May 13, 2006
THE IRANIANS ARE PRO, THE CANADIANS ANTI:
U.S. is Iran's best hope (SALIM MANSUR, 5/13/06, Toronto Sun)
As spring turns into summer, Iran will continue making headlines with its march to acquire nuclear weaponry. And as tension mounts, the inverse rule of distance in geopolitics will come into effect.
This rule predicts those furthest from Iran -- for instance, the leadership aspirants of Canada's federal Liberal party and their supporters in Toronto -- will insist the entire problem of Iran is the making of George W. Bush and his cabal of neo-conservatives in the U.S.
Since most Canadians have as much trouble distinguishing between Vimy and Vichy as did John McCallum when he was minister of national defence in the former Liberal government of prime minister Jean Chretien, I suspect it will not be difficult for a paper like the Toronto Star to convince a majority of its readers that Iran is being set up by American imperialists who own the Republican party.
Conversely, a majority of Iranians -- far from Toronto -- will despair for their own future, and that of their children and grandchildren, knowing all too well that nuclear weapons will make their leaders feel invincible and extinguish any hope of regime change in Tehran.
A corollary of this hypothesis is that the greater the ignorance of the distant "other" -- in this case, the politics and culture of Iran under its religious leaders bequeathed by the founder of the Islamic Republic, the late Ayatollah Khomeini -- the more insistent becomes the need to romanticize it and vilify the U.S., a view that happens to be in solidarity with such model rulers of prospering democracies as those of Cuba, Iran, Libya, Venezuela or Zimbabwe.
But for anyone who wants to get acquainted in a hurry with Iran as a legacy of Khomeini, the sensible thing to do would be to listen to some Iranians who escaped the dungeon of the ayatollahs. They could start by acquiring a copy of Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.
Posted by Orrin Judd at May 13, 2006 1:12 PM