July 28, 2004

U.S. Grants Protection for Anti-Tehran Group in Iraq. Note for any of the terrorists playing at home: As long as you attack countries that we don't like, you're cool by us.
  • Read more.
  • While Washington is famous for its hardons for anyone who fights against the Iranian mullacracy, I don't know that this applies to the "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" theory. This is simply a 4th Convention status granted to those who have not participated in fighting in Iraq. According to the article: But a State Department spokesman said the protected status did not affect the group's designation by Washington as a "terrorist group" and its members in Ashraf were still being vetted to determine what crimes they may have committed. This sounds like an anti-war.com tempest in a teapot.
  • Remains to be seen, really. I mean, we have done deals with them in the past. More on MKO.
  • While Washington is famous for its hardons for anyone who fights against the Iranian mullacracy Only recently. Let's not forget our history. In 1979, we didn't lift a goddamn finger to help those who opposed the Islamists. (Not that I feel strongly about it or anything.) This sounds like an anti-war.com tempest in a teapot. I couldn't have said it better. And I know that for a fact because I sat here and tried for the longest time and came up with nothing.
  • Jess, the reason that there was an Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979 was precisely because of the aid the United States had extended to the Shah. Perhaps a little familiarity with actual history would help? Or do you think sending in the marines to prop up that bankrupt regime would have worked wonders that years of funding, covert action, training, and millitary supplies had failed to?
  • I recently read a memoir that would be a very good introduction to Iranian culture and recent history - Daughter of Persia. Sattareh Farman Farmaian grew up in the harem of a noble Persian house, had a very pious Muslim mother who never went outside without full veiling, but was herself educated at a Bahai school, and became the first Iranian woman (possibly first Iranian) to attend an American university. After gaining qualifications as a social worker (the first Iranian to do so), she then returned to Iran to open a school of social work, and to do very important work among the poor of Tehran. She talks about women's lives (at least among the upper class) and how they felt about veiling when the Shah banned it, and then when the Ayatollahs made it mandatory. She also has an inside view of the political upheavels of the time - her noble family was important in the monarchial government that had been overthrown by Reza Shah (the father of the Shah overthrown in 1978), and were on the political outs after that, but always watched by the two Shahs. The leader of the democratic faction in the parliament whom the CIA helped the second Shah overthrow in 1953 (thus ending possibly the best chance for a liberal democracy in Iran) was one of her cousins, while at the same time she herself had to work with the Shah's government to provide the care and education that her social work required. It's all fascinating stuff, and really reveals the complexity of the issues. She herself was arrested by the Ayatollahs' men on a trumped up charged from a disgruntled student, and came very close to execution (she eventually went into hiding and fled) - and yet she had understanding for why people might support the Ayatollahs against the Shah's own violent and dictatorial government.