is in Dallas and Iman lives in London Canada. This weblog is a
place to share our idea with our friends. We would like to talk about many
interesting subjects like philosophy, Anthropology, Human Rights,
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…I remembered the conversation…… I decided to post the same conversation here for you. I've changed names and obvious identifying details (to protect the innocent!), but I don't think that matters at all. None of it is made-up and this is an accurate (as much as I can exactly recall) description of the full conversation. This, I believe, is a typical conversation with a couple of typical Americans. Something very ordinary but to the keen eye very telling.
First the cast of characters: "Ralph" is a 70 something year old veteran of WWII, who has done well in business after the war and is currently in a state of semi-retirement, working only part-time to essentially keep busy. I respect Ralph a lot. Maybe it's my middle-eastern upbringing to automatically respect my elders, or it's just the graceful way he conducts himself as well as the tid bits of interesting stories he comes up with once in a while. "Michael" is a middle-age stout man, running a large department of a subsidiary of a Fortune 500 conglomerate as a V.P. (read middle-manger). Michael is the type that everyone goes to or listens to for answers. Maybe it's just his position of authority or his "radical" past as a 60's hippie. Or maybe it's just the way he pretends to know everything. The setting is a "customer lounge" area, outside Michael's office:
Pedram (Knowing Ralph's love for anything Republican, along with his obsession with "government spending", this is a hot button I can exploit and have some fun with him) : So, $75Billion for war, how much more you think will be needed?
Ralph (Uncomfortable already with my question): Whatever it is going to take...
Pedram: Yeah, I guess shooting so many multi-million dollar missiles gets expensive very fast.
Ralph: Hey, after all, they attacked our country first.
Pedram: They did? when?
Ralph: Well, the September 11th...
Pedram: Ralph, what does that have to do with Iraq? Wrong country my friend. Just because a few Muslims attacked us doesn't make all Muslim countries responsible...
Ralph mumbles something inaudible, he is really uncomfortable with this...
Pedram: That would be like invading China because Asians attacked Pearl Harbor...
Ralph: Well, you probably say this because you are from that part of the world....
Pedram: What does that have to do with anything? What? you are going to discount whatever I say because of my place of birth or shade of skin?
Ralph clearly wasn't expecting such a harsh answer, so he stays quite and stares towards Michael, as to say "help!"
Michael (looking at me): Where are you from anyway?
Pedram: I'm Iranian, which has nothing to do with Iraq. After all we fought one another for 8 years and were enemies of Saddam long before "W" started getting too drunk at frat parties.
Michael: Yeah, I read about that...
Pedram: What? about the war?
Michael: Yeah. I think we made a mistake by backing Saddam.
Pedram (pleasantly surprised by that statement): You better believe it, we not only didn't condemn his chemical attacks, we supplied him with the knowledge and material to conduct them.
Michael: Yeah, I think it was a mistake for America to back him against the Shah..
Pedram: The Shah?
Michael: Yeah, I think we should have supported the Shah in that war instead of Saddam..
Pedram: Mike, you've probably got your facts mixed up. The Iran-Iraq war didn't start until long after Shah had left the country and the Ayatollahs were in charge...
Michael: No, it was the Shah...
Pedram: I think I'd know this.. (I'm cut off)
Michael: No, I just watched this program on TV. It was a mistake for US to support Saddam, they should have stayed with their long-term ally, The Shah of Iran..
Ralph (rejuvenated by his friend's "vast knowledge" turns to me): You don't know what you are talking about...
Pedram gets up, starts to walk away shaking his head in disbelief. This is why we are supporting this war. Well, the majority of us are, so far.
I think that Pedram feels dizzy since he's still shaking his head!. Anyway, what do you think?
Update: Couple of days ago, an American Blogger, Kate , and I got into discussion about the justification for war on Iraq. I suggest reading our discussion , though we did not discuss on all aspects of this issue.