White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Political Maturity

I met an old friend of mine over the lunch. For a person of my age (30) anyone beyond 5 years of friendship is an old friend. She's one of the few real American friends (born from American parents) that I've had in my 10 years of life in US. Our friendship was built upon our common interest towards politics and current affairs. She's actually even more involved with the current affairs. The amount that she's learned about Iranian politics/history in the past 7 years is certainly more than what I learned about America's.

We talked about idealism and the struggle that we went through in the Iran's reform, pre-Iraq war protests, Palestine-Israel conflict and bloodshed of 2001-2, Election 2004 , etc. And the fact that how little can be achieved in political activism. When I asked her: "Are you excited about the recent indictment of couple of crooks in the republican administration", she replied " If any good comes out of it. Do you think people remember it, some time down the road?". And she's fairly right, since little progress can come from close-door sessions of politics.
What are we becoming? Pessimist or realist? Should we call it political maturity or apathy? Certainly it is not apathy, since I care and follow up the events, but don't get excited that much. I was thinking about how my threshold of attention towards death of civilians have changed. I simply skim the daily news of death of 30-40 people in Iraq, Palestine, Israel, etc. Without considering the fact that how many families are being affected by an individual death. Certainly this can not be called political maturity!!

Maybe all this pessimism comes from the special circumstances of the world after September 11th have had. An era of political and historical ignorance, fanaticism and distorted public discourse which have removed any chance of achieving progress through political means. And probably part of my feelings is based on the fact that this is practically the first downturn of history that I'm actually seeing it. And it is all these continuous experiences which makes the life an interesting journey to learn and get mature out of these mess. Finally a little bit of optimism :)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Iranian Scientists Network

A group of Iranian graduate students and scientists have formed a network for exchange of information with colleagues in Iran. The basic idea is to encourage those who are active in any science/engineering research to give a talk in one of the Iranian universities when they travel to Iran. An example of a simple but very effective help for our peers in Iran!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Ahmadinejad, Sharon and the dynamsm of politcs

Politics is probably one of the most dynamic phenomena in our world. Since it is some how a reflection of human nature, its uncertainty and unpredictability makes it interesting to follow. The following two examples do not share that much of similarity, but still show how much alliances and divisions in politics are fragile and dynamic:

I. 6 months ago, when Ahmadinejad became the president of Iran, most people including myself thought that Iran's leadership has finally reached a point of monopolitic stability where the right wing or the conservative wing has the full control of the affairs. Some people went even ahead and speculated that deeper issues like relations between US and Iran will be resolved in this government. Surprisingly, since the first day of this new government the power struggle within the conservative camp started to shape. A clear reflection of this battle has become evident in the parliment disapproval of the oil minister. It is a unique event in the history of Iranian parliment where three choices for a ministry have been rejected. And considering the fact that this is about ministry of oil which is the heart of the economy of the country, the depth of the political battle becomes more clear. Although majority of the people in this new battlefield are corrupt and soley with power ambitions, but we should not forget that these people (including the president himself) have gained the trust of some circles of people with their populist and shallow socialist slogans around the concept of social justice. This early power struggle although doesn't have any democratic value, but at least shows the true mafia nature of this conservative gang. The sooner things get cleared, the price of will be less. And I won't be surprised in the near future if I see some of the reformist (!) faces of yesterday join any side of these new power struggle.

II. Another example of unpredictability of politics: In 2001 when Arial Sharon was elected as the prime minister of Israel. He had a brutal background in Israeli army filled with massacres in souther Lebanon, and Palestinian territory and also as an outspoken voice of right wing Israeli resistance to the Peace process. He actually started his primer tenure with brutal response to the 2nd Palestinian Intifada which resulted in the death of hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis. But now, look where Sharon stands today: He had to withdraw from his Likud party and create his own party which has a strong message of peace and is against non-compromising nature of the right wing Likud. It is unclear to me where does really Sharon stand with respect to the right of Palestinians to have an independent and prosperous nation. It is also unclear to me what does he really mean by peace. But even this much of change in rhetoric of Sharon is the result of the dynamic nature of politics and also the practicality that comes with the power in hand.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Holocaust Denial

I just learned about the concept of Holocaust Denial and apparently it's a well known charge in Europe. Both concepts (Denying and Charging for Denying) are quite weird to me!

Under Construction!

As you might have noticed, I'm doing some small changes on the blog: Added a bookmark section (Today's Links) for some interesting daily links and also updated the list of blogs, etc. This will probably result in a ping (updated) state for a day or so if you use Blogrolls. My apology for the inconvenience.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Political Liability

Politics is quite strange and it takes a life time to really get mature about its ups and downs. I was thinking about a year ago and the deep sense of disappointment that existed in me and people around me. When Bush talked about gaining a political capital after re-election, could we believe that in a year he becomes a political liability?

A similar pattern of political liaibility is refelected in Iranian president these days. Apparently the guy is becoming a pain in the butt for his own conservative gang. No one like him could secure a 15-0 vote of condemnation in the security council in less than 3 months after rising to presidensy. And no one like him can pick someone who doesn't have any government level management experience and no knowledge about the oil industry, as the minister of oil for the country which has the top 5 oil reserves of the planet!!

PS: Now, after couple of hours that I came back to my above writing, I felt how much crap is in politics and at the end how empty it is. Iranian poet, Sohrab Sepehri says: "I saw a train which had a load of politics and how empty it was."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Forget the politicians, do it yourself!!

I wrote this note 10 days ago, but didn't want to post it before I do another round of donation. In Farsi we say: Stick a needle to yourself, before punching a nail to people! :

It's really shocking to read that western world is completely ignoring the Asian earthquake. Just think that Pakistan has been a constant ally for US in the past 4-5 years. And now, US is hessitant to pay its fair share for rescuing hundrededs of thousands of people who are struggling for their basic right of living. I read in the news that the whole country of Pakistan which has received a lot of financial aids from US (after Sept 11) have only a handful of helicopters. And even US hasn't lent them more than 10-20 helicopter. What the hell is this aliance all about? Aliance of what? bunch of party generals with each other?

And France, Finland, Spain, etc. have basically given nothing to these poor people either. I keep thinking about how much noise some of these western countries create with talking about human rights, social justice, etc and they simply ignore such an important issue. crap!!

For us who live in the western world, donating $30 is equivalent to canceling a restaurant dinner plan and dining indoor with our partner. If we can not give up that small comfort, how can we expect a better world. So, please consider a small donation with some of the agencies like Oxfam, World Food, etc.
Weblog Trackback by HaloScan.com