Posts from June 2003

Beeb not kosher

Beeb not kosher
: Israel may be going a bit far but it got so fed up with the BBC and its “repeated ‘demonisation’ of the country” that it has cut off the network:

The move will involve a refusal to put up official spokesmen for BBC interviews. There will be visa restrictions, not imposed on other news organisations in Israel, to ensure that the bureau chief is rotated every few months and to make it hard for BBC staff to report.

G

G
: Iraqi blogger No. 1 G has a fotolog. And today, he writes about an 18-year-old Syrian boy being treated by Americans after he was shot on the wrong side of the Iraqi border.

He sounded so hopeful when he said he

Silence

Silence
: Iranian blogger Steppenwolf, from Tehran, has been silent and today he explains why:

You see, writing in English offers me a dramatically broader audience, while finely endangering me of being accused. Accused of providing the enemy(!) with information. With internal information. Yes, my weblog is anonymous. But then, I don’t even want to jeopardize my peace. I am sure everyone can understand this. There is nothing in it for me being political.

Honestly, the fact is I tend to get excited as soon as my fingers touch the keyboard. I can’t help it. I can’t help my harsh feelings either. So, I prefer to stay silent, stay away from it.

It is hard for those of us who live with the privilege and right of freedom to know what life is like for those who have to worry with every word.

In the cause of democracy

In the cause of democracy
: Pejman Yousefzadeh points to a superb open letter by expat Mohsen Moshfegh

to Iranian reformists, arguing that they must be ready to create a new government in Iran — once the mullahs surely fall — and that America is the best ally of democratic reform:

. . . In my opinion, the United States has a much more serious preoccupation these days than just money and financial rewards of a free and unhampered trade with Iran. This is not to say that the American capitalists care little about substantially lucrative opportunities that a democratic Iran under a free market system can offer them. But after the events of September 11 and the realization of its vulnerability to terrorism, the United States was painfully faced with two essential and very basic facts: first that money has no value when you’re dead; and second that as long as the two issues of international terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear weapons are not effectively dealt with being dead is a very real possibility. Also, as the sole remaining superpower in the world, the United States does not only have the responsibility to deal with this problem, but is the only power with sufficient means and international reach to solve a problem of this magnitude. And solve it, it must. So, in my opinion, America’s desire to eliminate the theocracy in Iran is based on much more fundamental motivations than money and financial rewards, and therefore, makes a much more dependable ally for our democratic forces than the European Union. Where Europeans are our tactical allies, the Americans can be considered our strategic allies in establishing a secular democracy in our country and propagating it throughout the region.

Am I claiming that the United States will never, under any circumstance abandon our secular democratic forces and make a deal with the Islamic Republic? No, not at all. We should not be na

‘I tried not to think of the impossibilities’

‘I tried not to think of the impossibilities’
: Blue Bird Escape — the wonderful weblog by the teen girl visiting her homeland, Iran — gives us another simply eloquent entry in the diary of her trip:

Shiraz is very different from Tehran. It is much quieter and has less traffic. Though it is very hot.

It is now 9:50 P.M. We just came back from Hafezieh — the grave stone of the great Iranian poet. It was a beautiful spot to pray and think. Although it gives a sad feeling, it is very quiet and pleasant. We stayed there for a while and said our prayers. I thanked God for giving me the best and I wished for my family safety and happiness. I wished the people of Iran lots of luck.

The wind was blowing a bit, a nice cool wind through the hot air. I was happy.

People of Shiraz seem to be happy in their own way of life. Whenever we go out they look at us constantly. I guess they know we are not from Shiraz.

Today is Thursday, our last day in Shiraz. Tomorrow we will leave around noon. Right now I’m sitting in a restaurant. I have just finished my kabob. There is live music here. They are singing old Iranian songs. My mom would have liked this place.

As the days end and my journey comes to an end I feel sad, but I remind myself that everything ends. I have been very lucky to have this wonderful visit to my country.

We are in a beautiful garden. It is very beautiful. There is an old palace here. My sister and I are falling in love with this palace; the big dining room, living room, and all its other parts. As a joke I told her I will have my wedding there. It is a perfect place for a wedding.

We sat on a bench under the trees and thought of our dreams.

“Unfortunately we live in this country,”is what my sister said when we were eating pizza for dinner. In Iran no matter what you talk about it always leads to politics and ends with anger and disappointment. If I ask someone what’s new in Iran, they will say there is nothing to tell, tell us about America.

I hate being only an individual and not having the ability to do something.

At Hafezieh we touched his gravestone and said a few prayers. At night some people were sitting on steps, heads down, in their own thoughts. I became sad, I tried not to think of the impossibilities.

Inflammatory lies from the BBC

Inflammatory lies from the BBC
: BBC Foreign Editor John Simpson has gone over the edge of credibility and decency as he essentially accuses the U.S. military of targeting and murdering non-embedded journalists.

BBC world affairs editor John Simpson has called on the US government to investigate why more journalists were killed by American soldiers than by any other means during the Iraq war.

Simpson blamed the deaths of many of the journalists – what he called “the ultimate act of censorship” – on the system of embedding, which meant that journalists operating independently of US and British troops became “potential targets”.

I was about to start screaming about taking away Simpson’s journalism stripes and drumming him out of the corps.

But then I came to a buried paragraph in the Guardian report:

American soldiers did not kill journalists on purpose, said Simpson, but out of “a mixture of blind panic, inadequate street training, and complete and utter ignorance”.

I’d say the Guardian is just as at fault for this bit of inflammatory accusation as Simpson, for that last bit should have been at least alluded to in the first three paragraphs. Altogether, it’s a festival of anti-Americanism and it’s shoddy journalism. [via IWantMedia]

Al-Queda No. 2 nabbed

Al-Queda No. 2 nabbed
: I see this at the German site Focus and not yet on any of the English-language news sites: The right hand of Osama bin Laden is in captivity, according to an Arab TV report. Aiman el Sawahiri (German spelling) and other al-Queda members were reportedly in Iran.

: Drudge has it now too. Don’t know why it’s taking so long to spread. This is big news.

Do not call. Do not email. Do not write. Does not work.

Do not call. Do not email. Do not write. Does not work.
: Joe Territo discovers that the new Do Not Call service doesn’t work. As if they couldn’t anticipate a flood of traffic to this?