Monday, December 7, 2009

Days of infamy

Today is December 7, a date which lives in infamy. In two different countries, in two different ways, but both involving the United States.

Of course you remember Pearl Harbor. Even Americans who've forgotten the Alamo remember Pearl Harbor. But most of us don't know about Student Day in Iran; I certainly didn't know anything about it until I heard it mentioned in the news the past couple days.

Student Day commemorates the day in 1953 when three students were gunned down by security forces of the new Shah of Iran, who had just come to power through a US-approved coup. Commemorating Student Day is a way of protesting dictatorship, but since the Revolution it's been easy to turn that into an anti-American direction. This year, it's in the news because Iranians are more concerned with the dictator at home than the ones across the ocean.

I find it ironic that Dec. 7 is noted as a day when Americans feel aggrieved and when others remember grievances against us. What's perhaps not at all ironic - utterly predictable, if you ask me - is that both parties commemorate only the trespasses against themselves.

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