January 03, 2014

Iran's baby boomerang

Christopher Hitchens said in the video above and here:
"What is happening in Iran is very interesting. Within the carapace of a theocratic state, an almost completely secular society is being created. This is for a ghoulish reason. The Iranian mullahs lost so many young people in the suicide waves they sent against Saddam Hussein, gangs of school children and teenagers to clear mind-fields in the Iraqi border... They lost so many young people that they had to pay Iranian mothers, incentives if you agree to have 3 or more children you can have a lot more subsidy and quite a lot of help from the regime. They tried to breed quickly a new regime, a consequence of which it worked out all right - but not in the way they expected. A consequence of which more than half of the country is under 25 and they all hate the mullahs. So it's what I call the baby boomerang in Iran. And if you want to get a drink, drugs or pornography you can do that very swiftly and the mullahs are powerless to stop it."
In an interview with Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institute here, Christopher Hitchens explained the same phenomenon:
"The hatred for the regime among the young is a delightful thing to see as is the friendship towards the United States. And I have a word for it--it's the baby boomerang. You see, the Mullahs threw away so many of their young people in the suicide wave, war with Saddam Hussein--which people I think still remember the throwing away of handfuls of the younger generation. You know, it turned into a pointless war. They had to give Iranian women incentives to make up the deficit. 
Now there is a baby boom but it's a baby boomerang because this younger generation despises the Mullahs and the state that they run, wants to live in America, wants--if it can't do that, wants to live an American life. The regime meanwhile is becoming visibly senile. It's not reproducing itself or palpably senile. And so even the revolutionary guards are getting a bit long in the tooth... Oh give it ten years and yes it will metamorphose into something like a secular Middle Eastern democracy but the timeline of Hezbollah and of the nukes isn't a ten year timeline."
My point is that, within a conflict state, an almost completely post-conflict secular society is being created in Northern Ireland. There is a quiet, internal and endogenous transformation which must reach into the political arena. There are two words of Northern Ireland and the progressive, liberal and secular one is in the ascendency. Whereupon Northern Ireland will no longer be the "outcast from life's feast."

My previous posts on Hitchens on Northern Ireland here, on segregated schools here, on Vaclav Havel here, on Northern Ireland's "barbaric, sectarian leaders" here, on the US First Amendment here, on the US as an empire and clas-based society here, and on how to succeed here. Christopher Hitchens explained that he left the UK in part because of the libel laws, see here. To see Christopher Hitchens on the need to defend the Enlightenment principles, here at 36 minutes.
Read me blog on professor John Brewer who said that the silent majority needs to reclaim the peace process here. My blog on Fionualla Meredith who said people need to speak up and pound the streets here. My blog following Richard Haass comment that a majority want peace is here. My previous posts in 'The Two Worlds of Northern Ireland' series can be seen here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
My previous posts on Iran, on being a woman here, on young Iranians bring about change here, on
Al-Quds day here, and my Huffington Post post, 'Am I living in Ireland or Iran' here. My two pieces here and here on the Quilliam Foundation and tackling extremism.

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