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Iranian Alert -- January 2, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 1.2.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 01/02/2004 12:18:27 AM PST by DoctorZIn

The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, “this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year.” But most American’s are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.

There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government.

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.

In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.

This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.

I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.

If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.

If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

1 posted on 01/02/2004 12:18:28 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

2 posted on 01/02/2004 12:21:27 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Bush Denies Policy Shift on Iran

January 02, 2004
BBC News

US President George W Bush has said that moves to help Iran in the wake of the earthquake is not a sign of a thaw in relations with Tehran. US authorities announced on Wednesday that sanctions on the transfer of money would be eased to help relief efforts.

Senior Iranian officials welcomed the measures and said it was a positive step towards improved relations.

But Mr Bush said Tehran needed to do more if it wanted better ties with Washington.

Among these were the handing over of al-Qaeda suspects held in the country, and the end of what Mr Bush called Iran's nuclear weapons programme.

The US president was speaking on the day a memorial service was held for the victims of last Friday's earthquake in Bam.

As the city mourned the loss of up to 50,000 of its citizens, there was the odd glimmer of hope as reports - mostly unsubstantiated - surfaced of people found alive amid the rubble.

The US easing of sanctions means that, over the next 90 days, donations from American citizens and non-governmental organisations can be made to groups in Iran without needing specific authorisation from the US treasury.

Sensitive technology, including computers and satellite telephones, can also be exported to the country.

"What we're doing in Iran is we're showing the Iranian people the American people care, that they've got great compassion for human suffering," Mr Bush told reporters.

'New atmosphere'

Aid workers from the US have already joined the effort to help survivors, in the first official representation by Americans since Washington cut ties with Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi welcomed Washington's move and said if it became permanent it would "create a new atmosphere".

Earlier, former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said positive signals had been coming from the Bush administration for several months.

However, Mr Bush - on a day spent quail hunting with his father in Texas - told reporters the move did not signal a change in policy towards Iran.

"The Iranian Government must listen to the voices of those who long for freedom, must turn over al-Qaeda that are in their custody and must abandon their nuclear weapons programme," he said.

The BBC's Tehran correspondent Jim Muir says there are still elements in both Iran and the US who are hostile to the idea of re-opening dialogue.

However, the Bam earthquake has created a climate of goodwill that will make dialogue easier if the political blocks on both sides fall into place, he adds.

Saved by a wardrobe

Former President Rafsanjani was among the mourners who came to the half-built central mosque in Bam to give his condolences to the people.

The BBC's Angus Crawford, in Bam, says he spoke poetically of the palm trees that line the streets of Bam standing witness to the destruction around them.

Earlier 26-year-old Yadollah Saadat, was rescued - saved by a wardrobe that had fallen on him protecting him from falling debris.

He was taken to a field hospital in Bam and treated for dehydration and a broken hip.

His wife, Fatima, who for the last six days believed she had become a widow, told reporters she could not express her happiness.

There were unconfirmed reports from Iranian television that a pregnant woman and another man were found on Thursday and taken to hospital.

State radio said the city had seen its first wedding since the earthquake - a ceremony initially scheduled for the day the quake struck.

Medical workers also reported more good news amid the gloom as three boys were delivered in a French field hospital and two girls delivered in a Ukrainian field hospital.
3 posted on 01/02/2004 12:22:56 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Bush Appeals to Pro-democracy Forces in Iran

January 02, 2004
The Associated Press
deb riechmann

FALFURRIAS, Texas -- Appealing directly to pro-democracy forces in Iran, President Bush on Thursday said that U.S. humanitarian aid to earthquake victims there should prove that America is compassionate even though it lists Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Speaking to reporters in southern Texas where he and his father went quail hunting on New Year's Day, Bush didn't change the U.S. public stance toward Iran a nation he has labeled, along with Iraq and North Korea, as an ``axis of evil.'' The president continued to call on Iran to give up its nuclear weapons and do more to fight terrorism, but his words lacked the harsh, warring tones of earlier statements he's made about the nation.

``What we're doing in Iran is we're showing the Iranian people the American people care, that we've got great compassion for human suffering,'' Bush said.

U.S. officials have raised the possibility that Iran's acceptance of American aid following a massive earthquake that killed nearly 30,000 may be a sign of slow movement toward better relations between the longtime enemies. Secretary of State Colin Powell told The Washington Post earlier in the week that there were encouraging developments in Iran and that Tehran was demonstrating a ``new attitude'' on some issues.

Bush said the United States is glad the Iranian government has allowed U.S. humanitarian aid flights into the country. ``It's right to take care of people when they hurt, and we're doing that,'' Bush said.

But he added: ``The Iranian government must listen to the voices of those who long for freedom, must turn over al-Qaeda that are in their custody and must abandon their nuclear weapons program.''

He said he hopes Iran will hand over members of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization to their countries of origin, scrap its nuclear weapons in a verifiable way and abide by an accord it signed on Dec. 18 to open its nuclear facilities to international inspectors.

``And, as well, it's very important for them to listen to those voices in their country who are demanding freedom,'' Bush said, repeating his support for pro-democracy forces. ``We stand strongly with those who demand freedom.''

While thanking the U.S. government for its humanitarian relief work, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said earlier this week that there could be no thaw in a 25-year diplomatic freeze unless Washington changed its tone and behavior.

On Thursday, however, Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi said the Bush administration's decision to lift sanctions on Iran for 90 days to allow aid to enter was a ``positive step.'' Former president Hashemi Rafsanjani also welcomed the U.S. move. Asked if these signals could mean improved Iran-U.S. relations, he said: ``I am not sure but the signals point in that direction.''
4 posted on 01/02/2004 12:24:02 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Bush Lists Demands of Iran

January 01, 2004
Yahoo News

US President George W. Bush said that helping Iranians after last week's devastating earthquake was the right thing to do, but that US aid did not signal a thaw in relations with Tehran.

"What we're doing in Iran is we're showing the Iranian people the American people care, that they've got great compassion for human suffering," he told reporters after hunting quail here with his father.

But if Tehran wants better relations, it must turn over any member of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network it has in custody, abandon efforts to develop unconventional weapons, and embrace political reforms.

"The Iranian government must listen to the voices of those who long for freedom, must turn over al-Qaeda that are in their custody and must abandon their nuclear weapons program," he said.

Bush said he had temporarily eased restrictions on sending money and sensitive equipment to Iran "to be able to get humanitarian aid into the country," not send a signal to Tehran.

"We appreciate the fact the Iranian government is willing to allow our humanitarian aid flights into their country. And it's a good thing to do, it's right to take care of people when they hurt and we're doing that," he added.

A Bush aide who asked not to be named said the US leader consulted top foreign policy advisers last weekend on whether Washington could do more to help Iran following the quake, which devastated the city of Bam and may have left up to 40,000 dead.

When they told him that the restrictions, a symptom of the break in relations following the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, hampered aid efforts, he ordered them eased, the aide said.

In his 2002 "State of the Union" speech, Bush declared Iran part of an "axis of evil" with North Korea and Iraq.
5 posted on 01/02/2004 12:25:08 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranians seek relatives among mass graves

Washington Times - By James Astill
Jan 2, 2004

BAM — One by one, thousands of dead faces popped up on three computer screens, most of them horrifically disfigured.

As a memorial to the tens of thousands of Iranians who perished in the earthquake that hit Bam last Friday, the slideshow playing in its main graveyard would be shocking enough.
But the crowd, jostling in silence for a better view, had not gathered to remember its dead, but to find them.

"I'm looking for my husband, I haven't seen him since the city collapsed," said Razieh Sabeti, 47, staring at the flickering photos of the dead, each marked with the number of their grave.

Three miraculous rescues pierced the gloom in the devastated city of Bam yesterday.

Relief workers pulled a young man and a child alive from the ruins six days after the quake flattened the medieval town 625 miles southeast of Tehran. State television said a pregnant woman also was rescued later in the day.
But Mrs. Sabeti's hopes faded as she stared at the computer screen. Her husband traveled to Bam from an outlying village, looking for work, the day before the earthquake, she explained.

"I am sure he is dead," she said. "But if that is true, I hope he is here. Then, I will find his grave."

According to the government's latest estimate, the earthquake will claim at least 30,000 lives and possibly as many as 50,000; or a quarter of the population of Bam and the surrounding villages.

Several thousand of the victims buried in Bam's main cemetery were buried in mass graves within hours of the quake and were not photographed.

Many of the dead faces that were photographed and numbered are unrecognizably damaged.

The most disfigured were covered with cloths for the camera. Their flickering death images revealed only a brief glimpse of hair or a small patch of skin, making it almost impossible to determine their age or sex.

Near the car, at the cemetery's entrance, three black-turbaned mullahs slumped, exhausted.

They had been burying bodies for three days and nights with almost no sleep, praying over one then moving to the next.

Several thousand victims of the earthquake still were formally unburied, according to the government. But most are lying deep in the powdery rubble of the city.

Across Bam's vast desert graveyard, hundreds of people were searching for the graves of people they had loved.

Some had seen their relatives buried and had marked the graves with rocks, branches or tin cans.

Others searched blindly, traipsing over thousands of small mounds and past a dozen long, sandy ridges marking where hundreds of corpses lay tangled together.

Crawling on his hands and knees, 13-year-old Hussein sniffed the sand. The twig that he had marked his parents' grave with had been removed, making the grave impossible to distinguish from dozens of others nearby.

So, he was attempting to pick up his dead mother's former scent.

"I know my mother's smell so well, I am sure I will recognize it," he said.

Hachimeh Ghamari, 25, and three of her few living relatives had not even that desperate hope, as they searched for some unknown sign of her mother's grave among the thousands of identical mounds.

"She was not registered: I have looked at the photographs for days," she said.

Mrs. Ghamari lost 15 close relatives in the quake, including her 5-year-old son, her husband, both her parents, her three brothers and their children. In all, she lost two hundred relatives.

Other mourners were hastening to mark the graves permanently.

Mixing cement with a long handled shovel, Rezah Ravidabadi, 27, was preparing a surface for a row of seven graves. When the cement was spread, he would write on it the names of his sister, her husband and their five small children.

Alongside him, his cousin was building a single small wall around the graves with bricks from the house that collapsed on the family.

"Only when their grave is beautiful, can we mourn them," said Mr. Ravidabadi. "We will work until it is done."
6 posted on 01/02/2004 12:26:26 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: DoctorZIn
And on PBS News Hour last night, an American Dr. talked about the gracious reception the American aid workers received from The Iranian people in Bam. He said the people apologized for the Americans having to be there during their Christmas and New Years holidays. Is that incredible?
They're Apologizing to US?
They've lost EVERYTHING and they're Apologizing and giving the rescue workers flowers....................
WHAT MORE can our country DO to HELP them break the suffocating hold that the regime has on these people???
8 posted on 01/02/2004 4:35:47 AM PST by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert
Any link of that news story?
9 posted on 01/02/2004 5:14:43 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn

US aid workers join locals attending a memorial service for the victims in the earthquake-stricken southeastern Iranian city of Bam(AFP/Behrouz Mehri)

10 posted on 01/02/2004 5:35:37 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; freedom44; McGavin999; cardinal4; RaceBannon; Valin; blackie; onyx; Eala; BlackVeil; ...

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (background) soldiers keep an eye on US relief workers from the US International, Medical, Surgical, response team in the devastated Iranian city of Bam. US relief workers arrived in Iran to help in rescue operations following last week's earthquake that flattened the historic city killing more than 50,000 people(AFP/Behrouz Mehri)

11 posted on 01/02/2004 5:51:40 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
It would be a transcript I suppose. Don't know if
it would be available on their site. Doubt it. But I'll check.
12 posted on 01/02/2004 6:28:50 AM PST by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
Medical workers also reported more good news amid the gloom as three boys were delivered in a French field hospital and two girls delivered in a Ukrainian field hospital.

And life goes on.

13 posted on 01/02/2004 6:56:48 AM PST by McGavin999
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To: F14 Pilot
Freedom for Iran ~ Now!
14 posted on 01/02/2004 8:05:31 AM PST by blackie
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To: DoctorZIn
The Walled Garden

January 01, 2004
Iran Institute for Democracy
Professor Bernard Lewis

Interview with Bernard Lewis

With special thanks to Mrs. Annamarie Cerminaro, to the Department of Near Eastern Studies Princeton University, and to H. for lasting friendship in a world that smiles not often!

Princeton, October 29th, 2003

"In the first year of the reign of Cyrus king Cyrus commanded that the house of the Lord at Jerusalem should be built again, where they do sacrifice with continual fire."

First Book of Esdras - Chapter 6:24

"Persians abhorred the drauga, the lie, and taught their children the arshta, the absolute loyalty."

In 'La Voie Royale des Perses', by Victor Von Hagen[1

"I think God smiles on them [Turks] more than us," she says, asking to be identified only by her nickname, lest she invite trouble from the police. "Because there it is by choice, and here it is by force".

Nahid, a 31 year old unemployed…

Hundreds of miles from the elite, international neighborhoods of Tehran.

In 'A Ride on Winds of Change', by Steve Coll.

Washington Post, November 8th, 2003.

Professor Bernard Lewis, the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Emeritus, at Princeton University, kindly greeted me in his home town. What follows is the result of an afternoon chat where he narrated aspects of the history and present time of my country.

To the Old Man of Princeton, we shall remain grateful.

Ramin Parham: On one side, we have the rapidly modernizing Orient, on the other hand, the modern west[2]. In between, a black hole called the world of Islam…

Bernard Lewis: this is becoming a matter of increasing concern for the people in the Middle East. They have been aware for a long time that they have been overtaken by the previously despised 'barbarians' of Christian Europe. Now, they are becoming aware that people who, half a century ago, were far behind them are now ahead of them. There is an Egyptian writer, Abdullah Nadin, who, in the late 19th century, wrote an essay in which he asks the question:" why is it that Europe is advancing and the Muslims are falling back?" In response, while dismissing various reasons, he asserts that only the West is ahead of us and India and China are far behind the Muslim world which, in his opinion, remains ahead of the Orient. This is no longer true. I also remember chatting with a Syrian professor who was saying that there are now more than 250 universities in the Arab world…

Parham: …that's not a lot…

Lewis: well! It's quite a lot. Nearly every one of them has a school of engineering. Between them, they turn out hundred of thousands of diplomed engineers. But, when an Arab government wants to do anything really sophisticated, they have to bring in contractors from outside. In the past, they used to bring in contractors from Europe or America. Now they bring them in from Korea. This is a country which 50 years ago was half a millennium behind the Arab Islamic world! They were just emerging from feudal, colonial servitude. Within half a century, the Koreans have caught up with the modern West and are light years ahead of the Islamic Middle East. So, this raises a very agonizing question…

Parham: this seems to me to be disequilibrium on a global scale, that is to say, the West is modernized, the East is rapidly modernizing and, in between, you have something that, the least to say, is resisting this global trend. This disequilibrium can drag on for how long?

Lewis: I don't know! I am a historian. I deal with the past, not with the future. What you can reasonably ask a historian is not to predict the future, but to formulate alternatives. What are the possible futures? Which ways might things go? There it seems to me that there are basically two such alternatives. Both have their representatives all over the Middle East. Clearly, the crisis of Islam[3] results from the impact of the West. I don't think anyone could dispute that. Let me put it differently: they wouldn't be aware of any crisis; they wouldn't know that anything was wrong if it were not for the comparison with the West. You know, people can be very comfortable when things are going badly provided they don't know about it. Now, what changed the perception? Modern communications did. In the past, ordinary people just didn't know. Now they know. They know and see that theirs is a failed society, compared with the Western world, and now, with other parts of the non-Western world as well. Colonialism certainly is an important element. But, compare the different kind of colonies. Aden was a crown colony and so were Singapore and Hong Kong. Look at the difference between Aden, on the one hand, and Singapore and Hong Kong on the other, with the same colonial power, the same colonial rule, and the same colonial experience. A more dramatic example is that of India. The British Empire's colonial rule in India came to an end in 1947. India was partitioned at that time into two countries: India and Pakistan. India was a secular republic while Pakistan was an Islamic republic. The historical experience is practically identical: the same colonial power, the same colonial rule, the same colonial administration, and even the same pre-colonial history, ethnic and cultural conditions! But, look how different the developments have been. Broadly speaking, there have been many discussions on this larger issue among Muslims. It began, as far as I know, in Turkey. For a very good reason, because the Turks were, so to speak, at the forefront, being in the immediate contact with Europe and having suffered the first modern defeat in the hands of Europe. The loss of Spain in the Middle Ages was remote and peripheral, and had little impact in the heartland of Islam. The defeat of the previously invincible Turks was nearer home, and affected the major Islamic power of the time. So, they knew. The debate begins 300 years ago. It begins in the political and military elite of Turkey and gradually spreads to other layers of the population in Turkey and from there to other countries in the region. Broadly speaking, there are two approaches to this question. There are those who say that we have been falling behind the modern world and the remedy is to modernize. This has been the line of Turkish reformers, of Ataturk and others like him in other countries. The other view is the exact opposite. They say that our bad situation is because we have imitated the ways of the infidels. We have abandoned our authentic traditions. We abandoned the religion which God gave us. Instead, we have brought in foreign rules, foreign ways, and foreign customs. And the remedy is islamization, or re-islamization if you like. These are the two broad categories. Obviously, there are many sub-varieties in each one of them and there are various compromises between the two of them. It is not a clear, contrasted choice between modernization and anti-modernization because many of the modernists have a religious component and many of the islamists have a modernist component. But, obviously, the dominant feature in each is quite different and very contradictory. Recently, there are signs, for the first time, of an awareness in important parts of the Islamic world that things are going badly wrong. You have seen these reports prepared by a committee of Arab intellectuals…

Parham: …the Arab Human Development Report, by the UNDP[4]?

Lewis: yes, and this is quite remarkable, this degree of self-criticism, self-analysis, and awareness of the various aspects of what is going wrong, which I found a hopeful sign. Naturally, people tend to blame outsiders or someone else, and it is not specific to Middle Easterners but a human natural response. But, out of control it becomes a very dangerous one. In this report, for the first time there is clear self-criticism. One of the tendencies on both sides is to blame the West for their predicaments, and talk about imperialism and colonialism and so on…I have several comments on that. What does imperialism mean? Well! Imperialism means 'you rule us', if 'we rule you' that's perfectly all right! When the Muslims conquered Portugal and Spain and southern Italy and invaded southern France, that was good and it wasn't imperialism! When the Turks conquered Anatolia and Constantinople and parts of Eastern Europe and laid siege to Vienna, that wasn't imperialism. That was good! When the Europeans counter-attacked and drove them out and followed them to where they had come from, that is imperialism! Well, life is not quite as simple as that! If one limits the term imperialism to direct rule, then one observes curious things. For example, in the Arab East, since the Arab West is different, colonial rule began after the first World War, when the Ottoman empire was finally defeated and destroyed and its territories partitioned between the victorious allies, Britain and France. And it ended after the Second World War, when these countries became independent and the French and the British left. So the whole period of colonial rule in the Arab East is a little more than a quarter of a century…

Parham: …which is not very long…

Lewis: not very long! What went wrong[5] began before they arrived and continued at an accelerated pace after their departure. So, it is not a sufficient explanation. While the imperialists did some bad things, they also did some good things, like setting up schools and universities and building infrastructure and so on…One can not entirely acquit the West's responsibility. Not through imperialist rule, because imperialist rules were generally very cautious and very conservative. It was the enthusiastic westernizers in the Middle East, people like the Ottoman Sultans, Selim III and Mahmud II, Mohammad Ali Pasha in Egypt, and various rulers in Iran…they were not imperial rulers. They were fully independent ruling their countries but introducing western ways and techniques…It seems to me that this was a disaster…

Parham: …the pace of it?

Lewis: the pace and the manner. What it did was twofold. First, it greatly increased the power of the ruler. I think you know that in the traditional Muslim state the ruler is an autocrat indeed. Islamic traditional rule is authoritarian. But it is not despotic, it is not a dictatorship. There is always consultation. There is very strictly in Islam the notion that the ruler is subject to the law and not above the law. He is bound by the Sharia no less than the humblest of his slaves. There are also, in the law itself some restrictions on the sovereign power, what the ruler may and may not command. Not only that, but the authoritarian rule of the Sultan, or the Shah or whoever, was also limited by the law and tradition and by the existence of other elements in the society who acted as a sort of brake. You have the merchants classes, the bazaars in the cities, the gentry in the countryside, the military establishment, the bureaucratic establishment, the religious establishment, the landlords…This is not democracy, in the modern western sense. But it is a limitation on autocracy, a system which is very far from dictatorship or despotism. Authoritarian, yes, but with an important element of consultation and consent. As you know, in the Islamic political tradition consultation is very important. And the idea of being under the law is very important. The Koran says "obey your rulers". But the prophet is quoted as saying:" there is no obedience in sin." When the ruler orders something which is sinful, then there is no duty of obedience. There is a duty of disobedience. There is another Hadith: "no obedience to the creature against the Creator." So, you do have a concept of limited government under the law. We have evidence of this in 1786. The French ambassador in Istanbul, Monsieur le Comte de Choiseul-Gouffier, 3 years before the French Revolution, wrote a letter to his masters in Paris explaining why things are moving slowly. He says, here it is not like in France where the King is master and does what he pleases. Here, he says, the Sultan has to consult, with the current and even retired previous holders of high offices, with prominent people, and son on…he was referring to the system of 'mushavereh'[6]. What happened with modernization is that it gave the ruler far greater power that he had in the past. He communicates by telegraph, which gives him direct communication with his governors and his garrisons. He can send troops by rail or by mechanized transportation…

Parham: …he can disintermediate previous consuls…

Lewis: right. Not only that, but at the same time, the previous intermediate powers are being either weakened or eliminated. They are no longer independent elements in society as they used to be and are now under strict government control. The Sultan or the Shah or whoever it is does really whatever he pleases. This is getting worse and worse and worse…today, even any small dictator in a small country has far greater power than Suleiman the Magnificent, or Harun al Rachid or Nader Shah…it is an evil effect as I said, this reinforcement of the sovereign power and the elimination of the limiting powers. So for the first time in Islamic history, you get real dictatorship, despotism that didn't exist before. So, when they blame the West, they are not entirely wrong. But, they are wrong in blaming it on imperialism, because imperialism didn't do that. It was their own rulers, on their own free choice, trying to imitate the West, who brought this evil. That's the important point.

Parham: sort of a collateral damage of an otherwise necessary modernization process?

Lewis: yes!

Parham: because you had to reform the land and give power to the peasant…

Lewis: but they didn't give the power to the peasants. They gave power to the central government! There was this British naval officer, named Slate, who traveled extensively to the Middle East in the 19th century. He was attached to the Ottoman navy as an adviser with the title of 'Mushaver Pasha'! And he wrote some fascinating books. In one in particular, he talks about what he calls the 'new nobility'. There was the 'old nobility' who lived on their estates. Their authority derived not from the Sultan but from the traditional recognition. He (Slate) says that the 'old nobility' is gradually being eliminated and replaced by a 'new nobility' in the service of the state. Officials, bureaucrats and soldiers exercising the Sultan's power. And he has a very dramatic formulation on it. He says, "The old nobility lived on their estates; for the new nobility, the state is their estate"! So, when they blame the West, they are being unjust. When they blame westernization, they have a good deal of justification. You must remember that we are not talking a Hitler or Stalin type of colonial rule. I give you an example. We all have tremendous admiration for Gandhi and for his successful struggle to win independence for India from British rule. But he was able to do that because he was dealing with a democratic imperial power. Gandhi wouldn't have lasted a week against a Hitler or a Stalin, or Saddam Hussein. It is important to bear this in mind.

Parham: identity and alterity are related in such a way that who I am is also defined by the quality of my interlocutor…

Lewis: yes! And there is yet another accusation, what they call 'puppets'. Old style colonialism is now gone. This ended decisively with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the last of the colonial powers, a classical European imperialism, ruling over vast areas of Asia and subjecting Muslims people to their rule. And the Muslim world carefully avoided taking notice of this (Soviet) imperialism. They were much more hostile to Islam than any of the Western powers, which tended to be rather protective. What is happening now, is rule by native tyrants. But, as many Muslim see it, these are being ruled by 'puppets' of the West. Which more and more now means of the United States, since the rest of the West hardly matters. You had a classical example of this in Iran where the Shah was seen as 'a western puppet'. But look at what they got instead!

Countries in the Middle East, in terms of their attitude towards the United States, can be divided into three groups. You have countries with bitterly anti-American regimes and therefore strongly pro-American populations, notably Iran and to a remarkable extent also Iraq. Then you have countries with officially pro-American regimes, like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and therefore anti-American populations. And finally, you have countries where both the population and the government are friendly, i.e., turkey and Israel. And these are the only two countries where the governments are freely elected and can be removed by elections and thus represent the population.

Parham: How do you see Iran shaped by history?[7]

Lewis: there are two ways in which people are shaped by history. One is the reality and the other is the perception. What people see may be very different. There are very different ways of seeing and presenting the same history. I think Iran has played an enormously important role in the history of the whole Middle East and indeed of the world. There are some specific things that one can document. For example in religion, most of the ancient Middle East was idolatrous. They worshipped many gods in the form of many idols and some of them are quite nasty! There were only two peoples who departed from that, Israel and Iran. And that is why they immediately recognized each other. If you look at the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, whose books do not normally speak very kindly of many rulers of the region, Cyrus is acclaimed as God's anointed. And the government of Cyrus was very helpful to the Jews to return to their homeland. I think the basic reason for this is mutual recognition that they had the same kind of religion, not polytheist, not idolatrous. The Iranian form is more dualist but still the same basic principle. There is mutual recognition and mutual respect. There is one thing that is very clear, and that is if you compare pre-exilic Judaism and post-exilic Judaism, the signs of Iranian influence are manifest. We can do this fairly easily because we have the books in the Old Testament before and after the exile. The ones that are written after the exile show clear signs of Iranian influence. No doubt about it. There are some basic Iranian ideas. One could argue that Christianity is the result of Iranian impact on Israel. Christianity emerges from Judaism, although with certain differences. Some of these differences can be identified in Iranian terms. For example, the whole idea of an 'after-life', that of 'punishment and reward', the idea of 'temptation'…are of Iranian roots. There are even Iranian words in the Old Testament, like 'pardes'[8]. So the religious element is very important in this history. When Islam came, it didn't take Iranians very long to develop their own brand of Islam. I found the situation of the Iranians very similar to that of the English in certain respects. Take the language for instance. The Romans conquered the whole Western Europe and their language still survives in derived forms in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, but not in England. The Anglo-Saxon English is very much like Persian in this respect. In Persian you have an enormous Arabic vocabulary, but you have the basic Iranian structure. In English you have an enormous Latin vocabulary, but the basic structure is Anglo-Saxon. The British also became Christian at a very early date but they too developed their own brand of Christianity![9] Iran also has an enormous cultural impact on the Turks, east and west, and to the south to the Indo-Pak peninsula. Chronologically, Persian is the second language of Islam, after Arabic and in many parts of the world it is chronologically second, but practically first![10] Yet another important point is in Iran's enormous contribution to the whole business of communication. They (Iranians) developed the first network of (postal) couriers and relay stations. The ancient Greek visitors comment on it with admiration since there was nothing like it. Iranians certainly introduced the stirrup –Rekâb- to the Middle East. They either invented it or learned it from the steppes people but as far as we know Iranians introduced it to the Middle East. The Greek, the Romans, none of the ancient civilizations of the Middle East had it. And when you think how important the stirrup is both in riding and in war, a rider with the stirrup becomes the battle tank! You could carry out mounted charges with lances, which you couldn't without the stirrup. You would just be pushed off your horse! It also made possible the whole courier system. It is one of the major inventions in human history[11].

Parham: like the wheel!

Lewis: yes! Like the wheel…

Parham: Islamic religious law, or the Sharia, deals in some detail with matters of war to the extent that it even regulates the types of weapons that may be used.[12] Is the acquisition and use of a nuclear device, precluded by the theocrats of Tehran as anti-doctrinal, conceivable in such a pragmatic doctrine?

Lewis: the literature of Islamic law is vast. There are many different schools of law which often give quite different rulings on the same question. Since Jihad is seen as an obligation imposed by Sharia, it is therefore regulated by Sharia. All the text books of Sharia contain at least a chapter on the conduct of war. Generally speaking, the tendency of the jurists is quite strict in regulating what may or may not be done in war. They are against weapons of indiscriminate slaughter. For example, in discussing sieges, many of the jurists disliked the weapon that was used in siegecraft, such as the catapult. They are generally against the killing of non-combatants, which means, in particular, children, women, and the elderly. That is the majority view although there are differences. But, Hanbali jurists, the basis of Wahabi Islam, tend to be much more ruthless. There line essentially is "à la guerre comme à la guerre", without worrying much about mass slaughter. For example, they discuss chemical weapons, poison-tipped arrows and poisoning water supplies. But the overwhelming majority of the jurists forbids this. Today, what is much in question is suicide. The classical Islamic literature is overwhelmingly against suicide. Suicide is forbidden, it is a sin. Anyone who commits suicide would go to eternal damnation. And the punishment in hell would consist on the eternal repetition of the act of suicide. If he hangs himself, there is an eternity of choking. The opposition to suicide is so strong that they even discuss whether it is permissible to attack against overwhelming odds, in other words, to attack when attacking means certain death. The Hanbali jurists permit this provided it is in the service of Islam and for the good of the Muslims. Quite recently, in the mid to late 20th century, you have Wahabis who even go a step further by allowing a man to die by his own hands. Previously, the unanimous view of the Muslim jurists held that you may go to a certain death in battle, for your cause, but under no circumstances may you die by your own hands. If I were a Muslim believer committing suicide, I would want to know whether I would be going to eternal virgins or to eternal self-explosion! Unfortunately, they did not know their own religion very well. There is a story on this. Do you know what a 'Hadith Qudsi" is?

Parham: no!

Lewis: 'Hadith Qudsi" is where the prophet quotes God directly. There was a man who was a brave loyal fighter in the Islamic cause, the Jihad. In the battle he was wounded mortally. There was no hope that he could recover. But he was dying slowly and painfully. So he took his sword and killed himself, to shorten the pain. Then, God said:" my servant has preempted me. He will go to hell and not to heaven." He shall not enter paradise. So, even from an Islamic point of view there is a lot of distortion and misrepresentation in the case of the suicide bomber.

Parham: Attributed to the Prophet, a hadith says: "There is no obedience in sin". "Then the duty of obedience is replaced by a duty of disobedience".[13] If the strategy of non-violent civil disobedience succeeds in Iran, in bringing down a tyrannical oligarchy, wouldn't it set a fantastic precedent not just for the region but the entire Muslim world?

Lewis: yes, it will. And I am told that in Iran it is possible. No need for a military operation. Iranian people can do it, with a little help and encouragement. Am I right in thinking that the overwhelming majority of the population is against the regime?

Parham: yes they are. Professor Lewis, my last question pertains to the future relations between Israel and a free Iran. How do you see the potential for such relations and the possible synergies?

Lewis: there are common roots going back to antiquity with a sort of mutual recognition. That gives an obvious basis for the present time. They are both threatened by the same forces. I know that in Israel there is tremendous good will to Iran.


[1] Collection 'Les Premiers Matins du Monde', dirigée par Christian Bernadec, édition Française France-Empire, Paris 1981.

[2] The Crisis of Islam, by B. Lewis, Modern Library Edition, New York, 2003, page 4.

[3] Cf. The Crisis of Islam, by Bernard Lewis, Modern Library Edition, New York, 2003.

[4] Arab Human Development Report 2003, UNDP.

[5] What Went Wrong: the Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East, by Bernard Lewis, Oxford University Press, New York 2002.

[6] Arabic word for 'consulting'.

[7] The revolt of Islam, by B. Lewis. New Yorker, issue 2001-11-19

[8] Paradise, Middle English paradis, from Old French, from Late Latin paradisus, from Greek paradeisos, garden, enclosed park, paradise, from Avestan pairidaeza-, enclosure, park

[9] "There are interesting parallels between the Norman conquest of England and the Arab conquest of Iran-a new language, created by the breakdown and simplification of the old language and the importation of an enormous vocabulary of words from the language of the conquerors; the creation of a new and compound identity, embracing both the conquerors and the conquered." From "The Iranians" by Bernard Lewis published in 2001 by Tel Aviv University's Mushe Dayan Center.

[10] "In a sense, Iranian Islam is a second advent of Islam itself, a new Islam sometimes referred to as Islam-i Ajam. It was this Persian Islam, rather than the original Arab Islam, that was brought to new areas and new peoples: to the Turks, first in Central Asia and then in the Middle East in the country which came to be called Turkey, and of course to India. The Ottoman Turks brought a form of Iranian civilization to the walls of Vienna." From "The Iranians" by Bernard Lewis published in 2001 by Tel Aviv University's Mushe Dayan Center.

[11] The Royal Road: according to the Greek researcher Herodotus of Halicarnassus (fifth century BCE) the road that connected the capital of Lydia, Sardes, and the capitals of the Achaemenid empire, Susa and Persepolis. From cuneiform texts, other royal roads are known. Herodotus describes the road between Sardes and Susa in the following words: "As regards this road the truth is as follows. Everywhere there are royal stations with excellent resting places, and the whole road runs through country which is inhabited and safe". At Persepolis, many tablets were found that refer to the system of horse changing on the Royal road; it was called pirradaziš. Herodotus describes the pirradaziš -for which he uses another name- in very laudatory words: "There is nothing mortal which accomplishes a journey with more speed than these messengers, so skillfully has this been invented by the Persians. For they say that according to the number of days of which the entire journey consists, so many horses and men are set at intervals, each man and horse appointed for a day's journey. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness of night prevents them from accomplishing the task proposed to them with the very utmost speed. The first one rides and delivers the message with which he is charged to the second, and the second to the third; and after that it goes through them handed from one to the other, as in the torch race among the Greeks, which they perform for Hephaestus. This kind of running of their horses the Persians call angareion." In Livius, Articles on Ancient History, at

[12] cf. reference 5.

[13] Item.
15 posted on 01/02/2004 9:53:39 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the ping!
16 posted on 01/02/2004 10:26:10 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: DoctorZIn
17 posted on 01/02/2004 10:58:30 AM PST by Howlin (Bush has stolen two things which Democrats believe they own by right: the presidency & the future)
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To: DoctorZIn; All

10. "We don't have political prisoners (Khatami - Iran's President)

9."Only free and fair elections will guarantee that the feeling of the people will be represented," said Khatami

8."Khatami told French newspaper Le Monde that Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to win the prize, had in the past encountered “a few problems”."

7. "In order to ease and reduce the sufferings and historical distances, we should place the empowerment of human beings at the forefront of our efforts."

6."The establishment and consolidation of knowledge-based societies requires commitment to ethical values, human rights and principles of democracy and instruments of “good governance”. (Khatami)

5."I don't want any human being, even a criminal, to be killed if there is an alternative." (Khatami)
( )

4. "We know that a knowledgeable man is a capable individual and a knowledgeable society an empowered society. So let’s make the “information society” a “knowledgeable and sagacious” one. (Khatami)

3. "Khatami says Iran is the most democratic country in its region" (

2."We certainly will do our best to not allow any terrorist elements to use Iranian territory." (Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi ) (


1."Our religious principles, our security and defense doctrine leave no room for nuclear arms."
(Khatami) (
18 posted on 01/02/2004 11:33:03 AM PST by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert
Awesome collection!
19 posted on 01/02/2004 12:53:23 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
President Bush Redirects "Earthquake Diplomacy" and its Advocates

January 02, 2004
Iran va Jahan
Shaheen Fatemi

Brief remarks of President Bush to reporters in Falfurrias (southern Texas) while quail hunting with the former President Bush, has once again reaffirmed his commitment to the cause of freedom, democracy and human rights in Iran. His clear and unequivocal position on the side of freedom-fighters in Iran is best enunciated and reaffirmed by his stated priorities that IRI must observe: "The Iranian government must listen to the voices of those who long for freedom, must turn over al-Qaeda that are in their custody and must abandon their nuclear weapons program," Unlike some other statesmen-diplomats, President Bush rightly places greater value on the establishment of democracy in Iran than fight against terrorism or the spread of nuclear weapons. He is well aware of the fact that a free and democratic Iran will not support terrorism or seek weapons of mass destruction.

In a recent article in the New York Post, entitled America's war on terrorism began in November 1979, Daniel Pipes, best explains the umbilical connection between the Islamic Republic and world-wide terrorism. He reminds us that "[it] was shortly after Ayatollah Khomeini had seized power in Iran, riding the slogan "Death to America" - and sure enough, the attacks on Americans soon began. In November 1979, a militant Islamic mob took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran, the Iranian capital, and held 52 Americans hostage for the next 444 days. The Carter Administration was in the White House at the time. The rescue team sent to free those hostages in April 1980 suffered eight fatalities, making them the first of militant Islam's many American casualties."

The list continues with one disaster after another, all linked to the Islamic Republic. It is essential to note that Mr. Pipes' list does not include thousands of Iranian dissidents, in Iran and abroad, who have been murdered by this terrorist regime nor does it include terrorist acts such as two bombings of Jewish community center in Buenos Aires where IRI diplomats have been officially indicted:

April 1983: 17 dead at the U.S. embassy in Beirut.
October 1983: 241 dead at the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.
December 1983: five dead at the U.S. embassy in Kuwait.
January 1984: the president of the American University of Beirut killed.
April 1984: 18 dead near a U.S. airbase in Spain.
September 1984: 16 dead at the U.S. embassy in Beirut (again).
December 1984: Two dead on a plane hijacked to Tehran.
June 1985: One dead on a plane hijacked to Beirut.

After a let-up, the attacks then restarted: Five and 19 dead in Saudi Arabia in 1995 and 1996, 224 dead at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998 and 17 dead on the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000.

Simultaneously, the murderous assault of militant Islam also took place on U.S. soil:
July 1980: an Iranian dissident killed in the Washington, D.C. area.
August 1983: a leader of the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam killed in Canton, Mich.
August 1984: three Indians killed in a suburb of Tacoma, Wash.
September 1986: a doctor killed in Augusta, Ga.
January 1990: an Egyptian freethinker killed in Tucson, Ariz.
November 1990: a Jewish leader killed in New York.
February 1991: an Egyptian Islamist killed in New York.
January 1993: two CIA staff killed outside agency headquarters in Langley, Va.
February 1993: Six people killed at the World Trade Center.
March 1994: an Orthodox Jewish boy killed on the Brooklyn Bridge.
October 1999: 217 passengers killed on an EgyptAir flight near New York City.

In all, 800 persons lost their lives in the course of attacks by militant Islam on Americans before September 2001 - more than killed by any other enemy since the Vietnam War.

In conclusion Daniel Pipes adds: "And yet, these murders hardly registered. Only with the events of... [September 11, 2001]… did Americans finally realize that "Death to America" truly is the battle cry of this era's most dangerous foe, militant Islam. In retrospect, the mistake began when Iranians assaulted the U.S. embassy in Tehran and met with no resistance. Interestingly, a Marine sergeant present at the embassy that fateful day in November 1979 agrees with this assessment. As the militant Islamic mob invaded the embassy, Rodney V. Sickmann followed orders and protected neither him nor the embassy. As a result, he was taken hostage and lived to tell the tale. (He now works for Anheuser-Busch.) In retrospect, he believes that passivity was a mistake. The Marines should have done their assigned duty, even if it cost their lives. "Had we opened fire on them, maybe we would only have lasted an hour." But had they done that, they "could have changed history." Standing their ground would have sent a powerful signal that the United States of America cannot be attacked with impunity. In contrast, the embassy's surrender sent the opposite signal - which it's open season on Americans. "If you look back, it started in 1979; it's just escalated," Sickmann correctly concludes. To which one of the century's great geostrategist thinkers, Robert Strausz-Hupé, adds his assent. Just before passing away earlier this year at the age of 98, Strausz-Hupé wrote his final words, and they were about the war on terrorism: "I have lived long enough to see good repeatedly win over evil, although at a much higher cost than need have been paid. This time we have already paid the price of victory. It remains for us to win it."

In spite of all the claims of the paid lobbyists of IRI and major oil companies, there is no way that this terrorist regime can reform itself, abandon terrorism or give up development of WMD. The majority of the Iranian people have realized this and have clearly rejected the present regime in its totality (so-called reformers and the hardliners alike). It would be another historical mistake for the United States foreign policy if for purposes of opportunistic expediency; the present regime is given another lease on life.
20 posted on 01/02/2004 12:54:00 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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