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This is not my country

23 Jun 2009 12:5055 Comments
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Near Azadi Square, June 20, 6 p.m., Tehran. Photo/TehranBureau

By HANA H. in Tehran | 23 June 2009

I am an Iranian and I love my country but what has been taking place here in the past few days is so wrong that I can no longer remain silent.

People are scared and want to know the truth about the events happening in their country but it is pointless to look to state media for news as it hardly reflects anything related to the ongoing crisis.

The bits and pieces of information thrown our way all tell the same story 'a group of hooligans are trying to upset peace but the situation is under control', ' elements of foreign countries are attempting to stage a velvet revolution but they have been identified and detained', and "thugs are trashing the city but intelligence forces have identified them and everything is under control'.

Before the revolution in Iran, the state media refused to show street protests and continued broadcasting mundane programs because everything was 'fine and dandy' there was no such thing as protesters being killed on the streets, no such thing as police beating angry rioters. In the world of the state broadcaster, Iran had no protesters, every single Iranian was a loyal subject and protesters were not Iranian.

History has the tendency to repeat itself. Thirty years after the revolution, once again, Iran has no protesters but now every single Iranian is a god-fearing revolutionary. Protesters are still not Iranian.

Better yet some of the protesters are people who have been tricked by foreign countries and terrorist organizations into vandalism and participating in illegal gatherings.

I live in Tehran and I do not have a clue as to what is going on in other cities in my country. I am certain that people living in other parts of Iran are also clueless as to what has been happening in the capital. Courtesy of state media some may even be convinced that a few 'disgruntled kids' are vandalizing the city because no one will listen to them.

It is an insult to our intelligence when everyone knows the country is struggling with a crisis and there is violence on the streets every day but five of the six national channels show movies non-stop and the sixth one shows news from a crisis-free Iran and occasionally a 1-minute clip of hooligans vandalizing the city.

I do not know which Iran they come from but the Iran I come from has angry people out on the streets every night, lighting bonfires to fight the tear gas used by the riot police; the Iran I come from has seen its youth beaten up every day and the Tehran I live in has seen its streets covered with blood once more -- something we were promised 30 years ago would never happen again by the very same revolutionaries who are calling the shots today.

It is ironic that a system that was founded because of the people's anger toward an oppressive monarchy is now making the very same mistakes made by the Shah of Iran.

It is a disgrace to see the system that condemned what the shah of Iran did -- killing people to silence their voices -- is now doing the same.

If the Shah declared martial law to paralyze the people, today, the very same Iranian authorities, who have always talked about the hardships they endured to spare us, the future generations, the pain of oppression, are now paralyzing us and imposing martial law.

However, this is the age of technology and therefore their martial law has been tailored to fit the new age. Instead of directly imposing restrictions on movement, they restrict our contact with the outside world and make contacting one another painfully difficult.

The biggest post revolutionary horror story has always been the one about the Shah's secret service, SAVAK; fast forward to Tehran today: The so-called 'nameless soldiers of the hidden Imam' (intelligence forces) who are exemplary for their 'compassion and vigilance in uncovering terrorist plots' have been unleashed to penetrate the ranks of the people, gather information and make arrests.

My question is, if they are so quick at uncovering "enemy plots" and so great at "controlling borders so that enemy agents cannot infiltrate the country and carry out their evil plots," and if they are so 'competent in protecting the country's stability and security' and if thanks to their efforts there is no problem regarding the possession of illegal firearms in Iran; how does this correspond with the claims that enemy elements have infiltrated the ranks of the people and are carrying out enemy plots, and that enemy elements are using illegal firearms to shoot protesters and frame the Iranian police.

And if the people who have taken to the streets are all enemy agents and we Iranians all know that most of the protesters are university students, how is it that these 'nameless soldiers of the hidden Imam' have not realized until now that all the students in this country are enemy agents?

I want to know, how is it that security forces claim they have not been given permission to shoot protesters and only when worse comes to worse shots to the lower part of the body are permissible, yet every single person shot by the security forces has been hit in the head or heart?

I respect that in all countries riot police are responsible for the restoration of order, but I cannot defend the unlawful actions of the civil force tasked with enforcing the law.

I want to know why Iranian youth must pay the price for the bitter political power struggle escalating between two 'senior revolutionary figures'?

Iranians did not revolt to wake up three-decades later and see everything that they stood up for, every freedom and change they fought for, paid the price for in blood, is no longer.

The hypocrites, who secretly hijacked the popular revolution of Iran and imposed their will on us, have now dropped all pretense and are openly handing us the 'royal treatment' still fresh in the minds of countless Iranians.

How can they sleep at night knowing what they know and doing what they do?

We have reached the point of no return. It is no longer the restoration of order when 'tanks have been brought out' to combat civilians on the streets.

This is a war zone. This is not my country.

Copyright (c) 2009 Tehran Bureau

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55 Comments

I guess burying your head in the sand will solve your problems. However, I am inclined to believe that this article was written by the proponents of repression rather than the proponents of change and democracy. It is nothing but a crock of shit.

Norm / June 23, 2009 9:23 AM

I pray that God will be on the side of the righteous people that yearn for freedom.. and that peace will come again to your country. Oppression of the people is NOT God's will. May the eyes of the holy men of Iran be opened and see the harm they do to their own people.

kato / June 23, 2009 9:33 AM

One thing I would say is, how did the author not notice that Iran has had a murderous undemocratic government since the last revolution? This isn't new.

commenter / June 23, 2009 10:06 AM

We can only look on and admire the bravery of the Iranian people protesting for democracy. Sadly we know that the junta (what else can I call the group that has seized control of the country?) controls the secret police, the military and the regular police. They follow orders and get money from the junta. They will be difficult to convince that things will be better in a democracy. Only if they realise that it is their sons and daughters and cousins and siblings who are demonstrating will they stop the beatings, torture and murder.

I visited Iran when the shah was in power. Sure there was little political freedom but at least then people could choose for themselves what they wore and how they practised their religion. The present rulers of Iran deny people their individual identity and make people's religious choices for them.

To make things worse the present rulers have made a resource rich country as poor as any third world country.

Even worse they have made Iran a pariah state like Burma, Zimbabwe and North Korea.

The Iranian people deserve better. Most people in the West, who know Iran, have a great love of Persia/Iran because of its history and culture. So there is no conspiracy in the west to bring harm to Iran

Sean Collins / June 23, 2009 10:09 AM

Unfortunately, it IS your country. We in the US had 8 yrs. of Bush, it didn't seem like America, my country. Every country goes through much strife to improve conditions for the people. Power seems to corrupt all to get it.


"People get the government they deserve" - unknown


Your photo if moving and many in the world are holding protests to support the people of Iran, not Mousavi, not Ahmedinejad, but the people who have the right to choose their government.


Your government is making it difficult, but the world is getting the information from all of you.


Through all the mayhem, may you finally get the government you deserve.


Best wishes and stay safe and brave during this difficult time.

Jane / June 23, 2009 10:16 AM

We are hoping for the best for you folks. We here in the USA have little info too. May God protect you!

edinnola1 / June 23, 2009 10:20 AM

This is a very heart wrenching and beautiful letter. It should be published in all media.


I bear witness to your struggle for justice and truth. I pray for all of Iran.

sami / June 23, 2009 10:34 AM

Dear Hana,

I am so sorry for your present situation. Hopefully it will get better soon. This is exactly what happens when a society breaks down. Many of us are lucky enough never have to experience such a horrible and deplorable situation.

I would like to tell you most people care about Iran today, but too many people do not. It is sad how our governments control the media in order to somewhat control masses of people. Technology has changed in getting around state operated media (but it is not there yet). Free media is getting much better....and we are seeing this change as I reply to you.


You have to believe.

You have to believe that there are many good people in this world who want to help you with your current situation.

You have to believe many good people care so much for you.


Now you have to use tactical skills for survival. Do what you can to assist others around you. Concentrate on their needs. A great founder of USA, Thomas Jefferson, said: "No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands or tenements]." It is exactly your situation in Iran and the need to

bare arms for your self-preservation. It is exactly the reason corrupt governments want to take our firearms away.


While the current change in Iran is painful, let's hope it helps.....all free people of the world.

Anna Arnold / June 23, 2009 10:35 AM

Your Iran has been exporting terrorism for years and years. Now it has come home to you and you suddenly start to care. I hope you fix your Iran, not for your sake but for the sake of your neighbors who's Nedas you never heard of and never cared about.

jdrgtwh29ty4wg / June 23, 2009 10:37 AM

My heart is breaking for you right now. You are on my mind and in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong - stay safe.

Lori C / June 23, 2009 10:45 AM

Support the Iranian Nation's FIGHT to OVERTHROW the iranian Regime!

In 30 years the Iranian people and their freedom has been forgotten by a whole world!!

30 years of fight has reached its FINAL STAGE!

Roland / June 23, 2009 10:47 AM

This was a great article. It expresses in the best the frustration of every day of this last 10 days. The local media is brain washing all those who have no access to what is happening out there except through the tv in the safety of their homes. We need the support of the media men and we need that right now..

farz / June 23, 2009 10:50 AM

The eyes of the world are on you all. Though we can do nothing we hope and pray that the grace of god may deliver peace unto those who brave injustice in defense of their unalienable rights. The world is with you in your fight for freedom.

Anon / June 23, 2009 10:58 AM

Freedom has a price. If you can pay the price, then you can sit at the table. Goodluck,your children will thankyou.

roosterj / June 23, 2009 10:59 AM

Beautifully written post. Thank you.


My thought is that if the current regime is repeating the very same horrific patterns of the old regime they deposed 30 years ago, then this pattern is something endemic in the culture of Iran.


Like for example, at the root of American culture is the myth of the cowboy who shoots first and asks question later. i.e. "It is better than to ask for forgiveness than permission." These traits inform both the Left and the Right in America. e.g. SLA bombing banks etc. = right wing nut jobs in America.


Sorry to bore you on America, but I'm saying that if the Shah ran a dictatorial, brutal, fiction-generating machine, and the very people who deposed him are doing the same bloody thing, then you reformists ought to look deeper into your own culture so that you don't repeat the same pattern 30 years from now.


The best sign I've seen of that are videos showing protesters protecting the police from the mobs -- the very police who were beating them moments earlier. That was very moving to watch. And it's a clear break in this pattern of "violence against my enemies will win the day" mentality.


Good luck Iranian people. You have the whole world cheering you on. Wish there was something more we all could do.

Peter / June 23, 2009 11:04 AM

Congratulations on the text.


It is worrying that your government is trying to shut your voices. No matter the result of the election, people should be allowed to voice their protests and qualms against the current system. Alas, it's a shame that not everybody thinks so in Iran, for those who voted for Ahmadinejad apparently agree with these reprisals. I'll make sure to spread this text to all I know.

george / June 23, 2009 11:09 AM

When the Shah was deposed, the same government you now have killed thousands of people, went into their homes in the middle of the night and arrested them and they were heard from no more. Grandparents, parents, children...all murdered by Khomeini's royal guard. I know this is true because I had Iranian friends, students in the U.S., who lost their entire family, including a 7 year old girl and a 10 year old boy. They were arrested and carted away. The adults were executed, the children seemingly just disappeared from the face of the earth. THIS is the government you have thought is so wonderful. Ahmadinejad is not any different from them, he is just louder.


All these elder clerics who are criticizing the government now were right there 30 years ago as young clerics, going along with all the murder and brutality.

Fae Queen / June 23, 2009 11:10 AM

hello,

i've been following what has been going on in tehran and been seeing what the protesters have been going through. I'm from america, i know protesters have been calling for any and all support from the countries of the world, Though the world leaders are very cautious about helping you i would personally like to say that the people those governments represent are very much on your side, myself included.


We aren't there physically in tehran to lend you aid but we are there in spirit doing all we can to help you get your voices heard. I can only imagine the fear and pain you are struggling with for the past week, but please do not ever give up on standing up for what you believe in. do not let anyone push you around and treat you like a doormat without speaking out and having your voice heard.

necrite / June 23, 2009 11:11 AM

Be brave and follow the light. This fight will not be an easy one with out sacrifice. A free society is worth the fight. Many men and women have died over the years to defeat darkness.

Michael from Texas / June 23, 2009 11:21 AM

The people in my Country were a riled up after 911 and as the years rolled by we have forgot the pain of 911 and have become weary of war they bought in to the idea that Bush was a war monger and went in to Iraq for no good reason. Now at least you have a neighbor who is free and when they leave the voting booth with a ink stain on there hand there vote actually counts, now when you all went to vote you were expecting the same your vote counting for something. America still stands for freedom but unfortunatly we elected a leader who thinks that doing anything to change or stop what is going on would be Meddeling in Iranian affairs and wants to be the Apoligiseer in Cheif the people who voted for obama now will have to Painfully watch your people Die Part of the reason they voted for him is because he wont go to war with any one and unfourtunatly I think the US this time is pretty much going to do basicly Nothing...Except go public with a Stupid Statement saying that there is no diffrence between the old leader and the one you just Elected. Ald when he said this dumb statement he litterally cut out your leggs out from underneath all of you very brave Freedom fighters it is a sad day for freedom and Budding Demoracy's. In my country I hope this will help the People hho voted for hope and Change realise all they voted for was a Good Tellerprompter reader who really did need some exprence on the job before being given this one with all the responsibility that comes with it. Next time you decide to go for the freedom fight thing you should go for it when we really have a Freedom Loving Leader in the White House or at least one who Loves to kick some ass like the one who just left Office. I wish you all the Luck .......Bob

Bob Nordberg / June 23, 2009 11:35 AM

Iran will be free.

Saumon / June 23, 2009 11:42 AM

The rulers of Iran have copied Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Sadaam Hussein. We will watch a deeper tragedy unfold over the coming years.

Sandy / June 23, 2009 12:07 PM

The situation in Iran is critical and massively immoral. This essay echoes my concern for the people there. I can only imagine the depth of heartbreak natives must be feeling at seeing the carnage and abuse by the authorities in control of their people and their political system, and the slow hemorrhage of their country. I am astounded at the daily acts of courage by so many of the ordinary people there against huge odds, and their obvious yearning for basic human rights even at the cost of their precious lives. The world must support the people of Iran in their righteous struggle to be free, even if the only way now possible is in prayer. We cannot turn our heads and pretend not to hear their screams without endangering our own standing before God.

"Compassion speaks and saith: Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?" - Gautama Buddha.

Desi Escobedo / June 23, 2009 12:26 PM

May man, woman and God be with you. We are watching and hoping for an unclenched fist from the "government" to the people of Iran.

Ron Fox / June 23, 2009 1:08 PM

What you Iranians need to do is instead of protesting on the streets, stop paying your taxes. That will cripple the government and they will have to give in.

Ben / June 23, 2009 1:45 PM

salam aziiiiizam.ghorboOnet beram hamamoOn azin vaziat narazi hasTm.ghosse nakhor ta khoda hast aramesh ham haaaast!!

May God bless all of us!

We should know that me am you, both together can change our life!

Fariba / June 23, 2009 2:11 PM

My heart is with you.

Bizarro / June 23, 2009 2:19 PM

Dear Bob Nordberg: What would you have Obama do? The US has operations in virtually every single country that borders Iran: Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan (Air Force base) and Turkey (same). How do you think that looks to your average Iranian citizen? Let 'em work it out! We (citizens, businesses)can offer moral, financial and tech support. OK?

Rog / June 23, 2009 2:36 PM

First I must say: I pray to the one true God for the men and women of Iran.


Then I must say: Live free or die.


This is what America went through in the infancy of our democracy, and like phoenixes we rose victorious from the fire, but only with the aid of other freedom-fighters, namely France at the time.


Sons of Liberty must stand together once again.

R. Wallace-B. / June 23, 2009 2:51 PM

How is it that the author is so fluent in English? Perfect English, better than many Americans? Words like Apoligiseer, permissible, hooligans, disgruntled, paralyzing, the phrase fast forward which is distinctly American, words like exemplary and competent?


Why does no one question this?


The CIA has budgeted $4oo Million dollars beginning in 2007 for the destabilization of Iran. The Iranian oil bourse was supposed to open in March but has been delayed. Oil will then be denominated in Euro's jeopardizing American hegemony. The Mossad operates in Iran, the Russian Secret Service and the Chinese Secret Service and the ISI as well.


Why was it necessary to remove Saddam? Because he denominated his oil in Euro's and jeopardized the dollar. He was gone within months. This is the last chance the US has to remove Ahmadenijad and steal the Iranian oil and prevent it from being denominated in Euro's and destabilizing the dollar. Wake up.


What happens if there's a revolution? Let's look at Mousavi. He's connected to Iran/Contra, he's directly associated with Ghorbanifar, the arms dealer - that's well publicised, and he'll likely privatize the oil because he's supported by the bourgeois who lost their wealth in the revolution of 1979.


That would spell disaster for EVERY average Iranian, every poor Iranian, which means most of Iran. The farmer, the taxi driver, the janitor.


No, until the Mullah's can all be arrested, and they control the 17 million strong armed forces, a revolution spells disaster for the Iranian people because multinational corporations will move in and extract the oil at the expense of the people of Iran.


Now is not the time. Ahmadenijad increased crop payments to the farmers, raised the pay of all government workers and has promised to share a greater percentage of oil profits with the people. He's a known quantity and while I don't like him there's a reason he won the vote, and he did win, and it's because the majority of the people in Democratic Iran voted for him.


Think about this. If the protests that are taking place in Iran were going on in the USA there would be 1000s of dead people! We can't protest like that! They arrested over 100 people in Minnesota BEFORE the Republican Convention to PREVENT them from demonstrating. I know, I live in Minnesota.


This editorial piece breaks my heart. It was designed to do so. But the reality on the ground tells me more.


Do your homework. Find out about what it is you are supporting before you support a disaster.


I'm on Facebook. Contact me there. My name is Jeff Prager.

Jeff Prager / June 23, 2009 3:04 PM

And just in case you're wondering about the vote, there were over 42,000 polling places, over 42,000 ballot boxes across Iran in cities, towns and villages. 39.2 million voters means there were roughly 900 ballots per ballot box. The vote is counted by teachers, professionals, civil servants and retired people, just like here in the US.


Unlike other countries where voters can cast their ballots on several candidates and issues in a single election, Iranian voters had only one choice to consider: their presidential candidate. Why would it take more than an hour or two to count 860 ballots per polling location? It wouldn't, it was quick. After the count, the results were then reported electronically to the Ministry of the Interior in Tehran.


More than thirty pre-election polls were conducted in Iran since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his main opponent, former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, announced their candidacies in early March 2009. The polls varied widely between the two opponents, but if one were to average their results, Ahmadinejad would still come out on top. However, some of the organizations sponsoring these polls, such as Iranian Labor News Agency and Tabnak, admit openly that they have been allies of Mousavi, the opposition, or the so-called reform movement. Their numbers were clearly tilted towards Mousavi and gave him an unrealistic advantage of over 30 per cent in some polls. If such biased polls were excluded, Ahmadinejad's average over Mousavi would widen to about 21 points.


On the other hand, there was only one poll carried out by a western news organization. It was jointly commissioned by the BBC and ABC News, and conducted by an independent entity called the Center for Public Opinion (CPO) of the New America Foundation. The CPO has a reputation of conducting accurate opinion polls, not only in Iran, but across the Muslim world since 2005. The poll, conducted a few weeks before the elections, predicted an 89 percent turnout rate. Further, it showed that Ahmadinejad had a nationwide advantage of two to one over Mousavi.


Since 1980, Iran has suffered an eight-year deadly war with Iraq, a punishing boycott and embargo, and a campaign of assassination of dozens of its lawmakers, an elected president and a prime minister from the group Mujahideen Khalq Organization. (MKO is a deadly domestic violent organization, with headquarters in France, which seeks to topple the government by force.) Despite all these challenges, the Islamic Republic of Iran has never missed an election during its three decades. It has conducted over thirty elections nationwide. Indeed, a tradition of election orderliness has been established, much like election precincts in the U.S. or boroughs in the U.K. The elections in Iran are organized, monitored and counted by teachers and professionals including civil servants and retirees (again much like the U.S.)


There has not been a tradition of election fraud in Iran. Say what you will about the system of the Islamic Republic, but its elected legislators have impeached ministers and "borked" nominees of several Presidents, including Ahmadinejad. Rubberstamps, they are not. In fact, former President Mohammad Khatami, considered one of the leading reformists in Iran, was elected president by the people, when the interior ministry was run by archconservatives. He won with over 70 percent of the vote, not once, but twice.


When it comes to elections, the real problem in Iran is not fraud but candidates' access to the ballots (a problem not unique to the country, just ask Ralph Nader or any other third party candidate in the U.S.) It is highly unlikely that there was a huge conspiracy involving tens of thousands of teachers, professionals and civil servants that somehow remained totally hidden and unexposed.


Nations display respect to other nations only when they respect their sovereignty. If any nation, for instance, were to dictate the United States' economic, foreign or social policies, Americans would be indignant. When France, under President Chirac opposed the American adventure in Iraq in 2003, some U.S. Congressmen renamed a favorite fast food from French Fries to "Freedom Fries." They made it known that the French were unwelcome in the U.S.


The U.S. has a legacy of interference in Iran's internal affairs, notably when it toppled the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. This act, of which most Americans are unaware, is ingrained in every Iranian from childhood. It is the main cause of much of their perpetual anger at the U.S. It took 56 years for an American president to acknowledge this illegal act, when Obama did so earlier this month in Cairo.


Therefore, it would be a colossal mistake to interfere in Iran's internal affairs yet again. President Obama is wise to leave this matter to be resolved by the Iranians themselves. Political expediency by the Republicans or pro-Israel Democrats will be extremely dangerous and will yield serious repercussions. Such reckless conduct by many in the political class and the media appears to be a blatant attempt to demonize Iran and its current leadership, in order to justify any future military attack by Israel if Iran does not give up its nuclear ambition.


President Obama's declarations in Cairo are now being aptly recalled. Regarding Iran, he said, "I recognize it will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude, and resolve. There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect."


But the first sign of respect is to let the Iranians sort out their differences without any overt -or covert -interference.

Jeff Prager / June 23, 2009 3:18 PM

The people of Iran are in my thoughts and prayers.

Miss America / June 23, 2009 4:33 PM

I am british but my thoughts are with you. I obviously do not know how accurate the results of the election were but I do know Iran is a fundamentalist country that allows women too few rights, that hangs gays and uses god as a weopen to opress. The world needs to grow up as regards any creator. There was no creator , when we did we are no more. I believe the world will not be free until humans reject the childish notion of a creator. we evolved. read darwin. therefore a country that is a religous govt is one that will be seeking to control peoples thoughts and freedoms. I also despair with so many people in the usa being church goers. At least europe is secular.

WILL / June 23, 2009 4:39 PM

Neda lives!!! Free Iran now!!!

Mickey Garrote / June 23, 2009 4:52 PM

As an outsider I must comment that Yes...this is your country. This has been your country from the first day of the revolution. The Shaw has been replaced by a puppet government ruled by some old men who happen to be clerics. Now they murder and maim the citizens of Iran in the name of the Koran. They have lied to you for 30 years and now your people finally have their eyes open. It will take a revolution to ever get them out of power.

OrlandoJon / June 23, 2009 5:06 PM

To Jeff Prager:


Well, there's just a few things which I want to point out.


First of all, is it a sin to be both non-American and fluent in English? Oh then my apologies because I think I am a sinner for not having set foot on the grounds of any western countries in my entire life. And pardon me but I think that the phrase "fast forward" can be found in most remote controls and media player. I mean, hey, you can see the phrase "fast forward" in window's media player or itunes! Anyway, I'll take note that any sense of sophistication is "American's only".


Another thing I will like to point out is, no matter how much you disagree with the author, no matter how much you think that the author has gotten the facts wrong, at least it's his own words. But the problem here is, is your's that original? Well, what I did was, I copy-pasted some of the sentences onto google (opps, is google "American's only"? My apologies but I believe there's a local ccTLD for google here) and, to my amusement, most of the exact sentences can be found in quite a few sites, such as this: http://www.counterpunch.com/amin06222009.html . Well, I don't know if you have a literary double known as "ESAM AL-AMIN" or not, but what I believe is that you have simply copied and pasted everything, without even referencing. Well, it has been quite pondering why most of your arguments (US's involvement in Iran) does not tellies with the author's argument on the brutality of law keeping forces and media censorship, why you are able to, or perhaps be bothered to, obtain all the facts and figures (even though the credibility is uncertain), and why you are capable of writing more than 900 words within a mere 14 minutes. Oh well, maybe it's an American's specialty to plagiarize but I would have been expelled if it was one of my assignments.


I'm not trying to agree or disagree with anything as I have to consider the credibility of both. However, please understand something. Not only Americans (or North Americans and Western Europeans) can be proficient in English, and America is not the supreme governor of the world. My apologies to any Americans out there who find my words being offensive, but this is the only conclusion I can come up with. You guys have already screwed up in the recent economic crisis. Don't screw up again.

CH / June 23, 2009 5:37 PM

to answer your question there is protest in whole Iran not only in Tehran but also in Shiraz and other cities, in a lot of countries there are demonstrations to support your struggle.


further the story of foreign enemy infiltrants is not really the case, Its just the people who said enough is enough indeed all information you see on statemedia is very onesided and incomplete at least. whe have indeed no right as foreigners to intervene in other countries politics but we can say something (freedom of speech)abt human rights like the right to demonstrate and protest without being killed for that.


May peace come to you soon.

rob / June 23, 2009 5:41 PM

My heart goes out to all of you who are fighting for your birthright to be free that has been stolen from you.


I wish you safety and success!

Jilly / June 23, 2009 6:38 PM

I have wonderful memories of living in Iran in the 70s. I wish those days were back for me. I wish Iran would be free. It will some day, inshah allah.

Jay / June 23, 2009 7:22 PM

Gee, that Jeff Prager knows an alot about CIA, ISI, all secret spy agencies who are overflowing in Iran. duh. Minnesota my eye.


He even knows how much money the CIA is supposed to be spending in Iran. Bet that's news to the Americans who haven't got a clue about Iran except that the country's president is a nut.


And how wonderful that Ahmanijanut has raised labor and farmer rates. Are they all Basiji now? Bet they are.


I smell a rat.


The Tehran Bureau article says it all and says it well.


Allahu Akbar


The world's sympathies are with the Iranian people. The world has seen who Khomenei and his thugs really are. Khomenei never should have come out from behind the curtain. Some Holy man. NOT. The whole bunch of thugs belong in the docket at the Hague and the world would hope to see them there one day.

Maya / June 23, 2009 7:30 PM

First, I have to admit I could tell in tiny bits that you were a 'foreigner' from my country. Second, most of those people I have met with a similar vocabulary and proficiency with english to myself HAVE been from other countries than the good ol' USA. They're certainly not British, if you were to judge from the guy above (WILL says, 23rd, 16:29), to wit "There was no creator , when we did we are no more". What do you mean there will? I kind of lost you there.

But I digress. Your english is very good, my compliments to the author.

I wouldn't concern yourself too much with the conspiratophile (conspiracy lover) above (Jeff Prager says), you have much more important things to focus on. If you were to come up with a conspiracy story about the US invading Afghanistan to replenish its supplies of water, he might believe you.

As far as revolutions go, and bloodshed, the entire subject brings to mind a quote from one of the founding 'fathers' of my nation, Thomas Jefferson. I think he has some great advice for all sides in your nation. I will quote him below. God be with you in your quest and your fight.


"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.

The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is

wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts

they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,

it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...

And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not

warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of

resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as

to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost

in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from

time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

It is its natural manure."

Elijah / June 23, 2009 8:18 PM

For years, Iran has cultivated demonic forces and sent them to undermine peace beween Israel and the Palestinians. Now, those same demonic forces are being directed against Iranian civilians. What any nation does to another, it does to itself (the Golden Rule, to paraphrase Jesus).


Demonic programming turns ordinary people into murderers, by convinving them they are killing terrorists, liars, thieves, "whores", "criminals" and so on. Psychological experiments have shown that most human beings can fall under the spell of evil and hurt another. Language and authority create a screen that allows a person to gain power over another without morality or fear of God.


The problem with nonviolent resistance is that when you shame your enemy, he becomes more violent (shame is a violent emotion). You may want to separate your opponent from the system that brainwashed him, and find ways to change him back into a human being. Not by demanding, but by doing subtle things to humanize yourself -- showing your wrists is one small thing that reduces violence. It triggers the instinct for compassion, and it's subconscious so it can't be argued with like a verbal plea.


The way to fight demons is to humanize their host and victim, and attack the bad system without hating the people it has driven insane. That may not be easy, but with clear vision it can be done and has been done in the past. Think of the system as a mental parasite that infects large numbers of people and makes them enjoy the suffering of "bad people". It is only when good people suffer from that system that we see how evil it has been. All nations have had their time of great evil, when guilt and innocence are reversed and evil wears a mask of holiness to cover its shame. May Iran prevail as a free nation and end the sickness that passed from the Shah to the Ayatollahs.

Michael Lockhart / June 23, 2009 8:30 PM

To CH:

Thanks for pointing out Jeff's 14 minute copy/paste and offensive comments on fluency. His assertion that US citizens would be killed in the thousands if they protested is ridiculous. If he does live in Minnesota then he must be a supporter of the right-wing governor. As for your comments regarding "you guys" please do not lump Americans in with Jeff. I believe President Obama is doing a masterful job of frustrating the hardliners by supporting the right to peacefully protest rather than supporting a particular candidate. Guardians of the status quo (conservative Iranian and Israeli leaders, Republicans like McCain) are all seriously threatened by Obama's brave new path. Let's hope he stays on it.

Will / June 23, 2009 8:48 PM

Way to go CH! Smart of you. Yes, not all Americans or Westerners are fluent in English I agree.

shetty / June 23, 2009 11:06 PM

Obama does seem to have more sense than Bush did, and he's not going to give Ahmadinejad the ammunition of an "axis of evil" speech. Still, everyone I know (I'm American) is inspired and concerned about what's happening in Iran. What can/should people do while governments figure out the best approach?


Freedom speaks to the human soul, and is bigger than nations and religions. That's my belief, anyway.

Michael Lockhart / June 23, 2009 11:43 PM

Dear Jeff Praeger,


Firstly I'd like to note the blatant racism in the demeaning attitude you take to the author's mastery of the English language. It is not uncommon for non-native speakers of our language to have a better grasp of grammar, syntax, and a larger vocabulary than native speakers, as they must learn the language academically, not organically. Secondly, either your own English is imperfect or you are from the U.K., not Minnesota, and I quote "that's well publicised". This use of the letter "s" rather than the letter "z", or zed as they are wont to call it across the pond, indicates a poor command of the language that you deride the author for being fluent in, especially in this day and age of computer spell check. Thirdly, cite your source Mr. Praeger. Your information about the CIA and alleged U.S. government interference in Iran may be correct, but we have no way of verifying your information if you do not provide us with the source of your data. Fourthly, I disagree with your assessment of the modern right to assembly in the United States. Our government, both of the individual States, and the Union as a whole, has a vested interest in maintaining public order, and one of the functions necessary to do so is curtailing, detaining, and yes arresting unruly and unlawful protesters. Several of those arrested before the protest were charged with a variety of felonies including burglary, several different illegal weapons charges, and incitement to riot, according to a Minnesota Independent article contemporary with the convention, which SCOTUS has routinely ruled is speech not protected by the 1st Amendment. Finally I would like to point out that, whether or not the election was fair, and whether or not the U.S. had any hand in destabilizing the Iranian government, Iranians are dying in the streets as they fight for freedoms that the majority of the world takes for granted. These people are to be revered for their perseverance in the face of tyranny, and their determination to break the yoke of oppression that has been placed upon them by a government that claims to uphold the ideals of the Islamic Revolution of thirty years ago, a revolution that was to give the Iranian people the kind of freedom that they are fighting for now. Any attempt to debase the struggle that these people are going through now as a nation is insensitive at best and downright un-American at worst. I pray, Insa'Allah, that the Iranian people will complete the revolution that they began thirty years ago.


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Ross / June 23, 2009 11:48 PM

http://www.newtactics.org/en/ToolsforAction/TheNewTacticsWorkbook/Readordownloadfiles


This site contains human rights tactics from around the world. Creativity is important -- for some reason, evil has very little creativity and makes more mistakes than people realize. I also recommend reading some of the books that came out of the Holocaust, like The Informed Heart, by Bruno Bettelheim:


http://www.amazon.com/Informed-Heart-Bruno-Bettelheim/dp/0029032008


I also recommend The Lucifer Effect:


http://www.amazon.com/Lucifer-Effect-Understanding-Good-People/dp/0812974441/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245815392&sr=1-1

Michael Lockhart / June 23, 2009 11:50 PM

I really empathize with what the Iranian people are going through. I think if Obama keeps up with the spending he is doing and the government regulation bodies etc.. that he is setting up at ever turn we will not be far behind.


But I do have one comment, 30 years ago when the shaw was diposed and you had the ability to set up a brand new form of government and a new constitution, why the heck did you guys let clerics be the power behind the government?? This type of government has ALWAYS failed in the past because there was no check on THEM. The catholic church had done the same thing when they had power in Christiandom.


Do youself a favor, band together and rush them as a single cohesive, unresistive force and after you have thrown them all from your towers, set up a republic with multiple checks by other governing bodies (non clerics and elected positions), and make SURE you install term limits on all positions of power.


Good luck and may God be with you in your pursuit of freedom. Government is BY the people and FOR the people; not themselves or their ideology.

Chris / June 24, 2009 12:22 AM

Will, You are so misinformed... Obama's brave path? lol. what a crazy crock.. He has spent TRILLIONS of dollars to accomplish NOTHING, and since that worked so well, he spent MORE! He has influenced senators and congressman to sign bills 24 hours after recieving them effectively giving them NO chance to even read them. Wow.. that is change.. sign a bill that you do not even know what is in it.


He has effectively raised the debt to GDP ratio single handedly over 6% and if you include the interest to be paid back to the FED, has spent more than ALL the presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush COMBINED! All in less than 200 days... He is bankrupting our country, while his narcisistic self laughs about it.


Instead of condemning the Iranian government abuse of power he in the initial stages, he stated he did not want to meddle in the affairs of the Iranian state. lol. To voice opposition to heavy handed oppression is NOT meddling! What he is.... is a narcisist. He loves himself and to hear his own voice. At best he is a usurper as he has NEVER shown his long form birth certificate (though he has spent millions in defence to NOT show it). He may be your president but he is NOT mine. There are 38 lawsuits against him currently about this. Wake up as Iran's plight is not far from where we are heading. You just do not see it.

Chris / June 24, 2009 12:40 AM

this is for jeff


who questioned the writer of this due to the fact that the writer spoke such amazing english....you'd be shocked. i have so many iranian friends who speak not only their native tongue but french, german, english, and arabic...

justin / June 24, 2009 1:57 AM

i'm sorry...i'm sorry.

stephanie / June 24, 2009 9:11 AM

Every Revolution that Gives power to one central un replaceable authority is doomed to repeat itself.


Its time to awake to your True freedom Iran.


Good Luck

Esh Tamid / June 24, 2009 11:28 AM

To CH:


Jeff Prager is what we call in the US, a troll. Ignore him please. He adds not one iota of intelligence to any discussion. He is infected with what I believe in Iran could be called 'My Uncle Napoleon' disease. He sees bogeymen behind every rock and door. Also, he is repeating Iranian government nonsense that I've seen tweeted repeatedly.


As an American, I take no offense at your words since I am fully aware that a number of my fellow countrymen can be and are quite smug in their views of the rest of the world. For example, our last president and vice president unfortunately.

Any Mouse / June 25, 2009 6:42 AM

Chris, maybe valuable points are being made while you loudly "lol." Yes, Obama has continued the trillions in bailouts, loans and stimulus that Bush set in motion on his way out (because Bush was rightly afraid of being branded the great depression part II, Herbert Hoover.) Narcissistic? (check your original spelling) That's ironic. If we think seriously about who our rhetoric will help or hurt, it is clear that McCain and Republicans recklessly speak out on Iran only for the benefit of their domestic, militaristic partisans. Actually, they put protesters at greater risk. We Americans do like to talk about, and to, ourselves huh? Well back to the original topic of Iran, I'm not doing very much "lol." The reformers who actually have inside power in Iran (not the students) want us to be quiet, or at least very careful.

Will / June 25, 2009 10:09 PM

This IS your country, Ms. H. Get used to it.

Mr. Gone / June 30, 2009 5:40 PM