how the world sees america

Bush & Fakhravar: Fates Entwined

Bush-Fakhravar.jpg
Fakhravar and Bush.

George Bush isn't talking to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But he is speaking to Iranian student dissident Amir Abbas Fakhravar. And Fakhravar's dead set on keeping it that way.

The thirty-two-year-old looks the part of a revolutionary. To embrace cliche, he has the fierce green eyes of a panther, and an eerie confidence that makes you wonder if he sees something you can't. Dressed in mesh shorts and a T-shirt, he ushers me into his bare D.C. apartment late one night. There's a desk flooded with papers in one corner. On the wall hang a pre-revolutionary Iranian flag and a cowboy hat.

The flag is for Iran's past and future, he says, and the cowboy hat is for his greatest hero: George Bush. "Bush and I were both born on July 6, within the same hour" he says. And because of this cosmic occurrence, "[we] are both hard line, passionate people" who want to rapidly, unabashedly change the world. But far more than a birthday and a cowboy ethos bonds the two men.

fakhravar-hat.jpg
His favorite hat.

Last year Bush's neo-conservative confidant, Richard Perle, former head of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee who advocated invading Iraq, helped Fakhravar flee Iran's jails for the U.S. Once in D.C., Fakhravar found more allies in the White House who supported an aggressive stance toward Iran. He made the rounds, speaking out at senate hearings, democracy conferences and conservative think tanks. This led some Iranians, including student dissidents like Kouroush Sahati, to ask: is this really fate or just opportunism?

The question has followed Fakhravar throughout his rise to student dissident fame. Someone has contested almost every part of his story -- from why he was jailed to where he was held. The first in depth look at him within the English language press was done by Laura Rozen in a must-read-piece for Mother Jones. And a few things are clear.

Fakhravar was jailed in 2002 for "defamation" after criticizing the Supreme Leadership. Once in custody, he was terribly abused. Even the judge in charge of his case took the liberty of bashing Fakhravar in the knee, tearing his ligament. He still hobbles.

Fakhravar and Perle.

In jail, Fakhravar claims he was held for extended periods of time in an all white room, wearing white clothes, eating white rice, defecating in a white bucket. A bright ceiling light kept it always white as day. The guards outside walked on sponges so prisoners couldn't hear anything. This went on for endless stretches of time. Fakhravar dubbed the practice "white torture" for Amnesty International and says, "I used all my strength not to go mad." No wonder his eyes are fierce.

Fakhravar was moved between solitary confinement and ordinary jail. In the latter he read, wrote, and studied law. Then in early 2006 he was afforded a two-day leave from jail to take an externally administered law exam -- a peculiar practice -- after which he was supposed to return for another four years. Instead, Fakhravar boarded a civilian plane to Dubai where he met Richard Perle in a hotel room. From there he pushed off to America with high hopes, leaving a "shoot on site" order awaiting him in Iran should he ever return.

Revolutionary-Pose.jpg
His revolutionary pose.

"The U.S. is my biggest hope, especially the neo-cons in America," Fakhravar says, "because I've seen how these people act....American youth have died to spread democracy around the world." Speaking for his indeterminate following he continues, "Iranians respect America for that [sacrifice]."

In the U.S., Fakhravar hopes to aid his revolution by helping craft a cogent U.S. strategy to overthrow the Iranian regime. He wants transatlantic media, international figures like the Shah's son Reza Pahlavi, and networks of dissidents within and outside the country to collaborate, with U.S. aid, and foment rebellion.

If all that fails, Fakhravar opposes military action, but then says "...many Iranians would actually welcome a military strike by the U.S. because of how strongly they wish to get rid of their government." Americans would be greeted as liberators, he says on his patio, eyes locked on mine, sounding eerily familiar.

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Comments (119)

Nash:

Fakhr Avar is a big laier. he was not in politics. he was in jail because he raped his classmate. In U.S VIP havn't information about Iranian. everybody in Iran knows him and students do not support him.
he made a big crack in US intelligence activities and was a pilot case from Iranian intelligence agency.

Tiffany Holms:

OK "Enchanted" the big loser!!!!!!!
I guess you need to read too. It looks that instead of reading, you are writing bunch of lies about people who you have noooooooooooo idea about.

Fakhravar is a great guy and verrrrrrrry smart. You bunch of leftist communist idiots only find joy in making fun of our great President Bush.

Shame on you and shame on people who use this wonderful tool of weblog for their selfish ideas.

If you need to vent, use the restroom. Blogs should be respected.

I suggest that you read a couple of books too.

Best wishes for your miserable future.

Your conservative friend in Florida

Faramarz Fathi, Bos:

Posted on November 10, 2007 01:58

TIFFANY HOLMS:
Quoting "Fakhravar is a great guy and verrrrrrrry smart." End of quote.
Mr. Fakhravar may just be one as you described him to be. However, any Iranian with the least qualities that takes one to be one, would tell you Mr. Fakhravar does not even come close to be one.
My bet is not long into future when Mr. Fakhravar matures enough and recognizes he has shaken hands with some who are void of any human qualities and likewise, are so anti human being, will cut his own hands.
Finally but not lastly, for those of you who have come to defense of Mr. Fakhravar my message is KEEP HIM. Needless to mention, he can only be wanted and welcomed by only those who relate to him.

TIFFANY HOLMS:

OK "Enchanted" the big loser!!!!!!!
I guess you need to read too. It looks that instead of reading, you are writing bunch of lies about people who you have noooooooooooo idea about.

Fakhravar is a great guy and verrrrrrrry smart. You bunch of leftist communist idiots only find joy in making fun of our great President Bush.

Shame on you and shame on people who use this wonderful tool of weblog for their selfish ideas.

If you need to vent, use the restroom. Blogs should be respected.

I suggest that you read a couple of books too.

Best wishes for your miserable future.

Your conservative friend in Florida.

Enchanted:

This man makes me puke. anyone who has spent over a day in Iran, knows that he is a shameless lier. Shame on the US administration for such low and cheap traitors.. He says he had to take the bar exam, while he -elsewhere- claims that on the day of the attack to the dorm, he has been treating patients in the ER! We never learned what he was studying at college (which he didn't finish). He talks about political experience' while being so illiterate and new to the world of politics that his 'hero' is GWB. He greets liberators on behalf of Iranians who would rather die than be associated with or represented by him. But seriously, What imbecile would take pride in 'being born on the same day and within the same hour with GWB"?? So what? he thinks he is interviewing People or OK magazine? Seriously, he is so cheap.

Now that he has the US citizenship and a couple of photos with his 'hero', he'd better get a life -and occasionally, read a little bit; just so that he would know a word or two about the world.

SARA GAROOSI:

You don't know anything about this Hero. look at his BIO in www.fakhravar.com.
then you'll be in love with him. I like fakhravar.

Truth And Consequences:

Why do people like this man always insist that the U.S. and its military take action? Were he a true resistance fighter, dedicated to ousting the regime, would he not be INSIDE Iran or along its borders, planning actions?

And what is wrong with this picture:

"Dressed in mesh shorts and a T-shirt, he ushers me into his bare D.C. apartment late one night. There's a desk flooded with papers in one corner. On the wall hang a pre-revolutionary Iranian flag and a cowboy hat."

I don't know which is more disturbing: the mesh shorts or the cowboy hat.

Truth And Consequences:

Why do people like this man always insist that the U.S. and its military take action? Were he a true resistance fighter, dedicated to ousting the regime, would he not be INSIDE Iran or along its borders, planning actions?

And what is wrong with this picture:

"Dressed in mesh shorts and a T-shirt, he ushers me into his bare D.C. apartment late one night. There's a desk flooded with papers in one corner. On the wall hang a pre-revolutionary Iranian flag and a cowboy hat."

I don't know which is more disturbing: the mesh shorts or the cowboy hat.

Robert Spencer:

It's a great honor for me to appear here tonight with the hero of our age, Amir-Abbas Fakhravar, and I hope you all heeded his words and will consider them very carefully.


http://frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=C1A7A7D4-6FF3-4791-8444-601BB744EA40

Nima Salary:

I like Amir Abbas Fakhravar, I proud of him.

SAM:

I wonder how many of you know this freak man who intdouces himself as one of the oppsition leaders!
Non of the acceptable people who oppse the nasty regime of Iran don't know this funny man.

Javad Ghorbati:

..."Amir Fakhravar tells the neo-conservatives that if America attacks Iran, they'll be greeted as liberators."...

I am an Iranian and I say to the neo-conservatives that if America attacks Iran, they may be greeted as librators or they might face troubles and attacks in every corner they go. Who really knows?!

I really do not think any policy maker in the US should define the foreign policies towards Iran based on a few opinions from some "selected" Iranian people.

People like Fakharavar are simply opportunist attention seekers that would say anything that you want to hear just to keep themselves in the media.

Be wise USA, You really do not need Fakharavar to tell you what to do! (do not forget I am an Iranian!)

Javad Ghorbati:

...""Amir Fakhravar tells the neo-conservatives that if America attacks Iran, they'll be greeted as liberators."...

I am an Iranian and I say to the neo-conservatives that if America attacks Iran, they may be greeted as librators or they might face troubles and attacks in every corner they go. Who really knows?!

I really do not think any policy maker in the US should define the foreign policies towards Iran based on a few opinions from Iranian people.

People like Fakharavar are simply opportunist attention seekers that would say anything you want to hear just to keep themselves in media.

Be wise USA, You really do not need Fakharavar to tell you what to do! (do not forget I am an Iranian!)

Kaveh:

I salute Mr. Fakhravar. He is the man... Long Live the Shah...

BEHROZ THE VOOSOOGH:

MOHAMMAD SHUT UP BINIM BOAAAA!!!!
KI AS to NAZAR KHAST.???..VAGHTI TO TA MOHANDES DARAN HARF MIZANAN YE AMALEH MESLEH TO NMIAD BEGE BIL BEZAN..
to esemh khodetam nmituni spel koni badbkhat....
THE HELL W U...
we are proud to have someone like Fakhravar..
Wake up and smell the ROSE...GETTO ..F...

KAMBUJYEH:

you domis fron IR,
the hell with u and your GOVERNMENT IR..
I AM VERY PROUD OF THE CIS and their LEADER FAKHRAVAR...
TAKE A LOOK AT UR F>>FACES IN MIROR. I DONT THNIK I C ANYTHING beside PASHMO SHISHE....THE HELL WITH IR, MAHMUD THE JIHADDDDDDD
and his FOLLOWERS...KISS GWB 's ASS AND HAND DUDE...AND GET A LIFE..unam REAL ONE...

علامه بهمن آبادی :

او
بنام حق
امروز همه سرگردانی های بشر از راه ناشناسی است . خداوند ادیان را برای مبارزه و تفرقه ارسال نفرمود . در پس همه پرده های حجاب تنها دو راه هویداست و روشن .
با شناخت صحیح دین فارغ از هر اسم و رسم و آدرس و تنها به نام خدا میتوان همه ملت ها را با راه آشنا کرد .و اختیار انتخاب راه را برای همه اختیاری بدانیم . دو راه بیشتر نیست نیکی که راه عقل است و بدی که راه احساس است . راه های رسیدن به انسان عقلانی و یا آدم امروز بر ما مکشوف بوده و همه گره های فلسفه را باز کرده ایم . بزرگان تان را بخوانید تا فلسفه را از دیدگاه جدید بررسی کنیم . گرم شدن کره زمین زنگ خطری است که راه حل آن در علوم فلسفی جدید آورده شده و تنها می ماند که شما درک کنید و برای رساندن این پیام به سلاطین و مشایخ جهان در کنار علما و عرفا و فلاسفه ما را یاری کنید .
یا حق

unknown:

to roya:

please find a better way to attract people this comment from you it says that you dont know anything about iran.

I am suprised that you dont have seen Iran forbidden yet.

unknown:

to roya:

please find a better way to attract people this comment from you it says that you dont know anything about iran.

I am suprised that you dont have seen Iran forbidden yet.

unknown:

to roya:

please find a better way to get attraction from fakhravar.

kamran Hoseini:

As I know, FAKHRAVAR was a student leader for 14 years inside Iran from 1993 to 2006 and he is the Secretary General of Confederation OF Iranian Students until now.

Roya:

Fakhravar is lying. He was not a student leader and organizer.

saman sanatnama:

Those who condemn fakhravar but say they are against teh Islamic Republic, please tell me exactly what you have done in support of the democracy movement in Iran? then try to lecture us whether we should be friends with neocons or not?

I strongly support Fakhravar and I proud that I have such a friend.

wll:

The article never says Fakhravar endorses war, just that he says Americans would be greeted as liberators, which he has also said, publicly. Neocons can twist what people like Fakhravar say toward their own ends. That's what this article says. And it also says "Fakhravar opposes military action". Windarra that's the point, these bushies are Crazy!

windarra:

Amar Bakshi, you ought to be ashamed of yourself for distorting Fakhravar's opinion. In his talk with Congress, he stated on the record that the US must engage Iran through diplomacy. An attack on Iran will only strengthen the radical elements of the mullah regime. It would be catastrophic for the middle east and the world.

winston:

Bush is a great man!

Aslam:

My question is how does he help by booming others countries. We already looking at the results what happened in Iraq still everyday lot of people dying but who cares right!
Thank you
Aslam
http://www.diabeticcorner.com

Goodarz:

It seems people (like Gary Jackson)just use this space to post their own comments without reading the article or other comments.

If you actually read the article or listen to his speech at the Senate, he actually says there is no need to invade Iran, instead support the pro-democracy movement in Iran. And come on guys dont be fools not many revolutions have succeeded without some outside help. You can not fight a petro-Dollar religious theocracy with shoe string budget and no international backing.

If anyone wants Fakhravar not to look up to Bush and Neocons, its simple, HELP HIM, not discredit him! How do you expect people to like you when you discredit them??!

Anonymous:

finally a balanced look at this guy!

Faramarz fathi, formerly Fred, Bos:

Behnam :

I am not here to discredit anyone. But a true Iranian would never ever even look outside, specially to United states, for any assistance no matter what they are looking for or how valid or invalid their cause are. The United States has a brutal and vicious foreign policy solely to benefit itself and lots of time Israel specially during this current administration.
Finally but not lastly, the Iranians must never forget that Saddam would have never attacked Iran if he did not have the blessing and encouragements from US and likewise, they must never forget the constant feed of intelligence to Iraq by US hindering the Iranian forces advancements. The downing of the civilian plane too as well as the economic warfares it has unleashed against Iran for the last twenty Eight years resulting in economic losses in unimaginable scales.
Accordingly, Any Iranian entertaining the idea of getting sympathy from washington or washington to offer them sympaty is seriously misguided.

Faramaraz Fathi, formerly Fred, Bos:

Gary Jackson:
Make no mistakes. No one idolizes George Bush let alone an Iranian. I can not see any Iranian no matter how unhappy with his or her govt they are and how much he or she has suffered, to be compromising his or her identity to acknowledge Mr. Bush let alone to idolize him. If indeed, there is truth to the circumstances surrounding Mr. Fakhravar I am confident he will, given time, realize Mr. Bush and the evil(Mr. Cheney) are just an affront to all human beings and nothing more.

mikeinportc:

Boys and Girls , can you say "Ahmed Chalabi"? ;D

yawning at the rhetoric:

thank you Amar...never have so many morons posted so few literate thoughts. how do these people sleep at night? not at all....I hope!

Gary Jackson:

What is truly infuriating about this young man who idolizes George W. Bush is that he seems fully willing for Americans to spill their blood in pursuit of his liberation. But what about their own blood. We spilt much of our own blood in this country liberating ourselves from an oppressive Mother country. Why do so many of these dissidents hero worship George W. Bush--who has nothing whatsover to do with their country--but cannot find one among their own people to rally around and fight the oppression they are under?

And when are the American people going to start electing more thoughtful, intelligent leaders who understand the limits of American power and the moral implications of using that power in the most careless way?

Gary Jackson:

There is no way I can have even a modicum of trust an someone who sees Geroge W. Bush as his hero. I am not unsympathetic to the cause of the Iranian dissidents but, if we have learned anything from our Iraq misadventure it ought to be that you simply cannot base such a momentous decision as going to war on the highly emotional and passionate sentiments of dissidents who want to bring about change in their countries.

This is the very sort of trouble we get into when we invest so much passion and hope into any one man. History is replete with instances of political personalities who see themselves as transformational figures with a destiny. Such people without exception wreak havoc on the world and its people. Napoleon, Hitler, Mao--all were invested with this same megalomania. I fear that George W. Bush--though at times it seems like a silly caricature--is invested in this same sort of personal delirium that History (or God) has selcted him out for a great work.

My only demand of God is that he spare the earth from such people and their idolators.

Marcus Young:

If the Iranian people are really so ready for revolution, they'll cause it to happen on their own. They don't need the help of having their homes destroyed courtesy of American bombs.

I have several friends in Tehran - intelligent, university educated, fluent in English - and as much as they despise the current leadership, they don't want to see their country invaded to make Goat Man go away. This makes sense, since the tens of millions of us who despise George W. Bush don't wish to have the US invaded by someone else either. The tide of history always moves against those who seek to have total dominion, and within a few years, the hardliners in Iran will fade away just as the former hardliners in the Soviet Union dissipated.

Only an impatient fool like W would believe that he has either the right or the responsibility to force history at gunpoint. An intelligent and patient man would recognize the movement toward openess that is happening within Iran's people, and try to foster that feeling rather than destroying it by attacking those who will bring about change on their own.

Goodarz:

Anyone who claims to follow Iran news and say he has not until now heard of Fakhravar is a liar.

He is probably the best known and most loved Iranian dissident amongst young Iranians, whether you agree with him or otherwise.

RTW:

Lonewolf, this story is the opposite of warmongering. It's warning people that even someone who DOES NOT SUPPORT WAR still can be used by this Bush regime and people like Perle to justify a war HE DOES NOT SUPPORT. It's subtle, unlike your comment. Pay attention.

lonewolf:

this story is nothing more than pure propaganda nonsense. and i also think that if this site cannot be more responsible towards it's readers then it should be removed. fareed zakaria and his friends have lost my support here. why, is it that an open and realistic approach towards the realities of the middle east and central asia cannot be represented here? to say that the people of iran would welcome an invasion of their country any more than they have welcomed any other invasion is pure irrresponsible nonsense. this is warmongering on a basis that would make this reader believe that there is another world out there(maybe even another dimension). the american people should never be lied to in this manner. represent the truth or save us our time!!

Kian Kiani:


Voice of America and Fiasco at Persian Service.

As a native born Iranian, I would like to suggest that there is no need to attack Iran militarily if the Bush administration pays attention to those who know the situation and use the awesome power of publicity instead of military.
Millions of dollars are spent in Persian Service of Voice of America but the end result is nothing but scandalous way of management and programming.
It is hard to believe but the Persian Service which supposed to be an organization to convey the policy of the U.S. has become a free platform for hard-line terrorist group of communists who attack the United Sates!
I have the documents in writings to prove that these were done with the knowledge of the management.
I used to work there and as I said before, I have all the documents in writings.
The manager is a woman called Sheila Gandji who can not read and write Persian. Therefore, in order to hide this shortcoming from the higher management, she has hired an eighty something man called Kambiz Mahmoudi who has a lengthy background as crook and charlatanism.
Don’t think that this is a personal vendetta.
Let me quote you a view from another media:
"The Iran Steering group concluded that much of the anti-American perspective that is broadcast is the result of decisions made by station managers in Washington D.C. and Prague. Sheila Gandji, the manager of Persian service has faced sharp criticism, particularly for her decision to stop VOA shortwave radio program in July, 2006 in order to focus on television broadcasts, which are more susceptible to censorship, since the government regularly confiscates satellites dishes in order to prevent the infiltration of foreign broadcasts."
The bizarre situation at the Persian Service of Voice of America caused the Republican Senator Coburn to write a long letter to President Bush about the fiasco there.
It is only in America where the government pays to be insulted.
Do you want more information? Write me: ijadi14@yahoo.com

Basic mistake:

Wow, a young guy with a criminal record in his home country operating out of an apartment with no furniture in DC is going to change things in a country of 70 million and the No. 2 oil producer in OPEC?

Right......is he not just a bit underfinanced?

Fred, Bos:

Anonymous:

No one out side his or her Motherland can or shall be considered a fulfilling citizen. Nor can he or she claim any such.

Anonymous:

hey Fred, What have you done for your country ERAN..TELL ME?

Fred, Bos:

Hold your cheers.
Only the very shortsighted and clueless Iranians can be cheering Mr. Fakhravar.
It does not take one to be born in Iran or hold an Iranian passport to be called an Iranian. The qualities it takes one to be an Iranian are much more demanding. And I, although I would not trade away two inches of Iran for the world, for one, am not and can not call myself an Iranian since I am not there and contributing to the Motherland, and therefore can not have a legitimate voice or opinion here or elsewhere for that matter. a true Iranian fights for his or her rights, just and justice inside Iran, as well as defending motherland when threatened all when their own lives become irrelevant. Mr. Fahravar whom I have come to know only through this article, has not only undermined his earlier patriotism but betrayed his identity too by joining and appeasing the very people who have, unlike their propaganda, little regards for human lives. Mr. Fakhravar and likes him are irrelevant to the real patriots inside Iran.

Fred, Bos:

Paganus :
You missed the main and only reason here as to why US should not attack Iran.

All the US military assets you just mentioned, if not backed by a just cause, would go down in wane. The history is a good source we can look up to and learn from. Of course, the US has had couple of cake walks in South America but then again, the sovereignless nations don't count.

Iran, with a grand history and a unique culture, will not be anything like those that the US has tried to impose its imperialistic policies on or punish them for disobedience in the past.

The Iranians are highly principled people. Blessed with minds matched with none others in the world and just and justice the core of their culture, have a lot more reasons and will come out as winners if, God forbids, a military conflict ever takes place between the two countries. Nowadays, I pray a lot that the evil, (Cheney) not to decide to be rated among the only administration in the history of this country to go out as the only one who has lost three wars at the same time.

On the plantation:

The major problem is that America is temporarily insane. In her incapacity as a functioning example of democracy respecting free expression without police oversight, the engine that has pulled the train is stalled and not moving ahead. Sorry to all of us who now must get out and walk.

Amine:

Iam Proud of Mr Fakhravar . He is a larg man .

Amine:

Iam Proud of Mr Fakhravar . He is a larg man .

Amine:

Iam Proud of Mr Fakhravar . He is a larg man .

Amine:

Iam Proud of Mr Fakhravar . He is a larg man .

Maryam:

I hate that lair Laura Rozen.
I love AMIR FAKHRAVAR.

melody:

I love this guy ( fakhravar ) and I love BUSH.

Daryush:

No matter how much the Islamic Republic spends on discredditing his man, he is popular between the true opposition to this fundamentalist regime. Those who want to see democracy in Iran are proud of him. Doroud bar Fakhravar.Viva fakhravar.
mohammade comonist shut up!

Daryush:

No matter how much the Islamic Republic spends on discredditing his man, he is popular between the true opposition to this fundamentalist regime. Those who want to see democracy in Iran are proud of him. Doroud bar Fakhravar.

Daryush:

No matter how much the Islamic Republic spends on discredditing his man, he is popular between the true opposition to this fundamentalist regime. Those who want to see democracy in Iran are proud of him. Doroud bar Fakhravar.

Mohammed:

There has been enough damage been done already in Iraq with nothing achieved except for the fall of Saddam. The Iranians are proud of their heritage and the Iranis are proud and principled people. We need peace. Lets put an end to all the anarchy that the world is facing today. Mr. President please live and let others live. That would bring peace and that is what we as world citizens are craving for.

Mohammed:

Who is Fakhravar? How did he escape from Iran if as he says he was tortured and kept in solitary confinement. To me he is nothing but a stooge of the American President and propaganda material as part of the screwed up American foreign policy. Iran has a strong, democratically elected government and has strong principled people with a lot of character. Any attempt by America to even touch Iran would result in a catastrophe not only for Mr. George Bush and his stooges but unfortunately also for the American public

Mohammed:

Who is Fakhravar? How did he escape from Iran if as he says he was tortured and kept in solitary confinement. To me he is nothing but a stooge of the American President and propaganda material as part of the screwed up American foreign policy. Iran has a strong, democratically elected government and has strong principled people with a lot of character. Any attempt by America to even touch Iran would result in a catastrophe not only for Mr. George Bush and his stooges but unfortunately also for the American public

Mohammed:

Who is Fakhravar? How did he escape from Iran if as he says he was tortured and kept in solitary confinement. To me he is nothing but a stooge of the American President and propaganda material as part of the screwed up American foreign policy. Iran has a strong, democratically elected government and has strong principled people with a lot of character. Any attempt by America to even touch Iran would result in a catastrophe not only for Mr. George Bush and his stooges but unfortunately also for the American public

Mohammed:

Who is Fakhravar? How did he escape from Iran if as he says he was tortured and kept in solitary confinement. To me he is nothing but a stooge of the American President and propaganda material as part of the screwed up American foreign policy. Iran has a strong, democratically elected government and has strong principled people with a lot of character. Any attempt by America to even touch Iran would result in a catatrophe not only for Mr. George Bush and his stooges but unfortunately also for the American public

akjabb:

A washed up has been--an old newspaper--looking for a job. Try flipping hamburgers dude, it is more dignified and you don't have to kiss you know what.

Daryoosh:

No matter how much the Islamic Republic spends on discredditing his man, he is popular between the true opposition to this fundamentalist regime. Those who want to see democracy in Iran are proud of him. Doroud bar Fakhravar.

On the plantation:

Agree or disagree, all of the above posters, in their wide assortment, are above grade in expressing knowledge and independent viewpoints. Words will eventually come back as the best means to finding peace.

Anonymous:

Behnam, let's get this straight, just because he wants "freedom" he went in bed with the neo-cons, flown in by them, and is acting as a good stooge, and in the process, what Iranians would consider as a traitor. You know what the neocons want to happen to Iran, or are you that naive to think they care for "freedom" for Iran, they would love Iran to turn into another Iraq, with all the rubble by the bombs and all the dead and all sorts of hoodlums running around and wreaking havoc.

"Freedom" requires a grass-roots evolution of society and requires time, in the case of the United States it took 200 years, it's not an exportable item, nor will one have "freedom" by placed puppets who won't care for their people and the country, but only for their own well-being (as proven many times in history). I hear the Amir of Kuwait who was put back in power after the Iraq invasion, is giving a lot of "freedom" to the Kuwaitis, not to mention all the other Amirs and Sultans of the newly made Arab nations. Oh freedom.
And since you speak Persian, heres a dirt-old persina proverb/poem for you:
Kas nakhaarad posht-e man
Joz naakhon-e angosht-e man
(simply put: one has to take care of their own matters and problems, it won't happen by others)

Southern Beale:

Remind me ... people listen to Richard Perle because why?

Ha Ha Ha:

If this was meant for comic relief, it served the purpose. If this man was some sort of hope for the Bush Administration and Richard Perle (=America's own Saddam!), then it is a tragedy.

America, the world's most powerful military and economic power, had pinned its hopes on this character? Wow........that is hard to believe that things have gotten that bad in USA that a criminal can pull a fast one on Uncle Sam, while on a prison forlough!

Lawyer:

Iranian bar association does not allow people to take the bar exame if they have a criminal conviction record or if they are not graduates of the law school in an Iranian University.

This is all just a fabrication for a sensationalist story. It cannot be serious or real.

Some one in Tehran:

This Fakhravar guy is a first class charlatan. Yes, he was arrested for defemation and some other run-of-the-mill criminal activity. He was not a "high level political prisoner" as he claims as that kind of prisoners are not allowed prison furlough, but ordinary criminals are.

Secondly, people with a criminal record (i.e. a conviction) are not allowed to take a bar exame and obtain a license to practice law....in Iran, USA, and just about every other country.

Third, Mr. Fakhravar had not yet graduated when he was arrested. He was on his 1st half of year 3, and he was not in law school in Tehran.

Fourth, his connection was/is via a few Iranians that call themselves political activists. Some of them became "activists" when they were arrested for drinking alcohol in Iran, are dual UK-Iranian citizens, now in USA (because their UK creditors want to find them!).

Some others work for Radio Liberty/RFE in Prague, another one is a producer with NPR in DC and others are free-lance "journalists" that have not been able to get a job. The RL/RFE and NPR connections led to AEI and Richard Perle and AIPAC that got this man a forged passport and then on a airplane to Dubai and a visa courtest of Mr. Perle to DC.

So, here we go....Mr. Perle and his big score of yet another Charlatan, a cheap and crusty version of Ahmad Chalabi.

The president of the United States has been the victim of a cheap, low-level rip-off....again! The days of setting up a puppet politician is over.

rk:

Is he just another "Curveball"?

Robert James:

That's what we need is another war. Of course, if we are wrong about this then it will go on forever and there will be another 911 as long as the USA has tall buildings.

How can anyone give warmongers credence?

If 911 was wrong then why is it OK for the USA to flatten whole countries?

Behnam:

Hey you Iranian( PERSIAN), And iranian/americans are living inside and outside of IRAAAN.....? I dont give a dame if you are agree or not...I AS AN ERANIAN( ERAN USE TO SPELL LIKE THAT NOT IRAN)>>>..whom has had lived half of her entire life under the pressure of this brutal regim.. will stand by him (FAKHRAVAR) and people like fakhravar no matter what.. you know why? The IR,'s job is to have people like you to think like that.(BRAIN WASH)
he is letting the world know of the Brutality of this regim and you think he is driving a M.Benz now and traveling all over the europe to show off..LOL dude that you PEople whom preferd to show off then doing something positive for your home town and country... and those kids that are dying daily and being hanged ..let USA attack IR....the hell with them...BABA ENOUGH IS ENOUGH....its time insted of bringing him down just listen to him..and keep ur SHARAFS AND GHYERAT FOR YOUR COUNTRY not ON another human like your self. just becouse you dont think different then him......SO BUZZ OFF ALL OF YOU..>>>>WHOME DOSENT BELIVE IN HIM. all he want is the FREEDOM...its sad to see our kids and our people whom are the most intelegen people in the world are thinking like that...LOVE, FREEDOM,IRAN....GO TO HELL IR and WHOM IS THE FOLLOWER OF THE REGIM of IR..

Note to Def:

"The "left" has always fought tyranny, that's why they fight the neo-conservatives."

:)) LOL! You should go to Prague and visit the mueseum of Communism and talk to the people in Poland, Czech Republic etc. and ask them what they think of "useful idiots" like you in the West :)

OPUS(2):

Excuse me Opus! who the hell are you to say Fakhravar does not have credibility in his own nation??!

Opus:

I cannot believe that the US is continuing down the road not so dissimilar to the one it took for reaching the present mess in Iraq. Sensible conciliation - not reckless confrontation - with Shia Iran is the need of the hour. By seeking to prop up faceless individuals who would have no credibility in their own nation, the US is hardly demonstrating wisdom.

Darden Cavalcade:

Kianoosh:

564791 389802 098703 321434.

Kose madaret Kianoosh!!

564791 389802 098703 321434.

kianoosh sanjari from iran:

kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.

kianoosh sanjari from iran:

kose madaret fakhravar!!1to jasoose khameneiee hasti kos kesh.

Anonymous:

"An Iranian student dissident tells the neo-conservatives that if America attacks Iran, they'll be greeted as liberators".

LOL!!!!
What did you expect a puppet of the neo-cons to say, the truth?

Mohammad:

LOL!
"Americans would be greeted as liberators"
Where have I heard that one before?
Iranians might want to get rid of their government, but the era of people like this lunatic and his imperial master, Reza Pahlavi is over and done with.
Finished!

Robert of Los Angeles:

This just in ...Democracy Promotion in Iran

The Senate has adopted the Lieberman amendment to restore funding for democracy promotion inside Iran:
The amendment restores the Bush administration’s original request in the Fiscal Year 2008 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for $75 million, which had been cut by two-thirds to $25 million by the Senate Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs earlier this year.
“At a time when the Iranian regime is doing everything in its power to roll back dissidents and democrats, Congress has sent a powerful signal that we stand with the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom,” said Senator Lieberman.
“There is an inextricable link between the domestic repression of the Iranian regime and its aggression abroad,” said Senator Lieberman. “Supporting Iranian dissidents is not only a moral imperative; it is a strategic necessity.”
“The radical and brutal Iranian regime has made a choice to target brave Iranians who fight for democracy and freedom. We must now stand with the people of Iran and fully fund this crucial program,” said Senator Brownback.
“The dangerous conduct of Iran’s own regime is the greatest threat the Iranian people face,” said Senator Kyl. “America has and will continue to support their right to live in a free and democratic society. Restoring funding for this important program is a vital part of promoting a secure, peaceful future for Iran.”
“This is money well spent and is the right strategy regarding our national security and future stability of the Middle East,” said Senator Graham. “The Iranian regime is a threat to all countries that pursue freedom and democracy.”
“This funding will support the courageous democratization efforts of dissidents throughout Iran,” Senator Collins said. “Such efforts cannot be ignored from within and should be encouraged from without.”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Weblogs/TWSFP/TWSFPView.asp#2240

DEF:

Note to Simon: The "left" has always fought tyranny, that's why they fight the neo-conservatives.

Behfar:

No Iranians would blow stuff up in America. None of them. Not a chance. They don't blow stuff up anywhere in the world... not one terrorist, look at 9-11, has been identified as Iranian. They're all arab, pakistani... I'm Iranian-American, trust me, won't happen. For one, because of the nature and culture of the people, and two, because of how conflicted they feel towards Iran and its government - remember, although this is slowly changing, most Iranians came here to flee the 1979 revolution, not for a "better" life, etc... Would cuban exiles blow things up if the U.S. attacked cuba? Some might be overjoyed, some might be saddened, but none would blow stuff up. Same applies to Iranians in America.

Chaz:

The comments about the Left in the West, especially the illustration of what happened to Natan Sharansky, were particularly instructive. Kudos to Simon for bringing that up...

Farshid:

Although I find it very constructive to debate the merits of a U.S. military attack on Iran, it seems to be slightly irrelevant to this piece. Fakhravar mentioned in no uncertain terms that he opposes military action. Whether he is a pessimist and considers it likely, or whether he has an opinion as to the kind of reception the U.S. forces will recieve in Iran is an entirely separate matter. I oppose military action as well, but I will not condemn people who struggle for the freedom and independence of their countrymen, even if they cozy up to individuals for whom I maintain a specific disdain, as long as they do not compromise their principles and the interests of their compatriots.

chris:

i don't know how many million Iranians live in the US, but I trust a substantial number would be willing to blow up things if their home country was attacked. Even my hyper-American employer of Iranian descent told me that in the case of an attack, Iranians would stand by their government and country. Just like the US population stood behind Bush after 9/11, although by then it must already have been clear what a moron he is.

Simon White:

When Natan Sharansky was released from the Soviet camps, by the help of Reagan administration, I remember similar accusations against Sharansky by those who opposed Reagan. While people like Mugabe were held as heros by these Lefties, people like Havel were forgotten and never mentioned.

This is a fact about the Left in the West. They are not interested in promoting activists who are fighting tyranny, they are interested in promoting those who are on the same wave length as themselves, which is fine but then why try to smear the reputation of those dissidents who have non-left wing views?

JST:

I agree. I read Laura Rozen article last year and thought it was a sham hit-job. This article finally seemed a more balanced glimpse at Fakhravar.

Balthazar Fahrquahr:

MSAMA incorrectly observed, "Capitalism is driving the Bush Neo Con calls for "democracy". There are 100s of billions to be funnelled to American corporations through war, occupation- nationbuilding: the very thing Bush said in 2000 he wouldn't do."

Iraq and Afghanistan are excellent examples of Bush fulfilling that promise and Iran will be as well. What most Americans have failed to note is that Bush said absolutely nothing about nation destruction and has successfully used that tactic to funnel 100s of billions to American corporations through war and occupation in the examples given.

Of course, most Americans have bought into continuing to fight a war in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though the US toppled both governments and replaced them with governments it recognizes in both Iraq and Afghanistan and with which governments it is not at war. In other words, America won both wars yet is still fighting them, thus precluding nation-building.

mnjam:

There any number of reasons why the United States should NOT engage in another Iraq style adventure with Iran.

On the other hand, no one should have any illusions about the so-called Islamic Republic of Iran, which is neither Islamic or a Republic. It is dictatorship of clerical parasites propped up by a gang of thugs, the Revolutionary Guards, financed by a trust created by Khomeini which consists of all the Shah's assets, and dedicated to keeping the regime in power with stonings, riot control, etc. This is a regime which stages and televises quasi-religious rituals featuring cannisters of uranium hexaflouride gas.

This regime is feared and despised by the overwhelming majority of Iranians, both majority Farsi speakers and the 40% of Iran which is non-Persian minorities, and by all of its neighbors. And for good reason. It has also been condemned by leaders like Sarkozy in terms which, while not quite as lurid, are equivalent to Bush's rhetoric.

It lives on fear and repression and the hatred of outsiders necessary to maintain that fear and repression. It is no accident that the regime routinely conducts mass "Death to America" demonstrations, as fatuous as they seem. It will, sooner or later, attack someone, if only to maintain the fear and repression required for it to maintain in power.

Esfandiar:

Ok, so neo-cons are bad, but before we say Fakhravar is also bad for shaking hands with those who helped him, should we not ask ourselves what did we do for the likes of Fakhravar?

I can not remember anyone marching in US or expressing any solidarity with Iranian students in 1999, when 2000 of them were arrested in one day!

Can anyone recall an article in Motherjones condemning the crackdown on Iranian students in 1999 or the massacre of the Iranian political prisoners (mostly in their early 20s) in 1988?

Haleh:

To Aamir Ali:

Please enlighten us and tell us when and where Fakhravar advocated bombing Iran?? Why do you make things up? If you listen to Fakhravar's speech to the congress, he actually advocates supporting the Iranian people in their struggle against the Ayatollahs in Iran.

It is unbelieveable how people like you and Laura rozen just make things up.

Ken Siroky:

Greeted as liberators huh. Well, Its a go.

Potkin Azarmehr:

Laura Rozen's article in MotherJones was an absolute disgrace. If the American Left did not have the will or the imagination to support the pro-democracy activists in Iran against a reactionary religious dictatorship, then they should not try to spread falsehoods and tarnish dissidents like Fakhravar.

Here was my reply to Laura Rozen who never had the decency to reply:
http://azarmehr.blogspot.com/2006/11/reply-to-laura-rozen.html

Anonymous:

just read the mother jones article. it paints fakhravar as a stooge. this article doesnt. and its over a year old!

Usama:

Folks need to think about the other half of "democracy"- capitalism. You remember, the ugly cousin, the Mr Hyde to democracy's pleasant Dr Jekyll?

Capitalism is driving the Bush Neo Con calls for "democracy". There are 100s of billions to be funnelled to American corporations through war, occupation- nationbuilding: the very thing Bush said in 2000 he wouldn't do.
Well even Bush is a puppet.
Iran has 70 million people, oil, and perhaps trillions in future American profits available.
American companies once enjoyed suckling off the teet of Iranian capitalist wealth. They still remember, and they are even hungrier now.
Capitalism is the driving force behind the Neo Cons.

contrai1@ix.netcom.com:

Do the Neo-Cons have a "regime change" script written down somewhere? This is so precisely like the run-up to the Iraq occupation that it's astounding. All the same roles, just different actors. It would be laughable if these people didn't have control of the U.S. military and its nuclear arsenal.

Bush is like America's gambling-addicted cousin who already threw away a fortune on "hot tips" and "sure things". Maybe he really means well, but to give him another loan because he promises us that this time he can't lose would be sheer stupidity. What America needs to do is have an intervention to keep this guy from digging us all into a hole so deep we can't get out of it.

Anonymous:

You seem to have ripped off someone else's reporting, Amar.

http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2006/11/fakhravar.html

Aamir Ali:

I am sorry for Fakhravar horrible prison term, but that does not entitle him to advocate that Iran be bombed.

However this "war against Iran" is a moot question as Mr Bush is near the end of his presidency and wont be launching any further invasions.

Hira Biswas:

As far as I can see, the Iranians have a more representative government than any other Arab countries like Soudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan etc. So why America should try to change a govt in Iran? I know Israel wants America to attack Iran but that cannot be a good reason to invade Iran. Have we not learned anything fron our Iraq experience?

HowIronic:

Poor boy. He was jailed and tortured without due process. A travesty of justice that unequivocally shaped this idealists view of the world.

And then he looks to the neocons for salvation. Um, I guess the term extraordinary rendition doesn't ring a bell.

Yes, there is something wrong with painting every one who disagree with the state and terrorist. Yes, there is a problem with denying civilians the right to due process. No, you don't apply rights to just the people who agree with you.

Sorry, Fakhravar, the lessons of our recent history seemed to have escaped you.

Kabir Tonekaboni:

Dear Anonymous,

I urge all Americans to assess their threats realistically. You have a president who intentionally lied to American people and dragged them into a war in violation of all international laws.

Your president is a major threat to American democracy and individual freedoms. With the exception of congressman Kucinich, no other American lawmaker is acknowledging this major threat and calling for the impeachment of Bush. That has made the American democracy a laughing stock around the world.

You cannot have a democracy, let alone prescribe it to others when by all standards you have one of the most politically illiterate populace in the world. The last time I checked almost 50% of Americans assumed Saddam Hussein was behind the tragedy of 911. Yesterday your Washington Post, this icon of western journalism, attacked El Baradai as rouge, because he is being judicious and is acting independently! Would Washington Post have written this if they didn’t believe there are enough idiots out there who feed on this dung? This is the level of respect your media has for the American people.

With so many problems at home, one would think that your Democratic leaders would have the courage to stand up to this president and fight for the American people. Instead they have gone along with his “patriot act”. In fact few months ago they voted against a resolution that would have required Bush to seek congressional approval before attacking Iran.

Remember this; From its inception the holy borders of Iran have been violated by barbarians, Alexander, Arabs, Gingiz Khan, Tamer lain, British, Russians, Ottomans, on and on and on. And look around yourself; after 2500 years the great nation of Iran stands tall and its enemies have always faded away.

The reason they speak so lightly of nuking Iran and in comparison Iran never bombed civilians during the Iran Iraq war is that we are the custodians of an ancient and mature civilization and we work hard to preserve it for the entire world. On the other hand your leaders are the product of immoral and dysfunctional environments, many of whom have been subject to criminal abuses in their childhood. That is one of the reasons you see such hatred and anger in the faces of George Bush, Dick Cheney, Pearl and so many of the neocons. They want to beat up Iran for what happened to them in their childhood, and in the course of their personal lives.

Would they nuke Iran? Who knows? But I know this: We will pick up the pieces, the day after, as we have done for thousands of years and continue to build our great nation. But the scars of disgrace will remain with you forever; THE only nation that has used nuclear weapons and continue to rely on such weapons of WEAKNESS.

Mark:

Anyone who believes this Republican-talking-point drivel deserves to lose, as the U.S. will if it attacks Iran. And that's "shoot on SIGHT", not "site" - don't you proofread anything before you post it?

Anonymous:

We have to remember that one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, also believed that liberty was rooted in bloodshed - the blood of patriots and tyrants. But does that mean that we should direct our overextended and tired Army to violently force their way through another country? Probably not. It really means, unfortunate though it is, that without intervention on their own behalf they will not be free. The same is true of Iraq; never made to intervene on their own behalf, whatever desire they had for liberty was not strong enough to hold up the heavy weight of law and order. Now, the price of their freedom on paper is blood spilled in the streets. Thomas Jefferson was right, but that doesn't make his truth a good thing. And the stronger the force for revolution, the less bloodshed there will generally be. A democracy, a republic, any country with representation, is usually based on hopes for fairness; but an undemocratic system is usually at best simply maintained for law and order; fairness isn't always as important.

We also have to remember that a desire for an American type government arose naturally from within us, and we created it. The kind of freedom we love is often something craved throughout the information-age world, but not all of the world has so much as a television...much less central air conditioning. In fact, much of the world is poor, uses old technologies, and also uses old social systems. Someday, perhaps, with our help but not our direction, other nations will rise up for these freedoms and shuck their monarchies and dictators. But if we push them, we only push them into the morass of slaughter and inhumanity that we more than any other group created in Iraq.

Because basically, like the first evolutionary gleams of intelligence in apes, the first evolutionary gleams of democracy are only just bursting forth in our world. Invading another country with a broken army is practically like putting an ape into a calculus class - it won't help much at all, and the ape will quickly get out of class and run back to the jungle, the state of nature where the strong rule the weak. It doesn't matter what burly security guard we put at the class door, or how well we arm him, he can't suppress such a strong creature and such a strong instinct. And right now, our security forces are weak and exhausted, and need to stop being pitted against angry apes worldwide. When we see a chance to change the nature of countries, or protect a gleam of democracy amongst a cloud of violent suppression, there may be cause to intervene.

Kabir Tonekaboni:

Iran has 2500 years history of independence. Even former Shah’s son volunteered to return back to the Islamic Republic to fight during the Iran-Iraq war.

Would there be some Iranians who welcome US aggression? May be. But the overall consequences will be very grim for both nations.

Majority of Iranians welcome a change in their regime. Not many are that stupid to think that a change instigated by the US is in their national interest.

Iran's power as a great nation is in its people and those who live in glass houses should stop going around throwing stones.

Helena Montana:

"Amir Fakhravar tells the neo-conservatives that if America attacks Iran, they'll be greeted as liberators."

Well, our neocon morons fell for that line regarding Iraq and no doubt those wild-eyed crazies will believe it about Iran, too. What is it that folks say about people who don't learn from history?

Attacking or invading Iran would be beyond a "mistake." It would be a catastrophe that we can't even begin to imagine the scale of right now.

Darden Cavalcade:

I'm sorry for Farkhravar's troubles in Iran, but they oblige us to do nothing. And in this case nothing is the right thing to do. Let Iranians liberate themselves. We can help them afterward.

And I don't know where he gets the idea that non-communist states would support a U.S. military attack on Iran. That is simple ignorance talking.

marcoloco:

Greeted as liberators? Where have I heard that before? Sorry Fakhravar, many of we Americans are currently attempting to liberate our own country, but I'm sure if you keep your head up Bush's butt, he'll cut you in on a share of the treasure.

logicaldoubtofhumansanity:

The invasion of Iran will not bring stability in the Middle East, but will further fan the anti-US and anti-Isreali sentiment within that region. Imagine what an invasion of the only democratically elected arab government within the Middle East (other than Turkey, Palestine, and Lebanon). What kind of message do we send to the world? We will promote democracy by destorying democracy?

Yes I understand that Iran is a theocratic state in which the religious leaders have supreme power over the state, but currently Iran has a legitimate electoral process for the positions of governor and national legislature seats as well as the presidency. We have supported governments who are dictatorial, including Mubarak (Egypt), Musharraff (Pakistan), Saudi Arabia (royal family). Our call for democracy can be seen as a masked attempt in shaping the Middle East, and invading Iran doesn't come close to alleviate that fear.

Political isolation of Iran may be a better solution for the sake of Middle East stability. The invasion of Iran after Iraq may be interpreted as a direct assault into the Arab culture by the arab world, and will not advance US interests in that region. In fact, it may spawn more terrorists hell-bent on the destruction of the US. The best way to root out extremists is to foster stability, as a dictatorial Saddamn Iraq vs a "liberated" Iraq has shown.

If we are to establish some sort of legitimacy to our "democratization" of the world, we need to have uniform standards to all the countries in the world. We can't cherry pick which country we will forcibly democratize, nor are we afforded the luxury of cherry picking which dictators we will support. Anti-American hostilities may cease once Americans stop using double standards to judge different countries and stop unilaterally invading countries the US doesn't like. Perhaps we need to relearn the humility of dealing through the UN. It is the only legitimate world body forum that may referee disputes. Albeit UN resolutions are at best symbolic, the legitimacy of a UN resolution carries strong diplomatic weight. We need to adopt humility and stop thinking we are the world order police, and start acting like a responsible country within the world stage

ahro:

Another "chalabi" in the making....Everyday another fool. Anyone caught cozying up with the likes of Perle should be regarded with extreme caution.

Shahnameh:

Did Amar ask this piece of Iranian s*** if he wants what happened to Iraq to happen to Iran?

valleyforge:

This makes me physically ill. The Bush/Cheney Bomb Squad is going to be cranking up it's propaganda machine and starting a button-pushing spree designed to fire up Bush's pro-war Democracy-Through-Killing neocon base.

It is George Bush and his warmonger cronies who are the enemy. It is not the war in Iraq, but the war against George Bush we must win.

JRLR:

Before the latest Iraq war, for the record (USA TODAY: "Confronting Iraq, Prewar predictions coming back to bite", April 1, 2003, Source: http://www.usatoday.com/educate/war28-article.htm.)

* March 11, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars: "The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about. Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator."

* March 16, Vice President Cheney, on NBC's Meet the Press: "I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . . I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . (in) weeks rather than months."

Paganus:

There are several very good reasons not to attack Iran, even if they are ucooperative.

1) Navy and Air Force assets would not be enough to topple the regime. We do not have the Army and Marine assets to mount an effective land campaign. The war in Iraq has sapped our land services' strength and slugging it out over the western mountains would simply take more troops than we can currently field and equip. Even if we could somehow get a smaller force into Turkmenistan and drove the short distance over the plains to Tehran, there is no guarantee that would end the conflict. If Iraq has taught us anything , it's that a massive land force is necessary to secure a large country, and Iran's topography is even more challenging than Iraq's. It simply can't realistically be done with our current land assets.

2) An invasion of Iran would further alienate the Shi'ite political leadership in Iraq. What would we do if the elected government of Iraq suddenly demanded that we leave? We would be bound to do so, or risk open warfare with the Iraqi police and army. On top of that, the radical Shi'ite militias would no doubt attack if full force. Our superior firepower would likely win the day, but it would still be an international public relations disaster.

3) We have no reasonable basis to believe that what this guy says is true. If you will remember, we have been the victim of Shi'ite provocateurs before; remember Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress freaks who assured us of an easy victory, many WMDs, and flowers for our troops? Chalabi, as it turned out, was nothing but a lying, corrupt, narcissistic fraud. Once bitten....

BC:

In their blind faith Perle, Wolfovitz,Chaney Bush et el-- Neo nuts -- would support an Dog from Iran if it barked the tune they like.
Fakahrvar is nothing but a Iranian version of Chalabi -- a phoney opprtunist used as a prop & a puppet by the Neo Nuts.
Why is Pearl allowed to bring such people to US ? Fakahrvar shuold be send back to go & fight for the change.Why are old Neo Nuts put out to pasture to avoid any further damage to US?

No need for US soldier to die for Iranis .... they can revolt against their oppressive leaders & bring change with their own blood. They always show, like barking dogs, lot of anger to US & west, but have no bite to fight to bring change .. like Russians & East Europeans did to get the Govt. they wanted.

Iranis have the govt. they deserve!

BC

Interview Transcript:

This is a twenty minute excerpt from a several hour interview conducted with Fakhravar, originally in Persian. This segment focuses on Fakhravar's view's of Bush.


AMAR: How do the Iranian people feel about the United States, both its government and its people?

FAKHRAVAR: The people of Iran -- specifically the youth -- have a very positive impression of America and Americans.

The people of Iran had been drowned in a deep pool of hopelessness (as Gene Sharp's writings taught me, all dictatorships have the same characteristic of inspiring hopelessness of the populace), but after 9/11 the people of Iran became very hopeful. For the first time, Iranians had faith that the international community would support them. Iranians looked out to the world and said, now we believe in you, we trust you, we know you understand our dire predicament in Iran and know you will help us.

The people of Iran, pay attention to every speech, every comment President George Bush makes. We notice how he distinguishes between the people of Iran and the government. He speaks with the government in a strong, confrontational tone, and he talks to the people in a brotherly, friendly one. This pleases the Iranian people; we feel better, good, about this.

I remember telling Richard Pearle in Dubai that after I got out of eight months of solitary confinement that my soul was crushed. But when I saw President Bush's speech on television that placed Iraq, North Korea and Iran in an 'Axis of Evil' I felt so happy. I embraced my father and we wept. At that time we knew the Iranian regime would come to an end.

After so many years of the world apologizing for the heinous crimes of Iran's regime, this was the first time somebody like George Bush harshly criticized it for its crimes.

AMAR: Why haven't there been any major uprisings since 1999?

FAKHRAVAR: The Islamic Republic felt the strongest challenge to its rule on the 9th of July in 1999. It never imagined the people would come out against it with such force.

Afterwards, it prepared itself so this would never happen again. We watched Khatemei and his so-called reformers betray the people. A lot of those in his government betrayed the people.

Three years after those uprisings again it occurred. It was almost as intense and Kazemi was murdered because of it. This showed the regime that the potential for uprising still existed. And it exists today.

We students have learned a lesson from 1999. Now we don't want to come out in open revolt without organization, without a plan and an agenda so we don't get jailed and burned. We have all come to the realization that for a major nonviolent resistance movement to work, it needs educated, organized people. We can't expect to achieve anything with spontaneous, uncoordinated uprisings and demonstrations.

AMAR: Why do you have faith in Bush's rhetoric?

FAKHRAVAR: Bush's comments affect Iran's people. We see it. After 1999, the teachers and the workers have joined forces against the government. It's not longer just the students.

This is the result of an expression of empathy from the international community and U.S. government for the Iranian people.

AMAR: Do you identify yourself as neo-conservative?

FAKHRAVAR: The term neo-conservative is problematic. I can hardly identify with it since I don't want a return to the traditional in Iran. I want an abrupt break -- a new Iran.

But strangely enough, the Iranian people now seem to have their interests in line with the neo-conservative movement that has taken control of America's politics because they all want to solve the problem of dictatorial and authoritarian regimes around the world, and to grant the people of the world what they deserve -- democracy. The people of Iran are tired of the games of diplomacy. They want to be free of the shackles of the Islamic Republic. Bush and the neo-conservatives attack dictatorial regimes around the world without being bashful, without beating around the bush. This is a pleasant surprise for the Iranian people.

I do not agree with those people who advocate negotiations with the Iranian Republic as a way of helping the Iranian people and limiting their suffering. Negotiating with the Islamic Republic, in my opinion, would be much worse than a full-on attack or invasion of Iran.

Negotiations would be the kiss of death. They would swallow up, destroy an entire country -- its people -- slowly and painfully. The Islamic Republic will buy itself time to propagate its causes and suppress the people.

Personally, I'm not in agreement with those who advocate a military solution either. I'm completely against a strike on Iran. I'm confident in saying that no Iranian is in favor of a military strike if there is another option. But this if is very important. Because if there is another option, then Iranians oppose a strike. But the Islamic Republic is leading the international community to a point at which there will be no if. There will be no other option.

If we pay attention to the desires of the Iranian people, we hear only that they want to be free from this Islamic Regime. Their scorn for their government has reached such a level that they'd be willing to achieve that freedom at any cost, even if that requires a military attack by a foreign power.

It is a tragedy but many Iranians would actually welcome a military strike by the U.S. because of how strongly they wish to get rid of their government. It's unfortunate. They want to free themselves at any cost. It's a tragedy, welcoming an attack. And ironically the Islamic Republic is pushing the world toward confrontation because they hope a war will buy them time and help them rally the Iranian people around them.

But this is a major mistake. The Islamic Republic thinks this war will be like the one they fought against Iraq, that it will drag on for 8 years, strengthening them. But this time they won't be able to defend themselves this time. They will be fighting America and the entire world.

AMAR: Do you think America has the support of the entire world on this?

FAKHRAVAR: All democratic, modern societies stand by the United States. If you cut the communists out – those fools, China, Russia, Cuba, these countries -- everybody else would support America in confronting Iran. And to provide you with evidence of how the non-communist, democratic world is all in line, I refer you to the French elections where candidates were making harsh dealings with Iran part of their platforms, and a way of one-upping each other in debates. Iran has become a mode of garnering public favor in France. The candidate who claimed to be willing to handle the Islamic Republic as harshly as possible, Sarkovsky, garners the most support. An extreme response to Iran garners votes in France.

AMAR: Specifically, how should the U.S. support the Iranian people in their struggle?

FAKHRAVAR: I've been in Washington exactly one year. During this time I've learned several things. The Islamic Republic's tentacles reach far and wide, even in this city. Here they have strong lobbyists groups with Petrodollars from Iran. These lobbyists groups are affecting the politics of this country. We have institutions here that are directly supporting the Islamic Republic, pushing the U.S. to tolerate it, to pretend it has a democratic system. These groups strike a terrible blow to the freedom-loving people of Iran.

So first the U.S. must identify these people for who they are -- agents of the Islamic Regime, supported through corruption. The U.S. must push them out. Then it must come up with a clear Iran policy. This is crucial. For example, right now important media outlets like Voice of America and Radio Farda can help, but because the U.S. government doesn't have an official plan. So even if the U.S. could help, what would it do without being able to point out a clear direction? If they come without a plan, they just waste the money of the American people. Right now, U.S. media outlets in Iran seem to have no perceptible plan.

AMAR: Do you see the U.S. as the only hope for Iran?

FAKHRAVAR: The people of Iran see the U.S. as their biggest hope -- especially the neo-cons in America, because they've seen how these people act. America is not interested in playing games like other countries.

Also, the U.S. has shown through history how it builds up countries like Germany, South Korea and Japan. That's how America is different from Europe. Europe has never done that for anyone. Europeans exploit other countries, looking out only for their own interests, unconcerned with other people.

American intervention and aid has contributed immensely to the growth of other countries. The U.S. has always wanted to help, to construct, to build. American youth have died to take democracy across the world. The U.S. has done a lot for the world. And Iranians respect America for that.

But the real reason the Iranian people love America is because their regime hates America. If the Islamic Republic deemed something black, the Iranian people would call it white; if the Islamic Regime says something is white, the people would turn around and say, 'It's black.' That's how at odds the people are with the Iranian Regime.

AMAR: Tell me about your experience in jail.

FAKHRAVAR: I've been engaged in this freedom struggle for over 14 years. I've lived through even the darkest days in jail. I used to say to myself in prison: 'I'm an intelligent person, I can make a difference.' Maybe a lot of people believe this, but for my friends and I this belief, that we would make a difference, was very strong. Somebody must be able to do it. And how am I any different? Why can't I? It gave me hope. I knew I eventually would make a difference to Iran. I have a deep belief in this.

But things got very bad. I coined the term 'white torture' in 2003. I had been spending time at Ghasr Prison, a place for the most hardcore criminals, the beastly of society. Political prisoners most disliked by the government would be sent there, hoping they'd be beaten, raped or killed by other inmates.

Even from this low, I was taken to a far worse place. I was moved to an Islamic Revolutionary Guard prison. A new file was opened for me. I had experienced solitary confinement and torture many times before but this was different. They had broken my nose. A judge tore the tendon in my knee. I've had all the bones in my hand shattered.

But white torture was something else; by far the worse. They took me into a solitary cell. The whole place was white. The floor was white, cream. White projectors shone light on the ceiling, around the clock. Night and day it was white. The floors and walls were white. What we wore was white. All that was in the room was a white bucket to use for excrement.

And they gave only white rice to eat, once a day. The guards outside used spongy shoes so you couldn't hear them walk by. You were in a place with no color and no noise. Many of my friends lost their minds in this experience. It was by far the worst type of torture I've ever experienced.

jake:

this guy is just a puppet who is being dined and wined.

Tony:

It's easy to find poeple who hate what their their governement is doing , including here in the US, it does not mean we are going to support bomimbing our country.

arebee:

Credibility gap-he's in prison, but gets a furlough to take the bar exam, and they take his word that he's coming back to serve the four remaining years. This is hard to believe.

Tony:

Here we go again with the word "liberator", the neo-cons are using the same word they used to take us into Iraq, to take us this time to Iran, it does nit matters that nothing is working in Iraq, it does not matter that we spent 550 billion and 200 billion in it's way.
And the so called liberal Media is picking whatever they say and present it to us.
Maybe we should stop believing anything they say.

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