Iran is a complex and diverse country that is portrayed in a very negative light in many US publications. It has also been the subject of many confusing and bellicose statements by US government leaders for many years. However, with very few exceptions, Americans have little first hand knowledge of the people or the country that provides an accurate picture of its current status. Of course, there are still some Americans alive today that have lived and worked in the country, but the memories that those people have are getting pretty old.
I have just spent some time reading Deborah Campbell’s fascinating article titled Iran’s Quiet Revolution. It paints a picture of an Iran that is far different from what you might have in your mind, especially if you have a habit of listening to conservative talk radio. The article is illustrated with some photographs that most Americans might find surprisingly familiar; they portray scenes of everyday Iranian existence that are not terrible different from what Americans see in their own homes and neighborhoods.
Ms. Campbell spent six months touring the country and talking to Iranians. She tells us a bit about their views of the West, their family values and their opinions about Iran’s nuclear energy developments. Go to the article. Read it carefully. Get a real sense of the magnitude of the country’s resources and the strength of its people. If you want to learn more, a good place to start would be to visit Ms. Campbell’s web site at http://www.deborahcampbell.ca/.
Respond appropriately to any politician or journalist that you hear advocating the notion using military force to persuade Iran to take actions that are contrary to its own interests – like dismantling its nuclear energy programs.