Chroniques de la décadence

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, The Death of the Ayatollah-Maker

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By S. Hesam Houryaband, The death of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in the beginning days of January 2017 marks a political turning point in Iran, the ramifications of which are yet to be felt nationally and internationally.  But one thing is clear: Rafsanjani’s death provides another massive political opportunity for Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to finally consolidate total political power in the country. Ironically, although it was Rafsanjani’s political manoeuvring and masterminding efforts which paved the way for Khamenei to become Supreme Leader after the death of Ayatollah Khomeini,…read more

The Niqab Is Hijacking Canadian Elections

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By S. Hesam Houryaband. One of the most delicate, yet irrelevant topics in the 2015 Canadian federal elections has the potential to divert attention from real issues facing Canada and Canadians. The subject of niqab has been a recurring point of discussion in almost all of the televised debates between the heads of political parties, with candidates showing vague to firm stances on the matter. Throughout the years, Canada and Canadians have accommodated millions of immigrants with various cultural and religious backgrounds. There is a general tolerance for immigrants and their…read more

The Persian Gulf Arab States and the Regional Refugee Crisis

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By S. Hesam Houryaband. In recent weeks, tens of thousands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees have flooded the gates of Europe, escaping the worsening humanitarian crisis engulfing Syria and Iraq. Millions of Syrians and Iraqis have been hard hit by the civil war in Syria and Iraq, as well as the threat posed by ISIS. To date, according to UNHCR, approximately 5 million Syrians have left the country seeking refuge in neighboring states, or making their way to Europe. Faced with the impending waves of refugees, several European nations have felt…read more

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Looks Like You Sold Your Soul To The Devil!

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By S. Hesam Houryaband. On April 28th, 2015 in an interview with Charlie Rose, Mr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, discussed the human rights situation in Iran and much to my astonishment and millions of others, he bluntly stated that, “We do not jail people for their opinions.” And as if that statement wasn’t enough, Mr. Zarif went on to say, “And I believe it is important for everybody to respect the rule of law and to allow the political process, the judicial process in Iran to run its course.”…read more

On the Best Sort of Freedoms

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By Robert Ravensbergen Hot off the heels of a rollicking thought or two about classical republicanism, it struck me that its great acolyte Nicollo Machiavel had a great many thoughts about the virtue of republican citizens themselves, that in their political compacts and though availed of many freedoms, they were meant to trust and love one another, working together in a lose unity which could celebrate the individual without failing to give him or her the very redemption they sought in the broader community. The pragmatism and political stabbing tournament…read more

God and Superman

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Par Robert Ravensbergen « Olympianism is the characteristic belief system of today’s secularist, and it has itself many of the features of a religion. For one thing, the fusion of political conviction and moral superiority into a single package resembles the way in which religions (outside liberal states) constitute comprehensive ways of life supplying all that is necessary (in the eyes of believers) for salvation. Again, the religions with which we are familiar are monotheistic and refer everything to a single center. In traditional religions, this is usually God; with Olympianism,…read more

Fortress Polis

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By Robert Ravensbergen “A national culture, if it is to flourish, should be a constellation of cultures, the constituents of which, benefiting each other, benefit the whole.” – T.S. Eliot, Notes Towards the Definition of Culture A politics that was impenetrable to culture would suit our current establishment. The efforts towards constitutional states in the West and across the world do not necessarily agree with the tendency of cultures to change underneath institutions, and to then set about taking them over. Persisting in most cultures with states, and with individuals,…read more

When War Comes Home: Showtime’s ‘Homeland’ is Back

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Claire Danes is back in the second season of last year’s hit show ‘Homeland’ in which she plays the part of a psychologically unstable, pill-addicted, CIA intelligence officer Carrie Mathison whose self-assigned mission is to prove her own ‘intel’ over a recently freed American prisoner of war; Nicholas Brody, played by Damian Lewis, who has been turned and is a sleeper fighting for the enemy. Season 1 of Homeland had everything a political-espionage-psychological drama has to offer. The show’s 1st season was good enough to receive 9 Emmy nominations and that…read more