From: San Antonio, TX
I play a Texas Holdem game on my phone usually every night. Last night I got into a conversation with a very nice man from Tehran. When I was talking about the jet he said that he thinks that we might know more about it than he would, indicating their media is not forthcoming at all. When asked his view of whether Israel had a right to exist, especially concerning the remarks made by Ahmadinejad, he said of course and that the views were of the President and that they do not reflect those of most of the people. I told him there was talk of war and he could not believe it. He said the President might want war but the people did not. They had just been to war 30 years ago. I related a story of a Iranian couple that owned a general store near us when we were children and how they were constantly giving the children candy. He said he has quite a bit of family in the U.S., mostly in New York and views the country favorably.
Not really sure what this has to do with the big picture except that maybe our fight should not be against the people and just the regime if it comes.
Someone said earlier that Iran had a lot of freedom lovers. I used to know a guy that worked at Department of Defense and he was always telling me that most Iranians would love to be rid of their governing goons. Interesting.
Yes, but as their abortive "Green Revolution" post-election a few years ago shows, the popular vote and popular uprisings can still be co-opted by those in a position of power. Sure, "most" of the people would like to normalize their relations with the world. But until the minority body with the power in the government are expelled, there will be no changes.
I am somewhat heartened by the cracks around the base though. I hope the people of Iran can one day get better governance than what they have now. If they continue to undermine their institutions in the name of a feckless islamic revolution, however, they'll be unable / unlikely to make this transition.