Thursday, June 18, 2009

Saxby Chambliss on Iran

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) is one of the Republicans who is criticizing President Barack Obama because he isn't vocal enough in expressing his displeasure with the way Iran's presidential elections were supposedly rigged.

Today on "Hardball" Senator Chambliss reiterated his argument and then said something that I could not believe anyone would say. When pressed by MSNBC talk show host Chris Matthews whether such outspoken criticism from President Barack Obama would rally Iranians behind incumbent Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad given this country's role in overturning a democratically-elected government in 1953, the senator dismissed those fears by suggesting, yes, you heard it on the show and then here, that the protesters wouldn't know about their country's history.

Did the senator not hear of textbooks? Would not Iranian students lean about their nation's history? We do. Nearly every American who is paying attention in class learns about the American Revolution, the War of 1812, our fight with the Barbary Pirates, the American Civil War and Reconstruction in the South, the Great Depression, the New Deal, our involvement in both World Wars, communism, suburbanization, the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, the sexual revolution, the hippies, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the race into space, detente with China, Watergate, and the Cold War in general. We didn't all live in these times we studied but we know something, albeit not the complete history of, all of it.

And whether that history is completely accurate or not we believe there is at least some truth behind it. The same logic holds for the Iranians now protesting in Tehran. They may not have lived in the 1950s and they may not (particularly since they live in a theocratic country) understand why we overthrew their democratically elected government and if they had known they might not have cared. Whether we did so for defensive, imperialistic or both, they probably would have objected to the coup d'etat had they been around.

Expect the link sometime after the transcripts are provided.

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