Boondoggle

One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

A must-read on Iran

Roger Cohen, on some Revolutionary Guards real Iranians that he spoke with. A snippet:

The Great Satan is great also in his power to exert fascination. “Death to America” has become background noise, as interesting as piped elevator music.

The revolution freed Iranians from the brutality of the shah’s secret police, Savak, and delivered a home-grown society modeled on the tenets of Islam in place of one pliant to America’s whim. But like all revolutions, it has also disappointed. Freedom has ebbed and flowed since 1979. Of late, it has ebbed.

Beneath the hijab, that is to say beneath the surface of things, frustrations multiply. Women sometimes raise their hands to their necks to express a feeling of suffocation. Hard-pressed men, working 12-hour days to make enough to get by, are prone to hysterical laughter with its hint of desperation.

It’s always worth remembering that there are 70 million people in Iran, only one of whom is named Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Many are young, curious, cosmopolitan, and none too happy with the economic tailspin that Mr. Ahmadinejad’s nonsensical financial policies has brought about. Iranians will play a far greater part in shaping their own future than American bluster, strategies, or policies ever will. Its elections, it needs no reminding, will be very interesting.

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February 13, 2009 - Posted by | Middle East | , ,

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