Iran: Past the paranoia

The American Conservative
by Peter Hitchens

06/04/07

In the great square at Esfahan, I talked to a group of teenage girls about to graduate from high school — one strictly veiled, one less so, one whose scarf was subversively far back on her head. They all thought war was coming, all believed that the U.S. was not a truly free country and that Iranians and Muslims were persecuted and mistreated there. These opinions arose from state-sponsored ignorance and were fanned by our own militant hostility. The students were not in themselves hostile to the West — like almost all Iranians, they yearned to live there. They were personally friendly and open to me. But they warned that an attack on Iran would drive them closer to their government. And this was not just their view. I heard the same from many far more liberal-minded and skeptical. Before the Iraq War, many such people were all but wishing for an American invasion to free them from the ayatollahs. But having seen what American liberation has done for Iraq and Afghanistan, they have turned away from any such thoughts. The Islamic leadership knows this and is glad of the threats and grumbling coming from Washington...

http://www.amconmag.com/2007/2007_06_04/cover.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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