iran-revolution  Has the ruling government of Iran finally bitten off more than they can chew?   I think they have.     

For a regime that depends on fear and oppression as their governing tools of choice, they are about to learn the cold, hard lesson that destiny has been teaching since mankind first grappled with the concepts of society and governing so very long ago … vices will be punished and virtue will be rewarded, especially when it comes to leading others.  The most ironic twist of fate is that their complete undoing may just come by one of the most ancient catalysts of revolution that human history is littered with and their own culture reveres, the power of martyrs.  


 Peaceful opposition protests have been a common occurrence since the controversial Iranian elections saw Mahmoud Ahmadinejad retain his seat back in June.  While the power of peaceful protests cannot be overstated, they rely on an ingredient that has now been publicly and thoroughly proven lacking in today’s hard-liners that are in power in Iran, that a peaceful protest will be met in kind with a peaceful debate about the problem. With this one heinous act, they have opened the doors of vengeance and retribution that may break the chains of restraint their opposition has generally abided by.  They have set the stage for a revolution long in the making and I have a hunch they will soon be reaping what the sowed.  


 Our own history shows precedent of what kind of power a singular event like this can have in moving a nation from the ground up.  Remember the Kent State shootings in 1970 that left four of our students dead and nine others injured, one permanently paralyzed?  These were concerned young Americans protesting our invasion of Cambodia and calling attention to what they believed to be a misguided war in Vietnam.  In a span of just 13 seconds the actions of eight National Guardsmen galvanized a nation.  John Filo’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo of  Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling over the dead body of Jeffrey Miller would go on to become one of the iconic images of the movement against the Vietnam War, forever seared into our American consciousness. In the aftermath, hundreds of campuses across the country were closed because of millions of striking students and just five days later a flood of protesters, over 100,000 strong, descended on Washington and helped grease the wheels of change.  Time may well find that the casualties of the Ashura Protests in Iran on December 27th rock the foundations of their iron-fisted government in the same, if not even a greater way.  


 Our priority now should be to make sure the Iranian people that are choosing to stand up for their freedom know they are not alone, to make sure that they understand the West is not their enemy in pursuing a transition to peace and tolerance, but a mighty ally that they can count on.  We must ensure that Ahmadinejad’s formidable Anti-Western propaganda machine is not the only voice the people hear.  Hitler’s own propaganda machine proved just how lethal fabricated truths can be and we can not let that kind of history repeat itself in any form or fashion ever again.    


 The future of Iran lies with its youth and they are the ones that we must compel ourselves to nurture right now while they find themselves looking for an identity to claim as their own.  They are the ones that will determine the trajectory of their country in the years to come and make or break any hope for lasting peace in the Middle East.  We in the West can beat our chest and stomp our feet all we want, but the only ones that have any realistic chance to defeat a regime born and raised on Anti-Western sentiment and affect the change we are collectively hoping for, is the generation that is forming its identity right now.  Is there a force more powerful than the innocence of youth asking why you are doing something that’s not good for you and forcing you to defend a position that is so obviously wrong?  I’ll bet more people quit smoking because their children forced them to question their reasoning and actions than any gum or patch ever did by a long shot.   


 From the smallest tribes to the mightiest empires, our common aspirations have always been to leave a better world for those that follow.  I don’t think any parent worthy of being a parent would willingly condemn their children to a harder life, or a worse world to live in than they had, do you?  That is the crux of the power the new generation in Iran wield.  Archimedes said if you give him a lever long enough and a fulcrum to place it on, he could move the world.  The youth of Iran are a lever long enough and this latest deadly protest may very well be the fulcrum on which to place it.  This is their chance to move the world.  


 We saw it happen on our own shores during Barack Obama’s historic election.  We saw our young people take unprecedented interest and action in the governing of our nation because they connected with someone that finally decided to publicly take on the demons of division and hate.  While he certainly didn’t solve all of the problems that have long ailed us, he did put one heck of a dent in them and helped start a new generation along a new path of tolerance and prosperity, not only here in America, but all over the world.  Their force did not only show up in their own actions, but in the countless stories we all heard of parents, friends and relatives being moved by their passion.  They made us take a long look at ourselves and focus on the things that are truly important today to move forward, not the things that drove us apart in a past that can never be changed.   


 There is a reason that we all have a rebellious streak early in our lives, the troubles of every day life haven’t beaten the hope out of us yet.  It is a time that we refuse to accept many things that seem  profoundly nonsensical to us in the grand scheme of things as we see it through the pristine lens of our innocence.  It is a time that we still have the energy to ride the wave of defiance against the absurd.  It is the same reason that the protesters in Iran are largely made up of the young, they are refusing to accept hate as a way of life they want to pursue, they are refusing to concede that oppression and being denied their human rights is the life they must lead.  They have seen with their own eyes the broken down, hopeless old souls left in the wake of the carnage that those ideals have brought to those that came before and they simply don’t want to turn out that way themselves.  They are finally tasting the power of a little American style “Yes We Can” and I have a hunch that this time they will.  


 Yes, I think Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the rest of their flagrantly arrogant hard-line cronies have finally cracked the lid on their very own Pandora’s Box, infinitely strengthened by the names of at least eight martyrs of the Ashura Protests that it now bears.  They can try to steal the bodies in a desperately feeble attempt to quell the unrest sure to be focused on the funerals like a laser beam, but it is indeed too little, too late. They have stirred a force that isn’t going to come at them from outside their borders, they have ignited a nightmare right under their own noses that may finally see the fall of the Islamic Fundamentalists that have been perched in the seats of power for over three decades.  They should know that the Iranian people are not going to let themselves be their punching bags forever and like I said, the vices of a governing body will eventually be punished.  Now they are about to get a taste of something that we Americans are testament to and know a little something about, the power of a righteous revolution.  


 The tide has turned indeed … Godspeed.

One Response to “The Tide Has Turned in Iran”

  • Daniel McKernan:

    Very well written Aris. I liked the analogy of people quitting smoking because of their kids questioning their reasoning for doing something that is bad for you.

    As for the main thrust of the article, I have a hunch that you are 100% correct! Good job sir.

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