Iranian Bloggers Caution The YouTube President
The Wall Street Journal‘s Bret Stephens writes today of an apparent divorce between dissident Iranian Bloggers and the lofty goals of our President, who set forth via YouTube and DVD gift-packs to “heal the World” and to “repair America’s image.”
Barack Obama extended the olive branch to Iran’s leaders last Friday in a videotaped message praising a “great civilization” for “accomplishments” that “have earned the respect of the United States and the world.” The death of Iranian blogger Omid-Reza Mirsayafi in Tehran’s Evin prison two days earlier was, presumably, not among the accomplishments the president had in mind.
Our President’s handlers, ever mindful of the power of a well rehearsed President Obama in front of a camera, have embraced –some day over-embraced– the medium. But, will the President’s professional political team be as quick to embrace the other sides of the digital media spectrum? Will they listen to Iranian Bloggers who tell them that their approach to the Iranian Regime is exactly the wrong one? Stephens:
Shortly after Mr. Obama’s inauguration, Mr. Sanjari put his name to an open letter to the new president, signed by several prominent young Iranian dissidents, calling on him “to pay special attention to the repressive, unaccountable nature of the regime” that now threatens and provokes the U.S. and our allies. Its conclusion is as fitting a tribute as any to Mirsayafi’s notable and too-brief life.
Read what he said and how he died for, sadly, they are related. It is in The Wall Street Journal, here.
It is an exciting time in technology when we can look across an Iron Wall; we are wise to make an effort listen to those whom risk their lives to make the virtual balloon ride over the Internet to the relative freedom of your screen.