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Iran's suffering

Reader comment on item: [William Blum and] Al-Qaeda's Leftist Brigade
in response to reader comment: An instructive lesson from recent Iranian history

Submitted by D Williams (United States), Sep 3, 2006 at 22:20

I would like to comment on this issue if I may.

I do not look at the suffering of any human being lightly. When I see the suffering of children, no matter the politics of the fathers I weep for them, and wonder why so much suffering must be a part of the world we live in.

That being said, I believe that the United States is put into an impossible position by the entire world. It is a frustrating position, and one that makes me wish to secede from the rest of the world.

As an American I feel a duty to my country and to the world to try to make the world a better place for all to live in. I believe that the US as a whole has tried to do this whenever possible, but how were we to succeed in Iran? What were the choices but the lesser of two evils?

The US pressured the Shaw to improve humans rights, and the treatment of his own people while at the same time combating the USSR that stated its purpose was to destroy the US, and capitalism. The Shaw was a natural ally, albeit not a good one. This drama has taken place in many other locations around the world.

Freedom is not a ubiquitous concept. It is not one that translates well into every culture. Many time when the US has "interfered" in the culture of others it as turned out poorly. The US then suffers the condemnation of other political bodies as a country that seeks to impose its will and ideology upon others.

When the US does not "interfere" we are then condemned by these same people as uncaring and unwilling to try to improve the lives of others around the world. How then do we help the rest of the world and not interfere?

How do we improve the lives of others, and support regimes that seem hopeful knowing that the regime is not perfect, and may need years before improving its own relations with its people?

Yes it is easy to criticize the US for its "evil" influence, whether that influence comes in the form of meddling in others affairs, or simply abstaining from action. But how do you look into the hearts of people and see the truth of what they will do?

I wish it was easier to do this, but I think it will always remain a muddy view. There are many who do not wish freedom for the people of the world, and yes some of those people are here in the US, and there are many in positions of power outside the US.

For the most part however I think we have tried to understand the culture of hundreds of other peoples, far more than they have tried to understand ours. They see our "easy" life and think we are just lazy overbearing people who would support the worst dictator in the world to further our own means, but tell me the option sin Vietnam, Hatti, Mogadishu, or Afghanistan?

Sometimes the lesser of two evils is all you have to pick from. I do wish things had worked out better for the people in Iran. That is did not contributed to the deaths of millions of people, not tens of thousands. That it did not may contributre to the death of millions more.

My sincere condolences to the families of all people who have suffered from the failed policies of the US, and others. Were I to have a wish it would be that the ambitious would be the only ones to suffer from their attempts to oppress others, but history teaches that we all suffer in some way.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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