Monday, April 25, 2011

Trip to Chah Bahar

Trip to one of the Hottest Places on Earth

When we lived in Iran, (1970-72) the Shah was in power.  He didn’t know it at the time, but his days were numbered. 
H.I.M. Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlevi, Aryamehr

He was riding high, ruling a country that was awash in oil money, and he was building a defense establishment as fast as he could—jet fighters from the U.S., artillery and combat vehicles from the USSR, destroyers from the UK. 

 Map of Iran shows Chah Bahar (Chabahar)
Trip to Chah Bahar.  The Shah wanted to expand his navy by building a new base on the Gulf of Oman, right next to Pakistan.  Several American officers accompanied Iranian officers on a flight down to Chah Bahar, at the farthest most corner of Iran. Lots of sand, the warm water of the Gulf of Oman, and hot as the hinges of Hell!   To get here, you either come by sea, or fly.  To drive you would have to cross the Dasht-i-Lut, the hottest, driest desert on earth, where the temperature has been measured at 159 degrees F., and winds roar for days at a time.  Crossing this brutal desert in a sandstorm caused helicopters to fail in Jimmy Carter’s abortive Desert One Operation. (April 24, 1980).
                 We flew down in a C-130 and drove off in a couple of Land Rovers that we had carried on board.  We spent the day exploring the area, to visualize building a naval base here.  When we landed, the local people were excited to see us—planes didn’t land there very often.  Most of the people there are Baluchi tribesmen, here and across the border in neighboring Baluchistan, which is part of Pakistan. 

Chah Bahar --Quay at the Village of Tis
                 We talked with a few of these people.  They understood Farsi, but their language was Baluchi. One old man we met we asked his age.  He didn’t have a clue! Same with a young boy I talked with.  Age just wasn't something that concerned them.  Looking back, the old man looked old enough to be maybe 60 or 70, but in that brutal climate, people probably don’t live too long. 
                 The Shah started building that base shortly afterward, and then in 1973, when the petrodollars began to flood the country, he accelerated the project.  However, in 1979, the Ayatollah Khomeini came back, and the Shah was overthrown, and left for exile, first in Egypt and then in Panama, then back to Egypt.   The base is still under construction today. 
                 Today, much of Iran has changed little since the days of the Shah, but where the Shah's modernization and westernization ignored and minimized Islamic faith, now the Islamic Republic of Iran is all about Islam.  Not all the people buy it, however. 
                 The Iranians want to have their own nuclear weapons.  In our time there, they wanted to have a strong air force,  and today, they want to be like the “big guys” and have their own thermonuclear weapons.  Combine that with the talk of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, about “wiping Israel off the map” and you have a situation that makes us nervous.  It makes the Israelis nervous, too. 

I think the day will come when Iran can re-join the community of nations, and we can work with them again. 

Now, about these books….

Little Princesses, The, First Edition; Book Club Edition by Crawford, Marion 1950 New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace and Company.  Marion Crawford was Governess to Britain's Royal Family for 17 years.  She describes the private lives of young Princess Elizabeth, Britain's future Queen, and her younger sister, Princess Margaret Rose. Includes many photos (16 pp.) of early lives of Princesses and their family up to one of the young Queen with nearly one-year-old  Prince Charles. Montage of photos of royal scenes, wartime London on endpapers. 314 pp.+ 16 photo pages. 14 x 21 cm. Red cloth on board, very good. On first half-title page is affixed Canadian three-cent stamp showing King George VI. Dustjacket illustration shows framed pictures of princesses, photo of author on back; has minor chips and edgewear, interior corners clipped, fair.  (4946) $30.00. Biography

George Fox
 George Fox: Selections from the Epistles of George Fox, Abridged by Tuke, Samuel 1858 Philadelphia, PA: Association of Friends for the Diffusion of Religious and Useful Knowledge.              This is the first edition in abridged form of Samuel Tuke's earlier Selections of the Epistles of George Fox. Fox (b.1624, d.1691) is considered to be the founder of the Society of Friends (Quakers). The introduction in this small book is the same Tuke used in his earlier Selections. Fox's mission was to speak truth to all, and that truth often got him thrown into jail. When he visited America he became an early champion of the Indians and Black slaves (p.38-39, 67-70). He warns against vain fashions, not to be over thoughtful of the things of this world, and urged followers to believe in the Light as Christ commanded.  114 pp. 10 x 15.5 cm. Blindstamped design on brown cloth on board, top of spine worn, dampstain to first and last pages, good. (1734) $39.00. Religious/Quaker

 Mary Lamb
 Lamb: Mary and Charles Lamb: Poems, Letters and Remains: Now first collected, with reminiscences and notes, First Edition, published simultaneous with London edition. By W. Carew Hazlitt,  1874 New York, NY: Scribner, Welford and Armstrong.  Life of Charles Lamb, English Essayist, (1775-1834) and his sister, Mary (1764-1847). In 1796 Mary Lamb, in a fit of insanity, attacked her mother and father, killing her mother.  Illustrated with frontispiece portrait of Charles Lamb, and numerous facsimiles and illustrations of favorite haunts of Lambs in London and suburbs. Good friend of Mary was Lady Stoddart, later Mrs. Hazlitt. Author of this book is grandson of Hazlitts. Includes 31 pp. Notes of Charles Lamb to Thomas Allsop by George William Curtis. Lamb raves to Allsop about gift of Stilton cheese, notes Mary has "sense enough to value the present." 307 + 31 pp. 12 x 19 cm. Attractive dark blue cloth on board with gilt decoration, shows nude women in orbit around woman with crown and male figure with donkey's head. Slight rubbing top and bottom of spine, one illustrated page loose, some foxing, some pages unopened, altogether very good. (2257) $56.00. Biography/English Letters

 Guide Through Europe by HAPAG
Guide Through Europe Presented by the Hamburg-American Line; [Remains Property of the Traveler] 1902 Berlin, Germany: Hamburg-American Line. Marvelous guide to Europe at turn of the Twentieth Century with history of Hamburg-American Line, maps of Berlin, Dresden, Cologne, Munich, Hamburg, Vienna, Zurich, London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Brussels, fold-out full-color topographic map of St. Gothard Railway, through the Alps to Milan; full-color advertisement for Kölnische Düsseldorfer Gesellschaft Rhein-Dampschiffahrt, full-color fold-out description and timetable for Rhätische Bahn Landquart-Davos and Landquart-Chur-Thusis for Winter 1902. Detailed descriptions of sights and cities in Europe, advertisements. 936 pp. 12 x 18 cm. Decorated red cloth on board with HAPAG flag on cover, slight tear in lower heel of spine, moderate wear. Inside front and back hinges cracked, pp 1-2,2a-4, 223-224  loose, pp. 935-936 wrinkled. Overall very good. (2411) $60.00. Travel

 Krupskaya, Lrnin's Wife
Social-Democratic Movement in Russia, Materials [Sotsial-Demokraticheskoye Dvizhenniye v Rossii] In Russian; Volume One;  A.N. Potresov and B.I. Nikolaevsky, Editors, Russian Reprint Series. 1967. The Hague, NL: Russian Reprint Series.  1967 Reprint of Original 1928 Volume One of Collection of letters of the early Communist movement in Russia. Foreword by P. Lepeshinsky. Many letters to Potresov from all the old Communist intellectuals, (1896-1904): Vera Zasulich, Rosa Luxemburg, Y.O. Martov, V.I. Ulianov-Lenin, P.P. Maslov, V.A. Ionov, V.L. Shantser, G.V. Plekhanov, A.A. Sanin, M.I.Tugan-Baranovsky, N.I. Tugan-Baranovsky, V.V. Vorovsky, P.B. Akselrod; Letters from Akselrod to the Munich Section of the "Iskra" Staff; Nazezhda Krupskaya to Akselrod  and to Vera Zasulich; Akselrod to Martov; Zasulich to Martov. Also text of many early documents: "Materiali o Raskolye 'Soyuza Russkikh S-D.' Zagranitsei v 1900 g."  Question about the International Conference in the Soviet Party (1904). Also about 70 pages of Primechanii (Notes). 410 pp. 15 x 22 cm. Green cloth on board with gilt lettering, very clean and fresh.  (2990) $66.00. History/Russia

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