I am so sad…
For so long, our blog has been exempt from the kinds of commenter fist fights that we are having now.
Listen… Despite what you all might think, I love Iran. Yes, you read correctly. I love the country. That might be why both Keivan and I can be so critical sometimes. It is out of a kind of passion for what Iran is, was, and can become.
Iran is far from monolithic or doomed… It is diverse and delightful and filled with people who are unbelievably welcoming. Can you imagine Iranians traveling to America or Europe and being met with sincere kindness by 99.9% of the people they run across? Yet, when I travel Iran, I *am* met with kindness. Yes me. An American. I tell everyone who asks that I am American. Yes I do. I tell everyone. I tell the Revolutionary Guards and the soldiers and the police and the school girls and their mothers and brothers and fathers and friends. I tell cab drivers and business men and oil execs and refugees. Everywhere I go, I am met with kindness. When Iranians say to me, “It’s your government we hate, not you.” I say, “The government represents me. I may not have voted for it, but you must hold me and other Americans responsible for its actions.” Yes. They should, but they don’t.
The West sees images of Iranians throwing smoke bombs and burning flags and shouting down with America… You don’t see the 16-year old girl trying out her English with me. You don’t see the soldiers who greet me with jokes. You don’t see the families who have served me countless dinners. You don’t see any of this.
The West has chosen to demonize Iran. I don’t agree with Iran’s politics; I don’t agree with its legal system; I don’t agree with a lot of things here. Iran is flawed. Well aren’t we all…?
Do I have to turn off the comments for awhile? I will start deleting comments that are not civil and self-serving. I hate to do that... I will not delete comments of people who disagree with me or others as long as they are civil. You are on notice.