Friday, June 19, 2009

U.S. journalist turns Iranian dissident

Question: How narcissistic must The Washington Times' Eli Lake be to believe adding a "green overlay" to his Twitter avatar in an act of solidarity with supporters of Mir-Hossein Mousavi would do anything other than make him look like a desperate moral exhibitionist? Truly, could there be a more pathetic and meaningless gesture?

(Since I first wrote this Lake appears to have reverted to a non-green avatar. Such is the fleetingness of online solidarity.)

Who me, unaware?

After courageously changing his avatar green, the almost endearingly unaware Lake offered this advice:
What's happening in Iran is about Iran. We in the US should refrain from using the demos there as a partisan cudgel here.
about 1 hour ago from web
I think I agree with this statement, but I'm not sure the tone of the domestic debate is helped by accusing people like former National Security Council member and CIA analyst Flynt Leverett of being "an [A]hmadinejad man" -- as Lake does -- for merely pointing out that plenty of Iranians voted for Ahmadinejad the last time around, so it's not entirely implausible that a great number would do so again. But Lake doesn't seem to do the whole self-awareness thing so well.

And while I believe sympathy for the Iranian people is to be commended, allow me to suggest others who it may be more appropriate for Americans to show solidarity with:
-- The more than 7 million Americans behind bars -- the largest prison population in world history -- many for non-violent drug offenses.

-- The 4 million-plus Iraqi refugees forced to flee their homes thanks to the U.S. invasion of their country.

-- Palestinians suffering under a U.S.-financed Israeli occupation and blockade whose votes were dismissed by the West because they weren't for the right party.


  1. I was so glad to read this! I've been bombarded with e-mails/phone calls from friends who have their tails in a knot about this election, and wonder why I'm spending more time watching the committee discussions on health-care reform IN OUR COUNTRY.

    Why I'm spending more time at the local senior center helping get meals to the needy and confined, then I'm listening to the Iran election results or 'blogging', and not following their constant 'tweets and twitters'; videos, and all other forms of visual and text reports about a country who should be dealing with their own issues, as we should be dealing with ours.

    How many times has Iran become a critical 'hot spot' or 'media news point', in these many years I've been alive, I can't even count or remember them all.

    Why haven't we Americans realized that the same countries will continue to rattle their chains; bang their drums, and if it weren't for the media; television - blogging, web-sites, newspapers, magazines and the technology that allows us to 'know some of this', we'd all be focused on what's key to our own personal security and lives, and move within our communities with the goal of keeping those healthy; which feeds the health of the state, which feeds the health of the USA.

    How far do I want to extend myself, and what real good can I do with where I place my time and interest, is what counts. Writing/blogging/watching television and getting emotionally upset about what's going on thousands of miles from where we Americans live, seems ridiculous to me.

    I was SO GLAD YOU PUT IT INTO PERSPECTIVE! Thank you again!

  2. Happy In Nevada,

    Thanks for the feedback. Being concerned about the people of Iran is a good thing, but I'd be less cynical if many of these newly-minted activists displayed the same commitment to freedom and human rights here in the U.S. or in the authoritarian countries our government claims as allies as they do when the country in question is an Official Enemy like Iran.