Visa help…

Visa help…
: Hossein Derakhshan, the pioneering Iranian blogger, needs some help or advice so he can get a visa to come from Toronto to Cambridge on April 17 for Bloggercon.

The problem is scheduling: The consulate in Toronto first schedule him for a meeting on April 21 (four days after B’con) and then for April 1 (when Hoder is in Switzerland visiting the family he can’t visit in Iran).

So I am going to write letters to the cosulate and probably to a senator’s office trying to get help.

Suggestions anyone?

Connections, anyone?

  • He should contact Greg Siskind, the named partner at Siskind Susser Haas & Devine: Greg’s a good friend, and one of the country’s preeminent immigration lawyers. If anyone can help your buddy, it’s Greg.

  • Can he get a U.S. visa from the U.S. consulate in Switzerland? Seems to me that if he were coming from a nation with which the U.S. had full diplomatic relations, he would get the visa there regardless of where he was going after leaving his homeland and bfore arriving in the U.S.; since he is coming from somewhere without a U.S. consulate, I don’t see why it would matter where he gets the visa along the way.

  • Mick Jagger

    How important is a weblog writer?

  • >Suggestions anyone?
    Yeah, tell Herr Ashcroft to stop assuming all visitors entering the US from Canada are criminals.

  • Well well, another “when will you stop beating your wife” non sequitur from Mr. McDiplomacy. Hey, we will stop “treating everyone like criminals” (ie, checking visitors out before letting them go where they please and do what they please in our country) when morons like you quit encouraging terrorists to think that the countries of the West are easy marks.
    I’ll bet you have quite another view of people visiting your fair shores.

  • afshin

    You want to get the author of the following into the U.S.:

    Sheikh Yassin is as much terrorist as Sharon in that both believe they can reach their political goals by means of violence and terror.

    I’ll tell you what, I know people and they’re going to get a call in the morning. That SOB is never getting a U.S. visa.

  • Giordano

    You’re right. Sharon is worse than Yassin. He ordered the massacre of Palestinian children and women refugees. Remember Sabra e Shatila?

  • Leila

    Dear Afshin
    It is due to Hossein Drakshan that the world had opened to now 40000 iranian bloggers… He believes in freedom of expression, he has deep hatred for those who resort to violence … and he has openly, using his own name spoken out against the Islamic regime of the Mullah’s despite the risks to his own life.…
    While you hide behind a fake e-mail and attack him… Shame on you … that you cannot see what he has done for our country and it’s struggle for freedom of speech…

  • Well, Afshin, you certainly are the ugly American. We believe in free speech, remember?

  • afshin

    Leila – My Country is The United States of America. Hossein has done nothing for my country or my people. Instead he is an apologist (and perhaps collaborator) for my enemies.
    Oh, and the history of his family… yeah a real champion of good there.
    Jeff – Again, you demonstrate that you have no understanding of the concept of free speech. The freedom of speech does not equate to freedom from the consequences of that speech.
    Anyway, I’m not going to debate the fate of a terror apologist. He’s now on a watch list and will not get into the U.S.

  • Eric

    Afshin, I’m not prone to fits of moral outrage very easily, but you’re probably the most despicable character I’ve even encountered online. I’m serious when I say that.
    Instead of explaining why your behavior is so thoroughly repugnant, something that I’m sure is clear to all, I’ll just ask you one question: Do you think for a moment that allowing Hoder to visit the US poses any kind of security threat whatsoever to the country? I disagree with his equivocation between Sharon and Yassin as well, but do you think for a moment that he’s going to carry out a terrorist attack in the US? That is, after all, why the State Department tries to keep out certain people. Did you even bother to notice that he denounced Yassin and expressed no sympathy for him?
    What’s even sadder than your ignorance and bigotry is the cowardice with which you demonstrate it. You carry out actions that affect the real-life freedom of a person who hasn’t harmed you and poses no threat to your well-being, yet you lack the courage to show your identity. Pathetic doesn’t even begin to describe you.

  • Leila

    Well Afshin, I am sorry if I have insulted you by calling you an Iranian, but I proudly call myself Iranian… Even though the West became aware of Islamic psychopaths on the September the 11th. We have been livening in misery under them for 25 years… Bombs or security measure will not destroy these psychopaths… the only thing that will put a stop to all this madness and cycle of terror is if we as a society stand up against them… Hossein Drakhahan gave Iranians a voice… small freedoms that may eventually empower us to do more… He has done more by standing up again the mullahs… exposing, mocking and ridiculing them then you will ever do… You sound so much like these mullah’s in Iran… I know that I may come across as your stereotypical Iranian… paranoid and into conspiracy theories but I would not be surprised if you were an agent for the Islamic Republic as your smearing tactics are typical of their style…

  • afshin

    Eric – Your ignorance is self-evident. Hossein’s family was involved in bringing the Islamists to power in Iran. His hands are drenched in the blood of many Persians, including members of my family. I shall not be indifferent to his heinous pedigree because he tries to present himself as a “moderate” in his english blog. There is a great distance between Good and Evil, however, the dividing line is distinct. I know which side of that line the Derakhshan’s occupy.
    As to my courage, I still have family in Iran and I shall not sacrifice them – for, unlike Hossein’s, they are not in bed with the Islamists and Arab occupiers – so that some joker behind a Yahoo or AOL email address can think me brave.
    Leila – The children of Zoroaster shall rise one day and cleanse the stain of Islam from their land. We have been living in that misery for some 1400 years and we shall decide the means, not the traitors, collaborators and murders.

  • Afshin: You are slime.

  • afshin

    You’ll excuse me for not being terribly offended by a pathetic insult from someone who is willing to assist a foreign national with a, at best, dubious past (not to mention familial ties to a murderous regime) to get into to the U.S. And why? Because he has a blog? Do you even care what he and his family have done and supported? Does the spilled blood of thousands upon thousands need to be forgotten just because this guy has a blog and you’d like to have him come to some conference? What, you think that he could speak and act against the theocracy and they’d just leave his family alone? Are you that naive?
    You have demonstrated an absolute, and apparently deliberate, ignorance of Iran and its history. You know nothing and understand less.

  • Afshin: As if I should give you the slightest credence, you anonymous chicken.
    Hossein’s work speaks for itself: He has brought free speech to thousands.
    What have you done today other than spew hate and bile?

  • Afshin: what you have to say is… interesting. However, you don’t offer any proof of your assertions — AFAIK you’re a plant of the Iranian mullahs, trying to dirty the name of someone they have decided is dangerous. Sorry, but why should we take what you have to say at face value? As you yourself have pointed out, what someone says in English may be different from what he says in his own language.

  • afshin

    Jeff: Silly insults. Is that all you have?
    Unicode hack. That is supposed to impress me? You equate a technically trivial project with bringing Free Speech to people?
    Hey, it does make it easier for the mullahs to keep tabs on those folks though…
    Why don’t you ask him what his father was doing between 1977 and 1985? His uncle and the rest of the clan?
    The “reformers” are just as bad as the “hardliners” just with a pretty facade. They are playing to the audience. Wake up.
    Andrea: If the mullahs saw him as threat his parents would not be free to travel. They’d be in prison or dead. The posts on the first page of his blog provide plenty of evidence in and of themselves. As for what his father did back in the day, ask him.

  • OK, I knew it would come down to this:
    Yes Hoder’s Persian blog is different than his English one. He is way way way more critical of some Iranian cultural/religious/political trends than he is in English. He leaves almost nothing unquestioned with his in-your-face style in his Persian blog. Actually I don’t remember he ever criticized anything Iranian (except political issues)in his English blog.
    So that’s for the difference.
    About his ties with the ruling mullahs, things are taken out of context so bad that I don’t know where to start from.
    But you can imagine that with Hoder’s style people won’t stay indifferent. There are people who love him; people who hate him; people who say he works for CIA; apparently people who say he works for the mullahs.

  • To engage in any sort of conversation with this person is just what he craves, I think it’s much better if the focus is back on the issue in hand: if anyone can help Hoder obtain a visa.

  • Afshin: still no proof, just statements you apparently expect us to accept because you obviously think Americans are stupid.

  • afshin

    Andrea: Believe whatever you wish. But explain to me how it is that he has been able to leave Iran and live a comfortable life in Toronto while his parents are still living, safely, in Tehran? The visits with the Ayatollahs, explain those?
    I wish I had documents and eyewitnesses to prove what everyone in Iran was doing between 1977 and 1985. Alas, the documents are out of my reach and the witnesses were either the perpetrators or the victims, the former won’t say and the later can’t.
    But, again, It’s enough for me to read those posts on his blog. In fact, the first comment I made has within it all the evidence I need.
    Oh, and just to clarify, is “you obviously think Americans are stupid” meant to suggest that I’m not an American? Or that because I’m a naturalized citizen I am supposed to consider myself different from real Americans? For the record I’ve lived in the U.S. since I was seven and became a citizen at 21. And I didn’t start speaking out against these posers to the Persian heritage until 9/11.
    And, I’ll admit it, proudly in fact, I hate Islam. I hate any muslim who practices Islam. And I particularly hate any muslim who tries to lay claim to the Persian heritage. I suppose if I was Jewish I would feel the same way about Nazi’s claiming the Jewish heritage as there own. I’m just funny that way I guess…

  • Mojo Jojo

    You’re so filled with anger. It must have been bad, whatever they did to you, them bastards, whoever they were, there, whereever it was!
    You show signs of extreme emotional trauma. I feel for you buddy! I suggest that you seek some professional help or go away to a nice quiet place for a long vacation. I recommend the Bahamas. Drink some pena coladas or strawberry daquiris and just chil.
    Another good idea is to let a university or research center take a look at you and study your background. Let them look beyond the physical scars that I’m sure you carry and see what they can do for you. Anyone who is so filled with hate and anger ought to be studied…
    Ohhhh, I can’t write any more…this is too much…you poor boy!

  • John Bradshaw

    If you got power like Nazis, I think you do the same things against muslims as they did against Jewish. So take care of yourself and do whatever Mojo Jojo said.