Allah-U-Akbar !

I don't know about you, but I for one never grasped the committment to democrcy by the people of Iran. The protests there, at first  seemed a little bit like a visitation from the moon. I mean weren't they recently part of the axis of evil?

Now, as  I follow the news on twitter, at the BBC and also from Nico Pitney at Huffpo, I cannot escape my own history in this moment. This is not my first doomed uprising in a totalitarian county. I go back to Czechoslovakia, and I still remember the burning taste of ashes in my mouth as the tanks rolled into the streets of Prague.  I think your first is the most heart wrenching. My eyes bled for the Czechs.

Then came Tiananmen. I lived in China for several years and so it was like watching old friends stare down tanks. I had also just crossed the border into Nepal from Tibet when the Tibetans rose up against their occupation by the Chinese in'87. I tried  to leave the bus, to go back and bear witness, but it was not to be.

And now it is Iran,  the latest of the uprisings that one watches in awe, afraid for them, admiring, weeping at the mighty injustice of voices against bullets.

We cannot take sides in an internal Iranian dispute. But with all my heart I say that  we can concentrate our history and send it forth as a clarion call letting  those who long for freedom know they have a friend here.

All the European Embassies are taking in the walking wounded in Iran today.

I am taking them into my heart, and  I know millions of Americans are also. No one who stands for freedom and for free and fair elections is my enemy. The government of Iran will not keep the people of Iran separate from their friends and well wishers all over the world and especially here in America, where we value liberty and have long understood its price.

Allah-u-akbar

Tags: allah-u-akbar, axis of evil, BBC, Iran, uprising (all tags)

Comments

18 Comments

Re: For the People of Iran

Please post   thoughts, ideas, comments here. I wanted Obama to blast em. But he is on the right course. Agree?

by linfar 2009-06-20 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: For the People of Iran

I think he's doing the right thing.  If he came out in full support of Mousavi, the hardliners would taint the protesters as tools of the American government.

by psychodrew 2009-06-20 01:10PM | 0 recs
the irony here is that

the protesters are doing it in the name of Islam, but the same dictatorship which curtails their rights also does it in the name of Islam.

About Obama, perhaps he should come out more forcefully. I'm not really sure what he should do on this.

by Lakrosse 2009-06-20 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: the irony here is that

wha?

the chants you hear in iran are not about god, america or anything else. rather they are about having their voices heard. 'down with govt' 'down with dictatorship' i believe are the exact translations.

by canadian gal 2009-06-20 11:57AM | 0 recs
I'm referring to the green

which is the color of Islam

by Lakrosse 2009-06-20 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm referring to the green

perhaps you need to read up about this a bit more - but the green revolution is about reform not religion.

by canadian gal 2009-06-20 12:04PM | 0 recs
I have. and thats the irony I'm presenting

how they do want legit reform, yet are also wanting it under the color of Allah, which to me seems contradictory, as Islam and government usually does not make for the pro-reform mix.

by Lakrosse 2009-06-20 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: I have. and thats the irony I'm presenting

Islam is not, by nature, totalitarian. Islam is not, by nature, violent. Islam is not, by nature, tyrannical.

These brave protestors recognize this fact and, if anything, are fighting for true Islam rather than the distorted and monstrous view of that religion that their rulers have used to oppress them. They know that no true Muslim would support the fraud that their election became. They know that no true Muslim would expect that these people should bow to this lie of a regime.

by JDF 2009-06-22 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: I have. and thats the irony I'm presenting

Um...

Some of the largest democracies in the world are Muslim.

by Khun David 2009-06-22 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm referring to the green

For some it is about more freedom, for some it is for a return to the ideals of the Islamic revolution. That is why the chants of or Hossein, Hossein Mir and God is Great. Without reform minded segments of the clergy and leaders of the Islamic revolution involvement in the green movement this would have been isolated to the more secular upper classes of Teheran and would have been over long ago.

It would have far reaching consequences if the Iranians could reclaim Islam from the extremists as well as expand democracy and transparency in Iran and pursue a less confrontational foreign policy.

If the greens win it will still be an Islamic state and the issue of nuclear development will not go away. But we wil have much better prospects for talks and cooperation on issues of common interest.

by hankg 2009-06-20 04:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Allah-U-Akbar !

" We cannot take sides in an internal Iranian dispute "

- Why not ? ...

If it wasn't obvious which side we have taken in recent weeks , the actions of the congress yesterday would have made it clear..

The president is already making comments about the situation and his comments are clear enough which side he is on ...

by lori 2009-06-20 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Allah-U-Akbar !

Because Iran is a sovereign nation. Obama is taking the right course.

by linfar 2009-06-20 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Allah-U-Akbar !

If Iran were to side with a political group YOU were involved in, wouldn't you wish they kept it to themselves?

Christ sake.  People in this country give the President a hard time because the French like him too much - imagine if one of our official enemies were to endorse him.  Now substitute "the President" for "the demonstrators", add death squads, and you can probably see why he's biting his tongue.

The Republican party has moved from "speak softly and carry a big stick" to "run your mouth, and then run your mouth some more".

by Jess81 2009-06-21 01:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Allah-U-Akbar !

If I wanted democracy and freedom and I lived in an Islamic Republic or Fascist state, I would hope that anyone would help my people.  The United States does not need outside help (although you could say Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004 could have used some help) - but the same cannot be said for other repressed areas of the world.

by mikes101 2009-06-21 07:42PM | 0 recs
And how do we help them?

We don't have diplomatic or trade relations with Iran, so we can't threaten to cut off ties.  Our military certainly can't get involved.  The UNSC can't do anything.  Do you really think that an explicit statement of support will be more inspirational than the image of a young Iranian woman shot in heart, dying in the streets?

by psychodrew 2009-06-22 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Allah-U-Akbar !

The demonstrators don't want that kind of help, at least if you assume that they're capable of reasoning for themselves and are telling the truth.  Iranians who have spoken on this issue - to the very last one - have all said that Obama weighing in would be a disaster.  We ARE helping them - we're helping them by not giving their enemies a stick to beat them with.

Honestly, common sense should tell you this.  Let's use Florida and Ohio - if you were demonstrating for democracy in those states, would you want an official enemy of your country to weigh in?  Would you want Fidel Castro to come in and say "they stole the election from the rightful winner, Al Gore."?  Of course not.  Use your head.

by Jess81 2009-06-22 09:04PM | 0 recs
Agreed. Now the situation had deteriorated

far beyond initial disputes of fairness of the election process between two parties in Iran. There has to be clear indication that we are on the side who won the popular vote, who wants more democratic reforms in Iran and transfer of power from the mullahs to common folks of Iran. President Obama did the right call on Saturday. His response (in opposite to the irresponsible Republicans) had been correctly measured but firm thus far.

As Prof Howard Zinn once famously said, "You can't be neutral on a moving train..." And Iran is a moving train towards democracy and freedom for all Iranians.

by louisprandtl 2009-06-22 12:49AM | 0 recs
How you can help.

For those itching to do something...

If anyone is on twitter, set your location to Tehran and your time zone to GMT +3.30. Security forces are hunting for bloggers using location/timezone searches. The more people at this location, the more of a logjam it creates for forces trying to shut Iranians' access to the internet down. Cut & paste & please pass it on.

by Sumo Vita 2009-06-22 05:44PM | 0 recs

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