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Postre: Thailand Update; on Terrorism (Massoud Malek, US; ex-Iran) (John Eipper, USA, 09/29/07 10:33 am)
Massoud Malek writes:
Greetings to all from the Southern Thailand.
Since it is not presently possible to go to Burma, soon I will be
going to Malaysia instead. My wife and the baby will join me there.
Thailand is becoming quite expensive. The US dollor lost over 25% of
its value against Thai money in less that a year. I am spending $4 an
hour to check my emails. But I am quite happy and relaxed and I love
Here are my reflexions on recent WAIS topics:
There is no doubt that al-Qaeda is a terrorist group responsible for
many tragedies such as the 9/11 attacks and the "Bush-Cheney
Amendment" to the "First Amendment" of our Constitution.
Almost every day, our President, Vice President, Secretary of State,
most politicians, the French President, the British Prime Minister,
and the German Chancellor are telling us that the country of my birth,
Iran, is a danger to humanity and is the cause of many terrorist
acts. In order to save our civilization, Iran must be stopped in its
dangerous act of producing the nuclear bomb. This translates (for
some) to bombing Iran, which may kill some of my family members.
I would like to ask my fellow WAISers a few questions about terrorism:
1. How do you become an anti-terrorist expert? Do you go to some
seminars led by anti-terrorist experts? Are you taught a kind of
psychology that is not taught at universities? Or just watch some
2. How do you distinguish between a terrorist and a patriot, a
freedom fighter, or a revolutionary?
3. Was Che Guevara, whose death was described as a fiasco in this
Forum, a terrorist or a freedom fighter?
4. Before becoming the President of Cuba, was Fidel Castro a terrorist
or a revolutionary?
5. How do you classify JFK, who was responsible for "The Bay of Pigs"
fiasco? Was that fiasco a terrorist act against Cuba or just an
invasion like the one in Panama by George Bush, the Elder?
6. Those Iraqis who are fighting against their invaders are considered
terrorists or patriots?
7. Is the Hezbollah of Lebanon a terrorist group fighting against
Israel inside of Lebanon, or do its members just terrorize Israelis
inside of Israel?
8. Are Palestinian suicide bombers terrorists or freedom fighters?
9. Is Israel a state that terrorizes Palestinians or is it just trying to
protect its citizen from Palestinian terrorists?
10. Should we fight a concrete danger called al-Qaeda, or stop an
abstract terrorist concept, called Iran?
JE comments: I am very glad to hear that Massoud Malek is doing well
in Asia. What is the buzz there about the present unrest in neighboring
Burma/Myanmar? Also, a Malaysia update (when Massoud gets settled in)
would be most welcome. In the meantime, Massoud has left us with a
'decalogue' of extremely piercing questions...the answer to most of
them, I fear, is one of my Spanish language students' favorite in-class
replies: 'depende' ['it depends'].
-- For information about the World Association of International Studies
(WAIS), and its online publication, the World Affairs Report, read its
homepage by simply double-clicking on: http://wais.stanford.edu/
John Eipper, Editor-in-Chief, Adrian College, MI 49221 USA