Sunday, June 13, 2010
One year later
Lest we forget, it was a year ago this weekend that the Iranian people, after watching its government ignore the results of the ballot box, took to the streets to demand at least some modicum of the freedom the 1979 revolution was supposed to guarantee. Protestors Twittered, Facebooked, Youtubed and blogged their resistance, and Western elites and punditry waxed eloquent about how oppressors couldn't fight back against social networking and other tools of the Information Age. They thought simply watching was sufficient support. They were wrong. Within a few days, the ruling theocracy and their paramilitary forces proved that Twitter by itself does not a revolution make. They ruthlessly beat, shot, arrested, raped and executed their way back to 'order' as those nations that enjoy democracy, free speech, and the right to assembly continued to merely watch in silence. The actions of the Iranian regime were despicable but entirely in keeping with its character; the inaction of the West, humiliating enough as it was, was compounded because it's NOT supposed to act like that. America, especially, is supposed to 'pay any cost, bear any burden, oppose any foe, support any friend' in the cause of liberty. Instead, our leaders couldn't even muster a few harsh words for the mullahs. The whole sorry affair was captured by the death of one young woman:
She was young, modern, no doubt attuned to the intricacies of social networking, and desirous of the freedom promised by those technologies. Her government murdered her in the streets. It murdered enough of her fellow protestors that the 'Green Movement' is too terrified to take to the streets again. Their despondence and Neda's death stand as proof that genuine evil still exists in the world, and as a condemnation of the weakness and fecklessness that allows evil, Twitter and YouTube not withstanding, to prosper.