Sunday, February 27, 2011

Organized Chaos

Only in Iran, I suppose, could you have the Speaker of the Parliament giving a speech using such a podium! Mr. Larijani thinks Iranian protests are being orchestrated from abroad and everyone else's is self-organized. Go figure.

More protests planned for March 1st.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Between work and commute, however limited time that’s left, I have been obsessing, much like the rest of you I suppose, with the events in Libya. So here are a few random thoughts for what they’re worth.

Both Daniel Ortega and Hugo Chavez have now definitely climbed up my manure list.

As heart wrenching as the scenes coming out of Libya have been, it seems to me that the Libyan insurgency is doing rather well considering the ferocity of the repression unleashed upon them.

Gaddafi seems to be losing more cities everyday.

I am not convinced Military intervention by outside forces can be productive for now. After all, the maze of relations and loyalties that are being contested, reevaluated and renegotiated might be unpredictably affected (I propose here negatively) by any overt military measures.

Besides, given the unprecedented revolutionary upheaval in the region at large, and the long and arduous road ahead, I am not convinced it's productive to have a precedent set whereby some faction or other might entertain the idea that at some point they can goad outside powers into fighting their battles for them.

And frankly given the track record of the Western powers in bombing, murder, mayhem, and torture of late in multiple fronts, I have no desire to see any more direct involvements. Let’s just focus on finishing--with as little further damage as possible--what has been ongoing for close to a decade now.

You want to put your money where your mouth is insist on ending these affairs and impose a one year moratorium on sale of any types of weapons to all Middle Eastern States until the dust from these popular uprisings settle.

Last but not least, the Unhinged Right in the US has been depressing to watch. American foreign policy under President Obama leaves a lot to be desired. But give it a rest already with the cheap shots, one-liners, and selective photo posts.

It is very easy to figure out where the giants of US industry and finance have been and whom they have been employing in their dealings with the ‘Mad Dog of the Middle East.”

And not exclusively business people either from the US. Hence some of the other telling photos on top for the collection.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

More unrest

Reports of more protests in various cities. Tehran under lockdown.

United For Iran, "non-partisan global network of Iranian and non-Iranian individuals and human rights activists working to promote fundamental human and civil rights in Iran" offers diverse reads about the country and many resources for those who yearn for greater involvement.

And for those interested in thoughtful, informative commentaries on Arab affairs,Jadaliyya will be a great resource.

And closer to home, cheery mood among the protesters in Wisconsin. They might be returning to work soon with a lesson for the kids-- the "real-life illustration of Americans' right to protest, something others long for."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Repression

About 1500 arrests confirmed. More protests planned for the 20th in Iran.

Several deaths in Libya. And protests in Benghazi:

And the crackdown in Bahrain:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

حماقت حاكم

مفسد فی الارض؛ یعنی کسی که به گسترش فساد در روی زمین بکوشد و به توسعه آن کمک کند. فساد هم یعنی چیزی که موجب انحطاط و نابودی و انحراف جامعه از اصل تبیعی آن باشد.افرادی که ...، در گسترش فساد و فحشا و رواج هرویین و تریاک و بی بندوباری و لامذهبی و آدم کشی و خیانت و چاپلوسی و خلاصه، همه اوصاف رذیله کوشیدند. گرفتاری آن ها از آن زمان بیشتر شد که با دیدن انقلاب ملّت، هیچ توبه نکردند.
آیت الله خلخالی

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Two Cheers for Human Dignity

Pride and elation! Self expression, self defense and dignified self assertion. Pure artistry.

For the Tunisian and the Egyptian in all of us!