Over the next few days or weeks, or as long as it seems necessary or relevant I will use the above headline in regards to what we are witnessing transpire in Iran at the moment, hopefully in order to simply and concisely help elucidate a better understanding of the who what when where why and how that’s led our brothers and sisters of the great ancient nation of Persia, now Iran, to this current state of affairs, and where it might be headed.
For it very difficult for anyone in the so called “West” to gain even a modicum of any real knowledge about the true facts, figures, statistics, history and context related to Iran, for the simple reason that over the last few hundred years Western Powers such as the United States, Great Britain, Israel and to a lesser degree France have done nothing but dispel dis and misinformation about the country and it’s history — in order to cover up their heinous mistreatment and opportunistic bullying of the Iranian state and it’s people.
Talk about fake news. American media coverage of Iran is, as it always has been, almost entirely false and deliberately misleading propaganda or just innocently and ignorantly wrong. I was just as shocked to learn that 15 years ago as anyone else would be.
Eventually that shock turned to shame as I learned of the details of the American government’s dealings with Iran, and then to awe as I continued to go deeper into the study of the great country’s 6,000 year old history.
This fascination eventually led me to participate in a fast paced, hair raising, jaw dropping, eye popping two week diplomatic mission trip to all four corners of Iran at a time when Americans were only being allowed in the country for these kinds of events, and only once in a blue moon. As it is today still, it has been nearly impossible for Americans to get into Iran legally for decades. The reasons are obvious. Pre-approved cultural exchange trips, media tours or diplomatic missions are the only possible means of entry. And they are few and far between, depending on who the president is of both Iran and the United States.
At this time Iran refuses to have any official diplomatic relations with the United States, the American Embassy there is a beat up old empty shell of a building, graffiti’d with random anti-American imperialism slogans. So any diplomatic communications between the two countries either go through mutual allies in Switzerland or Pakistan, or through civilian diplomatic efforts such as the one I participated in in 2009.
For today, or at least in this moment — and indeed what compelled me to take the time to write this post this while nursing one hell of a 2×4 whack to the back of the head champagne hangover from last night’s festivities, the most important points to get across are the following:
– Iran spent many millennia controlled by one monarchy or another going all the way back to 4,000 BCE. Some people supported this. Some endured it. Some hated it. Like many other countries all over planet earth in the 20th century the citizens of Iran became a democracy in the early 1950s.
– This Democratic Iran only lasted for 3 years, as Great Britain and the United States were not happpy with the idea of the Iranian people being responsible for the price of their own oil, so they orchestrated a coup of Iran, ousted its democratically elected president, and reinstated another king (or Shah as the word is translated into Farsi) so they could go back to controlling Iran as they always had.
– Together with France they formed a new Western controlled oil company to handle the drilling, refining and embezzling of Iran’s oil. That company was to eventually be shortened to being called British Petroleum, or BP.
– There is more to the story. Much more. And it’s a fascinating story. But this is enough context to understand the causes of Iranian Revolution of the late 70s. Or what the United States calls “the Iranian hostage crisis”. That is cultural relativism at its finest. Bear in mind that historically in the late 70s the Iranian people had a full on people’s revolution, ousted the Americans from their country, demanded autonomy of self determinism and self governance and also demanded that the Shah be returned to Iran to stand trial for treasonous acts against the Constitution and the people.
– Unfortunately what ended up transpiring from this powerful revolutionary moment is that the Ayatollah Khomenei returned from exile as a hero, promising democracy but instead declared himself “supreme leader” and turned the country into a Theocracy, a semi-democratic nation state controlled by the laws and dictates of the religion of Islam. Not exactly what the people were expecting.
– In the 1980s the United States and Great Britain decided to once again attempt to take over Iran, this time by installing a CIA trained dictator by the name of Saddam Hussein, in the neighboring country of Iraq, armed him with billions of dollars and weapons of mass destruction and ordered him to invade Iran and promised him that if he were victorious they would all split the booty later.
– Alas Iraq was not victorious. Like the American colonialists before them against the imperialist powers of Great Britain, the Iranian people fought hard to defend their country and heritage. So the Ronald Reagan administration decided that the best strategy would be to start secretly backing both sides of the so called Iran Iraq War so they could control both countries regardless of who won after all the bloodshed and lost lives. Reagan got caught. This is what is known as The Iran Contra Affair. Eventually both countries called a truce, realizing that the real enemy was the United States.
– For the last 37 years the people of Iran have lived as comfortably as they can under Theocratic rule. They are a remarkably resilient and optimistic people. Extremely intelligent. And more educated than almost any country I‘ve ever visited.
– There are MANY competing factions in the country of Iran. Some like the idea of being aligned with and governed by the tenets of Islam, similar to how many in the United States believe that “America is and Always should be a christian nation”.
– Others would like to see a return of the Shah’s son to power, remembering the good old days when Iran was a freer, more Western styled country.
– Still Others would like to see a full on Green Revolution, as witnessed in other middle eastern countries circa 2011 to 2012 and see Iran once again become a true democracy.
– Now add a few dozen other variants of the above and more, and like Syria, one begins to understand why it is literally impossible for anyone other than the Iranian people themselves to steer their country in the direction it will eventually go.
– This is why it is an extremely misguided strategic action to publicly or privately pledge support or allegiance to any of the many battling factions currently warring in the streets and boardrooms of the country at this time. It may seem like a good idea to go all ra ra sis boom ba for “the people”… and indeed any intelligent compassionate person certainly would love to see Iran finally become a democracy once again (especially if Great Britain and The United States stay the hell out of their business this time), until one realizes that no one as of yet has any idea WHO the people may choose as their elected leader or what kind of government they may choose to be governed by.
– THIS is by far the most important point that needs to be understood at this time. For now we trust that eventually the people will come around to the discovery that though not perfect democracy isn’t such a bad place to end up. But this is their revelation to have. Just as this is their revolution.
[Yes, there is much more to the story. Israel-Palestine, long standing alliances with Russia and China, the bitter fued between Iran and Saudi controlled Arabia, the Sunni-Shiite battle for control over Islam, et al. But we’ll get to all of that and more at a later date.
Right now let us hope that all sides in this historic real time drama err on the side of caution and compassion and non-violence as much as is humanly possible so that something akin to a truly peaceful progress is made for the sake of us all.]
– Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone