Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gauging Reprecussions of “Fallout”

Recent activity shows that both the primary goal and unexpected secondary goals of my “Dumb vs. Dumber” series have had their effects. The primary goal of using satellite images obtained from the internet to ascertain the Naval strength of Iran and america has been suprisingly fulfilled, while other countries have been updating and/or censoring their satellite images.
Within days of the last article Yahoo uncensored Bandar Abbas. In viewing the images there, which were clearly from the summer of 2007, one saw that Iran was very active with it’s Naval forces. The Jamaran FFG is seen in the final stages of fitting out, and one will see an Alvand class FFG, Tariq class SSK and some Ghadir class SSK’s, Bayandor class FF, 2 Hengam class LST’s, 2 Charak class LST’s, a Bandar Abbas class LS, and several PT craft. In addition the Iraqi LST kept as a war trophy has been moved. Such a low inventory of combat warships shows the bulk of Iran’s Navy was out on active patrol.
On May 21, 2008 google/wiki updated their images of Bandar Abbas, which clearly were taken in 2008. In viewing them I saw the Jamaran active, all 3 Alvand class FFG’s in different berths, a Bayandor class FF getting underway, 2 Tariq class SSK’s 2 Ghadir class SSK’s, 2 Yugo class SSK’s, all 4 Hengam class LST’s, the Corvette Joshan, 6 Charak class LST’s, an Iran class LST, both Bandar Abbas class LS, and several PT Craft. In addition the Kharg and a Kangan class LS are both visible outside Bandar Abbas underway on maneuvers.
As of my writing this MSN, Ask, and other online servers which provide satellite images have yet to allow images of Bandar Abbas on their sites. From what is visible in Yahoo and google/wiki is that Iran’s Navy is active and capable, alongside Iran’s armed forces, of defending Iran. The question is can Iran maintain the ability to defend itself.
In viewing america’s Naval bases one sees that the images of most of them are regularly updated, with little manipulation done. The ones that have been regularly updated are Groton, Norfolk, Newport News, San Diego, Bremerton, Everett, while other Naval facilities are seldom or never updated. While little has changed, as one will still see a large power projection of american warships in base, it is the fine details worth noticing. For instance on google/wiki the USS George H W Bush CVN is visible in the final stages of fitting out before comissioning, San Diego shows the Midway CV in port as a Museum Ship, yet only LHA/D ships are in port and no CVN’s. Plus key facilities like Bath, Pascagoula, Kings Bay, New Orleans, Pearl Harbor, Guam are not updated. MSN and Yahoo are not regular updaters as well, so the american navy appears to have something to hide.
In terms of updating their Naval facilities other countries are selective. On google/wiki Russia has only updated St. Petersburg, China Dalian and Zhanjiang, India Mumbai, Japan Kure, Brazil Niteroi, Chile Valparaiso, Singapore, Malaysia Lumut to name a few of the more important ones. What stands out are when smaller bases are updated in favor of larger bases and when censorship begins to occur. Examples of the former are how Thailand has updated Songkhla but not Sattahip, where the CV Chakri Narubet is based, and Bangkok, or how australia has updated darwin but not perth. In terms of censorship Taiwan has begun to censor Tsoying and Portugal Lisbon. Of note also is how China has improved the image resolution on Qingdao and Spain on Ferrol but neither have updated their images. Considering the vandalism that goes on google/wiki by putting up false info by the cabal of 400 nodders that run it it is understandable the reluctance for these countries to update their images ongoogle/wiki. Most noticeable is how MSN and Yahoo have made some updates to their images which are more useful. For instance MSN has updated Yokosuka to show the CV Hyuga fitting out before being launched. Dakar is updated to show the French CV Jeanne d’Arc and The German DDG Hamburg, 2 Bremen class FFG’s, and the Berlin LS in port during maneuvers on MSN and Yahoo, but for some reason not on google/wiki.
This however does not explain the reluctance of other online servers, maniny MSN and Yahoo, to censor some locations there. Most notable is MSN. There France has an interesting way of censoring it’s naval bases. Initialy, it cut out the images of it’s bases, now it has blurry images up of most of it’s active ships and includes old images, as of the ex CV Clemenceau at Toulon. Even more odd is how Spain censors Cartagena on the Birds Eye view on MSN, allowing one to view the Descubierta FFG and the Peral but the Naval facilities themselves are censored. This despite the fact that Yahoo has now updated images of Spain’s naval bases, albeit only old images are shown, particularly at Ferrol where no server has made updates to show the CV Juan Carlos I which is fitting out there. In viewing MSN’s Birds Eye satellite one notices quite a bit of censorship and image manipulation. Examples of these locations include Den Helder, Wilhelmshaven, Kiel, Rostock, Renfrew, Esquimalt, plymouth, sydney, Everett, Norfolk,, Newport News, San Diego, Bremerton, Taranto, La Spezia, Goteborg, Copenhagen, Groton, Portsmoutn NH, Bath, ME, New Orleans, where one will see images in 3D by switching to Birds Eye, but in order to print one must click the print preview on the browser screen, not the MSN print.
It is easy to understand the censorship on google/wiki because of the vandalism there, as one does not want to leave onself open to the harassment, defemation, and slander of the wikifreak mafia. Sites like MSN and Yahoo are another story, for they at least have responsible users, but in censoring they are showing a lack of responsibility. As ever the future is uncertain.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

To National Geographic regarding Iran negitavely portrayed in August 2008 issue

The cover story of your August 2008 issue about Iran, while presenting many excellent pictures, portrays Iran in an inaccurate and negative manner. Given the tradition that National Geographic has of being respectful Iran's history is inaccurately documented, indegenous terms not used like they are for other cultures, and people who are among the dregs of Iranian civilization are quoted.
First, the cover lists the story as "Ancient Iran Inside a Nation's Persian Soul" and makes frequent use of the terms "Persian" and "Persia". The terms "Persian" and "Persia" are a Greco-Roman patronymic for the correct terms "Farsi" and "Fars" for the province from which Kurush ruled and conquered other territories to form the Iranian empire and modern Iran. The misuse of indegenous terms continues, Hakhamanish as Achaemenid, Daryush as Darius, and Kurush as Cyrus, and in the last term you quote on page 49 jendeh ebadi, who's promoting dubious human rights abuse stories has hindered real action on human rights, to use the western Cyrus instead of the indegenous Kurush. The historical inaccuracy continues, your map has the territorial extend for all the Iranian empires, Parthian, Sassanian, Samanid, and Safavid which are mentioned. Though it is good to see Takht-e-Jamshid listed alongside Persepolis on the map the indegenous Darya-e-Fars should be there alongside Persian Gulf. Also the province boundaries are not clear and Mazendaran is mispelled.
Even worse is the regurgitation of the spoon fed myths about 1953 and savak. Mossadeq was NOT the head of government, as under Iran's constitution, which was forced upon Iran by the british and Russians in 1906, the Prime Minister/Vizier Bozorg was simply the head of the Majlis, Iran's legislative branch of government, and had no executive function outside the Majlis. By allowing units of the Iranian army to be placed under his control and allying himself with the Tudeh in a plot to overthrow Iran's legitimate government Mossadeq made himself a criminal. It was Iran's own government which requested CIA and foreign assistance in 1953 to remove that criminal Mossadeq, not some plot of foreign origin as is mentioned on page 65. Even worse you quote kuspedar rezaei, who's magazine over the past 2 years has become an ersatz for other Iranian news sites and built PersianMirror by taking advantage of the work of other writers she freeloaded off of, on page 65 to back up your statements instead of viewing articles there like the ones I published to get a more accurate perspective.
The information about savak on page 66 is inaccurate as well. The creation of savak was proposed by Mossadeq in 1951 but was rejected by Mohammed Reza Shah. After the Mossadeq debacle of 1953 Mohammed Reza Shah authorized the creation of savak in 1953 and it became a fully functional organization in 1957, instructed by british as well as american and isreali instructors, and was initially under the directorship of Teymour Bakhtiar, who tried to use savak to overthrow Mohammed Reza Shah, and despite Mohammed Reza Shah disoosolving savak in 1978 and many savak leaders being executed by the islamic revolutionaries many savak agents continue to work for savama and many savak instructors work abroad, including in america.
The description of taroof is presented inaccurately as well. While there is a polite side to taroof which is described in the article, taroof is also used negatively by people who make presents to someone then use the gifts as an excuse to take advantage of them or attack them.
One last inaccuracy is all the modern countries which were ruled by Iran. They include Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Pakistan, Lebanon, israel, Palestine, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Bulgaria, and parts of Greece, India, and Russia.
In this day and age when Iran and Iranian civilization is under attack misrepresention of Iran is nothing less than an attack. For a magazine with an excellent reputation for accuracy as National Geographic this lapse is not a welcome one and is as distrubing as the overfocus on Afghanistan and Central Asia in your 2001 Marco Polo feature shortly beofre the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by america and the instillation of american military bases in Central Asian nations was then. Clean up your act.
Peter Khan Zendran
Author, "Iran; The Lion of War"
Editorial Contibutor Emeritus, PersianMirror