It is surprisingly difficult to get the average American interested in the chaos in Iran. Far too many people here are blissfully unaware of world events unless those events are shown on the major news networks. Those who actually understand why Iran is important (now that CNN, et al, are finally paying attention) is a depressingly small number. Allow me to quote one of the commenters on FARK:
Imagine this in America:
*you had to get approval from the supreme court to run for president
*we had 35% unemployment
*the VAST majority of the population was under 30
*Bush was running for re-election in last election against Obama
*You woke up and found out Bush won with 62% of the vote
*Your phone lines and internet connections were turned off by he government
*Chief Justice Roberts came out aid basically said, “deal with it”.
*You went to protest and you had the police and special “supreme court” police beating the crap out of people
*You turned on the government news and saw that the police had been dealing with “terrorists” in the streets.
*You looked in the mirror and just realized. “My government just called me a terrorist because I asked for my vote to count.”
How exactly would you feel if you just found out (came to finally realize) that your vote hadn’t even been counted, and even it had been, it wouldn’t had mattered because Chief Justice Roberts had the final say in everything anyways.
Aside from the excellent description above, there are damned good reasons why the US should be paying attention to the revolution unfolding in Iran. In no particular order, those are:
– The US has military and political efforts concentrated in several nations surrounding Iran. Because the US and Iran have been mutualy hostile since the 1979 revolution, Iran has been doing its utmost to cause trouble for the US in those surrounding countries.
– There are those in this country who would love to turn the US into a christian version of Iran. Watching the government of Iran casually deny the people their basic human rights because the Grand Poobah is supposedly speaking for God should be a wake-up call for everyone who values their liberties.
– The turmoil in Iran is a textbook example of the Four Boxes in action. Sadly, there are very few people in Iran with access to personal weapons. This severely limits the people’s ability to use the Fourth Box in defense of their liberty.
– Furthermore, the revolution in Iran should be creating a great deal of soul-searching among the US military and political leadership. Under similar circumstances, what would they do? Would military officers have the courage of their convictions (and their oaths) and refuse orders to fire on American civilians? Would political leaders be willing to defy the government under the same circumstances?
– Aside from these theoretical questions, the turmoil in Iran- and the global online response to it- should be recorded as a textbook example of how difficult it is to shut down communication links. It is theoretically possible to completely isolate any given country from the planetary lines of communication. The massive global response to Iran’s revolution by tens of thousands of individuals with internet access shows that even totalitarian regimes cannot do so easily. Information warfare is suddenly becoming a major politico-military asset. Understanding how to bypass censorship and winnow valid information from a sea of message traffic (some of it deliberate misinformation) has long been acknowledged as one of the keys to victory. A new chapter is being written in the War manuals worldwide. Failure to learn the lessons of Iran’s revolution means defeat.
Finally, the most important reason to care is the fact that Iran’s government thinks it is perfectly fine for little girls to be shot to death to keep senile religious dotards in control of the country. These despicable old men believe that god is telling them to go ahead and order religious fanatics to fire indiscriminately into crowds of unarmed peacefeul protesters, killing unarmed men, women, and children. “In the name of Allah, the beneficent and merciful, slaughter the young men and women who dare to oppose my will.”
What can you do? I’ve posted several ways of contributing to the revolution. Here is another. The most important thing you can do is pay attention. People in Iran are getting beaten, imprisoned, and killed for standing up for their rights and this matters.
Current status: Disgusted with my countrymen
Current music: Freshmen by Verve Pipe