Friday, September 01, 2006

The Backlash Against Iran's Role in Lebanon -- Page 1 The Backlash Against Iran's Role in Lebanon -- Page 1 The Backlash Against Iran's Role in Lebanon by Azadeh Moaveni points out that not everyone thinks that Iran's role supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon is a good thing. Notably the Iranians themselves question it, blaming much of their own misery and depressed living conditions on their government's spending to support Arab Shi`ites.
That people so readily accepted that their government would forsake their daily loaf for a distant Islamic cause just speaks to the overwhelming bitterness these days in Tehran. Most people are convinced the government is spending outrageous sums on the Lebanese, and ever since the Iranian government declared a "victory" for the militant group Hizballah, rumors of what the Lebanese are 'getting' have been flying. Free SUVs? Plasma televisions? Nothing seems out of the question. Nightly news broadcasts that Iranians watch on their illegal satellite dishes have shown Hizballah doling out thick stacks of cash, courtesy of Iran. "Did you see the cash? They're giving each family ten thousand dollars!" one of my relatives phoned to tell me.

For the majority of Iranians who are barely scraping by, such news is infuriating. In fact, unpopular government spending on a faraway Arab community brings out a rather ugly Persian chauvinism...

The main reason Iranians dislike the government's Islamic generosity is because in general, they believe their leaders use Islam as a cloak for their own economic greed...This connection between regime piety and corrupt wealth dominates how Iranians see the world.
The Iranian government is walking a tight rope, and may not be doing it all that well. The majority of the poplulation is too young to remember the Shah, but does know that economically, the country was headed in a much better direction then than now. The government tries to rally support by appealing to their people's nationalism, as for example in their attempt to procure weapons.

The questions about the piety of the country's rulers being a facade, with them living well at the expense of the populace should be exp. alarming to them. Their legitimacy is based to a great extent on their piety, and without that justification for their rulership, they are no different than any other group ruling by force of arms.

This whole article is just one more reason that I think that we should forstall military action against Iran as long as we possibly can. That is the one thing that will bring the citizenry there together against us. At present, the pressures keep building for new government, and as long as we can keep the pressure on without actual agression against the country, the rulers in Iran will continue to do their part in destroying their regime.


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