Friday, November 30, 2007

Reflections on my trip to Iran

I decided to take a little jaunt to Iran for a few weeks in October. I know that to many of you it really doesn't seem like the vacation of your dreams but to me it makes sense. I like to see first hand what is going on in the world and to have a personal reference when watching the news. It brings current events to life for me. (More thoughts on this) I have been trying to schedule this trip for more than two years and have been interested in Iran for much of my life. Years ago my father did economic consulting for the Shah's government and we were on his holiday card list. Those cards were displayed in our foyer for years.

Timing wise, I might have picked two of the most rhetoric filled weeks in Iranian/American history. Figuring out to what write has been really difficult since I've been assaulted by political punditry speaking of the possible war and a diatribe of inaccurate images and messages on the news. What I saw on the ground seemed vastly different than what I expected.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Iran Photos


Culture in Iran

If you are interested in hearing more, this is an interesting radio piece about culture in Iran.

NPR: Studio 360

Persepolis and Iran

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

This is just crazy talk!

After my trip to Iran and seeing what I saw, coming back to all this bomb Iran rhetoric seems just crazy. With the facts on the ground (the size of the country, the ability for the government to rally troops to really fight (the Revolutionary Guard says they can get 20 million people fight within a very short time), the fact that the Revolutionary Guard sites are right in the middle of cities so there would be enormous casualties for even a small surgical strike...) make the whole concept of us bombing seem ridiculous. Not to mention that Iran is not the purely evil terrorist state Cheney tries to make it out to be... Its a little weird to be home and hearing all the talk after meeting the people that will be and are affected by the rhetoric and threats.

In truth Iran is slowly changing. The old guard is trying to hold on and for the time being is only ceding small changes to the younger populace (65% of population is under 25), but with the rise in education and the bigger role women play in the workplace, along with the images on the internet and satellite TV, change will happen and if we bomb we will destroy that possibility defeating our own cause and radicalize yet another Middle Eastern country.