First Iraq, Now Iran

The Lies of the Elite Continue

The common media reactions to Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s speech at the U.N., Columbia University President Bollinger’s introduction to the President Ahmadinejad’s talk on campus, President Bush’s remarks at the U.N. on Iran, and Sen. Lieberman’s sense-of-the-congress bill on Iran are all of a piece : threatening, ill-informed, insensitive, churlish, untrue and the first salvos of another American war.

One does not have to agree with any of President Ahmedenijad’s views, or his government’s actions against dissenters/critics in Iran to state that the president of Columbia University and his Dean came out looking boorish and intemperate yesterday. Why invite someone to speak when you are going to insult him with such vitriol before he even had a chance to speak his mind? What kind of “civilized” behavior is this…from a President of a well known university towards the President of a nation with a history that goes back six thousand years ? How do you think this will play out in Iran, in the Middle East, in the Muslim world, in fact in most of the rest of the world which holds the U.S. in such low esteem?

Just this week Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) has made an impassioned appeal to his fellow senators, declaring that the Lieberman-Kyl amendment on Iran should be “withdrawn” because the “proposal is Dick Cheney’s fondest pipe dream.” Webb cautioned that the “cleverly-worded sense of the Congress” could be “interpreted” to “declare war” on Iran.

One remembers the precursor to the U.S. invasion of Iraq being similarly uttered shrill accusations leveled at one Saddam Hussein. He was demonized as another “Hitler”, accused of possessing non-existent weapons of mass destruction and linked with al-Qaeda sans evidence.

For the record, Iran’s President is not a “dictator”. He was duly elected in a two-level election in 2005 by 62% of the electorate, slightly more than the margin of “victory” in President Bush’s two elections. Several groups were involved in the elections in Iran unlike the only two, nearly indistinguishable corporate parties that have controlled the U.S. government since independence. In the last two presidential elections in the U.S., serious irregularities were reported, in Florida and Ohio that worked to benefit George Bush’s victory. In the former, in 2000, an inordinately large number of African-American voters were illegally disenfranchised. In 2004, the electronic voting machines in Ohio were suspect and conveniently unavailable in key precincts. As to President Ahmadinejad being “cruel and petty”, I would suggest that a current resident of Washington, D.C more eminently qualifies for this epithet.

Incidentally, for those who have forgotten or never known, the U.S. imposed an oppressive dictator (the Shah) on the Iranian people in 1953 in a CIA-supported coup that overthrew a democratically elected leader, Mossadegh. The U.S. kept the Shah in power for two decades before the Iranian revolution. With regard to Iran being a sponsor of terrorism, the biggest perpertrator of state terrorism is the USA; remember Vietnam, Guatemala, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Mozambique, Iraq, Afghanistan… In an amazing display of gall, Iran was accused of violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by President Bush. Have Americans already forgotten the tortures at Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantanamo? The indefinite imprisonment of suspected “terrorists” with no hope of recourse to a fair trial? The continual erosion of personal freedoms and privacy rights in the U.S.? Even habeas corpus, the signpost of a democratic society is under threat here. And the U.S. refuses to accept the rule of international law.

The rudeness and disrespect shown to the Iranian leader elected democratically is a petulant exhibition of the arrogance and stupidity of the US. What made this even more amazing is that such moronic and boorish behaviour was forthcoming from the president and dean of a prestigious Ivy-league university. They both insisted on President Ahmadenijad answering their rapid-fire questions and then mocked him for not replying the way they wanted to hear! Today’s America, from President Bush to President Bollinger and farther down, is woefully ignorant of the world. Its media is a joke with newspapers, TV news and radio talk-shows unwilling to challenge the daily dose of lies and exaggerations from the spin masters in Washington.

President Ahmadinejad is attempting a dialogue, which is more than one can say for America’s leaders. Iran was one of the first nations that sent sympathies and condolences to the U.S. after the 9/11 attack. But by the very next day Bush had labeled Iran as an axis-of-evil country even though most of Al-Qaeda’s members and finances came from the feudal dictatorship of Saudi Arabia, a long-standing American ally with close ties to the Bush/Cheney Whitehouse. Some might even remember the bin-Laden family members who were spirited out of the U.S. soon after 9/11 when the airspace over the entire country was closed to traffic. The Iranian President’s acts disdaining or condoning the punishment of homosexual Iranians is certainly to be criticized.

His government’s harsh treatment of political dissidents and harassment of intellectuals and media that differ with the official discourse needs to be excoriated. But can they stand comparison to the daily dose of death and destruction wrought in Iraq and Afghanistan by the pompous purveyor of extreme violence in the White House?

American generals have recently stated that there is no hard evidence to prove the oft-repeated accusation of President Bush and Senator Lieberman that Iran has supplied weapons to the insurgents in Iraq and the Taleban in Afghanistan fighting American troops. The “caveman” that Sen. Lieberman might want his President to focus his attention on lives unmolested in a real cave (apparently) along the borders of a country ruled by (surprise!) a favorite American supported dictator, President Musharraf of Pakistan. “Cavemen” can also be seen to reside in Washington’s corridors of power, refusing to acknowledge the very serious threats to peace posed by the relentless violence unleashed on the beleaguered and impoverished Palestinians by their bosom pals in Israel, and by their own support for American thuggish behavior around the world.

Iran has not attacked any of its neighbors. Regional domination and control of energy resources is the goal of the U.S. That is why the Bush-Cheney administration invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, and are now threatening Iran. It has nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear programme. The World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI), a grouping of NGOs, intellectuals and writers opposed to the war in Iraq, accused the United States of causing more deaths in Iraq than ousted president Saddam Hussein.

For twenty-five years Iran was under the Shah’s dictatorship, backed by the USA. It began a nuclear programme at that time. But it is not Iran or its nuclear programme that is a threat to peace in the Middle East or the broader world. It is the world’s self-proclaimed policeman and arbiter of right and wrong, with its massive arsenal used in waging perpetual wars from 140 military bases around the globe, and its powerful, “immaculate” ally, Israel that are the real and constant dangers. The latter is equipped with a huge arsenal of conventional (supplied by the U.S.) and nuclear (ignored by the U.S.) weapons primed for use. Israel has amassed an arsenal that includes biological and chemical weapons.

Any weapons and ammunition expended in its undending conflicts with the imprisoned Palestinians or neighboring Arabs is immediately replenished by American taxpayers, to the tune of $3 billion a year. It has a disgraceful record of 60 years of a brutal, illegal occupation of Palestinian territory that exceeds that of the most odious regime since WW II — the white apartheid government of South Africa. It wages devastating wars against neighbors (like Lebanon) and exhibits unremitting hostility to concluding a fair and genuine peace with the Palestinians and the Arabs. It is immune from sanctions for its aggression thanks to the automatic American veto at the U.N. to any resolution critical of Israel that requires it to abide by humanitarian principles and the Geneva Conventions.

The influence and power of the military-industrial complex and the Israel lobby together with a compliant media all but guarantees that there is little possibility that Americans or their leaders will confront the real dangers to peace in the Middle East. Any legitimate criticism of Israel’s appalling violence directed at Palestinians is squelched by characterizing it to be “anti-Semitic”.

The greatest threat in the world is the American war machine driven by the insatiable greed of the corporate capitalists in the U.S. It has a close ally in this enterprise in the oil-rich Middle East in Israel. The president of Iran talks peace and Bush II talks of war. No wonder most of the world considers the U.S. and Israel the biggest dangers to peace.

Sadu is a Professor of Physics at Central Connecticut State University. Read other articles by Sadu, or visit Sadu's website.

18 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Lloyd Rowsey said on September 28th, 2007 at 7:48am #

    I happen to be in full agreement with the author’s disjointed and intermittently inflammatory article, at least one part of which contains clearly editorial error. I must say, however, that the article invites vitriol blatantly, and consequently a full day of exchanges by DV regulars and others may be expected in response to it.

    So another day will pass and the article posted yesterday by Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar, which in fact should be read after Professor Sadu’s, will continue slipping past unobserved like some ghostly nuclear submarine, but into obscurity as far as DV and it’s readers are concerned.

  2. Neal said on September 28th, 2007 at 8:37am #

    Sadu,

    I would like to think that Iranians are not all crazy hate mongers like their leader. But, you are telling me that such may not be the case, since, as you claim, 62% of Iranians voted for him. Good grief.

    And, for the record, bad as the Shah was – and he was certainly very bad and very brutal -, his regime was, by Iranian standards, remarkably progressive. That is something the Iranian Islamists hated about him. He wanted to reform and modernize Iranian society.

    The Shah, brutal as he was, sought to empower women. Non-Muslims were not oppressed as they are under the current regime. He opposed the stoning to death of criminals – a regular feature of the Mullahs’ regime under Ahmadinejad.

    It is true that the Shah was brutal but, frankly, one has to consider and condemn what the current Iranian regime does – for example, stoning people to death – before judging him too harshly. Which is to say, one needs to judge the Shah in context. If Sadu is to be believed, the correct context is a people who feel comfortable voting for a regime that stones people to death, that discriminates against non-Muslims and that is, by any rational standards, brutal and reactionary, most especially toward women.

    Let us put the matter a bit more directly. We have two regimes – that of the Shah and that of the the Mullahs -. Both are brutal. Both deserve to be condemned. But, in the scheme of things, were I a woman, a gay, a non-Muslim, etc., etc., or a person who cares about other human beings, I would prefer to live under a brutal modernizer than a regime dedicated to undermining all progressive gains that have been made in most parts of the world.

  3. gerald spezio said on September 28th, 2007 at 10:17am #

    Sadu, I don’t know what Mr Rowsey is offended by. Your article is particularly well phrased and chock full of on point content.
    You are a physicist/scientist, AND a man of letters.
    Your politics are my politics. Come back as often as you can.

  4. scott jones said on September 28th, 2007 at 10:32am #

    MY goodness!!..when are you liberals going to take off your hate blinders towards the “right” (what in the world does comparing winning percentages have to do with anything?) and open you eyes to reality?…we are at war and it has absolutely nothing to do with the current administration….Isalm has been attacking us since the ’60′s if not earlier….we are not creating more jihadists by being in Iraq, that is just “leftist” rhetoric….if the Western world is really losing this war on all front as al-Qaida claims, then why do they continue to hide in the mountains like scared rabbits?…our M.O. has always been to wait until there’s a problem before doing anything (illegal immigration is a prime exmple) but this time we went on the offensive first and showed that we are no longer going to be the world’s punching bag and that’s a bad thing?….it’s about fucking time!!..if we go to war with Iran it will because that dope Ahmadinejad asks for it….there is obviously some grand plan to do something as he lines up alliances in South America….if he really thinks that he’ll nuke Israel and not suffer our wrath then this guy is suffering more from pluralistic ignorance (the concept where reality applies to everyone but me) than today’s x-generation could ever hope to….imagine all the deaths and anguish that the world would’ve been spared had Hitler been stopped in the late ’30′s….HELLO!!..time to WAKE UP and take your sleeping mask off….unbelievable how you on the left waste some much energy hating the right instead of appling that towards the good your fellow Americans….I have grown to abhore Presidentail elections not only because of what politics has become on both sides but because of all the pissing and moaning that the Tom Daschel clones drone on and on about….do liberals EVER have any ideas of their own other than coming up with new ways to tear down America?…anyway, I WILL, however, enjoy this election as my man Newt will make Hillary look like a dope in the debates and the “right” will once again be America’s leadership choice….ciao

  5. gerald spezio said on September 28th, 2007 at 11:37am #

    Scott, this is about murder. Murder, pure and simple.

  6. Samih Zbeib said on September 28th, 2007 at 7:37pm #

    Lieberman-Kyl amendment on Iran is a loyalty test by Israel to key prospective Dem candidates (all senators). Aren’t you glad all favorite senators passed the test with flying colors?!

  7. Deadbeat said on September 28th, 2007 at 9:10pm #

    EXCLUSIVE NETWORK INTERVIEW OF SENATOR JOE BIDEN

    Presidential hopeful calls Israel “the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East”

    Says Jonathan Pollard deserves leniency but not a pardon

    In an exclusive Shalom TV interview, US Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-DE) emphatically stated his commitment to the State of Israel, calling the country “the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East.”

    Senator Biden further stressed that without Israel, one could only imagine how many battleships and troops America would have to station in the Middle East.

    Meeting with Shalom TV President Rabbi Mark S. Golub in Washington, DC, the candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination said that it’s insulting for any American to suggest that Israel is somehow the cause of the war in Iraq.

    “If, tomorrow, peace broke out between Israelis and Palestinians, does anybody think there wouldn’t be a full-blown war in Iraq? And, conversely, if Iraq were transported to Mars, does anyone think there would not be terrorism visited upon the Israelis every day?

    “So let’s get it straight. Israel is not the cause of Iraq. Iraq being settled or not settled has nothing to do with Israel’s conduct.”

    The Senator also expressed a sensitivity and empathy for Israelis who have had to live with terrorism.

    “[From 9/11], Americans can taste what it must feel like for every Israeli mother and father when they send their kid out to school with their lunch to put them on a bus, on a bicycle or to walk; and they pray to God that cell phone doesn’t ring.”

    “I am a Zionist,” stated Senator Biden. “You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.”

  8. Brook said on September 29th, 2007 at 11:17am #

    It’s laughable to hear the author describe Nejad as “democratically” elected. Unless you consider a pre-screened, pre-selected candidate as democratic. He was elected — that’s all you can say about him, but his government is hardly legitimate by Western standards.

    With regard to what Nejad actually had to say, the only thing Americans are going to remember about his rambling diatribe is that he claims there are no gays in Iran. This is the same man that stood before his own parliament and declared that inflation was not a problem in Iran. Nejad is a radical, and radicals have no ability to perceive reality as it is. Listening to him was like listening to Kruschev, Castro, or the Kim Jong sycophants in North Korea. They all lived a lie, and Nejad is no different.

  9. Moo said on September 29th, 2007 at 3:42pm #

    Excellent article!!! I couldn’t agree more. The US is becoming a modern Nazi like state very rapidly.

  10. gerald spezio said on September 29th, 2007 at 4:53pm #

    “I am a lawyer – like Hilarious Clinton, Barak Obama, John Edwards, and Joe Lieberman,” stated Senator Joe Biden.

    And furthermore let me say this; “You don’t have to a trained lawyer to know where the super lobby big money is, but it helps.”

  11. Ceri Cat said on October 1st, 2007 at 4:51am #

    Actually it was a little more than no gays in Iran that he said. The full translation was mentioned once on the news, and audio hasn’t been played back since. Let’s see if I can find the original broadcast…

    “In Iran, we do not have homosexuals like in your country.”

    Gotta love how they only quote what makes the most impact on you even if it possibly changes the meaning of what was said. The way it’s said is somewhat ambiguous in nature given in most muslim countries homosexuality is only behind closed doors he could conceivably be referring to the “in-your-face” aspect of American homosexuals, despite the homosexuality death penalty (at least they’re reasonable in some ways requires 4 eye witnesses), I’ve seen no proof of any such executions by the Iran government, just rumours and hype, and people seeking refuge will occasionally pull tricks if they don’t think they’re going to be allowed to stay, and the gay prosecution angle is so hot right now.

    Getting hot and fired up by what is actually said is one thing, getting hot and fired up over a doctored quote is something else again. Given the questions asked it really doesn’t sound like he’s denying the existence of homosexuals when it’s translated. Let’s have facts we can put some faith in, even if it’s video manufactured by the US government it’d be better than a few isolated reports, and mentioned statistics I can’t even hunt down with a ouji board (hey google failed too).

  12. Shabnam said on October 1st, 2007 at 6:34am #

    Thank you Mr. Nanjundiah for your good article which exposes
    some of the lies and deception around Iran, a targeted country by
    Imperialists and Zionists to satisfy their voracous apetetite for power.
    For others I must say:
    People should stop repeating the lies of the Zionists. None of the Iranians who were brought up under the Shah’s regime would say such nonsense as “his regime was remarkably progressive” because it shows your knowledge of Iran is very limited and bias. If by “Modern” you mean Western clothing, then your vision of “modernity” is limited.
    The imperialists have always invaded other countries based on lies. They have come to “westernize” people of our region and other continents through violence and killing with their “civilizing mission” project and have terrorized and raped to pacify the native population to protect their interests.
    The Shah of Iran was a puppet, corrupt and a DICTATOR. He and his family were thieves who had stolen billions of dollars from the country, a typical client of the US. Iranians never want them back and prefer this regime to the stooges of the west like the shah who protected the interest of Israel against Arabs well and that’s why Zionist such Kenneth Timmerman * and other Zionist Jews using American power to bring this CORRUPT family back, they will take this wish into their graves.
    Why Iranian “Islamists” must be against progress? The Zionists and their servants who have occupied the white house, the senate and the congress are the one who are against progress of other countries specially those who are not from “EUROPEAN” decent, otherwise the Iranian Nuclear energy program where promotes research and development and employment for the Iranian scientists would have not been used to go after a country with more than 5000 years of civilization and contribution to humanity. Shah’s regime was brought to power by the colonial power and was forced upon Iranian people. Shah who wore western clothing, of course, but he did not believe in women’s liberation. I hope you do not reduce women liberation to dress code. In fact, he believed women have done nothing important and they are not good in their own realm which is housekeeping and cooking. In an interview, he said what these women want? They have not produced any great scientist or even a great cook. All the great cooks are MEN. His father unveiled women on behalf of imperialists, the British, brutally and caused many women not to leave the house because if they did their veils was ripped off by force. This caused many women not to leave the house for long time which is a CRIME by itself.

    As Mr. Nanjundiah has written, Ahmadi Nejad is not a Dictator. Ahmadi Nejad has been elected by the Iranian people. Regarding those who say that candidates were selected, therefore, the election was not free and fair. I must say: this is according to Iranian constitution and was voted by the Iranian people. We have a selection process in this country as well and that is MONEY. In Iran sometimes up to 600 people have applied for the presidency because anyone can get into the process. How about here? Only the dynasties such as Bush, Clinton, Roosevelt,… and billionaires can get it. Iranian people are determined to improve the election laws but please look at the American election. Who can run for the presidency? Have you ever listen to one of these so called debates. Can you distinguish one from the others? What is their position on Iran? Don’t they say THE SAME DAMN THINGS regardless of their party affiliation or Gender? Why is that? Don’t they have any creativity and imagination of their own? Why they repeat each other’s lines and put the audience to sleep. These candidates have obligation TO SERVE the interest of the ZIONIST LOBBY before American people’s interest to be elected as a president otherwise they would have not copied each other lines which is dictated by AIPAC, at least in the Middle East policy agenda.
    As far as stoning is concerned, I should say few cases have been taken place in remote villages according to local decision of that community. You kill hundreds in a minute
    with your bombs by remote control and dare to hold these rare cases against Iran. Have you ever looked at the smashed and burned bodies of these innocent people that you have killed either in Palestine or Iraq or Afghanistan or……..? You should look at this country crime record with more than 2.3 million people in Prison. The political activists who are pampered by the organizations and endowments which are extension of CIA to bring regime change in the targeted countries have blown these cases out of proportion for publicity. Those Iranians who have cooperated with the west against the Iranian government have received AWARDS to be encouraged to continue their cooperation against the government such as SHADI SADR who is a journalist and a woman activist who has received an AWARD.
    In North of Iraq, Kurdistan, where we have seen cases of stoning * but because North of Iraq is spy network for US and Israel and Kurds who are given military training and financial assistant like those in DARFUR to destabilize the government and the country and set the stage for dividing the country to serve Israel’s “MAP CHANGE’ of the Middle East. Thus, you do not hear anything about STONING in KURDISTAN, have you? The Charlatan Tomas Friedman, who pushed for the Iraq War on lies and deception for the interest of Israel, called Kurdistan, on Charlie Rose, a “Democratic” entity to be cherished. Why? Because they want to divide Iraq, a Zionist project, to create puppets for Israel in the region. The Zionist plan brought to the floor by their servants, Bidan, and passed by yes votes from the AIPAC girl such as Hillary Clinton and the rest.
    The Islamic republic of Iran came to power as a result of quota ta in 1953 against Mossadeq, the prime minister, who was a democrat and was elected by the Iranian people. He was brutally removed by an American coup during Eisenhower administration in 1953 to serve the interest of the Oil companies. The Shah, who brought back by US, did not allow any freedom of expression and therefore, the only place where people could assemble was Mosque. You should admire Iranian with such a limitation on freedom of expression and political, yet they were able to kick out American puppet. I THINK IT IS THE TIME TO STOP BEING SO ARROGANT AND IGNORANT AND open your eyes to the reality of your own crimes in the region to understand the historical events before saying anything further otherwise you are going to make yourself vulnerable to criticism and charges of ignorance.
    For those who think we are at war I should say we are not at war. You have created a PHONNY WAR THAT IS CALLED ‘WAR ON TERROR’ TO ALLOW YOU TO establish your hegemony all over the world, and we will see who the winner at the end is.
    We have no Al Qaeda because al Qaeda is the United States and her extension Israel. Only the fool believes these tapes where occasionally are surfaced to manipulate people’s opinion or to serve a political agenda. You must be a fool to believe that Ben Laden is sending these tapes and each time is getting as least 10 years younger and his beard turning from almost white to completely black.
    This is fucking time for Zionists to stop lies about Ahmadi Nejad to brain wash American people so they can use American resources to serve the interest of Israel by waging a Zionist war at American people’s expense. I think this a fucking time that American people wake up and stop the Zionists like pothoretz, Lieberman, Kristal, and the rest of the gang to wage another Zionist war by standing up and demanding the impeachment of George Bush and his associates to stop further disaster for America.

    Stoning in Kurdistan
    http://web.peykeiran.com/vs2005/occurrences_body.aspx?ID=49
    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/jacobs010206.html

  13. Shabnam said on October 1st, 2007 at 7:53am #

    In my first comment, after 1953 should be COUP not quot…

    Thank you Ceri Cat:

    You brought an important issue and you were enough knowledgeable to figure out What he meant. In Islamic countries, homosexuality is not open but we do have homosexuals for sure like you do otherwise many homosexuals including Michel Foucault would not have gone to Tunis to teach. He was later asked to leave the country because, according to Edward Said, he established a relationship with one of his male students but Foucault condemned Tunis as an oppressive country as the cause. Ahmadi Nejad by saying “we don’t have homosexual like in your country” he wanted to say that: we don’t have homosexuality in open. Iranian homosexuals are still in closet for good reason. Thus, they get married with opposite sex and have children like a “normal” family, however, they have their own private life on the side. It is pretty much Like this country thirty years ago. That’s why Ahmadi Nejad gave such an answer and I hope he is not be ridiculed because does not follow your footsteps to allow for the same sex marriage. Don’t forget that the west used to put homosexuals in prison a century ago.
    Few were executed due to RAPE who happened to be homosexuals. There has been homosexually in Iranian society and still exist not only among men but also among women. If there is no homosexual in Iran then how women do who kept in Shah’s harem and were not seen in months or years by the Shah would have satisfied them sexually.

  14. Hatuxka said on October 1st, 2007 at 8:18am #

    The author is right, this is all truly of-a-piece with a clearing of the way for another war. Both parties’ elites and their financeers saw to it last spring that no vote in Congress need necessarily be held before Bush starts another war, by voting down at the behest of the Israel Lobby an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill. Also, the reward Iran got for helping the U.S. target the Taliban and make contact with the Northern Alliance in the weeks after 9/11 was to be labeled part of the “axis of evil” by early 2002.

  15. Ceri Cat said on October 1st, 2007 at 10:09am #

    Shabnam do not mistake me for an American, I am Australian and I live in the land of my birth. I agree with the Americans that Iran has to see improvements in many areas, however I do not agree with deliberately misquoting people, particularly when it turns something ambiguous to mean something wrong. This is a typical political trick the same as labelling a democratically elected leader a dictator. I wish I could claim credit for coming across this quote on my own but it’s actually a particular favourite of a novellist I enjoy the work of, Ursula K. Le Guin.

    Socrates said, “The misuse of language induces evil in the soul.”

    By which she and I take to mean politicians and lawyers who twist language to mean something it didn’t necessarily mean originally.

    And frankly regardless of what the politicians might say with gay marriage and such the reality is most people are that scared of anything different they still mistreat one another for being different particularly away from the larger cities where it’s hard to get away with it with impunity because there is less support for your idea of “normal”. I live in a town of between 30-50 thousand people and only know of a couple of homosexuals, four lesbians, and three bisexuals, and I can honestly say I know a lot of people around here. We know the dangers of being too open, one of my gay friends had his jaw and both arms broken when he was beaten six years ago. It’s hard to be open when you know you’re facing open hostility from the uneducated, and bisexuals often get the worst of it from both sides, we’re the least popular frequently with straights and gays having a bone with us.

    You don’t need to tell us about the stonings and such that happen to openly homosexual males in the middle east, we see plenty of it personally in western countries, what gets the goat of the people is the fact it’s a capital crime, punishable by death in Iran. Seems it wasn’t so long ago in many western countries it was still considered rape by law though regardless of consent.

  16. Mike McNiven said on October 2nd, 2007 at 11:15pm #

    Iran, before the imperialist invasion:

    http://www.iranpressnews.com/media/video/help_iran.swf

  17. Mike McNiven said on October 2nd, 2007 at 11:36pm #

    Ceri Cat,
    Women’s rights, homosexuals’ rights, Bahais rights, Kurdish rights, are Human Rights! As simple as that! There are bad apples in every social group — like those who deny the basic human rights of others!
    The following should answer your question:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMSUML1AhgU

  18. Shabnam said on October 7th, 2007 at 7:12am #

    The link to site “Stoning in Kurdistan” that I gave at the end of my opinion piece, has been removed. I don’t know if this removal has been taken place by the site itself “PaykeIran”, an Iranian opposition site which allows mainly those opinions against the Islamic Republic and eliminates others. This is another link to ROWZANE.COM where given the news related to stoning of 17 years old girl, “Do’a”, to death in the town of Bashiqa in Mussol, North of Iraq, because she was in love with a man with different religion from her family. This demonstration was held in front of the Swedish Parliament to condemn her death, 17 years old, to raise their voices against “HONOR KILLINGS” in Kurdistan and Stoning women to death. Manocher Masori who spoke against this act said: killing women to protect “honor” of the family is based on both traditional and religious prejudices intertwined with anti women attitude of the society which is carried out by father, mother, brothers or other close related families. This killing happened in the street and in front of the people and police and the Kurdish local authorities, therefore, this shows that the law and the local power support such an act…..

    http://www.rowzane.com/0000_m_e/0m_e_2007/2705/E13-Manochehr.htm

    http://www.petitiononline.com/kurdish/petition.html