Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Iran Uprising!

I know it's been a while since I've written. It's been a tough month for me, but the action in Iran to me is amazing and very impressive.

First I want to comment on Barrack Obamas words, and Senator John McCains words. I know we have pretty much never tolerated external meddling in internal affairs so I think Obamas comments saying the people of iran need to pick their ruler was the smart, and conscienscious move. He has made me proud once again. I think what McCain said was not only political but naive and counterproductive. The reality is it appears the Iranian people have the issue covered.

Clearly the people have undetaken some risky protests. This is a brave act of civil defiance, and it appears Iranian politicians and those in power are reacting appropriately:

1) The people are rising up and peacefully (in most cases) asserting the rights which is a powerful uplifting message.
2) It appears that the supreme council of religious authorities are meeting to investigate the issue
3) Reports indicate that the secret police are refusing to assualt or shoot innocents for no reason. I think this is an amazing re-affirmation of the power of civil disobediance as we saw with Martin Luther King, and countless times throughout history. It's also a beautiful re-afirmation of the fact that most people, really, are good in their hearts. Even much vilified (and probably not perfect) Iranian Secret Police.

Iran IS a democracy. Perhaps after their own fashion, but it's for real. And i think we should all recognize the rights of different people to work through issues in their own way. I think it's a source of pride for America that we are what we are. I also believe that we have a lot to learn from different societities out there, and this is a good opportunity.

(6/18/09) A recent update from the Economist. I think clearly if the will was there, the protests would have been over in a day because few people will stand up to a tank (a la tank man). But the reality is that jouralists have been expelled. And to quote their article:

"Its men have beaten up protesters and fired on the crowd. Reformers, intellectuals, civil leaders and human-rights activists have been arrested or have gone missing, not only in Tehran but also in Tabriz, in the north-west, and across the country. Since the Ministry of Guidance has expelled foreign journalists, the course of the repression will be hard to follow. And the outcome of this clash is impossible to predict."

So it's not all perfect. Still I think it's clear that the people have a will that will not be suppressed, and I still think it's a good sign.

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