An article in the current issue of the AARP Bulletin is likely to get a “What’s this?” reaction from many of its millions of readers. It is titled “Iranian Cure for the Delta’s Blues,” with the eye-opening subtitles: “Mississippi Looks to Iran’s health care system”” “That model has improved health dramatically”; “Will it travel well to Baptist Town?”
The media has painted Iran as a backward third world country of 72 million people, who have little to teach us. Presidents Bush and Obama further a narrow view of Iran by looking at it through a military lens. Iranians do suffer from a lack of freedom of expression and widespread human rights abuses.
Will the current crisis in Kyrgyzstan lead to greater instability, and perhaps an expansion of the current conflict in Central Asia? There are good reasons to be concerned. Deep forces, not adequately understood, are at work there; and these forces have repeatedly led to major warfare in the past.
The pattern of events unfolding in Kyrgyzstan is ominously reminiscent of how America became involved in Laos in the 1960s, and later in Afghanistan in the 1980s. American covert involvement in those countries soon led to civil wars producing numerous casualties and refugees. It will take strenuous leadership from both Obama in Washington and Medvedev in Moscow to prevent a third major conflict from breaking out in Kyrgyzstan.