Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The day after it began

Rain woke me up early.

It was still dark out, and one of those times when I couldn't quite decide if I was really awake for good. I finally stepped into my slippers and moved towards caffeine and my computer, even though it was only about 4:30.

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Coffee in hand, a new day in the land of the free begins with a pale wash of light through my office window. Other than exclamations from a few noisy birds, my neighborhood is quiet and peaceful.

One of many things now buzzing through my head-- so many issues to choose from!-- as I get my premature start on today is the post-election situation unfolding in Iran.

First, I hope nobody concludes I'm a Mousavi fan, because I'm not. Even from my inexpert perspective I know he's not a friend, and Iran's leadership is now-- and will probably still be in the foreseeable future-- a threat to the free world. It's sad, but they have a long way to go, and I think we'd all do well to remember that.

It's possible the ruthlessness of that country's longstanding power base would merely have a better outward appearance.

Media producer and journalist Roger L. Simon, a self-described agnostic Jew, was surprised to find that Ahmadinejad in person emanated a palpable, overpowering, unforgettable evil, an evil with theological implications. Simon was left quite shaken by the experience. (text of Simon's article about the Durban II Conference is here). Unlike Simon, I didn't have a personal encounter with the diminutive dictator (and for that matter, I'm not Jewish); still, I must say Ahmadinejad's agenda and persona have always frightened me and filled me with dread.

In some ways Iran would be going from one bad situation to another in changing leaders, but I'm grateful to see people's outrage against a tyrant and an apparently rigged election. The Iranian people aren't all suddenly going to be our best friends, but something in me is always encouraged, on some gut level, by social expressions of the desire for justice and freedom; most Americans are eager to share this concept with the world and cheer it on. It's movement in the right direction and in that sense, exhilarating to see. Still, it's appalling and heartbreaking to see a government hunting down its own people in cold blood.

Another reminder that freedom isn't free.

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http://waronterrornews.typepad.com/home/ June 16 post
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