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March 06, 2006

The Worst Part About Their Culture Is They Don't Understand Irony

Here's an article in Time describing the leader of Iran:

In a few months he had the whole world hanging on his words and deeds, his jokes, his tears, his tantrums. Behind his grotesque antics lay great issues of peace or war, which would affect many lands far beyond his mountains...

He increased the danger of a general war among nations, impoverished his country and brought it and some neighboring lands to the very brink of disaster...

In his plaintive, singsong voice he gabbled a defiant challenge that sprang out of a hatred and envy almost incomprehensible to the West...

It sounds like they're talking about Ahmadinejad, doesn't it? Except that's from a 1951 Time profile of Mohammad Mosadegh. It really is strange how all Iranian leaders (except the shah) have essentially been demented, dangerous children.

I wonder why that is? Maybe it's due to their ignorant, insular, primitive culture.

Posted at March 6, 2006 11:27 PM | TrackBack

Despair not, my friend, for the Shah, dead though he may be, has a son ready to restore irony to that wretched land. Pahlavi, Chalabi, and irony don't rhyme by accident, you know.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at March 7, 2006 12:28 AM

at this rate, by 2032 we'll have iran contra II : electric sandinista! and jenna/barbara will landslide their way into the white house!

the era of sequels to foreign policy disasters seems to be just beginning, and like any michael bay movie it promises plenty of explosions.

here's hoping none of us are hit with that scenario in addition to flood waters lapping at our doorsteps.

Posted by: almostinfamous at March 7, 2006 12:49 AM

You make it sound like Bush should put in his CV (resume to most Americans) when his term ends.

Posted by: spiiderweb at March 7, 2006 01:05 AM

"ignorant, insular, primitive culture" - sounds like some of the right wing Catholics I know in Texas, and particularly like the current bishop of San Antonio, who likes to describe himself in the "Opus Dei" manner - "a priest of Opus Dei" - to whom I wrote a letter asking if you are a priest of Opus Dei, how in the hell can you be a priest of God?

Never got an answer.

Today is primary election day in Texas - arise, ye cadavers, vote early, often and en masse!

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at March 7, 2006 07:56 AM

Dang, whenever you do one of these historical parallels, it sends shivers down my spine.

OTH not everything is history repeating, to my knowledge we never had a president quite like Bush. Take comfort in that.

Posted by: Sweet Clyde at March 7, 2006 08:03 AM

Ah TIME: that fiendish contraption of that well-meaning but ultimately dunderheaded American reactionary press baron Henry Luce.

I really have mixed feelings towards him as an Asian and a Chinese, he did attempt to support the Chinese Nationalist Cause against the Communist takeover, which as anyone could have told you was BAD in the short run, and in the long run produced results that could have been done otherwise anyway.

But still, his magazine ain't worth reading at all.

These days we have much worse to worry about than these old time reactionary press barons informed by misguided missionary visions: that is, reactionary press conglomerates informed by well-investigated profit margins.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at March 7, 2006 08:41 AM

Make "neighboring lands' into foreign lands and this sounds just like the Preznit.

Posted by: Bruce at March 7, 2006 09:59 AM

So Mossadegh was filled with a hatred "almost incomprehensible to the West."
Compared to the hatred of Stalin (anybody), Hitler (Jews) and Jackson (Indians)?
What did Mossadegh do, compared to them?
Must have been that voice.

Posted by: donescobar at March 7, 2006 12:21 PM

Pahlavi, Chalabi, and irony don't rhyme by accident, you know.


Posted by: Darryl Pearce at March 7, 2006 03:19 PM

I thought, at first, that it was a description of either Bush or Stalin. I forget sometimes that Iran had themselves a democracy for a little while.

Posted by: thebewilderness at March 8, 2006 12:21 AM

On NPR yesterday, a Middle East expert said that due to the almost total lack of power of the Iranian presidency, Pat Robertson has more influence on American foreign policy than the Iranian president has on Iran's. Obviously that's never going to fly with the masses, though, because the idea of a figurehead president, with other people actually calling all the shots, would be incomprehensible to most Americans.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at March 8, 2006 07:42 AM