Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Inside Iran

This article is a glimpse of life in Tehran. The author has walked through miles of streets, alleys and bazaars, talking with local merchants. They aren’t happy.

The merchants who run the bazaar, together with the banking industry, are a powerful force in Iran. They helped finance Khomeini’s takeover in 1979. As the author says, they “can make or break a government. Right now they are not a particularly happy bunch.”

Like all business people, these merchants want stability and certainty, and this isn't being provided by Ahmadinejad. One merchant says “My sales are down by 50 to 60 percent. I’m very worried about sanctions. Things are going to get much worse than they already are.”

Referring to Bush and Ahmadinejad, another merchant says “Why don’t they just talk? This shouting does nobody any good.”

Ahmadinejad got elected by promising to improve the lives of ordinary Iranians and to distribute the country’s oil wealth more widely. It hasn’t happened. Inflation is officially 13% but everyone says it’s actually twice that high.

This article is a reminder (for those of us who need reminding) that Iran isn't just a spot on the map for us to invade. It’s not a one-dimensional demon that we need to exorcise. It’s a country with millions of real people, just like us; people who are living their lives, taking care of their families and trying to make ends meet.

Since Bush and Ahmadinejad are both belligerent assholes, maybe they could just step into the ring and beat the shit out of each other and leave the rest of us out of it. Or like the man said, “why don’t they just talk?”

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Blogger Jenn of the Jungle said...

Dude.. how many times does this administration have to repeat that we are not invading Iran. Boots will never hit the ground there. I mean get a grip. Now, that being said if Ahmadinejad wants to continue his psychotic bent of world domination via Islam, then I see nothing worng with a few well places missiles.

March 13, 2007 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Candace said...

I saw a special news piece about this somewhere, maybe a couple of weeks ago, that Ahmadenijad was funneling $ to his cronies - giving them government contracts, sound familiar? - and the people were pissed because he had promised to make their lives better. There was even some unprecedented criticism from the Ayatollah about it. So, it crossed my mind then that MAYBE Bu$hCo was sabre-rattling for the purpose of scaring the Iranians into getting rid of Ahmadinejad. But then, I though, nah ... couldn't be. That's way too smart.

But now? Hmm. Maybe that's exactly what they're doing. The people are starting to worry about these two jerks getting them into a war. I hope they get rid of their megalomaniac leader, just as we are hoping for the same over here.

Oh - and why can't they just talk? What would they talk about, I wonder? They're both such dim bulbs... :)

March 13, 2007 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jenn: Oh OK, well I guess that settles that. Bush says he's not planning to invade Iran; we can all let down our guard now. Come on, think back 5 years, before the Iraqi invasion. Bush did all this saber-rattling and stirring up hysteria over Saddam Hussein, and whenever a reporter would call him on it, Bush would say “what? Invade Iraq? Sheesh! You people sure are obsessed with Iraq.” In other words, don’t trust Bush any further than you could throw him.

And like I reminded you in the post, there are millions of real people living in Iran, people just like us. How many of them would you like to hit with your “well placed missiles”?

Candace: Bush and Ahmadinejad have so much in common I’m surprised they aren’t drinking buddies, clearing brush together at the ranch in Crawford. Getting elected on false promises, funneling money to their wealthiest cronies, alienating their core supporters — they're two of a kind. And we have a lot in common with Iranians. We both have “leaders” who suck that we’d like to get rid of.

March 13, 2007 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger Kvatch said...

...maybe they could just step into the ring and beat the shit out of each other and leave the rest of us out of it.

How about gladiatorial combats? Then at least, somebody would die.

March 13, 2007 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger mike said...

Good post...but as far as anyone wanting to talk to Bush there are only about 23% of the people in our country that give him a decent approval rating. I can't imagine it's even that good outside of our country.

March 13, 2007 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Kvatch: Gladiatorial combat, there you go.

Mike: I'm sure Bush's approval rating is in the single digits in every country in the world except the U.S. and Israel.

March 13, 2007 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

Oooh! Can Bush and Ahmadinejad have a Texas Cage Match with barbed wire? We could show it on pay-per-view and the profits from it could balance the budget and pay the troops better!

There's an interesting article in this month's Utne by a former US diplomat in Armenia called "Why Don't We Talk Anymore?" The diplomat resigned his post over Iraq because he was having a hard time explaining the Bush talking points to an increasingly skeptical audience. Why don't we talk, indeed?

March 13, 2007 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger LETS TALK said...

Just forget about Bush in a ring with anyone.
I know I wouldn't put my money on it... held go AWOL again.

March 13, 2007 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

Jenn- if this administration could go one week without being caught in a lie maybe you'd have a point...how many scandals came to light last week? Four?

March 13, 2007 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

Tom there are times where I'd love to see a cruise missile land on Ahmadenijads house but yes you are right. It's not a on dimensional place there are people there that are thinking and want the same things you and I want. Actually, there is great potential for them to become a moderate state in time. But this will never happen with the way their leaders and ours are acting. Wouldn't it be grate if we could do trades like in sports? Ahmadenijad to the north pole in exchange for some seals. Bush to Antarctica for a polar bear. I think we'd be much better off.

March 13, 2007 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mile High Pixie: Oh yeah, definitely a cage match with barbed wire. Even better, both combatants would have sharp spurs on their hands and feet, like a cockfight. Then there’d be a clear winner and loser. The Pay-Per-View show would generate even more money. Even if Bush was the dead guy, there'd be enough revenue to pay off our deficit and increase the troops’ pay.

Yes, it would be so much better to just get both parties talking.

Ricardo: Yes, Ahmadinejad is a totally unsympathetic asshole who deserves whatever he gets. But unfortunately wars always kill off members of the general population, who aren’t to blame for what their “leaders” do. It would be great if Iran became moderate. They're strong militarily and have a strong economy (i.e. there's a lot of wealth there, regardless of how unevenly it’s distributed), so they're a country to be reckoned with.

I like your trading idea. Bush and Ahmadinejad to the North and South poles in exchange for some endangered species. Politicians like Bush and Ahmadinejad certainly aren’t endangered (unfortunately).

March 14, 2007 at 12:16 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Let's Talk: Good point; that's exactly what he'd do. I didn't think of that.

J. Marquis: What, are you trying to say our fearless leader isn't trustworthy :)

(Sorry it took me so long to answer these two comments. They just now showed up in my e-mail notification. Blogger must be screwing up their Comment Moderation again.)

March 14, 2007 at 1:15 PM  

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