Sunday, October 10, 2004

SMS tricks

…20 years of Intelligence operations…

That was the text message sent to Iranian mobile phone users today from the Intelligence Ministry.

That guy and his 50 planes
A few nights ago Iranian television showed a couple of hours of extracts from the satellite program of the guy who promised to bring freedom to Iran in the guise of 50 airplanes filled with government opponents. It was all designed to make him look bad.

Khomeini did not hate America?
Can it be true that Khomeini did not really hate America? Apparently new writings are being published that show that he opposed the infamous "Death to America" rallies.

Prozac Nation…not quite yet…
I often fantasize about owning the Prozac contract for Iran. The whole nation suffers from depression. There is such a pervasive aura of helplessness here. "No one takes care of themselves," K's nephew told me. "No one takes responsibility. No one takes action."

"The will of the country is so broken," K told me after a week of traveling. "Everywhere I go people are so indecisive and corrupt. It's like everything is broken."

Unlike Iranians living outside of Iran, resident Iranians have an inferiority complex. Nothing Iranian is good enough unless it was made hundreds of years ago. They do not trust themselves. They do not like themselves very much. They are so confident of their inferiority, in fact, that they believe themselves to be the center of the world. They exaggerate everything they do wrong. They claim that they live in the worst country in the world with the worst government. They all say they want to move to America. And then, and then, dig a little deeper and they are proud of Iran and proud to be Iranian. As a culture, Iranians display the symptoms of individual depression. They can be listless, apathetic, and negative with flashes of energy and pride.

Iranians are caught in a blip of history. They cannot see their way out of it alone, but I am convinced that only they can succeed in bringing about change and reform. Everyone asks me, "When will America come?" (which surprises me given the daily news about Iraq… but then, they do not see themselves as analogous to Iraq) I usually answer, "America is not coming."

Iranians imagine a surgical operation that could simply remove their problem for them and leave them happy and healthy. "They think that America has a bomb that just kills mullahs," a non-resident Iranian tells me.

Resident Iranians blame themselves for the revolution. They blame the mullahs for the regime. Iranians in exile take the moral high ground: after all, many were the opposition. That said, a friend of ours recently told us that it was a good thing the communists lost. "At least the mullahs are practical," he says. "I have a friend who says that if we had won, Iran would be Cambodia."

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