true, then it was American clout that got her off. That Iran would give up its case against her supports my view (and yours) that Iran has no plans to attack Israel or anybody. When I refused to comment on the case I said that I did not know whether or not she was a spy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 233. At 11:23pm on 14 May 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #228, how about these for reasons to be suspicious.

    1. The original trial is reported to have lasted 1 hr.
    2. The country's president is reported to have called for a fair legal process after the trial took place.
    3. Upon appeal they say free to go, cannot work here for 5 years.

    Whatever country this all took place in, it raises suspicions as to what it was all about. It just happens to be Iran. So obviously must be all above board then.

    Complain about this comment

  • 234. At 11:28pm on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 235. At 11:33pm on 14 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    gary you defended marcus as reasonable once.
    just to remind you.

    Complain about this comment

  • 236. At 00:16am on 15 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8050334.stm

    this is the right blog for this.

    wow. now that's propaganda with direct deceit.

    Complain about this comment

  • 237. At 01:37am on 15 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    sean Well thank god she is on her way home.

    then we can hear her side. I am sure she signed no confidentiality clause;)

    Now either she had something classified or not.

    If she did and it was useless (as the appeal court said) and she way released then the system there worked and worked faster than theUSA which is where Rich and I started from.

    If she did not have anything (and we may never know unless she admits to having something) she was fitted up.

    Now because some over zealous cop goes too far is that to be blamed squarely on the president who then called for a retrial.
    Did the president order it?

    at what stage can the reported "facts" be dismissed because of ones prejudice.(probably a better word to use eh).

    but again IF she admits that the papers were classified will you all let off the Iran bashing for a week.. what with Israel trying to stir the pot and everyone here why would they not be paranoid,opps wrong word, worried.,

    Complain about this comment

  • 238. At 02:20am on 15 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Well it looks like the PPPrincess who was probably the one who complained about my posting #215 to the moderators will not get her wish. They have re-published it. It must be rough having to argue for the first time with someone who is openly allowed to challenge the Iraniac Islamic Revolutionary Government's dogma.

    I refer the never right and who knows how honorable self-proclaimed princess to the reply I gave some hours ago.

    Complain about this comment

  • 239. At 02:28am on 15 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    237, happy Jack.
    "... Well thank god she is on her way home. then we can hear her side. I am sure she signed no confidentiality clause;) Now either she had something classified or not."

    What makes you think you will hear the truth? Politics are involved.

    Complain about this comment

  • 240. At 02:45am on 15 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    239 All we will hear is her side.
    that's all.
    It might just be she says it was all a big mistake. she didn't realise the papers she did have were classified.
    i'll read with interest.

    All I said was in post 62.

    Complain about this comment

  • 241. At 03:06am on 15 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Lostallyourmarbles#237

    If she has family or close friends in Iran, she'd do well to keep her mouth shut. Totalitarian governments have a way of punishing the families of those who escape their clutches and speak out or act against them. If she's smart, she knows this instinctively. Then again if she were smart, she would not have gotten herself in her predicament in the first place. Naive, just like a lot of others it seems to me. And then there are the cynics.

    Complain about this comment

  • 242. At 2:06pm on 15 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    35. MostonHead wrote:

    We see plenty of anti iranian propoganda, but the truth is a spy was treated well and released, but US prisoners disappear.

    If she were a spy, she would not have survived an Iranian prison. You forgot to add the word "alleged." As for her being "treated well" you have no evidence for that assumption. She was jailed for five months in the same prison as Zahra Kazemi. As a journalist, Saberi would have been well aware of what happened to Kazemi, also a dual national journalist, also a women, also accused of spying for the West and brutally raped and tortured to death by her jailers.


    41. SaintOne wrote:

    In fact this whole incident is bit stupid on Iran's part. They claim she was a spy, give her an unfair, bias trial, and then let her go to show how nice and merciful they are.

    Precisely.


    42. Via-Media wrote:

    Richard SM...you go too far in trying to portray Iran as a bastion of justice.

    Too true.


    43. Coder141 wrote:

    The clerics have SUPREME rule, a revolution is not eminent because of moderates or reformists, people there have different political ideologies and different ways of tackling problems, not to mention that we also have our share of hawkish politicians.

    Thanks for pointing that out.


    59. At 4:26pm on 12 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    SaintOne (#41 and #58). Of course Saberi is not a spy. This is all just political, as are the naive and misguided efforts to defend the Iranian government in this matter.

    Another voice of sanity. Good to see.


    68. bere54 wrote:

    I think this was all planned ahead of time for political reasons, but of course that's just my opinion.

    Yours and millions of others.


    93. SaintOne wrote:

    I do believe Iran's president also stated Israel should be wiped off the map...So how about you get off your horse on that issue.

    He'll make the usual mealy-mouthed claim that Ahmedinejad only wants Israel to "disappear from the pages of time." How comforting.


    111. Quorulex93 wrote:

    As you will see, Iran is a dictatorship first, an Oligarchy second, a Feudal Hierarchy third, and a democracy a distant fourth. To call justice in Iran an illusion is to state the case mildly. The word "farce" comes to mind.

    Now ain't that the truth.


    109. SaintOne wrote:

    #107

    Best just to ignore him. If no one replied to any of his comments, he would eventually go away....


    No, it would just mean you have no ability to counter his argument.


    122. allmymarbles wrote:

    93, saintone.

    You are being naive. All that talk is political posturing. Iran has banded together superficially with the Arabs because of the threat to all the nationalistic countries of the Middle East.


    On the contrary, Iran has major ambitions in the region and is trying to realize them through its Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas proxies. And the Egyptians have just caught some Iranian infiltrators. The aim? You tell me.

    Israel was foolish to threaten Iran.

    Enough historical revisionism please. Iran has been threatening Israel for years, not the other way around.


    131. Richard_SM,

    How comforting that the Iranians express their genocidal hatred of the Israelis in slightly more poetic language than simply, "Wipe them off the map."

    Ahmedinejad also said that the Israelis are a "disease." Do you have a poetic rendition of that?


    137. Scott0962,

    I was wondering when someone was going to point out the absurdity of Justin's comparison.


    141, 142. Quorulex93,

    Couldn't have put it better myself.


    157. gunsandreligion wrote:

    Good to see some truth emerge about Iran. I wish Ramin a pleasant and speedy journey to Berlin, where he will be promptly tried and jailed for Holocaust denial.

    I would like to know if anyone who has familiarity with Iran can affirm or contradict these reports, which I find to be quite disturbing.

    Sure:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/6183061.stm


    165. Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    Historically Muslims, Jews and Christians of various types have lived side by side for millennia in Iran.

    Right, and Muslim oppression of Jews has swung from the barbaric to the more benign and back again. I guess they're now in a benign phase.


    211. allmymarbles wrote:

    All their comments appear to be scripted, so I will not be replying to any of them, as of now.

    Goodness, this is taking you time. You still haven't realized that there is no such thing as Coventry on the Internet? Nobody cares if you don't respond to them. But it does demonstrate, of course, that you have no counter-argument.


    221. allmymarbles wrote:

    220, bere.

    Since your are not an expert on Iran, how can you determine whether my views are reflect knowledge or bias?


    People would be better able to judge that if you came up with some counter-arguments instead of dismissive sarcasm most of the time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 243. At 2:13pm on 15 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    P-P-Princess;

    And what classified documents would those have been, proof that Iran is working on building an atomic bomb or the latest figures on unemployment and economic output? Mabye the statement her lawyer made was "mistranslated."

    Makes no sense anyway. Why would she have recanted her confession if she had been guilty. Clearly she'd either been tricked or tortured to have made it in the first place. One method they use it to tell the victim they first physically and mentally exhaust is that if they sign a confession, they will be released or their sentence lightened. A plea bargain monster style.

    Lostallyourmarbles;

    Somehow I don't think anyone is truly an "expert" on Iran until they've spent some time in an Iranian prison. I'll bet Saberi is far more knowledgeable about Iran now than she was just a few months ago. Tuition was expensive though. She should consider her ordeal as "a learning process."

    Complain about this comment

  • 244. At 3:52pm on 15 May 2009, _marko wrote:

    Who gains by demonizing Iran? What does Israel gain by demonizing Iran?

    Complain about this comment

  • 245. At 4:11pm on 15 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    Muscus numero dos.

    Sorry to hear that Iran burst your bubbles. For once, why don't you admit the the truth of what your socialist nationalist prevert and misguided feeling are. The truth is, you wanted Iran to torture and mistreat Ms. Roxana Saberi so that you could continue to critizise a foreign government whose culture, language, history you know nothing about. That Iran didn't lower it's international standards like the past USA Administration (GW Bush) did, burst your bubbles, didn't it? It made you look stupid at least on the face of these here posts. But than, when it come to Mucus#2, so what else is news!

    When it come to reporters, all one has to do is to look at the dozens of international journalists and reporters the US military murdered simply because they were reporting atrocities and the looting of Iraqis wealth was being stolen. A few other reporters were sent to secret prisons and most likely water boarding established under the GW Bush Administration. Where was the outrages on these incidents. America kept quiet. Anyone dare to question were place on "secret black lists."
    The nation became a state based on fear for eight long years.

    The fact is, your incoherent ramblings about anything international in particular, including politics, leaves a bad taste in the eyes of the world about your country and the citizens of the USA.

    The truth is, there are many more of your countrymen/women who disagree with you than there are supporting your bordering-on-insane comments!

    The best thing you can do, Mucus#2 is keep quiet, get life while you still have one, and quit insulting America!

    Complain about this comment

  • 246. At 4:28pm on 15 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 247. At 5:09pm on 15 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 242 TrueToo

    You reasoned: "If she were a spy, she would not have survived an Iranian prison. You forgot to add the word 'alleged'."


    But she was, and she did.

    Sorry to confute your post so easily, when you'd put so much work into it. ;-)



    Complain about this comment

  • 248. At 5:22pm on 15 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    245. foxtrottango1 wrote:

    The truth is, you wanted Iran to torture and mistreat Ms. Roxana Saberi so that you could continue to critizise a foreign government whose culture, language, history you know nothing about.

    You obviously never heard of Zahra Kazemi, who died in 2003 in the same prison where Roxana Saberi was held. She had been brutally raped, beaten and tortured. Also a journalist with dual nationality, also a women, also accused of spying for the West.

    But I guess you wont let the facts interfere with your prejudice.

    Complain about this comment

  • 249. At 6:15pm on 15 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    nice post there foxy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 250. At 6:29pm on 15 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8052230.stm

    seems she did a naughty. and the secret service were more into getting her than the politicians.

    bit like I said all along. shame some of them posts were removed;))

    Complain about this comment

  • 251. At 6:30pm on 15 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    I just read up on the Kazemi case. This was a truly horrific incident. Saberi was fortunate to get out relatively quickly and without injury, I think. I expect the difference is due to a combination of reaction to the Kazemi incident, and improved relations between Iran and the west. Progress, whatever the reason for it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 252. At 6:32pm on 15 May 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    foxtrottango1 # 245
    Although respecting your succinct attempt at confronting Marcus, I feel you are being unfair in just singling out his attitude against America and it's citizens, and personally attacking the man himself.
    Being neither a Republican nor Democrat follower - {he admits to being an Independent "don't know / undecided", which may account for his disjointed, extreme, lateral, tangential views and comments}, you could be admonishing yet another victim of the failiure in America's Health system.
    Like many, possibly unable to budget for the exhorbitant price of the required treatment, a specialist's parting shot could be to suggest using the cost free alternative of on line therapy as a last resort. So for those afflicted, it's the BBC blogs or a straight-jacket.
    I do hope you will understand that for anyone exhibiting many heads and persona, the latter is difficult to construct, but we are assured time and time again, that American ingenuity will always prevail in all they undertake..
    Give the prosthetic technicians just a little more time. There but for the grace ......

    Complain about this comment

  • 253. At 6:43pm on 15 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8052728.stm

    what happens if you are caught in the USA web?

    So who's right?

    Complain about this comment

  • 254. At 6:54pm on 15 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Here's a link to a CBC summary of the Kazemi incident, for anyone who is interested:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/kazemi/

    Complain about this comment

  • 255. At 7:47pm on 15 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    254 wow
    Gary that is sick. No defence of that one.
    But it still does not make your comments about the other case we were talking about more valid.

    all it says is what we have know. Iran has some pretty strange cops.Still No difference there between them and the US.
    http://action.aclu.org/torturefoia/released/102405/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb9ktN1Xf2s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXWSgG-KNng

    Never had much to say about these murderers either.

    He's one from the UK that shows not only american cops are overzealous.(just for you) though note the cop there while totally out of order did not pull a gun and shoot him.

    Nice diversion there to try to keep the subject of focus squarely on them pesky forners and away from the americans.

    All available info too inconvenient so time to sideline eh? You've learned a lot from that blogger you seem to like so much.

    Complain about this comment

  • 256. At 8:15pm on 15 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:


    238 Marcass have you thought about treatment for that stutter?
    Actually your posts amuse me so no I would not dream of complaining about a post of yours must have been another of your fans.

    With regard to your post 215 to which I already replied in 226 I would just add that it is in fact amusing that you can even refer to the Geneva conventions when you are such an apologist for the Bush administration and their travesty of the rule of law. The British soldiers sat around for a few days in comfort (I do not dismiss that the uncertainty would have been distressing) but not a hair on their heads was harmed. They were then sent home with goodie bags so its a pretty pathetic example of Iranian violations.

    242 TrueToo If you would make a bit of effort to find out facts it would be a good start. Historically it is the Europeans, including the Russians that have oppressed the Jews look up pogrom and holocaust if in doubt. Iran in particular has never oppressed the Jews and to this date they are able to live in peace in Iran- in fact Iran has the largest Jewish population outside of Israel in the Middle East. Read the Roger Cohen series of articles on the subject in the NYT from earlier this year.

    243 Marcass I see that you are still stuttering if you cant afford the treatment in the US, you can fly over to London and have it sorted on the NHS.

    245 Foxtrottango I am beginning to understand that logic and reason are really too much to expect. Is TrueToo another Marcass clone?

    Complain about this comment

  • 257. At 8:25pm on 15 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    256 princess YES
    I like you. reason obvious. you can see legion for what it is.
    good to see you joined the debate, a much missed perspective.

    Complain about this comment

  • 258. At 8:55pm on 15 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    Hey Happy - Thanks. It's past midnight in Tehran and I was up way too late last night on these pages(they get a bit addictive don't they?). The time difference makes it difficult at times to keep up. So I'm calling it a night....

    Complain about this comment

  • 259. At 9:01pm on 15 May 2009, bere54 wrote:

    254, Gary -

    The Kazemi horror, among other incidents, explains why so many people were concerned about Saberi.

    And those saying "Yes, but . . ." don't seem to get it that one country having bad cops doesn't excuse another country's bad cops (or bad politicians, policies, etc.). Accusing those who criticize Iran of being bigots is no different than accusing those who criticize Israel of being anti-Semitic. Both accusations are false and unfair.

    Complain about this comment

  • 260. At 9:35pm on 15 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    Pointing fingers to cover one's irregularities is an "American" thing.

    That one police force is better than another is debatable. I will never forget when only a few years ago, four or five of the finest in the NYPD handcuffed a young black and inserted a baton up the young man rectum. It is said the police scream with joy at seeing the young man suffer.

    Yet, many laughed and the police union claim the police were "frighten" for their lives and recommended they be excused from prosecution because their "poor families" would be left vulnerable and alone. The judicial system too, tried to look the other way except for the African American population bursting into the streets seeking justice.

    The result? The cops most likely went free, transferred, seek employment elsewhere in the nation.

    Many of these incidents are constantly happening in the USA.

    Just recently, a small child was playing with his toy gun when someone report a dangerous criminal waving a pistol in the neighborhood. When the police arrived, they pointed a gun to the child and the child thought they were playing cops and robbers (Americans are that way, they give their kids toy guns to play with, go to church on Sunday, have a picnic and back to the same routine).

    The young child was shot in the stomach! Nothing else has been heard since. Police cover up, anyone?

    My point is, if we are going to play the "who dun it", let's lay all the cards on the table, shall we?

    Complain about this comment

  • 261. At 9:39pm on 15 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    251. Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Progress, whatever the reason for it.

    I'm not convinced of that. I think the Iranians engineered the Saberi case from start to finish in order to appear magnanimous and just once they had released her. Even the BBC, which usually bows in timid obedience to the regime, acknowledged that the affair had the elements of farce:

    Unlike her original trial, the legal process this time was arranged to appear fair and open, our correspondent in Tehran says.

    http://
    news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8044193.stm

    That is precisely the point, "appear" being the operative word.

    Unfortunately for the regime, there is the Internet, people have long memories and they recall the obscene brutality meted out to Zahra Kazemi and many, many others.


    256. Princess-on-the-pea,

    You make a lot of assumptions about me and about what I do or don't know. I'm not sure why it's so difficult for you to stick to the argument and debate it on its merits alone. The Holocaust doesn't invalidate Iran's oppression of Jews in that country. Do you genuinely not know about that oppression?

    Complain about this comment

  • 262. At 9:43pm on 15 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    Night princess .watch the peas.

    Bere it does show why some were worried. and pressure is OK.
    but what I object to is the immediate assumption that america was right Iran was wrong. that so many make.That all actions are evil actions .

    All I did was point out possibilities that seem to have been right.

    But no we were told by many that Iran is evil and all.

    without qualifieing it .

    Did you see that America has killed people in detention.
    Prisons are not nice and the people that killed her should be on trial. (no death penalty though) as with ANY death penalty I'm against it. That includes the "accidental" deaths that occur every year in prisons in the UK in the US and most places.
    But in the case we were discussing she did not seem to be in the same situation.

    The difference between your anti semetic comment and mine is great . Israel has thousands of political prisoners.(I know you do not agree with).
    THOUSANDS.

    In this ONE specific case I defended Irans legal actions. Because they were being condemned for letting her go, (and it looked like it was going to be that way before this discussion and her release.)
    Not exactly helpful to the next person , is it?

    Now if they had KEPT her and had no trial and denied family visits or a meeting with a consular representative of that Embassy that is handling The US affairs in Tehran, I would have gone the other way from what I did.

    Now I may be anti american etc , but I still believe towers can fall due to Blue brittle tempratures being reached . So I tell people that tell me it was taken out with explosives"interesting but I'm not a believer, give me some evidence"

    That is not bigotry.
    Or self superiority.

    Complain about this comment

  • 263. At 9:50pm on 15 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    251 Well said gary.

    progress is being made.

    Complain about this comment

  • 264. At 9:52pm on 15 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Princ-ass-in-the-pee;

    When the British sailors who were kidnapped by the Iranian pirate navy (if you can call a bunch of speed boats a navy) in Iraqi waters were paraded on television making forced false confessions, American news media had expert psychologists analyze and explain how verious combinations of involuntary facial muscle contractions and expressions on their faces left no doubt that their confessions were coerced, that they didn't believe what they were saying, and that they were under enormous stress. This after only a few days in captivity. And what did they get to take home as souveneirs of their visit to Camp TehrITMO, an Ayatollah Khoumeini tee shirt? Copies of the Koran autographed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? It was one more of Iran's thin political ploys that nobody was fooled by. These games will only make it worse for Iran when the end game is played out. Except for the despotic Syrian government and their terrorist surrogates in Hamas, Hezbullah, and among Iraqi insurgents, they have no friends.

    TwoLeftFeet1

    Don't try to lead, you can barely seem to follow.

    Complain about this comment

  • 265. At 10:47pm on 15 May 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 259 bere

    I am in agreement with you on this. It makes no sense to ignore the failings of the Iranian regime, just to score points against the US.

    Iran is no totalitarian state (Marcus, you might want to dust off your poli sci text books and brush up on authoritarianism -- might be a useful distinction in this case). Neither is is Switzerland. Stories of people like Kazemi, the fervent anti-Zionist rhetoric, and the holocaust denials of the recent past are, for example, deeply troubling.

    This of course doesn't mean that all Iranians accept the policies and statements of their government. How free Iranian citizens are to express their disagreement is perhaps something our Princess could expand upon.

    Now, as for the US, things have been bad. But there is hope that things will be getting better, particularly concerning torture and unlawful detentions. Progress, as Gary might say, is being made.

    Yours,
    Pinko

    Complain about this comment

  • 266. At 00:33am on 16 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    251, Gary.
    "I expect the difference is due to a combination of reaction to the Kazemi incident, and improved relations between Iran and the west. Progress, whatever the reason for it."

    Have we all forgotten that the hostages taken in 1979 were not harmed? Neither were the British sailors. The Kazemi case sounds like an Abu Gharib episode. Do we have a good history concerning spies and terrorists? You are assuming we are more humane than the Iranians. Our present history beies that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 267. At 04:46am on 16 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    266. allmymarbles,

    While Iran and the US both have the death penalty, the US has consistently looked for ways to lessen and shorten the suffering of the executed while the Iranians appear to be happy to increase and prolong it and make a public spectacle of the torment of their victims. Yet you regard the Iranians as the more civilised of the two. That is totally weird.

    You seem unhappy in America. Instead of continually harping against the country, why don't you go back to Iran and live with the results of the Islamic revolution?

    Complain about this comment

  • 268. At 06:00am on 16 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    In Iran's scheme of justice, they get it a little backwards from the way we do it. In Iran, first the execution, then the trial.

    From BBC;

    "There was not even the same level of reaction for the execution of Delara Darabi.

    The 23-year-old woman was hanged for a crime allegedly committed while she was still a juvenile, while her appeal was still pending.

    Her parents were not even allowed to visit her before she went to the gallows."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8052230.stm

    And from Wikipedia;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delara_Darabi

    And of course violations of international law and treaties they signed;

    As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Iran has entered into diplomatic commitments not to execute persons for offences committed when they were under 18. Nevertheless, since 1990, Iran has executed at least 18 people for crimes committed when they were children.

    Not much different from the Taleban and al Qaeda really when you get right down to it.

    "following a desperate phone call to her parents asking them to save her, followed by a prison authority's voice telling them that they would easily kill their daughter and there was nothing they could do about it, just minutes before being hanged."

    She probably wasn't even guilty. She confessed because her boyfriend told her that they'd execute him but since she was a minor, she wouldn't be executed if she signed a confession. That's Iran.

    Complain about this comment

  • 269. At 06:17am on 16 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    all.. (#266) "You are assuming we are more humane than the Iranians."

    I have made no such assumption at all, and have not offered any opinion on the question one way or the other. It's not the topic of this thread, although some have tried to include it.

    On the contrary, a few contributers here frequently make assumptions about my opinions (and those of others) without anything to support it. This is "trolling" (baiting). My policy generally is to ignore such remarks, but since yours is so obviously baseless, pulled out of thin air, it's worth noting as an example.

    Complain about this comment

  • 270. At 06:33am on 16 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    269, Gary.

    Your comment was misleading. I took it to mean that the journalist's treatment had to do with improved relations with the west, so I pointed out that hers was not an unusual case and that there were precedents.

    Complain about this comment

  • 271. At 08:09am on 16 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    261 TrueToo I am not making assumptions it is blatantly obvious that you either dont know what you are talking about or that you are conveniently ignoring historical fact. Iran still has the second largest Jewish community in the Middle East. Despite monetary incentives for them to go to Israel by Jewish organisations in that country, they choose to stay. If what you say is true, then why have they not all immigrated to the land of milk and honey?

    264 Marcass you are just too hilarious. TV expert psychologists! How American. Most people in Britain were outraged that the sailors even spoke rather than just offering name, rank and serial number. While unpleasant, their experience is a joke compared to everything offered by the US for the past 8 years.
    Well done, I see you have the stutter under control.

    Complain about this comment

  • 272. At 12:33pm on 16 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    271. Princess-on-the-pea,

    I'm not sure why you find it necessary to start off with insults. It's unimpressive. I've had this debate before on this blog, with allmymarbles, who also periodically insists that I don't know what I'm talking about:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/03/is_obama_drifting.html#P77375281

    I say "debate" but I'm not sure that allmymarbles putting her nose in the air and refusing to answer the points I raised constituted a debate.

    If you access the Wiki link I provided in my link you'll see that the regime does not exactly encourage Iranian Jews wanting to leave since those assisting Jews to emigrate to Israel risk serious repercussions - though the regime does appear to have a split personality in this regard, allowing Iranian Jews to visit relatives in Israel and vice versa.

    Of course there are many other reasons for people not emigrating, including logistical difficulties and hope for better days.

    The population of Iranian Jews has shrunk to about a third of its pre-1979 size.

    You may find the following of interest:

    Despite the official distinction between "Jews," "Zionists," and "Israel," the most common accusation the Jews encounter is that of maintaining contacts with Zionists. The Jewish community does enjoy a measure of religious freedom but is faced with constant suspicion of cooperating with the Zionist state and with "imperialistic America" both such activities are punishable by death. Jews who apply for a passport to travel abroad must do so in a special bureau and are immediately put under surveillance. The government does not generally allow all members of a family to travel abroad at the same time to prevent Jewish emigration. Again, the Jews live under the status of dhimmi, with the restrictions imposed on religious minorities. Jewish leaders fear government reprisals if they draw attention to official mistreatment of their community.

    Also this bit:

    The curriculum is Islamic, and Persian is forbidden as the language of instruction for Jewish studies. Special Hebrew lessons are conducted on Fridays by the Orthodox Otzar ha-Torah organization, which is responsible for Jewish religious education. Saturday is no longer officially recognized as the Jewish sabbath, and Jewish pupils are compelled to attend school on that day.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/iranjews.html

    Now perhaps you might like to answer this question:

    Why do Muslims insist on reducing the followers of other religions to dhimmi status?


    Complain about this comment

  • 273. At 2:31pm on 16 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 274. At 3:20pm on 16 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    http://www.geocities.com/alabamajuveniles/
    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/juvenile-offenders-who-were-death-row
    http://www.internationaljusticeproject.org/juvStats.cfm

    Gary you kid yourself.
    You brought up the lady executed to show Iran was worse.
    Enjoy sucking legion

    Complain about this comment

  • 275. At 4:10pm on 16 May 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    Sounds familiar don't it? The "love it or leave it" bunch of bordering on insane kooks in the USA. Reference post # 267.

    Consider the following:

    If you don't love the method the US used of torturing people, leave!

    If you don't love what I love, Leave!

    If you don't love hate-mongering, war-mongering, than leave!

    If you don't love the way the US handles it's misguide international policies, than leave!

    If you don't love bigots, racists, neo-Nazis, right wing conservatives, republicans, the GOP, Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, etc.,. than leave!

    If you don't love water boarding, than leave!

    If you don't love governmental lies, corruption, betrayals, war criminals, than leave!

    If you don't love what I say or do, than leave!

    WELL, I DON'T LOVE IT MUCH LESS ANYTHING YOU HAVE TO SAY, AND I SURE IN HELL AIN'T LEAVING! I'll be here with Mr. Obama to clean up the filth your past administration created in America and else where.

    Just who in the hell are you to tell anyone to leave the country for just trying to express the truth! The truth is something you guys don't even know the meaning is! You have become so ignorant and arrogant that it now borders on insane!

    The neo-fascist kooks in the USA is the reason why the whole world in in shambles now! It's has become so bad that even Obama is getting cold feet! It seem that hate, lies, torture, deception, does pays in the USA!

    That is why the BBC is so important to America!


    Complain about this comment

  • 276. At 4:34pm on 16 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    272 TooTrue - You must have terribly thin skin if you are insulted to be told you don't know what you are talking about. I live in Iran and I have Jewish friends. As I said above I think that makes me know more than the stuff you get off Wikipedia. I had to look up dhimmi as I had no idea what that is. We don't have a specific word for minorities other than minorities. It's very convenient to think the worst of Iran for people like you as it justifies all your negative thoughts. As I said earlier I suggest you read the articles by Roger Cohen in the New York Times earlier this year. No doubt you will consider him a self-hating Jew and all the other usual insults to Jews who dare to question Israel or in this case to be positive about Iran.
    As a last thought - Iranian Jews in Iran have a better life and face less discrimination that Israeli Arabs.

    Complain about this comment

  • 277. At 4:43pm on 16 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    272 TooTrue -one more thing. While Iran is a muslim state at this time, it is not to be confused with Saudi Arabia et al. I have no comments regarding their treatment of their minorities. In fact I know that Shia are considered minorities there and probably don't fare much better that the Jews - if Jews are even allowed to live there. But that can be overlooked when your government is in their pocket I suppose.

    Complain about this comment

  • 278. At 5:21pm on 16 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    275. foxtrottango1,

    OK, I didn't mean it, I take it back. Calm down. You'll do yourself an injury.

    276. Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    Iranian Jews in Iran have a better life and face less discrimination that Israeli Arabs.

    And you know that how? I note that you have not dealt with a single point I raised about the treatment of Jews in Iran. I guess that's because it's the truth, not so?

    277. My government ain't in nobody's pocket. I'm no fan of Saudi Arabia and yes, it is a Jew-free, apartheid country. But you are just trying to divert attention from your failure to respond to my comments.

    Complain about this comment

  • 279. At 6:11pm on 16 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    271, princess.
    "Despite monetary incentives for them to go to Israel by Jewish organisations in that country, they choose to stay. If what you say is true, then why have they not all immigrated to the land of milk and honey? "

    What most people do not realize is that Middle Eastern Jews are second-class citizens in Israel. Some Iranian Jewish friends went to Israel and returned to Iran for that reason.

    Complain about this comment

  • 280. At 6:30pm on 16 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    275 foxtrottango1

    Yes it is like that. all freedom of speech then "GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY"

    At least I'm just into them getting off this blog. I don't care what country they live in.

    evil one is for saying bog off this blog.

    But get out of the country is not evil.

    You make points that will get you some attention i see. and they are correct.

    have fun with legion.


    Princess thanks , I ha was wondering what the situation was like in Iran from a better perspective than just "I hate them".

    Complain about this comment

  • 281. At 9:04pm on 16 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    272/278 TooTrue - Id say that AMM is wise and that indeed you dont know what you are talking about.

    I have better things to do than to trawl through 500 comments your link just went to the main page of the blog.
    With regard to the other stuff you included in your post. AICE from what I just read is pretty much another version of AIPAC so frankly Im going to give this the minimum of my time. The fact that they use the word dhimmi which from what I have been reading is a medieval practice then there is not much on this site that I can respect or take at face value particularly when they insist that there are restrictions on minorities while I know there are not. Furthermore when the site outright lies. AICE says that there are 3 synagogues and no Rabbi. The following is from your favourite Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Jews
    Today Tehran has 11 functioning synagogues, many of them with Hebrew schools. It has two kosher restaurants, an old-age home and a cemetery. There is a Jewish library with 20,000 titles.[11] Iranian Jews have their own newspaper (called "Ofogh-e-Bina") with Jewish scholars performing Judaic research at Tehran's "Central Library of Jewish Association".[45] The "Dr. Sapir Jewish Hospital" is Iran's largest charity hospital of any religious minority community in the country;[45] however, most of its patients and staff are Muslim.[46]
    Chief Rabbi Yousef Hamadani Cohen is the present spiritual leader for the Jewish Community of Iran.
    If I were American I would be quite ticked off at :
    AICE's major long-term objective is to bring innovative, successful social and education programs developed and proven in Israel to the United States to help address our domestic needs and provide tangible benefits to Americans.

    Its a bit like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs. There you are paying Israel over 3 billions dollars a year and they are going to help you. Amazing.

    How do I know that the Israeli Arabs are worse off than the Iranian Jews I read. How do you know anything about the life of the Iranian Jews?

    Bush and Co were neck deep in the pocket of the Saudis and still are so please spare me the self righteous denial.

    I dont need to divert attention from anything as I have responded to all your points.

    I note that you have not commented on my suggestion (at least twice) to read Roger Cohen. I still bet your reaction will be that he is just another self hating Jew.


    Complain about this comment

  • 282. At 9:26pm on 16 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    279 AMM - I first came back to Tehran after a 5 year absence in 1985. At that time (in the middle of the war) we would still go to Manuchehri to look through the antiques and bric a brac. There used to be a lovely man called Raphael who had had a store there forever and he wasn't there. When I asked my mother she said that he had immigrated to Israel. I was back in 1986 and suddenly there he was back again. When we spoke to him he said that he felt like a second class citizen in Israel and that he prefered to live in Iran despite everything. Sadly he has since died but there were many like him.
    Actually I believe that this disparity in Israel between the Ashkenazi and the Mizrahi and the Sephardim (even forgetting the Africans) is one of the reasons they don't really want peace with the Palestinians - it would mean that they would have to confront their internal social issues while under a siege/war situation, people are more inclined to overlook those sorts of issues and stick together. Much like here in Iran when the Iraqi's invaded - it was a godsend for the revolution.
    I guess it's just much more convenient for posters like TT etc to paint a much grimmer picture when you come from such a place of hate.
    Once again way late for me here in Tehran.
    Shab be kheir

    Complain about this comment

  • 283. At 05:14am on 17 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    282, princess.

    In general Israelis look down upon all Middle Easterners as inferior, no matter what their religion. Israeli business people often mistook me for Iranian because of my coloring and because I spoke the language. They were rudel and condescending until they found out I was American - that is, after I gave them a taste of my sharp tongue.

    Complain about this comment

  • 284. At 05:52am on 17 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    281. Princess-on-the-pea,

    Well, fair enough on the Rabbi and the synagogues. I thought that info was a bit strange with tens of thousands of Jews in Tehran. Wiki looks more reliable here. Obviously there needs to be more clarification. I also realise Wiki is not perfect. It's like a work in progress.

    Now when you say that you "know" there is no discrimination against minorities in Iran that just ain't good enough. You can't use Wiki to prove a point about the Rabbi and the synagogues and then ignore the parts of it that deal with discrimination against the Jews.

    How do I know that the Israeli Arabs are worse off than the Iranian Jews I read.

    Wonderful. If this were a live debate you'd be laughed off the floor with that remark. Bring some evidence to the debate, if you can.

    I dont need to divert attention from anything as I have responded to all your points.

    You responded to nothing in your earlier comment. Now, you are responding, after a fashion. So while you are displaying this rare openness, you might like to look at this bit from Wiki:

    At least 13 Jews have been executed in Iran since the Islamic revolution, most of them for alleged connections to Israel. For example, in May 1998, Jewish businessman Ruhollah Kadkhodah-Zadeh was hanged in prison without a public charge or legal proceeding, apparently for assisting Jews to emigrate.

    Next you'll be telling me that Jews from all over the planet can't wait to emigrate to Iran.

    Complain about this comment

  • 285. At 06:11am on 17 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    284 TT - I see you still have not responded to my question - how do you know about the life of Jews in Iran?
    Also have you read the Roger Cohen articles?
    Read them and come back with a comment.

    Given that Iran is no more open than the US (Guantanamo) with regard to what goes on in prisons I don't have much to say on your last comment particularly as we have during this time either been at war or under the threat of war, as indeed we still are. 30 years is a long time and 13 people in that period does not exactly make it a pogrom. Many of them may have been up for murder or been drug dealers - just because they are Jewish does not mean that they could have been guilty of a crime.

    Complain about this comment

  • 286. At 06:12am on 17 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    272, untrue
    "The population of Iranian Jews has shrunk to about a third of its pre-1979 size."

    With the coming of Ayatollah Khomeni, and not knowing what was in store for them, many intellectuals and Jews fled. But the Jews did go to Israel where they weren't well treated, but, primarily, to the States. There is a large Iranian Jewish community in New York, centered in Rego Park. Many Jews stayed in Iran, and their lves continued as before. The revolution was unsettling, bringing to power a reactionary government, the impact of which was largely unknown.

    Complain about this comment

  • 287. At 07:10am on 17 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    286, correction.

    The second sentence in the second paragraph should read: "But the Jews did NOT go to Israel.where they weren't well treated, but...."

    Complain about this comment

  • 288. At 09:07am on 17 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    MarcusAurellius

    I'm pleased to see you read my post #57 and others, where I referred to the enormous progress Iran has made in recent years as a new democratic state, the continued improvement in their judiciary, and their technological advances in electricity generation. My posts are obviously helping to change your view.

    After reading them, in your post #144 you did reflect "It seems to me Iran has done very well"

    Yes Marcus, they have done very well. It's good of you to give them credit. SaintOne seems to be seeing them in a more favorable light as well.

    Complain about this comment

  • 289. At 09:12am on 17 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    I see TueToo described Iran's progress as "Wonderful".

    Yes. It is good of you to recognise it as well.

    Complain about this comment

  • 290. At 09:29am on 17 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    TrueToo

    In sniping at another poster who'd said Ms Saberi had been treated well and released, you said to the poster, "If she were a spy, she would not have survived an Iranian prison. You forgot to add the word "alleged." That's what you said in your post 242.

    But the reality is she was an alleged spy. And she did survive.

    TrueToo, do please explain your logic to us all OR give the poster MostonHead an apology for your inappropriate criticism. Perhaps you should change your screen name to UntrueToo or LiesToo?

    Anyway, I do look forward to your explanation. Or your apology.

    Complain about this comment

  • 291. At 10:08am on 17 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Ref 248. TrueToo


    I see you keep bringing up the case of Zahra Kazemi, from six years ago. There will always be aberrant individuals. How about the case of the 14 year old girl Abeer Hamza held by US troops and gang raped and then murdered afterwards. They then killed her 5 year old sister.

    Or the case of Nagem Sadoon Hatab, a 52-year-old Iraqi, who died in U.S. custody after US marines had practised karate-kicking him while he stood handcuffed and hooded. Officers seemed to be aware of this brutality.

    And there is Abed Mowhoush, aged 57, father of four sons, who was taken out of his cell. A team of 8 to 10 then beat Mowhoush with sledgehammer handles whilst he stood with his hands bound. "We beat the c--p out of him," one of them later admitted. He died. Officers took part in the murder of Mowhoush.

    And there's far more if you want to trade atrocities. The fact is, Iran are making progress and USA are going backwards.

    Complain about this comment

  • 292. At 11:21am on 17 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    279. At 6:11pm on 16 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    What most people do not realize is that Middle Eastern Jews are second-class citizens in Israel.

    Produce some evidence for this absurd proposition. This is your usual tactic to avoid confronting Iran's treatment of Iranian Jews.

    285. Princess-on-the-pea,

    I am bringing evidence to the table. You on the other hand keep on making bald statements without backing them up with evidence. It's a poor debating technique.

    I don't have much time to play right now but I will try to come back to this debate, such as it is.

    Yes, I have read Roger Cohen a while back. I could write his PC scripts for him. Now do read some pro-Israel journalists. There are some excellent ones to choose from.

    Complain about this comment

  • 293. At 2:05pm on 17 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    292 TT What exactly has your evidence been apart from a Zionist website which lied?
    Why is it that Roger Cohen is simply writing PC scripts and yet you have still not told me what you base your knowledge of Iranian Jews on? He at least spent a number of weeks in Iran, speaking to all sorts of people including Jews and Jewish leaders and yet you dismiss him so glibly. And have the arrogance to criticise my debating technique?

    I read Haaretz regularly even though I disagree with many of their writers. I also get weekly newsletters from Gush Shalom and The other Israel. All of their writers live in Israel, my personal favourite being Uri Avnery, a fabulous human being. But then typical of your type of armchair General, probably sitting in suburbia USA eating Krispy Kremes, you just know better.


    Complain about this comment

  • 294. At 3:14pm on 17 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 292. TrueToo

    TT urged: "Do read some pro-Israel journalists. There are some excellent ones to choose from."

    Like Avraham Burg, who was born in Jerusalem, served in the Israeli Knesset, rose to 'Speaker of the Knesset,' former Chairman of the 'Jewish Agency for Israel' and former head of 'The World Zionist Organisation.' Wow! Pretty impressive credentials. No one can accuse him of not being 'pro-Israel.' He wrote this interesting piece six years ago, Israel Must Choose Between Racist Oppression and Democracy. In it he describes the failed policies of the Israeli Government and likens them to "madmen continue dancing on the top floor while the pillars below are collapsing."

    Another regular contributor Professor Avi Schlaim, of Oxford University. A Jewish professor of History and International Relations, who criticises the 'official history' that gets put out - by Israel. In a simple short piece written January this year about the,Israeli Propagandists. In it he says, Israel, " has been churning out lie after lie about Hamas in order to excuse its own inexcusable onslaught." It's just three short paragraphs: easily read but quite revealing.

    Now what has all this got to do with Iran? Well quite a lot. It's highly relevant. The first view from Burg criticises the Israeli Government in much the same way Ahmadinejad does. But of course, Ahmadinejad is branded a 'madman.' The second article by the History Professor exposes the current "poisonous" propaganda that comes out of Israel. The same propaganda that Israel issues every week about Iran. But when Ahmadinejad points the same thing out, he's immediately called "despicable," "barbaric," "lunatic." What an odd world!







    Complain about this comment

  • 295. At 3:23pm on 17 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Princess on the pea

    I noticed TrueToo gave you a link to the Jewish Virtual Library. It made me laugh. As if anyone is going to believe that!

    Complain about this comment

  • 296. At 7:17pm on 17 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    290 we tried true pooh but he didn't like it.
    truly a pile of dross didn't go down well always wrong and what a d
    Pile of lies truly deciet mostly erroneous marcass ( so nice and simple)

    Complain about this comment

  • 297. At 7:27pm on 17 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    291Rich Sm

    to be fair gary did a bit of prompting on that kazemi case (he has a soft spot for legion's points of view) sweet really.


    glad to see you're on it's case.
    nice links,

    Complain about this comment

  • 298. At 10:43pm on 17 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    291, richard.

    To keep t he record straight, SAVAK, the Iranian secret police, did indulge in torture, at least while I was there. SAVAK was trained by MOSSAD. That is a matter of record.

    Complain about this comment

  • 299. At 11:03pm on 17 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    293, princess.

    It is my guess that untrue has never known an Iranian Jew and writes his opinions from a script. Your efforts to get through to him are wasted. He is either a fanatic, or is employed to spout this nonsense.

    Complain about this comment

  • 300. At 11:09pm on 17 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    293, princess, adendum.

    Untrue reminds me of the left in the McCarthy era. Although McCarthy and his gang were hateful, the other side wasn't much better. I knew them well and everythng they said were, in essense, quotes from The Daily Worker. There was no reasoning with them, because they were programmed pawns.

    Complain about this comment

  • 301. At 01:05am on 18 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    If you stayed out of politics, life in Iran was very good under the Shah. It was prosperous, modern, there were jobs, you could come and go as you pleased, it had excellent relations with America and the rest of the Western world, everything many Iranians say they want now. If you were going to have a despot, the Shah strikes me as far better one than the Islamic Revolutionary Council or whatever they call themselves. Too bad he's been so maligned. Shah Pahlavi was a very good Shah indeed. I don't think Iran will see such good times again, at least not until it gets rid of its Islamic Revolutionary nonsense. Seen any funny cartoons lately Princ-ass? I'm sure there must be some eye catching ones on the web you can look up. Maybe something with a satirical twist to it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 302. At 01:20am on 18 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 303. At 01:44am on 18 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    301, Marcus.

    Except for a couple of points, I agree with you completely. The shah was a fine and progressive leader. As to where we diverge... One: the Shah was not a despot. He could not have ruled without negotiation and support. Two: We put in the Ayatollah, not the Iranians. Three: iranians will always be Iranians, not matter who is in power. It is not in their nature to be slaves to government.

    Complain about this comment

  • 304. At 03:19am on 18 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Lostallyourmarbles #303;

    That is without a doubt the most frightening thing you ever posted. When you agree with me, it's time for me to reconsider my assumptions, I must have made a mistake somewhere.

    Complain about this comment

  • 305. At 03:31am on 18 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 306. At 03:51am on 18 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    304, staphylococcus aureus.

    One would never make the mistake of calling you gracious.

    Complain about this comment

  • 307. At 04:46am on 18 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Lostallyourmarbles, just don't call me at all. For you my phone is always off the hook and the line is busy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 308. At 05:09am on 18 May 2009, happylaze wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 309. At 5:18pm on 18 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Here's a more thoughtful essay on the recent history of Iran from a scholar at the Hoover Institution, no bastion of liberalism, who characterizes both shahs as "despots":

    http://www.hoover.org/research/iran/essays/3050786.html

    As for the namecalling spat above, a pox on both their houses.

    Complain about this comment

  • 310. At 11:04pm on 18 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    Reza Shah was a despot; Mohammad Reza Shah was not.

    Complain about this comment

  • 311. At 11:35pm on 18 May 2009, seanspa wrote:

    I found this definition of despotism.

    "Despotism is a form of government by a single authority, either an individual or tightly knit group, which rules with absolute political power. In its classical form, a despotism is a state where a single individual (the Despot) wields all the power and authority embodying the state, and everyone else is a subsidiary person."

    So how was Shah Jr not a despot?

    Gary, that was an interesting article. Then looking around the Hoover site I notice that an old running buddy from the Hash House Harriers in Amman is now a fellow there - a certain John Abizaid.

    Complain about this comment

  • 312. At 11:57pm on 18 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    seanspa (#311), both Shah Pahlavis were autocrats, in any case, and they assumed the title Shahanshah (king of kings), usually translated as emperor. Pretty grandiose for a ruler of one moderately-sized country, I think.

    Whether one thinks of either of them as a benevolent or malevolent dictator would depend, I expect, on whether one was perceived by them as an enemy of the state.

    I remember going to Chicago in the 1970s and staying at a hotel at which some Iranian official must have been staying. (I don't think it was the Shah himself.) There was a group of protestors parading in front of the hotel shouting "The Shah is a murderer! Down with the Shah!" repeatedly. I had seen a lot of demonstrations against President Johnson and the Vietnam War by that time, and there was no comparison. The intensity of the hatred for the Shah was palpable and unforgettable. I don't know specifically what faction this group represented; I'm just reporting the impression they left on me.

    Complain about this comment

  • 313. At 00:04am on 19 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    311, seanspa.
    "So how was Shah Jr not a despot?"

    He did not have absolute power. For instance, many of the tribes, the Kurds notably, were semi-autonomous, and he made no attempt to change that. He made it possible for all religions to practice freely, even the relatively unpopular Zoroastrians and Bahais. Also, Iranians being Iranians, they found ways to circumvent policies and law, and didn't exactly shake in their boots when they did so. The Shah's government did, however, closely moniter potential revolutionaries, just as we do.

    Complain about this comment

  • 314. At 06:26am on 19 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    Goodness, what a frantic mix of invective and propaganda from Princess-on-the-pea, allmymarbles, happylaze and Richard_SM. You'd almost think you guys were trying to distract attention from the truth about Iran's Jews.

    Here's an article that might help you:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5367892.stm

    Do try to read it with an open mind and note that it was written by a women who converted to Islam, is married to an Iranian and has spent many years in Iran.

    Over the centuries there have been sporadic purges, pogroms and forced conversions to Islam as well as periods of peaceful co-existence.

    "Because of our long history here we are tolerated," says Jewish community leader Unees Hammami, who organised the prayers.

    Mr Hammami says state-run television confuses Zionism and Judaism so that "ordinary people may think that whatever the Israelis do is supported by all Jews".

    But there are legal problems for Jews in Iran - if one member of a Jewish family converts to Islam he can inherit all the family's property.

    Jews cannot become army officers and the headmasters of the Jewish schools in Tehran are all Muslim, though there is no law that says this should be so.

    "Whatever they say abroad is lies - we are comfortable in Iran - if you're not political and don't bother them then they won't bother you," he explains.


    Perhaps you'd like to accuse Frances Harrison of lying about all of this and bring evidence to prove that she is lying.

    And do clarify the following: Is it true that in Iran a Jew can vote for a Muslim but a Muslim cannot vote for a Jew? That was from the Wiki article.

    Note that the tiltle of the BBC article is,

    Iran's proud but discreet Jews

    From this and other info it is evident that Jews in Iran have dhimmi status, their oppression being woven into the fabric of the society and its laws rather than being overt.

    This is rather strange, given that the president is so outspoken in his loathing of Israel and the Jews, and so obsessed with Holocaust denial and the destruction of Israel.

    Complain about this comment

  • 315. At 2:17pm on 19 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    314 TT Thank you for bringing such a great positive article to everyones attention. I find it amusing that you think this is a negative article. It is very much in line with the Roger Cohen articles. Gee, sporadic pogroms and purges in 30 centuries of living in the country. As little as 50 years ago schools were segregated in the US and blacks had to sit at the back of the bus and as little as 100 years ago blacks were lynched with no trial on a regular basis and as little as 150 years ago blacks were being bought and sold as slaves.

    Pay attention to the quotes from your article below
    Mr Mohtamed (Irans Jewish MP) has been outspoken in his condemnation of the president's views - in itself a sign that there is some space for Jews in Iran to express themselves.
    Despite the offence Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has caused to Jews around the world, his office recently donated money for Tehran's Jewish hospital.
    It is one of only four Jewish charity hospitals worldwide and is funded with money from the Jewish diaspora - something remarkable in Iran where even local aid organisations have difficulty receiving funds from abroad for fear of being accused of being foreign agents.
    Anti-Semitism is not an eastern phenomenon, it's not an Islamic or Iranian phenomenon - anti-Semitism is a European phenomenon," he says, arguing that Jews in Iran even in their worst days never suffered as much as they did in Europe.

    Roger Cohen also writes that a Moslem cannot vote for a Jew so it must be true. Given that the Jewish MP is there to look out for the Jewish communitys interest, I fail to see why you make such a big deal of it. I have never said that we have a perfect democracy. I have also said a number of times that if you are not political then no one bothers you and life is very normal.

    Going back to my point that Arab Israeli are worse off than Iranian Jews note the following extract from the Orr Commission as printed in Haaretz.

    The state and generations of its government failed in a lack of comprehensive and deep handling of the serious problems created by the existence of a large Arab minority inside the Jewish state.
    Government handling of the Arab sector has been primarily neglectful and discriminatory. The establishment did not show sufficient sensitivity to the needs of the Arab population, and did not take enough action in order to allocate state resources in an equal manner. The state did not do enough or try hard enough to create equality for its Arab citizens or to uproot discriminatory or unjust phenomenon.

    Furthermore infant mortality rates are twice as high in the Arabs Israelis compared to the Jewish Israelis. The Israeli government invests more than three times the amount of per year on the education of Jewish Israeli students compared to Arab Israeli students, leading to the Arab drop out being twice as high, ensuring that they remain inferior. Arab Israelis also get heavier prison terms compared to Jewish citizens. Ultra-Orthodox Jews regularly attack Christian, Arabs and even Jews for infractions including men and women sitting together on a bus even when it has not been designated as a segregated bus (women always have to sit in the back has a familiar ring to it, no?).

    Ironically a Jewish woman cannot start divorce proceeding against her husband without his permission under Jewish law (many are therefore forced to stay in unhappy situations) but the Moslem ones can under Sharia in the same country. Over 160,000 Bedouins live in Israel, most of them in villages which are not connected to water and electricity and lack educational, health, and welfare services. I could go on and on as there are many more points. And before you ask, all this information is from the US State Department Report on Israel 2007 (under the Bush Administration so you cant blame the democrats!).
    http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100597.htm

    Once again where do you get your information about the life of Iranian Jews?


    Complain about this comment

  • 316. At 2:47pm on 19 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    312 Gary - Iran comes in at 18 out of the 266 countries of the world for size and is almost 3 times the size of France - hardly moderately sized.

    With regard to the student protestor's - they would have been Mujahedeen, a Marxist Islamic organisation. Ironically they actually started the revolution but as with all revolutions, they "eat their children". The Europeans have just taken the Mujahedeen's (now rebranded as MEK or PMOI) off their terrorist list big mistake. Today they are very much like a cult and worryingly have the ear of quite a few influential government officials in the US and Europe. Please read this report from The Jamestown Foundation.

    http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=4950

    Complain about this comment

  • 317. At 4:12pm on 19 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    "princess.." (#316), you're taking umbrage, are you? Rank is not a determinant of size. According to the CIA World Factbook, Iran has a population of about 66 million, a little larger then France of the UK. As far as I am concerned anything under 100 million or so is "moderately sized." There are only two very large countries, China and India, with more than one billion population each. The US is third in rank, but at 300 million is only "large," not very large, in my categorization.

    As for "empire," there haven't really been any proper empires since the Soviet Union, which comprised many lands and people which are now independent states.

    It's just my opinion. Call it what you want.

    Complain about this comment

  • 318. At 4:27pm on 19 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    "closely moniter [sic] potential revolutionaries" (#313)

    Sounds like something a former Savak operative might say to explain his duties for the Shah.

    Complain about this comment

  • 319. At 4:40pm on 19 May 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    "princess..", thanks for that link to The Jamestown Foundation. Here's a link to another item I found informative:

    http://www.answers.com/topic/confederation-of-iranian-students

    Complain about this comment

  • 320. At 11:26pm on 19 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    315. Princess-on-the-pea,

    Nice try, but your attempt to distract attention from the dhimmi status of Jews in Iran fails.

    I note that you started off trying to suggest that Israeli Arabs are treated worse by Israeli Jews than Iranian Jews are by Iranian Muslims and then gravitated towards religious Jews without any reference to Arabs. Do try to stay within the framework of the debate. Also note that religious Jews in Israel do not slowly strangle schoolchildren to death in public by hanging them from cranes for the "crime" of having sex. That happens in Iran.

    If I get the time I'll try to sort fact from fiction and truth from half-truth in your post on Israel. But I'll point out now that women at the back of the bus is something the ultra-orthodox Jews in Jerusalem are trying to bring about. It doesn't exist in Tel Aviv or Haifa, for example, where women generally sit in front but take any vacant seat. You are simply indulging in propaganda by trying to make this appear like a regulation in Israel. Obviously it isn't.

    You may think it's not a big deal that a Muslim can't vote for a Jew in Iran but it's actually a despicable ruling, proving the dhimmi status of Jews in that country. It would never happen in Israel, which has a political party consisting of Arabs and Jews, apart from the Arab parties.

    Once again where do you get your information about the life of Iranian Jews?

    I don't respond to interrogation. Where I get my information is none of your business.

    Complain about this comment

  • 321. At 11:45pm on 19 May 2009, seanspa wrote:

    Ha. I am here to tell you what is what and you should accept my truth as gospel. What a crock of BS.

    Complain about this comment

  • 322. At 00:07am on 20 May 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    I don't respond to interrogation. Where I get my information is none of your business.

    Goodness! A bit touchy, there, aren't you? Especially from someone who is responding, quite politely, I would add, to your repeated interrogative demands to somehow "explain" this alleged dhimmi status.

    And I would certainly agree with the Princess that the BBC article you linked to is anything but a condemnation of the Iranian regime's treatment of its Jewish minority.

    Further, how do you respond to the criticisms of Israeli Arab policy contained in the Orr Commission report?

    Yours,
    Pinko

    Complain about this comment

  • 323. At 00:25am on 20 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    318, princess.

    Why bother? Most Americans are thoroughly brainwashed by government policy. They have no first-hand knowledge of Iran, or of its people. Whereas I would not dream of analyzing conditions in, say, Sri Lanka or Myanmar, because I know so little about those countries, ignorance does not deter others from spouting unimformed opinions and talking nonsense about countries and situations they don't understand, and don't want to understand.

    Complain about this comment

  • 324. At 01:20am on 20 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 314. TrueToo

    I read your link. It simply confirmed what I already knew. At least they don't have F-16's firing missiles into their homes. They haven't had their water supplies diverted. They have a good platform on which to build in a fledgeling and developing democracy. Even MarcusAurellius in #144, said on reflection "It seems to me Iran has done very well."
    The butcher Hersel Gabriel, had a message about you when he said,"Whatever they say abroad is lies - we are comfortable in Iran - if you're not political and don't bother them then they won't bother you." Did you also see in the right hand sidebar, there was a link to a piece headed Iran-US: Gulf of Misunderstanding".

    Now, I've read your link. You still haven't explained the logic in your statement in post 242, 2nd paragraph:
    "If she were an [alleged] spy, she would not have survived an Iranian prison."
    She was an alleged spy. And she has survived. Explain that please

    And what about Avraham Burg, who was born in Jerusalem, who served in the Israeli Knesset, rose to 'Speaker of the Knesset,' became Chairman of the 'Jewish Agency for Israel' and head of 'The World Zionist Organisation? Using your own black and white definitions is he pro-Israel or an Israel-basher?

    Complain about this comment

  • 325. At 03:17am on 20 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    S&M 324

    What a liar you are. Here's what I really said in posting #144 in context

    "S&M

    "I do acknowledge that some people like to demonise Iran, for their own reasons."

    It seems to me Iran has done that very well all by itself without any help from the outside."

    Yes, they have done very well demonising themselves all by themselves without any help. They are a terrorist state if ever there was one. If they continue on the course they have set, there will be consequences for them I think the likes of which this world has never seen and does not want to see. Anyone who cares about preventing the end of a civilization that is I think 5000 years old should be working to get them to change before it is too late. Me, I don't give a fig one way or another. I just hope the world is still around after its over.

    Complain about this comment

  • 326. At 04:31am on 20 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    324, richard.

    These people have an agenda and it is not intellectual. They can't exist without an audience, if you get my drift.

    Complain about this comment

  • 327. At 04:39am on 20 May 2009, choicepro1 wrote:

    I think the United States is getting back to basic principles in dealing with the middle East moderates. However, we also have to stand firm in our dealings with the world islamic movement and extremist elements controlling many of the worlds key areas. Iran's internal politics is a more critical pressure point than our relations with them. If Iran can show a more conciliatory domestic policy, then progress can be made on the international scene. Otherwise the stalemate continues. The world is looking for deeds, not words. I hope the term "Michelle Obama of Iran" is a beginning.

    Complain about this comment

  • 328. At 06:56am on 20 May 2009, Princess-on-the-pea wrote:


    320 TT Wow, I can practically see you frothing at the mouth. AMM is right it is simply a waste of time trying to have a civilised discussion with you. You have not answered any of my points re the life of Arab Israelis. Indulging in propaganda! That was a State Department Report. You asked for evidence, I gave it to you. Both your own government and from the Israeli government commissioned report not Wikipedia or some website with an agenda.

    You demand proof but then get defensive when asked for something concrete to prove your argument. I guess you can dish it out but you just cant take it.

    I rest my case both in regard to the life of Jews in Iran and also to the inferior quality of life of the Israeli Arabs. You are not worth another minute of my time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 329. At 08:42am on 20 May 2009, TrueToo wrote:

    325. MarcusAureliusII,

    You've put your finger on Richard SM's style of "debate" here alright.


    321. seanspa,

    If you are referring to me it's not "my truth." It's the truth from sources such as Wiki and the BBC, which I've linked to in this debate. It's also truth from the Jewish Virtual Library, also linked to, although part of that article seems inaccurate, as I acknowledged in no 284.

    You and allmymarbles and others can put your noses in the air and make dismissive comments about people in the third person if you like, but it contributes nothing to the debate.


    322. chronophobe,

    Re sources, see my response to seanspa. The stuck record demand from Princess-on-the-pea is quite weird, given that I've provided the links. As I said, I don't respond to interrogation. And I'm not interrogating her about the dhimmi status of Jews in Iran just pointing it out.

    Here's your "polite" Princess-on-the-pea:

    292 TT What exactly has your evidence been apart from a Zionist website which lied?

    ... and yet you dismiss him so glibly.

    And have the arrogance to criticise my debating technique?

    But then typical of your type of armchair General, probably sitting in suburbia USA eating Krispy Kremes, you just know better.


    If that's "polite" I'd hate to see her when she gets worked up and starts to insult people.

    Also note the propagandist at work, leaving out this little snippet from the report on the magnanimous gesture of Ahmadinejad re the "Jewish" hospital:

    Most of the patients and staff are Muslim these days, but director Ciamak Morsathegh is Jewish.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5367892.stm

    I'm genuinely astonished that you regard that as a positive article on the status of Jews in Iran. Would you be prepared to live under that sort of oppression? Would you regard yourself as a free individual with full human rights in such circumstances?

    As I said, I'll check out that article on the Israeli Arabs. Did you perhaps miss that?


    328. Princess-on-the-pea wrote:

    320 TT Wow, I can practically see you frothing at the mouth.

    No, I don't froth. Anger is bad for one, in all respects.

    You, on the other hand, wouldn't recognize a "civilised discussion" if you tripped over it. See my response to chronophobe in this comment.

    As I said , I'll comment on that report. I'll have to sort out what I suspect is your copy-and-paste propaganda from what the report actually indicates. Again, see a fine example of your propaganda in my response to chronophobe.

    I don't understand your obsession with my sources re the Jews of Iran. Anyway, I don't take instructions from you.

    I rest my case...

    If you had a case you could rest it. Try to get the sequence right.

    You are not worth another minute of my time.

    Yes, you and allmymarbles and a few others on this blog who don't understand what the Internet is about. I don't care if you respond to me or not. There's a readership out there making their own conclusions on any issue that is debated here. And you flouncing off in an indignant fashion is transparent evidence of your inability to argue the point.

    Complain about this comment

  • 330. At 1:04pm on 20 May 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref: 325. MarcusAureliusII
    Ref: 329. TrueToo



    ;-) So you don't like a small section of your sentence being cut out and quoted out of context??? You felt the need to put it in context by adding your preceding words, and those that followed.

    You fell for it.. Thank you. Now I refer you to my post # 131 above.

    Both MarcusAurellius and TrueToo have consistently quoted President Ahmadinejad incorrectly AND out of context.

    You accuse me of being a liar, yet I used your own words Marcus!!!!

    So how would you two describe your own behaviour???



    Thanks Marcus. Hook, line and sinker :-) Case proved. Game, set and match.




    Complain about this comment

  • 331. At 1:24pm on 20 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Today Iran tested a missile with a range of at least 900 miles. It claims this missile has a range of 1200 miles, enough to reach Southern Europe. One American assessment that Iran would not be able to build nuclear weapons for 10 years seems ludicrous and American intelligence estimates regarding nuclear weapons capabilities of other nations have been notoriously inaccurate in the past. America thought it would be decades before the USSR could build nuclear weapons after it invented them. It only took 4 years. America didn't think North Korea was be able to build a nuclear weapon, it denied even working on one for ten years. Then it showed that if it couldn't, it was very close, even as the world condemned it for its test. Libya's nuclear weapons program was far along when Qadaffi revealed it much to the astonishment of Western intelligence. Nobody knew about Iraq's nuclear weapons program until 1995 when Saddam Hussein's brother-in-law who ran it defected to Jordan and announced it to the world. This despite the joke of UN inspectors who were supposed to find it. So Isreali assessment of Iran's likely capability to build nuclear weapons within a year is probably accurate. Dissenting voices in the American intelligence community agree with Israel's assessment. You have to wonder if the prediction of 10 years or more isn't the result of a political decision to avoid making Iran into another Iraq. That would be a mistake not to. Iran is a real threat to the US and it will only grow. "The West" whatever that means says that Iran having a nuclear weapon is unacceptable but it isn't clear that it has any will to stop it. It certainly hasn't demonstrated any. Since this involves the life and death of nations, you have to wonder if those nations that feel most threatened will actually sit back and let it happen. Iran's leaders are obviously counting on that fact. If they are mistaken, it will be a disaster for them. Based on the political will to survive as demonstrated by the current Israeli government if not the new weak American government, perhaps we will be surprised after all. President Obama's insistance that the US jaw-jaw with Iran after that has failed for years with Europe's efforts will get us all dead-dead. Israel, it looks like getting the job done will be up to you. Nobody else has the guts for it including our spineless new President. Right now he seems more worried about public image damaging photographs getting into the press and caring for his new puppy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 332. At 2:14pm on 20 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 333. At 2:29pm on 20 May 2009, _marko wrote:

    To MAII, #331

    So clearly the main implication of your political analysis in post #331 is that we should all sit down and have a nice cup of tea, and some biscuits, nice ones mind you. Oh and some cake would be nice as well. Lovely.
    ( NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown.com mission statement )

    Do you agree?

    Complain about this comment

  • 334. At 6:40pm on 20 May 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    _marko

    It seems to me that Europe has been doing just that for years and it got nowhere. Europe proved in Iraq that sanctions don't work because if for no other reason, Europeans will violate them to make huge profits and then block any hope of getting the UN to threaten stronger actions when they prove ineffective. Jaw jaw is a waste waste and is stupid stupid. Time is running out. It seems that something much stronger to drink is called for. Would it be before or after the orders to launch a pre-emptive attack? How about both. It seems to me the only thing Winston Churchill ever did for Britain was to persuade the United States to go to Europe to fight Britain's battle for it when it couldn't. Given the hostility of Americans to that idea as demonstrated in polls prior to Pearl Harbor 80 to 20 against, that was quite a feat. Oh yes, he also said a lot of stupid things people remember and quote.

    Complain about this comment

  • 335. At 09:05am on 22 May 2009, bfoulkrod1 wrote:

    Just as silly was the attention to Gorby's wife back in the day.

    Whether you have a politburo dictating what the Duma "decides", or the panel of religious mullahs that have the constitutional sledge hammer to approve cabinet appointments and veto any law they disapprove of, who the "first lady" is is irrelevant.

    When a small group (or a single leader) have absolute sway, any attempt at window dressing in only to draw attention away from the dictatorship. I'm sure there are more pressing issues to address...

    Complain about this comment

  • 336. At 6:03pm on 22 May 2009, seanspa wrote:

    So who is wiping who off the map?

    Complain about this comment

  • 337. At 08:55am on 23 May 2009, johnny-greek wrote:

    hello!! am a new member, would love to share opinions with all of you.Iran is quite a danger, but maybe it should be wise to see what will happen in their elections now.If their moderate candidates win it should be a shame to be hasty. Ahmedinejad is a big time hard-liner but we shouldnt forget Iran is not as Iraq, its a democracy, people can choose their governement until a specific point there. Lets wait.. if nothing changes after elections then we must see what to do

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.