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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Persian Uprising May Be First Major Revolution of 21st Century

My aplogies to any groups who have already achieved significant social change in the early years of the 21st Century, but the events of the past eight days in Iran indicate a fundamental change in the nation is taking place. What I like about the coverage is that the constant images of modern Tehran illustrate to North Americans and others that Iran is not some backwater of goat herders (nothing against you guys...goat's milk is the closest to human milk and ultra-nutritious) but rather a vibrant semi-industrialized country that is an early adopter of communications and other technologies, and there's the rub.

The very sophistication in wireless and Internet technology that creates such pride in nationalists and other patriots is the double-edged sword that lets the world look in on the events as if they were in a major USA or European city. Nobody knows where this thing goes but the possibility of a military coup that overthrows the Ayatollahs and declares new elections is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

Think back to the early days of US troops entering Baghdad, and how unaware of the cradle of civilization they were. Museums filled with the treasures of antiquity, the evidence of some of humankind's earliest advanced communities, were ransacked and looted in the days that followed. Knowledge and even some of human dignity has been lost forever...yet think again how different it could have been had every sargeant and general been made aware of Babylonian history and which facilities to surround and protect. That war never should have happened, but the way it was carried out was in some ways worse than the actual decision to overthrow Saddam.

Now think about all the vitriol of recent years levelled against Iran; how many Americans understand the historical importance of Iran / Persia? Research over the past decade links the ancient Persian Empire with Egypt, Rome and Alexander the Great. Not only is the Persian Empire the ony rival to the Roman Empire for breadth and length of duration, in many ways Romans only carried on the work of Persians, in the job of unifying and ruling the world.

The New Testament Herodian family was patterned not only on Jacob and his sons and grandsons, but also on the Persian ruling elite who had themselves followed these Egyptian traditions. From the earliest days of Islam, Persians / Iranians were at the forefront of the faith, and the Shi'ite faith is to Muslims what Catholicism is to Christians, with Protestants equating to Sunnis.

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