Tied to the mast
…but orange now and black

Gestures of solidarity

Sullivan has been mocked a bit for the solidarity gestures he’s made (turning his site green, notably). Despite the critics, I obviously, having similarly switched schemes, think he’s right.

Yes, unbridled idealism when it comes to state or institutional action is ill advised, but that’s not what’s being advocated for. The presumption of such a criticism is that these expressions of hope and good faith—labeled as war-blog circa 2002 idealism—are somehow counter pragmatic.

But: We’re not speaking from the tiller of the American state. We’re not advocating intervention. We’re advocating recognition.

What these gestures are about is constructing a rapport, civil-society to civil-society, with the newly empowered demos in Iran. Such a rapport, if anything, has the potential to found a new and actual pragmatism in future relations.

Coequally, these gestures are statements against the cynicism that has dominated the attitudes of decision-makers on both sides; a cynicism that is both self-reinforcing and deeply pernicious; but a cynicism—to be fair to the cynical—that is all too easy to fall into in a region as geopolitically, ethnically, and economically tangled as that part of Asia has become .

~

UPDATE: Who knows what fruit this will bear

This list was being passed around among the resistance in Iran today:

1. Remove Khamenei from supreme leader because he doesn’t qualify as a fair supreme leader

2. Remove Ahmadinejad from president because he took it forcefully and unlawfully

3. Put Ayatollah Montazeri as supreme leader until a review group for the ghanooneh asasi ( “constitution” ) is set up

4. Recognize Mousavi as the official president

5. A goverment by Mousavi and start a reform of the constitution

6. Free all political prisoners without any ifs ands or buts, right away

7. Call off any secret organization such as “gasht ershad”

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