Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Amadinijad Had His Day Of Fear

Both the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post have published pictures that prompted President Barrack Obama to say he was disturbed by the violence in Iran.

The photo below shows a crowd of young Iranians bearing the bullet ridden body of a protestor.

When Iranian police elsewhere fired upon a crowd of protestors, the crowd began to chant in unison, “Don’t be scared. We’re all together.”

The president had been criticized as being tardy in his response to the Iranian election (read-- fraud).

On Sunday, according to a report in Politico, Vice President Joe Biden expressed “doubts” about the election, and on Monday, press secretary Robert Gibbs was battered by a reporter:

"... State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the U.S. is 'deeply troubled' by events in Iran but stopped short of condemning them.

“'I haven’t used that word, condemn,"' he [Gibbs] told the State Department press corps. 'We need to see how things unfold.'

“'You need to see more heads cracked in the middle of the street?' Fox News’ James Rosen shot back.

“'We need a deeper assessment of what’s going on,' Kelly said."

The Wall Street Journal reported that images from the protests and allegations of election fraud “drew stronger reactions around the world Monday, after an initially muted response from the West. Late Monday afternoon, President Barack Obama said he was ‘deeply troubled’ by the violence. ‘The democratic process, free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent -- all those are universal values and need to be respected,’ he said.”

In Europe now such remarks will be regarded as too little too late.

The Obama administration’s politicized response to the events in Iran was determined by two considerations: Administration officials recognized, according to Obama’s statement, that “It’s not productive, given the history of the U.S.-Iranian relationship, to be seen as meddling.” And the administration also feared that such meddlesome interference could fortify the anti-American Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and, according to a generally friendly but refreshingly critical Tribune newspaper report, “make things more difficult for Obama’s long promised diplomatic overture to Iran.”

In our cringing solicitude towards oppressors, we have strayed very far here from the words of former President John Kennedy, with whom Obama has often been compared: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

What we are witnessing in Iran is a full blown revolt, such as occurred in Hungary in 1956. And it is a revolt inspired and led by the youth of Iran and its intellectuals.

Much of Europe at the time of the Hungarian revolt against Soviet tyranny was slow to respond to the brutal suppression of the Hungarian patriots, but some pens were quicker than others.

Among these was Albert Camus, who wrote a piece that sings down the ages: “Kadar Had His Day Of Fear.” Kadar was an Hungarian Soviet pawn who facilitated the brutal suppression of the noble but doomed Hungarian revolt.

In 1951, Camus published what must be regarded as his Magnum Opus, “The Rebel,” the central tenet of which is that liberty and revolt are inseparable. A political system that denies either denies both. Camus was among the few anti-Stalinists in Europe who hated totalitarianism for the right reason.

Amadinijad now has had his day of fear.

After comparing the revolt among intellectuals and students in his country to the protests in a minor key that occurs in his country and Europe after soccer matches, several reports indicated that Amadinijad went to Russia "for a conference."

While there, perhaps his sponsors can dig up a copy of Camus timeless piece on revolt to share with their guest.
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