Sanction my boots while you are at it!
By: Kian Mokhtari
The US has imposed unilateral sanctions on ten Iranian firms and –wait for it- five individuals allegedly affiliated to the Islamic Republic Iran Shipping Lines and Mellat Bank. The sanctions have arrived on the very same day Iran announced the time and the place for its talks with the P5+1 -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus poor old Germany at the back of the queue somewhere.
These latest round of sanctions have come pretty early really, considering Tehran was getting used to US sanctions imposed half way through the talks with the P5+1 until now. So Iran must have made another technological breakthrough to help it get passed another one of its perceived obstacles in the future that we the Iranian public do not know about yet. But no doubt when the occasion arrives the nation will be told about it.
Yawn; this is all getting pretty boring for generation X-ers like myself who like a rather more lively tempo in life despite approaching old age and possible dementia after too many trips to Glastonbury. Oh Iran this and Tehran that and here's another round of sanctions.
But then you look at the trade figures and blimey it is rockin' mate. Trade is up by almost twenty percent between Iran and the countries that are declaring sanction after sanction against Tehran. Just how is that possible eh?
Also during the time that George W Bush was in office "givin it all that" about Tehran, Iran-US trade shot up from $500million to $5billion; that just can't be, can it?
It can you know and here's why: Trade in our world is about market economy. In any marketplace you have buyers and sellers. Now if you have a market stall and put out decent goods at a fair price, there will be buyers. Let's put this the other way round; suppose you're out shopping minding your own business and some market stall happens to have what you want at the price you can afford. You'd haggle a bit of course but there will be no power on earth that can stop you from making the transaction. It's all legal and above board.
Accordingly, no power on earth is going to be able to stop trade from flourishing in a market environment as thrust upon us by the gurus of market economy in the West; believe it they managed to defeat socialism with that argument! "Lights go out, walls come tumbling down" as Paul Weller another famous generation X-er once bellowed out; respect Paul!
Now I wear a pair of US army surplus boots, use a Zippo lighter and drive around in a Chevy Camaro in my Levi jeans with Ray Bans on in downtown Tehran; and I feel like a gzillion tomans (a toman is ten rials by the way).
What cold hearted generation Y-er is going to take that away from me? One who has never had the pleasure of living his or her youth as he or she wished. A complete party pooper for whom letting his or her hair down must have insincere socially acceptable boundaries. A "goody two-shoes" who even cheated to make the best grades at college, just to keep daddy happy enough to inherit his wealth; excuse me I feel sick already.
If you are going to sanction Iran you'd better start by sanctioning my American army surplus boots before they start doing the thing other than walking that they were supposedly made for!
By: Kian Mokhtari
A US National Reconnaissance Office Delta IV heavy rocket –the size of a twenty-three storey building- has just shot up into space carrying a brick house of a spy-satellite.
And it is no satellite of love –sorry to disappoint Lou Reed fans- but this is where the generation of love has ended up in. Sadly, the payload is a massive satellite designed to eavesdrop on world communications and disrupt them if it gets a chance. A satellite to stop people from talking to each other is a harbinger of one very particular horseman of the apocalypse: war.
There are some very odd people at work at the Pentagon in the US. A couple called the Bernsteins are particularly messed up. They are conceptual warfare designers. Back in the 1990s they were busy thinking up the concept of mind control via radiation omitted by satellites out in space. Sounds fantastic does it not? And yet it is true!
We are some way off the realization of the terrible nightmare but an item of news had us particularly worried the other day. There was a report on electric wheelchairs that operate via their users' minds. So all a physically challenged person needs to do is thinks left and the wheelchair goes left and so on. It takes the contraption only a few hours to learn the thought patterns of its user. But let's not delve into the future probable too much.
The US' latest satellite is a peculiar machine, able to disrupt microwaves –housewives and husbands need not panic about the Sunday roast!
Modern communication according to quantum physics -as thought up by Niels Henrik David Bohr- operates via microwaves. Wireless internet, mobile phones, encoded electronic devices, and even DVDs all run on the waves. The technology has become a byword for getting things done fast, free of extras and on the cheap.
Now if a satellite, up in the sky –forgive me but I can't get Lou Reed's track out of my mind for some reason- placed in a geo-stationary orbit around our lovely planet is strong enough to zap the microwaves, then it can disrupt anything from the internet to mobile phone networks to even traffic signals in any given geographic location.
Why would the US want the human race to stop talking to each other? According to the wheelchair bound genius- theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawkins "it's good to talk….wars have always happened when people have stopped talking."
The tragedy of the science cult in the wrong hands has been merely transferred from the Nazis to the US. It is human nature to utilize all means at its disposal to impose its beliefs perhaps; but there are so many facets to human nature, why should superiority through force of arms take precedence?
Satellite's gone way up to the sky but humanity has personal issues that simply must get sorted out before making it to "where no man has gone before."
I thank you!
A ballad for soft power projection
By: Kian Mokhtari
Michael Harvey says in an article published by Britain's Chatham House: The debate about public spending cuts is shifting from rhetoric to reality, but the impact of austerity on Britain's global standing remains uncertain. Predictably, there has been much debate about cuts in the defense budget, with spending on aircraft carriers and the renewal of the nuclear deterrent - instruments of 'hard power' - coming under particular scrutiny. Less has been said about the implications for the country's 'soft power': the BBC World Service, British Council and intellectual capital.
The World Today article titled: British Power Beyond the Military: Smart On Soft Power goes on to say, "Despite declared support for the role of culture and values in maintaining Britain's appeal, it seems unlikely they will escape the Treasury's axe. Perhaps highest profile have been proposals to trim the BBC World Service budget, reportedly by up to twenty-five percent from early next year. An anchor of British values, the World Service - funded by the equivalent of a $431.64 million grant-in-aid from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office - broadcasts in 32 languages, reaching a weekly audience of 180 million worldwide."
"There is no doubting that the World Service continues to serve as a beacon beyond British shores - a fact ably demonstrated by US President Barack Obama's choosing to give an interview to the BBC Persian Service, in which he tried to engage directly with the Iranian people in refuting President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's comments to the United Nations General Assembly in September."
The British premier David Cameron has just confirmed at least two points made in Michael Harvey's article; that the BBC budget is going to be slashed and that the BBC World Service is a government sponsored tool for the application of soft power.
For the Iranians who believe that they are serving their homeland's interests by working for BBC Persian, Cameron's comments must seem like a sledgehammer blow to wherever their intellects can be found!
The question must arise in their minds that if they are cogs in a machine that serves the interests of the British government, how could they possibly be serving their homeland? Especially as those Iranians currently busy spreading British propaganda at British tax payers' expense, who worked in the Iranian media beforehand, had been known for their vociferous opposition to British political influence and interference in Iran's contemporary history.
So Iran's media outlets can be tagged as "state sponsored" by Britain's mouthpiece soft power merchants like the BBC World Service that is itself funded by the British government to the tune of nearly $500mn.
What serves as a tragedy for Iranians is that the country's yesteryear petty intellectuals continue to masquerade as broken hearted patriots forced into British slavery through lack of media freedom in Iran….poppycock; and I tell you why: Have any of the Iranian journalists working for BBC Persian ever even dared challenge the British government directly on three hundred years of British imposed misery on the rest of the world and the current political issues like the war in Afghanistan and the British royal family's excesses in times of national fiscal hardship?
It seems just like yesterday, when the true patriotic Iranians who returned from abroad to serve their homeland through thick and thin were derided as "Mullah's little helpers" and "British stooges" by a fair number of those Iranians who are now busily and wholeheartedly serving Britain's soft power politics at BBC Persian.
A large number of Iranian university students were even taken in by the two-faced behavior of Britain's current little helpers at BBC Persian but wised up soon enough: after getting unceremoniously dumped by the opportunists masquerading as "brains of Iran", who quickly made it abroad for groveling servitude to the very British masters they had accused the returning Iranian patriots of serving.
There is a lot that can be said for people with that kind of behavior but luckily for us the British premier David Cameron has stepped in and blown everyone's cover at the BBC World Service as a British foreign policy stooge, including the Iranian "brain drain bunch."
For the information of our countrymen and women employed at BBC Persian, life is not a bed of roses and happiness is not a right of birth. Any nation reaps the benefits of its past courses of actions.
Accordingly Iran is not a perfect paradise and after hundreds of years of neglect by womanizing and ignorant monarchs, treachery and treason by the royal courtiers and cowardice by the military chiefs, the country has to be built back up –from the grass roots up.
Iranians are winners, not quitters. The nation has made it through the bleakest chapters to make its proud mark on mankind's history. Iran would have never achieved such feats by serving its enemies in any capacity.
Freedom enters the heart and occupies the mind before anyone can feel free. Freedom is a journey in making peace with oneself first and foremost; it is not a foreign destination or an out of body experience.
Iran cannot be traded for freedom. Iranians are free and will achieve with or without the "brain drain bunch" at the BBC.