First, we must mention that the people of Iran continue to speak. As a brutal, dictatorial regime swears in its so-called president after a sham election, the people of Iran are gathering to protest in huge numbers. As with nearly all Iranian demonstrations, the police are using force to disperse the protests. By now, this is getting to be a daily event, and we must not become complacent about this: the people of Iran need the attention of the world for them to affect real change.
Second, we see the massive public support for the late Corazon Aquino, who was the legitimately elected President of the Phillipines from 1986-1992, but passed away over the weekend after a year of suffering under colon cancer. The huge outpouring of Filipinos remembering her is only right, for she was one of the rare post-dictator presidents who actually delivered on every promise of democracy.
Lest we forgetand to be fair, many readers may not have even been alive in 1986the Phillipines were enslaved by a brutal, dictatorial regime. Sound familiar? Her husband, Ninoy Aquino, directly challenged thug-ruler Fernando Marcos for the presidency, promising true democratic reforms and justice for the oppressed Filipinos. His reward for doing so was a bullet in the headclearly killed on orders of Marcos, although no end of offensive parodies of criminal investigations declared there was no link whatsoever. In effect, challenge Marcos and you will be killed; there will be no justice afterward, either.
Undeterred, his widow, Corazon, took up the challenge. It took almost three years, but this teeny, tiny woman (who accepted her total lack of political experience as being a self-proclaimed, lifelong housewife) became a roaring tiger. The public enthusiastically embraced her message of democracy, truth, and reform: she was nominated to run against Marcos in the 1986 elections.
Incredibly, Marcos won by landslide amid allegations of voter intimidation, fraud, and illegal electioneering. The protests that followed caught the worlds attention. Now does this sound familiar?
President Reagan, in a rare lapse of vision, suggested a power-sharing agreement between her and Marcos, which both refused. However, the fact that the US was willing to acknowledge that Aquinos election was legitimate caused key Marco allies to switch to supporting Aquino. Days later, Marcos fled into exile. Aquinos election thus uncontested, she plowed into a series of deep and meaningful reforms, transforming the Phillipines from a backwater island subject to US interests led by a self-serving leech of a ruler (its military role was as a perfectly positioned platform for US force throughout Asia) into a free and open democracy that openly embraced US support. She turned out to be the right person at the right time, and showed that the Philippines were a stronger ally as a true democracy than as a puppet dictatorship. Much work is still to be done to eliminate the horrific poverty and crime in the Islands, but the recent outpouring of support at her funeral show that Filipinos, by a huge majority, are ready to get back to work.
The people of Iran should take note, for their predicament is just similar enough: all they need is a true pro-democratic reformer rather than another tool of the psychotic mullahs. And if he, or she, is honest in these goals, anything is possible.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.