Here is a test: Who said the following; "Iran's model, like al-Qaeda's, lacks a vision relevant to our times. It is a model that could not be more out of step with the sentiments of the Arab Spring. This model has the following characteristics:
First: A corrupt, mismanaged, and isolated economy that offers the younger generation little hope for a better future. It is an economy increasingly working for the security services like the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] and elites, and not for the people of Iran.
Second: The denial of the basic human rights of freedom of expression -- the very liberties people across the Middle East are prepared to risk their lives to claim.
Third: a political leadership focused on preserving its reign at all costs, including by unleashing violence against its own citizens, rather than enabling its citizens to flourish.
Fourth: The pursuit of policies that have worked to make a great civilization and people an isolated state, increasingly unable to carry on basic interactions with the rest of the world."
Sadly the person that said the above is an American, and not an Iranian, or Iranian-American, and not one of the many so called Iran "experts".
Why am I making such a big deal about the above 167 words? Because he has succeeded in laying bare the truth that all Iranians are struggling with but unable to find a solution for.
And until you are able to clearly define a problem finding its solution is close to impossible.
And what makes the above words even harder to deal with is that they were uttered by Mr. Thomas Donilon, Obama's National Security Advisor.
Iran has spent decades struggling to gain its independence but it takes a "farangi" to tell us what ails us. Of course we all know this "farangi" has used multiple intelligence agencies to compose these words, and most of us recognize all these problems, it's just that we Iranians tend to dismiss any criticism from internal or external sources and prefer to duck responsibility and blame others for our problems.
To my amazement a young Iranian that has had his eyes opened over the past two years thanks to the rigged elections and its aftermath recently said to me, "I am shocked that with the hours you spend on the Internet you have failed to figure out what is behind this conflict between Ahmadinejad and Khamenie."
And when I asked him what was behind the conflict he said, "The British." He went on to explain that Ahmadinejad and Khamenie both were under the direct control of the British.
I could not avoid laughing my head off.
He looked at me as if I was a simpleton for failing to understand this obvious truth.
And there you have it, a blindness to our own problems and a national allergy to taking responsibility for our own mess.
With this condition afflicting a majority of Iranians how can we possibly bring about change?
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