Is it getting more difficult to write about these things because I remember them? Or because I’m finally close to the end? Are my recollections and opinions affecting the process?
Ayatollah is a high-ranking title given to Islamic clerics who are experts in judicial, ethical, and philosophical matters.
Billy’s reference here is most likely to Ruhollah Moosavi Khomeini:
Khomeini was the 1st Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He was also a central figure in the 1979 Iranian Revolution which was successful in overthrowing the government of the Shah (Mohammad Reza Pahlavi). The Shah was heavily supported by the government of the United States, there were hostages taken in the US embassy in Tehran, and the world is still dealing with the fallout.
The Russians invaded Afghanistan during this time period as well. You know, to protect “Soviet Interests”. Invading Afghanistan has been folly since the the 13th century (see second paragraph). During this particular attempt, the United States armed the Mujahideen (yes, YOUR tax dollars were spent on Jihad) with every modern military killing tool. And once the Soviets left, the Mujahideen got to keep all that neat deadly shit! Which they would promptly turn on the Americans our government was idiotic to send in as an invading force a couple of decades later.
So, even though the songs is titled “We Didn’t Start The Fire”, we absolutely did.