Just wait

What is going on in Iran is just amazing and fascinating. It is the most promising thing I have seen. Now, I wait with baited breath to see how it is resolved.

Wait is all we should do. McCain’s calls for Obama to make a firmer stance are misguided. The opposition may be more open to America, but they certainly do not need us as a friend right now. If we were to voice strong support for the opposition or claim that we were are certain there was fraud, it would taint the real move for change in Iran. Even if we could – and we can’t – call for a new election in which Mousavi was elected, he would then be destroyed as a puppet.

Patience. Support from a distance. Prepared to help if the need arises. Be inspired by the uprising. But most of all, just wait. Haven’t we learned by now that our “assistance” is not always a good thing?

And over the long haul, what we can do the calm the world’s riotous areas?

Women’s rights and education.

Consider this. It is well known that societies with lots of young men with little to do tend to be more volatile. The youth bulges tend to correspond with violence. Societies with women’s rights have lower birthrates. Societies with access to education have lower birthrates and better job opportunities for youths. Educate and empower and things will change.

We all want the same things. Given the opportunity, people will take a job and family over jihad. They just need to have the choice. Bombs and bullets, sanctions and strictures can be necessary stepping stones on occasion, but they do not bring the real choice or change. That is brought by people who seen an opportunity and are willing to grasp it. It is the people of Iran seeing that the economic and political needs would be better served by a more moderate leader and rising up to make it happen. Or, it is as simple as the population of a country growing out of its youth bubble to the point where the revolutionaries remaining can be quashed – Sri Lanka.

As the Dali Lama says, “As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery.” If happiness can be found, if freedom from suffering can be found, here and now, right here on this earth, then it reduces the attraction of dying to achieve that release from suffering. If you have something to live for, you are less likely to want to die. Empowerment and education can help provide that.


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