A few years back a cab driver in Taipei, Taiwan, asked us where we were from. When we said Waco, he immediately knew the city and the Branch Davidians massacre that had recently occurred there.
Seems Waco will forever be linked with the extremist semi-Christian sect of David Koresh. Unfortunately for Waco all the news media used Waco in the by-lines when the event was in a village ten miles from Waco.
Now, 16 years after the burning of the Davidians’ compound, Iran’s leader (not “supreme leader” in Farci language, just “leader”) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is throwing it back in America’s face. The Ayatollah has backed the impulsive President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran’s recent elections. He refuses to consider the evident election fraud, even when thousands of voters peacefully fill the streets and squares seeking justice. After days of protests the leader admitted to a few mistakes in counting votes in a few places. But the killing continues.
Ayatolla Khamenei blames the Western governments and media outlets for the political disturbances since the election. Even a simple-minded person can see fraud when millions of paper ballots from all over the country are counted in just three hours. The result had the incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winning by a landslide.
Khamenei made a special point of mocking America’s concern for human rights issues in Iran. He made a big deal of the fact that America’s secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s husband was president when the federal forces stormed the Branch Davidian compound in Waco.
Khamenei could have gone back to 1953 when Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of Teddy Roosevelt; Norman Schwarzkopf, father of the Gulf War general; pre-CIA OSS chief Allen Dulles and his brother, secretary of State John Foster Dulles, encouraged by the British, led a coup that deposed the legally elected Prime Minister Mossadegh and reinstalled Mohammad Reza Shah. The tyrant Shah ruled Iran harshly (to put it mildly) for 25 years. It was swept under the rug in American for years, but such stupidity of American foreign policy has not been forgotten nor forgiven for the people of Iran.
When such covert actions, taken through the years by Democratic and Republican administrations, come to light, there is the devil to pay. Over and over in the Good Book we are reminded that our sins will find us out. As my Uncle Louis, the corner grocery store owner, would say, chickens come home to roost.
The United States government leaders have backed so many rotten dictators, the world can wonder if American democracy is good for them.
President Obama is wise to not use terms like G. W. Bush (Axis of Evil) or others in Congress who want to go on the warpath.) America’s past foibles (Chile, Philippines, Vietnam, Central America, Greece and Israel) make it difficult for true democratic ideals to be heard when we do get it right.
Playing the blame game, the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei said the Western media was ruled by Zionist, evil men who do not want to see Iran be free. His opinion of “free” does not seem to include the masses of citizens who have clogged Tehran’s streets since the fraud of an election. He bragged, “The Islamic Republic of Iran would not cheat and would not betray the vote of the people.”
With every day the fear of a “TianAnMen-like massacre” could break out. Foreign news outlets are shut down just as in Beijing in 1989. There is one huge difference today. The evolving electronic gadgets being used informs the world in a way never known in history. (A hope of mine is that Iranians will not shoot Iranians. At TianAnMen, Deng Xiaoping had a devil of a time finding one of his armies that would go into the Square and face the students. Several refused his command and some came to Beijing and returned to base, not willing to kill their own people. Deng finally got an army far from Beijing that agreed to go in.)
As of this writing the Iranian government has shown no readiness to even listen to the people’s demands. It would be a loss of face now to declare another election or even consider annulling the election. The “supreme” leader declares the election results are “the free wishes of the people.”
What the 69-year-old leader of Iran (who is not a real Ayatollah) is really saying is: “I alone know what is best and the people be damned.” His words and attitude are not that different from the Branch Davidians’ leader in 1993. Will he end up the same way as David Koresh and his misled followers? Will this be another slaughter of the innocents?
Britt Towery is a former missionary, freelance writer and published author of “Carey Daniel’s China Jewell, story of the Gal from Buffalo Gap.” His columns are published in the Bulletin on Fridays. He welcomes reader feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other columns are available on his Web site, www.britt-towery.blogspot.com.