Arab Activists Watch Iran And Wonder: "Why Not Us"?
Today I received this letter from an American artist Joel Simpson in solidarity with Iranian people:
"The mass protests and their brutal suppression following an election which the whole world recognizes as stolen have unmasked the "Islamic Republic" as the brutal dictatorship it has always been, hiding behind the a veil of piety. The sympathetic protests in nearby Arab countries are very telling, since many of those protesters acknowledge that such opposition could not occur in their countries. Iran has demonstrated at least the pretense of a more open and democratic society. It has a strong middle class, possessed of wealth and education. The blatant stealing of the presidential election and then the brutal suppression of protests have revealed that real power is held by the Revolutionary Guards, and they will do anything to keep it. They are unconcerned with either the popular will or the future of their country—which is typical of military dictators, from Myanmar to North Korea—and only concerned with maintaining their power. Their actions will certainly set off a new wave of emigration among Iran's best and brightest, increasing demoralization at home, and isolation abroad. The question is whether power will be wrested from them before they manage to destroy the fabric of Iran's civil society, which at present, and despite heavy-handed fundamentalist rule for the past 30 years, is one of the most robust in the Muslim world."