Saturday, June 20, 2009

...But It Bends Towards Justice

I haven't said a lot about was has been going on in Iran, mostly because other folks are doing a better job of it than I am.

But in regards to how the President is handling the crisis...I do think Obama is doing the right things right now and playing it as carefully as one can. This has upset some on the right, but you won't get any criticism from me. The relationship between Iran and the United States has always been a delicate one, and if the President appears too strong, he could hurt the protest movement and empower the leadership. This crisis has to be settled by those on the streets. Justice has to come from them, not from Washington.

The President's words on the bloody events of today are important to hear:

The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.

As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.

Martin Luther King once said - “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.

The last paragraph is the most important. He quotes King and reminds the Iranian government that they can run, but in the end, they can't hide. Injustice will not last forever. As the prophet Amos said, justice will flow like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.

The next few days and weeks could be very dark for the people of Iran. But in the end, the moral arc will bend towards justice for the people of Iran.

1 comment:

Vigilante said...

President Obama is spot-on. We elected him more for real results than blood-red rhetoric.

Ahmadinejad is the main and immediate issue. His early departure would be just the first step in untying the knot in the Middle East. We must understand that Iranians want his ouster for reasons different than ours. (I am not especially hopeful.) With him gone, nuclear energy in Iran assumes a different profile.

The optimal official American position is on the sidelines. Our new president has started the rebuilding of United States' moral and political leadership after its demise during the Busheney years. But we have not yet restored that credibility. President Obama is a mature student of statesmanship who understands that his grasp should not exceed the reach of American foreign policy.

But as Americans, we do not and should not remain on the sidelines. We need to demonstrate our active vigil and witness, together with the rest of the world, on a people to people basis. The technology of the "social network" permits and encourages that now, more than ever before.