Girl In Space Makes Hard Liners Sari

Many Iranians, including much of the state media, are cheering the flight of X-Prize co-founder and telecom bazillionaire Anousheh Ansari. Ansari, who was born in Iran but left for the United States at the age of 16, is the first Muslim woman to slip the surly bonds of earth, and will hang out at the International Space Station for eight days. The newspaper Hambasteghni calls Ansari's journey "a source of pride for all Iranians," while the state TV news agency IRIB gave her launch extensive coverage. Night Sky, an astronomy show on Iran's Channel 4, did a live interview with Ansari the day before she took off.

That's got some guardians of all things decent pissed:

Jomhouri Eslami [newspaper] said the coverage of Anousheh Ansari, who on Monday became the world's first female space tourist when she blasted off on a Russian rocket, had caused astonishment in Iran.

"The persistence of IRIB (the state broadcaster) in exaggerating the trip of a rich Iranian woman who lives outside Iran and has gone to space with a Russian cosmonaut, has aroused people's astonishment," it said.

"The concern emanates from the fact that IRIB's behavior may lead to creating a role model for our boys and girls, while in our revolutionary society there are many women able to build airplanes and to perform other big industrial tasks with the least of facilities.

"It is expected that IRIB officials consider the repercussions of such role model-making," the hardline paper added.

There are some interesting points in this criticism. For one, the complaints are not Islamic but patriotic—the notion being that Ansari's a bad Iranian for living in America and flying with Russians. It's also notable that instead of objecting to a woman's going up to space with a bunch of men, Jomhouri Eslami is bragging about how Iran creates these same opportunities for women. The whole complaint about how revolutionary society needs its women to toil for the glory of the nation sounds more like something from the old Pravda than something from a Shiite cleric. That doesn't make the complaint legitimate, but it's a reminder of how Iran differs from its Arab neighbors: It's an actual country, where the people think of themselves as part of the country. Be glad the paper didn't criticize her for insider trading.

Related: The Mohamedans had the atom bomb when your ancestors were still painting themselves blue and living in caves.

Ansari says Don't call me a space tourist, dammit! I'm a space flight participant!

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  • ||

    As a proud part-Celt, I undoubtedly have moderately distant relatives who are painted blue and living in caves right this instant.

  • ||

    I've posted here before about how I was of assistance to a Ruth Buzzi Persian librarian here in Sinincincinnati. And I may have mentioned I have a one-legged cousin happily married to a Persian in Hong Kong.
    So, what's my point?
    Dubya is a retard.
    His bro, the Guv of FLA, should have been President right now.
    It's hard to imagine how the doo-doo would have been as deep.

  • ||

    How do they treat the ethnic arabs, kurds, gays, and adulterous women? Yeah, it fabulous there....

  • ||

    Related: The Mohamedans had the atom bomb when your ancestors were still painting themselves blue and living in caves.

    Tim, I think you're a little too far to the East to use that quote. Also Thugs weren't Muslim.

    It was time you were taught the error of false movie references!

    KAAAAAALIIII MAAAAH!

  • ||

    Whoops! Correction! Iran is WEST of India!

  • aspendougy||

    Having socialized with visitors from Iran, this much can be said; most of the people are fed up and disgusted with the hard line Mullahs, but they very much fear the U.S. Military as well. How many people with the same potential as Anousheh Ansari will we kill if we bomb them?
    Let's hope doo doo Bush doesn't do it.

    Our Constitution says all men are created equal. That's why we shouldn't bomb. The Mullahs survive and the Anousha Ansaris get killed.

  • ||

    How do they treat the ethnic arabs, kurds, gays, and adulterous women? Yeah, it fabulous there....

    Somebody writes about how one society sees collectivist revolutionary nationalism versus the flavors of another nearby one, and he is supposedly saying that it is fabulous there?

    How do they treat Reading Comprehension deificiency in schools here? It's not fabulous, I guess.

    A good illustration indeed of what Orwell wrote on all nationalism, including our own types: "any implied praise of a rival organization, fills him with uneasiness which he can relieve only by making some sharp retort." Exhibit A.

  • ||

    Having socialized with visitors from Iran,

    Visitors from Iran? Don't you think that your sample of Iranians might be a little skewed? Those that can afford to take a trip to the US and have had the educational background to learn English are probably not representative of the entire nation. Before our invasion of Iraq one could not be blamed for thinking Iraqis were secularists yearning for democracy.

  • ||

    The people of Iran are decadent and have fallen from the Path of Righteousness! It is not meet that this woman should travel into space in the company of a man not her husband -- God forbid! For consorting with infidels in space, she should be meteoroided.

  • ||

    But I would not feel so paranoided,
    Everybody must get meteoroided.

  • ||

    BBG, that is funny.

    I envy anyone with the cash to go into space.

    It's funny that the Iranians govenrment is trying to convince its own people that they have as many, if not more, opportunites under the Mullahs than an Iranian who has gone to the West.

    It's noteworthy that after the casualties of the Iran-Iraq war, there is a large percentage of the population that was born after the Islamic Revolution, and they would like the mullahs to give them more freedom. We should encourage those people.

  • ||

    I read somewhere the other day that Zoroastrianism is making an underground comeback in Iran. It is hard to imagine anyone discrediting Islam as a religion than the baboons who run Iran. I have several friends who grew up in Iran. They hate mullahs to, but think the people of Iran are hard headed enough to defend them against a foreign power even though they despise them.

    If I were an Iranian I would be very worried. They are being held hostage by a radical, oppressive minority running the country. If the people running Iran are as crazy as they appear to be, and I think they are, it is the Iranian people who will pay the price in blood in the form of the massive retaliation that would result from the lunatics running the country nuking the U.S. or Israel. The crazy little midget talks about how he would sacrifice half of Iran not himself to destroy Israel. In a better world the people of Iran would rise up and hang everyone of those miserable bastards from lampposts and be done with it.

  • Jennifer||

    They hate mullahs to, but think the people of Iran are hard headed enough to defend them against a foreign power even though they despise them.

    Why is that hard-headed? I despise Bush and his administration, and think they're doing terrible things to this country, but if a foreign power started dropping bombs on America I'd damn sure rally behind the President rather than say "Thank you, foreign power, for bombing my home and my neighbors into rubble! Thanks for wrecking the economy--it's not like I need money or my job anyway. Oh, and you know how in that other country you invaded you've been rounding up random men on the street and making them disappear into secret prisons? Well, I totally hope you do that here, too. Bring it on, foreign invaders!"

  • ||

    Jennifer,

    You don't have a clue. We do not live in a totalitarian regime. You may think it is but that is only because you don't know what one is. To compare defending this government to defending the government of Iran is beneath response. If you hate Bush so much and think this government is comparable to Iran, move there. Hell Iran is a nice place in many ways. Quite beautiful I hear and according to you there is no difference in the quality of the government or the freedoms enjoyed by the people, so why not? I know the language issue and the job issue is a problem, but hey at least you would be on the right side of things according to your warped logic.

  • Jennifer||

    You don't have a clue. We do not live in a totalitarian regime.

    I never said we did. I'm simply pointing out that for all that I dislike the current government, I wouldn't look too kindly upon foreigners dropping bombs on my country, trashing the economy and killing my fellow Americans. Why should the Iranians be any different?

    By the way: does it ever bother you, the knowledge that you're often incapable of debating what people actually say, so you must instead invent strawmen and expend effort knocking those down instead?

  • ||

    Jennifer,

    You don't have a clue. We do not live in a totalitarian regime. You may think it is but that is only because you don't know what one is. To compare defending this government to defending the government of Iran is beneath response. If you hate Bush so much and think this government is comparable to Iran, move there. Hell Iran is a nice place in many ways. Quite beautiful I hear and according to you there is no difference in the quality of the government or the freedoms enjoyed by the people, so why not? I know the language issue and the job issue is a problem, but hey at least you would be on the right side of things according to your warped logic.

    Please refer to Matthew Hogan's post above. You might also reread Jennifer's post, as you've completely mischaracterized it.

  • ||

    I read your post and am quite aware of what it says. It is just so God damned offensive that it deserved the mischaracterization that it got. Of course people will defend a government they don't like. No kidding. You completely misuderstood my point. God forbid you talk about anything without turning it into a bitch session about Bush. My point is that generally when people hate a government and the government is evil enough their is at least a possibilty that they will rise up and wipe it out regardless of foreign pressure or cooperate with foreigners to get rid of it. That may not be the case with Iran. The fact that you would still defend this country even though you don't like Bush means nothing since this government is in no way comparable to the Iranian govenrnment. Put the Mullahs in power here and you would probably look at things a lot differently. I sure as hell would.

  • Jennifer||

    My point is that generally when people hate a government and the government is evil enough their is at least a possibilty that they will rise up and wipe it out regardless of foreign pressure or cooperate with foreigners to get rid of it

    Sure there's a chance they'll rise up, and I hope they do. But if we invade the country, that's the best way I can think of to make the Iranians rally behind their current leaders. Likewise, if someone invaded America today you'd see Bush's approval ratings jump a good 60 or 70 percentage points overnight.

    But misreading what I wrote is more comfortable for you, no dount. Seeing the world in black and white is so much easier than admitting the existence of shades of gray, huh? There's no way Iranians can have conflicted thoughts like "I love my country but hate the guys in charge of it." No, such subtlely is the exclusive province of Americans.

  • James Traficant||

    We've got Iranians in space and the commenters are still arguing about straw men? Beam me up, Mr. Speaker.

  • ||

    "By the way: does it ever bother you, the knowledge that you're often incapable of debating what people actually say, so you must instead invent strawmen and expend effort knocking those down instead?"

    I am on your side on this particular thread Jennifer, but this behavior you attribute to John is hardly one that he alone practices in. I dare say that both you and I have participated in similar activity on one occasion or another.


    However,
    "It is just so God damned offensive that it deserved the mischaracterization that it got."

    If John is being honest here, then...

    Mischaracterization due to the difficulties of discourse is one thing, mischaracterization on purpose just makes one a feckless twit.

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