Monday, June 22, 2009
America Gives Iran the Tools of Democracy
President Barack Obama has been urged to take a more forceful and direct stance in supporter of the street demonstrations in Tehran. "He should speak out. He should send aid and give clear moral support." People are saying that.
As we watch the news unfold with beautiful and tragic scenes of Iranian people speaking out in fear for their lives, we wonder, "What can we do to help?"
Well, there is lot more that we can do, but I want to point out that we are already helping quite a bit --
because we have given Iran the tools of democracy, and those tools are called Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
These so-called trivial social networking sites, designed and implemented in our open (maybe not open enough) society, have allowed the Iranian opposition to communicate and coordinate their efforts.
I have been on Twitter for two months now, and I often thought I was just playing a silly game. A lot of it is silly, true enough. But the mullahs can't jam Twitter, and the people on the streets and rooftops are using this "silly" program to full effect.
So we are helping, and in the best possible way, too. We're not telling them what to do or what to say. We're not sending soldiers or money.
We are simply doing what any neighbor would do. "Here's the tool box. You build the house."