Revolution is Not a Spectator Sport
Like James Poulos, “I like the Iranian reformers more than I like the mass politics of solidarity by symbolism.”
As such, I’m sympathetic to John Cole in thinking that the rabid coverage of the Iranian election controversy by enthusiastic American bloggers who know next to nothing about Iran is overblown. (I include myself in the decided non-expert on matters Persian category.) He’s right that many of us got carried away with the “Democracy, whiskey, sexy” bit during the heady days after successfully toppling Saddam Hussein before all hell broke loose in Iraq and that some of that vibe is apparent now.
Cheering from afar is harmless enough and if it makes you feel good to adorn your apparel and websites green, by all means do it. It’s no less silly than wearing your favorite team’s jersey while you drink beer and watch them on TV.
But revolution isn’t a spectator sport. Demonstrators are getting killed in Iran in outrage over what they believe was a stolen election. Sadly, those deaths will likely be in vain, in that the mullahs will continue to rule and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will probably stay president.
The United States will stand by and do nothing. We’re not going to dispatch our military to affect regime change to support the Green Twitter Revolution, or whatever the hell we’re calling it. Nor should we. This is the Iranian people’s fight.