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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

World: Iran

I'm with Kase Wickman on this whole issue of Iran: there's no point in turning your avatar green, we all need to do something to help the Iranians while simultaneously telling our so-called Leaders to Shut the fuckety fucking fuck up and quit trying to meddle in anybody else's internal politics.

So what, you may wonder, can you do? If you have money, you can send it to:
  • TehranBureau. They need financial support. They're doing a sterling job of getting news and information from Iran.

  • International Red Cross and Red Crescent. Even if their Iran branch is currently not giving assistance to injured demonstrators, they do good work in getting medical supplies to those who need them. I will have more information on this issue soon.

If you have tech skills, you can:
  • set up a way for Iranians to stay connected to the world outside;

  • Create a Twitter account, if you don't already have one, mosey on over to Twitter, enter #iranelection in the search box halfway down the right side of the page, and see if you can provide assistance to the many requests you'll encounter there. Be sure to check carefully that you're not providing assistance to the wrong people!

  • Set your Twitter account settings to Tehran time.
    Apparently this will slow down the thought police searching for the protesters

If you prefer political action, you can:
  • sign this petition to the United Nations requesting that they take action on the election fraud believed to have been perpetrated in Iran;

  • sign this petition;

  • sign this petition, supported by Anonymous Iran;

    Personally I find petition signing rather ineffectual, but perhaps the intent here is to show Iranians that there is support for them in other countries, and that is a good psychological tool and morale-lifter.

  • Write a letter (not an email) to the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon;
    Address it to him at 2 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017. Not sure how effective it will be, since the Iranian Supreme Council has already accused him of meddling, according to Ha'aretz, merely for requesting that they spend less time killing demonstrators.

  • Write a letter or send a postcard or an email to, or telephone, your Congresscritters. You can send a copy to their local office and a copy to their Washington, D.C. office, if you like.

  • Write a letter to the Ayatollah Khameini and the Supreme Council. Kindly address the son of an unmentionable as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini. Address it to Iranian Interests Section, 2209 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007. Be as polite as you possibly can. The more diplomatic you are, the more likely he will actually read your letter, as his paid underlings will be sure to sort and toss any that include death threats, insults, or sundry rudenesses.

  • Write a letter to, or call, each of these morally reprehensible bloodthirsty chickenhawks who are slavering to see the U.S. embroiled in yet another conflict in which your children will die or be maimed or otherwise disabled, while theirs opine on the importance of foreign wars from air-conditioned offices on these shores:

    • Lindsey "Miss Thing" Graham;
    • John "Wut? Where R I?" McCain;
    • Chuck "Up" Grassley;
    • Dana "Asshole" Rorabacher;
    • Eric "Head Up Ass" Cantor;
    • Joe "Whiny Sanctimonious Peener" Lieberman;
To bring yourself up to speed on what is happening in Iran, you can see what Nico Pitney has to say over at The Huffington Post. He's been live-blogging the situation in Iran since it began, pretty much. Twitter has a constant stream of information, but no analysis, and the 140-character limit, while excellent for conveying important info quickly is, alas, not suited to thinking critically on the issue.

The Guardian has useful background information. Historical information, which is crucial to understanding the entire situation in the middle-east and Iran's place in that context, is available all over the Web. Some excellent books on the topic should be available at your local library or through inter-library loan.

Do what you can, whatever it is. Perhaps you can start a "boycott Iranian products" movement, talk to your Iranian friends, neighbours, acquaintances, and see if that is a useful solution; perhaps you can organize a petition signing or a collection of funds for the Red Cross/Red Crescent. Perhaps you speak Farsi, or know someone who does who is supportive of the movement and can translate articles or broadcasts. Perhaps you can just teach yourself and some of your friends a little about this faraway country in which such an amazing freedom movement is occurring at this time. Or vent some spleen at those so-deserving Congressidiots listed above.

It's gotta be better than sitting around watching some dumb bimbo-and-himbo with eight sprog display their decaying relationship on TV for the whole world to puke over.

From Tehran Bureau:
(An intriguing side note: Events inside Iran picked up steam at the same time as the Iranian presidential elections coincided with the Obama administration’s change of policy — as Washington backed off the threats and aggressiveness of the Bush years — and offered to engage with Iran on the basis of mutual respect. Would a more detached US policy towards Arab autocrats similarly open space for Arab domestic effervescence and indigenous calls for more liberal, honest politics?)
From lengthy personal experience, I can assure you that any attempt by the U.S. government to more directly engage with the demonstrators will lead to widespread anger, not just on the part of the ayatollahs but the demonstrators as well. They do not want to be seen as tools of the same government that once funded the overthrow of their elected leader and replaced him with a murderous torturing puppet. So write your Congresscritters today, and be sure to let them know this with as many hearty kicks to the ass as it takes.

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At 11:09 PM, Blogger Sandy-LA 90034 said...

Since I have so much trouble finding words to express myself, maybe petition signing is the way to go.

Thank you for such a comprehensive post on this situation, including more than all the appropriate links.

I am in awe of your agile brain and the way you can express yourself so well.


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