Women and men
: At View from Iran, the American and female half of the Iranian/American couple who blog there, writes today about the role of women in Iran:
I am beginning to feel that women themselves are responsible for much of the way that society in Iran works. I see this pattern time and time again: women, mothers, aunts, everyone, raise their daughters to deny their true self. From the time they are very young, the daughters are looking after other people. They are serving guests, serving their fathers, serving their brothers, serving their mothers. They are encouraged to be cute and do cute things. They are told not to complain or say that they are hungry or ask for anything. They are told to obey. Later, when they are adults, Iranians, both men and women, complain that Iranian women are manipulative. How could they be anything else but? Because they cannot honestly ask for things, they learn to manipulate situations to get what they need or want. …
Just for a little comparison, I want to write about one of the last conversations I had with my great-Aunt Rose. She said that what amazed her most in her lifetime was how much men had changed (which means that women had changed at least as much).
Imagine what they’d do with Richard Simmons
: The mullahs even fear aerobic dancing:
Khordadian, 46, became a symbol of cultural unrest when he returned to Iran last year for the first time since 1980 to visit his ailing father. In the nation where student aspirations for democratic reforms are clashing with the ideals of political hard-liners, he was arrested and convicted for “promoting moral corruption” by holding dance classes in the United States.
Instead of death, the judge eventually banned Khordadian from teaching dance for the rest of his life.
Afraid of the truth
: The mullahs of Iran have gone on a spree of arresting journalists. Says Reporters Without Borders:
Amid continuing clamour about the death of photojournalist Zahra Kazemi while in custody at the start of July, Reporters Without Borders today voiced concern about the imprisonment of a total of 21 journalists in very harsh conditions in Iran, many of them in a wave of arrests in the past few weeks.
Secretary-general Robert M
: Al Bawaba reports:
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah movement, announced Saturday it was ending its truce on anti-Israeli attacks after the arrest of 20 of its activists by Palestinian security forces.
“We have ordered the resumption everywhere of our attacks and in particular suicide operations,” the group said in a statement.
The real reason for war
: To repeat: The real reason for war was never WMD but was the moral imperative to rid Iraq of a murderous tyrant and the mistake Bush and Blair made was playing to the U.N. and the left by pushing WMD when they should have pushed their moral hand and justified the war based on morality and humanism.
Tom Friedman tomorrow says the best speech made about the war was made to a hallway by Tony Blair, as recounted in Peter Stothard’s book, “30 Days“:
`What amazes me,’ [Mr. Blair says,] `is how many people are happy for Saddam to stay. They ask why we don’t get rid of [the Zimbabwean leader Robert] Mugabe, why not the Burmese lot. Yes, let’s get rid of them all. I don’t because I can’t, but when you can you should.’ ”
Alas, Mr. Blair never really made this case to his public. Why not? Because the British public never would have gone to war for the good reasons alone. Why not? Because the British public had not gone through 9/11 and did not really feel threatened, because it demanded a U.N. legal cover for any war and because it didn’t like or trust George Bush.
Yes, it’s amazing that we had to make Saddam a threat to us. How self-centered of us. How selfish of us. He was clearly a threat to his own people. But to Europe and the antiwar left, Saddam’s people did not matter.