Liberal NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof once again puts his paper to shame with a very insightful piece on American perception in Iran. Some excerpts . . .
Everywhere I've gone in Iran, with one exception, people have been exceptionally friendly and fulsome in their praise for the United States, and often for President Bush as well.
Young Iranians keep popping the question, "So how can I get to the U.S.?" I ask why they want to go to a nation denounced for its "disgustingly sick promiscuous behavior," but that turns out to be a main attraction. And many people don't believe a word of the Iranian propaganda.
"We've learned to interpret just the opposite of things on TV because it's all lies," said Odan Seyyid Ashrafi, a 20-year-old university student. "So if it says America is awful, maybe that means it's a great place to live."
Indeed, many Iranians seem convinced that the U.S. military ventures in Afghanistan and Iraq are going great, and they say this with more conviction than your average White House spokesman.
And, most importantly . . .
Oh, that one instance when I was treated inhospitably? That was in a teahouse near the Isfahan bazaar, where I was interviewing religious conservatives. They were warm and friendly, but a group of people two tables away went out of their way to be rude, yelling at me for being an American propagandist. So I finally encountered hostility in Iran — from a table full of young Europeans.
Kristof leaves us with the impression (mostly correct) that at least the Persian Street (if not the Arab street, which can go to its nomadic hell for all I care) is strongly pro American and our real enemies are those ungrateful, intellectual, European liberals.
Hmm, would that make John Fonda Kerry an enemy?