First attempt at mobile.blogging...
As Iran erupts, another flashback from Ray Takeyh's 2006 study, Hidden Iran:
...The legacy of the hostage crisis continues to extract a price from Iran. An indelible image of the Islamic Republic was imprinted on the psyche of the American people.Iranians were seen as fanatical, reactionary fundamentalists enchanted by their peculiar culture of martyrdom and impervious to reason. To a cross-section of the public, a theocratic anachronism steeped in its ossified ideology had managed to humiliate America with impunity. The chants of "Death to America," mullahs in their strange clerical garb,and a population seemingly united in its hatred of America would be the enduring picture of Iran.
It's remarkable the extent to which the current revolt is both replay and rewrite. Another generation, another Ashura with the present superimposed on the culture's defining ritual...a population still enchanted by martydom and remembering well how a prior "Yazid". was brought down -- but putting their bodies on the line this time for democracy, rule of law, modernity.
And in the U.S.and the world at large, that "indelible image" is transmogrified.