Monday, May 01, 2006

 

Iran and the US: Pissing in the wind and claiming it's raining

That guy on Terry Gross (or was it Diane Rehm) mentioned something very interesting about the (perhaps not exactly intended) strategy of taking over the US embassy: after their taking over our embassy, the U.S., naturally, wanted to get back at Iran. But what did this do? It created a crisis situation in which the U.S. was now a threat and enemy of Iran, so people would have to rally around the Mullahs for protection. That guy pointed out that this dynamic is repeating itself in Iran today, which is likely true.

But it also happened in Germany (Reichstag fire) and its happening all the time in the U.S. lately. It actually is an old reactionary strategy here -- pissing in the wind and then saying the nation must rally around the pisser in chief to stay dry from the rain. It's almost something from out of the Twilight Zone, yet the American people fall for it every time.

Why is it? And am I the only one distressed by the eery similarity between Iran's theocrats and our wanna-be theocrats?

Comments:
No, it's not you. The Bush "faith-based" administration has had shades of theocracy for some time.
 
I think a big chunk of America falls for this because the conservative half of this nation loves to have itself an enemy. So much of conservative thought revolves around finding an enemy and fighting it to the death that it's only a natural political strategy for conservative politicians to provide that enemy for their frothing supporters. Whether it's Iran, Al-Qaida, the Soviet Union, liberals, etc., the identity of the enemy is really academic. After all, a really determined wingnut could find some reason to make an enemy of every other country on the planet. For that matter, there aren't too many countries left that we haven't at least been indirectly involved with militarily.

I also find it maddening that the Bush administration only distinguishes between the people of a nation and that nation's government when it suits their political purposes.
 
Hi Neil! How's Jerz? Is it a lot better now that I'm not there everyday messing up the place?

Sam, it's more than merely our conservativism wanting an enemy; it's our failure to see ourselves in our enemy once we've found ourselves one ... and this failure isn't some hippy's idea of a moral failing, it's a strategic failing as well as a moral one (I don't think I'll hold my breath waiting for the likes of Falwell and Robertson to realize how sinful this failure of empathy is within the religion they claim to espouse: I don't practice that religion, and even I know more about it than them, it seems ... but this happens: in a faculty vs. student trivia bowl at UC Irvine, it was a very Jewish faculty member who was the only person who knew the answer to a question about the "New Testament") -- from a comment I just posted to your blog:

As I've said before and I'll say again, our national failure to have empathy (as a bipolar friend of mine puts it -- it seems everybody in this country is psychotically manic, from the president on down) is going to be the death of us. This is not an issue of me being a hippy-dippy liberal but of "know thy enemy". How can we fight a war on terror if we don't even understand the motivations of the terrorists? And how stupid are we if we don't realize "they" really are not different than us.
 
Keep up the good work film editing schools
 
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