The unrest in Iran is moving toward full-fledged revolution. I think something big is happening there that will have great implications for the coming century. As I mentioned before, I give some credit to Obama. But I have to give some to George W. Bush too. You can bet the Iranians have been watching as freedom has been brewing for the Iraqis. The Iranians must have been thinking, “What about us? If they can be free, why can’t we?” This is one big reason why I supported the invasion of Iraq. (Though Dubya’s execution of the occupation was disastrous.)
You can give away bits of freedom, but once given away you can’t take them back, however small. Iran gave its people elections. Elections with lots of rules, such as candidates picked by the regime. But within that structure, there were elections. And when that freedom was taken away, the people fought back.
And now that the people are rising up in theocratic, authoritarian Iran, how many other oppressed peoples around the world are thinking, “What about us?”
Another Jefferson quote seems apt: “The ball of liberty, I believe most piously, is now so well in motion that it will roll around the globe.”
Jefferson was right. The ball is just rolling a bit more slowly than he expected.