Did you notice how many times he invoked the word "justice" in his message? That's the word that will resonate most deeply with the Iranian resistance. What a relief to have someone with this degree of restraint and prudence and empathy - refusing to be baited by Khamenei or the neocons, and yet taking an eloquent stand, as we all do, in defense of freedom and non-violence. The invocation of MLK was appropriate too. What on earth has this been but, in its essence, a protest for voting rights? Above all, the refusal to coopt their struggle for ours, because freedom is only ever won, and every democracy wil be different: this is an act of restraint that is also a statement of pure confidence in the power of a free people.
I share the confidence. I wrote a couple weeks back that something is happening in Iran. But it is not the only place where something is happening. The rejection of al Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan; the ground-up election of Obama in America; and now the rising up of Iranians for freedom and civility with their neighbors: these are the green shoots of recovery from 9/11 and its wake. Empowered by new information technology, chastened by the apocalyptic conflicts of the last few years, determined to shift course away from civilizational warfare, the people of many countries are grasping for a new order and a new peace. It will not be easy; and it will not be short. But it is the only path worth taking.
And these Iranians are now leading the rest of us.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.