Sunday, December 12, 2004

Keeping the Persian Gulf Stupid

wow, have I really been away from here for nearly a month?

No, I haven't been depressed, or away, or even particularly busy. And there certainly hasn't been a lack of things to blog about.

Take, for example, the US spying on their boy El-Baradei. I guess if you are bold enough to plant bugs in the phones and emails of the UN Security Council, keeping an eye out on your hired help is perfectly legitimate.

Lots of stuff going on in Iran as well, too much, really, to account for in one post. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Khatami the other day, when students openly attacked him and his record.

One of my favorite moments in the whole thing was when a crowd of students started shouting slogans against the hardliner Ayatollah Jannati: "Jannati Jannati, to doshman-e mardomi (Jannati Jannati, you are the enemy of the people". Thinking the slogans were against him, Khatami responded with a resigned but sarcastic "fine, if you are the representatives of the people, then i am the enemy". So the students started to shout back at him: "no no, we are NOT talking about YOU! we are yelling about Jannati", to which Khatami, clearly pleased, just responded with something like "oh, it's not against me? fine then".

The students weren't the only excitable ones these past days, who could forget the mass hysteria that swept up Iranians of all stripes and locations including fascists/monarchists living abroad, reformists and hardliner politicians inside of Iran, and, well, pretty much everyone else in between.

And, what, you may wonder, was the root cause of this rare moment of unity among Iranians? Was it sparked by the feeling that the whole world is ganging up on Iran as indicated by news that:

Egypt Accuses Iran of Espionage?

Israel accuses Iran of Espionage?

That cow, Yawar, accuses Iran of interfering in Iraq?

The Jordanian King Abdullah accuses Iran of meddling with Iraq's politics?

or maybe it was the fact that the US continues to lay the groundwork for yet another war of aggression against a sovereign nation?

Oh no, it was none of these things that broght together the otherwise divided patchwork of us passionate Iranians. It was the fact that an atlas published by the National Geographic included in PARENTHESES the words "Arabian Gulf" next to the "Persian Gulf".

Now when you have troubles like this, all other news concerning Iran just seems trivial doesn't it?

No wonder the Iranian government banned the National Geographic journalists from entering Iran and that attention-hungry son of a former dictator set up meetings with the board of National Geographic.

And the weblog community jumped in feet first, even designing a google bomb (which I refuse to link to for obvious reasons). Way to unleash the progressive power of the Internet guys!

Well, better a google bomb than a cluster bomb, i say!

except that:

1)Hollow nationalism, though always silly and patently stupid, rarely ever stays at
the level of verbal or symbolic assaults.

2)While we are fiddling around online manically spreading google bombs in order to "keep the Gulf forever Persian", Iran comes frightenly closer to being bombarded with cluster bombs and more. And when that happens, the Gulf wont be Persian, or Arabian, it will be the Anglo-American Gulf, and no amount of google bombing will help us then.