Persian Conversion

By Bill Maher

Two days before Iran's presidential election, The Washington Post Editorial Board wrote: "Mr. Rouhani, who has emerged as the default candidate of Iran's reformists, will not be allowed to win." 

I guess Iranians forgot to check with the Post, because Rouhani won.

But then that's always been the problem with other countries. They don't do what we tell them to do. They're adorkable that way.

Apparently the neocons, both inside and outside the Post, wanted another crazy like Ahmadinijad to win, because then it's easier to start World War 3. So they're sad. But cheer up guys -- you still have Syria.

Anyway, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that the reformer has a big beard and a turbany-thing on his head, while the hard-liner looks like the guy who picked me up from the airport. 

But pardon me if I don't break out the purple flags just yet. Because one thing we've learned from reading optimistic predictions of the Arab Spring for the past few years is that a "flowering of democracy" or a "liberalization of government" usually ends with a bunch of people getting shot and Al Qaeda setting up a new franchise.

Still, Iran isn't like most of the Middle East. They've got the largest shopping mall in the world, a gigantic thing in Shiraz that has 2,500 stores.  Meanwhile all our fading empire can manage is that dumpy old Mall of America. Iran has heavy metal bands and Hermes boutiques. Call me crazy, but I suspect the appeal of the secular West has a lot more pull there than it does in Egypt.