Sunday, June 21, 2009

Begging to Differ on Iran . . . .

Just finished "The Ayatollah Begs to Differ" by Iranian-American Hooman Majd. Very timely analysis of today's Iran and the people/events that shape it. I highly recommend it for a primer on what's going on currently in Persia.

Listening to some of the US political pundits and elected "representatives" pontificate on what should and should not be done in Iran (I'm listening right now to a podcast of "This Week" with S.C. Senator (?) "Leeensay" Graham spouting BS right now, and it's pretty gagging.) brings to mind some of these quotes from the book:

"It strikes me often while I am in Iran that were Christian evangelicals to take a tour of Iran today, they might find it the model for an ideal society they seek in America. Replace Allah with God, Mohammad with Jesus, keep the same public and private notions of chastity, sin, salvation, and God's will, and a Christian Republic is born."


"The Iranian revolution on 1979 was a clear rejection on non-Iranian political concepts, and although rage and animosity toward the United States in its aftermath were consequences of this, it was hardly understood that the real fear of Iranians at the time was that the United States, the most powerful country in the world, would simply not allow a political system to develop that didn't mirror its own. What the Iranians were saying, in effect, was: 'Leave us alone, and if you don't, we'll find ways to make your life miserable.'"


And, on the supposed Iranian-supplied bombs to Iraqi insurgents in 2006/2007:

"Little proof was offered, except for at one press conference where unexploded bombs and shells were displayed with markings, in a perfect English lacking even on unfortunate Iranian road signs, that allegedly showed they were made in Iran. Except the dates of manufacture stenciled onto the bombs were not only in English, but in the American form - that is month, day, year - rather than in the Iranian (and rest of the world's) standard format of day, month year. That the Iranians would be sending weapons to Iraq conveniently and obligingly labeled not only with their country of origin in English but also with the date of manufacture designed so as not to confuse the Americans (who,one supposes, the Iranians know are short on Farsi interpreters) beggars belief, as Javad Zarid, the Iranian ambassador to the UN at the time, told me he had complained in one of his speeches. But few American analysts, and even fewer reporters, including those with experience in the Middle East, questioned out loud this apparently clumsily manufactured evidence, leaving many Iranians to wonder yet again about real US intentions with respect to their country."


"Shias are always Davids, always the underdogs fighting for a just cause in an unjust world, except it matters not that they actually slay their enemy, but merely that they hold their ground and chalk it up as a victory of justice over tyranny. To them, there is no Goliath today greater than the United States. The Ayatollahs and all their little Davids are determined to stand up to it whenever necessary, whenever the cause is just, and to never lose, even if, or may because, they can't win outright."

Check it out at your local library or at Amazon here.


Expat Wannabe said...

That sounds like a great book. I'll definitely check it out.

West End Bob said...

EW: If you want more background information, be sure and check out "All the Shah's Men" by Stephen Kinzer. An excellent account of the CIA orchestrated coup of Iranian leader Mossadegh in 1953. The root cause of the Iranian distrust of US gov't actions . . . .

Expat Wannabe said...

Thanks for the tip! I'll look for that one too!