In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act
If there ever was a contentious issue that pits Iranians against each other, it is 79 mutiny/Shah/khomeini combo. Resolving this and not at emotional but logical level will help us all get past some historical inaccuracies that color our world view as far as Iran is concerned. This has very much to do with the extend and dimension of fraud that was handed to Iran on 1979 on a mass scale and still continues.
Here is a list that can readily be verified by independent resources, statistics, and cross referencing:
1-Shah & khomeini were forced on Iran by the West. No one disputes the first, but somehow the second is despite an even more sinister connection. Iranians did not want the first and don't want the second.
2- Shah was a western educated, nationalist, liberal, progressive dictator. Born and except education years, raised in Iran. Brought many advancements to the country except in democratization & stemming corruption. He built Iran's military to 5th power in the world, there were no wars during his time, Iran and the region were quite stable. Iranians were within the normal range of 'normal' and a generally healthy society.
3-khomeini/IR had little or no real education, was an extremist socially & religiously, had written on subjects like sex with camels, a Shi't moslem for whom Islam mattered not Iran. Had axe to grind with Shah, Saddam, a large portion of Shi't dominant thought, and brought a destructive war, social depression, and instability to Iran & the region. IR is not just bad for Iran but they are anti-Iran. All kinds of mental illness is rampant and statistics of IR itself suggested close to 50%. Prozac is the most popular 'medication' in Iran. Iran is an unhealthy suffering society.
4- Shah executed about 1500 people during his 35 years according to U.N. and got beat up by carter for abuse of human rights. Khomeini/IR have executed about 155,000 people as of about 3 years ago. That is 2 orders of magnitude higher in 28 years. At time of Shah immigration out of Iran was negligible. However if someone wanted to leave there were no impediments. During the 31 years of Khomeini/IR between 5-8 million Iranians have left and if allowed at least another 20-30 million will leave.
5- Iran at time of Shah had global prestige by any standard, rial was 72 or so per dollar and was starting to trade on some international markets, visas were easy, and the only taboo in Iran was going against him & family and practically no other restrictions on freedom other than cultural. Iran was world's second oil exporter. Iran had more students in top universities of U.S. and the world than any other country. Iran owned 50% of Khazar rights. Persian Gulf was the only name anyone dared to call the Persian Gulf.
6- Iran at the time of Khomeini/IR is a global pariah, most won't easily issue visa to Iranians, most get abused upon entry , Rial is about 10,000 per dollar, prostitution/drugs/poverty are rampant. Anything against Rahbar or leadership or even lower rank people is taboo, just about every aspect of life is regulated, manipulated and arbitrary rules are the name of the game. Ranks 4th in Oil now. There is essentially no rule of law and corruption at time of Shah pales to nothing in comparison. massive billions have been physically moved out of the country and absurd sums that are not stolen, are handed to hamas, hezbolah or other criminal organizations. Persian Gulf is now called Gulf, and Khazar rights have been reduced to 10%.
7-Shah became more independent as time went on and asserted Iran's rights and projected its power and prestige (//iranian.com/main/blog/hovakhshatare-26), which is why the West and Oil wanted him gone and helped set up khomeini.
and on and on and on...
My friends, there is no such a thing as a good dictatorship. In all of life and anything we do, even in daily life relativity, proportion and scale are important. Even in a visual mode eyes can get confused without a sense of dimension and scale (see Ari's post). There are all kinds of historical dependence, impact and interaction but as Americans say the 'bottom line' counts. And bottom line at time of Shah was nothing like what we have with IRR. I'm not suggesting we all become fans of shah, and I know many of various political affiliations that gambled with Khomeini and 79 mutiny will just lose it if they admit this. However, if we want to help Iran and post IRR build a democratic Iran free of dictators we better respect relativity.Distinguish verifiable facts from fiction and use a sense of proportion in our historic, social and judicial judgements. The reality is we may not get from where we are to democracy and have to take historic steps. In that vein even if we were to be stuck with bad choices again, understanding the past and its context will help us choose the lesser evils. Even in the interim so we minimize collective suffering.
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