Iran; Fighting for Truth
Today, as in the past few days, freedom is happening, or trying to happen, in an unfolding outpouring of historic proportions in the streets of Iran. The brave people out there risking life and limb are trying to get a fair election and the leaders that they wanted. Heaven knows that Americans lacked the balls or focus to do the same after not only one, but two stolen elections.
You could say, in fact, that if the Iranian election was stolen, as seems to be the case, the techs who engineered the heist probably learned a thing or two from America’s 2000 and 2004 elections. You don’t have to go further than our friend Brad’s blog to get the lowdown on the fraud in Iran, (and be sure to catch Brad subbing for Mike Malloy this week 6-22 to 6-26, 6PM to 9 PM PT, stations listed here.)Brad is the man when it comes to voting rights and voting fraud, and his piece lays it out very simply; there is no way to trust this result. There was no oversight and there were no checks and balances; paper ballots were taken to be counted in secret by the incumbents staff, with no witnesses from outside….? come on!
So, of course, there is not going to be any winning in this situation. The Ayatollah has told the people to accept it and move on, but how far this thing will go before the uprisings are put down, is anyone’s guess. The problem is that unless the government decides to have another vote, this result will never be accepted. Another election will surely prove to be against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is much less popular and very much more like the old time, hard line, conservative voice of the leadership. The people want change and the government does not want to give it to them. This fraud runs deep, because the numbers are so skewed as to be impossible.
America wrote the book on pretending to be a free and open, vote-counting, society; Iran never promised anything of the sort really, and its unlikely that what is happening now will do much more than strengthen the underground movement that will continue boiling along. This is an example of people who feel the urgency of history in their hearts and who are willing to die for the freedom of generations to come. The beauty of this uprising is not only that we are seeing a natural push towards freedom, but it’s that we didn’t have to bomb them to bring freedom, or any one of a thousand reasons that certain entities, (OK, McCain and his ilk,)gives for wanting to destabilize, install bases, grab oil, and generally mess with the tinderbox that is the Middle East.
President Obama, much to the chagrin of the morning bobble-heads today, isn’t getting involved besides a couple of benign statements. People fight for freedom because its part of who they are, not because another regime imposes it on them. We can’t tell them to fight on because we are sending in the cavalry, because we aren’t. We can be there in spirit with them, but interfering would be another disaster on an already full dance card. Again, I find myself thankful to have Obama as president and not McCain, because I can only just imagine what he would do in this situation!
In Iraq, the “freedom” that we imposed looks pretty much like an ongoing dangerous occupation/war, and when we pull out they can expect some more chaos. I can still hear Rumsfeld’s condescension as he told us how messy freedom is. I doubt he’d know, because what they were doing was not spreading the freedom; it was more like a war crime! (…and for some real fun of the vomitous type, check out Rummy in Time. Can someone tell me why these criminals are not being actively investigated right now?)
It occurred to me today that a civilization is truly ready for the revolution when it has embraced some form of Twitter or some level of a face book like popular platform in order to keep people in touch and organized. Even with a government shut down of communications, many Tweeters were changing their time stamps to confuse an already confused government and allow information to be passed around. When movements like this become global projects then anything is possible. The technology isn’t the only necessity either; there has to be a movement by the people, not hoisted onto them like an antiquity stolen in all that messy looting.
When Joementum Lieberman looked up at the satellite dishes on the buildings in Iraq’s green Zone and declared mission accomplished, his reasoning was that people could talk once again on their cell phones. I believe that it was war correspondent,Mick Ware, who mentioned that they were, in fact, now more fully able to organize to kill us. But regardless of what planet Joementum was on, (soon to be the planet of the unemployed, until the cushy payoff job sets in, I suppose,) those neocons never got the fact that you can’t push democracy on a society where the hunger for it has not reached its own crescendo. Hell, it became apparent during that same time that Americans were not even that hungry for all of that freedom and rights crap; not enough to get off the couch and change the channel from the Fox Terra Network, anyway; not enough to have to reason and think about things.
Americans have been the lucky recipients of the sweat and blood of forefathers more high minded than we turned out to be. Their legacy might be that we all got to have a Jennifer Convertible and a flat screen TV for just 1000 easy payments, but somehow I don’t think so. They have the record of their intentions set down in history but What they forgot to pass along to us was the lesson about what the first pilgrims fled when they started this crazy experiment. The truth was that the underclass was permanent and that there were no rights. The landed gentry were the elites and there was no way to better your life, much less pick your representation. The American dream was not one of having riches and status, but about having a voice and the ability to do well by your family. That didn’t mean to do well at the expense of your countrymen, either, and it also didn’t mean to do well outside of your own means gained through hard work and a strong community that cared for every member.
My point is not that what is going on in Iran is not important; It is damned important and its complex, and its also going to lose the attention of the American people as quickly as you can say “Jon and Kate Plus 8 Separate,” because its a tiny step in a long process; a process that Bush-Cheney thought they could bulldoze through in some half thunk out disaster that looked good on that Teevee while it was going on, and now, all these years later looks like pathetic liars posturing. Power and oil look pretty sad in the face of just wanting a voice; and whats really sad is the continuing lie that we were trying to help Iraq achieve that voice.
Whats happening in Iran right now is the real thing, and there is much to report, as you can see from HuffPo’s great coverage here and it should give us all hope that things like this can happen, and that we don’t have to bomb the place to encourage instability and then somehow force our version of elections on them. Its just that the neocons would want to be there to take control from the ashes of this thing, or at least keep a foot in the door, just in case there are weapons of mass destruction or anything. I’m watching with bated breath like the rest of the world, but this is not a cartoon, and those are people with families and full lives who are sacrificing everything just for the chance to have their votes counted.
When you think of how we sat through 8 years of Bush and Cheney lying and cheating, and setting us up to lose everything we’ve worked for, in a stupor of fast food and reality TV, so long as our kid wasn’t the one over there, its pretty eye opening to watch the real thing unfolding. When you think of how easy it seems to be for some people, our President included, to move forward and not look at the mistakes of the past, thereby letting criminals go unpunished, its a little embarrassing in the face of what is real bravery by people who are not only going against their government but also in many cases against their God, who supposedly speaks through the Ayatollah.
Its bravery, plain and simple. The world needs to watch what the government, such as it is, will do with those in custody.
With much of the media banned or shut down, the unfolding story is being told largely by citizen journalists at YouTube.