Friday, July 17, 2009

Iran 2009 and our First Amendment

via Juan Cole who also reports:
Ghanbar Naderi points out that Rafsanjani has a long history of flip-flopping between the hard line and reformist camps. I would argue that this is because he is a pragmatic conservative, and his sermon today shows that he has concluded that shoe-horning Ahmadinejad into a second term by stealing the election is above all just not a practical course of action even for conservatives. He is playing a role similar to that of prominent American conservatives who defected to Obama in fall of 2008, because they just did not believe McCain-Palin were a practical alternative. Precisely because Rafsanjani is not a hard-edged ideologue, his clear ambivalence about the regime's actions is all the more striking as an indication of the shaky situation in Iran.
Let us not take this for granted:
Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
How impressive it is to see Iranians assemble peaceably and seek redress when they do not have this First Amendment. How sad that we are so unwilling to do the same when grave wrongs occur and we do have the First Amentment.

Remember the "free speech zones" of the Bush era? I thought the entire nation was supposed to be a free speech zone.

As I said, let us never take for granted....

--the BB

1 comment:

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

So true - on both accounts.