No offense

No offense
by Jahanshah Javid

I got an email today from the U.S. Central Command. I'm not kidding you:

to me

8:21 AM


What do we need to do in order to have some of our articles posted on your site.  Please let me know.




I just replied that we don't publish articles from government/military sources. Then I got a thank you message back and I said: You're welcome, thank you for asking. I mean really, the U.S. Central Command was actually very polite to ask. And I'm flattered (little scared!). 

Truth is that I have tried to keep free of any government influence. There are always articles from people who take the side of this or that government, but they are individuals who believe in what they are saying. 

I do not know 99 percent of the people who write articles or blog on But I can tell that the same 99 percent are "real" individuals. They may have nutty ideas sometimes (often) but a lot of my own ideas are off the chart too, so I'm not going to judge anyone (there are exceptions!).

So I'm sorry to be turning down the U.S. military, but I don't believe they should be writing articles for the independent media. I do publish articles from analysts who work for pro-U.S. think tanks. They present U.S. policy much more effectively and genuinely. It's a matter of legitimacy and integrity. 


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And what is wrong with that?

by tsion on

I mean they don't hypnotize you from your monitors do they? They present a case, let's say very skillfully. At the end, it is still a case that others can dispute, argue against or "expose" as much as they like. So again, what is it that is so wrong in it?


Anonymous Observer


by Anonymous Observer on

Iranians in the U.S. are the most educated immigrant community according to the 2000 U.S. census.  Here's a link:



Blogs are CentCom's new target

by Mash Hassan (not verified) on

Blogs are CentCom's new target. We're 2 years behind on this email perhaps. See link below about centcom's interest in blogsphere from St. Petersburg Times, Florida.


rosie is roxy is roshan

It's not really about CENTCOM and that's clear in the blog..

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

It doesn't matter what CENTCOM's specific agenda is UNLESS you're using it as an example  of the extremes to which allowing GOVERMENT AGENCIES IN GENERAL to publish here can arrive. Which I believe you know, Kaveh, but I want to make that very clear.

Because if people think it's about CENTCOM,they're just not getting it.

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

Why would Centcom want to post articles on an Iranian-oriented website? The only reasonable answer is so they can attempt to present U.S. policies regarding Iran and the Middle East in general to the Iranian community in the most favorable light they can. It's not so that they can publish articles on the latest combat technologies or innovations in body armor.

The U.S. has a public image that honestly sucks right now. Especially in the Middle East. I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. Whether it's Centcom or any other government entity, "image is everything". And how do you create or change that image? By catering to a targeted demographic. And  we are that demographic.

We're arguably the most affluent immigrant community in the U.S., as well as the most educated (in terms of college degrees). Despite the collective accomplishments, achievements and successes realized here in the U.S., there's still a tremendous overall attachment to Iran, with most of us probably having several or many relatives who remain back home.

Centcom wants to exploit that connection by publishing their articles here. That's why they approached Jahanshah. They know that if one of us reads their material, it stands a  pretty good chance of being brought up in the weekly phone call to Iran, where it will slowly but surely make its way around. At least that's what Centcom is aiming for. When you think about it, it's an attempt for the U.S. to get into and hopefully (for them), eventually influence public opinion in Iranian society, using what is seemingly the most benign approach around.

And you know that if that were allowed to happen, even just once, every government agency with an agenda, be it an obvious one or a hidden one, will be looking to do the same thing.


Still only a case of prejudice

by Shoud have (not verified) on

As I have mentioned before, your explanations JJ are simply further confirmation of your censuring based on your personal prejudices on clear display in

You wrote:

---Tsion, this is not a case of "guest authors".

There is no problem if a person with a real name and official title from the military, government or intelligence community submits an article. In such a case, we would know exactly who they are and what they represent.

But I don't believe that's what US Central Command is looking for.

U.S. government/military information agencies produce publications in Iraq (and other countries) and have paid other media outlets to run articles favorable to the U.S. These publications and writers do not identify themselves as U.S. dependents. They present themselves as independent journalists.

I don't want to open to that kind of official propaganda.---

What a complete lack of understanding of what freedom means. Of course the New York Times would publish articles from the US Central Command. They would be accepted in the form of advertisement. If your concern was what happened in Iraq or if it is that would be used as official propaganda, then you could have immediately said, sure, just that we will create a section for you where it is made very clear that this is from a government agency, the US military specifically, and asked for money too. Again a win/win situation.

Furthermore such a comparison is absurd to begin with. When you buy the New York times you do not see a blogging section, now do you?

Finally, at the end of the day, is most certainly a censured and a biased site based on the prejudices of JJ. And it should not be expected to be any different. It is a private site it has the right to censure as it pleases, and it does. The latest is simply the latest example. The irony is that just how few Iranians understand the point.

rosie is roxy is roshan

AnonFish, an observation..

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

You wrote: if an INDIVIDUAL from the government post something on, it's a PERSONAL opinion.  personally, i don't want to see a government sponsored agenda here. you CAN go directly to their site.  also... you're making the assumption that Obama DID'NT ask to have a post here...:

If Obama wants to write a love letter to he can do that IMHO.. As you indicate he is an individual elected by the people. He's supposed to let the people know what's on his mind however he feels like it.

However no, as regards MOST xubmissions from "individuals" in government agencies. THeRE ARE NO INDIVIDUALS IN MOST GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. They are only permitted to and only speak the party line. publicly. One wrong word, and they're toast.

Of course there's always a gray area. What if Vali Nasr writes a love letter to ic? That's not an outrageous scenario. He has been one of the best-known political analyists on Iran for years. Published everywhere. But now that he works for the State Department HE NO LONGER CAN SAY WHATEVER HE WANTS. So...?

Gray areas, like always. But you do have to draw a line in the I'd probably go with Nasr but not Joe Honcho from Centcom.

Sincerely yours,



If you say so, Kaveh

by tsion on

but can you perhaps explain a bit further? It would be a dangerous precedent for what exactly? Why is it dangerous and why there is no going "back" once that "line" is crossed?


Anonymous Observer

Kaar dast-e khodet daadi

by Anonymous Observer on

now you will be bombed by a B-2 stealth bomber!  :-)

rosie is roxy is roshan


by rosie is roxy is roshan on


because if no one has, what's the discussion?


Kaveh Nouraee

It's Really Simple

by Kaveh Nouraee on

Allowing any material from government sources (other than something we as individuals might attach as a point of reference in a thread, perhaps) sets a very dangerous precedent, where once that line were to be crossed, there's simply no going back.

Jahanshah made the right decision in declining Centcom's request. It wasn't just the right choice, there's really no other choice.


Mr Javid don't let them get their feet inside the door.

by FreePress (not verified) on

It probably was their first step to test the water. You were smart enough to bring it to light and let everybody know. If they get your confirmation they may go to step two which may involve cooperation from you. You made the right choice and we support and appriciate your decision.

anonymous fish

i've always been curious

by anonymous fish on

about WHOSE lap dog you are?  i think it's obvious now.  :-)

asking a question is hardly arguing.  there are plenty of people who tone IS aggressive (including moi when i'm pissed off) but Bijan????

come on!  finish your java and come back making some sense.  i just don't get this automatic generalization of being a zion if you agree with Zion.  goes back to my question time and time again, do YOU want to be catagorized with any specific group or ideology?  because dude... it can be easy done.  :-)

mooshe.  you're just plain mean.

zion.  you just like arguing for arguing sake.  there is a huge difference between opening yourself to a governmental platform and individuals posting personal opinions.  if an INDIVIDUAL from the government post something on, it's a PERSONAL opinion.  personally, i don't want to see a government sponsored agenda here. you CAN go directly to their site.  also... you're making the assumption that Obama DID'NT ask to have a post here...:-)

i think "psych op" is just a wee bit

toofan... i'm still waiting to hear from you.  you and lap dog... you remind me of dogs walking down the street.... stopping to pee here and there and going about your day.  come on man!  defend your own words!!!

rosie is roxy is roshan

You're missing the fundamental point REVISED

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

THE FUNDAMENTAL POINT is that the United States as I said below in my seond long post and as you know, has a system of checks and balances between the three branches of government: the executive, legislative and judicial. They MONITOR and RESTRICT each other's power.  They're not supposed to ENHANCE it. A member of Congress serves on a Foreign Policy COMMITTEE which MONITORS the State Department. He cannot work for the State Department There CANNOT be overlap.

Journalism is the fourth check and balance. It exists (for the purpose of this discussion) to INFORM the electorate ABOUT the  government FROM ITS OWN PERSPECTIVE, not from the government's mouth, so that the electorate can MONITOR the government.

There seems to be some confusion here that just because "nothing is sacred" anything goes. The site can publish anything from extreme right to extreme left and it DOES, THE ONE THING THAT DOSN"T GO IS ARTICLES FROM GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. INDIVIDUAL ELECTED government officials, that's different. representative from the House is not a mouthpiece for Congress, he's him.GOVERNMENT AGENCIES NO. Doesn't MATTER how kooky the site is. IT WOULD SET A VERY DANGEROUS PRECEDENT 


Am I missing something here? Has anyone EVER seen an Op Ed piece in a newspaper signed Federal Bureau of Investigation.?



Agha Mooshe are those Rashti jokes?!

by Lefty Lap Poodle (not verified) on

When you say;

Jamishid Boland; do you mean Jaw meesheed Boland? as in; hey long john silver you'll fit?!


Koorosh Bozorg, you mean Koo Rosh Bozorg?! as in; where is long john silver on top of her?!

You are so naughty!



by Agha Mooshe (not verified) on

You have an 'i' and a 'n' in common with Zion. By pushing the discussion into her way with a falsely different tone, I'm wondering how much you think you have fooled us?

In Pinbehdaneh of the maxim Shotor dar khab binad Pinbehdaneh, ghahi loof-loof khorad ghah daneh-daneh, too, there are an 'i' and a 'n' as in 'Zion'.

Other avatars available:
Hooshang Zerang
Jamishid Boland
Koorosh Bozorg

We have plenty others if you are short of ideas, tell us we'll provide you much more.


You mean they have not been here yet?

by Centcom agent (not verified) on

So who did you think I was all this time?!!


Exactly Bijan

by tsion on

Those were just straw men put up only to be torn down. Nothing else. This is not whether this site is infringing on the cent com's right to speak! It's ridiculous!

The issue was this: What difference does it make if an opinion is by a "regular" American or a representative of a government organization, if it is one among many that are open to discussions and criticism by everyone else? And what kind of "covert" operation would this be if they ask for permission to write stuff under their title and with clear knowledge where the idea is coming from.

[Oh and I don't know know about you, but if Obama's team had asked permission to write stuff here to "reach out" to the Iranian community as "part of the diversity that makes America great" etc. to promote the hope and change and whatever, I don't think they would have been refused by such childish excuses. Agenda indeed!]




by Lefty Lap Poodle (not verified) on

"My intention is not to argue, it is just to learn and understand."

Then I go and argue! "Are they waging a psych operation?" Sure they are just like you are always needy claiming being a student ;-)

Bijan A M

Thanks, Q

by Bijan A M on

For your post (minus a few jabs here and there…). It was informative and made some sense. If I get your point correctly, this site should stay clear of organized governmental groups because the only reason they would be here is propaganda and most likely psychological operation. My intention is not to argue, it is just to learn and understand.

If JJ had agreed to post a centcom piece, would it have created a legal obligation that would have forced publication of any submittal? Would have he lost the right to moderate or delete the post? If not, what remains is the fear of psychological operation. 

I have no idea how a psychological operation is conducted, but I assume it is intended to steer people’s perceptions into a given direction. You know a lot better and can help me or anyone else by some examples.

How are freedom of speech and the first amendment relevant in this debate? We are not talking about the RIGHT of government, or any other poster on this site. We are just debating the principles. Forget about centcom for a second. Let’s say an official of Basij, Sepah, IDF, or even Obama Administration requested to post an article here. Would we decline them because they are organized groups, or, because we don’t want to become guinea pigs? How would we lose independence if we are the ones who decide what will get published and what will be deleted?

There are many respectable and outspoken posters on this site (yourself included) that subscribe to certain philosophies and beliefs and very eloquently express their views. Are they waging a psych operation? 

Thanks for your time and insight.


Marge you sexy thang! Why

by Hairy (not verified) on

Marge you sexy thang! Why not slip into something more comfortable and change your avatar to these pics of you?! love ya




Jahanshah Javid

Right on!

by Jahanshah Javid on



A word about Centcom and freedom of speech

by Q on

First, to Parthian and anyone else who feels deprived of this valuable information it is right here on their website, complete with a Farsi section: //

Would they want to put anything on that they wouldn't also put on their own site? Of course not, that would be too obvious. Therefore, you can bravely "break" Javid's "censorship" by visiting the website yourself. (While you're there, why don't you try leaving a comment?)

Are these just regular Americans who want to exercise their free speech and contribute to this site, even under their military rank? No, I don't think Javid is saying there would be any permission necessary for that. (See Programmer Craig)

So, what we have is an organized government propaganda operation, exactly the same kind as they were doing covertly in Iraqi news papers until the whistle was blown there.

At least they have the integrity to ask to do it officially here. Same could not be said of propagandists for other countries which have been subject of discussion lately...

Freedom of speech and first amendment never have applied to the Government. These were created so the people can use it against the government, to petition their government, not the other way around. Domestic psychological operations are already against the law in the United States. US Military has walked a very fine line between "information" and "psychological operation" in the past and I would rather not be their guinea pigs.

rosie is roxy is roshan

Parthian, the Big Bad Wolf..

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

is very dangerous. We NEED to be protected...






over sensitivity...

by Parthian on

It is not like they would not put a claimer on their articles, etc...This is not independence in my opinion, it is over sensitivity, and to some extent close mindedness. It is also symptom of excessive elitist liberalism. JJ has no faith in his readers, he has to protect us from the bad big wolf. Print them all I say, IR stuff, CIA stuff, and let people choose....


I thought I saw CIA recruiting on your site!

by irani 1 (not verified) on

or may be it was Culinary Art Institute or Cleveland Institute of Arts.They have same initials:)

rosie is roxy is roshan

Bijan Line in the sand/ government and the press

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

At risk of boring you with things you already know: 

The reason I brought up the "line in the sand" is that journalism as I said is the fourth estate.  In pre-revolutionary France, the three "estates' in the newly formed Parliament, were the aristorcracy,, the rising bourgeousie, and the clergy. The press was unofficially termed le quatriem etat, the fourth estate because it had the power both to inform and to expose them.

In modern times the press is also called the Fourth Estate because by informing the public about the three elected government branches which check and balance each other (executive, legislative and judiciary) it provides the ultimate check and balance. 

Thus it is absolutely essential that a free press remain AS INDEPENDENT AS POSSIBLE FROM THE GOVERNMENT, in the same way that while a senator will serve on a Congressional comitte on foreign policy, he cannot serve in the Cabinet under the Secretary of State. This would be an overlapping of the executive and legislative branches.

Jahanshah publishing government materials would be a similar overlapping in terms of potential influence.Whether he is really influenced or not, it sets dangerous precedents for journallism in general.

So a line in the sand MUST BE DRAWN between press and government. Jahanshah has decided that articles emanating from OFFICAL government agencies are a no-no (and I would hope ads too )while those from INDIVIDUALS from think tanks which heavily influence government policy are not.

He is right. This is an excellent linei n the sand to draw..

This is why my comment about line in the sand is not only relevant to the issue at hand, but the very crux of it.

Regarding your second question you mention to me, what does all this have to do with why specifically the blog was POSTED: Needless to say I can't speak for him. However since you brought it up to me, I will respond with my hypothesis.

My hypothesis is that, given that a vibrant discussion was going on simultaneously to this one this morning as regards a posting that some considered too erotic to be appropriate for this website, and he asked for supporting opinions to back him up, rather than his not infrequent my way or the highway, and that on that thread had a lengthy discussion with Tsion about their conflicting views which is, I believe, unprecedented, that he is currently very concerned about putting the stated democratic ideals of the website, into practice rather than their becoming empty slogans. In other words, Bij. I think he kinda wanted us to talk about it.  :o)

Line in the sand between press and government would thus have in common with the actual posting of the blog that they are both about democracy and in best case scenario, integrity. 

To summarize:

Ask him.





Ali P.

Bring it on...

by Ali P. on

I would be interested to see what they have to say to us.



Ali P.


JJ jaan, I commend you on

by desi on

JJ jaan, I commend you on trying to stay independent from big brother.  However perhaps centcom should check out this site and see that it's a microcosm of what is Iran.  We all gheybat, bicker and opine on everything from what's your favorite doogh brand to the geopolitics of Ahavaz.  but at the end of the day we get over it.  It's so typically Iranian.  Lots of yelling, screaming and back handed passive aggressive compliments.  I think if anything, Centcom would use us an inservice tool for their spies in training.  Holy crap, I wonder if they've already infiltrated and planted a secret cel.  Ooooh I wonder which one of us it is?

Bijan A M

Rosie Jaan

by Bijan A M on

I do not quite see the relevance of drawing “line in the sand” when it comes to this private and independent website. Regardless…It still remains a puzzle to me, why JJ posts a blog about his decision.


It is past my bed time and I have to get up 4 in the morning tomorrow.  I don’t mean to be rude , but, goodnight everyone.