Monday, June 22, 2009

Iran: The Mystical Glory of “Reciprocal History”

A lesson for Americans unfolds in the streets of a great Iranian city. 100

Greetings to the people of Iran. Thank you for reminding us of the nature of leadership. Thank you for reminding us that the special leadership which changes history arises from the common sense at the foundation of culture and not from the sterile, frightened, ideological ambitions at the top.

Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for reminding us that following is an honorable equivalent to leading. Thank you for reminding us that ordinary citizens actually do have the time to perform the work of leading themselves, the ordinary insight to direct their futures and the ordinary knowledge to discern the true from the false when they awake and strive for such great things.

In our proud history, the United States sent the entire world the vivifying glimpse of freedom, then it sent that same whole world our very worst face right behind that glimpse. We have extracted, coerced, manipulated and suppressed your dreams and put the results in the banks of our most greedy and least honorable. We have imprisoned the men you elected. We have watched while our lowest neighbors have corrupted entire countries for cheap oil and labor and stolen for themselves every crumb of your dreams for your own future and the future of the lives of your children and families.

We watch these same hollow, fearful Americans attempt to turn even your bravery and suffering to an advantage for their politics. “Intervene or you’re soft on freedom!” they wail.

But now, we find ourselves stranded in the disaster we made. We see the broken faces of the shocked victims of our "depression" staring blankly through the smoke of our own avarice, our own rampage, as it passes through Europe and Asia like a plague, devouring their lives and fortunes. Their futures. Their lifetimes of work and prudence. For a whole generation.

Worse, we see ourselves numbed by the final realization of the scope and gravity of what Americans have done, astonished that we could have allowed our countrymen to inflict such immense harm while blindly watching, seeing only our lofty, spoken claims, not the substance of such horrible acts. As a country, we find ourselves stupefied in a hangover, haunted by growing waves of realization, inescapably trapped by history. All our "knowledge" turns out to be nothing but a shabby deception. At this sobering moment, we find our thoughts too soiled, too horribly manipulated, to understand Iran, the "axis of evil."

Why do these people hate us? Can it be that they are so unfair? Hardly.

Iran, you have grasped the dream we have forgotten. To every one of you with a bloody back or a broken knee in the streets of Teheran, we salute you. Now, after you have followed our magnificent dream, it is time for us to return to our lost honor, to, this time, follow yours.

Enough said, America.

We might yet avoid what we see in Teheran in our own cities, but we will not avoid it sitting abashedly in our houses. We Americans still have the wounds and scars of letting the same sad pathos of profit and power almost wrest our nation away from us. Our adversaries are temporarily at rest, licking their wounds, but still filled with that same blood frenzy, that same predatory ambition of completing what they only barely failed to finish before last year. They plan to enslave us with either our own fears or, shockingly, with our own lethargy.

These wretches have divided us against ourselves with the dream of creating an Iran here, not a theocracy per se, but an unassailable oligarchy embued with an equally ominous perfidy. They think that, with the election of Obama, we will once again drift back to a state where we are too occupied to care what they take from us. They are out there in our midst, skulking, hiding behind their billions and dreaming of owning our souls.

What’s left but Shakespeare?

With Julius Caesar destroyed in the Senate, the Roman Republic slides into civil war at the battle of Phillipi from which it will emerge an Empire. Marcus Brutus, friend and assassin who faces defeat in the coming battle, speaks:

That we have tried the utmost of our friends,
Our legions are brimful, our cause is ripe:
The enemy increaseth everyday;
We, at the height, are ready to decline.
There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea we are now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
or lose our ventures.

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Scene III.

Now, who feels like just sitting there until we are Iran?

MeanMesa suggests a posting on this blog which provides a historical overview of the present conflict: "Comprehending Iran: The Nuclear Power"

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