We Are Waiting for Some Real Audacity


by ayatoilet1

People are dying this very second in Libya. And the news today is, Obama convened a meeting at the Whitehouse with his national security team, and key cabinet members – and they simply could not make a decision what to do. Once again, the Whitehouse was given an opportunity to support a popularly developed democratic movement – just like the situation in Iran two years ago - and Obama vacillated.

It is my moral judgment, that if you see someone abusing someone else and you do nothing about it, you are an abuser too. Inaction is a defacto form of action. You cannot simply walk away.  I say this week after week on my TV show…to Iranians everywhere…particularly Iranian-Americans. You cannot be silent in the wake of the brutality and criminality you know is happening in your own country. To be silent (for the sake of a trip home or any other reason) is tantamount to supporting the regime.If Gadhafi maintains power, and all these thousands of Libyans die in vain and Gadhafi is tried in absentia for the deaths by the International Court of Justice, the whole world – and especially Libyans – should consider President Obama  an accomplice in these crimes. If Obama is unwilling to help the Libyans in their plight for freedom and democracy, then how can we (as Iranians) expect his support in our struggle to be free? Isn’t he really condoning brutality in every single dictatorship in the world? Isn’t he really telling dictators everywhere which way to follow when there are street protests and opposition against them? What is Obama really saying with his inaction? 

Gadhafi’s reputation is simply too marred. I know for 41 years, since Nixon put Gadhafi in power, Libya has played the bogey man for the U.S. When Reagan wanted a bombing spectacle, he conveniently told Gadhafi to oblige. When communists were ravaging Angola or Chad – it was Gadhafi’s military men that fought America’s proxy war.  But the Soviet Union is gone now.

And Gadhafi’s skeletons are coming out of the closet. His domestic brutality is now more evident than ever. But it was also Ghaddafi that supported blatant genocide by arming and supporting the rebels in Darfur – killing Christians in Southern Sudan. Its is now Gadhafi’s army that is pouring in to village after village shutting down clinics and hospitals, killing doctors, leaving the wounded to die and burning down whole villages. With the US 6th fleet barely a day away, stationed in Italy – surely the US could at least provide humanitarian aid to the people of Libya. A no fly zone is surely a no brainer. Obama could make a phone call and have munitions brought into Benghazi from a friendly ally. Why is he not doing any of this? How can he sleep at night – knowing he could have helped and he did not?When Obama was elected, it came on the heels of a growing anti-Muslim movement in the Republican party. Open racism at republican tea-party events, and open racism by Republican leaders like Newt Gingrich against Muslims in New York meant that millions of Muslim-American voters switched their voting to the Democrats. They voted for Obama. They saw, for once, a leader that offered hope. They say a leader that if nothing else, at least understood the suppression of Muslims both in America and overseas by American foreign policy.  Obama’s heritage, Obama’s middle name spelt fairness and decency. He talked about the Audacity of Hope. He talked endlessly about the “audacity” to imagine a better world, where everyone has an opportunity to dream and to fulfill their dreams. Doesn’t this mean he stands for human rights everywhere? That he stands for freedom and democracy – where people can determine their own future?But Obama has let them down. Obama has let me down badly. I feel today, almost three years on, that it was a pile a crap he was feeding us. There is no audacity in vacillation. There is no audacity in sitting back watching and making empty (hollow) speeches while people are being killed – visibly and actively – by a brutal dictator. The politics of talk and delay is the politics of fear and hypocrisy.  From my vantage point today, having Gadhafi walk the world stage as a statesman meeting every head of state at the G8 summit two years ago was simply despicable. They shook his hands and welcomed him to the meeting after his diplomats shot a British policewoman, his agents bombed a nightclub in Berlin, and his secret service brought down French and American airliners killing 400 people; and yet the heads of state of Britain, France, Germany and the US shook his hands.  They say, Gadhafi has hoarded billions of dollars of hard currency in Libya.  That he is paying $1000 a day to mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa to kill his opponents. One wonders if any of that cash found its way into the Whitehouse. Now that really would be audacious of Gadhafi and Obama, wouldn’t it?If the Republicans and the Tea Party crowd were not so racist, and so anti-Muslim I would be on the streets campaigning for them everywhere. Dignity and self-respect trumps greed. Not everyone’s a whore. And I promise you Mr. Obama, you would be out of office in 2 years. There are times in people’s lives where principle trumps everything else. There are times, when inaction and vacillation are simply not acceptable. I urge you to stand with every single nation that is oppressed and do your utmost to support their quest for freedom and democracy. There can be no higher calling; there can be no higher cause.The people fighting for freedom in Libya are not fanatic Muslims – they simply want a better future for themselves and their children.  The Libyan uprising comes on the heels of other secular uprisings in the Arab world. Do not push the Libyan people away, into the hands of fanatics and extremists. Do not destroy the hopes of millions of other oppressed people throughout the world with your inaction. Iranians in particular need this hope to make it day by day. Everyone one of us sleeps every night hoping for the brutality of these regimes to end. The people of Tunisia and Egypt have proven that idealism is the new realism. They have walked the talk. They had the Audacity to Hope.If you do not act, your inaction is equal to the brutality that is visible in front of your eyes Mr. Obama. You and Gadhafi will be exactly the same in our book. You must act – if only to preserve your legacy. To have freed a billion Arabs during President Obama’s first term would be an achievement that would place you in the same category as Mahatma Ghandi or Martin Luther King.  The time for action is now. It is time to be truly audacious! This goes far beyond Libya, and we all know it.


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