Monday, December 28, 2009

A revolution whose time has come?

Though I despise violence, I believe in the necessity of revolution at times {when it's justified, Tea Baggers}.

What has been going on in Iran since the elections over the summer has been both heartbreaking and inspiring. To watch as common people and opposition leaders organize to challenge the corruption and oppression of the draconian Ahmadinejad regime is inspiring. And, of course, the violent clashes, the killings, including Neda Agha-Soltan, the police brutality, thuggery among pro-government advocates, the mock trials, torture, imprisonment of political dissidents are all heartbreaking.

I saw this photo this morning in the news and found it very symbolic, powerful.

Protesters — the oppressed lashing out against the oppressors. And at least in this case, having the upper-hand.

It's tragic that in these latest protests several have reportedly been killed, including the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi who was reportedly shot in the back. Still, what the Iranian people are doing is heroic. They are standing up to their government which has disenfranchised them. They are trying to shape their destiny in any way they can whilst living under a regime that isn't accountable, doesn't heed the will of the people and is not open to change. Among other things, they seek more representation, basic civil rights like freedom of speech and assembly, and of course the most basic of all, they seek human rights.

That is what, to me, makes all this inspiring.

I hope that we here in the U.S. and the West in general will give the people of Iran as much support as we can. But I also believe we must tread cautiously in doing so.I don't believe that we should meddle too much in these domestic affairs, 1) because I believe it best for our nation to avoid foreign entanglements as George Washington once warned our young nation, 2) because it will only bolster the claims by the regime and Islamic extremists that the United States is imposing its will, and that the discontent among the common-folk is manufactured.

We should also take heart that here, in what is often depicted as enemy territory by neoconservative ideologists, Muslims are rebelling against oppression, against a regime that acts in defiance of world security, and they are clamoring for a more democratic form of government. It reconfirms that there are indeed moderates to be found among Muslim nations; there is hope that terrorism and Islamic extremist ideology can be countered by the very people who are sought to be recruited to it; and democracy can be both compatible with and welcomed by the peoples of the Middle-East without having to drop bombs to convince them.

Newsweek article on the presumed spiritual leader of the reform movement, Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri
Newsweek article on the experiences of journalist, Maziar Bahari, who was held captive by the Iranian regime for 4 months
[EDIT: An interesting article at the Daily Beast about the growing civil rights/revolution in Iran]

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