Saturday, May 15, 2010


In my 2/7/09 post, The Palestinian Golan Heights, I alluded to the malign effect of television on the brain after noting the foot-in-mouth commentary of the Sydney Morning Herald's television reviewer Doug Anderson.

Doug's latest Middle East gaffe (I don't have time for the others) only confirms what I wrote then. Previewing a doco on Iran, Iran & The West (Part 1), screened on SBS last night, he wrote: "To mark 31 years since the Islamic Revolution that replaced Shah Pahlavi with Ayatollah Khomeni's theocracy in Iran, a retrospective of the diplomatic nightmares that have ensued. [Has he ever heard of a sentence?] This is a thorough and illuminating piece of work. Given the present regime's demonstrations of vigorous confrontation is its chosen stance, the relatively mild engagements of the Rafsanjani, Khatami and Khamenei governments seem a distant memory. How were so many creative initiatives squandered? Do we simply blame boofheads like the former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and the sartorially challenged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Ridiculous matters of ego, of face, the loss of face (and the cutting off of hands to save it) are involved. [The cutting off of hands to save face?!] The Iranians are civilised people and their fighters have shown unparalleled resilience in Afghanistan, with the Northern Alliance the only credible opponents left standing in the fight against the Talibs. Having a bet each way is a shrewd tactic and Iran's ability to play a mean hand of poker is abundantly evident in the doco."

Seen one turban, seen 'em all, eh Doug?

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