Thursday, April 02, 2009

Just plain folks

On Horses' Ass, a blog of some local notoriety, one of the contributors, Lee, posted about Rick Steves' new video on his trip to Iran. For those who may not know Rick, he's a well known travel writer who hosts a show on PBS, Rick Steves' Europe. This time, instead of showing us the back streets of Amsterdam, he went to Iran.

For almost thirty years, we held Iran as one of our most dastardly enemies in the Middle East. They took our people hostage, sponsored terrorist attacks abroad and always seem to have these huge anti-American rallies all the time. George W. Asswipe once placed them in his 'Axis of Evil' list.

They don't like us because our CIA sponsored a coup in 1953 to place the Shah, Reza Pahlavi back on the throne of Iran. He was sent packing in the first place because he was a shill for the the western oil companies. The locals didn't like outsiders getting all the gold for their oil so they kicked out the Shah and elected another leader. The CIA found some generals and other greedy bastards in the government to stage a coup if they would promise to let Big Oil back into the country. That shit lasted until 1979 when the people had enough of the corporate bullshit and Pahlavi's secret police squads so they revolted by storming the American Embassy and taking its people hostage. That lasted 444 days until Jan. 1980 when they were released.

Since then we've not spoken directly to them, only through intermediates. The government of Iran has become a theocracy, which means it governs at the whim of the high priests of Shiite Islam supposedly according to the tenets of the Quoran.

Theocracies are bullshit. As soon as you start legislating morality you get trapped in a vortex of social and political upheaval that always ends in violence and anarchy. Freedom and liberty are the first victims in a theocracy. But, theocracies are not limited to the Muslim world. There are many folks here in this country who privately look at Iran and ponder how they can do that shit here. Not a government ruled according to the Quoran, but a government ruled by the tenets of the Bible.

I took the time to view Rick's video yesterday and I was impressed. The government of Iran was not portrayed in a wonderful light but it wasn't demonized either. He showed how the restrictions were imposed on the everyday people, the regular Iranian who went to work and paid the bills and just wanted to live a somewhat normal life. Just like me.

They were genuinely happy to see Americans. No 'Death to America' chants or displays of hatred, just curiosity and congeniality. It was really cool. You could still see some anti-American shit but it seemed to be ignored mostly.

I recommend watching the videos. They're in six parts on YouTube and can be purchased for $5 through Rick's website. If you like the videos as much as I did, order one of your own. Here are the links to the video in six parts:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Take the time to look at this. If we are going to deal with the Middle East we have to see these people as who they are, not as how their government is. Consider what the world thought of us after eight years of the Monkey King? Jesus, that sends a shudder down my spine every time I do.

During the Bush years, I was not part of that government, but I was a part of America. I considered that while watching the video. After viewing it, think of John McCain famous little ditty stolen from the Beach Boys. Can you honestly think of bombing that country without a damn good reason?

So Mote It Be,
David A.


Grandpa Eddie said...

One of the TV stations in Milwaukee did a story a couple of weeks ago about wrestlers from Wisconsin going to Iran to compete.

The wrestlers said they were received with warm greetings and smiles. They said the people were all so nice to them and invited them into their homes.

They also said that Iran is nothing like what we have been led to believe. They are a warm, loving , and kind people.

David Aquarius said...

It's a common theme everywhere. The government is a putz, but the people are OK. The current leaders in Iran are there by the skin of their teeth. The people are getting a little tired of the bullshit but are still devoutly Muslim. The Ayatollahs know this and will start to make some allowances if they feel the need. Eight years of Bush throwing rocks at them didn't help our cause.

Given time, this could work out.