Moral Outrage
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Iranians chant “Death to no one!”

Today, November 4, is the 30th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis, a turning point in Iranian history, in the geopolitics of the region and in the troubled history of U.S.-Iran relations. On that day, militants, many of them students, invaded the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking about 70 Americans as hostages in a drama that would last 444 days.

If Americans are cursed with a very short memory, Iranians have been plagued with very long recollections. They consider the CIA-engineered coup of 1953 as if it were indeed yesterday. Under President Reagan and subsequent U.S. administrations, Saddam Hussein was armed to the teeth to confront Iran.

The two monsters the United States and its allies had created, Saddam Hussein and the Taliban (originally “Mujahedeen”), came back to haunt their creators. Saddam Hussein invaded and occupied Kuwait soon after the end of the Iran-Iraq war, almost at the same time that Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda operation, feeding on the Talibanization of Afghanistan, began a series of terrorist attacks on U.S. interests that ultimately culminated in the events of 9/11. That resulted in the U.S. led-invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 and of Iraq in March 2003. And our world has remained in the grips of the decades-old spiral of violence ever since.

But this year, commemoration of historical events in Iran has turned into a battle for a happier and healthier future, rather than a tiresome marking of the troublesome past. When on November 4, you see throngs of young Iranians chanting “Death to No one!” they are not just challenging the brutal theocracy that is distorting their history and abusing their youth, they are also raising a gentle accusatory finger at their own parental generation.

[From article by Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University professor]

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One Response to “Iranians chant “Death to no one!””

  1. “Let us permit nature to have her way; she understands her Business better than we do.”


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