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1) Although America seems now quite taken with the brave political protesters of Iran, until very recently, the country talked quite seriously about killing hundreds of thousands of them in a military invasion because they could, at some point, develop nuclear weapons, which they could then possibly use against the United States, although it wouldn’t make any sense for them to do so, and would guarantee retaliation from the United States in the form of nuclear hell. But I am very pleased that this popular uprising has inspired the news media to cover Iran like it was made up of actual people.
2) It’s a little frustrating that while the American public seems to be on the side of the protesters, there still seems to be a real disconnect. Americans seem to want the Iranian people to have what we Americans want, not what the Iranian people want for themselves. Americans have already decided that our brand of Free Election Democracy is what is best for all people everywhere, no matter what they may think they want (although they do, when not in this mode, acknowledge that the American political system is riddled with corruption, and doesn’t actually represent the will of its citizens). Thinking that you know what’s best for someone else, without pausing to think that maybe they know what’s best for themselves is part of this “American arrogance” we sometimes hear about. Not entirely our fault, we’re propagandized into thinking this since the time we are very young.
3) I’m really not sure what me and my fellow Americans should do if we truly want to help the Iranians. To be honest, I haven’t heard much in the way of Iranians asking for help. Clearly, all of the heavy work and sacrifice will have to be done in Iran by Iranians. Even worse, any public support by Americans can help the Iranian government to paint the protesters as Western puppets and claim that the whole movement is just another sneaky American regime change plot. I salute the folks who are providing telecommunications help (getting around censorship, etc.), but this may be a case where taking to the streets and marching outside in solidarity might do real harm.
4) Obviously, no one knows how this is going to turn out. At this point, it seems like either the government will crack down hard, and force an end to the protests through violence and fear. Or the schisms among political players and authority figures will grow wider, giving the protesters continued breathing room to keep the pressure on. But I don’t see this ending well for the protesters unless Supreme Leader Khamenei gets ousted, or his rivals (in the Iranian theological apparatus) become powerful enough to frighten him into calling for a new election.
5) Fun fact: did you know that the US is still occupying Iraq and Afganistan? If you watched the mainstream news, you might have forgotten.