Home > Metablogging > Meanwhile, just across the border (crossposted at CT)

Meanwhile, just across the border (crossposted at CT)

January 21st, 2005

Iranians are stocking up on candy and flowers with which to bestrew invading US troops, according to Thomas Friedman who says “many young people apparently hunger for Mr. Bush to remove their despotic leaders, the way he did in Iraq.”. His evidence for this proposition is the following

n Oxford student who had just returned from research in Iran told me that young Iranians were “loving anything their government hates,” such as Mr. Bush, “and hating anything their government loves.” Tehran is festooned in “Down With America” graffiti, the student said, but when he tried to take pictures of it, the Iranian students he was with urged him not to. They said it was just put there by their government and was not how most Iranians felt.

Iran, he said, is the ultimate “red state.”

Oddly enough, when I last visited America, I met plenty of people who “love anything their government hates,” and assured me that the kind of thing I saw on Fox was not really the way most Americans felt. They didn’t feel able to confess to me that they were longing for the arrival of a Franco-German liberation army, but no doubt if I’d had the benefit of an Oxford education, I would have been able to detect their eagerness for an invasion, civil war and so on.

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  1. January 21st, 2005 at 17:09 | #1

    Orwell was onto something when he said that there was no force on earth to compare with nationalism. You would thing that Orwell’s idolators would have tumbled to that by now.

  2. dk.au
    January 21st, 2005 at 17:14 | #2

    Makes you wonder who the US admin might chose for their Iranian poster boy (or girl)

  3. January 22nd, 2005 at 00:52 | #3

    Does American get a say in who liberates? Canada’s not doing much in the war department at the moment, and they’re just next door.

  4. William
    January 22nd, 2005 at 11:06 | #4

    Thomas Friedman has a history of dealing with foreign elites to “learn” what their people want. Recall his Lexus and the Olive Tree cocktail-party interviews with politicians and young businesspeople of Asia leading him to understand that globalisation was, unreservedly, a Good Thing.

  5. paul2
    January 22nd, 2005 at 14:09 | #5

    Don’t be so cynical Q. They want a new home-grown leader they can look up to… a constitional monarch … perhaps one of the Pahlavi family…

  6. paul2
    January 22nd, 2005 at 14:20 | #6

    constitootion, goddammit

  7. Homer Paxton
    January 22nd, 2005 at 20:28 | #7

    The US ain’t going to anything with Iran because like North korea they can retaliate.
    unlike North korea they have plenty of orthodox missiles which can attack US Allies.

    Why do you think Israel has done nothing!

  8. Glenn Condell
    January 23rd, 2005 at 14:51 | #8

    That Friedman piece, like a lot of his stuff, starts well but goes pear-shaped at the end when he tries to shoehorn the common sense he has covered in the first part into the straightjacket of American and Israeli interests that seems a permanent feature of the second.

    He quotes two people (actual ones, not his famous straw boys and girls) in the article who make chilling observations which tend to discount the conclusion he comes to. The first points out that all of the British, indeed European opposition parties would fit fairly comfortably inside the Democratic Party in the US. The other opines that the US election result undermines the concept of ‘the West.’

    This increasing distance is perceptively covered by Tony Judt in the current NY Review:

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/17726

    Hey Jack, did you notice the vitally central Mr Sheehan quoted Judt approvingly last week? Only he didn’t quote in full, and his omissions were telling. It seems that, while maintaining the hard shell of Green and lefty bashing that protects his sinecures, your man is zooming ever leftwards. Are you coming too?

  9. January 23rd, 2005 at 20:46 | #9

    as tblogg said “The death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis is a small price to pay to satisfy my curiosity about democracy in the Middle East.”

  10. January 23rd, 2005 at 20:46 | #10

    (referring to Friedman)

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