Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Rock the Casbah..."

It's been entirely too long since I last posted, and much has happened, with probably the most important thing being the election, protests, and violent retaliation in Iran. So far, Radley Balko has best summarized my feelings about the goings-on.

We may never know with 100 percent certainty whether the election was fixed, though it sure seems that way. But one thing we sure as hell know now, the Iranian government’s reaction to those protesting the results has shown it to be wholly and morally illegitimate.

In an odd way, this feels to me vaguely akin to how folks must have felt in the 1960s, watching the Civil Rights and Vietnam War protesters march through the streets. And similar to the footage of the Viet Cong prisoner being summarily executed, we have the woman they're calling Neda, shot to death, bleeding out on the pavement. (You must watch it; my eyes will never be the same and still haven't evacuated all their tears.)

And what to do, as Americans thousands of miles away? As George Will says, "The people on the streets know full well what the American attitude toward the regime is." (Thankfully Will is ever the pragmatic and not partisan conservative.) Certainly the people know we are not fans of the Iranian regime, but is that enough? Should they not also be aware that we support their, indeed any, stands for freedom and justice? Hopefully they are. But how do we stand with them while maintaining our own national interests? Should those interests even be a factor when standing up to oppression? (I don't see how they could not.) Above all, is there anything we can do to end the violence?

There are more questions than answers, but one thing is for certain: Iran, and the world, will never be the same.

(There is of course the lingering question, not directly related to the incidents in Iran, of whether we Americans would still have the drive, the motivation, the chutzpah to stand up to governmental oppression. Seems to me these days we tend to shout best with the printed word, to gather in support by posting links across blogs. Which is all well and good, I suppose, but I think it would be nice to march for once.)


Blogger Ben said...

I've marched to prevent the Iraq War. Didn't accomplish much. Might've helped if I had brought along half a million friends.

As for Iran...I think the Obama Administration is trying to do re: Iran what Bush, Sr. did re: Eastern Europe during the collapse of the Soviet Union. Bush, Sr. knew when to shut up and let freedom spring up on its own against Communism in all those Eastern European countries. He knew that if he did too much, those fighting for freedom could be credibly branded American puppets. So he kept quiet (maybe did something covert we don't know about) and Communism fell. I think Obama's trying to thread that same needle. Not sure if it'll work out the same way, though.

As for what we can do....well, a friend of a friend helped set up some sort of means for Iranian protestors to get around the media blackout. The technology's kind of lost on me, but perhaps it's something you could do, at least.

June 22, 2009 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Allan said...

Hi Mike/Sein514,

Im sorry to disturb you, but i cant help my self to find the song that haunted me for 10 years now. I still couldnt find it. I visited and there i found out that you posted the lyrics of WISH by COWARD. i do not know where to find the CD of this. Will yo able to send me an mp3 copy of it? i would appreciate any help from you in finding me this song... stay cool.. bye the way you can send it to my email if you dont mind... or thank you so much!

-allan from phil

July 08, 2009 10:53 AM  

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