Today was a big day—Today I was killed
Yesterday on Balatarin I wrote with the title "Tomorrow is a big day. Perhaps I get killed tomorrow." I have come to say I am alive but my sister was killed. . . I came to say that my sister died in my father's arms. . . I came to say that my sister had great hopes. . . I came to say when my sister was killed she was a dear human being . . . who like me wanted one day to let her hair out .. . who like me would read "Forugh" and her heart wanted to live with freedom and equality . . . and wanted to hold her head up and say, "I am an Iranian" . . . And her heart wanted to love a man with disheveled hair. . . . She wanted to have a girl whose hair she would braid and for whom she would sing lullabies.
My sister died for not having a life. . . .My sister died because there is no end to injustice. . . .My sister died for having loved life so much . . . And my sister died because she loved the people like a lover. . .
My dear sister, I wish you had closed your eyes when you died. . . . Your last look is burning my soul . . . Good night, sister. . . . May your sleep be sweet. . . .
O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for God can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily God is well-acquainted with all that ye do.
Q: Let's move on to news of the day. The Ayatollah Khamenei gave his - speech today and gave his sermon. He said that the election in Iran was, in fact, legitimate. He said, quote/unquote, "the street - street demonstrations are unacceptable." Do you have a message for those people in the street?
A: I absolutely do. Well, first of all, let's understand that this notion that somehow these hundreds of thousands of people who are pouring into the streets in Iran are somehow responding to the West or the United States. that's an old distraction that I think has been trotted out periodically. And that's just not gonna fly.
What you're seeing in Iran are hundreds of thousands of people who believe their voices were not heard and who are peacefully protesting and - and seeking justice. And the world is watching. And we stand behind those who are seeking justice in a peaceful way. And, you know, already we've seen violence out there. I think I've said this throughout the week. I want to repeat it that we stand with those who would look to peaceful resolution of conflict, and we believe that the voices of people have to be heard, that that's a universal value that the American people stand for and this administration stands for.
And I'm very concerned based on some of the tenor and tone of the statements that have been made that the government of Iran recognize that the world is watching. And how they approach and deal with people who are, through peaceful means, trying to be heard will, I think, send a pretty clear signal to the international community about what Iran is - and is not.
But the last point I want to make on this - this is not an issue of the United States or the West versus Iran. This is an issue of the Iranian people. The fact that they are on the streets under pretty severe duress, at great risk to themselves, is a sign that there's something in that society that wants to open up.
And, you know, we respect Iran's sovereignty. And we respect the fact that ultimately the Iranian people have to make these decisions. But I hope that the world understands that this is not something that has to do with the outside world. This has to do with what's happening in Iran. And, I think ultimately the Iranian people, will obtain justice.
Try to forget about politics and remember spirituality. This is the way to gain freedom. From the beginning the revolution was based on the strength of your faith.
Iranian twitter activity similar to what we did in House last year when Republicans were shut down in the House.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
The bet is that when push comes to shove, people in the Iranian security forces have some humane and patriotic instincts and will recoil from the idea of using mass violence against their fellow citizens. And it’s a terrifying bet. We’ve seen time and again that it’s a bet that often pays off, but as we learned in China 20 years ago there are no guarantees.
The clue lies in a single, almost heartbreaking, detail, tucked inside the reports of Iran's presidential election. Mir Hossein Mousavi - the dry, bureaucratic insider who became the unlikely hero of the reformist protesters - is not a charismatic man. But he did one truly eloquent thing. He held hands with his wife in public. He held his wife's hand. In public.
It makes you weep for a society in which that seems daring. But it turns out that for millions of people it was the hopeful sign they had been awaiting. It was a tiny crack in the dam. It was light in the darkness, a small battery torch of light, but light all the same.
For years we have been told, we neocons, that other cultures don't want our liberty, our American freedom. Yankee go home! But it isn't true. Because millions of Iranians do want it. Yes, they want their sovereignty, and demand respect for their nation and its great history. No, they don't want foreign interference and manipulation. But they still insist upon their rights and their freedom. They know that liberty isn't American or British. It is Iranian, it is human.
But the frustrating truth is that there are limits to what can be achieved by outsiders. Instead we have to wait as national movements, one by one, stand up for their rights. And sometimes, tragically, we even have to stand aside as those movements are crushed by their oppressors.
We may now see that happen in Iran. But at least we know this. The people of Iran might not get what we have. But in their millions, that is what they want. Really, they are just like us.
Obviously all of us have been watching the news from Iran... and I want to start off by being very clear that it is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be
As one who has reported from dangerous conflict zones again and again, I can say that you can safely ignore Keller's "concern" for Iranians that might be endangered by his presence. Shouldn't that really be the decision of the unnamed Iranians that want accurate news about the events in their country reported to the world and are risking their lives to get the word out with or without shepherding NY Timesmen around?
Somebody has to say it. Might as well be me. It's Bill Keller who is the coward here. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out of Iran, Bill!
Can you imagine John Reed or Webb Miller or George Orwell or Oriana Fallaci or Andrew Kopkind or Mario Menendez or any of the other great journalists of their times using local people as an excuse to flee the scene of the crime? Hell, I've worked over the past dozen years throughout Latin America with journalists that know exactly how to embed with social movements without placing greater dangers on them. We do it all the time. Maybe Keller needs to attend our School of Authentic Journalism to learn that. Nobody apparently ever taught him. And he's the Ayatollah of the New York Fucking Times!
And yet I welcome Keller's flight and that of all the others. Because this week they are proving, finally, that all their claims of recent months about why "real newspapers" and "real journalists" are needed to cover the affairs of the world more than Internet or citizen journalists are a great big self-serving lie. They're completely impotent before the events in Iran. They're reduced to posting YouTube videos, and quoting Twitter tweets, made by people who will risk their lives with or without them tagging along.
The events in Iran this week, in addition to all the very important matters at stake, are also demonstrating for the world why the profit-driven media is incapable of serving society during these times and why it has become so very obsolete.
And for that, too, we owe a debt of gratitude to the people in the streets, especially the citizen journalists, more "real journalist" than Bill Keller and his generation of corporate clone-warriors that destroyed journalism in the United States have ever been.