Window on Islam - Part 19
by Fatemeh Kashevarz
A chilling article Charging Iran with Genocide before Nuking it, Gary Leupp, Professor of History at Tufts writes predicts a U.S. nuclear strike on Iran by this April. “Within weeks from now,” he writes quoting a Russian military analyst, “we will see the informational warfare machine start working. The public opinion is already under pressure. There will be a growing anti-Iranian militaristic hysteria, new information leaks, disinformation, etc.” My comment: there will be visual warfare as well using images of flag waving Iranians celebrating the 27th anniversary of the 1979 Revolution as proof of national support for Ahmadinejad and evidence of mass anti-western hysteria.
All the flag waving youth will line up behind President Ahmadinejad if there is a war on Iran. Take a look at this article in the Guardian “Only the US hawks can save the Iranian president now” sent to me by Jamal Rostami.
The American Public still wants the government to directly talk with Iran, say 71% of the Republicans and 81% , a wide ranging analysis by WorldPublicOpinion.org of polls from numerous organizations reveals. According to a wide range of polls, there is substantial agreement across party lines on many of the most contentious issues facing policy makers today: http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/home_page/295.php?nid=&id=&pnt=295&lb=hmpg1
Certain tendencies within the media work to change the above consensus. An unlikely contributor to that is he History channel. On Friday, Feb. 9, the History channel aired a program called “Iran : The Next Iraq?” Adding disclaimers such as “perhaps” and “may be,” the show described Iran as “perhaps the most clear and present danger to American security.” The program “explored” claims as laughable as Iran’s attempt “to gain a place among the world’s super powers.” And looked at “evidence” for Iran’s secret pursuit of a nuclear weapon which it “may intend to use on the United States or its allies.” The fact is that Iran is nowhere close to becoming a World’s super powers, the IAEA reports reveal no evidence for any weapon’s program. All they say is that the absence of such a program cannot be proven (sounds familiar?)
Very important: Last week, Iranian authorities arrested two al-Qa’idah suspects who were trying to cross Iran on their way out of Pakistan. Shouldn’t this be a positive sign? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/09/AR2007020902294.html?referrer=emai
Finally please note that the Iraqi government has distanced itself fully from the American accusations against Iran’s involvement in Iraq, the major newspaper asharqalawsat reports (in Arabic) http://www.asharqalawsat.com/details.asp?section=4&issue=10303&article=406005
Here, I have another break for you from political myth making and scare mongering: The Iranian Annual Film Festival Fajr. The award for the best director went to my favorite director, one of the grand ladies of the Iranian Cinema: Rakhshan Bni Etemad. Bani Etemtmad is most outspoken screen writer and director whose films highlight the problems of poverty, gender, and social inequality. She became known with Nargis the story of a young girl from a disadvantaged family who got involved with a trio of two thieves and a prostitute. For slide show of the final night of the Fajr Festival, click on the second attachment, then on view, and on slide show.
No, it is not about nuclear technology. On Monday February 5, Iranian Scientists at the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Center announced the use of a new technique in treating spinal cord injuries. According to Houshang Saberi, director of the center, while in case of full paralysis the recovery has been about 15 percent, in partial injuries up to 85 percent recovery has been achieved: http://tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=2/5/2007&Cat=5&Num=001
Fatemeh Keshavarz, Professor and Chair
Dept. of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures
Washington University in St. Louis