Duck and Cover
Posted by pinkjuniormints on June 20, 2009
The other day, my History of Modern Russia class watched, and mocked, a video of Bert the Turtle.
This brought to mind the acquiring and possession of dangerous arms today by rogue nation—rogue nations that have had quite a bit of press coverage lately. Obviously, I’m talking about Iran and North Korea.
Admittedly, I don’t pay much attention to news from the Middle East, which is something I need to work on. I browse three news sites twice a day, and read the articles that interest me and skim the others. Usually it’s the Middle East stories that get skimmed.
However, I must say that the day before Iran’s elections, I was perusing articles about it on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News (Yes, I read Fox News. Both the stupidity (read: blatant right-wing attacks) and weird news stories entertain me). The only thought that kept me from getting super excited about the prospect of an Ahmadinejad-free Iran was that it’s really the hardliner Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that holds all the power.
If I wouldn’t be the naïve, eternally optimistic idiot that I am, I wouldn’t have been surprised at the outcome. My initial reaction was, “No way. That can’t be right.”
Bravo, Amanda, for making the most obvious statement of the year.
There are just so many unanswered questions arising out of this situation, and new ones are popping up each day. For example, how does a candidate in any race anywhere lose in his or her hometown or ethnic group? Jack Cafferty brought up this point in Monday’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer.
He compares it to President Obama losing the black vote to Senator McCain last fall. It’s just not going to happen.
Monday also raised the question, how were they able to count so many paper ballots in so little time?
How is it that their election is decided already and seven months later, Minnesota’s Senatorial race is not? No offense to Iran, but I’d like to think that our system is a bit more sophisticated than theirs.
Friday brought the question, how many people are going to die for expressing their opinion?
Unfortunately, knowing this regime, there are bound to be lives lost in the coming weeks.
One thing is for certain: Although it looks like it will be a loss for the progressives of Iran and the world at large, it is also a loss for Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. This debacle has shown them that the people of Iran are tired of them running the country and are ready for change.
It kind of reminds me of Russia’s Bloody Sunday in 1905, when a priest led disgruntled workers on a peaceful march to the tsar’s palace. Whether from Tsar Nicholas II’s orders, or from confusion, officials fired on the crowd, killing several hundred. Although it was a loss for the protesters, it was also a loss for the leader, who had to make some concessions to appease his people. It was also the beginning of a 15-year revolution that overthrew an autocratic and oppressive regime. (Not that the replacement government was any better, but that’s beside the point).
Hopefully, the situation in Iran will have the same result as the protest in Russia—freedom—but with a lot less bloodshed. I guess that’s the eternal optimist in me coming out.
On to North Korea, which is the more immediately serious situation in my mind. Am I the only one that noticed that right around the same time Kim Jong Il started acting up again, he also apparently named his son as his successor?
My hope is that this is just a PR move and not genuine provocative hostility. With as paranoid and secretive as that regime appears to be, Kim Jong Il may think that handing the reins over to his son would make his country seem weak. Taunting the world with missiles would be a good way to distract attention from a regime change and focus it on, I don’t know, nuclear war?
This may be a stretch, but I liken Kim Jong Il’s actions to compensation cars. Men buy big, flashy compensation cars because something else they have is not big and flashy. Kim Jong Il is acting out to refute any notions that the country, like his health, is not faring too well.
To again relate this to something I’m currently studying, does this situation remind anyone of the Cuban Missile Crisis? A Communist country’s ship carrying illicit weapons is intercepted by an American ship and does not permit inspections.
Hopefully, history repeats itself and the Communist leader backs off, but without the American leader having to do so.