Not a nice thing to chant in the public square. But does Iran really hate us? The website, Irpedia.com, states, “Iran, the land of civilized and friendly people.” Chants of “Death to America” certainly doesn’t sound friendly.
I have traveled extensive through the Middle East (Lebanon, Kuwait, Algeria, Libya, Syria, to name a few places) and I have been amazed at how outgoing the people have been to me. This image of crazy Moslems ready to string up Americans, might play out in Representative Ted Poe’s district in Texas, but the reality is just the opposite.
So, what’s all this death talk about? I think the New Yorker did a great job of talking to Iranians, particularly Dr. Nasser Hadian, a US educated Professor of Political Science, who says the slogan dates backs decades and is generally meaningless. See quote below:
He went on, “For others, it’s part of a religious ritual. But the élite who use it exploit the term for political reasons. Poll after poll shows that Iranians are greater supporters of America than any other Muslim country in the region. “So whom does America want to rely on to judge public opinion?” Hadian asked. “The twenty per cent who do shout ‘Death to America!’ or the eighty per cent who don’t?”
In an interview, the Foreign Minister, Mohammad Zarif, was asked why Iranians still repeat the chant. He replied that Iranians do not hate Americans but they don’t like the way the US seems to meddle in the affairs of other countries. So, why not change the chant to, “Stop US meddling, Please.” I added the “please” because Iran is a country of civilized and friendly people. I know this chant won’t be replacing the death one anytime soon.
There is some anti-American sentiment in any country. You can’t avoid it. Actually, you can. It never hurts to brush up on you Canadian, remembering to end each sentence in “eh.” Or tell people your from Malta- nobody speaks Maltese.
Lonely Planet is one guide book which really gets the inside scoop, of what to see in countries not on the well beaten path of tourists. Their secret is to recruit well seasoned travelers who know the particular country.
Their latest headline is:
If travel is most rewarding when it surprises, then Iran might just be the most rewarding destination on Earth.
Exactly why is pretty well explained in www.lonelyplanet.com/iran
I’m hopeful that Ted Poe is a dying breed of dinosaur. His interrogation of Sec’y Kerry was shameful:
And hopefully, the lawmakers can separate rhetoric from substance, and the nuclear deal gets signed.
And some Americans spend time in the ski resorts outside of Tehran.
August 11, 2015