Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tehran, We Love You

For many years I have admired the passion of the Iranian people. Regardless of having lived for decades beneath the damning hand of dictatorship, they still have not lost their innate yearning for freedom. If only Americans could be as passionate about liberty as the Iranians are.

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Americans are content to simply have a Tea Party and then go home. Iranians, harking to a bygone American era, are deadly serious about liberty--just as Americans

Americans can't just have a tea party every now and then and feel like we've made any kind of a difference.

once were. While Iranians risk their lives and forsake their livelihoods for days on end in an effort to retain some vestige of representative government, Americans are too busy-- spectating at their favorite sporting events or figuring out where their next mortgage payment will come from--to care very much.

It has become clear over the past eight days that Mir Hossein Mousavi, challenger to the not-well-liked Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, should be the next president of Iran. Yet amid protests of massive election fraud concocted by the Supreme Leader and his Supreme Band of Thieves, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei holds Mousavi personally responsible for the protests for which the Ayatollah and his consorts are squarely to blame:
Mousavi's dilemma was painfully clear. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei put the opposition leader on notice on Friday that the responsibility would be his if "illegal gatherings" continued. But by then, millions of fired-up Iranians were looking to him to show a lead in confronting not just alleged electoral fraud but the Islamic establishment itself.
Despite not having enjoyed much of it, Iranians have long been passionate about freedom. When the United States welcomed former Iranian Shah Reza Pahlavi into the country in 1979, it was more than the Iranian masses could take. At the time fearing that the U.S. was preparing the Shah for yet another takeover of power (as happened in 1953), they stormed the United States embassy and Tehran and held dozens of American diplomats hostage for nearly a year and a half. It was unfortunate that American citizens were pawns in the power play, but the clamoring of Iranians for self-determination compels our respect and admiration.

It didn't take long for the Iranians to discover that they had been duped by the replacement government of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and for 30 years

Iranians understand the essence of liberty, and they're not about to let it fall from their grasp. Iranians revere liberty far more than the average lazy American does.

they have been attempting to come out from under that mistake, an oppression which has been every bit as stifling as that of the Shah. During that period, while their self-anointed leaders regularly exclaim death to the "Great [American] Satan", the Iranian populace has cultivated a general affinity for the freedom-loving American people.

Except that most Americans have now fallen asleep.

Americans can't just have a tea party every now and then and feel like we've made a difference. If we really want to understand how precious freedom is, as well as how easy it would be to lose here in the United States, we should keep our eye on Iran. The Iranian people prize freedom like perhaps no other people on earth, and they're not about to let it fall from their grasp. Iranians revere liberty far more than the average lazy American does.

Tehran: for your shining example, we love you. And we hope to God that we can become like you--like we were once before--lovers of liberty.



3 comments:

  1. ...deadly serious about liberty...

    Pun intended?

    This is one of the reasons I did not attend a tea party, and disagreed with the way most of them were carried out. Without action (which need not be violent), infrequent protests don't amount to much...

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  2. History might have been different if Americans took to the streets to protest a stolen election. You have to admire the passion and the courage on display in Iran.

    Of course, Iran was a democracy before a certain superpower overthrew their elected government in 1953...

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  3. Exactly.

    Which is why now we don't have much moral capital in trying to take the side of the Iranian protesters. If we hadn't meddled with Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953, we would be able to call for justice in Iran and not have it look hypocritical.

    Then again, without U.S. meddling, chances are we wouldn't have today a Supreme Leader/Council that makes Iranian lives every bit the living hell that the Shah did.

    Connor,

    It was an intended play on words, albeit not for humor's sake. Not many Americans would venture out into the streets if they knew Basiji snipers were about.

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