Sitting here in Iowa, even without knowing what is the unvarnished truth concerning the outcome of the Iranian presidential election, it is still hard not to speak about the obvious horrors going on within the borders of Iran. There are some points of clarity that can be seen even half a world away:
- Brave people of conviction are marching by the thousands in Tehran, other Iranian cities, and in solidarity in other world cities to protest the outcome of an election that Iranians find faulty and are communicating to the rest of the listening world to the best of their ability.
- The "supreme" leadership, those clerics who choose the candidates, are in serious trouble if they have indeed rigged the election.
- While the elected President is not the supreme leader of the country, he is the mouthpiece that the world press looks toward in reporting the news. If one of the candidates is thrown under the bus, and it really doesn't matter whom it is, what matters is how it looks through the eyes of the media.
- Other countries, the US included, can not step in and declare a winner, but should let the Iranian people know diplomatically that we support their choice.
- More Iranians are likely to die today and that, in the long run, will perversely lead to a more democratic Iran tomorrow.
History teaches us that tyranny does not hold in the final appraisal. The Supreme Leader and his Guardian Council can not hope to survive, even if they command the armed forces, if the people it rules does not believe that they are infallable. By the mere suspicion of wrongdoing, the clerics are weakened.
Sadly, because of each sacrifice of life offered by the protestors, Iran draws closer to either full martial law or a collapse of a system that has failed its people. The question is not really one of which will prevail, but when a functional government will rule.
To those in Iran who are struggling, know that in the land of the "Western Devil", there is a person who enjoins you in your protest and wishes you As-Salāmu `Alaykum (السلام عليكم).