I do not care who wins the World Cup. Because of that, I tend to root for the underdog in any match/game I watch. For example, I would have liked to see Iran win or Chile…or Algeria, even if that would have meant potential divorce proceedings.
The Argentina-Switzerland match/game is currently playing in the background. I would like to see the Swiss win, because everyone expects Argentina to win, not only this game, but also the World Cup. I am not impressed. Switzerland has had better chances to score. We’ll see.
Later, USA plays Belgium. In most minds, US is the underdog, so i guess that I should root for them. I am not a nationalist, so citizenship does not demand support for a national sports team. Each must earn my support. I would like to see US win, only because no one expects them to even be able to kick a ball. I have nothing against Belgium, the ultimate underdog, but soccer needs a boost in the land of WWF, demolition derby, and Jackass.
I tuned into the Argentina-Iran game, not out of interest but rather out of lack of better choices. I could have read a book, but needed a break from reading and computers.
No goals had been scored. Contrary to my expectations, the Iranians were holding their own and showing no fear of the favorites. I recalled my days as a competitive athlete. I always imagined that I was better than I might have been. I played games in my mind as a member of a team of which I would never be a member. As I child, I imagined playing for the Bruins. I am certain all boys imagine such greatness.
If you reach the World Cup competition, after a gruelling qualification series, you must imagine that you can win. Of course, some region’s qualification is less gruelling than others. Qualifying in Europe is more difficult that qualifying in Asia, but none are easy.
Also, I know that, on any given day, any team can beat any other team. On a good day (for a weak team), a weaker team can defeat a better team. There are too many variables in sport. If a team or its players imagine themselves to be better, than they can defeat arrogance and nonchalance. And, although the final score line might deceive, there are no easy games in a World Cup competition.
I’ve been reading articles about the US needing a generation to become good enough to compete…for a generation. On some give day, the team might win or draw, but all players and fans must live with the illusions I mentioned above. They can win only in their imaginations.
Anyone with a bit of knowledge of history will know about US involvement in changing the democratically elected government in Iran to the dictatorship of the Shah. Having a government helpful to the US and its allies--in this case the British--is more important that the will of a country’s people. It seems that the Iranians wanted to profit from their oil and not give it to the British Navy, so a government change was needed.
This seems to be what is happening again in the Ukraine. A democratically elected government (I will not make a value judgment on this government, only that it was elected by a larger percentage voters than George Bush) is now being attacked by outside forces. The United States is trying to “midwife” a change to a government more friendly to the West. Opposition groups are not fighting against oppression, as they are in Syria, but against a group of elected officials they do not agree with. This is not unlike Republicans taking to the streets to attack Obama. I can make one prediction: whatever government the US installs will not be better/more successful/popular. But, some people will make profits...
Is it any wonder that more and more people around the world hate the United States? The government preaches democracy, yet tries to overthrow elected governments and sides with dictators over freedom fighters for financial gain of their friends.
And, imagine what the US Government would say if Russia became involved/supported in a drive by Quebec to succeed from Canada...
I am not a big fan of little Bibi. I did not agree with much he said about Iran in his speech at the United Nations. And then, I watched a BBC program: The History of the Jews.
These folks have been treated badly throughout history, even when they tried to fit in. I often wondered why Jews don’t assimilate. They were never allowed, even when they tried. And, they rarely enjoyed help from others, even in their direst moments of need.
Israel is forced to be unreasonable, because Jews have always suffered and learned not expect assistance. If a nation, ie. Iran, threatens to annihilate Israel, then they take that threat seriously. History has taught the Jews that someone was always trying to annihilate them. After years of submission, they became tough and uncompromising. The rest of the world has no one to blame but themselves for Israeli intransigence.
The story of the Jews is a story of how bad humans can act towards fellow humans. Why? Because of something as stupid as religion. All the Jews have ever wanted is to be left alone to follow their own ways. They have never sought convert others, as Christians have constantly attempted, or called all others non-believers, as Muslims do. People should be allowed to believe whatever they want and no one should force those beliefs on anyone else. Period.
Sadly, that will never happen. So, Bibi must hang tough...
I noticed a headline about Iran’s plan to build its own internet and the possibility of other nations following suit. The phrase “internet in pieces” appeared.
Who cares? The number of people wanting access to everything must be too small to register on any scale. I am interested in English (and, occasionally, German) sites, not unlike most people on this planet. Like it or not, English is the global language and US-style commercialism has not lost its appeal. The American Dream might have faded for people residing in the United States, but dreams of America and things American flourish in many a head around the world.
I suspect that Iran would be a friendlier nation today (as well as over the past 30 years), if Americans and British had not conspired to destroy the budding democracy of President Mossadegh.
If you have not read All The Shah’s Men, which I doubt many have, then I suggest reading this biography of a man of which few in the West have heard. Even reading this book review will help people to better understand the hate for the West in Iran today.
This is not unlike America refusal to speak with Ho Chi Minh, a big fan of the American Revolution and American democracy. Both countries turned against the United States and were ultimately lost to radicals, because men in powerful positions were too stupid, too beholden to allies (England and France), and unreasonable fearful of communism. This review is dripping with English arrogance, which was the root cause of so much misery and trouble. This is one of the early uses of character assassination in the United States and wider world for the benefit of commercial interests. And, as always, most Americans have no idea about issues, culture, or history of foreign lands, thus can be easily deceived by the media and politicians.
And, once again, history will prove that western arrogance and ignorance will lead to another foolish war, in which few will prosper and many will suffer.
I am not a spy. I do not work for any company, agency, or country.
Let’s get that out of the way, so no one will make any incorrect assumptions about what follows. I do not want a SWAT team to show up at my door, to be the target of a sniper, or to have a fatwa declared against me.
I have always enjoyed views from above, whether in a tree, from a mountaintop, or riding in an airplane. Because I like to learn about people and places, I majored in geography. In an airplane, I watch the ground pass below and try to imagine life based upon imagination or what I have read and seen in films or television.
Iran has been in the news a great deal lately, but for all the wrong reasons. (NB. If anyone wants to understand why Iran hates the United States, then I can recommend a book called All The Shah’s Men. As with many countries in the world, the supposed “good guys” foiled democracy and supported a dictator, only to have its machinations backfire.) If one ignores politics, religion, and bluster, then Iran would be an interesting country to visit. I am a big fan of Persian rugs, which I find to be a marvelous art form, and would seriously considering visiting the country’s great architectural achievements. Because that will never be possible in my lifetime, I must settle for photographs, film...and the chance view from an airplane window.
The flight path of our trip from Dubai to Frankfurt surprised me. I have made this trip several times, in both directions, and each time the plane flew more to the east over Iraq and Turkey. I did not mind the deviation, because clear skies gave me the opportunity for a glimpse of land I will trod. Surprisingly, much looked very similar to landscape I have seen from a plane, when crossing western United States.
Each time I peered out the window, I wondered what a military analyst would see and how military planners would rationalize his or her conclusions about such inhospitable terrain. I was an armor officer and learned a bit about tank warfare. I would not want to be a soldier on the ground in Iran--with or without a tank. Military hardware might have improved, since I played at war, but geography still plays a role.
If so inclined, gaze at the photos below and form your own conclusions about the folly of invasion. If not, enjoy a look at tiny bits of a country you will never visit. You might even wonder, as I did, what farmers and goat herders think about all the saber-rattling--if they even know about such matters--beyond fearing suffering again, as they did during the Iran-Iraq war. (Quiz: Which side did the US supply with weapons?)
_ Some of the arrogant, ignorant, and paranoid geniuses that gave us the war in Iraq are chomping at the bit to waste more money and lives (and make a lot of money). But, Iraq was not a big enough mess, so they want to up the ante...
_ The First Prize was awarded today in the “Most-Fanciful-Headline-in-the-History-of-Headlines Competition”. It read:
Britain May Yet Tame Iran
Of course, as anyone with half a brain could guess, these words were conceived and published by an allegedly “serious” London newspaper, which has an alleged Conservative leaning.
NB. If you need to think more than one second about the above headline, then you are not up-to-date on current affairs and have not read (good) history.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.