Don’t try to do brain surgery with a chain saw

January 24, 2007 | By | 9 Replies More

Never try to do such a foolish thing.  It could never work.  It just makes things worse.  War is a chainsaw.  Reconstituting social structures is akin to brain surgery.

So here’s a question: In what major city were the following photos taken? (These photos were sent to me by an American friend who once lived in this city).

winter landscape.jpg

Snowscape of the mystery city.

Shemshak Ski resort.jpg

Major ski resort ten minutes from the mystery city.

Vali Asr.jpg

Vali Asr Blvd.

election day.jpg

A worker on Election Day.

election day II.jpg

Casting votes on Election Day.

residential buildings.jpg

Here’s some more photos of this city–Tehran.  You see, it’s not all sand and desert. 

I’m sure that many people will be surprised at how beautiful Tehran is. After all, these photos don’t show bombs going off or general chaos (which the Western media tends to depict about the Middle East).  When is the last time the Western corporate media talked up the beauty of the Middle East, where it wasn’t in an exotic travel section?  When was the last time you read that most people in Iran are not actively trying to “destroy America”?

Why would we spend so much energy trying to convince ourselves that “they” are different than us?  Is it, perhaps, that we are repulsed at destroying people en masse when they are too much like us? 

Do they have major problems in Iran?  Absolutely.   Do they have dangerous sword-rattling political leaders?  Absolutely.  Does America have those too?  It’s becoming clearer every day. 

Are there millions of peace-loving residents in Iran?  According to my friend, Absolutely.  What they want are very much the same sorts of things we want.  The existence of millions of freedom-seeking people in Iran was common knowledge prior to 9/11.  Contrary to popular hysterical belief in America, 9/11 did not change everything.

It’s time for President Bush to take many deep breaths, admit that he’s over his head and to start listening to evidence-based people at the State Department (if any of them remain).  It’s time to can the flaming rhetoric (leaders of both countries need to stop this) and it’s time for Mr. Bush to quit trying to provoke a war with Iran. 

Given the vast overlap of human needs and hopes among the citizens (if not the leaders) of Iran and the U.S., the failure to thoroughly explore cooperative co-existence demonstrates the abject lack of moral imagination. 


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Category: Media, Military, photography, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (9)

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  1. Cleptomanx says:

    Of course the Western Media isn't going to talk up the beauty of the Middle East. That's what you have the travel channel for or even some shows on the Discovery Channel talk about the beautiful and exotic cultures around the world. I assume that when you talk about the Western Media, you mainly mean the news programs and some shows that have depictions of Middle Eastern terrorists and such. There's no story in shooting some lovely landscapes and buildings. So, why would they make such a fluff piece… not very news worthy.

    Sure there are millions of piece loving folks in Iran who care for nothing more than to live their lives peacefully, but that's never the point. We don't focus on the innocuous masses we talk about the "saber-rattlers", the minority that ruins it for the rest.

    The thing about those saber-rattlers is that they usually tend to be persuasive enough to talk the peaceful masses to do some stupid things. Look at the Bush administration getting the country into a dumb war. Just shows, an idiot in the right place can cause problems for a country of 300 million (most being peace loving people who just want to live their lives).

    So, although these are very nice pictures of a beautiful city, I don't really think the Media really needs to focus on this when they have "bombs going off and general chaos" elsewhere to report.

    That bit at the end was pretty funny too… "evidence-based people at the State Department? Weren't they also on board when we decided to invade Iraq? Would they be anymore helpful this time around?

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    According to the NYT, the President's recent actions have been seen by many as attempts to provoke a fight with Iran:

    “We’re not looking for a fight with Iran,” R. Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state for policy and the chief negotiator on Iranian issues, said in an interview on Friday evening, just a few hours after Mr. Bush had repeated his warnings to Iran to halt “killing our soldiers” and to stop its drive for nuclear fuel.

    Mr. Burns, citing the president’s words, insisted that Washington was committed to “a diplomatic path” — even as it executed a far more aggressive strategy, seizing Iranians in Iraq and attempting to starve Iran of the money it needs to revitalize a precious asset, its oil industry . . .

    To many in Washington, especially Mr. Bush’s Democratic critics, the new approach to Iran has all the hallmarks of an administration once again spoiling for a fight.

    See here for the NYT article.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    The PR war against Iran is well under way. See here.

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    Because I feel it to be critically important to offer evidence to rebut the cartoonish views of Iran being spewed by the Bush Administration, I offer yet more photos of this country of staggering beauty:

  5. Diana says:

    Ha! brain surgeryw/a chain saw. Interesting…

  6. Erich Vieth says:

    More photographs of how real people live in Iran, not the cartoon demonized version promulgated by the U.S. media.  The link is here.

  7. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's a video report by MSNBC from inside Iran. Click here.

  8. Erich Vieth says:

    The latest NIE report certainly proves my hunches regarding the Bush Administration (lies) and Iran's (alleged) capacity to attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons.

  9. man says:

    Well written and beautifully said.

    “It’s time for President Bush to take many deep breaths, admit that he’s over his head and to start listening to evidence-based people at the State Department (if any of them remain). It’s time to can the flaming rhetoric (leaders of both countries need to stop this) and it’s time for Mr. Bush to quit trying to provoke a war with Iran”

    Corruption cannot fix itself. In fact, it never has. Corruption only escalates, however, that is what propels our global culture. Man is not a very perceptive creature, ergo, escalation is precisely what is needed to bring man out of a state of unawareness. Man needs to realize this, so he can point the finger at himself and understand that progress is the result of unity in change.

    Obama is an invaluable asset, which this country should take advantage of. With him, America’s global relation will improve. I’m saddened to see people disassociating themselves from him because he is black, or well-educated. Unfortunately, here, is an overly sensitive world where people’s egos are easily hurt and matters are blown out of proportion. So, I will keep my other opinions to myself.

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