"We love Americans; we just don't love your government," Iranians everywhere told me over and over and over again. "We have the same problem: bad governments," many added. When they did, I invariably responded: "The American government represents the people: you should hold us responsible for the actions of our government." It was kind of a mini civics lesson.
The fact is that most Americans do not know the extent and effect of American foreign policy. We are mostly concerned with domestic issues. And now, on top of that, most are *not* represented by the current government.
What I found most distressing during my recent stay in The US was the extent to which Americans had become more "Iranian." In Iran I met people frustrated with the system who had given up affecting it. I encountered a lack of will, a kind of political exhaustian in Iran. What I did not expect was to encounter this same phenomena in America. I have never ever ever experienced an America so at odds with its government and at such a loss about what to do about it.
Even though I met a couple of Bush supporters, most of the people I met in America were just paralyzed by mistrust and disgust. People are afraid there will be a war with Iran, they are sick of the war in Iraq, they are tired to the bone from lies.
What's next from this seemingly unstoppable administration?