Iran. . .Iran so far away. . .

I feel compelled to quote the words I heard growing up – so inspiring – from our founding fathers:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government. . .”

We’ve heard these words thousands of times over the years, but read them again. . .I’ll wait. . .focus on this:

“Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”

This is one of those “unalienable rights” you hear so much about. This is said so matter of factly. In 1776, this was revolutionary! In fact, the people who were writing this had come from a sysem in which their leaders were born into leadership. There was no vote. There was a line of succession. This concept of governing by the governed was so successful, even totalitarian dictatorships feel the need to at least pretend to have a vote. In fact, most totalitarian dictatorships call their regimes names which indicate that the people are all in favor of being oppressed. Names like the “People’s Republic of China,” or the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” two of the most oppressive regimes in the world. But why do these countries feel the need to at least put up a front of democracy?

The reason is because of the United States! We have shown that the freedom of the human spirit is the most powerful force on the face of the earth. It has the power to stop tanks in their tracks, as we saw in Tiananmen Square in 1989. It has the power to overthrow the largest empire of the 20th Century, as we saw in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Block, including the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, also in the 1989. And it has the power to turn a country from one who enslaves a race of people to electing a member of that race as their leader! These oppressive regimes must put up this front in order to have any shred of legitimacy in the community of nations. Some don’t even bother holding fake elections, but some do, which leads us to Iran.

I have always heard and believed that you can’t have a little bit of freedom. It’s like being a little bit pregnant: either you are or you are not. So imagine the surprise of the people of Iran when they realized once and for all that they, in fact, do NOT have a say in who their government will be. They did their part. They campaigned, they voted. And they were cheated. No doubt, they have seen the dramatic changes taking place just next door in Iraq. No doubt they are questioning why they can’t have the same marriage of Islam and self-government that is being afforded to the Iraqis. And certainly, they are questioning why, if the US cares about the freedom of Iraqis, doesn’t it care about the freedom of Iranians. Well, it does! As President Obama said in Cairo earlier this month, “I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things:  the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed. . .”

Some have criticized President Obama for not being outspoken enough in support of the demonstrators in Iran. I’m not going to debate that here. For diplomacy’s sake, he must walk a fine line and I’ll leave that to him to determine where that line is. But I would like to add my voice to the millions here in the states and hundreds of millions around the world who are cheering them on. Hopefully, this will lead to the kind of change we saw in 1989 and 1776!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Iran. . .Iran so far away. . .

  1. The reason that China pretends to cater to the people’s needs is NOT because of the US, but because of the fact that the gains of the Chinese bureaucracy have been paved by the sweat and blood of working class people fighting for a more democratic and socialist China, and because of their absolute and total fear of independent working class movements. This is why all trade unions, and independent worker’s organizations are totally illegal in China. Because their state (correctly) fears that if pro democracy organizations could freely organize that the struggle for reforms would quickly turn into the struggle for true socialism, and take these bureaucrats completely out of power, and fight against the interests of big business and of US and European imperialism. It is also interesting to note that American companies such as Yahoo! and Microsoft, actually help the Chinese State by doing things such as creating hi-tech surveillance equipment to make sure that those Chinese worker’s don’t move into organized struggle. They have cameras on every street (manufactured by US companies)that recognize body language. If irate body language is detected, police are deployed to make sure that a protest is not starting. A clear example of the United States big business helping to make sure that real democracy is not on the order of the day.

  2. reedkeys

    Perhaps you misunderstood my point, Christian. I was simply saying that dictatorships seem to feel the need to at least feign democracy so they can have standing with the rest of the world. It isn’t about how the people in the country feel. They are the oppressed and they know they are oppressed. The facade is lost on them. They are powerless to put down the government. Given the choice, most people choose freedom. Ever see the Matrix?!?

    For the record, the more socialist a country becomes, the less democratic it becomes. As I mentioned in my last comment, anytime an individual has to give something up for the collective, he loses a little freedom. In this country, we are all free to participate as much or as little in society as we want.

    As far as American technology being used by communist regimes to spy on their people, I’m against it. Having said that, I’m not planning on boycotting Google or Microsoft or any of the others. I am however, quite a bit more concerned about other American technology getting into the hands of the commies. In the 90’s, Bill Clinton authorized the sale of missile technology to China. Now China and North Korea have missiles which can reach the US. Did I mention we helped NorKor with their nukes too? Yeah, we did. Now they can load up those American missiles with American nukes and hit America. Great foreign policy, Mr. Clinton! I prefer Bush’s foreign policy: kill them before they kill us!

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