Saturday, June 20, 2009

While Tehran Burns...

It has been both inspiring and difficult to watch events from Iran today.  The regime is striking back as predicted, but knowing this was going to happen doesn't make it any easier to watch.  

My friend Christian Whiton has co-authored another piece, today for Time.  Some key quotes (emphasis added by me): 

As for the notion that American silence is unhelpful to reformers, this simply contradicts historical experience. Successful movements to alter authoritarian and totalitarian regimes almost always depend on internal dissent backed by strong international support. Those key factors are often required to get a regime's enablers — including domestic security forces — to lose confidence and eventually succumb.

Time and again and around the world — from as recently as Tibet in 2008, to Egypt in 2005, to Tiananmen in 1989 — the prospects of reform dim considerably without international support. In fact, we know of no modern democratic evolution or revolution that has succeeded without some support and pressure from the west.

The job of an American president is not that of a history professor, but an actor in history. As masses march and bullets fly this weekend, a timeless question cannot be avoided. Even if we cannot know or control the outcome, we have a responsibility, through our actions as a nation, to answer clearly the question: whose side are we on?

 The statement issued by the White House today is getting closer.  Maybe by Monday, he'll be there.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment