Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Satellite Dish

Beniamin Natenyahu visited the town where I lived in central Texas mid 2000. He was there to collect money and contributions from evangelical churches and religious establishments for Israel. In a ceremonial event, he gave a long speech about the Middle East region. He figures that Israel deserves support because it is the only real democracy in the region. He thinks Israel's neighbors can be good people, but are lead by tyrrants, so he doesnt trust them as of yet. There was this part of his monologue which I found very interesting. When he started talking about Iran, he said "I told William Cohen (former secertary of defense) you don't need to spend all these billions of dollars keeping your army ready, and spending billions more on spy planes and intelligence programs to take care of Iran. All you need is a big big satellite dish pointed at Iran, and just show them the programming we have here. Show them Beverly Hills 9020 or whatever (Beverly Hills 90210.) Let the young generation over there see how nice freedom is. Let them revolt and overthrow their government. Your work is practically done for you."

He argues that when the Irani teenager, or young adult, watches the fancy BMW's, the display of affection with attractive young ladies, the free and flamboyant lifestyle, he might think to himself..."Hey.. why don't I live like that? Maybe its because I have a corrupt government in power that wants to keep me in a bird cage using religion as an excuse?! I feel like going out in the streets and demonstrating against the ayotollas!"

What he said made lots of sense to me.


Blogger Kay said...

not really sure 90210 is really the best way to influnece anybody. i watched it as a kid but that doesnt mean i wanted to overthrow my goverment and wished i had freedom. and yeah i do drive a beemer. free and flamboyant are possible anywhere u just have to learn how to do with what is possible and avialable.

nice post

8:53 PM  
Blogger The Joker said...

It was just an example. I mean natanyahu is like what... 66 or something? BH 90210 is the hippest thing he can think of.

"free and flamboyant are possible anywhere..."
you're not from around here, are you? In Saudi and Iran they have religious police... in Bahrain we have MP's... these folks make sure there will be no boogying of any sort. Party-poopers... bring-downs.

10:40 PM  
Blogger Kay said...

i know it was just an example, i was being sarcastic.

different people have different defintions and perceptions on what "free and flamboyant" are. and yeah i am from around here.

put on ur face and do what u want behind closed doors i guess. not very healthy i agree. if u can change things then great, work at it step by step. being angry isnt the answer though.

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


my salary is bd 200 how can i be free and flambouyant? i could do that in the west when i was a student living with a similar allowance.

dear innocent wicked can i enjoy myself if i can't afford your beemer? or do i have to overthrow the governement just to attend a dj party?

with all due respect

2:18 AM  
Blogger ShawarmaBoy said...

Give em MTV and MCDonalds. The best exports in the world. Now pass the shawarma I am getting hungry.

4:19 PM  
Blogger The Joker said...

Wicked Im not angry. Im just making observations. I do agree that life is what you make of it... The point is making the utmost of life to some, like the folks in Iran, is taking out their mafia government and replacing it with a democracy.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Scorpio said...

This plan sounds like a receipe for pissing most Iranians off. Its not a lack of access to western culture that's the problem in Iran, but a failure to understand the western values of liberty, social justice and individualism. Without an understanding of these values all beaming more TV into the place is going to do is fuel consumerist aspirations which can't be satisfied because of Iran's poverty and huge wealth imbalances.

The Iranian state's response is to tell people that they're morally superior than the 'decadent' west and channel the resentment against the closest thing at home - the urban 'cosmopolitan' middle classes. Result - mobilise the populace to go out and vote for Ahmadinejad, shoring up clerical rule.

12:07 AM  
Blogger The Joker said...

I see what you're saying, scorpio. Its more intricate and sensetive than what natanyahu's snappy joke makes it sound like. But when you get down to the western values you were talking about, free media might just make them easier to understand and relate to. When you try to explain a huge concept to a young child, it would be very helpful to both you and the child if you used fables and fairy tales with underlying morals.

2:52 PM  
Blogger usr.c said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:32 AM  
Blogger The Joker said...

Ali, doesnt look like you're torn to me. You can see the difference between utopia and ethiopia...

I hope you're not a last-time poster ;)

don't be a stranger

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