Alec Weisman, Editor-in-Chief
I was walking along Library Walk at UCSD on Friday when I noticed a group of people protesting. As UCSD is a very apathetic campus, I was intrigued as to what “liberal” group was protesting, only to discover that to my surprise that a group of Iranian students and local community members protesting AGAINST the Iranian regime and human rights violations that it was committing in the wake of the 2009 Iranian Election Protests.
I asked them why they were protesting now, to which they explained that December 7th is Student’s Movement Day in Iran, which symbolizes opposition to oppression in Iran.
They were present with signs calling for democracy in Iran, the freeing of the protestors and students imprisoned in Iran, and denouncing the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Ayatollah Khamenei demonstrated his support for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s policies of trampling human rights and the government crackdown on protesters opposed to the 2009 presidential elections which are believed to have been fraudulent.
The peak of media attention to the protests occurred after the death of Neda Agha-Soltan, a philosophy student, who was murdered in the streets of Tehran.
She breathed another wave of energy into the movement also known as the Green Revolution. In response, the crackdown grew fiercer, and according to the New York Times, “The authorities closed universities in Tehran, blocked cellphone transmissions and access to facebook and some other Web sites, and […] shut down text-messaging services.”
Sadly, these protests were soon overshadowed in the media by the death of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Billy Mays in short succession, losing the momentum that had been building against the authoritarian Iranian regime. More protests continued, however the Media ADHD had taken hold and no longer was this story of importance to the world, and the abuses of the Iranian regime have continued.
However I would like to inject a few thoughts into my article.
1) Iran has a rate of 5.3 guns per 100 people.
However, according to CNN “Iran’s strict gun-control laws mean private citizens cannot carry firearms”
… Is it just me, or does Jefferson’s famous quote “”No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government” seem very apt? Also, without getting into a huge argument about gun control, I will list some supporters of the right to bear arms for the promotion of liberty throughout history: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Mahatma Gandhi, to name just a few. It is also interesting to note that all totalitarian & communist states have banned the right to bear arms to their populace.
2) If President Obama wanted respect from conservatives, rather than giving this speech:
he should rather have given a speech similar to one that Ronald Reagan gave on June 8, 1982 to the Soviet Union, in which he called them out as an evil empire and totalitarian state:
Every great American President (George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, & Ronald Reagan) understood that you cannot negotiate with evil. They understood that America must fight for freedom and, rather than complain about its cost, take up the burden and the responsibility.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
John F. Kennedy
But Obama isn’t Reagan, or any of the other great presidents.
Although he pretends to inspire, and although the media has lapped up his words with the eagerness greater than a dying dog, the American people hear past these words and see the weakness and Anti-Americanism he promotes in his appology tours and bowing to foreign royalty.
Update: Iranian Police are once again attacking protestors
Update 2: Email from within Iran