These aren’t good people

A book by longtime Iranian leader Rafsanjani has apparently been suppressed, or at least withdrawn for fact-checking, because influential Iranians are outraged by its claim that Khomeini wanted at one point to drop “Death to America” as a slogan.

I can somewhat understand the “Marg bar Shah” slogan, ugly though it was, because there was a definite crisis, and the two short flat a’s followed by the long broad a in “Shah” gave it a “Sis-Boom-Bah” quality that was good for chanting. “Marg bar Amrika” is clunky, though, and clinging to it for decades shows that you just like the idea of killing. It’s a mistake to take foreign accounts of local attitudes and politics too literally, especially when the locality is very foreign, but there’s too much of this sort of thing from the Islamic world.

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