Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Note to Iran

Your nation is in the messy process of making an important choice. I don't know how long it will take you to do this but the choice must be made. I call it "go North or go South." The reference is to Korea, one people but two nations. One of these will be approximately the next phase of your development. There is a stark contrast.

North Korea is a giant prison. The best and the bravest of its children cannot realize their potential. They will wind up in the military or in a labor camp unless they can find a way to emigrate. This is a nation in which repression really works. It has isolated itself from the family of peace loving nations. It lacks a productive economy. The political "Dear Leader" is a puppet of the military and he would not last long if he were to deviate from his "army based" policies. North Korea has painted itself into a corner; it is a dead end.

South Korea is a democracy with a productive and rapidly developing economy. The people are free and the standard of living has improved over the years. It can accommodate controversy without major violence. It has both the productivity and the occasional economic disruptions of capitalism.

Iran differs from Korea in a few important details. South Korea must face a military threat from the North. Iran is a larger nation. Iran has oil; Korea does not. Also, Iran has Islam.

These differences should not be allowed to obscure the important choice which must be made. It is particularly urgent because some in the government decided, years ago, to "go North" without really thinking things through.


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