The trip is over. The killer jet lag, three days of 14-18 hours of sleep a night, has abated at last. I've ticked another country off the list and am getting ready for a cross-country jaunt from San Francisco to Boston by bus.
But before I do that, there are a few loose ends to tie up.
For one thing, Iran ain't Persia. Persia is a nation with a thousands-year-old history that's fully capable of integrating itself into the modern world. It's got the technology to do it; it's full of intelligent people with a zest for life and a love of culture. It's a nation that wants to be a friend of ours and that should be.
Iran is a corrupt, terrorist state that enjoys hurting people. Look what it's done to Iraq and Lebanon. The theocracy has managed to have a toothless toy democracy as a loincloth to cover its privates.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the puppet president of Iran, has announced that he's going to address the UN, and that's his right. He's an annoying buffoon, but we can't and shouldn't stop him. The question is not what we're going to have to do about HIM, but what we're going to have to do with his master, über-fürer Ali Khamenei, who had appointed himself to the job and threatens to remain there for life (He's been there almost twenty years). He's part of the group of thugs in antique clothing that defrauded Persia when the people demanded democracy and overthrew a tyrant.
We can't get rid of him, of course. In 1953, the CIA sent Teddy Roosevelt's grandson Kim with a suitcase full of cash to get rid of a semi-democratically elected prime minister, and he did, but only because the powers that be in Iran, including that prime minister being deposed permitted it. Mohammed Reza Shah fled in 1979 because Jimmy Carter refused to support him, and that caused all the trouble.
The Russians and the Brits have really good relations with Iran. The Russians helped install Reza Khan and the Brits got rid of him. Eisenhower sent Kim Roosevelt to Tehran as a favor to Winston Churchill. Stalin occupied much of Northern Iran during the 1940s, but they have very good relations with the Iranian government. The Soviets were the main backers of Israel during its first five years of existence.
So why is it just US who's picked out as the Great Satan? Diversion, mostly. If they refuse to talk to us, and go around shooting missiles and enriching uranium, they can go around saying..."Those bastard Americans are picking on us for no reason!" and all the problems like inflation, energy and the environment (to be fair, they've been pretty good on that) and feel like a righteous victim. But the Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Jews and others know what the real deal is. Unfortunately, the Mullahs haven’t agreed to go, and unlike the Shah, don’t care if a Jimmy Carter is going to withhold his support or nor.
Iran’s like Burma in that way. Myanmar goes under the wrong name as well.
Well, that’s it for now. I hoped you liked the series.. Now it’s back to important
things, like the cover of this week’s New Yorker…