Iran Provides a Good Lesson

” When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another….”
This is the beginning of our Declaration of Independence, one of the seminal documents of the past three centuries regarding government and its powers and limitations over the people government presides over. The other major document, The Constitution, delineates the powers and the limits of those powers the government may impose.

One of the rights the Constitution provides is Freedom of Speech- a “right” the Iranians are really trying to exercise, through networking, the Facebook and MySpace sites, twitter, and text messaging. Because the Iranian government is a totalitarian regime, and seeks to control their people, they have been busy censoring these various messaging mediums as soon as they can.

Luckily for the Iranians, this is tantamount to plugging holes in a dyke with a finger- it won’t hold for long before another hole springs up.

These people are truly brave- here in our country, if you protest, you might be called a bad name- there, you might be shot, or worse. What’s worse than being shot? Would you really want to know first hand? I doubt it- I know that I would not, but these people risk worse than being shot just by protesting their governments stolen election.

Shortly after Neda Agha-Soltan bled her life out on the Tehran pavement, the man whose 40-second video of her death has ricocheted around the world made a somber calculation in what has become the cat-and-mouse game of evading Iran’s censors. He knew that the government had been blocking Web sites like YouTube andFacebook. Trying to send the video there could have exposed him and his family.

Instead, he e-mailed the two-megabyte video to a nearby friend, who quickly forwarded it to the Voice of America, the newspaper The Guardian in London and five online friends in Europe, with a message that read, “Please let the world know.” It was one of those friends, an Iranian expatriate in the Netherlands, who posted it on Facebook, weeping as he did so, he recalled.

nytimes.com

Yep, these Iranian thugs of the government would have gone after not only the people texting and taking videos, but also their families. What a free and fair government they are. This is stifling free speech on a grand scale, over the little matter of a stolen election. Jimmy Carter would have said it was a fair and free election, but Iran is one country where he has not the fortitude to travel to, even if they would let him.

What is truly disheartening, is the fact that despite all of Hussein’s high and  mighty rhetoric on freedoms that he espoused in Cairo, there has not been a statement coming from the White House that could be said to even remotely have a spine to it.

I understand that Hussein has a calculating mind, but it seems that he wants the current regime to stay in power, thus the limp- wristed commentary he has issued. Perhaps he has more in common with the current dictators than first appears to meet the eye. I hope not, but there could be at least a statement of solidarity with all who seek freedom- but nooooooo.

At least the Internet, and all its permutations, make free speech more possible, and not less so, and this is a good thing- now, if only the President might use his personal bully pulpit, employ his freedom of speech, and at least get his butt off of the fence long enough to say something substantial about a peoples struggle for freedom.

Perhaps he could use his powers to Twitter.
Blake

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2 Responses to “Iran Provides a Good Lesson”

  1. Darrel says:

    BLK: Jimmy Carter would have said it was a free and fair election…>>

    DAR
    What a shameless, baseless, smear.

    BLK: but Iran is one country where he has not the fortitude to travel to,…>>

    DAR
    He and his organization has monitored elections in, I believe, 83 countries, many of them easily more dangerous than Iran. So again, a shameless, and baseless, and plainly dishonest smear.

    BLK: not been a statement coming from the White House that could be said to even remotely have a spine to it.>>

    DAR
    As an Iranian observer noted today, and I agree, the pitch and tone of his carefully worded comments have been spot on. Perfect.

    Joe Scarborough called the rightwing comments about this outrageous and responded this way:

    “All we would do is undermine those people in the streets the second they are attached to the United States of America. The country, after all, has been known in Iran as the Great Satan since 1979. We will undermine their cause and make no mistake of it, their cause is our cause. They are fighting this fight, though, and do not need John Sydney Mccain or Barack Obama to get out and make statements that will only play into the hands of the mullahs or Ahmadinejad. It’s so shortsighted i find it stunning.”

    DAR
    Anything more forcefull would be immoral. When Bush Sr. encouraged the Kurds to stand up and fight Saddam, they were mowed down by the tens of thousands as America did nothing. When, under GW Bush, the people in the republic of Georgia were encouraged to stand up against Russia, they were flattened in days.

    You don’t make comments about such things when you are not in a position to back them up with action, and the US has no legal authority, right, or intention to interfere, on the ground, in Iran. If Obama were to act as in my two examples above, and the Iranians reacted en masse, there would undoubtedly be a blood bath. And that blood would be on our hands again, as it was in the above two instances.

    D.
    ——————
    Joe Klein, Time Magazine, on McCain’s comments:

    “I’ve been receiving a steady stream of favorable emails from Iranian-Americans regarding my appearance on Larry King last night. They’re delighted that I made it clear that Iran is different from the other countries in the region–better educated, more sophisticated, with far greater rights for women (although not nearly enough). And they also appreciated the fact that when King asked me what John McCain should do right now, I said, “Be quiet.”

    The Washington Post has a piece today about the efforts of some Republicans to make hay out of the situation in Iran. McCain, who spent the entire 2008 election making misleading statements about the nature of the Iranian government (I wonder if he still thinks Ahmadinejad is more powerful than the Supreme Leader), has been at the forefront of this. It is very unseemly. I have yet to hear what possible good it would do for the President of the United States to encourage the protesters, except to give the Iranian regime a better excuse for killing more of them. McCain’s bleatings are either for domestic political consumption or self-satisfaction, a form of hip-shooting onanism that demonstrates why he would have been a foreign policy disaster had he been elected.” TIME

    For those unfamiliar with “onanism,” google it. Text, not images.

  2. Blake says:

    I would not ask Hussein to make comments other than to express support ” for all peoples who seek freedom from tyranny….” yada, yada, yada-you know, general support.
    But he hadn’t even the backbone to do this until yesterday, over a week and a half later. I think his comments yesterday were what he should have said at the beginning, not the end of this thing, but what do you expect from a Dem,
    As for Carter, I stand by those comments- I feel they are valid, indeed mild compared to the person himself.