Cliches have a ring of truth to them and none is so often noted as this–we in this country take our freedom for granted.
Yet the recent 'election' in Iran can only powerfully underscore that truth. It was heartbreaking to see the reaction of many Iranians to the farce perpetrated upon them by the autocratic religious fanatical rulers.
It was informative for me and I'm sure to many in the West. All those reports of young Iranians desperately seeking the basic freedoms and often rejecting the programs of mindless hatred that spew from the mouths of their 'leaders' seems to be true.
The power of the internet to bathe the world in information is a powerful force for ultimate truth. Is the web filled with mindless racism, religious hatred and fundamentalist thinking as well? Of course, but what we see in Iran is that when good people are free to judge for themselves, the vast majority will often choose freedom over tyranny, cooperation over destruction, love over hate.
America has to tread carefully here–we need to 'support' the freedom movement without intervening too forcefully. American 'good' intentions have led to the disasters of many military struggles and only galvanize the 'bad guys' to paint the US as the invaders, thereby hiding their own iniquities.
I recent report of Arab world internet communication was also encouraging. Apparently the main concern of the Arab world is not hatred or terroristic destruction of the West–rather it is their own personal lives and internal politics. This is all about freedom. This may ultimately be the only path towards peace, the recogntion that bathing in a mind-set of continuous hatred damages the "hater" more than the "hated".
So here we are again. In this imperfect world with imperfect people–let us be grateful that we live in place where we can express ourselves fully and openly. My prayer is for all people to be able to celebrate their own '4th of July' in their own manner, in their own land.