how the world sees america

A Scientist, a Father and the B-2 Bomber

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For decades Najmedin Meshkati proudly designed advanced technologies for America, including support for the B-2 stealth bomber. Now he has nightmares of this aircraft attacking his homeland, Iran. Worse still, he fears his young American son won't know or care when the aerial strike begins.

If you were casting an epic tragedy in Hollywood, you probably wouldn't pick Meshkati, a bald, soft-spoken Iranian American engineer to play the lead. But this is Irvine, not Hollywood. And Meshkati insists that if war erupts between the two nations, his life would become a "tragedy of Homeric proportions…one fit for all the ages.”

In 1976, Meshkati left Tehran for Los Angeles to pursue advanced studies. He quickly climbed departmental ranks, detailing the human capacities required to operate advanced machinery. His work contributed to civilian and military technologies -- from nuclear power plants to flight control towers to war crafts, the most notable of which was the stealth bomber.

Meshkati's office at the University of Southern California is flooded with B-2 bomber memorabilia. A model aircraft sits on his desk. One wall is plastered with a large blueprint of the cockpit and photos of its sleek facade. On the other wall hang framed signatures of the plane’s original test pilots from Edward's Air Force Base, many of whom he taught. Off the arm of his chair dangles a B-2 bomber baseball cap.

This plane was once a source of immense pride, but it has become his Frankenstein. With words of war between Presidents Bush and Ahmadinejad reaching a feverish pitch, “worse even than during the hostage crisis,” the professor says, dread is replacing pride.

For Meshkati, the cover of The Economist magazine "was the straw that broke the camel's back." On it, a menacing B-2 bomber shoots across a blood-orange sky under the bold headline, “Next Stop Iran?

Dr-Najm-Meshkati.jpg
Signatures from the test pilots.
Meshkati's 12-year-old son Armaan saw it first with the mail on the kitchen table. He was transfixed, his love of big machines momentarily weakening his little limbs. Then he rushed off to find his father and asked, panting, "Can I have this, dad?!"

Glancing at the headline, the elder Meshkati "felt a shot of agony" race through his body and replied blankly, "'I'll get you a photo like that from my office tomorrow if you want…but don't take this one.'" Dejected, his son left the room. Meshkati wept.

If war were to break out with Iran, would the child care? What would war make of his father’s career, of his father’s life work? Meshkati asks me this with his eyes welling up. Meshkati can’t answer these questions; he just hopes he never has to.

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Comments (112)

slotmaskiner:

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Parsa:

I understand Google’s position on calling Persian Gulf "Arabian gulf” on Google Earth. Despite all history, geography and political books and evidence it must be a business decision to appease to some of the Arabian countries in the Persian Gulf in order to allow Google, presence on their land. You see, Google has been pretty nervous lately with Microsoft/Yahoo moving on their territory, so survival is name of the game, even if it takes distorting reality. Business must go on.

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Brin:

Hello, nice site :)

Brin:

Hello, nice site :)

ABR:

I must say I am quite troubled by this questioning of Dr. Meshakti's loyalties. Clearly, this is an individual who has made important contributions to our own growth as a leader in technology, and is grateful for the opportunities that this country has provided him. But why is it wrong for him to feel ties to his country of origin, to his family and friends? Would you not feel nostalgic for America if you were residing abroad?

Just like many Americans, this man feels love for his country, his people and his culture, while not necessarily supporting its political leadership. This idea that one gives up all aspects of their own culture to become a citizen of another country is ludicrous. Can we try not to view this man's legitimate feelings through a lens of ultra-nationalism?

As for his son, I can understand how difficult it is to contemplate that his own son does not feel as connected to Iran as he does. However, I think that such is the experience of second-generation immigrants. They will experience their identity in fundamentally different ways from the parents who immigrated.

shaka:

What a liar I doubt this Iranian fool had much high level involvement in designing such technology. It's simple Iranians are too stupid.

Masood Raji:

As an Iranian, I feel proud of Meshakti's contributions to the eternal kingdoms of science, technology, explorations, innovations, ...

I see no reason for his concerns or any guilt feeling. Any confrontation would be temporal, non-fatal, and avoidable, if and only if,the rulers of IRI
(1)- discard the suicidal patterns of
thinking and planning, disguised under
the name of "martyrdom".
(2)- adopt a strategy of "Live and Let Live'

Masood Raji,
66 years old, Iran
Neyshabur, IRAN.

Faramarz Fathi, formerly Fred, Bos in WP:

Quoting "the professor says, dread is replacing pride." End of quote.

Professor, scientist and engineer Meshkati : That, Will all due respect, is shallow.
Us the Persians while blessed with incomparable minds in the world, have our own inadequacies in turn too.
As, one born in Iran, who have been out of Iran since 1973, I have developed a tendency not to allow myself to call myself an Iranian while my love for my family, Iranians and the greatest piece of real estate on this planet which I also know as holly land since just and justice is the core of Persian culture, is immeasurable, reasoning while it is easy to get some attachments to the country I was born in, it is deceiving and would be fooling myself if I would attempt to link myself to some sort of its citizenry while my citizenry and personal fulfillment's which are due only there, are vastly or may be I should say entirely absent.
At Fifty and for the last thirty years I have witnessed the Iranians travel abroad and virtually build countries or make revolutionary advances in science and medicine in countries like Europe, North America and Australia, unprecedented in their history and yet Tehran holds title for the most air polluted city in the world with unimaginable health consequences for the present residents and worse, generations to come.
Here in States, the brightest students and top professors in reputable schools are Iranians. After the Jewish community whom have built a country here within a country solely to benefit and advance their own agendas and their commitments are only to their real Motherland, no offense to any of them and for the record, my only idol is an Iranian Jewish woman Mehri, we have most successful entrepreneurs and businessmen among the minorities in the country. the hospitals have more than their share of (percentage wise) Iranian Doctors and specialists among minorities here. The more I learn about the NASA community I find how it is saturated with the Iranian engineers, specialists and projection managers in there.

These all makes me sad and sometimes feel not to want to be alive anymore. But the facts remain once we leave Iran and seek and obtain residency or citizenship in another country and start contributing in our new homeland we give up our Iranian identities no matter how reluctantly or how much to our dislike, and any attempts, thereafter, on our parts to link ourselves to Iran or even compliment or criticize the country or its deficiencies, would be an affront to all the Iranians in EERAN.

Hoslo:

To all who don’t understand Mr. Meshkatis nightmares and question his loyalty:

Do you remember the worlds most known scientist Albert Einstein?
Do you remember E=mc2?

In November 1954, five months before his death, Einstein summarized his feelings about his role in the creation of the atomic bomb: "I made one great mistake in my life... when I signed the letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made!

Mr. Einstein and many, many other scientists had the same feelings about their role in creation of deadly weapons. It is the mixed and the nightmarish split between the good and the bad. A feeling that every sane person on the surface of this planet should have!

Another side of the story is: That’s our leaders responsibility to take the moral stand not to use the weapon against the innocent, not the scientists! But sadly, today one can buy any leader of the world with money, propaganda and lies!

Hoslo:

To all who don’t understand Mr. Meshkatis nightmares and question his loyalty:

Do you remember the worlds most known scientist Albert Einstein?
Do you remember E=mc2?

In November 1954, five months before his death, Einstein summarized his feelings about his role in the creation of the atomic bomb: "I made one great mistake in my life... when I signed the letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made!

Mr. Einstein and many, many other scientists had the same feelings about their role in creation of deadly weapons. It is the mixed and the nightmarish split between the good and the bad. A feeling that every sane person on the surface of this planet should have!

Another side of the story is: That’s our leaders responsibility to take the moral stand not to use the weapon against the innocent, not the scientists! But sadly, today one can buy any leader of the world with money, propaganda and lies!

Mohammad Irani:

To my fellow Iranians living abroad,

You all seem to love your country and always say you love Iran, yet I doubt that.

You dont love Iran, you love your "freedom", your "discos" and the fact that you are living in America.

If you guys really loved Iran, then you would pack up your bags and MOVE BACK TO IRAN!

I am 33, I was born and raised outside of Iran. The first time I ever went to Iran was in 1998 (Khatemi allowing people who had never been to Iran, to visit Iran for 3 months every year), then I went back in 2001 to buy my military service (cost me around 4000 USD), and finally in 2004 I packed up my bags in Germany and moved to Iran.

I started working in Iran and was selling American cables in Iran (mostly Audio/video cables). I was living quite a nice life, and was able to actually save up money. Only thing that was hard for me was to find real friends, since the ones I had ended up being more interested in money than friendship.

Anyways I am now back in Germany and have applied for my German citizenship (I will have dual citizenship then) and will move back to Tehran once I get it. The only reason why I want the German citizenship is because I dont feel like applying for a visa for Dubai everytime I go there for my work.


Damn that was off topic. Anyways all I am trying to say is that I am sick and tired of Iranians who live in America/Europe and always say "I love Iran, I miss Iran bla bla bla" and yet they would rather live in the west and not in their homeland.

If you love your country then you should be able to bear its hardships too, but you guys want to have your cake and eat it too!

And Mr.Meshkati, like many in this thread I have no sympathy for you. You knew you were working for the American military. Maybe you didnt develop the bombs or whatever for the B2, but you did know that your research and work was just going to make the B2 an even more deadly weapon. Besides, the IRaqis and the Afghanis that died from the bombs that America used in its "war on terror" were humans too and had family too!


I sit safe to be honest and say my name? Not any more not even in US:

Arrogance has been the single cause of destruction of previous civilizations and this is not any different. No one could even immagine the collapse of the Soviet Union, now it is a reality. I hope our new civilization does not follow the same path but I think my hope is very shallow. I am not a fotune teller but I did predict the collapse of the Iraqi regime soley because it caused so many blood shed and now I am afraid it is our turn to pay for our sins. As if destroying Afganistan and Iraq was not enough now we are talking about nuking Iran. A country that has not initiated any aggression against any country in the last 250 years. Lets wait and see. Such a waste that I voted for the Bush. Surely I am guilty too.

I sit safe to be honest and say my name? Not any more not even in US:

Arrogance has been the single cause of destruction of previous civilizations and this is not any different. No one could even immagine the collapse of teh Soviet Union, now it is a reality. I hope our new civilization does not follow the same path but I think my hope is very shallow. I am not a fotune teller but I did predict teh collapse of the Iraqi regime soley because the caused so many blood shed and now i am afraid it is our turn to pay for our sins. As if destroying Afganistan and Iraq was not enough now we are talking about nuking Iran. A country that ha snot initiated any aggression against any country in the last 250 years. Lets wait and see. Such a waste that I voted for the Bush. Srely I am guilty too.

Anonymous:

Well Mr. Meshkati, as Einstein, Oppenheimer and numerous others including a recent Nuclear physicist from Iraq discovered, US, Russia or any other regime are no different than others. The fact that you have created this killing machine and might be used against your own country is a major dilema. My suggestion is that rather than weeping and crying, you provide the other side the weakness and how to bring down such planes!!..that would clear your conscious. Maybe its time for you to provide your services to your homeland before they get bombed out by a crazy neocons who have no conscious but the profits of the multinationals!!

Anonymous:

Sorry, correction

Unbeknownst to some, Iran has been around (AKM), ...

Anonymous:

"As for Iran having been a safe haven for whatever religion that was prosecuted in the past... well... first of, in the days when Rome hunted the Christians... there was no Iran"

AKM, you're not too familiar with history. By what we identify a nation by definition, Iran (Persia, as it was officially called until the 1930s) is the first nation of the world. By the same definition China became a nation 300 years later (around 220 B.C.). Yes there are thousands of years old regional civilizations, including many in Iran prior to 2500 years ago (there are 6 and 7 thousand year old cities in Iran).

ABE: "Currently, the Iranian nation is the only counter balancing force against true enemies of USA, namely Saudi, UAE and Pakistan".

Iranians don't hate the west (despite all that Britain, Russia and later U.S. did, it's water under the bridge). Even the government officials in power extended offers to start a dialog, leading to relations with the United States. It started when Khatami was president (numerous calls for dialog), and in 2003 the government proposed to discuss all matters with U.S., this was a very serious proposal. It was decided not to even address such an offer, and the media of course was completely silent and never disclosed these to the public. If there is one country that will have a serious impact on moderation in the region, it is none other than Iran (take this to the bank). It would be a very big mistake to not take this into consideration. Unbeknownst to some, Iran has been around (Abe), and there haven't been sky-high walls between the people of Iran and the people of the new nations around Iran.

Taghi:

May Mr Meshkati should use his knowledge for the good of people instead of helping military establishment. The US are using these weapons in Iraq and Afganistan against Civilian and may be later against Iran and Mr Meshkati must bear responsibility for us aggressive policy instead of hanging B2 photo in his office, He had a choice to help create a better world or to prop up US militarism. Iraq or Iran have never had anything to do with Al-qaeda. Bin laden is laughting thanks to US illegal war in Iraq which has created the biggest recruiting facility for his murderous gang.

My advice to Mr Meshkati is do something useful for a change. Iranian have never attacked US, 911 terrorist were mostly from friendly countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, UAE, Pakistan and Yeman and US has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afgani civilian . Do not try to make Iranian people against yourself. They will get rid of the regime in Iran relying on their forces. They do not need US B2 to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran.

AKM:

Pulling in "international law" is somewhat ridiculous. Nobody, ever, gave a damn about it. Not Iran, not the US, not Israel, not Germany, not anyone, ever.

The B2 is a weapon. Newsflash: a weapon is there for one reason, to kill. Should there be an exchange of fired between the US and Iran, then the B2 is used, just like the F-22, like the M16, like the M1A2. That's how things are.

It'd be illegal under international law for the US to attack Iran? So what? Since when has that ever stopped anyone? It didn't stop Germany from invading Poland. Didn't stop Israel from the Yom Kipur war, or the Six Day War (or any other aggressive action taken by Israel towards its neighbors). Didn't stop China from skirmishing around with India and Vietnam. Didn't stop anyone, ever. International law... what a joke. Who really gives a crap about that anyway?

As for mister Meshkati, here's an idea for him: grow up. He was designing a bomber, for crying out loud. What the hell did he think this machine is used for? It's a weapon in the armory of the United States and as such it will be used in any conflict the US see fit. Honestly... Our dear mister Meshkati reminds me of those idiots who think that killing for peace works.

By the way, it's not just American that's building "killing machines". Europe is. China is. North Korea is. Japan is. Iran is. Lybia is. Russia is. Everyone is. But that's not really America's fault, is it?

As for Iran having been a safe haven for whatever religion that was prosecuted in the past... well... first of, in the days when Rome hunted the Christians... there was no Iran. When the Jews were prosecuted in Europe... well, that wasn't today's, intolerant, Islamist Iran either. So, bringing in such historic things isn't really smart.

As for the UN charter... it's worth absolutely nothing. The UN can... sit in a corner and pout. Nothing else. The UN is a joke and has to go ASAP.

ABE:

Micheal, you missed my point. Not everyone is born a Jesus Christ or Mother Theresa.
To understand the psych of a scientist, you need to be one yourself. Every young ambitious scientist would look for recognition through contribution to a novel application. Would Einstein stop research, had he known his discoveries would lead to development of nuclear bomb years later? Probably not in his early young life.

There are now thousands of scientists who vie for a piece of pie in defense-related research in the US; many from China, India and Iran. I can attest personally that none would be happy if his or her discoveries would lead to destruction of his/her country of origin.

Michael:

Hey ABE, If your moral human foundation for justification of making B-2 bombers and development of nuclear bombs and weapons of mass destruction is just your justified cause then no wonder you and your genius scientist and as a result the rest of America will always have enemies. Maybe this will help you and your bomb maker bodies to make more bombs to fight more enemies. For ever.

And if this is your genius way of justification of America running the business of building killing machines, then you are in the right business in the right part of the world. Just remember genius, your enemies have found you and now they know how to get you. So good luck with building more bombers and bombs.

Abe:

Judged by the expressions on this forum, I sense certain immaturity in some posts as related to understanding of human side of scientists. Case in point: American-born Robert Oppenheymer was a scientist whose leadership led to nuclear bomb development and mass destruction, albeit for a justified cause, and yet deplored the outcome of his genius years later. So, stop questioning Meshkati's psych for reasons other than his moral human foundation and not the least his country of origin.

Abe:

Is it not true that the enemy of my enemy is my friend? Currently, the Iranian nation is the only counter balancing force against true enemies of USA, namely Saudi, UAE and Pakistan. Though their governments feign friendly posture out of their need to US support, large segments of their population are not. By weakening Iran or worse attacking her, the anti-American forces would be galvanized and united and could potentially pose a greater danger to USA.
Our way of life is already in decline due to loss of key industrial base, ever-increasing growth of under-skilled population, exhaustion of military resources and loss of faith in federal government. Another illegal war certainly will not help such a decline.

Aria:

Subject of this article and the question surrounding it, what about if, is now the biggest dilemma for most American/Iranian citizens of this nation.

My answer is simple:

When I got my citizenship I did not apply for American/Iranian citizenship.

There is no "American/Iranian" mixture.

We are either American or we are Iranian. The two do not mix.

For all undecided ones, you should soon decide which nation do we belong to, and which nation's national interest is our interest as citizen of that country.

And just if you are wondering about me, as an American citizen, I am against bombing citizens of any country. It does not make any difference whose country it is. Bombing is wrong. It is a cowardish method of fighting. Personaly I prefer UFC.

My advise for Mr. Meshkati is that he should of thought of this subject when he was helping designing it. He knew it is going to drop bombs. Now what? He wants to pick and choose whose head the bomb should drop on to?

Now, as a reminder for the ones who decide to remain Iranian but stay in America, if there is going to be any bombing, by you guys staying and paying taxes, you are directly supporting the war against your country. Now go figure!


Aria:

Subject of this article and the question surrounding it, what about if, is now the biggest dilemma for most American/Iranian citizens of this nation.

My answer is simple:

When I got my citizenship I did not apply for American/Iranian citizenship.

There is no "American/Iranian" mixture.

We are either American or we are Iranian. The two do not mix.

For all undecided ones, you should soon decide which nation do we belong to, and which nation's national interest is our interest as citizen of that country.

And just if you are wondering about me, as an American citizen, I am against bombing citizens of any country. It does not make any difference whose country it is. Bombing is wrong. It is a cowardish method of fighting. Personaly I prefer UFC.

My advise for Mr. Meshkati is that he should of thought of this subject when he was helping designing it. He knew it is going to drop bombs. Now what? He wants to pick and choose whose head the bomb should drop on to?

Now, as a reminder for the ones who decide to remain Iranian but stay in America, if there is going to be any bombing, by you guys staying and paying taxes, you are directly supporting the war against your country. Now go figure!


Shahram :

Many empires in history have fallen because of that one attack too many! I hope the U.S. is not foolish enough to repeat the same mistake!

Bomber Harris:

The funny thing is that 10 of these bombers (which are more expensive than their weight in gold) haven't been able to do jack to a bunch of lightly-armed cave-dwelling former goat-herders, who have bested us in both IRaq and Afghanistan, just as a bunch of Vietnamese in black pyjamas bested us in Vietnam. When will we learn? But I suppose there is too much money to be made from contracts for useless bombers...

William:

If you're a believer, it shouldn't matter to which country you owe your first allegiance. The Pledge of Allegiance, for example, has had the phrase "one nation, under God" for decades now. There is no religion that I know of that requires allegiance to a leadership cabal packed with war criminals. There's no philosophy I know of supporting, let alone justifying, crimes against humanity. It's only fascism that makes a virtue out of virulent, imperial nationalism, as in "My country--right or wrong." A people that supports a criminal leadership is a criminal people. Impeach the lot in the administration, try them and convict them. Then, when they're out of office, indict them, try them and sentence them to death for mass murder.

Some think that past members of the Iranian leadership have committed crimes. They certainly have committed plenty, including torture and murder. However the scale of American criminality in the Middle East and elsewhere makes them look like disciples of Mother Teresa by comparison. They have been suffering victims of crime and aggression more than guilty perpetrators of either. Do Iranians have a right to interfere in Iraq? Whatever arguments one can advance to justify any American presence there, theirs are a hundred times more valid. The American invasion is a good enough justification by itself, not to mention the support our erstwhile client Saddam and his gang enjoyed from past U.S. administrations.

Raad, UK:

It is funny reading the postings from the Americans here. It is taken as an article of faith that the Iranian nuclear programme is a military one when there is NO evidence of a weapons programme. After 2200+ inspections by IAEA they see no evidence of diversion of material outside of the civilian use. Also after all the noise, there has been no site that CIA or Mossad can point to which is a nuclear military base. As Americans you should seriously think why your government REALLY wants to go to war.

If there is a war, know this: this war is not what one that the Iranians want or would seek to provoke. Know that in this war, US is the culprit and the war-monger. And, one way or another you will pay for it over time.

Raad, UK:

It is funny reading the postings from the Americans here. It is taken as an article of faith that the Iranian nuclear programme is a military one when there is NO evidence of a weapons programme. After 2200+ inspections by IAEA they see no evidence of diversion of material outside of the civilian use. Also after all the noise, there has been no site that CIA or Mossad can point to which is a nuclear military base. As Americans you should seriously think why your government REALLY wants to go to war.

If there is a war, know this: this war is not what one that the Iranians want or would seek to provoke. Know that in this war, US is the culprit and the war-monger. And, one way or another you will pay for it over time.

Anonymous:

Rob wrote: "Iran openly declared that the holocaust didn't happen, and then has a convention to support their position. Iran openly declares it's intention to destroy Isreal. We wont attack Iran unless they hit us or our freinds. We always let the enemy take the first swing".

Rob, there's many mistakes in that one paragraph of yours, many ("Iran this, Iran that, and US only invades and attacks after being hit with the first swing"). Never mind, just try to believe what you wrote is the truth.

By the way, when they were killing and persecuting Christians in Europe (before Rome imposed Christianity as the state religion), and before, during, and after Jews were being persecuted and killed in Europe, Iran was a safe haven for both, and with Iranians of the Jewish and Christian faiths living in Iran for many centuries and today, with their churches up and runnig . While I understand we have fanatics who want to fabricate and change the truth, it is for the decent humanbeings everywhere to be mindful of misinformation by the fanatics (irrespective of the fanatics' specific categories).

This is what happens when fanatics have influence in government, and in the better part of mainstream media, twisting and misrepresenting the facts.

As for the aspirations of Iranians for a moderate and representative government, catering to the will and wish of the majority of the people, it started by Iranians themselves over 100 years ago, is going on, and will go on, no one can stop it. Based on my two cents, Iranians are not war mongers and do not want to harm anyone.

Attacking Iran is a terrible mistake, and in many dimensions.

Thank You Muslim Brothers:

Shamshir is right. We should leave, take the Israelis with us, and leave the region to the benevolence of the Persians, Arabs, and Turks. In 20 years, the entire region will be either a charnel house or monument to civilization.

I'm taking bets.

Shamshir:

Americans will never understand the mideast never so get the hell out right now and take your beloved Israelis(russian,European jews) with you then will see who's complaining becouse it wont be me PS Mad mullahs more like Crazy george and dick, IED's like russia and china didnt support the vietnamese during that war Iran is just doing what is in her best intrests that is drive the westeners out of the region

Shamshir:

You so called Iranian's who call for Iran to be bombed disgust me truly disgust me MEK Scum
Long Live Jomhuri ye islami Iran

PK:

Pendergast said: "And, you have the anti-war activists pretending they have been in the Military. They haven't, they just like to use that as a cover."

I can't think of anything more insulting than a statement like this from a chickenhawk. I'm liberal and spent 24 years in the military. Pendergast, let me know if you have the courage to come on over. I'll show you my medals and you can show me your dolls.

Only a complete ass would make a comment like Pendergast did. But you know what, I served even for insulting jerks like him. Enjoy your freedom, chickenhawk.

Guest Worker:

Stop trying to justify yourselves in reaction to comments from these racist fools. Everyone knows that the middle east has the patents to the most important products ever invented (and exported). What are they you ask? Simple. They are: the father, the son and the holy spirit.

RESPECT. Keap it REAL.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

Mike S.,

You're right, my friend. I answer in the same spirit you wrote "just for kicks...".

As you say 'name-dropping is not the answer here', nor is any 'survey of the state of science in Muslim countries' an unbiased indicator of current Muslim contribution to science. That is one of the criticisms I have against an otherwise excellent survey work done by the eminent Pakistani physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy [a Muslim who, by the way, was recently honoured with the International Humanist of the Year 2007 award] on Islam and Science, based on professional journal publications, citations, and patents, in Islamic countries,namely that, with globalisation, a significant proportion of the scientific advances made by British, American, Canadian, Australian scholars are by Muslims who have emigrated to those countries. However, many of Hoodbhoy's findings are important and should be of concern to the leaders of Muslim countries (I point this out to Mr. Kuttab in my posting on his comments in this same forum). (1) The proportion of the budget earmarked for education and specifically research and development is low although it has been increasing very fast in recent years. (2) Patent laws and commercial practice in Muslim counteies do not actively promote the culture of intellectual property rights, the Islamic philosophy that the new knowledge created by any scholar is the wealth of humanity and should not be privatised [an excellent illustraion of the predatory nature of American propoerty rights culture is that American one food reseacrh company, having developed an especially nice variety of rice, sought to secure for its variety the non-patented but highly identifiable rice variety known under the name Basmati -- in other words, the American comany wanted to have exclusive right to use the name Basmati for its variety, to the exclusion of Pakistani and Indian producers of this variety, who, for millenia, never bothered to patent the name brand. Of course it required a litigation in WTO, I believe, to stop the predator acquiring the brand name]. (3) in many areas Muslim scientists resident in the West are prominent contributors, one of them being stem cell research, although this area, however cutting edge, is not the most sophisticated or extremely-demanding scientific research field around. Quantum computing is now the most sophisticated scientific research topic and the niche's auxiliary areas, including Fuzzy Logic, have their fair share of Muslim scientific researchers. There are many other issues that I cannot all list here.

So, rest assured that they are being actively tackled, and a major Muslim scientific renaissance is underway, althogh it might take a couple of decades to bloom.

About the question "what is Islamic science, any way? Is there a cultural slant to the work that Muslim scientists do?', the answer is NO. Science is science, the pursuit of verifiable hypotheses. But, yes there are various types of sciences, and behavioural science in one where 'cultural nuances' may have a role to play, But in the hard sciences -- physics, biology, mathematics, chemistry, computer science, medical sciences, etc. -- there is no distinction except who does it, in which countries, with support from which institutions, and, importantly, to which end-use.

And what is Islamic science, any way?

AliG:

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Guest Worker:

As the profit Mohammad (PBUH) once said, the future belongs to Salmon Al Farsi's people. Look them up and be nice to them.

RESPECT.
Keep it REAL.

Mike S:

Just for kicks,...

Malleck, Lyall et al.

"And then nincompoops will tellyou that Muslims are sceientificallt backward."

Let's not dismiss the nincompoops just yet, at least not with hoary old stories about the dawn of mathematics. There's no question that Islamic science, and scholarship generally, had a golden age that set the foundation for much of what we take for granted today. Perhaps that's less widely understood than it should be.

But the progress of science isn't measured in epochs, or centuries. Even 50-year old science can today legitimately be called "backwards." And the West has long since outpaced the Muslim world in this. Boosters of Islamic science need to understand this and be motivated by it.

And what is Islamic science, any way? Is there a cultural slant to the work that Muslim scientists do? (This is not a flip question, by the way. If there is a useful cultural slant it should be understood and employed by the global scientific community.)

In the West and most of the world, science is accelerated by an atmosphere of honest intellectual competition. Are today's Muslim societies able to accommodate this, as their predecessors once were?

Name dropping is not the answer here. Professor Zadeh, after all, is just one man, one ACM Fellow among 600, one IEEE Medalist among 80 or so. And he did his work in the West, educated at MIT and Columbia as well as the University of Tehran, and teaching at Columbia and Berkeley since 1950.

Rob:

Iran openly declared that the holocaust didn't happen, and then has a convention to support their position. Iran openly declares it's intention to destroy Isreal. We wont attack Iran unless they hit us or our freinds. We always let the enemy take the first swing.

After Pearl Harbour we went to war for 4 years and lost hundreds of thousands of lives. The US is a great big nasty dog on a short leash. After 9/11, the leash was removed. It had to be.

Restraint will be used. But, don't let that confuse anyone that its weakness.

Thank You Muslim Brothers:

MM of Swift Current, Canada:

I recently read "In the Footsteps of The Prophet". You are named after a perfectly respectable man. What a shame that your surly, undignified comments are so unworthy of your name.

Deep kneebends, Swift Current. Maybe they will strengthen your legs enough that you will be able to follow his footsteps.

Micheal Deal:

Iran has natural, commercialy exploitable reserves of uranium. All other things equal, it clearly has the right to develop and exploit those reserves for commercial nuclear power, especially in light of the need to resort to nuclear power instead of fossil fuels because of global warming.

Unfortunately, Iran violated its treaty obligations by failing tp comply with disclosure requirements and the inspection regime. The treaties do not define the sanctions for those treaty violations; but, certainly those wilfull violations put the onus on Iran to prove its good faith and undertake real bona fide confidence building measures, rather than just insist that the rest of the world rely upon its assertions of good faith and innocent development.

Equally unfortunately, the Bush Administration has shown its usual incompetence by relying on nothing but public criticism and insults, bluster, and coercive sanctions. The Clinton Administration, which imposed a total unilateral investment and trade embargo in the first place, did only marginally better. The embargo has done nothing but send Iran to China for goods, equipment and money, while hurting US firms, and their employees, that could be selling oil field equipment and non-strategic goods in the Gulf.

The US must offer Iran something positive instead of purely coercive sanctions. No Iranian government could survive if it were seen to be giving in to coercive sanctions. The history of the Cold War shows that unilateral sanctions and trade embargoes are completely ineffective in infuencing the behavior of adversaries. The US should offer to end the embargo and specifically to allow US firms to build refineries in Iran in exchange for real controls and confidence building measures on Iran's uranium enrichment program. Given the gas shortage, this would do more to undermine popular support for the government and the hostile mullahs than anything else.

pappy:

Meskati,Meskati what a whiner you have become! You come to America from a failed nation, avail yourself of an outstanding education, engage in lucrative employment, and generally enjoy the benifits of a truly free society. Now, NOW you knash your teeth and pull your hair! You never really became an American, rather you continue to be an Iranian. You see your (American) life's work possibly being used to the detriment of your Irainian life. Oh the humanity!

Persian Redneck in Tehran:

The fact are:

1. The American military power might be supersized, but leaves much to be desired in planning and execution. Take a look at Iraq. Four and something years later, it has not managed to stabilize a country a third of Iran's size (in geography and population).

2. The B-2 Bomber is about 20 years old. It was designed with technological assumptions of 20-25 years ago. Radar techonology has leaped forward, namely "passive radar" and GPS jammers. We all remember that even Saddam's creampuff army had it, courtesy of Bosnia, when the missiles were not hitting targets.

3. If you live by the sword, Mr. Meshkati & Americans generally, you will die by the sword! This is a time-tested fact in history.

No, and out of intellectual bankruptcy if you must, bring 'em on! Just remember that there should be no crying after battle!

Finally, read the UN Charter....and a violation of UN charter is clearly and plainly defined as ".....the threat or use of force". This means America that is making these threats is in fact in violation of UN Charter and the UNSC must enact sanctions against it. Rules are for every body, no?

Saena:

Hi,

I am a German-Iranian. Americans attacked Germany and Japan during the WWII and now these contries are the second and third economy power after america. Mr. Meshkati: I know you love iran, like all of us Iranians. We know all that mullahs destroyed Iran and our history and our future. I am one on the iranians who is supporting America if America attacks my homeland Iran (I still have all my relatives in this country) we need to get rid of the mullahs otherwise they will destroy this bit of Iran which is still remaining! you should be proud of yourselfe when B2 Bombers kill Mullahs and fenatics! I know many innocent people will get killed as well. But how many innocent will get killed, how many futures will destroyed if mullahs remain in Iran?

SAMAM BOOYAN:

I am an Iranian-Canadian. I read professor Meshkati‘s point of views and his comments I think they are totally understandable and he is absolutely right.

Both countries’ politicians “Iran and US “need to know WAR won’t be the solution in this sensitive issue.
This complicated issue must be solved with negotiation and mutual respects, in this case “WAR” won’t be the solution at all as starting a new war will make it MORE complicated and it won’t be the end.

Hopefully those politicians who only know one language for negotiation which is
“BOMBING/ KILLING” will learn for administration a country there are more languages than “WAR” which is deferent ways of reasonable diplomacies for avoiding the disasters for innocent people, and then for whole the world.

Thanks to professor Meshkati for bringing up this important subject and thanks to all of his efforts in human factors/agronomy to keep and design a safe place to work for workers and citizens for decades in US as an Iranian-American.

At the end I hope in the future we will have decent and capable politicians to save people and whole the world from disasters “WAR”.


Mike:

What we learn here is some variant of "he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword."

What did the author expect when he went into the weapon design business?

And why is he more upset at the thought of Iran being devastated than at the thought of Iraq or Israel, or Syria or Serbia or Korea?

He illustrates how foolish patriotism is, and how foolish it is to imagine that only the people you want to be killed will be killed by the weapons you build.

Instead of aligning yourself with America or Iran, how about aligning yourself with humankind? But then you would have had to have lived a very different life, and it would not have involved a comfortable middle class life as an engineer of death machines, would it have?

When you align yourself with humanity you'll find that the current fascist American regime in D.C, and the Iranian nuclear Mullahs are both your enemies... and that you were a fool to supply the weapons to one against the other.

---

And to Shahnameh ... Israel has not threatened "to wipe Iran off the map." That's a fantastical projection based on fear and ignorance and propaganda. You too would do well to consider how you could align yourself with the humanity of both Jews and Arabs in Israel and Palestine.

Cyrus:

If our elected officials work as hard as American tax payers in search of truth in the direction of American National Interest with good judgment and no hidden agenda then most probably many of future Wars might be avoided. The following case is an example of bad mistake or bad decision or bad judgment or dirty hidden agenda by Condi Rice or State Dept. for your review and hope freedom-loving Journalist, Senate would consider to investigate and ask questions from responsible officials regarding Kavousifar case :

Majid and Hossein Kavousifar, they both left Iran for Abu Dhabi following the assassination of the top murderous Islamist judge, Hassan Moghaddas,( Washington Post called him as “Judge, Jury and Prosecutor”) and they both took refuge in the US Embassy where they had applied for US asylum (2005). So far State Dept. has not provided information as to why they were handed over to the Islamic Republic of Iran agents in 2005 when they were aware that they would definitely be facing, torture and execution.
What was the Secretary Condi Rice’s logic for her actions regarding Kavousifar case to send them for Torture and finally Execution by Mullah’s agents where there is no diplomatic relation with Iran and Mullahs are declared as Terror State by State Dept and responsible for killing many Americans in past 28 years …? (News source: VOA on Thursday, August 2, 2007 ) Condi Rice action does not match president Bush statement on June 16, 2005 “And to the Iranian people, I say: As you stand for your own liberty, the people of America stand with you.”
Majid Kavousifar 28 and Hossein Kavousifar 24 executed in public in front of family members on August 2, 2007 Majid (4 weeks ago) smiled with victory, no remorse and waved good bye. The mother of Hossein cried out: “God, please give me back my son.” Search Google and write to your Senator for public investigation for Unjust Law and sign petition related to this case.

The best way to handle Kavousifar case is to resolve this issue ASAP and avoid any future conspiracy theory. Senate has the responsibility to investigate and tell the truth to the public about this case as bad as it might be and let the American public opinion decide whether anybody should resign at any levels for bad mistake or bad judgment or bad decision or dirty hidden agenda. After 4 weeks the State Dept. under leadership of Condi Rice has not provided complete information or formal statement regarding Kavousifar case and American journalists and major Media did not ask questions.

If the Senate decide to investigate this case truthfully then they are doing big favor to themselves not us for creating a good name in history and avoid future damage to the long term American National Interest and possible good relation with great majority of pro American Iranian people who are against Mullahs and also considered as hostage of Mafia Mullahs .

FYI please search Google with a name Kavousifar and find out about this case yourself with all photos or visit: http://activistchat.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=8657

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

TO THANK YOU MUSLIM BROTHERS,

You are such an idiot, you think that you have baited others. In fact, it is you who are the hopeless ignoramus.

If you read my first post at 7:45 p.m. on Sept 4, you will see my mention of another Persian (Iranian) named Lotfi Zadeh.

He is one of the topmost authorities in Fuzzy Logic. In my assessment, considering what you have written, chances are at least 80% (probably more) that you don't know what Fuzzy Logic, Fuzzy Computing, Quantum Computing are. Look them up. The easiest might be in Wikipedia. Look up Lotfi Zadeh, Fuzzy Logic, Fuzzy Computing.

A few years ago, The Economist magaxine had an article on Fuzzy Logic and Fuzzy Computing. It is the most advanced technique used by the Japanese in aircraft software. The Economist story started by inviting the reader to imagine a helicopter with a pilot having to stay completely stationary on a given spot, moving not even a centimeter from a given point. At that time it was impossible for a human-piloted helicopter to achieve that. (You who, no doubt, know Grumman Northrop engineers very well can verify with them that it is even now almost impossible to acjieve that). Well, the Economist story was that the Japanese had been able to achieve precisely that feat with a helicopter that is REMOTE-CONTROLLED. The technology to achieve it was Fuzzy Computing!

Check it, buster, check it, don't take my word for it.

Hereunder is a brief excerpt from WIKI about Lotfi:

Other Contributions
Because of the importance of the retraction/relaxation of Aristotelian logic, which opens up applicability of rational methods to the majority of practical situations without dichotomous truth values, Zadeh is one of the most referenced authors in the fields of applied math and the computer sciences among others but his contributions are not limited to fuzzy sets and systems.

Zadeh is also credited, along with John R. Ragazzini, in 1952, to have pioneered the development of the z-transform method in discrete time signal processing and analysis. These methods are now standard in digital signal processing, digital control, and other discrete-time systems used in industry and research.

Zadeh's latest work includes computing with words and perceptions. His recent papers include From Search Engines to Question-Answering Systems—The Role of Fuzzy Logic, Progress in Informatics, No. 1, 1-3, 2005; and Toward a Generalized Theory of Uncertainty (GTU)—An Outline, Information Sciences, Elsevier, Vol. 172, 1-40, 2005.


[edit] Awards
In 1994 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. He was awarded the IEEE Medal of Honor in 1995 "For pioneering development of fuzzy logic and its many diverse applications."

Zadeh has a long list of achievements, but since 2003, Lotfi Zadeh has received the following awards.

Outstanding Contribution Award, Web Intelligence Consortium (WIC), Halifax, Canada, 2003.
Wall of Fame, Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum (HNF), Paderborn, Germany, 2004.
Civitate Honoris Causa, Budapest Tech (BT) Polytechnical Institution, Budapest, Hungary; Sept. 4, 2004.
Doctor Honoris Causa, Muroran Institute of Technology, Muroran, Japan; Oct. 29, 2004.
Doctor Honoris Causa, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China; Nov. 9, 2004.
V. Kaufmann Prize and Gold Medal, International Association for Fuzzy-Set Management and Economy (SIGEF), Barcelona, Spain, Nov. 15, 2004.
Foreign member of the Polish Academy of Sciences, 2005.
Nicolaus Copernicus Medal of the Polish Academy of Sciences, 2005.
J. Keith Brimacombe IPMM Award in recognition of his development of fuzzy set theory and fuzzy logic, 2005.
Doctor Honoris Causa, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Jan. 29, 2007.

Cyrus Activistchat:

I agree with the following statement by Professor Meshkati:
“I am thrown when I see the U.S. and Iran going to the brink of war and whenever I hear the fiery war rhetoric from Washington and Tehran, I get reminded of the following statement by Bonar Law, which I came across in one my most favorite books of all times, Profiles in Courage, by President John F. Kennedy, who said: “

“There is no such thing as inevitable war. If was comes it will be from failure of human wisdom.” (p xviii)

In order to understand what Professor Meshkati is saying we need to become more familiar with complexity of Iran problem and I am sharing some of the facts for your review and consideration.

FREE Iran Today Issues And Facts:

Freeing Iran has become much tougher than old USSR, Lebanon, Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgystan for Iranian people. Iranian people as a hostage to evil Mullahs, Neo Colonialist Power (Russia, China, and EU3) are facing the following difficulties:
1) These countries (USSR, Lebanon, Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgystan ...) could not bribe G8 governments with stolen Oil/Gas money, attractive financial contracts and cheap Oil.
2) The ruling class Clerical Mafia Islamist in Iran are very corrupt and they do anything to stay in power, they don't have any principle and ethics .
3) These countries were not using terrorism both internally and externally for creating fear throughout the world (Lebanon is latest example).
4) The ruling class Clerical Mafia Islamist are giving the key positions to people that their hands are dirty with blood and terrorism so they stay faithful to the regime , ruling class Mafia and these thugs have no way out . The profile of their new President Select is good indication how they are operating.
5) In USSR they did not have political freedom but they had personal social freedom (Dancing drinking, dress code .....)
6) Distributing Drug to destroy youth for controlling the society (using past Colonial British Evil Model in China, Iran and India).
7) Tough battle and not much real support from free world (G8 so far.
In past 28 years China, Rusia and EU3 were helping the Islamist regime Terror network, who was really helping Iranian people for FREE Society ...?
9) As an example of 400 terror outside Iran, in France on 6th August, 1991 Prime Minister Dr. Shapur Bakhtiar was murdered by the agents of the Islamic Republic Mafia with knife in his Paris home. The killer arrested and released by French government for good Oil cntract.... As a firm opponent of all totalitarian rule, Bakhtiar volunteered for service with the French Resistance and served in the "Orlean" battalion in WWII. France as a good example of G8 countries sold his hero and soul to cheap oil and contracts from Islamic Mafia.
10) As everyone aware, there is not any better case than Ms. Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist. What G8/UN has done for this case in past 2 years?.
11) Human Rights and Women Rights abuses in Iran have been correctly documented by US State Dept.
12) UN Human Rights / Women Rights and UN leadership are not responsive and the UN has become irrelevant.

Iranian American community Weakness and Facts:

Sometimes ago one of the American Scholar in Washington stated in one of the public conferences that if Iranian American community would have helped Iranian freedom movement financially the way Jews support Israel then regime would have been changed long time ago and don't expect US government support and help. Despite the fact that there are truth in this statement we should consider the following obstacles and facts:

1) President Bush Admin is the first American administration in past 28 years that publicly separated Iranian people from Islamist regime, therefore many Iranian American were under fear of getting involved in politics even in US. It is not easy to survive when a small group of minority are fighting terror while free world appeasing Mullahs .... Iranian
2) Jews have religious institution to gather for helping one another, majority of Iranian American community don't have any religion (agnostic) and with past 28 years experience with Islam they are running away from any religion, specially mosque and any kind of Islam . It is much easier to collect money in the name of god , religion and selling key to heaven than to collect money for FREE Society, secular democracy and what no one can guarantee.
3) In past 28 years the Iranian culture has been attacked by Islamist regime viciously. In the Islamist cultural attack and war of ideas the Iranian community won and the regime has lost very badly despite the fact that were alone in their fight . Iranian oppositions, writers ... should be credited for over 80% support for US among public in Iran. The 80% support for US in Iran is unmatched by any other country in the world.
4) Iranian American are new immigrant as the Jews have been in US for a long time .
5) Iranian American community had many difficulties to get Visa for US and other Free World countries.
6) The US government has not stopped the regime spending over 100 million dollars in US soil against freedom-loving Iranian American community....
7) In past 27 years due to over 400 terrors outside Iran by the Islamist regime agents, they have created such a fear that the majority of Iranian American are afraid of helping to FREE Iran and also getting involved in the complex Iranian politics.
8) Based on today reality that less than one-half of one percent of all Americans made a political contribution of $200 or more to a federal candidate in 2004, when the average cost of winning a seat in the House of Representatives has topped $1 million and Senate 20 million dollars. How can we expect the Iranian American community pay for freeing their motherland if we consider one-half of one percent as a today rate in US then in case of Iranian American community with complex problems and adding fear factor to it their contributions will be far less.

9) Iranian American community don't have money machine collection infrastructure like Republican and Democratic parties with 200 years experience to collect billions .. and we can not expect such mature political parties in near future ...

If you wish to know what many Iranian-American community and freedom-loving American are asking please review following 49 Petitions:
http://activistchat.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=6643

Andre of DC:

Persian:

Iran makes mines and shaped explosives, sends them to Iraq, and Muslims use them to kill other Muslims.

Is that a good thing? Persians carry any blame for that?

So far, the B-2 hasn't bombed Iran, but plenty of toys from Tehran have bombed others.

Persian:

Mr. Meshkati, When you was designing this Machine, did you suppose it use to kill mosquitoes? or did you think you are designing the air hospital?

If this bomber use to kill your family and friends in Iran it is a nightmare and very bad but if it use to kill the others it is good?

Thank You Muslim Brothers:

Lyall and Malleck:

Thanks for the history lesson on mathematics. Northrup Grumman owes someone a lot of thanks for the advanced math.

The B-2 Spirit couldn't have been built without it.

Cantankerous Jasper:

One day, on the far end of Armageddon, Bakshi may look upon his work, as Dr Meshkati has done his, and wonder what it contributed to mutual loathing.

Sourena:

I love Persian Gulf region and I love Los Angeles. Nothing stops me from loving both! Finally arabian gulf doesn't exit! It is all Persian Gulf. Got it?
God bless Iran and USA, both.
(Iranian living in LA)

Bijan:

I am an American born in Iran. I am against any military adventurism in Iran, not because I was born there, but because I am a member of human race and hate to see innocent people killed. My heart goes out to people of Iraq too being massacred by outsiders and their own, despite the fact that they were the ones who killed and injured one million Iranians. I had no part in designing stealth bombers but I do have nightmares just thinking about the outcome of an invasion. I hate Iranian government and that is why we left Iran right after the revolution. This is a criminal government and I will not be sorry to see them all hanged. But the kind of American invasion we are talking about here is going to do the opposite. The government will survive and even if they flee Iran they will go to Switzerland to withdraw the cash deposits and live happily thereafter. The victims will be the exact people who were also victimized by their own government.

Ray:

Professor Meshkati, first of all my regards and respect to you for carrying out your research in what sounds like advanced man-machine intercation which has contributed to some aspects of the B2 bomber.. Only a person of conscience and integrity is capable of guilt and sorrow in dealing with unintended consequences of one's actions. In your case it is the possibility that the right-wing cabal in control of our govt will use these bombers to destroy major Iranian industrial towns and nuclear research sites. As a human being, I share your anguish, and hope that there are enough decent Americans left in the USA who will stop this mad rush to invade and destroy another country.. You should take solace in the fact that the same right-wing war-mongeres villified another great American named J. Robert Oppenheimer in the '50s. Oppie was in charge of the scientific and technical aspects of the Manhattan project which led to the development of the first atomic bomb. He knew that this bomb may be used against Japan, and was horrified by the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians due to the use of two atom bombs. He proposed various schemes to control the spread of nuclear bombs, and was ridiculed. When he saw how the cold-war hysteria was driving a dangerous nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union, he objected to the development of bigger and incredibly desctructive hydrogen bombs. He was treated almost like a criminal by the rabid McCarthy crowd. In the end he was vindicated, and under saner political leadership, the USA-Russia has various arms control treaties today, and IAEA tries to control the spread of nuclear bombs to other countries. I believe he also received the Presidential Medal of Honor (under President Ford?). Let's hope that the American people wake up, and elect a Congrees and the President next year so that a path of negotiation with Iran can lead to a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis.
As an immigrant from India, I have nothing but respect and admiration for the ancient Persian civilization, and we still have a minority population known as "Persi" in India who have contributed greatly to India's development of modern science and technology..

Guest Worker:

Does anyone remember if the B2s accomplished anything over Iraq? My guess is that they did not. Nothing at all. Sure they may have killed a few thousand civilians (much faster than Sadam could ever have) in the shock and owe.

But where are we now? Trying to put the bathist back in power.... What a waste of time, life and money. It's time to realize that tools of war are not substitutes for solid policy making.

Keep it REAL. RESPECT.

Guest Worker:

Does anyone remember if the B2s accomplished anything over Iraq? My guess is that they did not. Nothing at all. Sure they may have killed a few thousand civilians (much faster than Sadam could ever have) in the shock and owe.

But where are we now? Trying to put the bathist back in power.... What a waste of time, life and money. It's time to realize that tools of war are not substitutes for solid policy making.

Keep it REAL. RESPECT.

Guest Worker:

Does anyone remember if the B2s accomplished anything over Iraq? My guess is that they did not. Nothing at all. Sure they may have killed a few thousand civilians (much faster than Sadam could ever have) in the shock and owe.

But where are we now? Trying to put the bathist back in power.... What a waste of time, life and money. It's time to realize that tools of war are not substitutes for solid policy making.

Keep it REAL. RESPECT.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

What a commentary Professor Meshkati's response, timed at 2:25 p.m. on September 5 constitutes on the hate-filled postings of many readers here.

Can we not learn to listen before we couch in words our gut feelings, which, most often, unfortunately, ar negative?

A fine mind has a refinement that others need to at least seek to emulate.

Najmedin Meshkati:

I am very impressed by the number and quality of comments re my interview. However, I am dismayed by the misinterpretation, misrepresentation, and mis-translation of my comments and the true nature of my work (esp in some websites which have translated my comments into Persian/Farsi or reported it). This is intended to set the record straight.

The text of the interview which is posted on the:http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/america/


CORRECTLY says "For decades Najmedin Meshkati proudly designed advanced technologies for America, including support for the B-2 stealth bomber." It does NOT say that I have been an aircraft designer. I am NOT an aerospace engineer and I DO NOT have any expertise in aircraft design, I am NOT a weapon or a bomber designer. Period. My scholarly and teaching efforts have been on human-machine systems integration (such as mental workload measurement) have been drawn upon, and my graduate students have worked on the design of the cockpit of the B2. Period.

My area of expertise deals with the interdisciplinary field of "Human Factors", which is a rather new field (almost 50 years old) and my scholarly work and practice for the last 25 years deals with human-machine systems integration in complex technological systems. In other terms, my interdisciplinary research, for the last 25 years, has been concerned primarily with the risk reduction and reliability enhancement of complex and large-scale technological systems, which include such systems as nuclear power and chemical processing plants and aviation systems.

A characteristic common to these high-risk systems is that the effects of human error in these systems are often neither observable nor reversible; therefore, error recovery is either too late or impossible. Potential catastrophic breakdowns of these systems, which often are characterized as 'low probability, high consequence', pose serious threats for workers in the plant, the local public, and possibly the neighboring region and parts of the whole country [e.g., in the case of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (which I visited in 1997) accident in 1986, radiation fallout and thousands of radiation sickness in Ukraine and Belarus]. For the foreseeable future, despite increasing levels of computerization and automation, human operators will remain in charge of the day-to-day controlling and monitoring of these systems. Thus, the safe and efficient operation of these technological systems is a function of the interactions among their human (i.e., personnel and organizational) and engineered/technological subsystems.

This is the area of my research and I am pleased to report that this field - human factors and ergonomics -- is now being used in many industries to reduce human error and the resulting accidents. One (and again ONE) area of application of human factors engineering is in the deign of cockpit of all types of aircrafts, passenger as well as militray aircrafts, and of course, in the control rooms of nuclear plants and refineries.

As we discuss in my courses, YOUR lives and well-being, literally from the cradle, and sorry to say, to "grave", are at the mercy of this field - human factors and ergonomics. For instance, according to a study by the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Heath System (November, 1999), preventable medical errors in the United States each year result in "up to 98,000 deaths and $29 Billion added cost." An accident often is called 'an error with sad consequences' and human error has been identified as one of primary causes of (technological) systems' accidents, such as "crew failure" that has been identified by Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company, as the root-cause of 65.4% of all world-wide jet transport accidents since the dawn of commercial jet operations in 1959.

In fact, I am proud that I received this year's (2007) Human Factors and Ergonomic Society's (HFES) (www.hfes.org) prestigious Oliver Keith Hansen Outreach Award, for my "scholarly efforts on human factors of complex, large-scale technological systems...(and) efforts to enhance public awareness of critical human factors issues..." and being recognized for "significant activities that broaden awareness of the existence of the human factors/ergonomics profession and the benefits it brings to humankind."

I hope that the above explanation set the record straight, help all who think of me as an "aircraft designer" and a bomber maker, to change their perception and understand the true nature of my work and, more importantly, the VITAL contribution of the filed of human factors and ergonomic. This could be the only "silver lining" of this cloud of confusion, misunderstanding and misrepresentation.

Thank you for your attention.

Najmedin Meshkati
September 5, 2007

rpppolyp:

Severin: that was one of the most well-metered responses I've seen in a while.

Pendergast: Thanks for adding absolutely nothing to this discussion. Obviously your self-blinding jingoism couldn't see the simple conflict any scientist has in the potential for their work to be used for war, AND add to that, now it might be used against his place of birth. Obviously you haven't left the small town you were spawned from (as you haven't the provincial limited range of your mind) because anyone who has had experience with, say other humans, could see why this would be an issue to someone.

BTW: You berate people who are anti-war for not knowing the military (oh because only pro-war conservatives do? Odd that not many in power on your side have the past service to show for it eh? Easy to advocate war from the safety 101st Keyboard/TV Brigade.) Well unless you are a scientist, you have no bloody clue what it is like to have something you created potentially used against your own people. Obviously you've never created anything in your life... or are so amoral you wouldn't care if it was used to kill ("justified" or not.)

It's not our fault if such questions are hard for you to consider.

Dr. Meshkati: This is an incredible conflict. I must say, if you work in weapons you sadly must reap the potential consequences. Still, by doing articles like this, speaking out, educating people about your country of birth and trying to make a difference so we don't make a foolish foray into Iran with the tech you worked on is the best you can do now. I wish you and both our countries luck that we avert any future stupidity.

Mohsen:

It doesn't make sense to me. A bomber aircraft has one single purpose: to drop bombs. A little cosmopolitanism is enough for someone to hate making such thing. After the design is finished, that the bomber will bomb somewhere that I might dislike is irrelevant.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

Lyall,

Here is also Wikipedia. I am not saying WIKI is always exact. But, it is not so off-mark either.

Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī (Arabic: محمد بن موسى الخوارزمي) was a Persian[1] mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and geographer. He was born around 780 in Khwārizm[2] (now Khiva, Uzbekistan) and died around 850. He worked most of his life as a scholar in the House of Wisdom in Baghdad.
His Algebra was the first book on the systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations. Consequently he is considered to be the father of algebra,[3] a title he shares with Diophantus. Latin translations of his Arithmetic, on the Indian numerals, introduced the decimal positional number system to the Western world in the 12th century.[4] He revised and updated Ptolemy's Geography as well as writing several works on astronomy and astrology.
His contributions not only made a great impact on mathematics, but on language as well. The word algebra is derived from al-jabr, one of the two operations used to solve quadratic equations, as described in his book. The words algorism and algorithm stem from algoritmi, the Latinization of his name.[5] His name is also the origin of the Spanish word guarismo[6] and of the Portuguese word algarismo, both meaning digit.

Another point -- I am myself of Indian origin. My wife is South Indian Muslim, maybe of Dravidian origin (as some North Indian Hindus sometimes like to tease her, not totally innocently) maybe at least partly of Arab origin -- as you know many Arabs from Oman and Gulf used to trade with Kerala). I tell you this because all this thing about "my ethnicity is better than yours", etc., is utterly foolish, because, if you are from North India, you are, like me, part of the 'aryans' from Central Asia who invaded India earlier than the hordes of Babur did. Only the Dravidians were really the original inhabitants of India. But the we all apparently came from Africa, including the Vikings! So, let's cut out the nonsense. Jared Diamond has explained, quite convincinly, how China became Chinese and Africa African.

The point of the discussion here, as you rightly point out is: What is human-welfare-maximizing behaviour? The 'Unto Others' code is an excellent place to start, but a scientific cross-disciplinary trend of research drawing heavily on Game Theory is developing more sophiticated theories and strategies.

But, yes, peace, and let's be friends.

lyall:

Dear Malleck,
Not being a hatemonger at all- just a bit upset by the general propensity towards war-mongering itself in general, both with our elected leaders as too a major section of the general public. You are way off though on the Arab numeral system. Khwarazimi didn't just borrow the Zero. THe zero reflects an entire school of philosophy, and is not just a null value multiplier that just sprung out of nowhere. Indeed, the value of pi (using ek-one; do-two; teen-three; char-four; panch-five and so on to numeral nine) was calculated to 82 decimal places as far back as 1244 BC, and not by the Arabs. The first binary codecs were laid down in Sanskrit, again far before the dawn of either the western or islamic civilzations. And no- Penrose's account is NOT the definitive source, neither is Men of Mathematics- historic scrolls from over 13000 Vedic era archives in India are.
Anyway, this topic is about something else, so my apologies if I got your gander up.

shamshir khansari:

To Marcus "Israel has threatened many times to wipe Iran off the map" no they just threaten to bomb us to oblivion with "Tactical" nuclear weapons that all right though, but to you white's Iranians are not human only you white people are just like your people treat those poor Iraqi people oh you brought them freedom alright the women now get to open their legs to make money in a country your white animals brought freedom to white's will never understand the mideast so get out and let your own wife or girlfriend open her legs for some other man
long Live Iran and shame on you
war pig Down with those MEK terrorist's those murderers

Khanh from Motreal Canada:

sully84B:
Meshkati is the first generation immigrant on US soil, so I share his sentiments. Correct me if I'm wrong, I heard that the guy who help Hitler implement the final solution and hence the Holocaust was actually a Jews.

Christian Johnson:

We don't need to attack Iran yet. But we do need to isolate them, and get them to stop their hostile nuclear weapons programs.

We have to give diplomacy a chance. We gave Saddam 12 years of diplomatic chances after he invaded Kuwait before we attacked.

Iran has about 8 more years left before we start to use air strikes. By then if they are still as aggressive as they are now then we will have the support of the rest of the world (including the middle east) if we attack.

The leadership in Iran knows that their military cannot stand against the might of the US armed forces, let alone if we have a strong international coalition. (one that included Russia, France, Britain, or even China)

The most likely course is that they will back down if they are truly isolated.

My hope is that the moderate, pro-western, factions in Iran can gain enough influence to topple the extemists. It will be better for Iran, and better for us.

impact4u:

A provocative post. Najmedin Meshkati is a microcosm of those Iranians living in Iran who have always had great respect for America. It serves everyone well to get inside his contradictions and develop an empathy for the human dimension.

America's long term survival is contingent upon its relations with populations around the world. Those relations are the bedrock of American national security.

The truth of this was born out in the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was the people in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union that acted to end the long domination of Soviet rule not American military might. Western observers and planners were astonished.

Alison:

The lie that Iran wants to "wipe out" other countries is repeated so often - but is still a lie. Rather, it is Iran which has been explicitly threatened by Bush with a "wiping out" - and by nuclear weapons. It was Iran that was the actual victim of WMDs, not the US or Israel.

Second lie: that Iran has stated an intent to produce nuclear weapons. In fact, Iran has specifically stated that it does not want nor need nuclear weapons. Iran's nuclear program started under the Shah, with US support, because it makes economic sense.

And Arabs, Persians and Indians all contributed to math - as did the Chinese. No one is better than the rest.

Curmudgeon:

Absolutely right, Pendergast!

Robert:

Iran is already making war against the U.S. in Iraq. It is the Iranian leaders that need enmity with the U.S. to prop themselves up, if they hadn't been constantly fueling that enmity for decades most Americans would be unable to discern Iran from Iraq.

The U.S. simply doesn't need Iran either as a friend or an enemy. We won't invade Iran under almost any circumstances. If we go to war we'll strangle Iran, destroy its electrical grid and blast anything that moves near its borders or the Arabian Gulf.

I do hope that the Iranian people can cast off the shackles of their oppressive government. There is a reason why no other country in the world is a theocracy, and it isn't because Shi'ite Islam is the one true faith. I've liked every Iranian born person I've ever met, and having read history extensively I realize just how critical to the advancement of the region Iran could be if it weren't crippled by incompetent leadership. Persians are the traditional intellectual leaders of this region, and the region could certainly use them now more than ever.

By the way, Bush and Ahmadinijad look like twin sons of different mothers. Bush will be gone on couple of years, lets hope his twin joins him soon in retirement.

Owain Ozymandias Buck:

Have faith. Americans and Iranians have more in common than we think. We both just need better leaders. All the blustering and sabre rattling and apocalyptic rhetoric cannot cover up the foolish failed foreign policy of both governments.

Judging by all the Iranians I've known personally, time will prove us to be friends. What we have in common is greater than our differences, although it's hard to see it sometimes.

Pendergast:

This is the most bizarre article and set of responses that I have seen. A overly dramatic sob story about a professor who produces weapons and now cries - because they might be used against a country that wants to "wipe other countries off the map"

Then a string of shallow Bush- hater comments, none of which has much connection to reality at all. Mostly they hate Bush. The full set of facts does not matter. They hate Bush, they hate this country, they hate our military, etc etc.

They blame America for being full of fanatics - when Iran is the country that is in the death grip of the world's nuttiest fanatics. As proof? They point to one fairly goofy preacher talking to a convention. Let's see. Let's think really really hard. Is there a difference between a country of 70 million that wants nuclear weapons, has said they will wipe other countries out, is the world's biggest funder of terrorism, that abuses its people, and a very few nutty preachers? But the people on this site seem to think a few nutty preachers is the problem.

Someone dribbles out that everyone who wants to go to war is insane. This is exactly what the British public said as they allowed Hitler to grow stronger. 50 million people paid for their self-indulgent mistake.

And, you have the anti-war activists pretending they have been in the Military. They haven't, they just like to use that as a cover.

This is the most uninformed, silly, shallow, discussion I have ever heard on this site.

Marcus:

> Israel has threatened many times to wipe Iran off the map>

Please find the citation of major Israeli politician in a position of power who has called for Iran to be "wiped off the map", in the same literal sense that GoatMan in Iran has used the phrase. That's ok, take your time, the century is young.

More directly OT, with several friends in Iran who despise the mullahs, they say the only thing that could generate support for the current leadership would be an American attack. Just as Bush II saw a career bounce following 9/11, the current Iranian regime would discover new levels of support if we opened fire. Truly a case where the US would NOT be 'welcomed as liberators.' Lots of the younger Iranians want the current leadership gone, and will eventually become the next generation of leaders who can DO something about it; it might be true that the only way we could really forestall the crumbling of the Islamothugocracy that rules Iran today would be to grant them the legitimacy of being "the government that has to protect us."

If Iran eventually winds up with a nuclear weapon, it'll be one more danger for the world, but Ted Koppel wrote a piece last year that outlined exactly the right position to take. Use "The Godfather" as a model, telling Iran that if any nuclear weapon anywhere in the world goes off, we'll assume that they had something to do with it and act accordingly. A dirty bomb goes off in London, a Hezbollah operative goes all out on the suicide bombing route, and Iran will cease to exist. No questions will be asked. Make that formal statement, go ahead and let them know that American subs with weapons are in their region, and turn back to the business of using our resources to undercut the mullahs by reducing international demand for the one commodity they have to sell; oil.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

Lyall,

You're an illiterate.

Abu Ja'far WAS, in fact, Al Khwarizmi, his full name being Abu Ja'far Mohammad Ibn Musa Al Khwarizm, and he wrote the very influential book "Kitab Al-Jabr wa'l muqabala" around 825 C.E.
Read all about him in Roger Penrose's "Emperor's New Mind", page 40ff. But there are also many, many other sources giving the same authoritative account.

Other historians of Mathenmatics credit Al Khwarizmi with much more than what I have noted, but I don't want to belabour the point.

Not only the numeral system as we know it was invented by the Arabs, but also place value. There is a book called "Men of Mathenatics" that explain everything. Some rudimentary notion of place value had existed in Sumerian Mathematics (base 20) as early as 6,000 B.C.E. Even the Roman numerals has place rudimentary value (e.g. VI=6 gives V=5 plus I=1 so rudimenatry place value enables the reader to read the two symbols separately and add). Al Khwarizmi took the zero from India (I assume that is what gets you all worked up?), introduced it in all his other studies and devised the base 10 to replace the Sumerian base 20 (Roman numerals don't have base 10; X=10, but XX=20 not 100; C=100, whereas in Khwarizmi's system 100=10 to the power of 2=100). He even anticipated the binary system ;think how the place value is at the base of the binary system 1=1=2 to the power of zero plus 1; 10=2=2 to the power of 1 plus zero=2. 100=2to the power of2 plus zeroplus zero=4, etc)

But, when you have an illiterate wrapped up in a hatemonger, we get YOU.

Lyall:

To Mr. Mohamed Malleck of Swift Current Canada:
Al Khwarazimi was NOT the inventor of Algebram merely the carrier. The Arabs did NOT invent the Numeral system, the Zero, the constant pi, or anything else. They were merely its carriers. Each and every one of these mentioned achievements, including the Vedic philosophical schools of thought came from India. I could go on about Trigonometry, The Layout of the planetary systems and more but I'll leave it at this for now.
Also, Algebra, is a corruption of Al Jabr, the scholar-trader. THe Vedic-Indian civilization preceeds all and anything Arabic by over 5000 years. Lets not spread more inacurracies here, shall we?

On a different note: Mr Meshkati designed the B2 and its systems to PROTECT America and as a DETERRENT- as indeed the B2's role initially was. Not to blow up a sovereign nation. Pax Americana circa 2007 is now the world'ss worst nightmare. You Mr. Sully, Steve and other worshippers of the B2 and its killing ability- look hard at yourselves because you just upped the world hate potential some more. If a million balmeless souls die in a country 10,000 miles away, what are you gonna do? Lay back and grill hamburgers in the backyard and chill? That's what's happened in Iraq- 190,000 dead and counting for NO fault of their own. I'm American and I'll have no part in the brutalization of another people just because they don't wake up every morning swilling Starbucks or having a hormone pumped factory farmed burger.
Dwight Eisenhower's warning of the miltary industrial complex slow strangulation of the true freedoms of America, and their replacement of a rule by fear whip, has taken 40 years, but is now almost complete. Indeed the entire miltary-industrail complex and it's politican key-men in power, numbers less than 10,000, but its lock on American policy is complete. Now you know why I say Pax American circa 2007, is the worlds worst nightmare.
Mr.Meshkati- I have no easy answers for you.

Kevin:

Meshkati My father fight in World War Two, But he never had nightmares or gave it a thought of Germany being his home land because he became an American citizen and did his duties when call on. Just think if everyone during World War Two had nightmares because they had to attacking their home land where in hell would we be today. Ask your self are you an American or Iranian, Yes I remember when the Iranian students came in the 70s to go to school with their forty thousand a year expense money, from the Shah so they could go to school, do you have nightmares of that. What the hell where you thinking when you work on the B-2 that it was a computer game. Hope we never use the B-2 bomber on Iain or other countries but thank you for your help because if we do need it we got it. Ask yourself where do you stand and go where your hart is then your nightmares will be over. If you cared more of what you did with your mind years ago I don’t think we be talking about bombing Iran. I remember 1976 rich spoiled Iranians going to school on money just like the Shah of Iran live on. You let your home land down years ago I bet they never will forget it. Use your mind for peaces in the world quite working on war machines if you can’t handle it. Or just shut the hell up . I am glad you came to be an American but things you did years ago when you left Iran made Iran the place it is today. Did Persia hate USA bombers and war machines sixty-five years ago or did the forget.

Shervin:

As an Iranian-American I understand where Dr. Meshkati comes from. He loves the US and wanted to defend it by helping build B-2. At the time USSR was as much of a threat to the US as it was to Iran if not more. (Most of the -stan republics of central Asia were part of Iran that Russians conquered in the 19th century). Now he sees the two countries talking war against each other. Also, as it is unsaid here, Dr. Meshkati also knows that the people in Iran live under a tyrannical regime whose policies hardly reflects the will of the Iranian people. Therefore, if war starts with the US because of the insane policies and rash acts of the Islamic government, majority of those who will be killed in Iran will die for policies that they do not support and for a government that they loathe. Wouldn't that worry you too?

Finally, as to the question of divided loyalties: I wonder how the Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans and American Jews would react if the US was at odds with either Ireland, Italy or Israel. As a matter of fact, when it is suggested that some American Jews (namely those running AIPAC) advocate policies that are more beneficial to Israel than they are to the US national interest, charges of Antisemitism tend to fly. Here is one lone Iranian-American whose service to the US has been nothing short of patriotic is being accused of not being a good American because he is conflicted that the weapon that he has created maybe used to kill his friends and relatives in his native land? Give it a rest people.

Kevin:

Meshkati My father fight in World War Two, But he never had nightmares or gave it a thought of Germany being his home land because he became an American citizen and did his duties when call on. Just think if everyone during World War Two had nightmares because they had to attacking their home land where in hell would we be today. Get a life ask your self are you an American or Iranian, Yes I remember when the Iranian students came in the 70s to go to school with their forty thousand a year expense money, from the Shah so they could be playboys in this country and go to school, do you have nightmares of that. What the hell where you thinking when you work on the B-2 that it was a computer game. Hope we never use the B-2 bomber on Iain or other countries but thank you for your help because if we do need it we got it. Ask yourself where do you stand and go where your hart is then your nightmares will be over. If you cared more of what you did with your mind years ago I don’t think we be talking about bombing Iran. I remember 1976 rich spoiled Iranians going to school on money just like the Shah of Iran live on. You let your home land down years ago I bet they never will forget it. Use your mind for peaces in the world quite working on war machines if you can’t handle it. Or just shut the hell up . I am glad you came to be an American but things you did years ago when you left Iran made Iran the place it is today. Did Persia hate are bombers and war machines sixty-five years ago or did the forget.

Bill T.:

As I read these comments I find it interesting that this has become a rant against the U.S. and Israel, while the duality of loyalties (the real story here) seems to have been lost some where in the mist.

So, here is my rant against the woman hating terror bombers masquerading as men of religion that are the rulers of Iran. One must remember that the president of the country, as well as the so-called elected leaders, are truly powerless due to the fact that any law that they pass, or policy they put forth, must first go through the filter of these power hungry, hate mongering mullahs.

The council of mullahs, if it could figure out how to do it, would be build stealth aircraft and use them to attack the West (not just the U.S. and Israel). One needs to understand that the general foreign policy of the mullahs in Tehran is the destruction of Western Society as whole, not just the U.S. and Israel. Western ideas of freedom of thought, action and religion are an anathema to their over riding need for power. The mullahs in control fear the loss of their absolute power that would occur if a sectarian society emerges in Iran.

Further, they really seem to be frightened of women having an equal voice. Women in the west truly need to start raising their voices against these misogynistic little men. The silence from western women on this subject has been deafening.

So hate the U.S. and western society if you must, but do take a hard look at what the other side really wants to replace our system with.

shamshir Khansari:

Mr.Meshkati I am a proud Iranian-american who was born in America and I love Iran though I have never been my father came to the U.S like you to
go to school and go back to serve Iran but he did not I plan on going into avionics and serving Iran
becuse my bood means more than where I was born and I hope your children know of there blood where it comes from 6000 years of history and I plan on Iran having much more great progress and to the MEK and monarchist no matter who runs Iran
It is still Iran leaders come and go but the people and the land stay forever Long Live Iran
And F#@k This american administration Iran! Iran!
dasashamoedarnackone hallemamoon houdafis thank you

Trita Parsi:

The George W. Bush administration has seemingly taken advantage of the Congressional recess to escalate tensions with Iran. Earlier in August, the State Department revealed plans to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a global terrorist organisation. On Tuesday, in a speech to U.S. war veterans in Nevada, President Bush raised the temperature further by declaring his intent to "confront Tehran's murderous activities" in Iraq.

But what on the surface may appear as business as usual in the war of words between Tehran and Washington may in reality repeat an earlier pattern widely suspected to have been aimed at provoking war with Iran.

With Congress gearing up for a fight with the White House on the surge policy in Iraq, President Bush has arguably many reasons to talk up tensions with Iran. Focusing on Iran may help deflect attention away from the surge strategy's failure to turn the tide in Iraq. It can also help convince Congress that Iran is responsible for U.S. misfortunes in Iraq and that cutting the funds for the war would embolden the clergy in Tehran.

Iran's radical president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is certainly not making the work of the administration more difficult. Shortly before Bush's address to the Nevada war veterans, Ahmadinejad did his part in ratcheting up tensions.

But with Congress preparing for a fight over Iraq -- not Iran -- and with key lawmakers planning to pass legislation imposing harsh new sanctions on Tehran, Congress' ability and willingness to simultaneously contain deliberate or unintentional escalation with Iran may be limited. If so, there may be little business as usual about Washington and Tehran's intensified war of words.

jack straw:

hopefully his divided loyalties will not lead him To divulge US secrets To minimize The B2 when it attacks Iran. Then he would be playing both sides against each other To minimize Iranian casualties which would cause even greater US casualties. it would only prolong The inevitable if Iran doesnt give up its stated Intent To build nuclear bombs and wipe 'Is-real' off The face of The Earth. who is playing with Fire? who is Taunting who? not US

Anonymous:

Well what did Mr. Meshkati expect when he helped to work on a BOMBER?

Would he feel any angst if this military weaponry was directed at some other country or non-muslims?

I'm not muslim, and not Iraqi, but an American who feels bad that many civillian, innocent Iraqi's have died due to our President's terrible leadership. I feel bad that American troops and neighbors are there getting blown up because our Cowboy Brat in Chief didn't know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite.

I feel sympathy and a bit of outrage when Israeli's get bombed, when Koreans get kidnapped in Afghanistan, when millions of Vietnamese & tens of thousands of Americans were killed during the Vietnam War, etc...

But if others don't regard innocent FOREIGN life & dignity of the OTHER as valuable and not to be killed, then that's the problem right there -- the incapability of people to respect the lives and dignity of people different from themselves.
Ie: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

The Golden Rule.

Apparently, the right wingers in America who wear Bibles on their sleeves don't follow it. They value the lives of single cell "fetuses" over the lives of foreigners. The Golden Rule isn't taken seriously. That's the problem with our foreign policy, and probably that attitude is also the problem in many other parts of the world too.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

brucerealtor,

THANK YOU FOR THIS SANE COMMENT.

IT GIVES ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO REPEAT WHAT I ALWYS SAY; THE PROBLEM IS NOT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. IT IS NOT EVEN AMERICAN POLICY THAT IS THE PROBLEM, ALTHOUGH OFTEN THE 'MANIFEST DESTINY' DOCTRINE AND THE 'PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS' PRINCIPLE (UNQUALIFIED THAT IT SHOULD BE NON-PREDATORY PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) ARE THE PROBLEMS, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHTHER ONE HAS A DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION. CURRENTLY THE PROBLEM IS A WHITE HOUSE THAT IS OBSESSED WITH UNIPOLARITY AND HEGEMONY.

BUT, YES, I DON'T THINK FOLLY IS SO PRONOUNCED THAT AN ATTACK ON IRAN IS INEVITABLE.

Jily:

Sully, split loyalties and hyphenated loyalties might look 'un-American' at first glance, but upon further scrutiny you see such multiple belongings actually strengthen America in the long term -- because its hyphenated citizens can improve its foreign policy, attract bright talent, form multinational corporations, and stave of needless war. If there were more skilled Iraqis in the U.S. rather than just a few war mongering exiles, perhaps the invasion would never have happened. Indian immigrants in the U.S. have been good for America and their home country. I'd argue the same is true of Israelis, though some may disagree, and that's a special case, but it's certainly true of Brazilians and many others. So consider what you're losing when you criticize hyphenated loyalties like Mr. Meshkatis, who kindly posts above about his love of both American children and Iranian children as his own.

Steve:

What does he expect from the killing machine he designed? I also have no sympathy. Puh-leeze.

sully84B:

I'm curious, is Meshkati an American, or is he an Iranian-American? Hypenated Americans seem to have this loyalty conflict. He takes pride in his contributions to war, yet agonizes over the prospect of former countrymen becoming the recipient of his pride, the B-2. I have no sympathy for Meshkati. Is the United States his country, or is his loyalty placed somewhere else? If it is the latter, then Meshkati needs to leave for Iran and witness firsthand the fruits of his pride. How does Meshkati explain Duty, Honor, Country to his boy, or does he? I, for one, am tired of people who claim to love this country, however, there is a "comma, but" which follows.

brucerealtor@gmail.com:

As Americans are understandably fearful of zealots advancing ONLY Christian values in the world, we are likewise fearful of those who would advance values opposing any great faith.

Don't think the US is REALLY anywhere near an attack on Iran, at least not now.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

Thank you for this story Amar.

Of course, I was not aware of the -- what should I say -- Cornellian (that is, typical of the tragedies of the heroes of the French master-playwright, who wrote, among other plays El Cid, better known in the Arab and Muslim world as Antar,a great pre-Islamic Arab warrior who contributed a lot to defend Christian Europe against its Byzantine nemy's onmslughts) tragedy of Mr. Meshkati.

But I knew about Lotfi Zadeh, one of the world's foremost living authorities on Artificial Intelligence and Fuzzty Logic. I also knew about Al Khwarizmi, the father of Algebra and the scientist who taught Fibonacci the Arabic numerals and the zero and 'place value", who also was the inventor of the most important concept behind everything in computer science -- the algorithm, named after him as everyone can see.

And then nincompoops will tellyou that Muslims are sceientificallt backward. As I tell Mr. Kuttab in a post under his comment,a Great Islamic Rebiassance isd taking place. The Muslim world would be well advised to spenn more on science and technology and less on weapons, and refused to be conned by the US to purchase US$ 20 billion worth of probably outdated weaponry.

Thanks again for an excellent story.

Bob in the US:

Bob in the UK:

The UK was in on the invasion, Bob. Remember, 50,000 British troops, sailors, airmen invaded Iraq in 2003? The last ones left this week. Four years of illegal British military occupation, detention, economic exploitation, racial discrimination, and collusion with torture. Torture, Bob!

British imperialism in Iraq and Iran has undermined generations of innocent people. It was the British who drew the arbitrary boundaries in the Middle East and Near East that have led to a century of warfare. Think of all the dead the British are responsible for, Bob. Millions, perhaps.

Where's your humanity, your history, your morality, Bob?

OD:

So, he would have had no problem if the plane had killed innocent people who happened not to be Iranian?

Krebscat:

If anyone believes the US will get away with bombing Iran without negative consequences to this country, they are fools. They are like the fools who believed it would be a cake walk in Iraq. However, the repercussions from bombing Iran will make our little fiasco in Iraq look like a picnic.

First of all, Iran has very advanced missile technology which will be capable of hitting as far away as Israel. They will certainly be able to hit US targets in Iraq, Afghanistan, across the Persian Gulf, etc. They would probably be capable of destroying pipelines and wells in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. They could shut down the transport of oil through the Persian Gulf indeterminately. What do you think of $7 or $8 a gallon for gas? Just leave it to Bush to take us to such a sorry situation.

How many Americans will be killed in Iraq by Shiite sympathizers of Iran. Forget about 1 or 2 killed per day. Start thinking in terms of hundreds per day.

Who will the world side with after the US launches its second war of aggression in five years? Certainly not us. We will be condemned from London to Paris to Beijing to Singapore.

And of course there is always the outside possibility that an attack on Iran will escalate to world war. Start building your fallout shelter. With Bush and Cheney still in office you may just need it.

Bob in UK:

Why shouldn't t he world be critical of the USA?

America just invaded another country illegally, and toppled a tyrant that it had supported by providing him with chemical weapons to be used against his own citizen and neighboring states - and the America is now legally torturing people with an Attorney General who referred to international law as "quaint and irrelevant" - and America is now talking about attacking another country (with even nuclear weapons) as an "option on the table".

So why should other people in the world not be critical of the US? You do these things and yet you go around calling others "rogue states" and have the audacity to cry "anti-Americanism"! Pffft!

Jily:

Rob, to be fair. I think the truth is the world is not favorably inclined to America right now. Perhaps due to circumstance, one could call the project Why the World Hates America (like Fareed Zakaria did earlier) rather than How the World Sees America. I think Amar is trying hard to represent the balance of views he hears. Don't blame the messenger, as they say, and take a look at many of his posts from England and India where people praise America as the golden land. Don't judge selectively.

Rob:

From the content of these 'discussions' to the comments being posted, I think the name of this column needs to be shortened to "Amar Talks to America Haters."

Shahnameh:

Lee, Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons. Iran has none. Israel has threatened many times to wipe Iran off the map. The Iranians have a right to be fearful. The US is just a puppet of Israel and is being used to wage war across the Middle-East for the benefit of Israel.

steve the unsure:

After working for the US Army for decades, I am saddened and angry by its misuse and abuse in Iraq.
I wonder when I was working hard and educating myself on issues, what was America doing ? Were the parents educating themselves and their children to help prevent another Vietnam like fiasco ? Or were they to busy enjoying the fruits of our society ?
The only solution is to educate yourself, voters, and your children, and work and vote for politicians that are less insane.

PK:

You mean Meshkati didn't care that his crowning weapon of war would be used against other civilians in other countries but now he has a crisis of conscience? Oh my.....

Lee:

It is Iran that is threatening Israel with nuclear destruction. Do they lie when they say they are going to use their nuclear boms on Israel, or are they lying when they say they are peaceful and won't attack Israel?
If they build bombs with the intent to use them against someone they are not at war with, what are we to think?
Besides, these are the same fools who encourage their own citizens to drink heavy water as a prevention against AIDS.
"Mohammad Sa'idi, Iranian Nuclear Chief, said: "One of the products of heavy water is depleted deuterium. As you know, in an environment with depleted deuterium, the reception of cancer cells and of the AIDS viruses is disrupted. Since this reception is disrupted, the cells are gradually expelled from the body. Obviously, one glass of depleted deuterium will not expel or cure the cancer or eliminate the AIDS. We are talking about a certain period of time. In many countries that deal with these diseases, patients use this kind of water instead of regular water, and consume it daily in order to heal their diseases.
"In other words, the issue of heavy water has to do with matters of life and death, in many cases. One of the reasons that led us to produce heavy water was to use it for agricultural... medical purposes, and especially for industrial purposes in our country."
Let them have their nuclear reactors. Maybe they'll kill themselves off, like a baby with a match and stick of dynamite.
Lord, they don't know what they do...

Lee

JKoch:

The B2 was built for a foe that no longer exists and is useless against an enemy that knows how to spread out and disguise potential targets. A 1,000 stealth sorties against Iran might cause much death and destruction, but only fortify Iranian nationalism and probably lengthen the support for theocratic rule. Iranians who might otherwise consider nuclear weapons a folly would change their minds.

Unfortunately, any 2008 candidate who rejected the neocon groupthink about Iran would be decried as "naive" or "ignorant of foreign policy" by the various lobbies, opinionators, and editorial boards. The only choice they offer is between eternal confrontation and war. People motivated by fear and hate tend to go to the polls; the rest forfeit the result to the fanatical and the gullible.

BOB:

I feel the world is insane all human beings are of the same origin. Bush is not he has seperated himself and his humanity from all the people of this world. Thus the world turns more insane everyday and wars if not total destruction of the world as we know it will happen.

E.P. Thorn:

"Attacking Iran would be illegal under international law since Iran has not attacked the US nor threatens to do so."

...so?

It amazes me the way Bush and others decry Iran's meddling in Iraq (which I believe to probably be true) with straight faces... after all, we invaded and blew up half the country, if that isn't 'meddling' I don't know what is.

victoria:

no need to explain sir.
your agony is most understandable.

with some you will never be able to win.
in your efforts to make a contribution to your adopted society- you used your given talents.

i am saddened by the U.S.'s obvious intentions of going to war with iran- ive said it from the inception of the iraq "liberation".

hopefully, a new administration will stop this madness. thank the god congress is doing it's best now to stop the current insanity.

peace be with you sir

Najmedin Meshkati:

I came to the US, as I tell my students, as a young, innocent graduate student, with lots of hair in 1976 and I have lost all! (The youth, the innocence that comes with being a grad student, as well as the hair!)...I came to go to grad school and return to Iran and then of course in the middle of my doctoral studies the revolution happened and the rest is history...but I have been going to Iran in the last 30 years at least once or sometimes twice to visit my mother (who passed away 3 years ago) and family and friends.

Of course I love both countries, Iran and the U.S. Iran is where I come from and the U.S. is where my children (son and daughter) come from...how could I not love and not have a sense of patriotism toward these two great countries? I have lots of former students who are U.S. air force and naval pilots...as such, to me those guys and girls who design and fly these planes are like my "own" kids, I have a sense of paternal and professorial instinct for them and those gals and guys who are in Iran are also my blood relatives and my "own" flesh.

I am thrown when I see the U.S. and Iran going to the brink of war and whenever I hear the fiery war rhetoric from Washington and Tehran, I get reminded of the following statement by Bonar Law, which I came across in one my most faviote books of all times, Profiles in Courage, by President John F. Kennedy, who said:

“There is no such thing as inevitable war. If was comes it will be from failure of human wisdom.” (p xviii)

I truly believe in this statement and am depressed, sad, and puzzled by sitting on the sideline and witnessing sliding to war and madness unfolding before my eyes -- because of "failure of human wisdom" among the leaders of both countries.

As for being Iranian American, I knew my technologies had many uses, but we’re living in this country, we’ve contributed to this culture. We have contributed to the betterment of this country, its technology and its health care system. Then we are seeing our country being attacked by the very products we created. This is bound to cause us agony.

mike s:

As an American whose views of Iran were formed during the hostage crisis and have only strengthened in negativity during Ahmadinejad's term, I'm just plain scared that the current Administration would be so stupid as to take the war there. There's just no reason to do it, except for the fact that the Iranians are looking to move into the post-Saddam power vacuum in Iraq...and whose fault is that?

On another topic, Meshkati's fears confuse me. He knew what he was building and for whom. And the US has had hostile relations with Iran during most of the time he was doing his work, something he knows about in far greater detail than I can. Didn't he realize Iran could be a possible target then? And how did he feel when his creation was used against Iraq?

Albert:

How in the world can we trust anything Bush says about Iran? He lied to us about Iraq, what's to stop him from doing the same with Iran? Furthermore, even if there was a good reason to attack them (which I have yet to hear of) how can we trust Bush to handle it well? Are we so craven for violence that we're willing to blaze a path of destruction throughout the Middle East? First Osama (the real culprit of 9-11) then Saddam, now Amadinijad (sp?)? Face it. He doesn't care about justice or safety. After all, as time goes on it appears that he has let Osama off the hook for killing 3,000 Americans. And the price we've paid for his insanity is 3,700 troops and tens of thousands of them injured. I can only imagine the horror the Iraqi's have suffered. I can only imagine their anger. What a fiasco.

IranAffair.com:

Who is threatening to whom? Who has religious zealots with apocalyptic visions of end times? The US and Israel, that's who. Just look at how Reverend Hagee was received at AIPAC.
http://www.iranaffairs.com/iran_affairs/2007/09/who-is-pushing-.html

Hassani:

Attacking Iran would be illegal under international law since Iran has not attacked the US nor threatens to do so.

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