Wednesday, February 23, 2005

March 19th and Suggested Action

This is from Over Our Dead Bodies Weblog:

"I would like to invite all Iranian bloggers who believe that " Democracy" in Iran could only emerge and flourish in a climate of independence, stability, peace and economic prosperity, to join me in lunching the "March 19 campaign" as per the following action plan:

1) Declare March 19th. 2005 as our "National Sovereignty Day" and change our blogs' titles to "No war on Iran" on that date;
2) Post an article (on March 19) in our blogs stressing our commitment to our right of self-determination and explain in our own words why we oppose any foreign interference;
3) Send a copy of the same article by email to the U.S President at, or by fax to 202-456-2461, or by mail to:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

4) Alert the U.S media of our campaign and seek support from their civil society."

Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Scott Ritter says US attack on Iran planned for June

Scott Ritter says US attack on Iran planned for June
I hope he is wrong...

No War on Iran Update

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Help Iran Become More Involved in the World Economy

by the Observer

In the literature of "interaction between democracy and growth" there is no proof showing that democracy leads to economic growth. But based on the experiences of other countries, we know that higher levels of per capita gross domestic product (GDP) will eventually bring waves of democracy and rationality to countries. Iran will not be an exception to this rule. If Iranians are successful in increasing the growth rate of their economy, they can hope that a more developed economy will result in a better educated population and politicians, higher urbanization rate, easier access to internet, and stronger private sector. All of these factors will eventually influence certain irrational behaviors in the government level. For example, look at China's experience. China as a country with a vast trade relationship with others can not logically follow any hostile policy against global peace.In fact, any country which has a certain level of involvement in the world economy should be in favor of a stabilized and peaceful world to keep its profits. So I strongly believe that if the United States is really interested to promote democracy in the Middle East, she should encourage active participation of Iranian politicians, business people and scholars in the global events, instead of trying to isolate them. This involvement not only serves national economic growth, but it also brings new ideas to the country. Unfortunately, we have seen that the US has always voted against Iran's membership in the WTO. Such actions are completely in contradiction with the U.S. claims of helping people reach more freedom. If the U.S. lets a country like Iran enter the WTO, then that country has to change a lot of rules and regulations in a more democratic and liberalized way. I believe that the democracy derived from such indigenous and gradutal changes will be much more sustainable and less costly.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Men of Faith

"There's a higher Father that I appeal to." George W. Bush, in answering the question about who he consulted before going to war against Iraq.

"War is a gift of God" Ayatollah Khomeini. Dec. 1984

A place, where life is taken with no excuse,
The men of faith assume power of Zeus,
Don't dare question, their holy mission,
God almighty Himself, has let them loose!!

Posted by Mehrdad, a Shirazi living in California, U.S.A.

Tips on how to liberate Iran!

Sharif N Mafi
snmafi [at]

Seymour Hersh has told us that some GI’s are creeping around the deserts south of the Zahedan preparing for W’s next war. I do not subscribe to the New Yorker but I tend to listen when Mr. Hersh speaks; he seems to know what’s cooking way ahead of time. So I would like to make some suggestions to the GI’s in case they actually do make it to Tehran and decide (God forbid) to ‘obliterate’… oops. sorry. I mean, “liberate” us… Falluja style.

Tehran Traffic – if your Central Intelligence Agency has been telling you that Tehran has a functioning traffic system, well they have been somewhat mendacious again. Over there, not even a Daisy Cutter is going to help you. Just sit down in your Humvee, plug in that iPod 40G and pop in a Prozac… extra strength.

Café Naderi – please….please… please, pay a bit of attention when carpet bombing the city with your “precision’ bombs. We are already shocked and awed by your reelection of ‘W’ last November, so there is no further need to stun us. The only place that truly will be missed if leveled will be our beloved Café Naderi. The waiters are primordial, the food is so-so, and the Turkish coffee is dreadful, but it has a slightly dowdy fin-de-siecle feel to it and is much loved.

The Pollution – those elusive “Five years” the wily Israelis keep saying Iran is from obtaining the bomb started in 1977 and we are apparently still five years away, but do not be disenchanted. The air in Tehran is the true WMD you have been searching for so desperately. Those scheming Eye-rainians have managed to manufacture it right under the nose of IAEA. Put on those chemical warfare jumpsuits you have been gingerly saving since Baghdad, and be sure to wear them as you work your way down to downtown Tehran where the sky has a bluish hue to it.

Body Counts – Never mind them, so long as you reinstall our little silly exiles a-la 1953 Coup style, all will be forgotten. Well at least that’s what they will tell you.

The Current President – I say keep this fellow. After all is said and done: new hospitals, refineries and bridges need to be inaugurated. Red ribbons need to be cut. Foreign diplomats’ credentials need to be accepted in colorful receptions. This chap is a skilled master of ceremonies and not much else (he has had 8 years of practice).

Tehran Drivers – The guy with a beat-up RD trying to squeeze in between your 8x8 light armored vehicles while throwing insults and waving his middle index finger at you is not an insurgent. Trust me. He is just trying to make maximum usage of the road by turning a 3-lane highway into 6 lanes. Blame it on a cultural difference.

Esteghlal Football Club; Feel free, absolutely free, to disband this terror cell. Take naked photos of its players for your viewing pleasures, and Gitmo the managers. As a diehard Persepolis fan, I can see no harm any of it.

P.S. Iranians loathe the Bahraini national football squad and equally abhor the National Geographic Magazine for it’s branding our beloved Gulf as Arabian. So if you could drop a few of your ‘precisions’ on the Bahraini training ground and keep the ban on that inflammatory publication, you will certainly win all the hearts and minds in the streets of Tehran.

In closing, remember that Alexander (no… not Colin Farrell), the Arabs, the Mongols and even the British, did us in a few times here and there along our long treacherous history. But along the way, they all became a bit Iranian themselves. So if many years from now you find yourself a bit superficial, slightly superstitious and a believer of conspiracy theories (commonly involving the British), you will finally realize that the Iranian insurgency is in full swing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Iran warns US over spying as blast highlights nuclear jitters

Iran Will Know How to Build Bomb in 6 Months - Israel

IAEA chief says no proof Iran is building nuclear weapons

Iran blast report shocks world markets

Iran Says Needs Practical Results in EU Nuke Talks

Sunday, February 13, 2005


No War on Iran! (updates)

Iran Special - Newstatesman

No to economic sanctions! by Reza Nsri

Iran under siege by Farrokh A. Ashtiani

4 more years! by Dean Friedman

More Links...

Popular Support

N. Alavi
n_alavi123 [at]

Fourteen thousand pro-democracy activists spent the long hot summer of 1906 in a mass protest, living in tents and eating fresh baked bread and Aash (soup) prepared in great cauldrons. A climatic moment of this assemblage and Iran’s struggle for democracy was joint a statement that declared: “The law is what the Majlis (parliament) decides… No one is to interfere in the laws of the Majlis”

In October 29, 1925, when the power of Majlis was threatened. Mossadegh holding up a copy of the Koran, told his fellow parliamentarians that to centralise power in the hands of one man would be “pure estebadad” and asked: “was it to achieve dictatorship that our people bled their lives away in the Constitutional Revolution?”

Many more people have bled their lives away in Iran’s struggle for democracy since and Iranians have paid a high price for their independence and sovereignty.

With the upcoming Presidential elections in Iran soon, those in power must take heed that nothing can preserve our sovereignty or ultimately safeguard our loved ones and the borders of our nation but a government that has genuine popular support.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Raising Questions

Sima Shakhsari*

It always amazes me when people come up with percentages, as if numbers thrown here and there will make their claims more scientific! One of the comments in response to Reza Nasri comes from “Frieda” who writes, "There is nothing wrong for America to support the regime change in Iran as you know 90% of Iranian people want the same."
Where does this 90% come from? Who did the math? Even if “90%” is meant to connote the vast majority of people, why do we assume that this is common knowledge ("as you know")? How do we know that the vast majority of people in Iran want "America" to support regime change in Iran? And who is this "America" that we so un-problematically speak about?

These generalizations about Americans and Iranians that camp them into "us" and "them" binaries are extremely dangerous and flawed. They are informed by Sam Huntington's "clash of civilizations" mentality that camps people into dichotomies and does not allow any in-between positions. Tim's claim that "Our sense of urgency is based on fear of the death of our civilization as some Islamic leaders issue declarations that say just as much," reveals that the civilizational thinking has naturalized itself as the truth. That, in my opinion, is what needs to be challenged.

As many writers of this blog have shown, the reality of many people's lives cannot be reduced to such sharp binaries. Ledeen and his ilk seem to ignore this fact. The reincarnation of the post-World War II civilizational thinking after September 11 is often used to justify occupation under the name of “liberty” and “freedom” in the “West” as opposed to “repression” and “theocracy” in the Middle East. Have we forgotten that Christian fundamentalism is what leads George Bush and co.? Many of us in the U.S. can testify to the fact that these abstract notions of liberty and freedom do not mean much and are nothing but lip-service.

Pointing to exclusionary practices of U.S. democracy is not to cry victim-hood (unlike what Tim claims in his comments to Omid’s last post). On the contrary, it is the desire to “rescue” people in Iran, Iraq, or Afghanistan that perpetuates this “victim” mentality and assumes people in these locations to be powerless victims rather than active people fighting for their freedom. The mentality of “things are not great here, but they are better than over there,” needs to be questioned. It is this attitude that posits “terror” over “there,” and legitimizes intervention from “here.” “We” become the heroes of salvation.

Perhaps what some people refuse to see is that “they” are specters of “us”; that “they” are “our” obscene underside. This refusal to see may be the reason why it is easier to leave problems at home and go elsewhere on a rescue mission. Of course, there is a lot more in it for people such as Ledeen and institutions like AEI. That is perhaps why Ledeen can’t wait and cries, “Faster please”!!! It seems like access to resources in the region cannot wait any longer! Mike Ledeen, hold your horses! Despite what your monarchist friends in exile may have told you, people in Iran have the capability to fight their own struggles. Spare us (and by us I mean many people in Iran and in America) of your intervention.

* Sima Shakhsari is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford and teaches at SFSU.

Celestial view in white house and Iranian options

Omid Memarian*

Thomas Freedman, the famous neoliberal colonist of New York Times, has come up with some rationales for USA not attacking Iran. Of course as a new entirety he illustrates diverse views existed in USA. Many are not after another war in USA. Logistically it is a big challenge for USA to start war with Iran. This is not a joke, keeping more that hundreds of thousands soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq - with no substance – with enough equipments and so on, however when it comes to Iran this is outside USA abilities and the residences of white house, knowing it that if any governments take more commitment than it’s abilities, it is doomed to be trampled. Additionally tolerating heavy expenses of war again would cause many internal tribulations. Freedman Is aware that Bush’s team has already decided. He considers that increase in Petrol price after attacking the Iran would consequences in “Bush’s War spreading out club and co”, hindrance. Freemanson
Looks at the issue from an economist point of view who is trying to justify the war. But the debates influencing/ruling bush are with same level of economic perceptive ?

I believe that a kind of celestial view is governing men in the white house. “God willing resulted in the expansion of democracy”. They do not talk about the results of researches of scholar’s rooms and think tanks. They say God has given us these responsibilities. This is the hardest part of the affair that consequences in diverse and possible analyses that may result in intricacy .The white house men
By referring and bringing evidence to Bible on different occasions talk about human rights and their comments. Talking about “commitment” would further complicate the whole debate. American People based within this observation would relate more to democrats’ statistics and figures. Therefore if this approach is used in decision making process by new conservatists and political people, the economic analysis would be questioned and scrutinized. The Iranian political foreign affairs need to take this issue to consideration when analyzing the whole subject matter.

If USA at all succeeds in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran belt project, they may increase their distance from Europe, and may become more polarized in their approach in today’s world. Consequently to play such role they would look for mesmerizing situations. What does this mean? This means that Americans do not mind to play major roles in all events. So what has to be done? USA is not going to stay aside and observe what Europe is going to do with Iran. However the assumption of Mr. Freedman that USA’s policy of “stick and carrot”, in which that she will play a role of stick and is in some way parallel with Europe, seems to be remote from intelligence. The USA is eager to promote its own plan. Therefore events that have taken place so far must be taken to consideration by Iranians.

Conversely clause 3 could only work when America in Iraq would be able to establish relative democracy and security. Nonetheless if necessary they would create a subsidized democracy and in relation to this mechanism of “spread seed, and look at the future”. The election in Iraq would indicate that America is rather hasty to sort out Iraq project. The contradiction is that this would be only possible with Iran’s co-operation. Why? Because Iran has influence in Iraq that could up set America’s game. Meanwhile Iran has tried its utmost for a calm election taking place in Iraq. Americans are aware of Iran’s role with regard to the calmness of the election. But this is not the end of the matter. It is after the election that it will be appear how power structure had been divided between Kurds, Sonnies, and Shiites, and which direction is going to, knowing the fact that Sonnies have not recognized the legitimacy of the election and Kurds are waiting to see. No doubt until there will be no unity, the quandary and crisis will expand and progress rapidly in Iraq. America is waiting patiently to see what is going to happen in Iraq and what would be the consequences of this game. So what ever they about any talk about another war is just a political empty bluff. American administration knows perfectly that getting involved with Iran right now is going to in danger it’s project in the area….
So there are two options for Iran at this period. One is to make longer the time of this phase and increase the expenses for Americans. And the second is to get concession from US which are useful and low-risk way for Iran. But consider that we can study these options with the other mentioned facts together

Iraq project has strengthened the Shiites there. If the one individuals-one vote establish establishes and go successfully ahead Shiites will not be loser. Everything that happens for Iraq like disintegration or anything else, Shiites will not be a loser. (More that 60% of Iraq population belongs to Shiites.) Iran can be the biggest winner in Iraq. Consider that because of a kind of Iranian Islam-style that is strongly a political Islam; Americans can not leap before looking. However, they have set up an intelligent relationship with US. Entering to another war will make the other areas insecure and risky. Americans can not look at Iran as an independent variation. To be careless in this ground, it will swallow the new-conservative brothers, in two playgrounds. They will confine to the ground.

Now, Iranian official’s options are restricted to negotiating with Europeans. Whereas, Iranians have to put their apples in several baskets. However the weak and powerless diplomacy system doesn’t let them to analyze several options concurrently. They are not able to involve in huge plays. So Iran has to work on national convergence, decreasing international challenges, pushing forward the human right discourse and also obtain a gathering between international players. Any serious changes in human rights cases will postpone the danger. It brings time for Iranians. Iranian can solve their problem in the nuclear talks diplomatically.

But for improving the human rights situation, they need serious change in policies. I believe that the exact time has arrived and also some of the judiciary officials have talked about the essential changes. Any changes in this arena will increase the coefficient of protection of national profits. The obstinacy of some in touch officials will have inconceivable costs for the country. Improving the human rights issues is the golden key against the Americans threats. Iran is not in a situation for reproaching Americans about what they have done cruelly in the world. US are one of the biggest violator of human rights all over the world. Ok! But we are not in a competition with them to violate the human rights more. Are we? We have to keep or hat firmly against the wind.

We have to be sure that the Americans are serious bout their threats. All changes in the administrational board of white house, the experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan and the other facts show that Iran has to draft a multilateral plan for threats. Iran can not close the eyes and only say mottos in the streets by the regime fans. We need practicable actions. Iran has to use all the possible ways. You understand what I mean….

Days pass rapidly. And eyes are looking to the Iranian politicians in the biggest play that has started….

*Omid Memarian is a 30-year-old journalist living in Tehran

Friday, February 11, 2005

Az Chaleh to Chah

Disclaimer: This article is written by Reza Nasri. Reza has asked us to publish his e-mail correspondence with Michael Ledeen. As this is a private e-mail exchange, we are not in the position to affirm its credibility, nor do we take responsibility for its content. We have published it here as another text by an anti-war Iranian reader. We have left the text of Reza's e-mail unedited.
Iranians for Peace

Reza Nasri*
re_nasri [at]

Michael Ledeen is a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and a fervent advocate of an aggressive foreign policy towards Iran. He is considered to be one of the “driving philosophical forces behind the neoconservatives,” and is the man who once proudly said that “creative destruction is our middle name”!

I believe it is fair to say that Mr. Ledeen is the embodiment and the walking personification of the same ideology that drove thousands of “unlawful combatants” to Guantanamo and sent a few more thousands of Iraqi and Afghan civilians to their graves!

But what prompts me to write about him?

While browsing the Internet yesterday, I came across the “creative destructor’s” recent article - “Faster, please” – in which he has prescribed an Iraqi style “liberation” for Iran. So I thought it would be appropriate to let him know what I think!
After all a man who had helped transfer arms to Iran during the Iran-Contra affair had nothing to teach me about good principles and the high values of liberty.
So I wrote him this short email:

Mr. Ledeen,

Obviously you have no real understanding of the Iranian psyche. We (iranians) would ather live and die under the Mullah's flag than to get "liberated" by americans.

President Bush has already sabotaged the Iranian "people "'s movement toward democracy once by branding Iran as part of an "axis of evil", hence giving the harliners enough pretext and justification to prosecute activists and reformers even more
vigourously than before.

He is now engaging the regime AND the people in a psychological war, the result of which you (americans) could never understand, as you still don't know the
iranian mentality.

Today, "tens of thousands of Iranians have braved blizzards to attend rallies marking the 1979 Islamic revolution", most of whom could have very well been against the regime; Yet have still prefered it over your suggested methods of bringing "freedom"!

Moreover, if you really care about the new "referendum movement" and all those who initiated it, please don't ask any Western leaders to support it! The minute Mr.
Blair and Co. show the slightest sign of approval toward this movement, it would loose all its credibility in Iran!

Why don't you get it? We don't want your help!”

Mr. Ledeen responded: “Then don't bother me. Just shut up and spit.”

I am not surprised! I know people like Mike Ledeen: They think they have more rights to our country than we do.

I just thought it would be a good idea to share his comments with the Iranian Internet community so that everybody gets to see how extremely "arrogant" these neocons are and how close their language and mentality is to Hossein Shariatmadari's.

Maybe some of us would think twice before supporting the "freedom" army’s march on Tehran!

Or maybe some of us would finally realize that it is much easier to get out of an Iranian “Chaaleh” than an American “Chaah”!

*Reza Nasri is a student in international law at Montreal.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Say No to Another War

By Mehrdad

Although it may seem that the US administration's intentions in regards to Iran are more along the lines of making a threat to keep Iran in line rather than another military conflict, the possibility of another military misadventure by the US in the middle-east should not be ruled out. It is important for all those who oppose another war to speak up now and preemptively campaign against such a disastrous possibility.

If you agree with the following reasons, or have your own reasons to oppose war, please write to your congress representatives, write to the editorial boards of your local newspapers, talk to you friends, talk to your coworkers, write in your weblog, do what you can to raise the awareness against war.

1. War is not effective against terrorism.

Terrorists welcome bloody conflicts. In their own mind, war justifies their existence. They thrive on the vicious cycle of retaliation, the kind of retaliation that victimizes everyone, terrorist or not. A war does just that. It victimizes the population, breaks down their trust toward the powerful invading state, and creates sympathy and support for the terrorists at worst or apathy at best.

In this global community, we can not win the war on terrorism alone. If you ask your local police officer what the best weapon for catching the criminals is, he will tell you it is the tips they receive from public. In the neighborhoods that the community does not trust the police, no matter how much police force are brought in, they are not effective against the crimes. We need the trust and support of the population of the world, especially in the countries where the terrorists are hiding, to isolate them, cut their support systems, and bring them to justice. The war breaks that trust.

The war against terrorism is the war of winning hearts and minds with weapons of ideas and inspirations. Let's go to them with the weapons of mass inspiration. Let's go to them with the words of the U.S constitution and ideals of liberty and justice. Let's win their minds over to cut the terrorists' blood line. But not only words, but also action, political action. Let's show them in our deeds that we treat everyone justly. Let's show the people of middle-east, not just with words, that we support Palestinians in their aspiration for achieving a state along side Israel. These are the ways we can defeat terrorism.

2. War is not a tool of liberation.

In today's world of communication, no state is powerful enough to block the flow of ideas. No state is powerful enough to control their population forever. No state was more powerful in controlling their society more than the former Soviet Union. The break down of the 70 year old Soviet empire with its powerful secret police and its mighty army is the greatest testament to the power of the people in rising up and defeating tyranny. The 1979 Iranian revolution that toppled its powerful regime is another great example. There, too, existed a powerful secret police and wealthy elite who controlled the economy and the army but were defeated by a population fed up with dictatorship and tyranny.

In the eyes of the current tyrannical rulers in Iran, war is "a gift" from god. That was exactly their rhetoric during their conflict with Iraq. That 8 year war could have ended almost 5 years earlier, but the rulers had found it a "gift" that they could use to suppress their population. One of the worst periods of suppression in Iran's modern history which included the horrific massacre of political prisoners took place during that time. They justified their tyranny by war. They justified their failures by war. They justified their aggression towards the world by war.

War as a tool of liberation undermines the people's right of self-determination. U.S constitution recognizes the people's right to charter their own destiny and take the matters in their own hand. Let's live up to that decree and allow for Iranians to decide their own faith.

3. War is not effective against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The threat of war is counter-productive in preventing the proliferation of WMD. It accelerates its development around the world. What would other nations see in the way US handled Iraq which did not have WMD and the way it treats North Korea which does. They see nuclear weapon as a deterrent and they rush to develop it while US is busy with Iraq and Iran.

In today's connected world, there are too many levers available to pull for punishing rouge states. No nation is an inland. Even North Korea with its isolationist policy realizes that its survival is to sit at the negotiating table and work out an agreement. Iraq's experience showed that UN inspection and international pressure was successful in preventing Iraq to develop WMD before U.S invasion. All political muscles should be put behind forcing Iran to open up to democratic changes, to open up the nuclear facilities to inspection, and respect international law.

If a powerful nation acts above the bounds of international laws and forces a single-minded agenda on others, it loses its credibility. When we act as a rouge state, we can not preach others against it.

4. War is costly.

Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and more than a thousand U.S soldiers have died and many more injured and maimed in US war against Iraq. U.S has already spent hundreds of billions of dollars on the war on Iraq. Another war against Iran, a country 3 times bigger and a population 4 times larger is going to be many folds more costly for both sides. How can we justify all these lives lost when we now know they were not necessary? We now know that the UN inspections and international pressure worked. We now know that Saddam was not able to produce weapons of mass destruction, and he had no capability for developing it for many years.

How can we justify spending billions on wars that are ineffective and damaging, while we face a great budget deficit and an economic hardship at home, while we have millions of Americans without health insurance or live under the poverty line, while we face challenges in finding resources for the education of our children? We should ask ourselves and our government if we have our priorities straight.

5. Learn from history.

If we do not learn from the past experiences, we bound to repeat the same mistakes. In 1954, US led coup toppled the democratically elected government of Dr Mohammad Mosadeq in Iran. That direct intervention in the affair of a sovereign country set the stage for 25 years of dictatorship and finally resulted in the current religious government. That coup terrorized the whole nation of Iran for many years, and they are still suffering from its consequences. Dr. Mosadeq's government was the chance for Iran to develop a truly democratic society. It could have been the model of democracy in Middle-East that U.S is now claiming for Iraq to become. Iran could have been where South Korea is today, but even much more, because of Iran's vastly richer natural resources.

Today in Iran, a young population, where 50% are less than 24 years of age, is aspiring for democracy and freedom. They are increasingly disillusioned from the possibility of reform from above and are forcing their collective will from below at the grass-root level. Their movement needs to be nurtured and supported to bear fruit. Another direct intervention in form of a devastating war will set this movement back for many years. Even if a war is successful in toppling the current regime, there is no guarantee that a U.S installed replacement would get the support of the democratic forces in Iran. The same disappointment that the U.S faced, after toppling Saddam when they did not see Iraqis embracing their occupying forces, will be faced again in Iran even if a war is successful in toppling current rulers. The people of Iran have suffered countless invasions throughout their history and will not accept a foreign imposed solution for them.

I leave you with these words of Dr Martin Luther King from his speech about Vietnam, at Riverside Church, 4 April 1967 New York City:

"...Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on.

Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak..."

News and Links

Yahoo News-- Pentagon regularly reviews war plans: Centcom: WASHINGTON (AFP) - "The Pentagon (news - web sites) is regularly reviewing its war plans against Iran, but it is not in an active phase of preparing a military campaign against the country, the deputy head of the US Central Command, General Lance Smith, said. "

No War on Iran:
"The latest negotiations between Iran and the Europeans begin this week. The Results of the Iraqi elections are due out in the same period. On February fourth, Rice proclaimed that an U.S. attack on Iran was not "on the agenda now".
In a handful of days, we will find out how long "now" lasts. "

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Sima Shakhsari*

Since the inception of this weblog, some people have e-mailed and asked us to write about issues that they find important. We think it is wonderful that people have been enthusiastic about this weblog and we appreciate constructive suggestions. But we want to make sure that everyone is clear about the way this weblog works.

This weblog acts as a platform for anti-war voices. We do not post pro-war views, as we believe that those views often repeat the hegemonic discourses by which we are surrounded and can find many channels of expression in mainstream media. We have left the comments section open so that people who disagree with an article can voice their views in the comments section.

We accept all submissions that take a clear position against a possible war on Iran. Obviously, this means that people approach this from many different angles. We want to clarify that the opinions expressed on this blog do not necessarily reflect the political positioning of the organizers (well, except for the anti-war stance which brings us together). Basically, we do not intervene in the articles that people send to us via email. In some cases, we do a minimal editing job, and at times we translate from Persian to English and post the articles as they are. This is a weblog for anyone who wants to express their views against the war through writing, images, poetry, etc.
So, if you think there is an anti-war view that has not been expressed on this blog and should be included, it is your job to write it and send it to us. We look forward to reading your posts and believe that this is one way of telling the world that despite our differences, we do not want the U.S. military, or any other military for that matter, to attack Iran.

On behalf of the rest of the team at Iranians for Peace.

* Sima Shakhsari is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford and teaches at SFSU.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Tough UK warning to Iran - BBC

Intelligence on Iran is getting a closer look - Los Angeles Times

Shirin Ebadi's opposition to war

"American policy toward the Middle East, and Iran in particular, is often couched in the language of promoting human rights. No one would deny the importance of that goal. But for human rights defenders in Iran, the possibility of a foreign military attack on their country represents an utter disaster for their cause." Read Shirin Ebadi's article in NY Times, where she, along with Hadi Ghaemi, has opposed a military attack on Iran.

US wants to bring democracy to Iran!! Why don't they bring it to Saudi Arabia instead?

By Soosk Siaah*

To all people who think US wants to bring democracy to Iran...

Here is the point. In Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to obtain a drivers license; they are not allowed to vote; they are not allowed to appear in public unless their husbands/fathers approve ... Talking about bringing democracy... which country needs democracy first? Saudi Arabia or Iran?

In Iran more than 50% of the university students are female. Women may not have equal rights comparing to men, but they have the right to vote, study, work, drive, ... or become a member of parliament... This is not to take sides with the Iranian government's policies. But when it comes to democracy brought by a bloody war: Dear Mr. Bush, please take it to Saudi Arabia!! We don't need your help! Keep it for your Saudi friends! Much appreciated!!

Soosk Siaah is a 31 year-old Electrical Engineer living in Canada.

Stop killing the “Human Beings” in the name of “Human Rights”

Masoumeh Mousavi*
masi57m [at]

Hey you—“Evil of Wars”!

Should I believe you worry about human rights in my country? Should I believe you care about the discriminations in my country? Huh!

Was the sort of thing you did for the others to stop killing the peace?—or you killed the peace more than ever? In Afghanistan people were forced to fight in the name of opposing the violation of Taliban—who were originally empowered by you. But, in the beginning they were the same Taliban as they were at the end. Then Iraq war began in the name of finishing the dictatorship of Saddam-Hussein—who had been the hand of the U.S.A. for all the years he was accused for. And in every other place it’s going to be started in the name of democracy. Huh! The Imposed democracy of the “Evil of Wars”!

We all know that all these are doing just for the “Evil of Wars” to get closer to oil resources. We all know that these matters can easily be resolved by diplomatic ways.

Stop killing the “human beings” in the name of “human rights”. And let us choose our way of life by ourselves.

*Masoumeh Mousavi is a 27-year-old translator living in Tehran

Edited by Iranian Diaries

Monday, February 07, 2005


USAF playing cat and mouse game over Iran - World Peace Herald

No War on Iran! - the scrapbook

Uranium Enrichment - Also, see some photos here

War threats; Different Approaches about Different Aspects

Omid Memarian*
During the last days some of the readers have criticized me because of my opinions about the American threats and what I have written about it. Two month ago I was in the jail and one of my charges was propaganda against the regime by writing articles and comments and journalistic activities. I close my eyes to talk about it. But about two months after releasing the reaction of me is to be an opponent against the war. Why?

Because I really believe that the process of democratization that has begun about 100 years ago in Iran do not need a foreign attack to go forward. If it happens, I think that in the parallel way fundamentalism grows faster, Ethnical movements and tendency to disintegration appear evidently and settlement of accounts causes many violations. Generally, the idea of war is an inaccurate plan for promoting democracy in Iran with unanticipated result.

Look at the American experiment in Iraq. Look at the result of election and look for the result. The process of starting threats, isolating the regime, economical boycott, empowering the fundamentalism and its side effects and so on, and at the end going toward war is a good perspective to look at. Now, Look at the Iraq. What do you observe?
It is good to be highlighted that because of many reason the war in Iran destroy many things. However, many people mention the experiment of Afghanistan and Iraq and believe that in some cases it is indubitable that democracy can be injected by foreign forces. I don’t think so. Iran has many differences…..
We can talk about it more.

At the end let me draw your attention to this point that I live in Iran and there are some different criteria about thinking about things here and outside. I respect any other idea. But I expect the same approach. It is a very complicated theme and discussing about this multilateral phenomenon is strongly complex. In some part you are correct and in some aspects it is me. But the main subject is the resultant. It is really so complicated to talk about resultant…what’s your idea? (

*Omid Memarian is a 30-year-old journalist living in Tehran

"February 2 in North America brings the most-watched weather forecast of the year. Led by a rodent, Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, annually attracts thousands of visitors, who eagerly await the appearance of Phil the groundhog, and his foretelling abilities; by the way, the groundhog, come oracle, is always male. Legend has it that on this morning, if a groundhog can see its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter..... This national media event in the United States was coupled this year with the re-emergence of another rodent’s divinations, and an arrogant pageantry and pomposity that pales in comparison to any groundhog ceremony. George Walker Bush’s first State of the Union address, since his inauguration, was replete with the expected rhetoric of an administration that sees itself as a benevolent proselytizer...."

This is an excerpt from Samira Mohyeddin's article about Bush's State of Union Address. Read the rest here.

Posted by Sima.

Sunday, February 06, 2005


Conflating Iran's "Government" with its "People"

‘Is Iran Next?’

Again “NO WAR”—An Answer to a Critique

Iranian Diaries
iraniandiaries [at]

My previous essay on Bush’s speech has had different reactions. In a weblog entitled “Iranian for Freedom”—which in contrary to this weblog’s address (no war for iran [dot] blogspot) has been registered as “now war for iran [dot] blogspot”, and its Iranian writer isn’t against a possible war—my essay has been criticized. And here is my answer to the critiques:

1- I don’t think supporting Khatami is ridiculous. But of course I believe he wasn’t brave enough. After all, 8 years of Khatami was much better than if someone else was president. We all may understand it a few months next when new president should be elected (=appointed by the government, to be honest!)

2- “Is having nuclear weapons by itself a reason to be a terrorist or a supporter of terrorism?” I wrote it cause Bush addressed it to show Iran’s government is a terrorist. On the other hand, I agree the critic on the issue that supporting Islamic Jihad and the sort is a reason to be a terrorist. In this respect, Iran’s gov’t is really a terrorist. Also in respect of “depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve”, which Bush addressed as well.

3- “How the writer can guarantee that Iran won’t use its nuclear bombs to remove the cancer state [Israel]?” I can’t guarantee anything; I just think even the mullahs aren’t crazy enough to start an invasion (even to the cancer state!) by an atomic bomb. Perhaps I’m too optimist!

4- “Yes, War can bring democracy, it is working in Iraq and it can work everywhere in the middle-east.” It’s too early to judge if Iraq now is a democratic state or not. On the other hand, lots of Iraqis have been killed in about 2 years since USA attacked the country. If you lose your family in the possible attack, would any kind of democracy cure your pains? I think democracy—even in Iran—can, and must, be achieved “diplomatically”. Don’t forget Ukraine’s case, which without any war or bombing and killing innocent people, USA succeeded in appointing its preferred president Yushchenko. I insist, again, “War CAN’T bring democracy.”

There is hope...

N. Alavi
n_alavi123 [at]

Today in London the US secretary of state Dr Condoleezza Rice announced that attacking Iran is “not on the agenda at this point in time."

Yesterday the US President George W Bush, in his 2005 State of the Union address put: "to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you."

But one has to just simply look at neo-con media to see that long-time exiled groups associated with the ousted monarch or even groups such as the “National Council of Resistance of Iran” - as they like to be known now - or the Mojahedeen Khalgh as they are commonly known in Iran are being referred to as a pro-democracy opposition group!

Only last week Ms Maryam Rajavi was given space in the International Herald Tribune, where she talked of her democratic credentials! It is well documented that the Mojahedeen Khalgh took refuge in Iraq after the early days of the Iranian revolution. And during the Iran/Iraq war that resulted in a million fatalities they fought alongside Saddam against their fellow nationals.

Would any American ever forgive another American group or individuals who fought against the US? Why does the IHT, a paper so close to the US government give space to a pitiable cult that was for nearly twenty years in bed with Saddam?

Is it not demeaning to the goals of Iranians striving for a democratic Iran to be linked in such a way with the deliriums of a violent cult? One wonders, is it the Mojahedeen Khalgh sort of democracy what president Bush proclaims he will “stands with”!

So has it really come to this? That the US now wishes to bomb Iran into a democracy and instate the likes of the Mojahedeen Khalgh upon our nation?

As Emadeddin Baghi, a leading democracy advocate in Iran has recently put:

“Many people in the West believe that the deadlock in Iran's
domestic politics blocks any hope for societal reform. But from my viewpoint
here in Iran, there is hope. Let me tell you why. Society itself, not the
government, creates change. And there are deep transformations occurring in
Iran. Out of sight of much of the world, Iran is inching its way toward

Iran does not need to be bombed into a democracy! President Bush you are the last person in the world the Iranians wish to “stand with”!

Friday, February 04, 2005


Ali Moazzami
moazzami_ali [at]

Thursday, 3 February, BBC News:
[Gen James Mattis c]aught on tape: "Actually, it's quite a lot of fun to fight; you know, it's a hell of a hoot. I like brawling; it's fun to shoot some people."
…[d]uring the discussion, he spoke of his experience fighting in Iraq as commander of the 1st Marine Division.

Thursday, 3 February, BBC News:
G.W. Bush : "And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you."

-Sir! Please do not stand close to us!


Rattling Iran by Noam Comsky

Rice urges 'united front' on Iran - BBC

Why Do I Oppose War? (2)

Sima Shakhsari*
shakhsari [at]


My second entry on this blog was inspired by Jahanshah Javid's photo essay about Bush's speech on In one of the captions, Jahanshah says that he felt helpless as he watched Bush speak, knowing that a war on Iran is on Bush's agenda. I share Jahanshah's feeling of helplessness. That is how I felt when I watched the presidential (s)elections this year, mainly because I was afraid of Bush's policies towards Iran.
But we can't afford to be paralyzed at this point. We have to speak up so that the drama of public polls does not give us so many lies about people's support for war, be it in Iran or in the U.S. When I saw the poll results on Jahanshah's photo essay (about 75% of Americans supporting the U.S. troops to stay in Iraq), I thought, how come I or anyone I know has never been included in these television "public polls"?! Who do they ask? How large is their sample? Have they asked the families of American youth who are sent to war about this? Soldiers as young as 18, who are recruited mostly from low-income neighborhoods in the U.S., are given the most risky tasks at war and are dying in Iraq. Many young men who join do not have a future to look forward to, except for unemployment. Have they asked the Vietnam war veterans about keeping the troops in Iraq?
Would it not be wiser if Bush allocated a fraction of the money that is spent on war machines to improve our education system, here in the U.S.? Would it not make sense to help the problem of homelessness and poverty in America? But I guess the military industry wouldn't be in business anymore if the U.S. did not create wars, would it? The fact is that war brings death and destruction for both sides. If Bush and his ilk benefit economically and politically from wars in the Middle East, it is at the expense of those who pay for it with their lives on both sides.
Here is a poem I found on the Gold Star Families for Peace website. Many Iranians who have experienced the atrocities of war can relate to this poem...

"A Nation Rocked to Sleep" by Carly

Have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?
The torrential rains of a mother's weeping will never be done
They call him a hero, you should be glad that he's one,
but Have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?

Have you ever heard the sound of a father holding back his cries?
He must be brave because his boy died for another man's lies
The only grief he allows himself are long, deep sighs
Have you ever heard the sound of a father holding back his cries?

Have you ever heard the sound of taps played at your brother's grave?
They say that he died so that the flag will continue to wave
But I believe he died because they had oil to save
Have you ever heard the sound of taps played at your brother's grave?

Have you ever heard the sound of a nation being rocked to sleep?
The leaders want to keep you numb so the pain won't be so deep
But if we the people let them continue another mother will weep
Have you ever heard the sound of a nation being rocked to sleep?

Sima Shakhsari is a Ph.D. Candidate at Stanford and teaches at SFSU.

The Importance of Iraq Destiny

Omid Memarian*
Iranian intellectuals and scholars are traditionally against the United States policies especially in some arenas like obstructing in the process of liberalization and democratization. They mention many examples of US interfere in some countries which have strengthened this thought.

But let me tell you in some cases the basis of this thought is going to stop working. During the last years, the experience of Afghanistan and Iraq have been changed many images. When we compare the social and political atmosphere in Afghanistan before and after the US attack, honestly we can not think over the things that have happened there during the last 3 years. Indeed, the political and social status is not comparable with the Taliban period. So what was the result of war? What did the people achieve? These are questions that we have to answer. Little by little, the society is put to rights and the afghan people are hopeful about the future. They have passed a particular constitutional law and beside they are serious for structural reform little by little.

Iranians actually feel the differences. The attitudes with afghan people have changed intensely. Afghans’ self confidence has grown up rapidly and the attitudes with them have changed strongly. They are going to acquire their national proud again and I can imagine what they feel. However, there is not a similar situation in Iraq. Iraq is more complicated and different in compare with Afghanistan. But, let me tell you that the result of US policies in the Middle East is powerfully related to Iraq destiny. Iraq experiment toward democracy is the big test for the US doctrine about Democracy in the Middle East.

Iran is watching the Iraq model carefully. If the interior political spheres close by the hardliner, be sure that people look out of the borders. Because, the experiment of US in Afghanistan and Iraq, can show them the exact direction. They hate a second war. But when there is nothing to lose, there is no difference for them to choose. So it seems that the atmosphere for any action in Iran depends on the destiny of Iraq and also the attitudes of Iranians officials in the country. Human rights are one of the most important weak points to deal with.
That’s a warning for the Iranians officials. I think that there is no play. At this time threats are very serious. And there is no way for decreasing the threats unless opening the political and social sphere for people’s real participation. I believe the exact and touchable actions in this way; can decrease the amount of hazard. (

*Omid Memarian is a 30-year-old journalist living in Tehran

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Democratic Illusions

Iran: the next target?

Democracy never comes with war!

I am opposing any kind of preemptive attack to any country in the world and of course my home country, Iran. Nothing justifies war and the bloodshed and chaos caused by war. The last thing that could happen as a result of war is "real democracy". Even if we believe the hardly convincing intention of US to bring democracy to Iran, democracy could never happen over night as a gift from outsiders. Democracy is a cultural issue that could happen only through education. Fortunately large percentage of the current population of Iran remembers what we went through during eight years of war with Iraq. We lost our talented and gifted young people; we lost our economy; we forgot to fight for our freedom; we forgot to fight for our democracy. We do not need another war to destroy even the little thing we could have achieved after the war with Iraq.

A PhD Student of Computer Science in US

Mullahs, Nuclear Power and the Mr President Threats: A Multiple Dilemma

Iranian Diaries
iraniandiaries [at]

“Today, Iran remains the world's primary state sponsor of terror—pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve. We are working with European allies to make clear to the Iranian regime that it must give up its uranium enrichment program and any plutonium reprocessing, and end its support for terror. And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you.”

Mr President George W Bush addresses his State of the Union in the Chamber of the US House of Representatives on February 2, 2005. Above was a part of his speech regarding Iran’s current situation; and now some points on these part:

1- “World’s primary state sponsor of terror”, and what is the terror Mr President is so afraid of? “Pursuing nuclear weapons” comes first. But is having nuclear weapons by itself a reason to be a terrorist or a supporter of terrorism? So USA by having the most number of most high-tech nuclear bombs is the “world’s primary state sponsor of terror”, and then comes the Israel, China, Russia, Pakistan, and some other handful countries in the world that have the reservoirs of atomic bombs. Thus, having just some nuclear bombs, as Mr Bush addresses, can’t be a reason for a country to be a terrorist. Therefore comes the question of “what” country has the bombs or the technology to make them—is it a “friend” of USA or an “enemy”? North Korea is also an enemy of USA, but unfortunately they had their nuclear bombs before USA could do any efforts—diplomatic or military—to prevent them to access the top secret technology.

Finally, “a potential danger to the world” is translated into “a potential danger to the USA.” And is Iranian Government really a danger to USA if they have got nuclear bombs? It doesn’t seem so. No country in the today modern world is crazy enough to invade another country by such a destructive weapon like a nuclear bomb. But like the North Korea case, having the bombs can prevent a country like USA to invade, because this action can put a reasonable government into craze.

As a result, as much as USA is concerned, I see no problem in my country to have nuclear bombs. But there is another, more severe problem if the Mullahs have got the bombs, that I address it below in the point number 2.

2- “…while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve.” The second reason Mr George W Bush addresses about Iran to be world’s primary state sponsor of terror, is as much correct as we feel here inside Iran. The Iranian Government, the Mullahcracy in general, is as irresponsible as it gets. Many crimes are done here in the name of God, or supporting the so-called “Velayat-e Faghih” (a system that needs a mullah ruling all aspects of the country), or supporting the Islam, dignity, and so on.

There are no really free newspaper in the country—all the journalists are afraid of telling the truth because undoubtedly they will then be arrested and sent into the jail (if they are lucky enough not to killed by hardliners). The audiovisual media (radio and television channels) are all under the rule of governing mullahs. All the books to be published, must undergo a strict line-by-line reading by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to make sure there is nothing against the rules made by mullahs inside them. And as a result, many books has not the chance to be published, or they are heavily censored (Even novels by great authors like Gabriel Garcia Marquez undergo censorship that makes the novel in some pages just nonsense!). The case for movies, videos and music is similar. So is the case for internet and surfing and blogging (you may have heard that Orkut is now filtered inside Iran!).

The people inside Iran are getting sadder and sadder. Mullahs don’t tolerate “mass happiness”. For example, for the Norouz which is the beginning of the Persian new year (on 21 March), you see no carnivals on the streets, and no music or dancing outdoors. Also there are no discos, night clubs and the sort in any city of Iran. All the happiness is done behind the closed doors of the houses, so-called “underground”. More government pushes people toward Islam (as they interpret it of course, as a religion of sadness), more people hate both them and their version of Islam.

If I want to write about social and political limitations in Iran today, I should write much more, so I think it’s enough for this post. Therefore, as much as these issues are concerned, I never ever want the mullahs to have nuclear power. If they have it, pushing them outside the power would become much more difficult, and they would become much more irresponsible. Of course, Iran is not the only country that seeks nuclear power, and also it’s not the only one who has irresponsible government. But I agree with Mr Bush that Iranian people “deserve” the freedom they seek. But is USA really deserved to liberate us?

3- “We are working with European allies to make clear to the Iranian regime that it must give up its uranium enrichment program and any plutonium reprocessing, and end its support for terror.” I pray for you Mr Bush to be successful in these efforts!

4- “And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you.” Thank you much Mr President, but how? Are you going to invade us like Iraq and Afghanistan, and destroy “strategic targets” by the bombs and missiles that may, by mistake, destroy a residential area? And do you really think such a “revolutionary” action would really liberate us of dictatorship?

As an Iranian, I tell you we don’t need another revolution, nor another war, nor more bombs and missiles. Make all of your efforts, diplomatically, (along with your allies) to push the mullahs out of power, and we—as always—will welcome American people—not the army—inside our country, as our respected guests—not bitter occupiers.

In post-mullahs era, we’d travel to USA without a need to go to US Embassy in Turkey, UAE, etc., only to be rejected cause of being an Iranian. We’d re-obtain the “respect” we had before the Islamic Revolution throughout the world. The value of our national money would enhance, and we’d earn the salaries we deserve. Above all, we’d have the rights every person in a civilized society must have.

OK, after all you would benefit our national reservoirs—petroleum, mines, etc.—along with us, and we’d be as much free as USA international policies let. When we’d have some welfare, are the political games really important?


Reflections on 2005 State of the Union

The world's primary state sponsor of terror

Rhetoric of freedom and its paradoxes

A petition to George W. Bush

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

A Kind Advice to President Bush

You could be very wrong about Iranians, why?

What are the major sources of U.S. policy makers' intelligence about Iran? Well, mostly the opposition parties outside the Iran. I believe the cause of Iraq war was a misinterpretation of intelligence by U.S. intelligence services. It is obvious that Iraq hadn't weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when U.S. anxiously decided to attack it. Everyone can remember that President Bush was so sure that they will find WMD and justify to the world their unlawful invasion.

Why was President Bush wrong? Because they had gathered their intelligence basically from Iraqi opposition groups which were mainly in exile. The outsiders tried to intimate United Stated from a prominent fake danger in the Middle East and were actually successful to deceive U.S. policy makers and force them to spend their financial and political resources in accordance to their will. Since then U.S. lawful prestige has been greatly harmed in the world as an unlawful

What's the resemblance to Iran?

The same scenario is happening again. U.S. is again being intimated by their very much correlated intelligence resources vastly form of Iranian outsiders which are trying to use U.S. military power to overthrown Iranian government.
There has been some propaganda in some Persian Satellite TV's that Iranians will support military action against their government! It looks like that they think all that is needed to get rid of Iran cleric government is just broadcasting a breaking news on C.N.N that U.S. has started the attack and the rest will be done by inside citizens!

I just want to warn the U.S. or any other country which counts on military action in dealing with Iran that Iranians are one of the most patriotic nations. After several thousand years that Persian Empire has extinct, still Iranians call themselves "Persian". The whole conflict between Iran and U.S. in early 80's was because there was a belief that U.S. was influencing the Iranian government causing a hatred which continued after revolution and resulted in the occupation
of U.S. embassy in Tehran by Iranian students.

Unfortunately it is not possible to make a polling to show what percentage of Iranians welcome U.S. troops to their country. Many don't like to see another emotional revolution 20 years later from now to push U.S. out of Iran because of the same feeling among the nation that Iran has become sort of modern colony of United State. Obviously, Iran or any other country that hasn't reached nuclear technology yet can become a potential disturber of global power balance if it plans to achieve that. However, there are very simple effective mechanisms to prevent regimes of making nuclear warfare. The whole purpose of IAEA has been safety in use of nuclear technology and this is the way that Europeans are trying to relief their concerns.

As the final message, don't trust PMOI or Iranians outsiders who haven't even seen Iran since 20 years ago. Don't be intimidated of the technology which Iran government is just talking of, don't think Iranians will welcome foreign invaders and very simply don't kill our people and your soldiers for nothing!

By: An Iranian for Peace.

In the name of all the lives in Iran who deserve to be alive

Iranian Diaries

I sit in front of my computer and connect to internet; the Persian blogsphere is announcing of the probable attack of the USA against Iran. There are some petitions to stop this thinking of military invasion, this one to UN General Assembly and this one to George W. Bush.

I sit in front of my computer, in a cold winter night, in my warm room; but I’m afraid and I feel cold. The news of war frightens me. I remember the years that I was a school child, when my country was included in a bloody war with Iraq, we were frightened: are we the next target of Iraqi bombs or missiles? Nothing is more frightening than living in fear.

I click on a link and read an essay in Frontpage Magazine in which it’s written of Iranians welcome to possible USA military action against Iran. I read all the lies—the truth is that there is no staying at home to see that speeches of George W. Bush, and there are no discussions of welcome to USA troops in taxis and buses. Also no so-called Civil Disobedience Movement, which sounds more foolish than making any sense. No one here—at least among the people I know—welcomes a war.

I am writing to a world who reads these lines: I, as an Iranian—a 27-year-old boy who is not satisfied with the current government of Iran and seeks a way to have a better living, perhaps in a foreign country—with all of conflictions in today Iran, can’t tolerate another invasion to my mother land. I don’t want to see my Iran destroyed under bombs and missiles, and people died or injured or lost their families or homes, in a war between Iranian government and USA government in which only innocent people would hurt.

My country has lots of potentials to get better which any war would vanish all that potentials. OK, I’m not with this government; I want respect, good salary, social and political freedom, etc., but I’m sure that a bloody war can't give me these sort of things in a beautiful package, like a gift.

Thus, in the name of all the lives in Iran who deserve to be alive, I ask Mr Bush and all of his alleys to stop thinking in a war way, and ask the world to show a reaction before the USA get serious in doing any harsh action.


A petition addressing the United Nations to prevent an attack on Iran

No War on Iran! Another anti-war weblog :)

Steps of the Soldiers...

Arash Ashoorinia*
arashdarayene [at]

I don’t want foreign soldiers' feet on my land, I don't want any soldier's feet on my land...

I’m a photographer. I’m not good at words. I will try to show my anti-war feelings through my photos here.

*Arash Ashoorinia is a 24-year-old photographer living in Tehran.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

War of the Worlds

Khodadad Rezakhani*
khodadad21 [at]

As I am starting to write this piece, it occurs to me that it is rather absurd to write about the evils of war in this day and age. Maybe it is because I am a historian, but I really thought we all have gotten the idea that war, or military action, really gets us nowhere. Haven’t we all seen those films about wars and massacres? How many times are we to be reminded of the pain that war brings, and the issues it does not solve?

It is redundant and superfluous to state that war has never brought any change for the better. Even those wars that are glorified -- Punic Wars, Agincourt, Austerlitz – brought just pain and suffering. As “modern” human beings, we imagine that this simple fact is universally known. We imagine that as a species, we have grown to a stage where we realize that offensive military action does not solve anything. It goes with other values we think to be universal. In the same way that we think inquisition and racial extermination are wrong and humanism and open-mindedness is right, we also imagine that war is evil and unnecessary. It is the wrong way to do things, although it might sound like the easiest way.

However, it sadly seems as if some of us are still mesmerized by the glory of the war. We still think that the power that war brings is what we need. We think that if we have the power to wage war, then we have a responsibility to do so, and of course, we are the ones who decide when the appropriate time to enact this responsibility is.

This is when those values we took for granted – humanism, open-mindedness, etc. – suddenly start to crumble down. All of a sudden, we realize that all of those values and “achievements” of our modern mind is just arbitrary. We sadly realize that whatever Socrates, Avicenna, Averroes, Erasmus, Francis Bacon, John Stewart Mill, Jean Jacque Russo, Thomas Jefferson, Nietzsche, and other founders of our modern humanistic “civilisation” did was just a vulnerable house of cards. All that the humanity has achieved by going through trials and errors, by resisting pressure and persecution, by innovating and inventing, all that we hold dear, is at the end just a set of ideas. Ideas that exist in theory and their survival depend on the agreement of the whole humanity. As a result, when one part of this humanity, the one that has the real, physical, military power, refuses to accept these ideas, it means that they cannot be held strong any more.

Now, we are at the critical juncture of just such challenge. A lot of us are aware that the world is not the perfect Utopia of Plato and Thomas Moore, and it probably will never be. However, we believe that ideas such as freedom, equality, and pursuit of happiness are universal. We believe that these ideas and values are inherent in all human beings, and they are not novel, rare ideas that have sprang-up in one part of this world of us humans. We also believe that these ideas are powerful enough by themselves and they will manage to penetrate even the most stubborn of situations. After all, they managed to break through 1000 years of Dark Ages and persecution in Europe and change the lands of Inquisition and Nazism. As Voltaire said, “Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has arrived.”

However, we also believe that people will never forcefully adopt any ideas and that the mindset that imagines ideas can be forced is fundamentally flawed. After all, those who developed these ideas, “Our Forefathers”, were exactly fighting against the idea that values can be forced. Consequently, that section of world which naively believes that democracy and freedom can be “taught” by invading other lands and forcing people to learn democracy is making a mistake. Not only are they mistaken in thinking that democracy is a value limited to them, they are also gravely miscalculating their ability to “teach” these values. People of Iran, indeed people everywhere, do know about freedom, equality, and pursuit of happiness, and like all others, they are striving for it. However, they will never want to be force-fed the sweet nectar of freedom. Democracy that is bombed on the people and their land, a land they keep very dear, will be duly rejected.

War in not the answer.

* Khodadad Rezakhani is a PhD Student of Medieval history at UCLA and a lecturer in Santa Monica College