Somewhere In Iran

June 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Foreign Affairs, politics straight up | Leave a comment
Tank cars carrying fuel, winding their way through some of the mountainous country somewhere in Iran.  c. 1943   Nick Parrino, photographer (Library of Congress)

Tank cars carrying fuel, winding their way through some of the mountainous country somewhere in Iran. c. 1943 Nick Parrino, photographer (Library of Congress)

Roger Cohen is on the ground in Tehran, reporting from the thick of it. He says, at the end, “Iran has waited long enough to be free.”

What does that mean, though, “to be free”?

Americans like to think they are “free.” We have “free” elections. In fact, we had a presidential election last November. How has the outcome of that election changed the dynamics in this country? It didn’t. Working people continue to be treated like cash machines by elected officials and corporations. Free to vote as we wish, we are barred from justice.

Seventy-two percent of Americans want public health. They gave the Democratic Party the White House and majorities in the House and Senate. But what do we get? A whole lot of STFU. Why? Because single-payer health care cuts into the profits of powerful corporate interests.

For American citizens to be “free, we need to abolish corporate “personhood” and prohibit them from “attempting to influence the outcome of elections, legislation or government policy.”

This blog post from 2005 provides some insight into what Ahmadinejad represents. It sounds pretty awful to me. But what does Moussavi offer as an alternative? We won’t know unless he wins an election.

I don’t know what the Iranian people mean by “freedom” or “democracy,” but I hope they are more successful than Americans have been at achieving it.

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