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Interesting chat with an Iranian

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Khornet, Oct 17, 2003.

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  1. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    Met a fella yesterday while treating his wife. Middle-eastern name--I asked where he was from. Iran, he said. How long had he been here? 30 years. Oh, says I, you must have been there durng the last days of the Shah. Yes, he says. I asked a few other questions; he seemed excited that someone in NH knew anything at all about the Middle East. Which I think is bullhockey, by the way-- the way it's assumed that Americans know nothing about anywhere else--tells me that folks from everywhere else don't know squat about America.

    Anyhow, I naturally asked for his take on the current WOT/Middle East situation. He said, "You will never change those people. The only thing to do is let those guys (the Mullahs, the Islamists) do what they want. Let them have their way." He could see no point at all in trying to make some kind of democracy of Iraq. We should forget it all and just get out of the region completely, forget the oil and get our energy elsewhere.

    Interesting. He was quite Westernized, white-collar job, American wife, excellent English, and content here with no intention of returning.
     
  2. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    After the Shah was deposed and during the time the Americans of the United States embassy were being held hostage in Tehran, I was having dinner in a Los Angeles area restaurant with my aunt. I noticed our waitress had an interesting name. I asked her where she was from. She answered, "Persia."

    I smiled and said, "Nice place."

    She looked nervous and asked, "You know Persia?"

    I told her I had spent several months on an aircraft carrier in the North Arabian Sea. Now she really looked nervous.

    I told her to relax, I wasn't going to tell anyone in the restaurant where she was really from. That made her happy.

    Pilgrim
     
  3. Labinnac

    Labinnac Member

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    A good friend and mentor of mine who is a PhD is the exact same way. He always refers to where he's from as "Persia" when he meets new people.
     
  4. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

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    My advisor in college also referred to himself as Persian. More than once, he complained/commented how the idiots in charge there ruined his homeland.

    Chris
     
  5. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    This reminds me quite a bit of my friend, Mohammed., who should be up your neck of the woods, Khornet.
     
  6. Moparmike

    Moparmike Member

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    Good story geek.
     
  7. STW

    STW Member

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    Back when Iranian students in the US were demonstrating against the Shah (that is before they found out how bad it could be) I was taking a night class held in the federal building in West LA. As it happened, the night of a big demonstation coincided with a big test. Getting to the building should have gotten us extra credit. One of my fellow students happened to be Iranian. His opinion of his country men interfering with his test would not get past the moderators.:D
     
  8. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

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    Yes, but forgive him for disputing the wisdom of our current foreign policy. he is operating under the handicap of actually understanding the realities of the situation. You can't expect him to see the long term advantages of a puppet regime and US imposed rule.
     
  9. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I've known several like that. Once upon a time, Iran was Persia, and it was quite the nation. That was hundreds of years ago.
     
  10. kentucky bucky

    kentucky bucky Member

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    It's easy for him to say let them have the country (abandon the people who want freedom) when he is living in America. Now, why did he leave IRAN?:fire: Short memory evidently!!!
     
  11. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Member

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    I've only known one Iranian well. Back in college there was an Iranian guy who lived across the hall. He was very rich, very arrogant, and very insufferable. Because of his attitude, we gave him a lot of crap, but he kept coming back for more, which was sort of endearing.

    He used to walk into our room all the time without knocking, which obligated us to go kick his butt (more or less figuratively). The only time I ever got called down to the Dean's office was to explain why I had (literally) kicked his door in ("well, sir, he didn't knock" did not go over too well), and to pay for the cost of repairing the door.

    Ah, college memories.

    By the way, his father had been someone of importance in the Shah's regime. After the Shah fell, his dad disappeared, and the rest of his family came to America.
     
  12. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    TFL thread: One man packs, another attacks.

    It's interesting to talk to the man. Whole new perspective on freedom.

    -z
     
  13. Bill Hook

    Bill Hook member

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    I read about Mr. Ghalam's ordeal and the resolution of his suit in a TV debate w/ Howell.

    Anyone know if he got his CCW back and if he's still active in RKBA? I'm suspecting 9/11 may have shut things down for him.
     
  14. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Bill,

    I found the following dated 2003:
    http://www.erissociety.org/2003spkr.htm

    -z
     
  15. BigG

    BigG Member

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    "To ride, shoot straight, and always tell the truth" was the ancient law of the Medes and Persians, imparted to their sons. Sound familiar?
     
  16. HBK

    HBK member

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    I knew a guy from the middle east when I was in college. He played soccer for the "international club" and I played for my fraternity. He had a ????ty attitude towrards women and was verbally and physically abusive towards any woman that was foolish enough to consort with him. Once after a hard tackle, he told me, "If you do that again I will break your two legs." I was going to let it go, but later in the match he tried to do just that so I elbowed him in the face. He represented everything negative about Islam. He was here, in the US, getting a first rate education and spending all the time berating the US and it's citizens. He was supposed to be some sort of prince. He viewed women as property. In the south, we don't like it much when you abuse our women and disparage our religion and country. The guy got his butt kicked a lot, usually at parties, and he almost always deserved it. I'm sure there are some worthy people from the middle east, but this guy wasn't one of them and I personally haven't met one.
     
  17. Keith

    Keith Member

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    http://slate.msn.com/id/2089329/


    Conversation With Khomeini
    The ayatollah's grandson calls for a U.S. invasion of Iran.
    By Christopher Hitchens
    Posted Monday, October 6, 2003, at 11:03 AM PT


    I have no respect for the hereditary principle and neither does Shiite Islam, which considers earthly kingship to be profane. But no one can be completely uninterested in heredity per se, and my first thought, on meeting Hossein Khomeini, was that he has his grandfather's eyebrows. Still, our conversation quickly banished the notion that this 45-year-old cleric is the least bit interested in running for his grandpa's job.

    He is a relatively junior cleric—a sayeed—but he wears the turban and robe with some aplomb and was until recently a resident of Qum, the holy city of the Iranian Shiites and once the Vatican, so to speak, of the Khomeini theocracy. As soon as it became feasible, however, he moved to Baghdad (where he would have been executed on sight until a few months ago) and is now hoping to establish himself in Karbala, one of the two holy Shiite cities in southern Iraq. He refers as a matter of course to the work of the coalition forces in Iraq as a "liberation." He would prefer, he says, to live in Tehran, but he cannot consider doing so until there has been "liberation" in Iran also.

    He speaks perfect Arabic, acquired during the years when the ayatollah and his family were exiled by the shah to live in Karbala, and he knows Iraq reasonably well already. He is of course a figure of fascination to the Iraqi Shiite population, but he doesn't seek any explicit role in their affairs. Nonetheless, his view of developments among them is worth hearing. "Talk of an Islamic state in Iraq is not very serious or very deeply rooted among the people. It is necessary for religion and politics to be separated." When I asked him about Moqtada al-Sadr, the Shiite anti-American extremist in Iraq who is the son of the late Ayatollah Sadr, murdered by Saddam Hussein, he was dismissive. "He is not considered an interpreter of our religion but only an imitator known only because of his father." Again, there is implicit disapproval of those who trade on the family name.

    Even so, I could not resist asking his opinion of the famous fatwa against Salman Rushdie. I cannot say that I understood all of his reply, which was very long and detailed and contained some Quranic references and citations that were (to me at any rate) rather abstruse. But the meaning was very plain. A sentence of death for apostasy cannot really be pronounced, or acted upon, unless there is "an infallible imam," and there is no such thing. The Shiite faithful believe in a "hidden imam" who may one day be restored to them, but they have learned to be wary of impostors or false prophets. In any event, added Khomeini, there was an important distinction between what the Quran said and what an ayatollah as head of state might say. "We cannot nowadays have executions in this form." Indeed, he added, it was the policy of executions that had turned the Islamic revolution in Iran sour in the first place. "Now we have had 25 years of a failed Islamic revolution in Iran, and the people do not want an Islamic regime anymore."

    It's not strictly necessary to speak to Hossein Khomeini to appreciate the latter point: Every visitor to Iran confirms it, and a large majority of the Iranians themselves have voted for anti-theocratic candidates. The entrenched and reactionary regime can negate these results up to a certain point; the only question is how long can they do so? Young Khomeini is convinced that the coming upheaval will depend principally on those who once supported his grandfather and have now become disillusioned. I asked him what he would like to see happen, and his reply this time was very terse and did not require any Quranic scriptural authority or explication. The best outcome, he thought, would be a very swift and immediate American invasion of Iran.

    It hurt me somewhat to have to tell him that there was scant chance of deliverance coming by this means. He took the news pretty stoically (and I hardly think I was telling him anything he did not know). But I was thinking, wow, this is what happens if you live long enough. You'll hear the ayatollah's grandson saying, not even "Send in the Marines" but "Bring in the 82nd Airborne." I think it was the matter-of-factness of the reply that impressed me the most: He spoke as if talking of the obvious and the uncontroversial.

    That reminded me to ask him what he thought of the mullahs' nuclear program. He calmly said that there was no physical force that was stronger than his faith, and thus there was no need for any country to arm itself in this way. No serious or principled Shiite had any fear of his belief being destroyed by any kind of violence. It was not a matter for the state, and the state and religion (he reiterated) ought to be separated—for both their sakes.

    Hossein Khomeini operates within an entirely Quranic frame of reference, but what he has to say is obviously of great interest to those who take the secular "regime change" position. The arguments about genocide, terrorism, and WMD—in all of which I believe the Bush administration had (and has) considerable right on its side—are all essentially secondary to the overarching question: Does there exist in the Middle East a real constituency for pluralism and against theocracy and dictatorship. And can the exercise of outside force hope to release and encourage these elements? This is a historic question in the strict sense, because we will not know the true answer for some considerable time. But that does not deprive us of some responsibility to make judgments in the meanwhile, and we have good reason to know that the region can't be left to fester as it is. On my own recent visit to Baghdad, Karbala, and Najaf, as well as to Basra and then Kurdistan, I would say that I saw persuasive evidence of the unleashing of real politics in Iraq and of the highly positive effect of same. Conversation with Khomeini suggests to me that in at least one other highly important neighboring country, the United States has also managed to get on the right side of history, as we used to say.
     
  18. alpineRKBA

    alpineRKBA Member

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    doesn't ring true

    I read about this years ago when it was in the Daily Camera and the latest news about Iran reminded me of the guy.

    Glaham's story sounded a bit too pat, too good to be true. Especially his alleged air force career.

    http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=26068

    At 18? F-5s?

    I know a few fighter pilots (mostly F-16 guys) and asked them if any flew jets at the early age of 18, much less in combat. None had, and all found it extremely far-fetched given the considerable officer's and pilot training required. 21 y/o was the common consensus as the very minimum age. Yeah, Iran was desperate for pilots in the early 1980's, training just can't be rushed like that.

    On a hunch I searched for websites on Iranian air war fighter pilots. Found five pretty thorough links:

    http://math.fce.vutbr.cz/safarik/ACES/aces1/iran-iraq.html
    http://jpgleize.club.fr/aces/irairn.htm
    http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_210.shtml
    http://users.accesscomm.ca/magnusfamily/iiwirn.htm
    http://www.irandefence.net/archive/index.php/t-920.html

    None of them list any "Shariar Ghalam" for even a single air-to-air kill even though he claimed to reporter Laugesen to have shot down more than one.
    Given the many listings of pilots with single kills, how is a guy with multiple kills would be missed in all those sites?

    Does anybody know what fighter squadron he was allegedly stationed at? Dates and circumstances of these kills? Witness him fly? See a wartime photobook or flight suit? Anything beyond what he himself claims to have done 25 years ago on the other side of the world?

    I like a good RKBA story as much as anybody, but only if it's all true, including self proclaimed background and experience. Otherwise it taints the entire story and plays right into the hands of our gun-hating enemies.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2007
  19. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Please note the date/time-stamps of the original thread. This some serious thread resurrection.

    Why don't you contact him and ask him yourself? Last I knew, he was still in Colorado. In my opinion, that would be the honorable thing to do, not malign him on forums. I have friends who know him; I have met him only briefly.
     
  20. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    A guy I went to Infantry Officer Basic Course with in '80, went to Nichols State in La. He said there was a Lebanese guy there who was getting a hard time because people thought he was Iranian. He eventually had a T-shirt made which said, "I'm Lebanese, NOT Iranian!" This apparently irked the radical Iranian students. He apparently had a lot of fun with it.
     
  21. St. Gregori

    St. Gregori member

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    Old thread, but since nobody else made the points.

    The reason Iranians make such a point about being Persian is simple, they aren't Arabs. They don't speak the same language, have the same history, belong to the same sects of Islam, or live in the same countries. An appropriate analogy would be calling everybody with a pinkish skintone an Englishman. I can fairly guarantee that the folks in France and Germany would be annoyed when the national language isn't even English.

    The reason the guy was surprised that you knew anything about the middle east is simple, most Americans haven't the first clue. The fact that there was any discussion about why Iranians insist on being called Persian proves my point quite eloquently. Try taking someone seriously when they tell you they are knowledgeable about European history and politics if they can't tell the difference between French and German.

    And I'm Lebanese, NOT Iranian. :)
     
  22. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Not gun related. Makes a science out of of who to hate.
     
  23. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

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    Let's quote the paraphrase from 2003:
    No problem, RG, I'll make it Gun-related:

     
  24. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Iranians

    On the day the towers went down, I had some business at my bank, where an Iranian woman has worked for several years. She and her husband fled Iran when the Ayatolla and his gang of henchmen took over. They were newlyweds at the time. She is a pleasant, soft-spoken woman who always has a smile on her face...always willing to help. Both she and her husband are practicing Muslims, though she doesn't use the prayer rug while she is at work. Neither did she demand to have her face covered for her driver's license, nor does she dress in traditional garb except when she is in a mosque, or going to and from a mosque. (I ran into them once after they'd been to their church...at a KFC.)

    I walked into the bank within an hour after the last tower fell. I was the only customer in the bank when I entered, and the staff was gathered around this lady, trying to console her. She was sobbing uncontrollably, and she kept repeating: "What is wrong with these people! What is wrong with these people! I am so very sorry." As though she felt like we would blame her for the acts of a few radical crazies. She put in for a 2-week vacation that day. When she returned to work, nobody...neither a customer nor an employee...ever showed any animosity toward her. She confided in a few of her friends that her high school aged children didn't fare quite as well, and they left the public school system shortly afterward. Kids...:rolleyes:

    They're not all of the same mindset, though apparently there are enough to cause us a lot of grief.
     
  25. alpineRKBA

    alpineRKBA Member

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    Zak, that Firing Line thread you quoted in 2003 was started in back in 2000 so I didn't think anything about time gap, sorry. I don't think I actually "maligned" Ghalam. He seemed far too young at 18 to have been a combat fighter pilot that's all. As far as asking him about it, the Laugesen reporter already did. What I was asking for here was independent corroboration of his air force service. Since you have friends who already know him, then cool, they would likely know (seen war photos, etc.) If Ghalam was a combat vet in the air then he'd no doubt want those sites corrected ASAP.

    About Iranians in general, I've know some throughout the years and don't have any beef with them. As long as people don't cause trouble, live and let live.
     
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