Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Are We Paying Attention?

As the revolution in Iran unfolds, as we watch beautiful people like Neda die in the streets for freedom, I hope we're all paying attention to ourselves, our representatives, our President. Because in moments like these, seminal moments in human history, the way we act and react says a lot about us, about what we're made of, deep down in places only we and God know about. Do we realize right now that countries like England and France have issued stronger statements regarding the unrest in Iran right now than we have? Did you see the signs the Iranian protesters were holding up that were written in ENGLISH?! Did you notice that? Who's attention do you think they were trying to get? President Obama, for all of his oratory giftedness and potential, has offered up so far the semantic equivalent of milk-toast. If he has any sense for history, he would see this as a pivotal moment as leader of the free world to stand up in boldness for the Iranians that are revolting against a totalitarian regime that seeks to silence them.

So then, this is what I want to say to the Iranian people revolting in the streets of Tehran and elsewhere:

I am but a man, a husband, a father, living comfortably in the land of the free...one citizen of hundreds of millions in the United States of America. But I have been moved in my soul by your actions, your young and old standing and fighting in the streets against the regime that seeks to silence you. I know many of you respect history and understand it well. I am a student of history myself...our country's history isn't perfect but is proud and substantive. We were founded because of revolution...we were at one time thirteen colonies, an extension of the greatest empire at the time the world had ever seen. Who would've ever thought a little band of colonies would ever dare take on the might and braun of the British Empire? More than that, who would ever think those thirteen colonies would stand a chance against them? But guess what, for all of the power and muscle of the British Empire, there was something they underestimated. They underestimated the cause for which the colonies stood...freedom, pure and simple. They didn't want to be dictated to or controlled...they wanted to own their own destiny, to forge their own path, to write their own story in the course of human history. And that is what you wish to do. You yearn for freedom, to loose yourselves from the bonds of tyranny, to have the opportunity to be governed in a way that represents the very best of you. It is good...freedom is good. But as we paid for it with blood, so you are doing so even now...and it resonates in a place deep within me. Know that I along with many others in our country stand with you and are praying that freedom wins out. Not only that, but we will press our leaders to produce the type of response on your behalf that is commesurate with the cause for which you are fighting. It is the least we can do - we must understand fundamentally that there is no greater threat to our civilization than that threat posed by tyrants and dictators who seek to oppress and dominate. It is to this end that we must fight and stand with those who seek freedom. I can give you only words, but I pray these words get to you somehow and that you find strength and hope in them, that they encourage you to fight for what's worth fighting for.
Freedom.

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