Home > Iran, United States > Of drones and thugs

Of drones and thugs

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s military has been proud to exhibit the recently downed U.S. drone but what’s on display, rather than that disturbing piece of equipment known as RQ-170 Sentinel, is a pathetic wish to be respected when all the present regime does is to bolster its image as village square thugs.

Political theorists—the late Edward Said or Frantz Fanon and their cohorts come to mind—wasted a lot of ink encouraging resentment in Third World countries feeling exploited or left behind. Their half-baked theories have caused many in the developing world to spend time and energy feeling sorry for themselves instead of concentrating on getting out of ruts or holes or narrow vision. Yes, imperialism was a reality, there was a colonial or crypto-colonial past and complete disregard for the wishes and the status of sovereign states and their populations. But those days are over. I speak for the country of my birth, Iran, when I say that any misery now experienced is caused by the regime. The victimization syndrome is what keeps us behind. That and an inferiority complex that feeds on itself, makes us both ridiculous and vulnerable—a common trait witnessed across the board in similar countries, be it Pakistan, Libya, or any of the nations in the throes of the defunct Arab spring now morphed into a sad and cold Arab winter.

If, in spite of justified grievances against the West, Iran would still accept a certain civilized give-and-take such as returning the U.S. drone when Obama requests it—while making its displeasure officially known through internationally accepted channels—or such as not clambering up the walls of the British Embassy, or such as honestly discussing thorny nuclear issues, it might be taken more seriously. Officials of the Islamic Republic may be thinking they’re making bold points but frankly, their antics proudly shown on national TV are more embarrassing than awe-inspiring.

One of my friends recently visiting Iran tells the story of a family gathering where he was asked about the United States. “What do they think about Iran?” was one question. To which he had to respond truthfully, “they don’t really think about Iran.” After a baffled silence, one of the guests spoke up, “We think about them all the time and they don’t think about us?” That pretty much sums it up. To the United States, Iran is an aggravation while to Iran the United States is an obsession. The Islamic Republic might want to ponder the point rather than think that holding drones hostage or destroying diplomatic property shows might and determination.

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  1. December 13, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    This is spot on. Fantastic!

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