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User Journal

Journal Journal: Sa'adi

The following poem is the motto on the entrance of the United Nations building. It was written by the persian poet Sa'adi Shirazi (Musharrif od-Din Muslih od-Din) circa 1257 AD.

Poetic translation:

Of one Essence is the human race,
Thusly has Creation put the Base;
One Limb impacted is sufficient,
For all Others to feel the Mace.

Literal translation:

The Children of Adam are limbs of each other
Having been created of one essence.
When the calamity of time afflicts one limb
The other limbs cannot remain at rest.
If thou hast no sympathy for the troubles of others
Thou art unworthy to be called by the name of a man.


bani aadam a'zaaye yekdigarand
ke dar aafarinesh ze yek goharand.
cho ozwi bedard aavarad roozgaar
degar ozvha-ra namaanad gharar.
to kaz mehnate digaraan bi ghami
nashaayad ke naamat nahand aadami.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Citizen of the World

I was born in Louisiana and now I live in Virginia. I was 3 years old and living in Tehran when Iraq attacked. I don't remember the war as a series of news reels on TV. I remember the war as nights filled with bombs whistling down on me. I remember the war by the faces of the uncles and cousins I lost. I remember the war by the silent nights that punctuated the months. All this time I knew that I was American. I remember, when I was 5, I thought that America was going to come and help me. They weren't going to let me die.

My parents didn't want to explain the dirty truths of the world to a little child. I had no idea that the bombs being dropped on my city were guided by America, but they were. I didn't know that the chemicals being used against my drafted uncles and cousins were provided to Iraq by America, but they were. I didn't know that my life was not as important as providing more oil for America, but I was not important. I am an American. I am an Iranian. I don't hate Iraqis. I don't hate Americans. I don't hate Saddam. I don't hate Bush. Hate is ignorance within fear. Fear is the mind killer.

But all occupied people rebel against their occupiers. No matter how wonderful they may be treated, they will rebel. Not because they hate their occupiers. Not because "they hate our freedoms" as my fearless leader so arrogantly phrased it. They will rebel because they are Iraqis, not Americans.

Why did America support Iraq when it attacked Iran? Iran had the audacity to tell America to leave. Iran no longer wanted to be a puppet state, and Iran deserved to be punished for that. Iraq will be the same. Conquerors often cloak themselves as liberators.

It might be easy for the average American citizen to accept that this is a "Just War." But, for someone who has been on the receiving end of a missile, this coupling of words is a mockery of logic and shows a lack of respect for human life.

If you don't agree with me that is fine, but don't advocate war unless you feel so strongly that you are personally willing to run into a wall of enemy soldiers, armed with only a sword, knowing that you are going to die, and accepting it as the right thing to do. If you are not willing to do such a thing, then you do not truly believe that the fight is just.

But all that I just wrote is pointless because the spice must flow.

It is not a coincident that Frank Herbert's Dune was set on a desert planet. Think about that for a while?

I'm talking about a kid in Iraq right now who has to think, hear and see bombs being dropped down from the sky. I'm talking about the little kid in the chorus of Pink Floyd's "Goodbye Blue Sky." I was also talking about what happens when people see that their local government is controlled by people who don't live locally.

Furthermore, "Islamic fundamentalism" was only a method, not a reason for the overthrow of western powers inside of Iran. People were pissed off that they are not allowed to live the way they feel like living. My grandparents are Muslim. My parents are Christian. I am Humanist. My SigOther is Buddhist. I try not to categorize human acts based on the religion of the perpetrators. That would go against the basic premise of my constitution. More immediately, it would result in at least one family member being offended by my statements. And, unavoidable, my mother will hear about it, and I will totally get smacked. So there you go. Does anyone of other religions wish to join my family? You'll be helping me be more tolerant of other people. ;o)

Has anyone here ever thought about the full 5 season Bablyon 5 plot? One might be able to argue that it is an allusion to the USA/USSR conflicts within the Middle East. The Vorlons might represent USSR: scheduled, mandated order. The Shadows might represent USA: social and cultural evolution thru conflict. If the nations of this area had come to the same conclusion as the "lesser races" in Babylon 5, there wouldn't be so many problems. The Shadows have won.

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