Friday, August 26, 2011

Ali has passed...

by Amir Taheri

I was reminded how valuable life is and how difficult it can be for some of us. There is a group of people that often times gets forgotten. Between the the political wars, economic hardships, and well just history, there exists individuals who took up arms when life as we knew it was in peril. These individuals put their own lives at the time on hold and risked their futures for the protection of their families, neighbors and people like myself who were born in Iran and lived through the long war years in the 80's. My focus for this week is to shine a light on these individuals and in particular one person who I will call Ali.

This Monday Ali, finally give in to his injuries sustained over 20 years ago in the war against Iraq. Ali was part of about 80,000 Iranians who was hit with chemical weapons such as mustard gas but survived the initial hit. 20,000 soldiers died on the spot, but Ali was part of the some 80,000 who luckily/unluckily survived. Surviving for him meant spending each of his remaining 20 years in hospitals. He underwent yearly surgeries removing parts of different organs that would give up over time. Apart from having every thinkable problem and ailment from breathing, to stomach, to liver, Ali also had mental and psychotic episodes. When better he would spent his days crying about the things he had done while his brain had shut down on him. He would hit his children, scream non-stop and once threw out his conservative chador wearing wife onto the street naked.

Ali comes from a lower income conservative family who like so many others at that time, went to the front lines because he felt that his country needed him. After being hit, he was quickly sent home, retired by the army, and spent his initial months as a permanent resident in the ICU of the hospital. Being retired in his teens was not what one would hope for at that age. So young and a body that was slowly giving up on him. He managed though to marry, and have 2 children. Not much of a father, not because he didn't want to be one or choose the option, but because it was taken away from him.

He spent his final days in Tehran away from his family and friends in a hospital for cancer patients. He had finally had a problem that the doctors could no longer hack at or remove. His body was flown to his hometown and Ali was buried in the war martyrs section of the cemetery with his colleagues in arms both old and newly passed. His wife will continue to receive his retirement check as long as she lives and will serves as a reminder of the hardships she and her husband underwent. If their daughter also stays unwed then she will also continue to be reminded of her fathers sacrifice with his retirement check. Much comfort for having never had a real father. Ali's funeral was today, even though he was already buried on arrival from the airport, his family gathered to remember him.

I do not want to start a discussion of blame, but it is important to note that many of the countries that accuse Iran today of all imaginable crimes, were the suppliers of these weapons; the United States, France, West Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. When the same United Nations Security Council that has passed resolution after resolution against Iran and its "supposed potential" nuclear program failed to even issue a report blaming Iraq's use of chemical weapons against Iranians like Ali, forget sanctioning Iraq or the selling countries. These same countries who have added sanctions on Iran and call for human rights abuses to be investigated have never once looked into their own actions or firms that sold these weapons. Europe who calls for efforts to remove the death penalty in Iran, yet not once has apologized for its own actions that brought so many deaths either by chemical weapons or conventional ones sold to Iraq.

Ali was not the first and will not be the last in a long line of courageous Iranians who still endure hardships daily and will be passing away almost daily. I don't know the others out there, I only know Ali and his hardships. But as an Iranian, and a human being, my heart goes out to all other Ali's out there or anyone else who with one simple quick decision to defend those he loves has his future taken away from him. I ask you to remember Ali and others like him. When in the future headline are blazing, don't forget people like Ali who were more than a headline to their families and friends. In years prior, people like Ali were for me just another name of a sad life until he become the Ali I knew.

Editor’s Note: Amir Taheri is one of the authors of Uskowi on Iran. His weekly columns appear here on Fridays.


Anonymous said...

A very touching article Amir. Thanks. A question did Rafasjani or Khatami children fight in the terrible war or were there like the sons and daughters of most US politicians?

Anonymous said...

I am sharing this article on other sites and insist on all of us to link it on our social networks.
Thank you for reminding us not to forget and not to forgive.

Reflecting back, I sometimes think what has become of Iraq and their ex-Iranian MKO traitors is the direct curse of Iranian Mothers.

Mr Anon 3:26, I do not know how many of your US senators children serve in the countless wars you have started. But your anti Iran sentiments (considering also your prior comments)are reaching pathological levels.

I truely wish you a severe terminal cancer, for disrespecting and hurting so many Iranians with your comments, you should fear an Iranians Mothers curse.

Nahid / Hamburg

Anonymous said...

The world will never taste peace if there is no justice. Imagine if Ali were a jew.....
Why is it that human beings tend to pick and choose even in the issues that concern all human beings?
We are the worst animal stock in this world.

Anonymous said...

Amir Jan,

Thank you and may God bless you for writing this extraordinarily moving article. I quote the last paragraph of your piece again as it is wonderfully poignant:

"Ali was not the first and will not be the last in a long line of courageous Iranians who still endure hardships daily and will be passing away almost daily. I don't know the others out there, I only know Ali and his hardships. But as an Iranian, and a human being, my heart goes out to all other Ali's out there or anyone else who with one simple quick decision to defend those he loves has his future taken away from him. I ask you to remember Ali and others like him. When in the future headline are blazing, don't forget people like Ali who were more than a headline to their families and friends. In years prior, people like Ali were for me just another name of a sad life until he become the Ali I knew."

May Ali's soul rest in peace. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Amazing writing for a deserving individual, Thank you Amir. May the truth be seen in the impact on human life and not strategic interest.
May Ali rest in peace.
As for Anon 3:26 everyone suffered and all but the most subversive were involved in their own way in protecting their country. Not everyone is best suited to actively fighting on front lines.

Anonymous said...

Some people are like Ali who defended Iran from bombs. Some people are like cowardly MKO/AIPAC Iranians who sit in their American homes, collecting welfare and social security and hoping more bombs fall on Iran.

Amir Taheri said...

Thanks all for your comments! Very much appreciated!

Persicus Maximus said...

Please join in respecting the likes of Ali.

Thank you for this article.

Anonymous said...

God bless those Iranians who fought for their country and god curse those akhoonds who kept their children safe in LA and Canada while they prolonged the war for another six years which lead to these barbaric acts by Saddam.

Amir you should write a more balanced view on the war and explain why the war had to continue when by 1982 Saddam was pleading for ending of conflict and a settlement of $100 billion to Iran.

But Khomeini rejected offer and wanted to go all the way to AL QUDS which lead to a future chemical attacks on Iranians.

Khomeini Saddam all gave large benefits to western companies as well as North Korea and China.
While our people like Ali had to suffer and still suffering.

Lets see if this goes pass your scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

Iran has many courageous individuals willing to defend it from the criminals killing the people.
The ones sending goons to shoot girls in the street, and casting young people into prison and killing them or beating them as a message to their parents to remain quiet.

The temporary marriage with the mullahs is as illegitimate as all such things and about over.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:10, 10:13 and 3:26

I know you are all one and the same person.Your style of writting shows it.
You don't give a toss about Iran,Iranians and what is important to them. You can not even controll yourself not insulting other peoples religons.
I wish you would simply go away.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:18

What sort of paranoiac comment was that?
I'm Anon 10:10 and I only wrote 10:10

I could say the same about you.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:57 am "Nahid"

"I truly wish you terminal cancer,"

You should not wish bad upon others not even your worst enemies because it will all come back and haunt you.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:18

Who are you to question other Iranians to comment on these pages are you the judge and jury now?

Your hunch is wrong!

Anonymous said...

Dear 11:18

Your ideas are incorrect and your wishes are of no import.

You can't wish people and things away and you can't wish lies into truth.

Many Iranians have died defending Iran and Iran is something independent of the rotten theocratic regime that has perverted the revolution and throttled the progress that should have come to the country when it cast off the rotten monarchy.

Anonymous said...

Mr Taheri,
I am one of the commentators on this website regularly criticising you for the usually rosy picture that you describe of the Iranian progress in different fields.
Today I salute you and thank you for writting a very moving article about those brave people who fought for their country. In respect of their memories and in agreement with what you have written "not to start a discusssion about blame" I abstain from any criticism about the current regim's shortcommings. Please let this article be about our fellow countrymen who gave their lives and their memories and not our political differences.
May they rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

Mr Amir Taheri

What's the point of writing on this post when I can't answer Anon 11:18 AM paranoiac comment claiming that Anon 10:10,10:13 and 3:26 is the same person which is clearly not.

This is the reason why Iran is suffering today because of their Fascistic power holding and undemocratic practices.
Or could Anon 11:18 be you in disguise ?

Don't allow this through then I know.

Anonymous said...

Very moving and accurate article about the bravery of millions of patriotic Iranians like Ali. It also shows the disconnect of the anti-Iran fools living in delusion in the west and hoping for another war against the noble Iranian nation. These foreign based Iran-haters should know that there are 75 million Ali and Hosein living in Iran and will defend Iranzamin to the last drop of their blood.

It is also appalling that the Zionist media never mentions the mass use of chemical weapons by their crazy pet Saddam. Imagine if even a single Jew had been a victim of such mass atrocity supported by the crocodile tears jerking "human rights" two-faced champions of the "west". All of these 'western" savages are complicit in the atrocities against Iran. May God Bless Iran and noble Iranians like Ali.

Once again, thanks to Amir Taheri for bringing this moving story to the attention of the world.

Anonymous said...

---"It is also appalling that the Zionist media never mentions the mass use of chemical weapons by their crazy pet Saddam."----

sometimes the level of bullspit goes beyond tolerable.

Nobody ever regarded Saddam as a pet.

The actual Zionists regarded him with loathing and agitated to have him removed.

Saddam's use of chemical weapons was extensively reported in the West, both when he used them against Iran and when he used them against the citizens of Iraq.
The UN reports verifying the chemical attacks were big news.

(BTW, the israelis reported to the Western world that Iraq also used weaponized anthrax against iran, but a blind fool such as yourself probably wouldn't be able to believe that the Israelis reported it...)

pull your head out and look it all up. there are endless references available on the internet.

or don't. keep reading iranian gov't propaganda and swallow every turd they shovel into you.

Anonymous said...

Theocracy wasn't the first choice for Iran , but democracy was destroyed by US led "operation Ajax" , we should keep that in mind too .Theocracy removed almost all of the western loving boys and girls from Iran (as they liked nudity too much and wanted to sell their country for that , "operation Ajax" can be one example).If there was another option for Iran to safeguard its oil and natural gas resources Iranians would have risen up against the theocracy (not just for opposition political parties like in 2009) . But Iran has no choice . If theocracy is gone another puppet will come and if he try to get out of that "puppetness" he is another Mosaddegh then .

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:35

I gave my blood for Iran and one of those 75 million.
Since your patriotic on this post did you fight in the war?
There is no anti Iranian Iranians just anti mullah anti theocracy anti fascist anti Arab loving regime which are the majority of Iranians.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:25 AM

You weren't even born then because if you were you wouldn't be writing this tosh!
Read this....Theocracy is the worst possible thing for Iran even a military junta is better! Hell I even rather have Stalin than that stinking rabble!
Sorry pal but your sadly wrong theocracy is on the way out for ever so get used to it.
YEAH SURE theocracy is safe guarding oil alright into their fat bank accounts by stealing Iranian resources and using brutality and torture against the people.
And another thing what's nudity got to do with anything?
You people have got some backward mind to think like that you poor soul I feel sorry for you.
What have they been feeding you in the madreseh?
What ever it was it was the wrong stuff for sure.
Iran will kick out theocracy no matter what you or anybody else says and I rather have a western loving leader than a Arab loving leader any day and this comes from a person who fought for his country who lost a lot of friends who hated the theocratic regime.

Anonymous said...

What can one say to this guy that calls himself Amir Taheri or whatever other name he has and hide himself from VPN in Iran to get to this forbidden forum (that is to say forbidden from Iran)!

First he tried his hand on writing about Sanctions have no effect on Iran, Revolutionary Guards, construction galore and last week on auto industry. They all as we discussed in this blog had little or no information value besides being commercials for the current regime. Then Taheri tried satire (that one on World Bank) and that turned up to be a disaster. Now after being rejected as a stooge and propaganda machine for this wretched regime, he is trying to salvage his credibility by writing about a subject that is as we all know is emotionally very sensitive. We all honour and respect those who were affected by the chemical weapons be in the war or Hallabche, however, IMO this guy is writing these type of articles now for his own gains.

If we take off emotions out of it you see he is blaming everyone except Iran itself for these victims. FYI, Iranian regime knew that these soldiers will be affected by chemical weapons but still sent them. For the same reason teenagers were give a Chinese made key to hang around their neck (in order to open the gate of heaven!) and *were made to run* on the minefields. God knows how many were killed or maimed by the mines. I challenge Taheri to write an article on those forgotten victims! You will never see one because he won’t do that. That is not what his masters want!

blackmanAdam said...

FIRST I WISH TO ANSWER MY BROTHER WHO IS TRYING TO TRASH AMIR TAHERI FOR THIS ARTICLE.If you think Taheri is ON the payroll of the regime, you are missing the boat by a river!.THE TRUTH IS, MR TAHERI IS TRYING TO REMIND PEOPLE OF A TRAGEDY! A TRAGEDY THAT ACTS AS FOOD FOR THOUGHT TO EVERY BLIND SUPPORTER OF THE WEST .IF YOU SAY 'The Iranian regime knew that these soldiers would be affected by poison but sent them 'WE MAY ASK THE WEST [supplies] KNEW THESE CHEMICALS WOULD HARM PEOPLE!IF THE REGIME IS INHUMAN ACCORDING TO YOU BY SENDING SOLDIERS !WHAT IS THE POSITION OF THE SUPPLIERS OF THE CHEMICALS?again when you say that the Iranian regime knew the outcome in advance but still sent them, you exposing too much about yourself -TODAY AMERICAN SOLDIES ARE BEING KILLED BY THE TALIBAN now do you mean to tell as that the American gorvenment is keeping them there to be killed? and you spoke something about child soldiers .Mind you, Islamic history is replete with young boys doing better in the battle field .EVEN THE BIBLE TELLS AS THAT KING DAVID WAS A KID WHEN HE TOOK UPON GOLIATH! do you mean to tell me that GOD[JEHOVA]did a crime to send a young man to face a grown up? i want to remind you that IRAN TODAY AS AN INSPIRATIONS TO NATIONS,AND IT IS A RISING FLAG OF HOPE TO ALL NATIONS WHO ARE DESPERATE TO FREE THEMSELVES FROM THE YORK OF CAPITALISM.

Anonymous said...

Adam sez

--- " .... again when you say that the Iranian regime knew the outcome in advance but still sent them..."---

maybe the children sent into the minefields so that their bodies would be torn apart to clear the fields wasn't something that the iranian regime knowingly did.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:15 PM

You sad man what makes you think nations want to follow a bunch of criminals in the name of Islam?

Oh wait that's right Sudan or Somalia maybe are inspired by backwardness not advanced nations although we could have been one if not for these retarded rabble.

Even the Arab countries that are rising and are seeking freedom and democracy stay well clear of a Islamic style government that resides in Tehran.If you can't see that then I suggest you wear classes or go and read some books.

I feel sorry that you still live in the past and refuse to accept the coming realities of the future in Iran that there will be no Islamic Theocracy anymore but a free and democratic mullahless nation with men and women equally free and happy.

blackmanAdam said...

'i feel sorry that you still live in the past'... AGAIN i feel i have one or two things to remind you.let me first ask you a humble question 'why do you think liberal democracy is the perfect system for mankind? how are you going to convince me that the owners of democracy the WEST are the most noble people in this world? MIND you I AM AN AFRICAN ,I HAVE RELATIVES WHO WERE TIED WITH ROPES FORCEFULLY AND SENT TO ZANZIBAR ONTO A WAITING SHIP !THEY WERE THEN SENT TO THE AMERICAS AND OTHER DESTINATIONS TO WORK AS SLAVES!who did this MULLAS?the answer is -the owners of democracy!.Again i have relatives who were forced at gunpoint in camps ,they WERE then given basic military drills then shipped to Burma,and many hot points to fight for the Royal flag during world war [i] and two,some returned and many died on forced duty.Yet i have relatives who died during the struggle for independence a war that was a necessary evil to FREE ourselves from the york of colonialism .Yet again am seeing it with my own eyes as the wealth from our continent is hauled into containers to the west as our people die with hunger and malnutrition .HOWEVER despite all these there are some people here in Africa who are ready to sell their motherland for thirty pieces of silver in the name of democracy.IN IRAN THERE ARE PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO WISH THE COUNTRY DOES AWAY WITH ISLAM ,THEY WISH A RETURN TO THE OLD PERSIAN PAGAN WAYS, LIKEWISE IN SAUDI ARABIA THERE ARE SOME WHO WISH THE OLD PAGAN SYSTEM TO RULE HIJAZ . AND AGAIN IN ISRAEL THERE ARE SOME WHO WISH A RETURN TO THE DIVINE LAWS AS STIPULATED IN THE TORAH-all these set of people are on the wrong side of history!.if you think Iran or Saudi Arabia will return to paganism ,then you are dead wrong.THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION WAS A CHOICE BY A PEOPLE ,ACCORDING TO THEIR UNDERSTANDING.DO PLEASE RESPECT PEOPLES ASPIRATIONS ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE A MAJORITY !!.

Anonymous said...

To the man from Zanzibar


Look mate there are many slaves in Saudi Arabia from Zanzibar so they were not just sent to Europe and US. I believe there are still some in Iran who trace back their roots to Zanzibar.

This forum is about *the current state of Iran*.

Unlike you who has (as it appears) a hate agenda against the west but has no problem living in the West, we do not hate West. Contrary we Iranians believe that Western Civilisation has been mostly on Pre Islamic (read pre Islamic) Persian civilisation and Greek Civilisation. Unlike you who has never been to Iran and who has no root, we are very proud of our country’s heritage but at the current juncture this wretched Barbaric Islamic regime is not what people of Iran want and neither we inspire to be an example to African nations. What has an Iranian got in common with a guy from Zanzibar. The answer is nothing and I suggest that rather than making silly remarks in this forum on the issues that you have no practical experience, put your money where your mouth it and go to Zanzibar and fight your own fight. I am sure that will be much better way.

Anonymous said...

Hey Taheri,

When I was in Iran , I was told that your hometown Shiraz has one of the highest numbers of drug addicts in Iran bar Tehran and Mashad! Apparantly the parks in Shiraz are full of drug pushers and takers.

Why don't you try writing something closer home like the reasons for this social malady rather than sensationalising on past topics like chemical weapons. Show some bottle.

Anonymous said...

a very sad story...