I write this piece in red not because I call for bloodshed, but because I call for resoluteness. For days now, BBC and other international news sources have informed the world of increasing protests in Iran coming in the train of disputed elections.
Iran has been a control state for along time now -- and there little has been very little change in the mode of governance from the Shah to Ayatollay Khomeini. As a college student when Khomeini made his triumphant return to Iran, I was appalled by almost daily news of executions of perceived enemies of the fiercely and arrogantly Islamic state. AND ALL THAT THE WORLD DID WAS WATCH. It defies my comprehension of the "holy" how a Supreme Leader can, in this day and age, order the execution of dozens to consolidate his hold on power.
This time some brave Iranians have taken to the streets to demand respect for fundamental freedoms that a President who has twitted the international community and has made light of international law does not recognize as part of his agenda.
The frequently bandied line that "democracy" is a Western construct and therefore not necessarily suitable for states like Iran is unhelpful to say the least, wrong, to be accurate and downright bumpkin. Democracy is the precept of reasoned discourse and legitimation based on rational consensus. What can be so culturally relative about that? -- And that is all that the Iranian protesters demand.
I extend my solidarity to the Iranian protesters, and if it is necessary that an oppressive regime that has no respect for international law, that flaunts its violation of international legal standards be dismantled, then I stand by the courageous who will take it upon themselvs to bring this liberation about.
Respect for the sovereignty of States cannot be a superior consideration to that of the aspirations of a people for true democracy. ONWARD, IRANIAN REFORMERS!