Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Iran and American perception

I haven't had much to contribute about Iran. I hope things turn out well, while fearing it could be another Burma. A colleague of mine is Iranian-American, and she emigrated back to Iran last summer to work on environmental issues there. I get occasional emails about what's going on, and hope she's okay too.

As to the "Obama should take the side of protestors" meme from the right, I think it's a matter partly of how one thinks American involvement in Iranian politics would be perceived in Iran. If you think the Iranian public would perceive American involvement as instantly friendly and non-oppressive, then it would be foolish to not weigh in. If on the other hand you recognize our role in overthrowing an elected government, long-term support for a brutal dictator, and subsequent military support for Iran's opponent in a brutal war that killed hundreds of thousands of Iranians, it might seem less wise to take sides. It's just a matter of which is a more accurate way to anticipate how Iranians would react to our taking sides.

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