21 June 2009

Remembering Neda, Taking Action

I just posted this video on Gather, that made my heart stop.

I've been crying off and on since viewing it. My emotions are all jumbled, raging from terror, horror, sadness, grief, anger ... they're all over the place!

I was raised with the understanding that the United States has been the defender of liberty, freedom, and Democracy around the world. The War of 1812. The Spanish American War. World War I. World War II. The Korean War. The Vietnam War. Desert Storm (for the liberation of Kuwait). The War on Terrorism (Iraq). And perhaps most importantly, the American Revolution.

Until seeing this video, I did little to lend my support to the Iranian people. I changed the colour of my icon on Twitter to green to show my support of them, but that's about it.

Now that I've seen what's really happening over there, I am outraged, and feel guilty.

Obama's remark that "the world is watching" is just not enough. In response to that, I submit these quotations:

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialist and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.” ~~the Reverend Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller(see also his Wikipedia page)

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." or, as more commonly mis-attributed to him, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." ~~Edmund Burke

Who will speak out for the Iranian people--who want nothing more than basic freedoms to choose, to live, to be free--if not us? And why are we all standing around doing nothing?

Oh, and if you really want the best source of news on what's going on in Iran, you need to turn to Twitter. Even CNN is using Twitter as their primary (and sometimes SOLE) source of information. Social media is exposing the huge flaws in American media (cable, network, and print news) and is finally giving people access to raw, unbiased information.

UPDATE: Her complete name is Neda Soltani