Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sweet dreams about Iran

The religious leaders and, coincidently, rulers of Iran give theocracy a bad name by the repressive regime they control. That cannot be good news for Christian theocrats in the US whose brand of theocracy is enlightened and beneficent. You don't want to mix up your flavors. I digress already.

There is a serious Iranian threat. For the US it is its nuclear threat. For Iranians it is its repressive government. In a theocracy, those who are not sufficiently devout will suffer Hell on earth. The political dissident will not fare much better. It is one thing to be a devil outside the flock, and quite another to deviate from the true way inside the flock. You can't have a bunch of people running around thinking and saying whatever they want.

Ok, let's use our imaginations for a bit. You are an Iranian citizen and you hear the roar of the US jets come to blow up nuclear facilities and other mission critical facilities such as power plants. Here's what you are thinking.

"Oh goody. Here come the Americans to blow up the nuclear facility next to my house. I can hardly wait."

Or maybe that is not what you are thinking.

Another way to attack the Iranian situation is by supporting those dissidents inside and outside Iran in their struggle to defeat oppression. That's not so easy as blowing up a bunch of stuff, but revolutions do happen.

However, the way things go with this kind of aid is that a dissident has to have the correct ideological purity. Proudly announcing you are for free markets once a new regime takes control will get you lots of cash. For others it is not so easy to climb aboard the gravy train known as US business interests. You might think the US could make an exception in this case, but don't count on it.

You can blow up a bunch of stuff in a country whose citizens live on a dollar a day and it will cripple that country. But when a country like Iran is drowning in oil, that stuff is just going to get rebuilt, especially if it is needed to make bombs.

There's a kind of irony in calling Iran a rogue state when you are reaching for your wallet to buy more oil from them. Unfortunately, that irony is lost on a lot of people. One of the more sensible things coming from President Bush is his call for the US to free itself from its dependence on foreign oil. When you get down to cases as to what can be done, things get messy in a hurry.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of heroic Iranians trying to alleviate the suffering caused by a repressive theocracy. And the US is not doing much to help them. For some dissidents it is because they do not possess sufficient capitalist ideological purity. For others, it is because the US is spending all its time and energy figuring out how to blow up Iran once and for all so that it will no longer be a threat to US interests. Wouldn't you know, we expect the Iranians to be real happy about us bombing them, no matter what their political persuasion.

Such are the sweet dreams of those who can't figure out anything else to do but blow up stuff.

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