Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Too Funny Yar

1. Greeting the Americans With Flowers and Sweets

No, I am not talking about Kanan Makaya's ridiculous, laughable, self-serving, tragic pre-war claims that the Iraqi people would welcome invading U.S. soldiers with "flowers and sweets". I am referring to the reception the U.S. wrestling team received upon arrival in Iran. In the following AP photo taken from here, you can see Iranian girls dressed in traditional local clothing handing pink and white roses to members of the U.S. team who are arriving in the southern city of Bandar Abbas:

It's nice that U.S. citizens are getting a chance to see Iran and meet Iranians on a first-hand basis rather than having to rely on the demonic picture that mass media and certain paid bloggers try to reflect. Of course the other positive part of having U.S. citizens on the Persian Gulf coast is that Mr. Bush wont be dropping bombs on Iran as long as they are there.

2. Unleashing the Power of the Internet

Yea right! Here is one for all the folks who still believe in the Net's inherent liberatory qualities. A group called "Give Israel Your Unconditional Support" has developed various software that allows pro-Israeli Internet users to be organize and "help" Israel with their virtual activism.

Just take a look at their latest: when you click on the following link,, it gives you a pop-up that says "Email this story to world leaders. Ask them to support the US in its moves in Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Iran's nuclear program is a threat to the whole world - stop Iran NOW"

In short, participants are supposed to use this little tool to create the impression that the public as a whole believes that talks with Iran are useless.

As Joseph Cirincione has pointed out, the Baker-Hamilton Group, senior members of congress, and three quarters of Americans recently polled believe in the idea of carrying out talks with Iran. But for reasons that are totally uncomprehensible to me, some people would like to close the doors of peaceful solutions and escalate the situation towards yet another bloodbath.

3. Life is Long..

So goes one of the main motifs of Salman Rushdie's Shame. "life is long" and "too funny yar", a couple of Rushdie repeated phrases that always stick in my mind, and both are relevant for the case at hand, take a look at these facts:

- in 1979, the same year that a popular revolution in Iran led to the overthrow and exile of the dictator Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, a popular rebellion in Nicaragua led to the overthrow and exile Anastasio Somoza. The two events resulted in Islamists ruling Iran, Communists ruling Nicaragua, and a major freak out on the part of the U.S.

- At that time, Daniel Ortega, current president of Nicaragua, was an important part of the Sandanista National Liberation Front that had rebelled against the Somoza regime. During that same period, Mahmoud Ahmadinejhad, current president of Iran, was a supporter of the Students in the Line of the Imam, a group that played an important role in the victory of the Islamist groups over all other factions that had taken part in the revolution.

-Faced with communists in Nicaragua and Islamists in Iran, the U.S. made a stunning choice: sell arms to Iran (the enemy) use the money to fund the Contra guerillas so that they can fight the Sandanistas (the other enemy). Ahmadinejhad's people were getting weapons as part of a scheme that succesfully destroyed Ortega's people.

-But alas, "life is long", so Ahmadinejhad and Ortega are letting by-gones be by-gones:

-Nearly thirty years after their nation's histories were intertwined as a result of U.S. policies, the two presidents have declared an alliance in fighting "a common enemy".

"too funny, Yar!"