Iranians who read this should know that people in the West are afraid of you. They have no clue who you are. They see you only through Ahmadinejad. “When Khatami was in power, America argued that they could not improve relations because he had no real power. Now America says that Ahmadinejad *does* have real power and that is why they cannot negotiate with him.” That’s K’s take.
Most Americans do not read newspapers which is a shame because most newspaper journalists have a more nuanced view of Iran than the one presented on tv. I see and read arguments all of the time for bombing Iran to prevent Iran from bombing us or some other country. I can’t link to them because I cannot tell if they are parody or real arguments. If they are real, then they are engaged in some strange, circular logic. If they are parody, then they just are not funny enough.
It’s been a long time since we Americans engaged in war on our own soil. We have no idea what it does to a country and to the character of a population. In Iran, people are exhausted from war and revolution. People are just plain tired. Why would they want to face it again? Iranians live a chaotic life. There is no sense of security or peace or calm. When you are there, you barely notice this because it is pervasive. When you leave Iran, you notice. You notice because the part of you that is constantly worried rests and the rest of you feels so full of energy and optimism that you can barely contain yourself.
This is what I tell Americans: there is no other country in the world with a more pro-American population and that people in Iran are kind and generous to me. Especially when they discover that I am an American. People also ask about hijab: I do have to wear hijab, but not a burka or a chador: just a headscarf and a jacket that covers my butt. I can wear pants. I can wear a jacket so tight that every line of my bra shows. I can wear sandals and capris. I don’t have to cover my bangs or the back of my hair. People then ask about Iranian Jews. I cannot answer this question because I really do not know what their lives are like.
One commenter asks “What do Iranians think of AN?” The short answer is I do not know. The long answer is that he is supposed to deliver them from corruption. But that is the long answer.
Anyway, happy Jill Carroll has been freed.