logo Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
2024-06-24 16:20:41 CoV Wiki
Learn more about the Church of Virus
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Check out the IRC chat feature.

  Church of Virus BBS
  General
  Serious Business

  Iran Arrests Grandma
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Reply Notify of replies Send the topic Print 
   Author  Topic: Iran Arrests Grandma  (Read 480 times)
Walter Watts
Archon
*****

Gender: Male
Posts: 1571
Reputation: 8.84
Rate Walter Watts



Just when I thought I was out-they pull me back in

View Profile WWW E-Mail
Iran Arrests Grandma
« on: 2007-05-30 09:06:17 »
Reply with quote

The New York Times
May 30, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

Iran Arrests Grandma

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

Man, was I wrong about Iran.

I thought this regime was powerful and self-confident, and actually felt strengthened since we destroyed its two main enemies — the Taliban and Saddam. That could not be further from the truth. This Iranian regime is afraid of its shadow. How do I know? It recently arrested a 67-year-old grandmother, whom it accused of trying to bring down the regime by organizing academic conferences!

Yes, big, tough President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — the man who shows us how tough he is by declaring the Holocaust a myth — had his goons arrest Haleh Esfandiari, a 67-year-old scholar, grandmother and dual Iranian-U.S. citizen, while she was visiting her 93-year-old mother in Tehran. Do you know how paranoid you have to be to think that a 67-year-old grandmother visiting her 93-year-old mother can bring down your regime? Now that is insecure.

It’s also shameful. Haleh directs the Middle East program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. She went to Iran in December to visit her aging mother — a trip she’s made regularly for the past decade. According to her husband, Shaul Bakhash, himself a renowned Iran expert in the U.S., while Haleh was traveling to the Tehran airport on Dec. 30, to return home, she was stopped by three masked, knife-wielding men — Iran’s Intelligence Ministry always needs three men and three knives when confronting a grandmother — and they stole her belongings and her U.S. and Iranian passports.

This was followed by six weeks of intermittent questioning by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. Then, on May 7, Haleh was arrested. Yesterday, she was formally charged with “endangering national security through propaganda against the system and espionage for foreigners,” an Iranian spokesman said — apparently because of her work organizing academic conferences of Iranian and U.S. experts.

Why does Iran’s leadership do such a thing? Because its hard-liners fear relations with the U.S. and want to scuttle the Iran-U.S. dialogue that began this week in Baghdad. Just like Castro’s Cuba, Iran’s mullah dictators thrive on their clash with America. The conflict gives them status among anti-American countries, our sanctions allow them to explain away their poor economic performance, and U.S. “threats,” both real and imagined, allow them to crush all legitimate dissent by labeling it part of a U.S. conspiracy.

What to do? Obviously, one option is a military strike combined with fomenting revolution. But that could easily leave us with another unstable, failing state in the Middle East. I don’t want to create another boiling Iraq. A second option would be more economic sanctions to change the regime’s behavior. The third option is engagement aimed at restoring relations.

Alas, the Bush Iran policy has dabbled in all three, but never committed itself to one, and, as a result, Iran’s hard-liners have been strengthened. The only way out of our corner now is to get some leverage. And leverage can come only from stepped-up economic sanctions — particularly doing something to bring down the price of oil, Iran’s lifeblood — combined with aggressive engagement, like declaring that we don’t seek the toppling of the regime and that we are ready, if Iran curbs its nuclear program, to restore full diplomatic and economic ties the next day.

In other words, our only hope of either changing this Iranian regime or its behavior, without fracturing the country, is through a stronger Iranian middle class that demands a freer press, consensual politics and rule of law. That is our China strategy — and it could work even faster with Iran. The greatest periods of political change in modern Iran happened when the country was most intensely engaged with the West, beginning with the constitutional revolution in 1906.

Unfortunately, the Bush strategy — diplomatic/economic isolation plus high oil prices — has only frozen the regime in power and transformed it from mildly repressive to a K.G.B. state with a nuclear program. So now we face an Iranian regime that is both powerful and paranoid.

It has the resources to snub the world and its own people’s aspirations. Yet, no matter how much this regime tries to buy off its people with oil money, it knows that many despise it. It’s actually afraid of its own people more than anyone — so afraid it even criminalizes scholarly exchanges between Iranians and Americans that the regime can’t control.

That’s why a 67-year-old grandmother — whose only crime is getting people together in public to talk about building a better Iran — is such a threat.


Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
Report to moderator   Logged

Walter Watts
Tulsa Network Solutions, Inc.


No one gets to see the Wizard! Not nobody! Not no how!
Hermit
Archon
*****

Posts: 4288
Reputation: 8.91
Rate Hermit



Prime example of a practically perfect person

View Profile WWW
Re:Iran Arrests Grandma
« Reply #1 on: 2007-05-30 12:46:04 »
Reply with quote

And now the newspapers begin to sound like talk radio reeking of slant and disguising blatantly bigoted op-ed as news.

Let's look for substantive information in this article, in other words, hearsay, supposition, innuendo, speculation and conclusions are precluded.
    arrest Haleh Esfandiari, a 67-year-old scholar, grandmother and dual Iranian-U.S. citizen, while she was visiting her 93-year-old mother in Tehran
    Haleh directs the Middle East program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. She went to Iran in December to visit her aging mother — a trip she’s made regularly for the past decade.
    This was followed by six weeks of intermittent questioning by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. Then, on May 7, Haleh was arrested. Yesterday, she was formally charged with “endangering national security through propaganda against the system and espionage for foreigners,” an Iranian spokesman said

Shorter and not as nasty. Right?

Nothing in what he said precludes the "67-year-old scholar" and "grandmother" from having other interests or reasons for her visit beyond those stated. Nothing in what is said precludes the "67-year-old scholar" and "grandmother" from being what she is accused of, an American agent. Even less precludes the Iranian government who are fully cognizant that America is funding and supporting insurgency, espionage, sabotage and terrorist groups opposed to the legitimate, democratically elected government of Iran from considering that this "67-year-old scholar" and "grandmother" is a part of that effort.

Rather than the tirade against Iran that Friedman engaged in, he should be asking whether this person is perhaps involved in espionage, whether the US government or its agents lead Iran to consider her an agent as part of a program to embarrass Iran, and even, perhaps, if Iran is justified in torturing her in case she has information relating to terrorist incidences possibly planned against Iran and about which she may have information.

After all, what is good for the ganders surely applies to the geese as well? Even to an unworldly "67-year-old" silly-goose. The USA has argued strenuously that torture is acceptable for people we suspect of terrorism. Does Friedman really imagine that age, sex, scholarly status or a really good reason for visiting the US (like visiting an aged parent) prevent the USA from investigating, arresting and probably torturing an Iranian that the US suspected of terrorism.

After all, the octogenarian Bertrand Russel was bared from the US because of his activism for pacifism and his involvement with socialism while the Nobel Peace Laureate, and multiple platinum artist, Cat Stevens, was refused entry to the US, the plane he was on diverted to Bangor Maine, where he was detained by the FBI for a day before being deported for allegedly supporting terrorism. British papers that suggested that this was justified were sued by him and ultimately made substantial settlement payments.

So what is Thomas L Friedman's agenda in choosing the slant he did in order to attempt to make Iran's actions seem unreasonable?

Kind Regards

Hermit
Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
Pages: [1] Reply Notify of replies Send the topic Print 
Jump to:


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Church of Virus BBS | Powered by YaBB SE
© 2001-2002, YaBB SE Dev Team. All Rights Reserved.

Please support the CoV.
Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS! RSS feed