Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Long Arc of Moral Justice

Barack Obama has done just about everything right so far with Iran. Before his oath of office he made a recording appealing to the people of Iran. In Cairo he again spoke to the moderate voices in the the country. When it came time for the election he has been very careful not to praise Mousavi too much because it could undermine him. And after the election he has taken care again to speak out against violence but stay out of the politics of the rigged election.

Today his comments again show that we have a statesman in the White House for the first time in a while.

Statement from the President on Iran

The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.

As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.

Martin Luther King once said - "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.

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