Monday, December 10, 2007

December 2007 Show

The National Intelligence Estimate report and future of the Iran problem.
An interview with Barbara Slavin
Thursday December 13th, 2007 at 6 PM
KBOO 90.7 FM
Click here to listen to this interview!

Barbara Slavin has been senior diplomatic reporter for USA TODAY since 1996, responsible for analyzing foreign news and U.S. foreign policy. She has covered such key issues as the U.S.-led war on terrorism and in Iraq, policy toward "rogue" states and the Arab-Israeli conflict. She has accompanied three secretaries of State on their official travels and also reported from Iran, Libya, Israel, Egypt, North Korea, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Author of a new book on the United States and Iran entitled "Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S. and the Twisted Path to Confrontation," she is a regular commentator on U.S. foreign policy on National Public Radio, the Public Broadcasting System and C-Span. In October, she joined the U.S. Institute of Peace as a Jennings Randolph fellow, to continue her research on Iran.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

October 2007 Show

Interview with David Barsamian 10-11-2007, click here to listen!

As the United States stands on the brink of initiating war on Iran, the publication of David Barsamian's TARGETING IRAN, a collection of interviews with Noam Chomsky, Ervand Abrahamian and Nahid Mozaffari, could not have come at a better time. David Barsamian's Alternative Radio award-winning lecture series continues to bring critical perspectives to the airwaves throughout the US. He was named one of the "Top Ten Media Heroes" by the Institute for Alternative Journalism and received the ACLU's prestigious Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism in 2003. David's visit to Portland is co-sponsored by KBOO 90.7FM Community Radio and the Portland Peaceful Response Coalition and is endorsed by the American Iranian Friendship Council, Peace & Justice Works, Jews for Global Justice, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Jewish Voice for Peace (Portland Affiliate), Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land - A Witness of Central Lutheran Church, Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights and others.

Event: Presentation by Alternative Radio founder, David Barsamian, speaking about his most recent collection of interviews, TARGETING IRAN (Open Media).
Date: Monday, October 22, 2007
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: SEIU Local 49 Union Hall, 3536 SE 26th Avenue, Portland
Admission: FREE
Contact: 503-344-5078.

Monday, August 13, 2007

August 2007 Show

To listen to this show on-demand please click here!

Turkey a challenge between Ataturk Secularists and Reformed Islamists, in the aftermath of the elections and victory of Prime Minister Ordugan's party, what is next?

An Interview with Robert Olson, University of Kentucky, and John Olmsted, Portland State University.

Thursday August 9, 2007.
6:00 PM
KBOO 90.7 FM

John Olmsted MA, Med. is an adjunct instructor in psychology at Portland State University in Portland Oregon where he teaches a course in paranormal psychology. He is mental health therapist specializing in issues of learning, attention and the brain. John has just returned from Turkey after couplmonth of leading an educational tour from Portland Community College.

Dr. Robert Olson, University of Kentucky, Professor of Middle East History and Politics. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1973 where he studied with Professor Wadie Jwaideh and specialized in the history of the Ottoman Empire and contemporary politics of the Middle East. Professor Olson is the author of some 70 research articles, 80 essays and reference works and 180 book reviews. Fulbright Senior Professor Research Middle East Civilization Program Fellowship (1990-91); University Research Professor, (1995-96); The Albert D. and Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial University Professor (1999-2000); Best Book Award Third World Studies Association, 1999-2000; Distinguished Professor of the College of Arts and Sciences (2000-01); member of the Strategic Assessment Group of the Central Intelligence Agency's Future Panel on Turkey and the Kurdish Question (2000-03).

For an analogy of Turkey's role in the region with regards to Kurdish question see here!

Friday, July 13, 2007

July 2007 Show

Golbarg Bashi and Iranian Feminism

Golbarg Bashi is an Iranian feminist and visiting scholar at Columbia University. She visited Portland in June and is interviewed by Gabi Ross for the Bread and Roses.

To listen to this interview click here!

Friday, June 15, 2007

June 2007 Show

Click here to listen to this broadcast!

Chris Toensing is the executive director of the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) and senior editor of the Middle East Report. Toensing has written for the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Progressive and other US newspapers and magazines, and has appeared hundreds of times on radio and TV programs to discuss Middle East politics. He was interviewed by Goudarz Eghtedari in the eve of the take over of Gaza by Hamas forces (June 14th, 2007). He commented on the situation in Palestine after this conflict and about the future of the Peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Wednesday June 6th at PSU, 7:30 PM

The American Iranian Friendship Council, the Iranian Studies Advisory Board and the Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University proudly present:

Professor Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University
"At Home in the World: Iranian Cosmopolitan Culture"

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 at 7:30 PM
Portland State University,
Smith Student Union 338 (Vanport Room)
SW Broadway and SW Montgomery, Free

(free parking in PSU structure after 7 PM)

Professor Dabashi's talk will be based on his latest book "Iran: A People Interrupted," a political and cultural history of Iran (2006). Other well-known examples for Dr. Dabashi's 14 books include Authority in Islam; Theology of Discontent; Truth and Narrative; Close Up: Iranian Cinema, Past, Present, Future; Staging a Revolution: The Art of Persuasion in the Islamic Republic of Iran; Masters and Masterpieces of Iranian Cinema; and an edited volume, Dreams of a Nation: On Palestinian Cinema. An internationally renowned cultural critic and award-winning author, his books and articles have been translated into numerous languages. A selection of articles and interviews is available at

Born in1951 into a working class family in the south-western city of Ahvaz in Iran, Hamid Dabashi received his early education in his hometown and his college education in Tehran, before he moved to the United States, where he received a dual Ph.D. in Sociology of Culture and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. He wrote his dissertation on Max Weber's theory of charismatic authority with Philip Rieff (1922-2006), the most distinguished Freudian cultural critic of his time.

He is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York, the oldest and most prestigious Chair in Iranian Studies. He has also taught and delivered lectures in many North American, European, Arab and Iranian universities. In the context of his commitment to advancing trans-national art and independent world cinema, Professor Dabashi is the founder of Dreams of a Nation, a Palestinian Film Project, dedicated to preserving and safeguarding Palestinian Cinema.

A committed teacher for nearly three decades, Professor Dabashi is a public speaker around the globe, a current affair essayist, a staunch anti-war activist. He has two grown-up children, Kaveh and Pardis, who are both Columbia University graduates, and he lives in New York with his wife and colleague, the Iranian-Swedish feminist, Golbarg Bashi and their daughter Chelgis, who will join him for his Portland visit.

Monday, April 09, 2007

April 2007 Show

Western Left and Iranian Liberalism - lessons to learn
KBOO 90.7 FM
Thursday 4/12/07 6:00 PDT

Click here to listen to a recording of this Interview!

If you are interested in the topic of Iranian Liberalism and Western Left, I am interviewing Danny Postel writer of the book "Reading Legitimacy Crisis in Iran" on my radio program on KBOO 90.7 FM at 6 PDT coming Thursday 4/12/07 program is webcast at click on the listen live icon. Danny has just come back from a two weeks trip to Iran in March. Just to give you an exposé to the book, I suggest following review by Rafia Zakaria.

Danny Postel is a journalist and critic living in Chicago. He is a Senior Editor of openDemocracy, an online global magazine of politics & culture; a Contributing Editor to Dædalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences; a member of the editorial board of The Common Review, the magazine of the Great Books Foundation; and an Editor-at-Large of Stop Smiling.

In 1991 he was on the editorial collective of Left Green Notes, the magazine of the Left Green Network. From 1996-1999 he hosted Free Associations, a weekly radio show in Chicago about politics, culture, and books. In 2000-2001 he was editor of philosophy and then history & humanities at, the late online magazine of Encyclopædia Britannica. From the fall of 2001 until the spring of 2003 he was a staff writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education, where he covered philosophy, history, political theory, Middle Eastern studies, and African studies.

He has taught journalism at Columbia College in Chicago; English as a Second Language at St. Augustine College and at the Howard Area Community Center in Chicago; and Spanish in a Chicago elementary school. He is the author of Reading Legitimation Crisis in Tehran: Iran and the Future of Liberalism, forthcoming from Prickly Paradigm Press in October, and the editor of The Shadow of Kosovo, an anthology exploring the debate amongst leftists over the Kosovo war, forthcoming from Cybereditions.

Reading Legitimation Crisis in Iran
Iran and the Future of Liberalism

Wednesday 4 April 2007
Rafia Zakaria

An indictment of the Western Left, which has abandoned Iranian liberals in their fight for freedom and democracy.

IN unravelling the grand universalism of the Modern project, post-modern thinkers arrived at a conception of authenticity that eschewed the imposition of Western ideas on the misunderstood `other'. They proclaimed the death of universalism and left behind a philosophical legacy that presented diverging paths for the Western and non-Western world. For the Western Left, the acknowledgement of complicity in the exploitative projects of colonialism and the recognition of the distorted perspectives of orientalism brought in its wake an unquestioned veneration of those aspects of the non-Western `other'. For the non-Western world, the post-modern legacy meant the rejection of all that bore the imprimateur of the oppressive `other' and led to a search for a pre-colonial truth unmarred by Western influence. In the ideological confusion that followed, religious fundamentalism clothed itself in the robes of authenticity and produced a political discourse that thrives on the crude evaluative principle that ideas have singular geographical sources that dictate the status of their authenticity and relevance. In countries such as Iran, anti-imperialist arguments have been appropriated by theocracy and religious faith manipulated as a means to delegitimise any and every form of dissent.

The unfortunate geopolitical cataclysm resulting from these divergent prescriptions and the subsequent stagnation of the Western left are the subjects of Danny Postel's short volume entitled Reading Legitimation Crisis in Tehran: Iran and the Future of Liberalism. Based on an engaging play of words, the title of the book draws from liberal philosopher Jurgen Habermas' volume entitled Legitimation Crisis and Azar Nafisi's recent book Reading Lolita in Tehran. Postel argues that observing liberalism through an Iranian lens reveals the failure of the Western Left to emerge from the myopia that prevents it from accepting the reality that the `other' can engage with and have indigenous connections with ideas that may be punctuated by similarity rather than difference. In honing in on this, Postel identifies how the limitations that bound the orientalists of yore have indentured a new breed of Western leftists in a different but equally lethal servitude. These new prisoners, indoctrinated to expect only difference from the `other' are as indignant in their fervour to discard similarity as their orientalist predecessors were to fetishise the `other'.

In a succinct but hard-hitting argument, Postel uses the case of Iran to illustrate how liberal movements within Iran have begun the arduous but necessary political project of extricating liberal ideas from the snare of automatic delegitimisation at the hands of fundamentalist theocrats. Postel frames his introductory argument against Nafisi's brilliant explication of how reading any text within a certain context, regardless of its distance from the point of production, provides novel insights and sources of introspection. In Nafisi's own words: "[T]he West's gift[s] to us have been Lolita and [The Great] Gatsby, while Iran's gift to the West has been reasserting those values that you now take for granted." The dialogue between civilisations thus construed is not as a reductionist exchange of two alienated `others' defined solely by their differences. Instead it emerges as an interchange in which "landscapes and localities undergo symbolic metamorphoses, and that experiences once localised at a given place increasingly find echoes or resonance chambers among distant societies and peoples".

Postel goes on to describe how the "renaissance of liberalism" taking place in Iran relies not simply on a blind and ravenous consumption of the writings of liberal thinkers such as John Stuart Mill, Isaiah Berlin and Karl Popper. It is instead a process that combines the ideas of liberal thinkers with liberal concepts in Iranian history. Postel's use of this dual approach, which indigenises liberalism through an analysis of the liberal origins of the Iranian constitutional revolution of 1905-1911, gives liberal ideas an identity that is both authentically Iranian and contextually relevant. Through interviews with Iranian intellectuals such as Ramin Jehanbegloo - in jail since 2006 for his support for liberal ideas - Postel guides the reader into a country where a resuscitated liberalism is the subject of vibrant debate amid an engaged public that is hungry for reform and committed to the liberal principles of respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

The most astute argument presented by Postel is his revelatory account of how Western leftists, by prioritising their own opposition to American imperialism, have abandoned Iranian liberals in their fight for freedom and democracy. Postel vehemently renounces the argument that support for pro-democracy interests in Iran somehow amounts to supporting the neo-conservative agenda. He presents engaging ideas as to how Iranian liberals have accomplished this very task. He relates in detail how Iranian human rights activists such as Akbar Ganji shun any contact with the United States government when visiting the country and focus solely on engaging with scholars, human rights organisations and civil society groups. Postel recounts an incident in which Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, during a visit to the U.S., was confronted by an anti-war protester who suggested that she stop talking about human rights abuses in Iran because her arguments could be appropriated by the neo-conservatives. Ebadi's response was clear and unequivocal: "Any anti-war movement that advocates silence in the face of tyranny can count me out." Iranian intellectuals, despite being in the direct line of fire of the neo-conservative military agenda, are demonstrating that fighting the expansionist military agendas of the Bush administration does not require silence about the injustices perpetrated by the Iranian regime.

. Western Liberals' silence

This same conundrum confounds Western liberals. They, as Postel documents, have been silent in the face of repeated student protests in Iran, imprisonment of Iranian activists and numerous other human rights violations that should have logically attracted their support. They are so locked in the singular prism of anti-imperialism that they are unable to make peace with the idea that it is liberalism rather than radicalism that is the true fighting creed in Iran. They are even less amenable to the reality that "the denunciations of U.S. Empire in Iran today are the rhetorical dominion of the Iranian Right, not the Left". As Postel states, "it is the reactionary clergy who wield the idiom of anti-imperialism and regime hardliners [who] legitimate the suppression of Iranian students". This aversion to recognising reality in Iran has exacted a huge cost; it has delegitimised the Western left and exposed its disinterest in championing the cause of Iranian liberals and pro-democracy fighters who suffer daily at the hands of an increasingly repressive regime. Postel exposes how the insistent prioritisation of anti-imperialism over all else has produced a repugnant inversion of itself - a new form of imperialism equally blind in its U.S.-centric perspective as its ugly counterpart.

Postel's conception of the `other' imperialism draws heavily from his discussion of Janet Afary and Kevin Anderson's book Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism (University of Chicago Press, 2005). The connection to this recent work that documents Foucault's writings on Iran and his naïve fascination with the Iranian revolution as a positive project of "political spirituality" is important because it places the current reluctance of the Western left to get involved with Iran in the context of post-modern philosophical thought. As Postel argues in his discussion of Afary and Anderson's work, Foucault's stance on Iran was marked by a rejection of the scepticism that characterised his stance on Western institutions of power. Instead Foucault adopted a heady and misguided optimism that embraced theocracy because of its sheer "difference" rather than its ability to govern equitably and respect human rights. The discussion of Foucault's encounter with Iran is also important because it presents how post-modern philosophical estimations of the `other' have evolved out of what is judged by Westerners to be most authentic about the `other' - in this case the most exotic and most different aspects of Islam. Despite its brevity, Postel's work raises urgent questions about the orientation of the Western left towards pro-democracy movements in different parts of the world. He deftly deconstructs how judging the "other" through the ethnocentric lens of Western philosophical ideas and political imperatives is to blame for the geopolitical messes that define contemporary world politics. Opposition to neo-conservative agendas and military intervention should not mean ignorance of local forces fighting oppression from a different source. The result of the configuration that Postel exposes is that engagement with struggles for liberty and the rule of law has been duplicitously cast in `all or nothing' terms. Involvement is equivocated with supporting the neo-conservative zeal of the Bush administration and opposition is understood as the knowing ignorance and lack of support for those who may fight a different but equally repressive enemy.

This book is a timely indictment of the Western left's apathy, which justifies itself by constructing a deceptively dualistic model of Western engagement with the world. The time has come for the emergence of a new "radical" liberalism that rejects such misguided political perversions and reclaims the right to both engage with the struggles of human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists in Iran and elsewhere, and denounce the Bush administration's tyrannical politics of military intervention.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bread and Roses March 16th, 2007

Gabriele Ross interviews Jamila, Isra, and Saba 3 women from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran about the situations in those countries after the war on Iraq and Afghanistan and the likelihood of an attack on Iran.

click here to listen!

Friday, March 09, 2007

March 2007 Show

From "the End of History" to Neocons Orientalism

Listen to this interview -Click Here! or go to!
I interviewed Professor Hamid Dabashi on March 8th, 2007 by phone as part of my KBOO 90.7 FM program “Voices of the Middle East.” The main occasion for the interview was the recent release of his book “Iran, a people interrupted.” by the New Press. The book is mainly the bicentennial history of Iran, but it also refers to more than just the History. It covers a parallel path of political as well as cultural and literary developments in Iran.

Dr. Dabashi is definitely a committed believer of Edward Said’s view point of anti-colonialist critique of Orientalism, a person he worked with at Columbia. He is at the center of recent controversial criticism of American Neo-Conservatives and their Iranian counterparts. His passionate responses to my questions about this issue came after a more detailed inquiry of his critique of the Fukuyama’s notion of the “End of History”.

We started with philosophical bases of his book such as the struggle between Modernity and Tradition and concluded with the US tragedies in the Middle East and his solution to end that catastrophe. I am offering this recording to the young-generation-Iranians living in the US and Europe as well as those who find access to the Internet elsewhere in response to Dr. Dabashi’s specific interest to outreach to them.

Born on June 15, 1951 into a working class family in the south-western city of Ahvaz in the Khuzestan province of Iran, Hamid Dabashi received his early education in his hometown and his college education in Tehran, before he moved to the United States, where he received a dual Ph.D. in Sociology of Culture and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.

He is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York, the oldest and most prestigious Chair in Iranian Studies. Professor Dabashi has written 12 books, edited 4, and contributed chapters to many more. He is also the author of over 100 essays, articles and book reviews in major scholarly and peer reviewed journals on subjects ranging from Iranian Studies, Shi’ism, Medieval and Modern Islamic Intellectual History, Comparative Literature, World Cinema, Trans-aesthetics, Trans-national Art, Philosophy, Mysticism, Theology, Post-colonial Theory and Cultural Studies.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Attacking Iran? If I did it, here is how!

An article by Gouidarz Eghtedari analysing the situations regarding Iran and threat of a US-Israeli attack, @ (click here)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

February 2007 Show

US moves to prepare for an all out attack on Iran. Is this threat real? Who benefits from it and why? Goudarz shares his prediction based on information he has acquired in the past few months.

Click here to listen to this all commentary and talk show.