President Trump, Iran and ISIS

President Trump’s early morning tweets are often controversial, and riddled with inaccuracies. His recent tweets about Iran are no exception.

In the wake of the latest tragic terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom, the President’s tweets have pointed a shaking finger of admonition at Iran, a country he perceives as an ally and sponsor of terrorists, including ISIS. Ironically, though, the truth is far from that.

Iran, first and foremost, is a Shi’a nation, while ISIS is based on an extreme perversion of Sunni Islam. Effectively they are enemies, for that reason alone.

In addition, Iran has recently suffered through its own terrorist attacks at the hands of ISIS operatives, and has thwarted other attacks from taking place. Iran has also taken military actions against ISIS targets in the recent past.

In the war in Syria, for example, Iran has supported the Syrian government against ISIS. This is a matter of public record.

President Trump often uses his twitter account to fire up his base, spreading poorly vetted information, better described as propaganda, than news.

He also uses strongly worded twitter posts to distract from pressing inconvenient issues, like the Russian election hacking scandal. His tweets about Iran and ISIS fall under these categories.

The press and the American People must both work together to hold President Trump accountable for his statements, including the more outrageous ones. His petty games, denials and accusations do not help.

Large protests erupt over Trump Administration travel ban

Large protests erupt over Trump Administration travel ban

Large protests have erupted in multiple cities across the United States, in opposition to the Trump Administration’s executive order banning visitors, visa-holders, and refugees from seven muslim-majority nations from entering the United States, for up to three months. A federal court has temporarily blocked deportations based on the new order, but detentions are still possible.

The executive order, widely derided by liberals, and a few prominent republican leaders, including Senator John McCaine, and Charlie Baker, the Republican Governor of Massachusetts, affects travelers from the following muslim-majority nations: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lybia, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia. According to the Trump Administration, the purpose of the order is to allow time for “extreme vetting” of people entering the U.S. from nation’s with a higher risk of terrorism, in order to ensure the safety of the American People.

Ironically, though, no terrorist attacks on American soil are attributed to people who came from those nations, while countries with more direct ties to terrorism and recent histories of attacks on U.S. citizens, like Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia (where the majority of the highly destructive 9/11 hijackers came from) were not included in the ban. Fueling the outrage is the apparent correlation between the ban and President Trump’s business dealings: muslim-majority nations where Trump’s company does business weren’t included.

Originally the executive order was intended to include Green Card holders, which outraged the international community, but the administration has backpedaled on that interpretation. Green Cards holders are permanent legal residents of the U.S., and getting a Green Card is an important precursor to citizenship. Many Green Card holders have lived in the United States for decades, and have jobs and families in the U.S., though they may still travel abroad on business, and for important family events, like weddings and funerals.

A ban that includes Green Card Holders would cause great hardships for many law-abiding families, and American businesses. Also hard hit are foreign students with visas, and visa-holders working in American companies, all across the country. Many industries, particularly Silicon Valley companies, and biotech firms, employ foreign nationals holding H1B visas, for highly skilled, well-educated workers doing important work, so a ban on these individuals could really hurt American companies, and by extension, the country at large. H1B Visa holders have been referred to by Physicist Michio Kaku as Ameriac’s “Secret Weapon,” because their contribution to our society, and economy, is so important.

Video: Youtube, the72tube – Michio Kaku on importance of H1B Visa

In short, President Trump’s executive order is misguided, wrong-headed, damaging to the United States, and a huge mistake. It will stir up anger, resentment, and rivalry both at home and abroad, with absolutely no major upside benefit to speak of, since terrorists incidents in the U.S., though tragic and disturbing when they happen, are still relatively rare (and unrelated to the banned nations in question, as noted above, making the ban pointless.)

The management of Face Activities calls on President Donald Trump to repeal this pointless, mean-spirited executive order. Many individuals will be negatively impacted, and some individuals, if deported, may find their very lives in jeopardy. American Universities and companies that benefit from talented foreign students and workers will also be negatively impacted, to the detriment of our society at large.



Photo: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International, 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani dies at 82

Ayatollah Rafsanjani dies at 82

Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a top Iranian cleric, a very wealthy man, and a former Iranian President, died on Sunday of cardiac arrest. One of the architects of the Iranian revolution, popular with the people, and a favorite among liberal reformers, he was mourned by thousands who turned out in the streets for his funeral on Tuesday. He was 82.

A voice of moderation and reform in an increasingly radicalized Iran, Rafsanjani favored improved relations with the West, and the United States. His moderating influence will be missed, by both beleaguered liberal reformers in Iran, and Western diplomats and leaders hopeful of improved relations. With his death there are fewer in modern day Iran to oppose the hard-liners, and none so powerful and accomplished.

Learn more about Ayatollah Rafsanjani’s death (New York Times)


Photo: By MesgaryOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Afghanistan protests harsh and degrading treatment of prisoners in Iran

Iranian police blindfold and cage Afghan prisoners

The management of Face Activities decries the humiliating treatment of Afghan prisoners by local police in the Iranian city of Shiraz. We propose a petition of protest to denounce this maltreatment. We call on the Iranian people to stand against this degrading treatment, and to ask for a full investigation of the incident and the police officers involved. Justice must triumph, and humanitarian values prevail over ignorance, prejudice and cruelty.

We know that the Iranian people, heirs to a rich and ancient cultural tradition, are too civilized, educated and cultured to permit such indignities to occur in their nation in the name of justice, and we beseech them to take action to restore justice. People are so angry that it’s even been suggested that the police officers involved in this outrage should be blindfolded and placed in this same cage. Clearly such treatment is unacceptable, and all prisoners should receive humane treatment in captivity, and due process under the law.


Protests have rocked Kabul, Afghanistan, after about two dozen Afghan refugees in the Iranian city of Shiraz, arrested for entering the country illegally, were blindfolded and confined within a large metal cage for public viewing—-a great humiliation. A total of about 200 individuals were detained by Iranian Police, including the smaller group selected for humiliation. The images went viral, triggering denunciations, demonstrations, and formal diplomatic protests across the world.

Alongside the alleged criminals, police confiscated and displayed weapons, explosives, drugs, alcohol, and soft drinks that were smuggled into Iran. These individuals may represent a security risk, and should face consequences for their actions, should a court of law find them guilty of crimes, but abuse and degradation should not be part of the process. This arrogant and insensitive action has angered Afghans, and people all over the world concerned with human rights. The police and city officials involved have clearly denied these prisoners due process. In addition, they have subjected them to degrading treatment, outraging the international community.

Three million Afghans live in Iran, and almost a million are classified as refugees. There’s been a great influx of desperate people from the war over many years. And it’s important to realize that these Afghans are culturally Iranian, since a large section of Afghanistan was part of greater Persia for a long time, until about 200 years ago. Their language, traditions and religion are heavily influenced by Persia, the way anglo-Americans and Australians owe much to their British roots. It is sad and ironic that they are marginalized in Iranian society, where they are now treated more as demonized foreigners than long-lost cousins in need.

Learn about the degrading detention of Afghan’s in Iran (



Photo: Hanieh Hoseinpour, ISNA Photo / (screen capture)