Iran is doing desperately badly at the Olympics. So far one bronze medal – similar to the great oil rich nation of Togo, our wealthy Tajik neighbor or the huge nation of Latvia!
There is a professor at Dartmouth that claims there is a direct relationship between a country’s GDP, Population and Prosperity and medal awards at the Olympics; and he has been able to predict medal awards with a very narrow margin of error for the past few Olympics.
The conclusion is obvious, from a 3.5 (on average) medals thirty years ago to near zero. This is yet another indicator of Iran’s demise.
America and China are sweeping away medals. And, as they interview American athletes, American patriotism shines. I just heard Kobe Bryant (who by the way was brought up in Europe) and who is something of a celebrity in China, talk about the Goosebumps he had putting on the US Basketball team uniform, and how America is the greatest nation in the world!
On the other hand, most Iranians in America walk around ashamed and embarrassed of their heritage. They hide their nationality. They create false American identities: Feredoun is now Freddy, Mohamed is Mo or Mike, there are so many Iranian ‘Sams” or “Mikes”, or “Bobs”….
You ask them where are you from? They respond: Italy! Or Greece! … Or if you’re lucky: “Persian” I even had a friend who used to routinely say he was an Eskimo! Go ahead and ask them where’s Persia? (Watch their hand waving and waffling).
But the truth is the United States is NOT the greatest nation in the world. And Iranians have a great deal to be proud of…and can challenge any nation for that honor.
The United States is a relatively young country…and if it survives another 2000 years (which is doubtful) – it will be lucky to have achieved 1% of Iranian accomplishments over its several Millennia history.
Underneath the pomp and circumstance of America’s performance at the Olympics is a nation badly torn apart? It is a nation with more people in its prison system than the whole rest of the world put together. It is a nation with its fastest demographic growth among its poor, uneducated Hispanic population, which within 20 years will be its majority population. Mexicans are openly talking about the “reconquista’, the re-conquering of the United States by Mexicans. And at their current rate of migration, the United States will become a de facto Spanish speaking nation annexed to Latin America.
Economically, Europe’s GDP now eclipses US GDP. And with China’s current growth rate, China will soon match and eventually exceed US GDP.
This same ‘great’ nation boasts one of the highest high school drop out rates in the world; and close to 15% of its population with no access to the ‘world’s greatest’ healthcare system. American pre-eminence is at risk.
Olympic medal awards reflects all this. A once athletically dormant China, has risen from 4th in overall rankings with 50 Medals in 1996 is now giving the United States a run for 1st place.
With continuous budget deficits, and record public sector borrowing, without Chinese government purchase of Trillions of dollars of US Treasury bonds, the United States would be bankrupt.
The greatness of Nations is not determined by one or ten generations. The greatness of nations is determined much longer term perspectives – over the many millennia of human existence – through their contributions to humanity.
The point is in terms of Iranian history, this period with the Mullahs will be s short term blip. I have every faith that Iranians will overcome this aberration that has been imposed on us. With Iran sitting on a sea of oil both in its North and South; and sitting squarely at the intersection between Europe, China and India – everyone’s envious and eyeing Iranian real estate… working with insiders (like the Mullahs) to steal or undermine Iranian assets.
Iran for the last 2 centuries has been under tremendous pressure. The Brits have stated repeatedly over 200 years that Iran is at the center of the “Great Game” (between the West and East). Pressed from every corner, Iran should have exploded. It is a tribute to Iranian greatness that Iran has not stratified like the balkans and survived this long as a single country. They have, for sure, chipped away at the nation – with the British sponsored separation of Afghanistan, Russian sponsored separation of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan …. (all part of Iran 150 years ago). But Iran is still standing.
It is a tribute to Iranian greatness that sports founded in Iran – like wrestling have full international participation; while for example US founded sports like Soft-ball are being eliminated from the Olympics (with very limited international participation).
The measure of greatness in the Olympics is not winning gold medals, or breaking records. Records are transient. Today’s gold medalists will succumb to other medalists. The true measure of greatness in the Olympics is the contribution a nation makes to global athletics…over centuries. IT IS THE POSITIVE INFLUENCE A NATION HAS ON ANOTHER NATION’S PARTICIPATION AND EXCELLENCE THAT IS THE TRUE MEASURE OF GREATNESS. THE INSPIRATION A NATION PROVIDES IS WORTH MUCH MORE THAN INDIVIUAL MEDALS.
It is not whether Michael Phelps broke records in medal counts, but whether he inspires millions of people to take up swimming, gain fitness and add years of health to their lives… and thus contribute in a larger sense to mankind’s overall greatness.
America’s indecency towards Iran, can to a large extent explain Iran’s demise. The United States must in the long run maintain and expand its global presence through decency, fair play with real respect and compassion for the people of these nations. With Iran especially, the United States does have a debt of decency. Consider Eisenhower’s CIA backed coup to eliminate democracy in Iran (1952); Or Carter’s active assistance in the demise of the Shah and promotion of Islamic militants (1979). Or even Reagan’s back room deals with the same Islamic militants to swing them against Carter and delay the release of the hostages to win the 1980 presidential elections. And the subsequent arm sales to both sides extending the Iran-Iraq war resulting in 1 Million deaths and injured. And today’s games being played out as Iran’s wealth in the Caspian Sea is siphoned off through former Soviet Republics!
Iranian freedom has been systematically compromised. Iran’s assets have been and continue to be stolen. Iranians have absorbed these losses with their bloods. America’s preeminence appears to be at the expense of others – taking gold by theft. There is no Win-Win here. Ridan beh Iran o Iranian.
And this is not a mark of greatness – but a mark of long-term demise. The US has no way to go but down from here. And other nations will rise to eclipse American medals.
Ironically, Iran has no where to go but up from here. And strangely, there is in fact more to gain with an Iran transformed from its current western imposed Dark Age of theocratic dominance. With Iran transformed, the region will then become an engine driving global economic growth – especially as new refineries, oilrigs, and chemical plants are ordered, built and operated. The resulting prosperity would then result in new hospitals, roadways, airports …you name it. And it will all be good for the United States – if it is admired. The opportunity to sell value added goods and services would be immense and sustained. True wisdom, would dictate a much longer vision in US foreign policy dominated by decency and true American values.
So the message to Freddy, Mo, Mike, Sam, or Bob…and everyone else that hides their Iranian identity is: An Iranian heritage is worth more than an American identity for yourself and your children. There is much to be ashamed of as an American…especially in its dealings with Iranians.
I wish I could go back to Iran without getting my head chopped off. I think we all wish we could go back and make a positive difference and help Iran prosper again. These Olympic results are shameful. There can be no one now that can claim there is any goodness to what the Mullahs are doing.