The hero who led Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution that threw off Soviet rule has a few thoughts on what is possible in response to Iranian protests, and the Mullahs’ crackdown”
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “is a man possessed. Unfortunately we are living at a time when a man possessed could easily inflict damage to a lot of people, due to modern technology.
“What is possible and what I would repeatedly warn against is the policy of compromise and the notion that if we don’t provoke evil, it will just go away by itself. On the contrary, that would just make it stronger.”
PS: You might be interested in what I had to say about Vaclav Havel on the occasion of the political retirement of the great man.
PPS: An account by a young participant in the Velvet Revolution, at the time an apparently hopeless cause, might help to explain why young people are taking to Iranian streets in an apparently hopeless cause. She writes:
PPPS: Cartoonist John Cox reckons
I was then a teenager, with a twist - I knew that I had no control over my future and that I faced two choices only. In order to blend in, accept the evil around me in exchange for a semblance of a 'normal' life. Or follow in my parents' footsteps and forsake all that is considered good and rewarding in a healthy society, such as higher education, travel, even family and potentially freedom. I may have been very young but, alas, not young enough to be blind to the full horrors of such life. After all I had seen those around me living with similar decisions. As it happens, that choice was not real - having been part of the dissident movement, I was weighted, marked and tagged as the enemy of the state. I belonged to the dark forces undermining the society - a phrase so beloved of the communist media.
I remember the nervous elation of the 'now or never' moment, as we walked to the main square to meet thousands of others who felt the same. It was a powerful sensation to be surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people knowing that they are there for the same reason - an experience unprecedented in a fractured and diseased society under communism...
Charles Krauthammer is wonderfully succinct describing how the Obama administration is sitting the bench during Iran's tumultuous election fallout. Please read this excellent editorial.
I strongly concur. Read: Hope and Change -- but Not for Iran, by Charles Krauthammer.