As an American, I'm struck by an observation in an article about the changing nature of the opposition and its demands since the rigged election. As happened in our country in 1776, it is the government's ham-handed, post-election tactics (admittedly much worse and over a much shorter perior) that continues to widen and radicalizes Iran's people toward a point of no return.
RELEVANT EXCERPT from RoozOnline's "The 'Iranian' Republic":
when the Green Movement initially began its protests, it was merely calling for an investigation into the fraudulent measures during the June 12 presidential elections. Whereas now, the new measure is a warning to the rulers of Iran that they have brought this state of affairs onto themselves and the public is calling for more serious changes.
Anyone familiar with events leading up to the American Revolution in 1776 will be struck by the strong resemblance circumstances in America then and circumstances in Iran today.
When the French and Indian War ended in 1763, no one imagined Amerivans would go to war for Independence not long afterwards. Instead of addressing a series of grievances, England's governement foolishly persisted in a hard, punitive line that aggravated those grievances.
As in Iran today, some English conserrvatives, such as Edmund Burke, foresaw the consequences. As in Iran today, their advice was ignored but proved all too prescient. England's conservatives asked a great question: What was to be gained by pushing for certain measures that would slightly increase revenue when compared to what would be lost if the government persisted--Britain's great colony in North America. When it was over, all sides realized that truth. The hardliners who "lost America" have been universally condemned by historians, especially in Britain.
Even to the eve of revolution, most Americans had favored continued links to England. just as some in Iran think the Islamic Republic can survive after all its crimes. In American no one originally sought independence--only reform. Once the fighting began, the majority of Americans became irrevocably committed to independence. Adamently anti-reform, the Islamic is headed in the same direction. In this case, it is so discredit I doub even major reforms can ever restore popular legitimacy.
Nothing better exemplies public sentiments in both countries . than the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence. Read them below to see why. With a few minor changes, what Jefferson wrote then could have been written by Iranians today. The Preamble is so universal in its nature.
OPENING PARAGRAPH: THOSE WHO REVOLT MUST EXPLAIN TO THE WORLD WHY THEY DO SO:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
(Since Iranians are being pushed toward a revolt but one which would change a government rather than achieve independence. Hence, one minor change is needed)
NEVER SAID BETTER: PRINCIPLES THAT IRANIANS COULD HAVE DESCRIBED TODAY
The next section, the famous preamble, includes the ideas and ideals that were principles of the Declaration. It is also an assertion of what is known as the "right of revolution": that is, people have certain rights, and when a government violates these rights, the people have the right to "alter or abolish" that government.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
OBSERVATION: The author, Thomas Jefferson, expresses ideas about human rights that arose in the Enlightenment and are synomous with modernism. As he makes clear, such rights are natural and "self-evident" and therefore apply universally to all human beings, not just Americans. What follows the above Preamble, is a list of specific grievances against England. Iranians would have to substitute their own.
The horrors Khamenei and his thugs have inflicted on Iran's people are so much greater by comparison. If anyone ever had reason to lose total faith in a government it is the Iranian people today. They too sought reform. Where American efforts were greeted with a tap on the fanny by comparison, any Iranian demanding similar rights suffered virtual crucifixion.
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