Monday, November 5, 2007

Understanding Iran: To Bomb or To Talk

By HENRY J. WATERS III, Publisher, Columbia Daily Tribune
Published Sunday, November 4, 2007

I spent a pleasant hour with a sprightly lady named Fatemeh Keshavarz, an Americanized native of Iran and professor at Washington University who is on a book tour trying to explain to Americans that we have a better chance to get along with her country than we might think.
She told our reporter Iranians are not terrorists seeking to use nuclear weapons against America and most don’t support President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

She’s on a campaign to soften talk of military action against her country, not because she hopes for some sort of victory for Iran and defeat for the United States. Quite the opposite: In her book "Jasmine and Stars, Reading more than Lolita in Tehran," she contradicts the notion women in Iran are oppressed. Instead, she says, many are actively fighting for liberation, and the combative Iranian president suffers from low public approval ratings in the George W. Bush range.

She objects to the language used by antagonists on both sides, such as the label "Axis of Evil," thrown out by Bush.

"Speak about the world around you in a different way," Keshavarz said. "Begin to think about the world in a different way. When you hear the same phrases over and over, it closes the possibilities." (click here to read the rest of this article...)

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