I Do Not Hate Iran--But I Fear Those Who Rule Iran
I do not have any feelings of hate for Iran at all. Iran is one of the great nations of the world . . . and one of the most ancient.
The people of Iran, especially those known as Persians, are among the most educated, cultured and literate people anywhere. Their love of music and poetry thrives and web sites can be found filled with their wonderful verse.
In contrast to many other peoples in the Middle East (and beyond to Afghanistan and Pakistan) the Iranian people are forward-looking and, by nature, optimistic.
They welcome the technology and advances in science and medicine that come from the West and are open to borrow and adapt and absorb much more of our culture into their own.
They do not wish to BE a western culture but they are secure and confident enough in their own way of life to pick and choose and revise and rework what they view as useful and good for themselves and their own life as Iranians and/or Persians.
After suffering from the unwelcomed abuse of power by the secular Shah, they longed for greater freedom to express themselves and to have a government that affirmed and reflected their religious (Shia Muslim) faith along with their historic openness and tolerance of other native faiths, including Judaism, Baha'i and Christianity in its various forms.
What they got instead was the revolutionary, fundamentalist theocratic rule of sharia as interpreted by the Ayatollah Khomeini.
The historic culture was replaced by a new and oppressive culture of intolerance, terror and oppression.
Instead of being a nation among nations they became, overnight, a nation against the world . . . a nation ruled by ayatollahs consumed with a vision of turning the world into what they had created in Iran . . . an Islamist Shiite world order, so to speak.
To distract the people from their own oppression they people of Iran were treated to incessant diatribes of America as the "Great Satan" and Israel as the bane of the Muslim world . . . a Zionist malignancy determined to corrupt and destroy the Muslim world.
Enough Iranians bought into this demagoguery to provide the militant muscle needed to keep the dissidents at bay and secure the absolute rule of the mullahs and their political representatives.
The rest of the Iranian people have had to tough things out and get by as best they can under extremely difficult circumstances.
A great gift was given to the mullahs when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran. The war that followed served to galvanize the Iranian people behind a common patriotic cause and provided the veneer or support needed to keep the mullahs in full control of the people.
I do not hate the people of Iran.
I can't even say that I hate those who are using and abusing their power and authority as the current rulers of Iran.
While I don't necessarily "hate" them I do "fear" those who rule over them. After all, their stated goal is to destroy the United States and "wipe" Israel off of the map.
They are pursuing their goals with a sophisticated and reasoned approach that is, by western values, wholy evil; seeking to destroy and undermine the rule of law and stability in every country they can infiltrate.
Their greatest success to date has been their alliance with Syria in destablizing and fragmenting the nation of Lebanon, their creation, funding, training and arming of Hezbollah, their harassment of Israel and their more recent forays into gaining support from disenfranchised Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
The political power vacuum and chaos in Iraq has also afforded them the opportunity to assert a destablizing presence among a significant (but still small) portion of the majority Shi'ite population in Iraq.
It is in the Iranian mullah's national interests to keep the United States stuck in Iraq for as long as possible, killing as many as possible and in keeping Iraq as weak and disfunctional for as long a possible.
Thus far they have been doing a very good job of this.
This is, of course, against the national interests of virtually everybody else in the world, at least those nations in the so-called "free" world, including the United States.
I do not hate the nation or the people of Iran. I have high respect and love for them.
Those who currently rule over them I fear greatly for many, many reasons. I believe that the world as a whole and the people of Iran in particular would be better off without them in their present positions of power.
Their policies have brought an erosion of the Iranian economy and the suppression and oppression of virtually everything that was good, right and admirable in Iranian culture.
They do not hide the fact that they are at war with the United States. My suggestion is that the United States take them at their word and respond in a way that will weaken their shaky grip on power even more.