Thursday, April 24, 2008

Clinton and Obama, The Lost Anima

Amidst a very busy week that I had due to endless ceremonies and activities for Earth Day celebrations in the City Council and with the NGOs, I've had a glimpse of BBC and English Aljazeera every night.

I was lucky to see parts of the recent morning debate of Senators Clinton and Obama and particularly that suspicious question dealing with Iran. They were asked :"what would you do if Iran nuked Israel?". The intentional inclusion of such a question in the debate was an outright attempt to create a delusion for the audience, inferring that Iran has nuclear warfare capability (which American security reports have denied), and that they might employ it against Israel.

More important however, was the approach that each of the two Senators took in their responses. Clinton, trying to look very stern, went too far in trying to convey a sense of power using the phrase "... we will attack Iran and obliterate it". Obama took a different approach, while also responding forcefully, Obama said that he did not find the employment of such terms as obliterate useful and said he thought that the correct choice of words was important, he also said that he would respond forcefully.

Thinking about the feminine archetypes which I believe are needed in the management of global affairs, I had come across a clear example. On the basis of Jungian psychoanalysis, I have written and spoken about the anima ( the feminine archetypes such as compassion and love) and the animus ( masculine archetypes such as strength, mathematical order, and control)and about the need for a balance in these archetypes not only within individuals but also at the level of global decision making. I believe that in the current world order the anima has very little influence and say.

When I heard Hillary talk, I felt she had so strongly denied her anima to remain in the race. She had mistaken ruthless revenge for firmness and strength. Does Clinton for one moment think that she can obliterate a 70 million nation like Iran? She has not learned her lessons.

Obama had responded with a thoughtful ,balanced and more rational approach. Here we have the case of a man who is capable of displaying some anima in his words and a woman who denies her womanhood to gain power.


Anonymous said...

EXACTLY!!!!! ... Wonderful observation! and a nice usage of the Jungian psychology!! I'm also a fan of Carl Jung!!!! nice job!! :-)

and you know? this is not just in Hillary, this misperception that in order to win and get ahead in a male-dominated society, a woman needs to come off as, and behave like a man; you can see this in every corporation, in every field that is "traditionally" reserved for men!

I'm myself an engineer, and i used to work for IBM, the company in America with the highest number of women employed! but you know what they used to teach us at our "Leadership Workshops" at IBM? they said:

The reason that the ratio or the proportion of women executives at IBM (or corporate America in general) to the number of women employees in that company, is so incredibly small, is that women don't take strong stances, they don't assert themselves in meetings with their bosses, they tend to work in teams and share the credit of their work with their co-workers; whereas a man would take credit even for the job of somebody else, and would pretend to know things when he clearly doesn't, and therefore he gets noticed more by the big boss, and gets to be promoted to higher positions more, hence more male executives (more than 90%) in an environment where there are almost 50% women working as engineers and scientists!!!

So this analysis you made, is very much part of this male-dominated society who thinks and claims that it's very feminist and pro Women's Rights!!!!
(mon oeil!!!)

If Women's Movements of the Sixties had been allowed to succeed and bring about REAL sociological changes in the American society, we would not be witnessing such objectification of women in the mass media, and such horrible psychological diseases that are the direct result of Sexism, such as Bulimia and Anorexia and Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and other such sociological problems!

Of course Hillary has to appear as a ruthless man if she hopes to win a serious position as that of the country's Commander in Chief, because otherwise, she will be perceived as a weakling, in the same category of such "strong" women as Paris Hilton or Britney Spears or the latest celebrity "woman"!!!!

There are only two types of successful women in this society, women who act like men an get to take a seat at the table of the important men running the show, or women who accept being objectified and taken as seriously as a toy, and therefore they gain power and make money off their sex-appeal!!!

Well, of course there are exceptions, and indeed we can still find REAL feminists in America who have not betrayed their own gender!!!

They are the likes of liberals and intellectuals such as Nancy Pelosi, Madelaine Albright, Elizabeth Edwards, Michelle Obama, and a few other women who can proudly call themselves Feminist!
(even though unfortunately, even the use of that word has become a taboo here, due to the war on words by the neo-conservatives who have turned such words as "liberal", "socialist", "feminist" into bad or dirty words in the psyche of this country!!!)

Unfortunately Hillary, even though she calls herself a liberal, but she's a misinformed liberal who talks and acts more like a man, just like such other powerful women as Janet Reno, or Candy Rice!

Anonymous said...

Radicalism feeds radicalism!

Ever since Mr. Bush made his infamous "Axis of Evil" comment, the unltra far right conservatives in Iran gained more political power and clout, and ever since Mr. Ahmadinejad made his infamous "Holocaust denial" comment, the Zionist neoconservatives in America found more reason to sing the "Bomb Iran" song!

Is Mrs. Clinton turning into a radical conservative dressed in a liberal Democratic pant-suit???!!!

Anonymous said...

that picture of Mazandaran forests was gorgeous! please put it back! although this new one is also gorgeous, so maybe take the Damavand out, or the girls? thank you!

Anna said...

there is a Logical AND statement that MUST come out to be TRUE, which means that in "p AND q", both p and q MUST be true, otherwise, ...
otherwise a WW-III is eminent and looming, maybe not this year, but at least sometime within the next decade (2010 - 2020)!

what are "p" and "q"?

p = Barack Obama winning, not only the Democratic nomination, but also the presidency of the United States of America in November 08.

q = Mahmood Ahmadinejad losing next summer's presidential elections (which are not really FREE elections btw), and even though the Reformists won't be allowed to run (or even if they run, they won't be supported by the Iranian Supreme Leader, hence they won't win), but at least Ahmadinejad MUST (has to, should, aught to, it's imperative that he will) LOSE to the more pragmatic and moderate conservatives like Dr. Larijani.

if "p AND q" is NOT "True", then,

the world needs to brace itself for another World War!

God Save Us All!

Anonymous said...

An Optimistic Prediction for 2008-2009:

1) Barack Obama will become the first African American President of the United States of America, and consequently America will regain its Moral Leadership in the eyes of the entire World again, not just the Western World

2) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will lose the support of Iran's Supreme Leader, and consequently will NOT be elected for a second term in next Summer's presidential elections in Iran, and as a result, the voice of moderation and pragmatism will start to be heard in that region of the world

3) There will be rational, pragmatic and respectful negotiations between Iran and USA, and consequently many hot-button issues will be resolved and a number of catastrophic security and economic crises will be averted in that region and globally

4) A LASTING Peace will finally come to the Palestinian and Israeli citizens as well as to their Lebanese and Syrian neighbors, as a direct consequence of Iran's cooperation and influence in disarming the (Lebanon and Palestine's) resistance groups of Hezbollah and Hamas, and having them included in their respective countries' political scenes

5) Justice will be served by lifting the Apartheid regime from the occupied Palestinian land, and true democracy will start to take root in the Middle-East, where age-old animosities between the Arab-world and the Israelis will end, and it won't have to be replaced by a fabricated new threat or exaggerated animosity between Sunni and Shiite Muslims

6) Neither a Cold War nor another World War will be eminent, the economic rise of China and India will not necessarily mean a threat to America, an ambitious Russia will not try to regain its lost superpower status with an arms race, and a REAL and believable international effort will start in the path toward total elimination of Nuclear Weapons from the ENTIRE WORLD, including USA, Russia, China, France and Israel!

ALL of this, as a direct consequence of BRILLIANT, realistic, FFECTIVE and pragmatic DIPLOMACY shown by the SMARTEST American administration EVER, i.e., the Obama administration, aka the Dream Team:

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, John Edwards, Jim Webb, Chuck Hagel, Michael Bloomberg, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Madelaine Albright, Colin Powel, Wesley Clark, ...

Now, A VERY Pessimistic Prediction for 2008-2009:

1) John McCain will win United States' presidency!

2) Ahmadinejad will win a second term next year in Iran, and he and his backers will continue advocating the "Martyrdom Culture" as an answer to their economic problems!

3) The American occupation of Iraq will become permanent, Israel will attack Lebanon AND Syria this time, other radicals in the region will get involved in this conflict by calling for a Jihad, and a lot of people will end up being "obliterated" before their defeated rulers "will take a sip of the poison" (as their saying goes) and agree to an unjust peace between Israel and the West Bank, leaving Gaza in the ashes of the greater "obliteration" plan!

4) In the aftermath of such inhumanities and United States' complicit hand in them, America will further lose its Moral Authority in the World, and Russia with its utterly corrupt government will seek to position and represent itself as the other Superpower who can defend the oppressed people of the World from the West!

5) A geographically convenient alliance will be made between the militaristic Russia and the two rising economic powers in the East, India and China!


6) Mother Earth will be hosting a Third World War!

Goodbye Humanity!

... but hey, don't worry! Jesus will come and take the Christians up to heaven in RAPTURE (unless they are Catholic), and Imam Mahdi will also appear on his white horse and save all the Muslims (unless they don't recognize him as the 12th Imam)! ... I guess everybody else will just disintegrate into space, but who cares?! they are ALL "infidels" and deserve to die, right?! ...

God Save Us from your religious zealots!!!! Remind them that "God is Love"!

Anonymous said...

This is a paradox isn't it. I agree with the comment that Obama displays more anima than Hillary. But it also must be noted that Hillary displays animus, I don't believe her straightforwardness and policy wonking is in anyway a denial of her femininity, neither do I believe Obama's compassion and empathy a denial of his masculinity. They both share an integration that is appealing to Americans because they do not see it often. I do not know who I would rather have as President really, I think people will believe in Obama'a vision and he will more likely inspire but I honestly believe Hillary is more prepared.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Ebtekar,
I'll just share an idea here with you, hoping that you might take it seriously and think of implementing it, but of course I don't know much about the dynamics of the political scene in Iran, and how realistic or feasible such an idea might be in your society, I just HOPE that you can make it happen:

In response to Hillary Clinton's outrageous "obliterate" comment, and as an answer to the unrealistic new incentives that have come out of the London meeting last Friday, Iranian political WOMEN can come to the aid of their brothers in the male-dominated political scene of Iran, and help them overcome the current crisis and diplomatic impasse with the West! How?

By taking an INNOVATIVE and novel approach in trying to change the West's language of DIPLOMACY with Iran!

You as a centrist Reformist, by becoming the link between the conservative right and the liberal left, can create an unstoppable alliance!
You can form a truly credible and DEMOCRATIC, highly respected and legitimate group of Iranian women who can show the PEACEFUL face and nature of Iran's technological, economic and political ambitions (including the nuclear issue) to the world!

If you can form an alliance, a sort of bi-partisan forum, just like the one created in America by the 17 bipartisan congress-people at the Oklahoma University a few months ago (January 7th, 2008),

but you make it exclusively comprised of WOMEN, such as conservative MPs on the right, like:
Elham Aminzadeh
Fatemeh Alia
and Human Rights activists on the left, like:
Shirin Ebadi
Simin Behbahani
and other Reformists like yourself and Dr. Haghighatjoo in the center, imagine the possibilties!!!

I read recently on PressTV that this year, there will be an international conference on the life and moral teachings of Fatima the daughter of Prophet Mohammed, which will be held in Tehran in the first week of August. I believe this can be the perfect chance for Iranian political women (such as the ones I mentioned above), to get their voices heard and start REAL DIPLOMACY with America, the kind of diplomacy that their male counter-parts have so far failed to achieve successfully!

This will be a chance for you and your fellow Iranian sisters on the right and on the left of the political scene, to come together and start a REAL conversation with the like-minded and peaceful WOMEN of American politics such as:

Senator Dianne Feinstein
Madam Speaker Nancy Pelosi
former Madam Secretary Madelaine Albright
Daughter of JFK, Caroline Kennedy
Wife of America's new JFK and future president, Michelle Obama
Wife of America's next VP, Elizabeth Edwards

Imagine the possibilties, imagine the impact, imagine the effect of such a forum on the language of DIPLOMACY!

If you form this multi-partisan or non-partisan forum in Iran, and include not only the religious conservative women, but also liberal secularists such as World Renowned Shirin Ebadi, then I'm sure these American women that I named above, WILL take you up on an invitation to the Fatima Conference in August, where you all can start something amazing!

REAL diplomacy, as opposed to the insulting and disrespectful thing Hillary and Rice would like to call "Dimplomacy with Teeth"!!!!

You and your sisters on both the left and the right of Iranian politics, will have the chance to:

1) Tell the likes of Hillary Clinton and Condoliza Rice that they should take their scary teeth elsewhere and threaten to "obliterate" other nations, NOT Iran!!!

2) Show your like-minded peaceful American women (like the ones I named above) that DIPLOMACY only works when it is RESPECTFUL on both sides!!!

3) Tell them that Iranians don't respond to the diplomacy of "Carrot and Stick" because they are not Pavlovian dogs!!!

4) Tell them that Iranians will stand for their RIGHTS, and no amount of demeaning "incentives" can move them to abandon those rights!

5) Tell them that Iranian mothers will NOT teach their children to succumb to bullies and say "Yes Sir" to anybody, no matter how powerful they are!

But you NEED to include both LEFT and RIGHT, you the Reformists need to be the ones bringing these two extremely far away factions of the Iranian political scene together, and being WOMEN, I'm sure you can!

If it's only the conservative women of Iran who organize such a forum, it will not be taken seriously or as a sign of a unified voice within Iran, or as a strong enough message to the world! You need to include Human Rights activists and Women's Rights activists (such as Zahra Eshraghi, the grand-daughter of Imam Khomeini) as well!

In fact, I hope you can convince Ms. Farideh Motahhari, the daughter of Ostad Motahhari and the wife of Dr. Larijani to join you as well, because she can be the one explaining to your American guests, what was the meaning of Islamic Democracy as it was envisioned by her father, one of the principal architects of IRI. I know she's never been involved in politics, but she knows the teachings of her father more than anybody else in the country, and besides, if Michelle Obama accepts your invitation, then the wife of Iran's next president should also be there!

Good luck Dr. Ebtekar, I hope you can start such a movement, and organize such a forum, and invite these American peaceful women to come and talk with you, in time for the Fatima International Conference in Tehran this August!

Anonymous said...

this news about the PMOI, should be a wake-up call for the Iranian politicians who don't want a bad situation to get worse!

a word of advice to the moderate pragmatic politicians inside Iran:
if you want to save your IRI from a "regime-change" by the likes of PMOI, you need to allow REFORM to take place in your system!
you need to bring the old Reformists, the Human Rights activists, the Women's Rights activists, other oposition groups such as the Freedom Movement and all other INTERNAL political currents into the system and allow them political freedoms, IF you want to avoid an external assault by these terrorist groups who want nothing but the demise of IRI!

to Iranian clerical leadership:
either clean up the IRI through REAL REFORM, or say goodbye to Iran!
Americans may not be in the position to launch a millitary attack on Iran right now, in order to change the regime, but they sure can use such elements as the PMOI to do the job for them!

Anonymous said...

to kathy:
girl i admire your optimism and i love this amazing scenario you've come up with about a conference in Iran where some of our top politicians would presumably love to go!!!
but as i much as i hate to burst your bubble, and even though i seriously wish this was actually possible, i just simply don't see it happening! not at this time, or at least not with these women you're suggesting!

the best chance for something like this to happen, would be when and if Ahmadinejad is already out of the office (or better yet, actually impeached by the new parliament), AND if most of the Iranian women involved in it will be in fact your Women's Rights and Human Rights activists like your Nobel Peace Prize winner (as you suggested), AND if the American women they invite are not those who are currently holding offices or important positions or not married to men who are trying to win future offices!
i don't know how aware you are of the unfortunate demonized image of Iran in the minds of ordinary Americans? but even if our politicians and our elite foreign policy experts would admit to the inevitability of our need for such direct diplomatic moves toward reconciliation with Iran, but as long as your president is Ahmadinejad, and our Republican hawks can cry "Hitler" or keep reminding the public of his outrageous "Wipe Off the Map" remarks about an undeniable ally like Israel, it would be utter political suicide for Obama and Edwards if their wives did this, not to mention the end of Pelosi and Finestein's careers as congresswomen!
now, your suggestion of Caroline Kennedy makes better sense, (if the grand-daughter of your Khomeini will also be there as her counter-part), and i would say perhaps Rosalynn Carter (Jimmy Carter's wife) would also be a much safer bet (given how her husband has already made so many taboo moves with his "Apartheid" book and his meeting with Hamas, and the fact that he's not running for any office anymore)! maybe even Tipper Gore might be a possible "yes" to this hypothetical invitation of yours (since her husband is also a recent Nobel Peace Prize winner), but again if and only if the invitation is made by the likes of your Shirin Ebadi, not these conservative parliamentarians you suggested, (i googled them) wrapped in the black cloak you call "chador"!!!! you know? in the eyes of our public, that's just like the "Burqa", it symbolizes absolute oppression of women in their eyes! and as the Iranian saying goes "people's brains are in their eyes"!!!!
so dear kathy, i know you meant well and i applaud you, but take it from an Iranian American who was born and raised here, this is not the time for it yet, unfortunately! :-(

let's just hope these new parliamentarians you like to call "pragmatic and rational" actually go as far as impeaching the guy Americans love to hate, then maybe, just maybe things like "Ping Pong Diplomacy" would find some real proponents in America, not to mention in Iran itself!

keep up your optimistic writings, they add more zest to this weblog!

Anonymous said...

thank you dear Sara!
:-) yeah, i guess you're right! what was i thinking?! but what do you expect from a liberal Iranian-Canadian who has only recently been following the Iranian politics, since the launch of!!!!
i know nothing about Iranian politics from the time i left that undemocratic society in 1987??!!! only much later, i got excited about the news of REFORM during the Khatami administration, so i started following the news about Iran from 2000 on! and then recently, i'm just hooked on PressTV!!!

but yeah, you're so right!
i was so focused on thinking about ways to sell "friendship with America" to the religious conservatives of Iran, that i totally forgot about the American masses, the uneducated rural racists and xenophobes of America (the people Hillary likes to call "hard-working white Americans without college degrees"!!!) who have bought the fear-mongering propaganda of the Bush administration for the past 7 years!
i also forgot about the influence and power of the evangelical "Rapture-lovers" on these rural masses (whose insane leader John Hagee, i have already written about in my previous comments)!!!
i guess you would know better, since you've lived all your life in the States.
but you know? i have also lived in that country for a few years (only in the ethnically diverse and sophisticated urban parts of it though, like Boston), and i was being more optimistic about the feasibility of my "scenario" than i should be, because i tend to think of these Muslim-hating Americans as making up quite a small minority of your country's population!
but now i see your point, as far as being an "overly optimistic" person, i'm guilty as charged, what can i say? I'm Canadian!!! :-)

now, i still think this Fatima Forum in Tehran represents an ENORMOUS opportunity at least for the reform movement and the civil society in Iran!

so, here's my modified "scenario":
(obviously i have too much free time on my hand)

Dear Dr. Ebtekar,
If you can't even get Rosalynn Carter to accept your invitation, then at least invite these other internationally well-known WOMEN of your own region:

Pakistani Parliament Speaker = Fahmida Mirza
Indian President = Pratibha Patil
Wife of Turkish Prime Minister = Emin Erdogan
Wife of Turkish President = Hayrunnisa Gul
Queen Noor of Jordan

and maybe even a few LESS internationally well-known ones, like the wife of Iraqi President (amoo Jalal, i guess that would be "zan-amoo Jalal"!!!), and other political women or activists from the neighboring countries.

anyhow, all i'm saying is:

Iran NEEDS to do something like this in order to show its PEACEFUL face to the world, and consequently be able to DIPLOMATICALLY foil any potential plots by the McCain supporters and Iran-WAR enthusiasts who might be thinking of staging an "October Surprise", for example, ordering some of their "friends" to attack an American embassy in that region or something, then blaming it on Iran, and scaring the American masses into voting for the hawk who'd go "bomb the hell out of them"!!!!!
aren't you afraid of such a possibility Sara?
i just wanted this hypothetical "Iranian Women's Non-partisan Forum of Peace" to invite a bunch of (or at least one) high-profile American woman to Tehran for talks, so that the American media would cover it, and that way, more ordinary Americans might be moved by watching such a democratic effort by Iranian activists and reformists, and so more of them get to agree with Obama's policy of "unconditional talks", and hence you guys can make sure that Barack Obama will win the presidency in November!!!! that's all!
The world needs "direct talks" between Iran and USA, and it needs it NOW!!!!
"The Fierce Urgency of Now"!!!

i mean, ... why would CNN or MSNBC or FoxNews cover this event, even if all those other women i just named (from the region) would go, but no American woman is invited?
i hope at least Rosalynn Carter would go!
but of course, this is all provided that these Iranian women can actually organize such a forum and get away with having such "bad-hejab" women as Shirin Ebadi in their midst!!!!! that in itself is not very likely, i admit!

Thank you Dr. Ebtekar, at least for humoring me and posting my crazy ideas!!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

btw, ...
Dr. Ebtekar,
IF (and that's a big IF) you get to somehow do something along the lines of my "crazy idea", i.e. get such a "Women's Peace Forum" organized during the Fatima International Conference in Tehran, i hope you might think about what Sara said with regard to the symbolism of the "chador", and hopefully decide to leave yours at home, and take a tip or two from the Islamic fashion-book of Mrs. Javad Zarif, and just as she does so elegantly, you too might be able to represent a more modern face of Islamic piety! :-)

another note to Sara:
you have to understand that some Iranian religious women can't even fathom replacing their "chador" with something else! they are the daughters, sisters, wives and mothers of the Ayatollahs. it's just a sign of extreme piety for them. if you can imagine an Ayatollah without his "abaa", then you can imagine the women in clerical families without "chador".
so, ...
as spoken in the "hood" language of my beloved African American friends:
don't be ha'tin!
"chadori" women are not oppressed, well at least not all of them! and certainly not someone like Dr. Ebtekar!

oh, one more thing ...
Dr. Ebtekar,
maybe you can invite a high-profile woman from Canada to your event? well, MY "dream-world" event i should say!! even if it's only CBC who gets to broadcast it, it's better than nothing! ...
so why not think big, and go for:
The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, the former Governor General of Canada
or better yet, ...
the current one:
The Right Honourable Michaƫlle Jean!

i know, i know, i'm tooooooo dreamy! :-)
but hey, you never know? if Shirin Ebadi does the invitation, Canada will accept, i think!

Anonymous said...

... yes, an "October Surprise" is in fact the ONE and ONLY possible way for the Republicans to steal a SURE win from the Democrats this November!
... and that's why perhaps Rosalynn Carter might actually LOVE to do something like this (i.e., participating in a "Women's Peace Forum" in Tehran), b/c this can be a way for her to finally take her husband's revenge from the Republicans, for the way his second term was prevented by their back-door scheme in 1980 (Iran-Contra affair)!