Comments on: America’s spies and a language crisis Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: terrance Fri, 18 Mar 2011 22:21:53 +0000 Hello.
Iran is not a complicated country and the Persian Culture is pretty much the same as it has been for many centuries.
When the world realises that Iranians are Persian and not Arabs that may start to change the way people view Iran.

Persian Culture is one of tolerance and respect for other cultures, languages and beliefs.

Cyrus the Great was a lover of Culture and respected the Gods of other Nations. He showed great respect for the God of the Jews, releasing the Jews from captivity in Babylon in 539 BCE.

Israel owes a lot to the Persian King Cyrus, and many Jews respect and understand this fact.

I have traveled to Iran many times and have had many conversations with people from various walks of life. They all have one thing in common, they are not happy with the way things are in Iran.

The structure of the Persian language is full of gracious speach and salutations which when spoken to me In Tehran, Ehsfahan and Shiraz touched my heart.

I am British. All my family are British, I have no blood ties with Iran however if there is one culture the human race should be proud of it is Persians.

When you want to engage a child in conversation the best way is to get down on their level so as not to intimidate them.
The same is with cultures, learn to interact and respect the differences without dictating and dominating, whatever needs to be said will be accepted more readily.

A few weeks ago a few Somali men were talking near an area where i happened to be. some people were intimidated by them. One caught my eye and i smiled, he smiled back and i asked him where was he from. I asked him about Somalia and his family left behind. I learnt more about Somalia in five minutes than ever before. Also i broke down a barrier. I even could disagree on many points respectfully regarding the Koran and he respected my view.
Its all about respect.
Good intelliogence is born from respect.

By: Frank Wed, 08 Jul 2009 19:55:37 +0000 To even consider that Iran is this extremely elusive, secret, and somehow complex entity is totally absurd at best. American intelligence simply does not have the prowess to enter that realm of understanding with any certainty of accomplishing anything worthwhile. Look at the alleged weapons of mass destruction saga that the CIA said Iraq had by the hundreds. Hmm, none were found, so they quickly stated that the weapons must have been transported to Syria, yet there was absolutely no evidence of such activity. What we have is just another aspect of the poor American work ethic at work in the federal government. Iran is no match for any modern country in any form – military, education, government, etc. Speaking the language is simply a matter of schooling.

By: desoto Wed, 08 Jul 2009 15:50:26 +0000 The “brutal repression” part took me back to the good old days of Kent State, 4 dead, and Jackson State, 2 dead. What was the title of Gore Vidal’s book?, oh ya, United States of Amnesia.

By: George Edward Stanley Wed, 08 Jul 2009 02:33:00 +0000 Why Americans cannot make the connection between knowing foreign languages and having better relations with people who speak those languages I simply cannot fathom. Cameron University has one of the few Persian/Farsi (plus Dari and Tajik) programs in the country, but the enrollment is still small (and one of the US Army’s largest posts, Fort Sill, borders Lawton on the north.) Arabic is growing on our campus, but Russian isn’t where it should be. No surprise, really. After the Cold War ended, who needed to speak Russian?

By: Al Mohd Tue, 07 Jul 2009 13:11:02 +0000 Hi

At last someone spoke about the process and confusion of many Linguist face when they apply a linguist position at Fed/contract. You see, I am 1st generation Somali Linquist. I’ve been told that I did not pass the poly test due to drug related question. I was surprised when the examiner insisted me to admit something I’ve never done it. Finally, I told him – If my answer is not enough to you and your machine then my services are no good to you.

There are cultural and attitude problem to those examiners as well. I can not speak for others but my experience taught me not to Volunteer my services when it is not…….

It is not like I needed the job but I wanted to give back something to this great country of mine who have give me everything I have.

Anyway, thanks for speaking out this problems.

By: Roman Mon, 06 Jul 2009 01:37:59 +0000 Reading sydney’s response, I must conclude that the Iranians are far better at training their regime-sponsored bloggers to learn English, than what the post suggests about CIA.

Seriously, the Mossad? Somebody has forgot that Israel is less than New-Jersey sized country with 7 million population, and quite a handful of countries trying to wipe it off the map. No, I don’t think the Mossad can cause civil unrest in a 67 million people large Islamic theocracy.

Oh, and in English, they start the first letters in names in uppercase, sydney.

By: Rhoops Sun, 05 Jul 2009 13:46:41 +0000 I’m suprised that the USA has such a problem in appreciating contemporary Iran. Both countries have a strong religious fundamentalist core after all!
Perhaps the problem is that the ruling secular liberal establishment in the USA is so fanatical (as it appears to an outsider) in its ideological opposition to its own fundamentalists, its hardly suprising that it fails miserably to understand the attitude of a country ruled by them.

Maybe the USG needs to find a few ambassadors outside the East Coast political cliques, some who have a more open and empathetic attitude to the strong religious cultures of the Middle East.

When we rather reluctantly ran most of the Middle East in the 30’s with a few squadrons of clapped out bi-planes, we had a thing called ‘Arabists\'(and an educated preference for brains rather than $billions). Unfortunately US ‘Arabism’ appears to have been domestically annihilated by its peculiarly absolute adherence to the cause of anti-Arab ‘Zionism’- and then you act all suprised at your diplomats and international institutions not understanding Arab and Persian perspectives…

I always thought the USG ran an intelligent self interested 30 year forward looking oil/economic based strategic foreign policy, but having spent $trillions paying for the construction in the Middle East of an entire modern state in the resource/oil free E. Meditteranean littoral, whilst managing at the same time to have virtually no diplomatic expertise available in Persia, and only recently in Iraq and Saudi… I’m beginning to wonder.

By: Elvira Fri, 03 Jul 2009 19:38:18 +0000 This is a problem that goes beyond the intelligence community, though it must be something of an embarrassment that agencies spending more than a combined $1 billion a week (sic) on stealing and analyzing secrets can’t somehow figure out how to cut through the red tape of the security clearances.

The deeper problem is an American educational system which neglects language studies, gives little prestige to language teachers, and is based on the assumption there’s no need for students to learn foreign languages because most of the world is learning English.

By: Jon Vaughn Fri, 03 Jul 2009 06:35:48 +0000 When are the media’s “experts” ever going to actually study history and get their facts correct? This is 68% nonsense and 32% disinformation.

By: Kanwal Chopra Fri, 03 Jul 2009 01:20:40 +0000 Real issue at hand is not lack of suitably qualified and trustworthy agents to do an acceptable job for the intelligence agencies in the USA. Its a lot more to do with providing a sensible explanation for US foreign policy failure on the Iranian front. In fact, more the US is able to tie around the Iranian government to settle their house, more it sees the benefits accruing on the real front: Afganistan. Its a time buy out exercise so as to engulf Iranians on both sides of the border and then dictate terms for world trade.
All that’s missing at the moment is a legitimate looking, strong military presence on Afganistan-Iran border for the now relieved, returning troops from Iraq interiors. At the core of all this exercise lies the dreaded outcome that no western country wants: opening of land based trade lines between India, middle east and China. Helping out Pakistan/Afganistan to control their terrorism opposing forces is only a ploy to gain a foothold in both countries so as to make sure the trade lines stay closed for as long as possible.