Monday, November 20, 2006

Koppel in Iran

I watched Ted Koppel's two-hour show on Iran last night on The Discovery Channel. I thought it was excellent. Click the link to see some clips. I also recommend you catch the show when it is shown again, as it surely will be.

There were two things that struck me that I feel are worthy to pass along.

The first is that the Iranians think their president Ahmadinejad is not up to his job, that he uses religion to bolster his image and stir people up, and that he is largely ignorant of foreign affairs and policy. They see the similarity between him and Bush.

The second thing is the changes they've seen due to the rise in the power of religion:

"We used to pray at home and go out and drink. Now, we drink at home and go out to pray."

I think we have more in common with those folks than we might have thought.

Oh yeah, they're still pissed-off at us for nipping their nascent democracy in the bud by replacing the elected Mossadegh with the Shah in '53 after he nationalized the oil industry, and for supporting Saddam in their eight-year war in the '80s that killed 800,000 Iranian soldiers, almost a whole generation of young men.

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