I have recently learned that February 11th marks the day of remembrance known as “Victory of the Revolution Day”, to Iranian people. Amnesty International USA has asked me and other Americans to post about this day on our personal blog’s. I meet this request for this issue.
Many Iranian citizens, like many American’s, hunger for personal freedoms, and these Iranian’s have a tenacity and fierce determination to preserve that voice as evidenced by their current protests. Many of them demonstrably believe that their government is corrupt and suppressive, or even totalitarian. They appear to be incredibly frustrated by an inability to shape their government policy and common future according to their standards. To complicate matters, in my view, they fear further US economic sanctions and fear public disfavor by America and other nations, regarding their government’s uranium enrichment program.
The Iranian public must however learn to live with this disfavor, as all Nations throughout History have faced disfavor at one time or another; sometimes for many years. That is sometimes a fact of life. I think in recent times, America is learning that repealing The Patriot Act, fighting extraordinary rendition, maintaining safety, upholding law and justice, fighting for the innocent, and operating day to day, would all be factors that contribute to making us the free society that we appear to be from the perspective of other countries. Fortunately, our elected officials cherish these same freedoms in their own lives, but do we have them? I never met a politician who enjoyed public embarrassment or jail. We too must hold them to account. The intellectuals of Iran are aware that freedom must be written about and spoken of, for ages, and some of them are suffering as they speak today. They might best expect their government to change slowly. But Iranian’s are also a patient people. A war, as American’s have debated with Iranians would not only be stupid, fought on the ground, in the air, in the sea etc. It would also be a far worse alternative for all parties involved. So, I hope that rapid freedom expansion in Iran is not too forcefully demanded, as it might provoke instability. On the other hand, a realistic understanding that America is not as free as it appear to be… though maybe should be, would help both Nations’ people.
No longer can Iran be the oil rich nation to supply oil to the US. In my view, US wars have solidified that choice for wrong or for right. Frightening to admit, if America used the same argument as was used a few years ago, as a basis for invading Iraq, now, applied to Iran, the war would be yet another cause for America to suffer human resources and life yet again in epic proportion.
With regard to protest in the streets, if we started a war with every country that currently has protesting in the streets… we’d be bankrupt and left for dead, with no one to rush to aid us.
It is for this reason and definitely others, that Iran must fight its own regime as it does, and unfortunately not expect much assistance or reciprocity.
We cannot overhaul their government and Iranian youth must realize that America cannot be expected to give it freedom. They must create their own freedom. They should not expect rapid social change, should not martyr themselves for it, but they can work together and know that American’s who love their own freedom, will congratulate them at the finish line; that is if America makes it there as well.
What our government can do is to encourage the Iranian government to respect civil rights. Change must come from their civilians however, not from a liberating army (USA). A liberating army winds up having to hold the reins, and we cannot do that for every country that disrespect civil rights by estimation. It is a particular challenge for the USA, as we leave the oil rich nations off of our agenda, toward our own sustainable energy production and consumption. Iran must work with the Arab league to fund poor nations, to meet the communal goals of the region, and to build their own economy.
Iran’s current civil strife reminds me in several ways of United States History, at a time where only Americans could help themselves. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed for his outspokenness defending and championing civil rights. Individuals like him, outside of the church, defending social justice, and their brothers, were murdered in the streets as well (Kennedy). Harvey Milk fought for gay rights, which without him would have not allowed for gay pride parading in the streets. Decades later, murders of civil rights pushers, are shrouded with secrecy; but they are through declassified files possibly solved crimes.
Outspoken activists in Iran have been arrested and accused of orchestrating violence and there appears to be a great divide between what the youth in the country want, and what the government, (made up of an older populous), wants. That is much the same in the USA. Is the USA really more free? If there’s a lesson, could it be that young and old must work together to shape public policy constructively? Can young and old there dialogue? Yes. I think that may work. And if their government use murder as totalitarians often do, then the International Court must get involved.