I’m listening in disbelief as the MSM and the bloggers heap praise on the Iranian demonstrators while they encourage these people to keep on with the demonstrations and not to back down in the face of police and military power. It seems as if the American media is in complete solidarity with the Iranian dissidents. The advice coming out of America seems to suggest that American citizens are experienced in this type of struggle. The message we seem to be sending is that we Americans somehow know what they (the Iranians) must do in order to throw off the chains of servitude and make democracy work.
The ironic part of all of this is that the American people should be the last ones to give the Iranian people advice. Maybe Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry, if they were still alive, could have given sage advice to the protesting Iranians. Too late, they are long gone, and there is nobody to take their place. In the last decade the American people have remained silent bystanders while we witnessed two stolen presidential elections, the scrapping of posse comitatus that prohibits federal soldiers from conducting law enforcement within the United States, the elimination of habeas corpus that mandates that the arresting parties tell the accused the charges against them and allows them to conduct a defense, supply them with a lawyer, and be judged by a jury of their peers. Americans have also been silent while the federal government has basically stripped them of their protection under the Bill of Rights and allowed the National Security Administration to wiretap their phone conversations and to look into their computers. Nothing was said when the Patriot Acts gave the government the authority to search a citizen’s house without a warrant, and to add insult to injury, not even inform them that this had been done! We were complicit by our acquiescence while our government invaded a sovereign state based on fabrications that the administration told us, while we used weapons of mass destruction on a civilian population, and while we encircled Russia with an ever-expanding military alliance that has long outlived its original purpose.
There is so much more that we Americans have allowed our government to do while we feigned ignorance. The government has yet to conduct a criminal investigation into the crimes committed on 9/11, we have yet to charge those responsible for acts of torture, and we are expanding a war in Afghanistan by bombing Pakistan that is in violation of the Geneva Conventions. We have supported the State of Israel while they invaded a city of 1.5 million Palestinians, 52% of which were under the age of 14. We turned a blind eye while they dropped white phosphorus on women and children. We supplied them with cluster bombs that do not discriminate between military targets and civilians.
Yet Americans still have the audacity to give the Iranian people advice. The truth is that the Iranians have displayed more courage in the last week than we Americans have displayed in the last decade! I received an e-mail from Change.org today. Here is the last paragraph of that communication;
“Help us send the vital message today to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that we refuse to remain silent when authorities use bloody violence to crush dissent and deny Iranian citizens their freedom of speech and association. “
What I have seen happen in the last decade is a situation I’d never thought I would see. All of my life I had always thought that Americans were a feisty people that couldn’t be muzzled. Somewhere, in this new century, we seem to have taken the road of least resistance. That’s the road that is the easiest to travel. We have, unfortunately, lost our way. Some may say that America has always been a selfish, aggressive nation that has never acted in any manner, except in our own self-interests. I don’t believe that is completely true. We may not have a sterling track record, that’s true, still, I believe that we have definitely changed, and not for the better. This nation has adopted many of the worst traits of those that we have condemned in the past.
I believe that America should take a good hard look at what the Iranian people are doing, and to think about what it is that we should be doing. The Iranian people are displaying the kind of courage that comes with passionate conviction. If they persist, history shows us that unyielding conviction often prevails over unpopular, oppressive regimes. We have a situation in this country where the rule of law means less with each passing day. We need to embrace our convictions, if we have any left, and demand that the wars for resources and empire end, and that those responsible for all the torture that has been committed, are indicted. We need to reform our political system so that those with the deepest pockets or those that have corporate ties to the most money don’t automatically win the election. We need to look long and hard at those that have no qualms about spending hundreds of millions for the military, while voting against legislation that could help average Americans stay in their homes.
The truth is that the same people that control the largest corporations also control our television networks and print media. The news Americans get has been sanitized for public consumption. We can change this paradigm. We can change our world and the world our children will inherit. The Iranian people are trying to change theirs. We need to close some prisons and open more schools.
The two corporate political parties will not do this unless we make them do it. One other thing; it is impossible to have a sanitized, politically correct, revolution.