Current weather conditions

Click for Dexter, Iowa Forecast

Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



For thousands of years the middle east has been a hotly contested area. During the crusades there was fighting in the area and before and since then local sects have battled each other for space and rule of the lands. When oil was discovered suddenly the middle east became everyone’s business it seems, with outside governments jockeying for position and setting leaders in power. This has created a tinder box in which the rule of law and the fanatic side of religion was allowed to take hold simmering a long overdue inferno which is now coming to a head.

This last week I’ve been watching the news closely. You won’t see much reported in the regular media outlets about the tumult in Iran. The government has shut down most if not all connections with the outside world. The internet servers, media outlets, even phone service has been cut. The only source of what is taking place is coming from regular people, just like you and I, using satellite phones to upload photos, and the internet service Twitter to relay news of the revolution taking place there.

It all stems from what has been seen as irregularities in the most recent elections. The electoral council said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won by a landslide. However one member of the electoral council, who strangely enough had since died in an “auto accident” noted that Ahmadinejad actually finished third in the balloting. The supreme ruler of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has made it clear to the protesters that if they continue they will face dire consequences and even death. Interestingly enough the Ayatollah claims to be the leader of the Islamic community in Iran and would be similar to the Queen of England however with a much firmer grip of stifling control over the country, and yet his statements are in direct contradiction with the Islam religion, which is a religion of peace that has been sullied by the acts of extremists and fanatics.

Hundreds have been executed by the government there. The police have been ordered and have carried out continued attacks against the universities. Going into dorms and destroying everything room to room, beating, maiming and in some instances killing anyone not pulling the government line.

The demonstrations have been truly amazing in a country where the despot running the joint allows for free elections, as long as you vote for him. Millions have staged rallies across the country. Silent protests and loud non violent demonstrations demanding a change…demanding freedom.

This morning as I sit here and write this column demonstrators in Tehran are being tear gassed and the Revolutionary Guard (not the good kind of Revolutionary Guard) is firing into the air and in some cases the crowds. The government of Iran is claiming the United States and Great Brittan are meddling in the “free” elections of that country. This is the usual rhetoric that comes from dictatorships and extremists that know they are loosing their death grip on the people.

Regardless of our feelings on the middle east or the preconceived notions we have about the Iranian government from years of saber rattling, we really are talking about people, just like you and I who want better for themselves, and who want to be free. The people are demanding, and rightly so, a voice in the government and more importantly in their own lives, to be free of oppressive rule.

We can only stand and watch as the people attempt to change Iran for the better, and we can pray that it will come about with no more bloodshed, but certainly the Iranian people may just be now involved in a course that to often many of us overlook when we are reminded of our own history. I understand that it may not directly affect you and I in our little corner of the world, however sometimes I believe we have in forgotten the struggle for our own freedom and should continue to support it anywhere the flame of that desire burns in the hearts of the people.

Long live the Revolution!

See you next week. Remember, we’re all in this together.