I don’t always agree with Robert Fisk’s opinions on matters, particularly to some of his critiques on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East — but there is no doubt that he is one of, if not the very best foreign correspondent out there. American journalists could learn a whole lot, from their British Counterpart Mr. Fisk.
He is in Iran covering the protests that have unfolded after the disputed election results, and rather then “report” on the news from the safety of a hotel room, he was actually out on the streets with the Iranian youth..
He wrote an excellent piece in yesterdays, The Independent, here is a portion of it:
It was Iran’s day of destiny and day of courage. A million of its people marched from Engelob Square to Azadi Square – from the Square of Revolution to the Square of Freedom – beneath the eyes of Tehran’s brutal riot police. The crowds were singing and shouting and laughing and abusing their “President” as “dust”.
Mirhossein Mousavi was among them, riding atop a car amid the exhaust smoke and heat, unsmiling, stunned, unaware that so epic a demonstration could blossom amid the hopelessness of Iran’s post-election bloodshed. He may have officially lost last Friday’s election, but yesterday was his electoral victory parade through the streets of his capital. It ended, inevitably, in gunfire and blood.
Not since the 1979 Iranian Revolution have massed protesters gathered in such numbers, or with such overwhelming popularity, through the boulevards of this torrid, despairing city. They jostled and pushed and crowded through narrow lanes to reach the main highway and then found riot police in steel helmets and batons lined on each side. The people ignored them all. And the cops, horribly outnumbered by these tens of thousands, smiled sheepishly and – to our astonishment – nodded their heads towards the men and women demanding freedom. Who would have believed the government had banned this march?
The protesters’ bravery was all the more staggering because many had already learned of the savage killing of five Iranians on the campus of Tehran University, done to death – according to students – by pistol-firing Basiji militiamen. When I reached the gates of the college yesterday morning, many students were weeping behind the iron fence of the campus, shouting “massacre” and throwing a black cloth across the mesh. That was when the riot police returned and charged into the university grounds once more.
At times, Mousavi’s victory march threatened to crush us amid walls of chanting men and women. They fell into the storm drains and stumbled over broken trees and tried to keep pace with his vehicle, vast streamers of green linen strung out in front of their political leader’s car. They sang in unison, over and over, the same words: “Tanks, guns, Basiji, you have no effect now.” As the government’s helicopters roared overhead, these thousands looked upwards and bayed above the clatter of rotor blades: “Where is my vote?” Clichés come easily during such titanic days, but this was truly a historic moment.
Would it change the arrogance of power which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demonstrated so rashly just a day earlier, when he loftily invited the opposition – there were reported to be huge crowds protesting on the streets of other Iranian cities yesterday – to be his “friends”, while talking ominously of the “red light” through which Mousavi had driven. Ahmadinejad claimed a 66 per cent victory at the polls, giving Mousavi scarcely 33 per cent. No wonder the crowds yesterday were also singing – and I mean actually singing in chorus – “They have stolen our vote and now they are using it against us.” READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE
I think it is our duty as Americans, as lovers of liberty and freedom to support the youth of Iran and Democracy in Iran. I just haven’t seen anything yet from the Obama administration that shows they even have the vaguest idea of what to do.
A poster at the Free Republic summed up Obama’s lack of a backbone and empty rhetoric spewed during his Mid East trip last week, rather nicely:
Supposedly, young people in Iran were inspired by Obama’s Cairo speech. Where is Obama now, when the government is shooting protesters?
Today could have been Obama’s ‘Tear Down This Wall’ moment. He could have offered his support to the courageous Iranians in the streets tonight. He could have recognized those protesters for what they are – fighters in the name of freedom. These kids already respected him and would have been inspired. Instead, his speech was lame and non-committal.
I’m not one of these conservatives who believes liberals are traitors. My problem with liberals is they lack the backbone to stand up against tyranny. It happened during the Cold War and again during the War on Terror..or as Obama now calls it, Man-made disasters. Their political correctness, whether expressed in caution or silence, does not make for effective leadership.
I remember so vividly when Reagan call the Soviet Union the Evil Empire. Liberals cringed, they cried foul. But cut beyond the PC crap and one thing is clear: Reagan was right. And I’ll give George W. Bush credit too. His stand against tyranny was strong whether he was popular or not.
Obama speaks well (teleprompter joke here). But tonight was strong evidence that there’s nothing behind his words. Too many Iranians learned that the hard way tonight.