June 17, 2009
Posted: 11:06 AM ET
This is an LKL Web Exclusive from actress Shiva Rose, who is of Iranian descent. She has appeared in numerous television series and movies, including "CSI: Miami" and "The Practice." Shiva was on LKL last night discussing the latest developments in Iran, and wrote this exclusive commentary:
Iran is where I was raised for the first ten years of my life. Although I consider myself an Iranian-American my soul still feels a longing for its motherland, the physical earth where I took my first steps. I am watching the unfolding of the events in Iran with bated breath.
In 2000 when Gore had to concede to Bush I felt such a deep sense of abandonment and despair that I was wondering why we as Americans didn’t take to the streets. Recently in 2008 with Obama’s victory I finally felt like I could believe again in our system and that there truly was “hope” for our future. I suppose that’s why I can genuinely relate to those marching in Iran. Of course there the situation is much more oppressive but the sense of fighting for our votes to be counted is what I can understand. It is pretty astounding that there hasn’t been anything on this scale since the revolution of 1979. During the Khatami elections in 2005, there were a few outcries when he lost to Ahmadinejad, but it seems the people are now more galvanized. When Khatami once seemed like he was alone in his fight, now four years later, there is a significant sea change with Khatami’s support of Mousavi.
From the reports we know that the marches are a constant flood of people from all areas of Iranian life. There are students, families with children, elderly, factory workers, women in chadors all marching to support Mousavi from Tehran’s Freedom Square to Shiraz and Isfahan. There are even demonstrations in Dubai. I worry and fear though that this situation may erupt into a Tiananmen Square massacre. Already there are the reports of students killed at the universities yesterday and the ones killed in the marches. The regime has very few options. Even if the Ayatollah’s authorize an investigation, how will it be reliable and accepted? The fact that they claim that they were able to count 45 million ballots by hand in two hours is pretty preposterous and leads one to doubt their subtlety in duping a nation.
I am wracking my brain trying to think of what we can do. I suppose the best thing is to just be witnesses. Even with the shutting down of the Internet in Iran, we are still able to get footage taken by phones and twitter. This is a new landscape for totalitarian regimes and maybe the ammunition we need to keep human rights available for all of us.
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