It is too late tonight to finish the post on Iran as I had intended, but I do want to first share this video about a young woman named Neda, which means “voice” in Farsi. She and her professor were watching a protest on the streets of Tehran when she was shot in the chest by a sniper. The sniper was a member of the Basij militia, in an attempt to quell the protests. The protests were organized by supporters of reformist candidate Mir-Hussein Mousavi who alleged that the results of the recent Iranian elections were illegitimate, and that the election was rigged by President Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Neda’s murder has become a martyr and her name has become a rallying cry for Iranians looking for freedom.
Below are the videos. The first is of Neda and her professor watching the protest, moments before she is shot. The second is of her being taken to the ground, where she dies of a gunshot wound to the chest.
Warning! This is seriously graphic:
President Obama has expressed his sadness over this tragedy, saying, “It’s heartbreaking, and I think that anybody who sees it knows that there’s something fundamentally unjust about that. I think that when a young woman gets shot on the street when she gets out of her car, that’s a problem.” Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary, has blasted the Iranian government for attempting to portray her murder as a fake. “I think the notion that the death of an innocent woman would be staged is – even with them, it’s shocking.” What prompted this comment was a statement from Iran’s police chief Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moghaddam, who claimed that the Neda murder was a “pre-arranged scenario.” President Ahmadinejad has initiated a probe into the murder, adding that foreign media outlets have managed a campaign of misinformation and “widespread propaganda” in an attempt to take down the Iranian government.
For those who demand that President Obama do more, I ask you to read my blog tomorrow. It is exactly the harsh statements, saber rattling, and covert interventions against Iran that have gotten us where we are today. Were President Obama to get more involved Ahmadinehad would have the ability to claim foreign intervention, words that go to the heart of every Iranian, and would only succeed in bolstering the Iranian government. I think President Obama has struck the right tone: condemn the violence and crackdowns, but ultimately leave change to the Iranian people. It will come, just as it came to our country. The more the Iranian government cracks down on the protesters, the more angry and resolved the people will become that they need to overthrow the current regime. It happened in 1979, and it will happen in 2009. But, again, I will talk about all of this in my next blog post.
Please visit my blog soon to see my blog on how the U.S. created the Iranian monster that we face, and how it will be up to the Iranian people to decide their own fate.