Students happy with Bush election

<p>Hmmm. I guess the President can take some solace that at least some students are happy with his re-election. </p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>So much for everybody in the Arab world hating us.</p>

<p>Of course the joke could be on me. Watch it turn out that the website is a Karl Rove soft-money 527 operation....</p>

<p>They had this on the Daily Show
"So it appears as though the America-hating, nuclear bomb-building, Hezbollah-supporting Iran is Bush Country" (fills in red)</p>

<p>I'm not sure how widespread the views expressed in the linked web site are, but they are consistent with the perspective that NY Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, had when he visited Iran several months ago. He wrote in his column about the pro-American reception that he received almost everywhere that he went. The existence of a large and seemingly organized anti-Islamist movement in Iran is the reason why the administration has to be very careful in how it deals with the Iranian nuclear threat. Too hard of a hand could result in turning these pro-Americans into Anti-Americans. </p>

<p>It is the principle reason why a policy that may be appropriate in Iraq is not likely appropriate in Iran (or North Korea). Each country has its own set of circumstances and must be dealt with based on the unique problems and opportunities that they pose.</p>

<p>Although Karl Rove probably had something to do with it, I think it's more because Iranian youth dislike their oppressive government and so does Bush who called it part of the 'Axis of Evil'.
It's only because they share a common enemy that Iranian students feel that way. Otherwise, hatred for Bush and the US is one of the only stable things going for that messed up part of the world.</p>

<p>No. 1 - Iranians aren't Arabs. That's mostly the point. They have never identified with Arabs, and, for the most part, practice a religion that is much, much different from their Arab neighbors.</p>

<p>No. 2 - The Iranian people have always had a great love for Americans. When I lived there (under the Shah), virtually every home had a picture of JFK on the wall, next to the Shah. The Shah's picture was obligatory. The JFK picture was their answer to the Shah. Most people had no idea who JFK was or what he stood for. But in their mind, he stood for democracy, and as such, was the opposite of the Shah, with his torture minions (trained in Fort Benning, Georgia) and Secret Police (who had advisors from Fort Benning on-site, as it were.)</p>

<p>No. 3 - Most of the Iranians I knew believed (back in the 70s) that if Americans only knew what was being done in their name to the Iranians, they (the Americans) would rise up and overthrow the government. Not the Iranian government - but the American government. America was the home of democracy and freedom, which must mean the American people were duped, and wouldn't stand for it. This was the reasoning behind the 1979 hostage taking (I knew some of the students.) They just didn't understand.</p>

<p>No. 4 - The crosscurrents in Iranian politics are fascinating. They have had democratic elections for the last two decades, with different parties - with ideologies far further apart from each other than ours -- taking and wielding power, and surrendering power peacefully each time a new election is held. For every conservative mullah there is a liberal one - which is part of the nature of decentralized shiah Islam. And students on all sides.</p>

<p>Here's a reasonably good site on Iranian elections, politics, parties, etc., with links to all the others. </p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Of special interest is the fact that while elections have to be approved by the "Council of Guardians", 189 members of the 290-member Assembly are Reformists; only 54 are Radical Islamicists.</p>