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Sunday, June 21, 2009

“The Whole World Is Watching”: The revolution will be Twittered


Oh the time will come up

When the winds will stop

And the breeze will cease to be breathin'.

Like the stillness in the wind
'Fore the hurricane begins


It’s often said history repeats itself. And while that old adage may be true, an underlying objective of this blog was not to repeat a lyric once it’s been used.

But in the aftermath of the violence that’s erupted in response to last week’s Iranian Presidential election, the lyrical refrain used to herald the wave of optimism that swept across this country last November is now an ominous, and all too fitting harbinger for one of the greatest unchecked affronts to political expression in recent memory.

The tide of history is turning once again. And while “the whole world is watching” the unfolding events in Iran, it’s what they’re saying that is most alarming.

From tepidly noncommittal:

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: "I'm closely following how this investigation into this election result will come out.”

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown: "The elections are a matter for the Iranian people.”

Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak: "I'm not sure if the results reflect the real will of the Iranian people."

To outright congratulatory:

Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas: "The results of the elections in Iran show the wide public support for Iran's policy of challenge."

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari: "This is indeed testimony of the confidence of the people of Iran in [Ahmadinejad's] leadership qualities.”

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez: "[A] great and important victory for people fighting for a better world.”

There’s no question what’s going on in Iran is unconscionable. But you wouldn’t know it to listen to the posturing politicians who seem more concerned with appeasement than appealing to the people who are putting their lives on the line.

And while President Obama has begun to take a more defiant view now that the protests have turned deadly, his initial response--claiming the difference between Ahmadinejad and reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi "may not be as great as has been advertised”--was hardly an indictment of the injustices being perpetrated in the streets of Tehran.

But thanks to the ubiquity of social networking tools like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, we no longer need to rely on the “powers that be” to tell us which way the wind blows.

We can, and have, assessed the situation for ourselves:

From Serbia: “We from Serbia know best what it me[a]nt to live under dictatorship of few man. Just be brave, IRANIANS, brave and dont give up. Serbian people are with U!!!
Posted by Ivan June 20, 09 08:52 AM

From the US: “from Texas...please please please dont give up... You are all brave men and women of Iran and must continue on the path started last week. Be focused in a common goal.... our prayers are with you all....”
Posted by behzad June 20, 09 12:05 PM

From Australia: “I might be far away in Australia… but I will be praying for The Iranian people. I pray that they will be free. There is nothing more powerful than an Idea thats time has come!”
Posted by Nicholas June 21, 09 02:58 AM

From Greece: “I hope you will gain your freedom and Iranians will live out fascism.. KEEP ON FIGHTING, YOU ARE THE FUTURE OF IRAN!!we are with you,from greece..”
Posted by vangoff June 21, 09 01:04 PM

From Venezuela: “Lo mismo que pasa allá en IRAN es lo que ya pasó y continúa pasando en VENEZUELA. Por favor ayúdennos a salir de estos dictadores que se creen los dueños de todo. Dios bendiga al pueblo IRANI, sigan luchando por su libertad!!!!!”
Posted by Pedro June 20, 09 06:39 PM

But perhaps the most emotional appeal has come from the Iranian people themselves.

From Iran: “I will take part in the rally tomorrow. Maybe they will turn tomorrow's rally to violence. Maybe I'm one of those who are meant to get killed… Now I'm listening to all of those beautiful songs I've heard in my life once again.”
Posted by freedom fighter June 20, 09 08:28 PM

Back in 1963, when Bob Dylan penned the prescient, “When the Ship Comes In,” the consensus was that television would document the great injustices of the world.

But now that the major news organizations sent to Iran have either been kicked out or under house arrest, it seems the revolution won’t be televised, after all. Instead, it will be Twittered, FaceBooked, and YouTubed.

Which, of course, means the whole world won’t just be watching, they’ll be participating, too…

Then they'll raise their hands,
Sayin' we'll meet all your demands,

But we'll shout from the bow your days are numbered.

And like Pharaoh's tribe,

They'll be drownded in the tide,

And like Goliath, they'll be conquered.
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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure Obama was being smug (as you imply with your picture of him) in his initial response to the Iranian situation. But as the leader of the free world, he has definitely not given the Iranian protesters the support they deserve.

Anonymous said...

When you say Obama hasn't spoken out enough, you have to think of the history of the region. There is still intense resentment among the Iranian people towards the United States government (although they appreciate it's people and culture). Because of our involvement (and as they see it, meddling) in Iranian affairs going back 50+ years, an endorsement by the U.S. President would be the opposite of helpful. It would be as if former President Bush endorsed a candidate in a Democratic Party primary -- it would be the kiss of death. In fact, the Supreme Leader is trying to paint the protesters as tools of the West just because of the toxicity of that designation. Obama did absolutely the right thing exercising restraint, it's the best way to support the opposition.

Anonymous said...

obama is playing a chess where we only used to play checkers he's called it right he's given the revolution to Irans people not stealing if for American democratic propoganda ideologies. its easy for the nations of the world to weigh in they won't lift a finger anyway.

rs

Dovid said...

First, a quote from Pete Townsend - 'Let's see action, let's see people, let's see freedom, let's see who cares!'.

Now a quote from me- have listen to my song 'World Series of Hate':

http://kernersongs.com/WorldSeriesOfHate.htm

Dovid said...

Just found your blog and look forward to returning!

First, a quote from Pete Townsend - 'Let's see action, let's see people, let's see freedom, let's see who cares!'.

Now a quote from me- have listen to my song 'World Series of Hate':

http://kernersongs.com/WorldSeriesOfHate.htm