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Friday, December 16, 2005


When I disregard my personal motives for the mistrust in Mrs Farahnaz Karimi's integrity to fit the role of a representative of the Tons and Jans of this land I fall into a morass of inconsistencies which other people might be tempted to name lies, a chilling space where with little or no imagination at all one can literally sense (for me same as "see") tarantulas of terror comfortably webbing their networks. Faranhaz Karimi, 45, is a (Persian-born) member of the lower house of the Dutch parliament (Tweede Kamer) and is the spokesperson on foreign affairs for the leftist Groen-Links party. She is busy (a Dutch euphemism) with international co-operation and development (in Dutch: Ontwikkelingssamenwerking, a part of the Ministry of foreign affairs which spends some 8% of the budget on projects in various countries), European affairs and defense (military and strategic aspects of the kingdom inclusive NATO and other EU-force activities).

Neat, is it not, for someone who between 1981 (say March or May) until late 1983 was an active member of the Mujahedien e Khaiq, a notorious terrorist organization. This may be so and then it may not be so at all. Tell me if you have heard that the Mujahedien e Khaiq used to issue admission slips or membership cards. If they did that, they might have also issued dismissal or acceptance of resignation letters with signed and stamped document for returned books, codes, technical or other equipment, solemn vows and oaths. I do not believe that Mrs Karimi has any of those.

We arrived here the same year, 1989, when Ruhollah Khomeini died. I came in this country legally: a journalist who was appointed representative of the Yugoslav National Tourist Office for the Netherlands. My obligation and aim was to spend 2,3 million gulden every year on promotion of the physical beauty and the hospitality awaiting the Dutch in places like Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia. She came in this country, of what I know, illegally. Her aim was to get into politicsbecause as a child she had seen poor people on her way to school. She succeed.

Now, I bring this because, as a journalist (I still carry the cards of both the macedonian and the International Federation of Journalists) I continued to write about various events and people around me. When Desmond Morris, then the director of the London Zoo, wrote the preface to his "Naked Ape" book, he decided to make an interesting remark. He said something along these lines: "There are 267 apes and monkeys. One of the apes is naked and boasts with being the "homo sapiens". Nevertheless, naked or not he still is an ape. I am a zoologist and I will treat him for what he is". Thus, Farahnaz Karimi is a public person and I will write what I think about her behavior as such.

Morass of inconsistencies
Of what she let it be known, Mrs Karimi family background is well above average. Her father was a landowner around Garros (a place which I cannot find on the maps nor on all of the Internet) where she was born on November 15th, 1960. By the time she was six she said she went to a primary school in Tehran. One would imagine that a rich father who strongly supported the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini would be very strict in raising his offsprings whether male or female. The member of such a family would be devoted muslims I reckon. Young Farahnaz could do little, if anything, to oppose such an education, way and philosophy of life. Thus, she must have been formed as a devoted Shia muslim. Her father who was a staunch supporter of the Ayatollah would not have been worth his salt if he would have allowed his family to disintegrate from inside. Or young Karimi was a natural into disguising her real views, her true self in the society swarming with the spying eyes and ears of the SAVAK, the mullahs, the family and the school?

Or was there another reason for her being so successful in shading firs her newly found revolutionary flames and allegiances? Could it be that she left the strict and sheltering home of her father? How, under what conceivable circumstances would a rich landowner in Iran allow, out of a sudden, somebody, actually anybody to take astray his (no adjective here) daughter? By the summer of her last year in high school Iran was in frenzy. The end of her first semester at the Technical University of Isfahan (she chose Industry Design) was the end of the last emperor on the Peacock throne. Mrs Karimi is proud of claiming she did fight against the shah of Iran and his "White Revolution" her landlord father hated so much because among other things it also meant redistribution of land to nearly 3 million landless peasants. We know the consequences of the overthrow of the monarchy. By February 1st Ruhollah Khomeini was the first Muslim cleric in modern times to create an Islamic government based solely on his personal conception of what such a government should entail.  Descended from the Mussavi Sayyeds, a family tracing its lineage from the Prophet Muhammad through the Shiite seventh imam, Musa al-Kazem, Khomeini became an architect of late twentieth century Islamic "revolutionary" thinking.   

Soon after she was with the Mujahedien e Khaiq. There is not a hint who financed her between 1978, after leaving high school, till 1983 when she married and eventually ran out of Iran. Nor there is much about the sources of her existence for the next six years, when she came to The Netherlands. She covers some 14 years of her life being enrolled as a student following "industrial design", "math", "policy-making and administration of international organizations", "general studies" while she was also a mother, a wife and a revolutionary I believe. This last activity is particularly interesting but you will not find a word about it. Her prominence to politics must have invited at least some of her former Khaiq friend to turn to her to say "hi" if not ask for a favor. Did she, does she keep any contacts, discuss the old times, the ideas they shared?

Interrogative style
Mrs Farahnaz Karimi enjoys phrasing her questions in the shape of a circus knife-thrower and then hurls them at her victims whenever she sees fit to do so. Of cours, she refuses to answer the question send to her (repeatedly) by this journalist, To illustrate her manners and style I will use a fraction of your time. This is how mrs Kartimi approached Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, now the Secretary-General of NATO, then the minister of foreign affairs of the Netherlands:

In which framework the president of Kazakhstan visits the Netherlands? Who had invited the president of Kazakhstan? Is that op Dutch initiative? If so, why?
Upon an invitation of the "regering" President Nazarbayev of Kazachstan will make an official visit to The Netherlands on 27 and 28 november.

Which members of the government will have talks with the president of Kazachstan?
The president will have bilateral talks with the prime-minister. The delegation talks will be attended by the ministers of foreign affairs, economy, finances, agriculture, environment and fisheries and transport and chanal-network. the ministers of foreign affairs will have separate talks. In the preparation of this visit the Ambassador for human rights had met with a delegation of Kazakhstan opposition.

Are you informed about the international controversy of the detention of the journalist Duvanov in Kazakhstan
During the visit we shall point to the human rights sphere within which a number of specific cases including the detention of Mr. Duvanov.

Do you share the opinion that the human rights in Kazakhstan are not respected and that the visit under whatever excuse is not wanted?

If I were the minister (and a rich man) my secretary would have sent Mrs Karimi a short letter stating that the minister is very busy for this set of interrogatory questions and let her better wait till the visit is over and make sure she is in parliament when His Excellency will brief the members about this visit by a very, very important head of state she should best show maximum respect while he is official guest of Her Majesty's Government. And then my secretary will be free to call her secretary for coffee and use the opportunity so say that she has a hunch that the minister and all around him find Mrs. Karimi a (and here you can feel free to put any depletive if you are badly mannered).

The point, though is not in throwing insults. The point is why should she be in advance informed who will meet the guest? Why? What does she want to use that sort of information for? Exert pressure? The only use of such an information is to approach or threaten those who will meat the president of Kazakhstan if they do not comply with what? Where is there her role as a policy maker? She thinks that the invitation sucks, stinks should not be there. Fine. Let her go to the parliament and speak up. Or that is not what she had learned while among the Mujahedien e Khaiq?

Then her interest in Sergey Duvanov's case. Sergey Duvanov, the journalist. As if "a student" or "a teacher" or "jobless" would be less important. Probably 90% of his fellow-journalists out there are trying their best to climb as close to this mogul in Alma Ati as it is imaginably possible. Being journalists does not make them saints and freedom-fighters, does it? The guy was detained for screwing a minor. In the netherlands only girls under 13 are safe from predating PE teachers who like to cajole them into sex. Everything above that rape age of womanhood goes and Mrs Karimi had probably voted with both hands to pass that stance into law. He was sentenced and after a year or saw was banished to live in a village with a restricted radius of travel. Of what I recollect she intervened because there was this guy who was a rep out there of a Dutch NGO called MilieuKontakt Oost-Europa. That NGO MilieuKontakt used their rep in Macedonia to trick me into translating something for them and refused to pay the hard-work. I tried to have mrs Karimi put two and two together and see that defending these people from MilieuKontakt is a tricky business - but she refused to even answer. Why? Because the boss of that MilieuKontakt is some Jerphaas Donner who may be and then may be not connected with the important Donners around here. He revealed himself to me as a guy I would never like to meet and would not accept even a painted walnut from his hands. I do not care whether you know what do I mean to say, but I mean it.

Thus: these alliances make the backbone of Mrs. (what was her name) ah, Farahnaz Karimi. The Groen-Links spokesperson on foreign affairs, defense, international money assigning and the rest. She is probably the most significant Iran-related power-broker out of the ruling circle in Tehran. That is how we come to the hottest issue for world peace.

Ahmadinjead and Faranhaz
Just before last year's Christmas recess the parliament in The Hague went along with Faranhaz's lobbying and allocated €15 million ($20 million) for Iranian TV-program from the Netherlands. Despite alegedly "strong" opposition by the Ministry of foreign affairs, the parliament supported the bill (Groen-Links are NOT a coalition party) for a ludicrous project pushed singlehandedly by Mrs. Karimi. The money and the basics behind the project are such that the whole concept speaks (to me) volumes of disturbing stories about the climate in the Dutch Second Chamber. First of all the money is not under Government control but is given to Iranians (in The Netherlands) to produce a TV program (in The Netherlands) which will be transmitted (from The Netherlands) for Iranians (in Iran and elsewhere around the world) or, better, those Iranians who speak Farsi. Get it?
Do not say "yes" if you are not sure. Ok, that is better.

Farsi is only ONE of the 71 languages registered in Iran. Full 69 of them are actively spoken nowadays and 2 are extinct. The most widely spoken language is Azerbejdjani or Azeri (23,5 million) then Farsi (nearly 22 million) Luri and Kurdish (6 million each) Gilaki and Mazanderani (3,2 million each) Turkmen or Turkish 2 million and so forth. You remember that Iran has a population of 78 million. So, who is it possible that the clever people we have elected to the Tweede Kamer did not place some amendments to the bill and asked, say, equal time for Azeri and Farsi, one third of that time for Luri and Kurdis and so on? Or the reps did not even care what languages were spoken out there? Or they trusted Faranhaz Karimi knew what she was doing or what she was telling them? Or they simply throw taxpayer's money away because Faranhaz's spell over them or what?

Now, that is finished. With a TV-station which is everything but her own, with her hand-picked staff and program directed to Iran, Mrs. Karimi is obviously somebody with power. There are not very many of those individuals who can wield a $20 million media hurricane at a country. My father used to say: "It is not responsible the one who eats the pie but the one who gives it". The point is not so much how did she persuade the parliament to give her the money as much how can it be that the parliament does not ask her to explain what did she do with the $20 million? Was shem with her two years "Industrial design" in Isfahan some 20 years ago, the warranty for professional TV-programing? How many professional iranian journalists live and publish TV-content in this country?
Since Mrs Karimi will not, is there anybody to enlighten me about journalism as a profession? If you believe that anybody can step in front of the TV lights and cameras, just tell me and then we can cut the subsidies for this SChool for Journalism where (i hear) Volkskrant former editor is a professor. This whole question is fully public domain because I can plead or scream for all I want Mrs Karimi and the Tweede Kamer will simply ignore me. There is not much sense telling the parliament that they should have spent the money on establishing personalized service for coping with the electronic maii sent to the members by the taxpayers. And maybe the representatives of the people are right. Once you give in to popular demand there is no going back. The voters will ask for more.

So, what is the connection with this Farsi-spoken Dutch-based/payed TV with this alarmingly dangerous statement, Ahmadinjead's call for annihilation of the state of Israel? the connection is Faranhaz. She declared that “The project is not political, but concentrating more on human rights, freedom and democracy” stressing that the new television would not be against the Iranian regime. And furthermore, quite along the perverse standards of any school of duplicity she added the project has “nothing to do with the (Dutch) government”. This means that she takes me for an idiot.

The minister-president could abort the bill (if he only wanted to) by counter-weighing it with a confidence-vote. It cannot be that his own majority in the parliament will throw him out on that issue. If he knew that they would do that - he would resign and there could be no vote at all but he would carry on as a demised, caretaker PM with a fine election issue: how far will these immigrants push the patience of the Dutch? And he could in one go sweep both sides - the left and the right muslim and christian radicals. What Azeri, Luri, Kurdi, Mazanderani or Farsi for that matter when we live here on 6,85 euro a day!

Thus, this Dutch-tresury-financed Farsi program which will not be against the Iranian regime will keep silent about the call by this president for annihilation of Israel: people, culture, all? On "Roozonline" mrs Karimi will meekly say that "Even after the passage of two weeks, Ahmadinejad’s comments continue to reverberate around the globe. At a seminar in Tehran last month, he called for the removal of Israel from the face of the earth....Such a hard-line stance angered many, even those who are known to be critical of Israel’s policies. ... A look at the personalities and world leaders who condemned Ahmadinejad’s stance on Israel demonstrates how widely such remarks and ideas are unacceptable. Oh, that is what worries Mrs Karimi: not the idea itself but how widely it is unacceptable?

Is that so, Faranhaz of the Groen-Links? (You, geachte lezers, know that this was a rhetoric question I could not resist, didn't you!) I have read Faranhaz's text We all need to take some solace that eventually no one can full the world all the time. And concentrate on solving this immediate danger for our future. A bloody or totally unpredictable nuclear confrontation may be in the offing.

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