Sunday, June 28, 2009

You Are Winning

Once again, this is another open letter to any of the brave Iranian protesters who may be reading.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 28:  Iranian-Americans ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I hope you are doing well. I hope you are all safe. I am sure there are still many of you feeling afraid or pessimistic about the current situation. While I certainly hope this is not the case, I feel I must say a few words in case you do have such feelings.

First and foremost, I must say this: You are winning. Now, I’m sure many people might feel I may be exaggerating or just plain na├»ve, but I am not. I have seen all that has happened in the past two weeks. I might not be right there with you, as I am halfway across the world, but I have seen the events as they have played out since the very beginning.

In the past two weeks, the firm hold the regime had upon its people has been shattered, destroyed as a result of their own unwillingness to listen to the voice of their people and their own acts of injustice. Their efforts to suppress the voice of the people have been cruel, inhumane in many cases, but they have not had the effect the regime wanted.

The regime wanted to silence those who disagreed with their decisions, but it has instead made even more people speak out against their numerous violations of human rights. Even many high profile clerics are speaking out against the Supreme Leader’s crackdown now. A prime example is the recent speech by Ayatollah Mousavi Ardabeli. Many other politicians and clerics have spoken out as well, some even joining the protesters in the streets, but still the regime continues with crackdowns. The more they continue, the more people are appalled, and the more people speak out. A rift has formed within the government that stretches to its very foundations.

All of this after just a two week period of time! Making such a huge impact in such a small amount of time is not easy (in fact, I’d say it’s downright unheard of) but you have done that, my friends. You are winning. It’s easy to think otherwise, seeing all the cruelty at the hands of Besij thugs and being fed demoralizing misinformation and lies from State TV…but the fact remains: You are winning.

The supporters of the crackdown are now cornered cats, clawing wildly in every direction. They are afraid. They are doing everything they can to stop you and it is simply not working. They are doing whatever they can to demoralize and depress you, but I know you will not give in. The world may seem dark at times, but at dawn, the sun will always rise. You are that sun, my friends. You and your hope for a better future will be the dawn.

Still, I’m sure many of you do not feel that way. Many of you have lost a lot over the course of the past few weeks. Many of you have had to endure heartache that no person should ever have to go through. Many of you probably feel that, in the end, this is a lost cause. While I can understand that feeling, I feel I have to tell you that you can win and, as I’ve said, you’ve already accomplished much.

I know sometimes it can seem that winning is impossible. It’s hard to see the people who have died, the people who are suffering, and not feel despair. It’s hard not to feel afraid all the time, to feel cold and empty as if your soul has left you. It is a terrible feeling, one I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I am sorry you have to feel such feelings and I wish I could do more to take that pain away…but I’m telling you, even though sometimes you may feel like things are hopeless and can never get better, look at what’s happening. More people are speaking out against the crackdown and supporting the protesters.

The majority of the people within the country, including many citizens who previously supported president Ahmadinejad, are now disapproving of the unjust acts the regime is inflicting upon their own people. More of the hardliners within the regime are beginning to become nervous, making ridiculous claims that other countries such as Britain are behind the protest and overall simply refusing to accept that their time is coming to an end. The State TV and those supporting the crackdowns are unable to keep their own lies straight, blaming at least four completely different sources for Neda’s death, none of which are even close to being remotely believable. You have shaken the very core of the regime. You are winning. So please, please, never feel that things are hopeless. That is simply what the regime wants you to believe, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. You are not alone. You cannot be silenced. And you will win.

The Sea of Green is moving ever stronger. It’s gone beyond an election, beyond all of us. The Sea of Green now stands for all that is right, even in a world that can sometimes seem so wrong. Your voices all shout for justice, for a country where such cruelty cannot be committed against its own people, for a better future for you, your children, and your children’s children. Your voices are getting louder each day (the rally yesterday and the deafening chants in the night should be proof enough of that). You will never be silenced, no matter how much the current regime tries.

I hope this has been at least a little helpful to some of you. Please do not feel despair when you have already accomplished so much. I hope you and all those close to you will be safe. Never allow yourself to be silenced and never doubt yourselves. Take care.

Yours Faithfully,


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