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Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Legitimacy is the main authority of power for any regime or government. After the June manipulated presidential election in Iran, the Iranian regime needs to have legitimacy under any circumstances. In the article “Relinquishing the Ideological State is Compulsory” written on October 30, 2006, Hajjarian states that the Iranian state is moving from a religious to an ideological regime.1 He mentions reformation is necessary and needs to start from the top to the bottom, although the government does not tend to reform but the nation could cause a reformation in its own. Hajjarian writes that reformists should strengthen civil society and independent unions, and associations should be created as parties in order to strengthen their base.
The article “Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists is the Continued Way of Muhammad (Prophet)” was written on Sep 24th 2009 by Keyhan newspaper, which is an ultra-conservative reporting agency and is run unofficially by Khamenei, the current Iranian supreme leader.2 This article was addressed by Hajjarian on the public TV show “Roundtable Events in Pathology After the Election”, and the Keyhan newspaper titled Hajjarian as an ex-member of the Iranian reform movement. The Iranian regime is using its power to prove to the public that Ahmadinejad’s government is legitimate, and this type of legitimacy is the last part of Iran’s constitution which the regime wants gone. These articles bring up the idea that reformation will not work in a religious nation when legitimacy does not exist.

I agree with Hajjarian’s theory about creating unions and that the best way of reformation is from top to bottom, but these ideas are not realistic due to a lack of a large enough middle class in Iran. The middle class is an important component of any social or political movement because they can have the influence, time, and funds needed to join in a social movement. In Iran there is a middle traditional merchant class (they call themselves middle class) but they easily go both ways in an election or movement, and they are usually in favor of the middle ground or the hardliner, and they are not as interested in any reformation when there is a legitimate government in charge. Therefore, under a legitimate government there is no chance for Hajjarian’s theories to be successful because he has just students (mostly poor or living with family) on his side that could be part of this movement just until their graduation. In addition, Hajjarian mentioned it is necessary to start from the top to reform, and at the top sits an illegitimate supreme leader who has the most power over the army, judiciary, and guardian council.


There are three levels of legitimacy in Iran: 1) legal legitimacy 2) engineered legitimacy 3) divine legitimacy. Legal legitimacy is a value whereby a government is accepted by the public as right and proper, which is what happened in Iran after the revolution in 1979. According to Iran’s constitution, the vote backing the regime created legitimacy, but after Khatami, a reformist, the hardliners wanted to change this process. Hardliners succeeded in bringing Ahmadinejad by engineered legitimacy again in 2009. The Iranian Regime is trying to put a new clause in the constitution that would allow for divine legitimacy which gives power to any supreme leader to choose a government and make it legitimate.

In conclusion, divine legitimacy is the last hope for the Iranian regime due to not having legitimacy. I believe we will read in the news about the Iranian opposition and illegitimate government, and this regime will go down if it does not gain credibility by divine legitimacy.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Human Rights Headlines

USA: Haitian colonel ordered to pay $4.3 million for human rights abuses
For Immediate Release
February 23, 2007

(Miami, Florida, February 23, 2007). A federal jury in Miami found Colonel
Carl Dorélien, a former member of the Haitian Military's High Command,
liable for torture, extrajudicial killing, arbitrary detention and crimes
against humanity suffered by plaintiffs Lexiuste Cajuste, Marie Jeanne
Jean and her two young children. Colonel Dorélien was ordered to pay a
total of $4.3 million to the plaintiffs in compensatory and punitive
damages.

Lexiuste Cajuste was arbitrarily detained and severely tortured by Haitian
military forces under Dorelien.s command because of his role as a union
organizer and pro-democracy activist. Miraculously, he survived the
beatings but, fourteen years after the ordeal, still suffers severe
physical disabilities relating to his torture. Upon learning of the jury's
verdict in his favor Cajuste stated, "Today I have finally found justice,
but I am only one person amongst an entire population who suffered abuses.
My wish is to see that all the people of Haiti receive justice." Cajuste
went on to say, "Although today's judgment was rendered against Colonel
Dorélien, I see this is as a judgment against the entire armed forces of
Haiti under the military dictatorship. This is a wonderful day for justice
for me and my family and for the Haitian people."

Marie Jeanne Jean lost her husband Michel Pierre during the massacre by
the Haitian military against the citizens of the Raboteau neighborhood in
the seaside city of Gonaives. Raboteau was known for being a stronghold of
pro-democracy activism. The Raboteau massacre was one of the worst
atrocities committed against the civilian population in Haiti while
Dorélien was part of the High Command. She brought this suit on behalf of
herself and her two minor children. "Today is a proud and happy day. This
judgment is not just for me and my family, but for all of the many victims
of the Raboteau Massacre. It is in their name that I am here in Miami
today," said Marie Jean about the jury's verdict.

Colonel Dorélien was a member of the High Command of the Haitian Armed
Forces during the military dictatorship in Haiti from 1991 to 1994.
Dorélien's presence in the U.S. became widely known after he won $3.2
million in the Florida state lottery in 1997. Dorélien, along with many
other members of the Haitian military, fled to the U.S. where they lived
with impunity. This case represents the first time that a U.S. jury has
held a former member of the Haitian military responsible for the
widespread human rights abuses that were committed by the military against
the civilian population.

Matt Eisenbrandt, CJA Legal Director and member of the trial team said,
"It is an honor to represent Marie Jean and Lexiuste Cajuste, their
courage is an inspiration. Justice has been served."

The plaintiffs are represented by the Center for Justice and
Accountability (CJA) and Holland & Knight. CJA is a San Francisco-based
human rights organization that works to end impunity by bringing to
justice perpetrators of human rights abuses, especially those who live in
or visit the United States. www.cja.org. Holland & Knight is among the
world's 15 largest law firms, providing representation in litigation,
business, real estate and governmental law. www.hklaw.com.

For more information and background on the case, please visit www.cja.org.



--
HREA - http://www.hrea.org

Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) is an international
non-governmental organisation that supports human rights learning; the
training of activists and professionals; the development of educational
materials and programming; and community-building through on-line
technologies.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Elia`s Mom

When we met with Elia`s mom I couldnt belive what I saw. How come that clamsy big boy was that tiny woman`s son it was hard to believe. Tiny as look as fragile woman with black charcoal hairs and under the thick dark eyebrows shiny kid eyes. That smal strong charecteristic face gives some hints about her Jewish heitage.
She was not beatiful but there was something special with this atractive face.
After a short intruduction we jump to main subject suddendly. When I try to explain about why I decide to write this book and how I observed bunch of greencard lottory winners how suffered and struggled in their new starsts she suddenly interrupted me:
-We didnt come with lottary,we are political assylums.
It was necessary to decide and move in three days. There is a huge library in Moscow but I didnt have any time to make a research or anything. It wasnt obvious where we would come till last minute.
She begin..
I jumped and inturupted her:
-Who was organizing all?
-Jewish Center..she said.
-Ohh I heard that they help Jews alot.
She smiled..
-Its not like that actually I can say that they didnt have any serious support.Ofcouse they picked us from airport and droped an apartment but
at the beginning I was fighting with that lady.Our luggaged was lost. We put all these two luggage all of our lifes and they send them somewhere else. When I was tring to find them she was complain that she would be late to home.
I came here with my sick mom and Elia that he was 6 years old during that time. Our all treasure was that luggages and we woud be able to reach them after two months. Imagine our situation when we arrive an empty apartment. Some odd reason they were not expecting us till next week.3 day we slept on the floor in that empty apartment because it was weekend and there was nobody to take care of us.There was nothing to eat and I just have $3 in my pocket.

She was telling so fast, I began to have problem to falow it I didnt want to interrupt her to pull out my tape recorder. But when she begin to talk with a passion it was hard to understand her heavy accent.

-#rd day they came and pick me up to work. It was a cleaning job. You know big rich mentions,5 bedrooms,4 bathrooms jacusees and such.
First month my salary didnt enough for rent and welfare didnt arrive in time.. Our land lord was a gromy man and I couldnt explain him with my broken english..He yelled at me hours and hours. Still I have goosebumps when I passed from front of that apartment.
She stopped and took a deep breath.
-We are from Moscow.Not from suburbs or slums real moscow. I m a doctor I was working at medical researches. Now I m thinking about that if it was possible to go back what I would do? There was no way to live same things again. That kind of things can live just once. If I know all that I would ever came in here.
-Did they accept your diploma in here?
-Ofcouse after years and years work. I tried to find a job on research area first but they were not paying enough and I gave up.
I was responsible with a little boy and my sick mom. Immigration is not easy.
In Russia life was more stable and slow and in here life is just running one place to another or working. We are just living for work. There is no time for anything else. I still couldnt adopt it still there is no time.
- Did you know anybody in here?
- No we didnt have anybody.
- How did you decide to apply as a refugee.
She smiled again,
-This wasnt my idea it was Elia`s fathers idea. Actually his family applied first years and years ago. But they stock with burocracy and paper work.
When Gorbachov came to goverment country begin to change travelling out of Russia begin to be more easy.
During that period my institude send me Paris for a conferance I stayed there three months. From the first day I fell in love with that city still time to time I m dreaming to live there. My colliges offered me to applied as an assylum but there was a rule at least 8 months I wouldnt go out from france border. I asked my mom to took Elia and join me but she resisted and I wouldnt stay.
After that I lost my job.When I was unemployed I begin to work on that American immigration application.It was kind a fun it gave me a reason to wear somethingand go out to do something. This begin like this as a game.. In that days country begin to be messy.Streets was scary now,
there was tanks on the streets and we were waking up with gun shots. It was obvious things getting worste and it was look like just beginning.
When our immigration application acceted I didnt had any choise I really didnt want to do that but there was no other option. With this way this game wise thing turn to reality.
Came here without thinking or planning. Still time to time I m thinking did I do good or what..

We were Carribu Caffe at the bid leaather sofa near by. When I first arrive I set near by her. Charley was at the other arm chair half sleeeping I dont thing he heard our conversation. Evening crawd at the coffee shop was mostly teenagers. Outside was dark now. It was first day of a new year. There is a new year a new stage was beginning.
Our conversation is interruped when boys come. With his dark cap and glasses intellectuel looking Elia and with long dark flaying hairs and with his pointy type walking arthistic Max. These to always made a nice contrast and now they were passionatly argueeing something again. They both have perfect english and it was almost impossible to recognise that they didnt born in this country.
Both of us turn to them and watched for a while. I m sure I had the same smile on my face when I was watching boys as hers.
I said
- But look it worked for them to come over here. They both Americans now.
- Right..she said
-But sometimes I am thinking is it a good thing or not.Elia even dont want to here name of Russia and he totally forgat to read and write.Although he learned reading and writing in russian when he was 4 years old.
-Max never join Turks at the school ..I said
That was our argument also. Connection with an old countries like us is not important for the kids and actually it was bothering them. Almost all of them trying to escape for that origin when they are trying to be an American.
- I belive that they will look for their roots after awhile and then they will interest it with Old Country.
- -Hope so. She said but she didnt look to belive.
I turned Charley and try to take him in to conversation.
-When did your German ancessed came?
He was sick these last two days and he was almost sleeping in hic chair. I know he pushed him self to came with me.
He moved his leather chair ..
- My grand father..he said.
- He came after worl war 1.
Etta continued..
-I been in Germany also.It was a beatiful country but may be my Jewish origin it was not like here.
People are so prejudice there to foreigners. In here we dont have that.
At least on the paper but still I would not feel my self belong to here.
- How long ago you came here?
- 12 years,but still like yesterday.
- Did your mom adopted in here.
- Ohh its another disaster.She didnt fit a bit.She didnt accept anything.
-We have a big Russian Community here didn’t she join them?
-There are bunch of ethnic and social groups in Russia, as you know most of them even don’t talk Russian. They have their own languages. My mom was a snob she didn’t like any of them. And now she has health problems also.

I didn’t want to ask more questions. Kids showed up around us again and we begin to talk about their schools and their friends.
All that tension when we first met was gone all of us was laughing and joking now. I asked Etta to met again before we move out from town. Her eyes shined again. Suddenly she begins to look for a pen and paper and gave me her phone numbers.
- Please call me again I would enjoy seeing you gain.
Yes it was same for me too I really enjoyed knowing that woman.
With her tiny silluette she looks so small near Elia.
When I say “Nice to meet you.” I was really mean it in this case It would be hard to forget that fragile strong Russian woman.
MK

Saturday, August 20, 2005


From a recent asylee:

"I WILL TRYING TO EXPLAIN WHAT IS IMPORTANT PROBLEM OF PEOPLE OF IRAN AND UNFORTUNATLY OPPOSISSION AND MOST OF THE GROUPS HVAE GOT WRONG IDEA ABOUT THAT >

IN REALTY WE HAVE MORE ECONOMICAL PROBLEM MORE THAN PLOTICAL PROBLEM > HOW MANY OF IRANIAN PEOPLE HAVE GOT PLOTICAL PROBLEM ? ~%15 HOW MANY OF IRANIAN PEOPLE HAVE GOT A FINANCIAL PROBLEM ? ~%90 FOR INSTANCE I HAVE GOT A WIFE AND ONE KIDS I CANT SEE MY SELF TO BUY A HOUSE SO I RENT A PLACE FOR NORMAL 1 BED ROOM APARTMENT I HAVE TO PAY $2200 DEPOSIT AND MONTHLY $150 .

FOR A FOOD AND TRANSPORTAION I HAVE TO PAY $100 . FOR CLOTH AND ... FOR FAMILY $40 . FOR SCHOOL AND AT LEAST $50 AND HELATH AND VISIT DOCTOR $30 ,....

TOTAL~ $370 AVERAGE SALARY FOR JOB $140 PER MONTH SECOND JOB : $80 PER MONTH

IF BOTH HUSBAND AND WIFE THEY WORK PER MONTH IS $440.00

IF THEY CAN SAVE $70 THAT I DONT THINK SO . FIRST OF ALL THEY DONT HAVE TIME FOR EACHOTHER SO THEY JUST SLEEP IN THE SAME PLACE NO TIME FOR LOVE,.......... . FOR THIS SITUATION AT THE FAMILY LIKE THIS DO YOU THINK THEY HAVE A TIME TO CARE ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENINIG FOR THEIR COUNTRY OR ......... ?

HOW MANY OF PEOPLE OF IRAN AHAVE THIS PROBLEM JUST CARE ABOUT THEIR OWN FAMILY AND NO MORE ? ~%95 IF YOU WANT TO START AND CHANGE THIS REJIM START OF SOMTHING THAT IS PROBLEM OF IRANIAN PEOPLE AND YOU HAVE HARMONY WITH THEM .

LIKE WHAT ?

IF WE WANT TO SOLVE A PROBLEM OF IRANIAN PEOPLE JUST TALK ABOUT THEIR NEED NOT THE GOOD THINGS THAT EVERYBODY KNOWS . FOR EXAMPLE START FROM $6 THAT THEY PAY IN THE PAY CHECK TO ALL OF EMPLOYEE FOR RENT BUT AT LEAST MINMUM RENT IS $150 . REPUBLIC ISLAMIC OF IRAN AND THE LEADERS CONTROL PEOPLE WITH THIS THINGS BECAUSE THE FAMILY DON T HAVE TIME FOR POLTICS ALL OF THE POWER OR MENTALY USE FOR SURVIVE OF FAMILY . ESPECIALLY ABOUT STUDENT MOVMENT UP TO TIME THEY INVOLVE OF THEIR OWN FAMILY THEY ARE ACTIVE BUT AFTER OF STUDENT TIME YOU SEE A DIFFRENT THINGS . GOOD OR BAD ALWAYS IRANIAN WAITING FOR FORIGEN TO CHANGE TEH REJIM FOR THEM . LIKE WHEN ISLAM CAME TO IRAN , LIKE WHEN MUGUL CAME TO IRAN EVERT TIME WE LOOKING FROM OUTSIDE OF US TO SOLVE A PROBLEM AND I HOPE THAT WE LEARN TO CHANGE BY OURSELVES"


Saturday, July 30, 2005

I just have to share this. I think I've mentioned Michael Yon before. His most recent blogging is directly related to the theme here. I'll add his url to the right sidebar. Here is the posting, but there are pictures on his blog and I suggest you go there.

WELCOME ABOARD

Mosul, Iraq, July 29, 2005

Across Iraq, I keep running across American troops who are not Americans. Many of these soldiers and Marines are working towards attaining U.S. citizenship while in uniform, under fire, in Iraq.

I was privileged to witness the award ceremony for 12 new American citizens in Deuce Four recently. I hope America makes them feel welcome. If the folks at home could see what these people are doing in Iraq, they would make these special troops feel as honored guests. But now, better yet, they are honored citizens, giving life to the concept of active citizenship.

Today, I walked to noon chow with SSG William Suarez, from Puerto Rico. Suarez has a home in central Florida, and is as American as I am, except he comes complete with a very thick Puerto Rican accent. The soldiers love to have Suarez around; he has a great reputation under fire. One time, during a big fight downtown, SSG Suarez's voice came over the radio. With his thick accent, the commander joked at first he thought the radio had been captured by the enemy. There are at least five Spanish speaking soldiers in the fire support element, and the running joke in the TOC is that Deuce Four can do all their calls for fire (artillery, aviation, etc) in Spanish, without need to encrypt the calls.

SSG Suarez and I had lunch today with SFC Kim, who I had never met before and will probably never meet again. (Kim just happened to sit next to us at the chow hall.) SFC Kim was born in Korea 53 years ago, but he looks about 35, and didn't even join the US Army until he was 30 years-old. Kim says he's very happy to be an American, and that some of us don't realize how good we have it.

"The Q"
There's another soldier here from Mexico, Victor Quinonez. Everyone calls him Q. At 23, Q fights like crazy; he's earned his great combat reputation. I joke with Q that he'll either be a top military leader, or in trouble with the law if he doesn't listen to his leaders. And Q always tells me, "Mike, when the shit goes down and the bullets are flying, you stick with me and I'll get you out. Never fear when the Q is here! You've seen me in action. You know I'll get you out. I'm a Mexican, not a Mexican't!"

First time I met Q, I thought he was full of something, and he was, but it wasn't what I was thinking. One time, during a brief shootout, I kind of broke through a gate for cover in a house, and Q said, "Mike, what you hidin' from!" I answered, "Bullets, dumbass! Get in here!" "You come out here!" Q said, "We're gonna get these guys!" Now he's like my young Mexican-American brother and I get worried he'll get shot or blown up.

It's been true since the U.S. was founded that some of the best Americans were not born in America. And we can use all the good people we can get. That's something to remember.

Deuce Four's newest Americans:
SPC Saroth Muth (Cambodia)
SPC David Floutier (England)
SPC Hugo Juarez (Mexico)
SPC Evans Martin (Antigua)
SPC Octavio Rodriguez (Mexico)
SGT Ringsey Khin (Cambodia)
SPC Abdel Phipps (Jamaica)
SGT Collin Campbell (Trinidad)
SPC Bosco Jerez (Nicaragua)
SPC Jose Alvarado (Honduras)
SPC Moises Medina (Mexico)

SGT Walter Gaya, from Argentina, was scheduled to be sworn in with this group, but he was recently wounded in combat and could not attend the ceremony. He's in the United States recovering and remains committed to becoming a photo-journalist. Walt told me the other day that although his left eye is in question, his photo-shooting eye is perfect.

At Deuce Four here in Mosul, we still have 15 troops whose new citizen status is pending paperwork. These troops are from:

Argentina
Cambodia
Canada
Haiti
Jamaica
Korea
Mexico
Nicaragua
Russia
St Croix
Vietnam
And two others; I don't know where they are from.

Welcome Aboard!

Friday, July 29, 2005

I promise to be doing my own writing soon. I have had many moving experiences with asylum seekers in the last month. There is a project in the making to create and sell t-shirts with drawings and a logo designed by genocide survivors. The proceeds would benefit the inflicted in various countries. Here is a site with drawings by someone I know. Scroll halfway down to see them.

Link

Monday, July 04, 2005

PRESIDENT REAGAN'S WORDS AT THE STATUE OF LIBERTY:
"While we applaud those immigrants who stand out, whose contributions are easily discerned, we know that America's heroes are also those whose names are remembered by only a few."

THANKS TO ROBERT MURDOCK FOR THAT REFERENCE AND THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLES:
"Start with Eddie Chin, an ethnic Chinese Marine who was born a week after his family fled Burma. You've all seen Cpl. Chin. Because when Baghdad fell, he was the Marine we all watched shimmy up the statue of Saddam Hussein to attach the cable that would pull it down.

"Or Lance Cpl. Ahmad Ibrahim. His family came to the U.S. from Syria when the first Gulf War broke out. Now Cpl. Ibrahim hopes to be deployed to Iraq--also as a Marine--to put his Arabic language skills in the service of Corps and Country.

"Or what about Cpl. José Gutierrez, who was raised in Guatemala and came to America as a boy--illegally! Cpl. Gutierrez was one of the first Marines killed in action in Iraq. As his family told reporters, this young immigrant enlisted with the Marine Corps because he wanted to "give back" to America.

"So here we have it--Asian Marines, Arab Marines, Latino Marines--all united in the mission of protecting the rest of us. Isn't this what Reagan meant when he said that the bond that ties our immigrants together--what makes us a nation instead of a collection of individuals--is "an abiding love of liberty"? So the next time you hear people whinging about what a "drain" on America our immigrants are, it might be worth asking if they consider these Marines a drain."


Link
HAPPY JULY THE FOURTH

Good celebrating, everyone. Let's keep in mind those who are still struggling for their independence. Let's learn from the ones who have recently reached our shores so we can more fully understand our individual freedom.

Enjoy your barbeques.