July 26, 2007

NO COUNTRY WAS EVER IMPROVED BY DITCHING THE MONARCHY:

Shah's mourners recall a golden era: Iranian monarchists make their trek to Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's Cairo tomb and share memories of parties, discos and peace. (Borzou Daragahi, July 26, 2007, Los Angeles Times)

Stylish in tiny black dresses and tailored suits, the mourners gathered in the lobby of an upscale downtown hotel. They filled the air with expensive perfume and cologne, their handbags and sunglasses gilded with the logos of Chanel, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana.

On Wednesday, as they do every year, scores of Iranian monarchists from around the world were visiting the Egyptian capital to pay homage to the late Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi and dreamily recall the long-lost Middle Eastern belle epoque he represented — to them.

Before Al Qaeda and the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, at a time when Sunnis and Shiites intermarried and there were no American warplanes scouring the region, the shah and his wife reigned over a land where, for the well-to-do, local currencies traded as high as skirt hemlines and the future shone brightly.

"It was the greatest era of my life," said Shahareh Shirvani, a Houston real estate agent who left Iran as a teenager but comes to the memorial each year.

Most historians don't share that gauzy view of the shah's reign.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 26, 2007 6:56 AM
Comments

Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.

I know you don't care for Thomas Paine, but I do.
http://www.bartleby.com/133/2.html

Posted by: Brandon at July 26, 2007 10:45 AM

Yes, Paine brought you the Terror.

Posted by: oj at July 26, 2007 11:31 AM

Robespierre brought the Terror, if it were Pains'e fault, it would have happened here too.

Posted by: Brandon at July 26, 2007 12:09 PM

No it wouldn't. We're not frogs.

Posted by: erp at July 26, 2007 2:51 PM

No, we chased him out of the country because his ideas were anathema. Note that in his one worthwhile work, the Crisis, he frames his argument religiously? Once he departed from that he was persona non grata.

Posted by: oj at July 26, 2007 2:57 PM
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