Portraying Iranians as insects


Daniel M Pourkesali
by Daniel M Pourkesali

To: gsheller@dispatch.com, michael.ramirez@investors.com

Dear Mr. Sheller,

Your dismally pathetic "one response shuts them all" reply to letters of objection regarding the display of the genocide-inciting cartoon at the top of the Opinion page in your September 4th, 2007 issue of The Columbus Dispatch only added insult to injury.

First, let me assure you sir that I'm not writing at the behest of any certain group or organization but solely on behalf of our shared humanity in the meager hope that I may arouse some level of moral decency at your paper that would, at the very least, offer an apology to the 70 million Iranian people you have offended.

Second, evident from your reference to "Iraqi regime's support of violent extremists and terrorists throughout the Middle East", may I recommend that next time you rush to defend a vile and depraved hate-mongering cartoon like the one by Mr. Michael Ramirez, at least have a semi vague understanding of the people being dehumanized.

And finally, is it really an exercise in "intellectual gymnastics" to see this cartoon for what it really is? Is there a fundamental difference between portraying a group of people as cock roaches inside the pages of Columbus Dispatch in 2007 versus a reptile on the cover of Nazi Germany's Lustige Blätter Magazine in 1943?

Disgustingly yours,

Daniel M Pourkesali
Leesburg, Virginia

Dear sir or Madame:

Thank you for writing to The Dispatch.

You apparently are responding to a call from the Council of American-Islamic relations to write to me and to cartoonist Michael Ramirez to complain about a cartoon about the Iraqi regime's support of violent extremists and terrorists throughout the Middle East.

CAIR claims the cartoon demeans all Iranians as cockroaches. But since the drain cover depicted in the cartoon is clearly labeled with "Iran" and "extremism" it is clear that the cartoon refers only to those elements of the Iranian regime who support extremism. In other words, it doesn't come close to labeling all Iranians as cockroaches.

CAIR also likens the cartoon to Nazi propaganda. This is a remarkable display of intellectual gymnastics. Iranian President Ahmadinejad has called for the destruction of the Jewish state and questions the Holocaust, while his regime tries to develop nuclear weapons. If CAIR is truly concerned about the promotion of Nazi ideas and the use of Nazi methods, it should direct its attention to Tehran.

CAIR's claims that its mission is to promote understanding of Islam and combat anti-Islamic information and anti-Islamic attitudes. That's an honorable mission when it is directed at legitimate grievances.

In this case, CAIR has misrepresented this cartoon and missed the mark by fabricating a false grievance.

All the best,

Glenn Sheller
Editorial Page Editor
The Columbus Dispatch


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it has nothing to do with

by Anonymous on

it has nothing to do with irainans,

how many iranians live in afghanistan and iraq and syria?

what your saying is just propaganda

this cartoon shows the mollahs influcence in the region and their desires to create instability for their benefit

majority of iranians in the region outside of iran live in DUBAI UAE,

howcome theres no cockroaches on there??

wild guess, mollahs are invaders who are not iranian!!!!!!!

you ppl wasting your time on the most insignificant issues while ignoring the bigger picture!


To Ghorbe_Pashmalo - be careful about making threats...!

by sk on

I just read your comment and felt very aggravated. Just because a couple of people
spoke in a way that wasn't in your wave-length, you're making threats?!! To
report them to the "authorities"?! And who the hell is this "majestic" WE you're
talking about? You and who? Some schizoid like yourself? If you're so against
the Mullahs and their way of doing things, how come you JUST acted like one of
those ANTENS yourself? You just threatened to report a few people to the
authorities based on a harmless back and forth debate on a posted item on an
online magazine. Isn't that democracy? Isn't that why we're here instead of in
Iran so we can these sorts of exchanges? And who the hell died and made you the
law?CALENTURE mahali?! Maybe we should report you to the nearest sanitarium to
fetch you and get you your anti paranoia medication. If you're so pro this and
pro that which supposedly holds in its crate all there is about democracy, so
why are you acting like a Hitler's Youth? You should be ashamed of yourself. I
am hardly a political man and usually don't get into these arguments but
the last two sentences of your comment made my blood boil. This sort of behavior
has led Iran to be a place which is now. You call people spies, and yet you
openly act like one. One piece of advice; becareful about that threat talk, and
becareful who you threaten, brother. It very easily might come back and hunt
you. Now go get a life...



by Gorbeh_Pashmalo on

They can find you...!?

Maybe I am the real IRI!/ So far, you haven't been able to tell with certanity, have you?


Why are people like you and

by manesh on

Why are people like you and jigsaw always talking about Israel? What does it have to do with a newspaper in Baltimore calling Iranians cockroaches?  What is your point?

And, what "authorities" are you going to report people to?

If you have trouble coexisting with people who disagree with you 

maybe you are the real IRI. 


It is just the beginning....

by Gorbeh_Pashmalo on

The American forces have already started engaging the forces of the Islamic Republic terrorists (as this cartoon rightfully so depicts as cockroaches). So, the question is when not if the massive bombing of the mullahs, the IRGCs, their thugs and supporters inside Iran will start? The news of the Israeli air planes being fired upon over the Syrian air space should be an indication that the all assault on the mullahs and their weapons of mass destruction is around the corner. The sad thing is that a country like Israel that was a friend of Iran 28 years ago has become an adversary purely due to the belligerence of the criminal regime of the Islamic Republic. Thanks to the mullahs for making so many enemies around the world over the past 28 years. But this time, it is the end of the mullahs and their criminal ideology. Now, as for the treasonous supporters of the Islamic Republic of Mullahs (e.g., Tinoush Mowlaee, Nahid Shafiei, Daniel Pourkesali, etc.), we will report them to the authorities to be rounded up and quarantined as spies and security threat to America


Infantile manesh

by jigsaw on

manesh: Is that the best you can come up with? Btw, your incoherent diatribe is embarassing. Don't bother replying. I don't have time for sophmoric debates. Fahmidi???


yes I do jigsaw

by manesh on

It is obvious in the cartoon.   

you are obviousely not Iranian ... u r a suspiciopus charachter

take ur fifth column elsewhere .. 



by jigsaw on

This issue was covered thoroughly here and here.





 Do you truly believe the cartoon depicts all Iranians as cockroaches? Even the most rudimentary comprehension indicates that cockroach analogy refers only to Iranian incitement of conflicts in neighboring countries and not to the Iranian people as a whole.



Incomplete cartoon... some of the cockroaches are in USA.....

by Gorbeh_Pashmalo on

This cartoon doesn’t depict all the locations in the world the cockroaches have infested. Some of these cockroaches have even penetrated America.
Case in point, the author of this protest letter!