Ayatollah'd You So

So I was scanning through my usual cycle of news sites and this story kept popping up about Ayatollah Komenei's response to the Iran treaty and the whole lifting of trade sanctions in return for some stern anti-nuclear proliferation.

In short . . . we wanna sell them iPhones but they have to promise not to build weapons to nuke the Jews.

Or something like that.

It makes sense to me because I'm a capitalist. It's much more fun to kill religious fanaticism with cheeseburgers and flat screen T.V.s than it is to launch drone strikes.

But that's just my opinion.

I'm sure there are finer points to concede.

Anyway . . . the stories were mostly about the Ayatollah dismissing the whole peace proceedings, saying things like "We were gonna stop building bombs anyway." and "We will never surrender to the arrogant U.S."

Which he did amongst a group of believers shouting "Death to America!" "Death to Israel!"

The stories were alarming . . . if you're the kind of person that gets alarmed about that sorta thing.

I thought it was a non-issue.

Let's see how many people show up to those rallies when half of Iran is sitting at home waiting for Comcast to set up their Wifi.

You miss your Comcast window and you're gonna have to wait at least another week to set up a second appointment.

Nobody wants that.

I also thought that the Ayatollah is a rabble rouser likened more to Jerry Fallwell and Donald Trump (sells tickets but nobody takes 'em seriously) than an acutal Head of State.

Religious leaders always sound like professional wrestlers to me. If Hulk Hogan stood up in the octagon and screamed "Death to Israel!" . . . we'd all be looking around for that grain of salt.

So I did a little digging.

Turns out . . . me . . . like totally super wrong.

The Ayatollah isn't a.m. radio. He's kinda like the top lawyer who oversees all three branches of government.

Imagine a democracy, just like ours, except that everything that passes through the legislation has to wait the final approval from a non-elected official.

The non-elected official who has a direct line to God.

That's gotta be weird.

I grew up in opposite land.

The framers of my constitution didn't want god within a hundred yards of the legal system. (anyone who says otherwise needs to read more and NASCAR less)

Article VI implicitly states that no religious test should ever be used on an elected official.

The First Amendment says believe what you want.*

There should have been a little asterix that coincided with a footnote to read : *Fuck if I care.

But after the dissolution/overthrow of the failed Iranian monarchy that . . . ahem . . . we set up . . . the Iranians set up their own democratic constitution with a religious leader at the top to make sure everything went along smoothly and in accordance with Sharia law.

Not the Suuni version of Sharia law.

The Shia version.

Which . . . is kinda like the difference between Blue M&M's and Green M&M's.

It's all in the Yellow Dye Number Five . . . baby.

But after you finish turning up your nose at the whole idea, it's kinda unique and interesting.

You build a democracy that debates the finer points, deals face to face with the rest of the world and then you get Ayatollah Hogan to beat the drums for the Wrestlemania crowds.

Imagine if when we passed the Affordable Care Act, three days later Rush Limbaugh (a prime example of a man who lived off of well-fare and food stamps and went on to be a very successful capitalist like myself) took to the airwaves in praise of what goverment can do for you.

Disciplined policy through rigorous public debate followed by a frenzy of patriotic furvor.

Not gonna happen, because of all those other pesky parts of the First Amendment, but an interesting thing to think about as sort of an intellectual exercise.

But just like Rush . . . the Ayatollah can't just do a 180 spin like that. For twenty six years he's had to keep an entire country alive under brutal wars, harsh economic sanctions, without anyone second guessing his motivations.

Death to America.

Death to Israel.

Good if you wanna keep your constiuents hungry for blood . . . totally counter productive when you want to enjoy Wendy's Dollar Menu.

One thing you gotta know is that this Khomenei isn't that Khameini.

Spelling differences aside, when we think of the Ayatollah, we think of the guy from the 70's and 80's.

Black turban, big black eye brows, deep deep black circles under the eyes.

The face of shear evil.

This one's softer. Cuddlier. Less Airline Hostage taking . . . and more Uncle Pull My Finger Ayatollah.

But he's gotta sound a little crazy for a while. We like to think in internet speeds, but hearts and minds move at Joseph and Mary on a Donkey speed. It's gonna be a while before the Netflix binge over takes the pilgramage to Mecca. Maybe even a generation or two.

So when you read newspapers, or watch the nightly news, you're gonna hear a lot of crazy. Blood boiling crazy. But don't forget that Iran is actually one of the most stable democracies in the region. Every place else is a totalitarian monarchy, or in the case of Iraq and Syria, just a total dumpster fire.

And the case is to be made that Iran is a huge financial supporter of ISIS, or IS, or whatever you wanna call those particular crazies . . . but don't you dare be so naive not to know that American Evangelical Christians are massive financial supporters of Palastinian Radicals because Israel is considered to be the land that will lead the charge against the anit-christ come armagedon. Can't have Jews leading the fight against the anti-christ.

Your tax dollars go to arming Israel . . . Your donations to the 700 Club go to arming the Palastines.

Seriously . . . look it up.

And don't forget that this is Uncle Pull My Finger Ayatollah. Even if Iran is to progress at the speed of the great industrial America it's still going to be another 120 years before women can vote, 170 til anyone can sit wherever they like on a bus, and about 220 years before transgender people get their own Reality TV shows.

Stability will come . . . and it will come in the form of fabric softeners, vitamin water, and toaster ovens. 

And when it does . . . don't forget that you heard it here first.

Now pull my finger.

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